Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where are they now - Jon Tenuta

The strange story of Jon Tenuta peeks out of the darkness, and the school in the rumor mill - Washington. Check it out. It's so hard to know what's going on in the mind of head coaches looking for a DC. There have been many openings that have come and gone, and Tenuta's name has barely come up on the fringe of the radar. Heck, after the LSU / Herbstreit debacle, he sort of disappeared, kind of like a coaching Bermuda Triangle.

So what is it with JT? He is clearly one of the most respected DC's in the business.......................... or at least that's what the media outlets want you to believe. So what is it? Why hasn't he upgraded his position, when HE decided that he wanted to move on from GT (don't forget he was supposed offered a chance to keep his job)?

Here are some possibilities:

  1. Personality - gruff, impersonable with the media, funny in a trusted circle of people, foul-mouthed. He had plenty of years to mold and shape his image as a potential head coach while at GT. He didn't do it. He chose to focus on X's / O's, player development and the inner-workings of the D. His typical media interactions were sparse and terse. Pulbic "Image" just didn't seem too important to him, and that probably hurt his potential as a future head coach. It just might have impacted his potential DC jobs in other places as well.
  2. "My Way D" - speculation, but he sure got used to Chan Gailey leaving him alone. Maybe he wants a job where he still is "the man" and isn't looking for some meddling head coach to stick his nose in on defensive coaching meetings. My guess is that Paul Johnson probably wanted more involvement than Chan - but just a guess.
  3. "High Risk D" - not every head coach wants an 85%+ blitzing defense. Not every head coach wants to give up big plays as often as GT did. Not every coach wants to isolated their corners on an island, then force them to play 15 yards off the receiver.

I sure hope JT lands on his feet. He was great at GT on the field. It was nice having defenses that "played to win", even if our offenses were more conservative. He had issues, but wherever he lands, they will benefit from having him there.