Now that Paul Rhoads has accepted, and it’s (hopefully) too late for his return, I thought I’d give the Auburn fans some of my very biased perspective on the Rhoads tenure. They keep visiting and seem somewhat surprised that Pitt fans aren’t rending their shirts at the news of his departure.
Here are the basic numbers.
Year — Def. Ranking — Run Def. — Pass Def.
2007 —– 5th ———– 33d ——– 3d
2006 — 87th ——– 107th ——— 29th
2005 — 31st ——— 94th ———- 2nd
2004 —- 73d ——– 48th ———- 100th
2003 — 79th ——– 87th ———- 54th
2002 — 12th ——– 24th ———- 18th
2001 — 7th ——— 26th ———- 6th
2000 —- 29th —— 17th ———— 80th
That’s the kind of consistency Pitt has seen on the defensive side in the Rhoads tenure. The minute the talent previously recruited started graduating, the defense slid. Rhoads as a recruiter has been anything but good.
I’ll start with this post back in November about this season. After years of preaching “read and react” defensive schemes, Rhoads then had the gall to claim he has always been a proponent of aggressive defenses. He doesn’t do halftime adjustments or any adjustments. There’s a gameplan and he’ll stick to it.
The media will love him. Rhoads is a charmer in person by all accounts. It is why he has been well supported by media and the administration. He also disappears when things aren’t good. When things go well, he’s happy to talk. No one likes a guy who won’t be accountable in the bad times as well as the good.
Even halfway through this season, it looked like Rhoads was finally done as the media had finally conceded he hasn’t performed well.
This past season, Rhoads was stripped of secondary coaching and instead oversaw the linebackers. This was Wannstedt’s call to force Rhoads to pay more attention to stopping the run. Emphasis up front more. It was a brilliant move by Wannstedt because it recognized and used a key issue with Rhoads — When he had the focus on the secondary, he wouldnâ€™t put them in a position to get burned at the expense of the rest of the defense. Now that heâ€™s got the linebackers, he doesnâ€™t want them looking bad. The result, for the first time in Rhoads’ tenure, the safeties were actually brought up in run support. Something Pitt fans had been screaming for years.
He preaches “fundamentals” but teaches crap. The focus has been on how good the defense has been this year. Consider what he’s done in past years, as well. If it’s about talent, then the question still remains — what role does the DC play as a recruiter? Rhoads escaped a lot of accountability for the talent slide on the defense.
Oh, and finally, Rhoads has historically sucked at getting the defense to handle spread offenses. I don’t think that can be stressed enough.
Thank you, once more Auburn and Tommy Tuberville for hiring Paul Rhoads. He’s your problem now.