SEC coaches speak anonymously, throw barbs at other SEC teams
An interesting challenge to say the least, Athlon Sports and its team of college football reporters recently published their annual ‘SEC Coaches Talk Anonymously About Other League Opponents‘ quotes and some are quite satisfying.
Here’s what a few anonymous coaches had to say about the rest of the SEC, and check out Athlon’s annual tradition for more quotes from coaches.
Can you guess who said what?
“As it sits, Alabama might be an eight-win team on paper. Obviously a lot hinges on how well the FSU kid (Jacob Coker) does coming in — will he make or break the season? The freshman, David Cornwell, is not ready. If they have to go with Blake Sims, their offensive play-calling is very limited. They would run the ball a lot, wouldn’t be very exotic in the passing game.”
“The running backs are solid, not as good as the 2010 lineup, but really good. Kenyan Drake is maturing and Derrick Henry is doing a lot better with protections, assignments, developing the passing game — he could always run the ball.”
“They did have a couple good defensive lineman, especially Chris Smith, but he’s gone now.”
“Based on what they’re doing, I just don’t think they can score enough. It starts with the offense — they are not set up to score a lot of points. It’s ball control, grind-it-out, I-Formation, play-action football.”
“The linebackers will be average. A lot of them are just guys.”
“If Auburn can develop a passing game, they’ll probably be the best team in the West.”
“They didn’t have a lot of guys who could make plays at wideout, which is amazing at a place like Florida.”
“The quarterback situation is bad. When Jeff Driskel got hurt, the kid that left in the offseason (Jacoby Brissett) could’ve played but they didn’t have anybody there. Driskel goes down and the offense was devastated. That’s the danger when you stockpile a bunch of quarterbacks or when you miss on a quarterback. All of a sudden your starter gets hurt and then the guy who wasn’t the starter but was pretty good leaves. The days of waiting until the fifth year to start are few and far between.”
“Gurley is as good as I’ve seen in the league. I think he is better than the backs that Alabama has had. He has game-changing ability. The Bama backs have all been good, but they have had great talent around them. Gurley is great without any help. Nobody wants to tackle the kid and he runs away from everybody on defense.”
“Youth is more important with offense than defense. A young defense can really struggle.”
“Just average. That’s the reality of the situation.”
“As far as the roster returning, they had some decent linebacker play and both defensive ends are decent — not spectacular, but decent. That pretty much sums it up.”
“The defense last year was pretty inexperienced and quite honestly weren’t very good.”
“None of those guys on defense coming back really stuck out to me.”
“If they ever get a really good quarterback, they can be pretty darn good. I know they are pretty high on Dak Prescott but since he didn’t start all of last season I’m not exactly sure what they have in him. He’s talented but he’s still a bit of an unknown.”
“Mississippi State is an intriguing team. It could go either way for them — they could break through or be toward the bottom of the SEC West.”
“Maty Mauk is tough competitor, comes from a good football family. Experience he gained last year will pay huge dividends. That stuff still counts.”
“It’s inevitable they will take a step back on defense next year. Any time you lose that many guys on the defensive front, you are going to take a step back.”
“They are probably the second-best team in the West, maybe better.”
“Bo Wallace is not a big-time quarterback but he’s functional. He won’t really screw it up a lot. Sometimes that’s what you need.”
“Traditionally South Carolina was always at seven or eight wins and Steve (Spurrier) has been able to get them up to the 10-win mark, which is impressive. It’ll be interesting to see how much longer he’ll go …”
“When they were really getting it, Mike Davis ran hard. I would put him right up there with Todd Gurley as far as SEC East backs who are big time.”
“You want to catch those guys early. You don’t want to play them late because they’ll be better but will be a little disjointed early. Get them before they kind of get their feet on the ground.”
“I thought (quarterback) Josh Dobbs was average. He’s a really smart kid and all that stuff, but from a talent and skill level, average. I’m talking about precision, getting the ball out on time, throwing with accuracy — you like to have a guy who can push the ball downfield. He was average in those areas, but a lot of that comes with young, so maybe he can develop that.”
“What’s going to hurt them is losing not only Johnny Manziel, but a couple of really good receivers and the Jake Matthews kid.”
“Last year they had a safety that was terrible, defensive line wasn’t good, really nobody on defense. Those studs they had in 2012, four guys that were difference-makers. When those guys left, there was nobody.”
“On defense, they lost the whole secondary basically. They have some good young talent in there but it’s unproven.”
“Losing Jordan Matthews is going to be huge for them. That’s 100-plus catches that they’ll have to replace. That’s the biggest question mark.”
Read more quotes over at AthlonSports.com.