I can't believe every Clemson fan in America isn't giddy with the idea of getting Ralph Friedgen as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He coached Boomer Esiason, Frank Riech, and Stan Gellbaugh into the NFL during his time at UMd in the 80s. He coached Joe Hamilton into the NFL at Georgia Tech. Folks, he's coached more quarterbacks into the NFL than Clemson has ever put there in over 100 years of football. Look at what he did with George Godsey, Sam Hollenbach, Chris Turner and Shaun Hill (also now in the NFL). These guys weren't big-time recruits or gifted athletes but I'd argue that they played fundamentally better football than any quarterback Clemson coached in the last twenty or more years. Ralph has PROVEN he can develop talent, even limited talent.
As an offensive coordinator he's won at every level. Look at what he did at Georgia Tech. Did we ever stop them while he was coaching there? And it's not just major conference, DIV 1 college football, but he also took the San Diego Chargers to the Super Bowl. Does anyone remember the riches of talent on that team? No, because they didn't have much. They were quarterbacked by Stan Humphries for Heaven's sake and Ralph's offense got them to the Super Bowl. Clearly, he's PROVEN he can coach offense.
Has he done much lately? Well, as a head coach he's won the ACC, been coach of the year twice, taken his team to a BCS bowl and had two 10 win seasons. Our last four head coaches haven't done that. Why hasn't he done more? Mainly, because he's not a great recruiter and he doesn't exactly give people a warm-fuzzy feeling. He can be gruff, has a thick accent and isn't exactly the "Marlboro Man" type of physical image that people expect. He never accumulated talent in boat-loads to ol' UMd, but even without it that look at what he did accomplish. Again, that's more than our last four head coaches and he's done it with less talent. Besides, we're not asking him to be the head coach. The things Ralph doesn't do well, things like recruiting, almuni meetings, fund raisers, etc. those are the areas where Dabo shines and that makes this such a great fit.
Will Ralph leave to become a head coach again soon? Would he be a threat to take over from Dabo? Not likely. Even with his impressive accomplishments as a coordinator the only place that would hire him as head coach was Maryland, his Alma Mata, and they fired him -- just after he won ACC coach of the year! His personality and presence have proven not to be, pardon the expression, particularly attractive to athletic directors searing for a "face" (reads as "salesman") for their programs. I don't see him going anywhere and if he does, it'll mean that he was successful here and therefore Clemson was successful. After what you've seen from our offenses wouldn't you jump at that?
Instead, people here seem to want to hire a guy who has one year of college coaching experience at Tulsa. Regardless of his numbers, remember that this guy has less experience as a college offensive coordinator than the dude we just fired. No, for some reason people here just want to look at Morris' numbers. Well, go back and look at Rob Spence's numbers at Toledo. Those were also impressive... on paper. How'd that work out for us? The other argument I hear is the response that "look at the great things these other coaches are saying about Chad Morris". Well, some coaches said great things about Rob Spence, too -- "they call him the Mad Scientist", blah, blah. This isn't amateur hour, people! If we want to achieve national prominence in college football we have to stop making all of our leadership hires based on potential (Tommy West, Rob Spence, Dabo Swinney, Billy Napier, etc.)! Especially now, when we have a chance to get someone who's PROVEN themselves at this level. In fact, in Ralph's case, he's also proven himself at the next level -- the one most of our recruits want to get to.
For Dabo's own future he NEEDs an experienced guy he can lean on. A young head coach needs to surround himself with experienced people or all of that inexperience will get the whole staff unemployed. Chad Morris may turn out to be great, but I'm tired of betting on the long shot. Ralph is as close to a sure thing as there is out there. I know that he's a great coordinator and teacher because I've seen it. As a Clemson fan who has watched us play Georgia Tech or Maryland over the years I know you've seen it too.
Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny.’ All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . . . The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be. - C.S. Lewis
Re: Unless they were developed into NFL QB caliber***
Jan 5, 2011, 3:35 PM
My point is ALL the bitchin and bally achin is not gonna change or affect who HC Dabo Swinney hires! It is his job so why not support him and not openly question everytime he goes to the bathroom as to what his motive is or couldn't he have picked a better time to go pee!!!Thats how silly some of you on here sound!!! If you knew what color underwear Dabo wore or whether or not he prefers tighty whities to boxers you would debate it and criticize it to death!!!!!
Re: Unless they were developed into NFL QB caliber***
Jan 5, 2011, 3:39 PM
This is a board to discuss Clemson sports. Guess what, we are going to get a new OC. Of course people on here are going to discuss who we want. Going by your post, everyone should only be posting that Dabo is great and we will stand behind him over and over. People are going to discuss who they would like to see as OC, and if that person is not hired I doubt you will hear much complaining.
I disagree. Fridge will run whatever he thinks best fits the personnel. His offenses at Georgia Tech were very diverse. When Joe Hamilton was there they spread the field with multiple receivers and ran the quarterback -- both on options and designed draws. It really was a flavor of a lot of the "spread" that you see today. When Godsey was the quarterback they went more to a drop back style. When Ralph was with the Chargers they used a lot of pro-set and I-formation stuff where they pounded Natrone Means and ran a lot of play-action utilizing Stan Humphries strong arm.
Consider that. A coach that conforms his style to ability of the talent around him rather than looking for players to run his system. What a concept.
Well stated position ... That said ACC defenses know Fridge
Jan 6, 2011, 12:19 AM
... and Morris is experienced when compared to Napier and Swinney. Swinney can recruit SC/GA/AL/FL and Morris' TX connections could not hurt. Fridge, Morris, Fuentes would each be huge improvement. But remember football is a young man's game. I buy into the Fridge's role as a sage and mentor but question his vitality and recruiting skills as you reference. Have ACC defenses caught up with Fridge offenses?
I forgot to mention his National Championship at GT, too...
Jan 6, 2011, 12:34 PM
I forgot to mention his National Championship at GT, too. As for his players loving him, they do. He's a great coach and mentor, but the type of man he is, gruff, demanding, and direct, doesn't translate translate well into short recruiting visits or fund raising trips. I imagine that 15-20 minutes into a meeting with a Marine Drill Sargent wouldn't necessarily have you ready to enlist. However, most of the guys that do and finish basic training would take a bullet for that guy.
The players that Ralph brought in to Maryland, the ones that played and fought for him, loved him. It's just that too few of those guys were blue-chip players.