A new coaching staff plus new terminology times higher expectations divided by hordes of rabid and at times myopic fans equals a load for anyone, let alone a group of kids that is about to be labeled underachievers. The "underachievers" are led by a shy 20-year old who isn't known for his leadership abilities, but for his powerful arm.
Want an idea of what's going on inside the Beaver huddle?
Translate the following two
sentences into English, deduce them, and explain them as simply as possible in
approximately forty seconds or less to eight friends. Then fill in your other
two friends who joined your explanation with only 20 seconds left in your
allotment of time. Next, take a breath and clear your head of the 250lb ‘roid
freak five feet away from you who's job it is to knock you out:
Huh? Now go make a play.
|Adam Rothenfluh has kept quiet throughout Derek Anderson's struggles.|
This is what it must be like to be the quarterback of Oregon State's offense in the early part of the '03 season. This is not an enviable task, which is primarily why nobody has heard a peep come from backup junior QB Adam Rothenfluh's mouth about getting his crack at making something of the above hieroglyphics. The same goes for freshman sensation-to-be Ryan Gunderson. (Note that the "sensation-to-be" moniker is more likely to be accurate with a redshirt year for the kid from Portland.)
We're going to have to sit, stand, pace, cover our eyes, monitor our blood pressure, do whatever it is we have to do this season, because as bad as Derek Anderson is, was, and will be, he is still better than the alternatives the Beavers have in terms of a quarterback.
Now, (doing what the rest of Beaver Nation should do), moving on.
The true underlying problem that we've seen and will continue to see, albeit less and less, is the fact that with the transition to a new coaching we'll come to see some ill effects from on-field performances. The play-calling, the new forms of discipline within the team system, who plays when and at what spot, all will improve as the Beavers move along this season. Have faith. The Beavs' adopted theme should be: "When in doubt, improvise or modify, and if you cannot adapt, then find a way to overcome."
Now this isn't to say that if nine or more wins aren't attained, that the affinity for Coach Riley won't turn to marked criticism (and serious calls for his job), and that the calls for a replacement for Anderson be found, (and found like yesterday). What I am saying is to put a "think outside the box" perspective on all things Beaver Football and hopefully redirect some of the confused frustration that plagues Beaver fans at this still early moment in the season.
|Beaver Nation expects big improvement from Rilety's team this Saturday.|
For those of you reaching for the "We used to be the laughing stock of college football" card, I don't care if the Beavers had 30 something years of consecutive losing seasons. We don't live in the past. The past has no effect on little yellow cloths flying all over the place before, during and after plays. Nor does the past have any effect on the ability of a QB to throw to those wearing the same design shirt as he wears.
"This is a wake-up call for us" lamented the man who carries the title of OSU Head Football Coach.
Uh, with all due respect coach, things are going to get really messy around Beaver Nation if some signs of progress aren't clearly shown Saturday afternoon on the Reser Stadium turf.
"We'll be better, we'll get there" Coach says.
Believe him, but hope we don't have to hire a translator.
Brad A. Banning covers the football team for the Barometer and will be helping out at BeaverFootball.com. The views expressed in his column are not necessarily those of the BeaverFootball.com staff. Banning can be reached at email@example.com.