BYU Football Roundtable – Coaching Discussion

We wanted to try something a little different as this off-season is getting underway.  We asked ten questions of some of our Cougar contributors about the state of the BYU football program as well as what they say in 2012 and hope to see in 2013.

This group will be familiar to many of you, but just in case you need a refresher, here it is: Matt Quinney, Carl Behunin, Mike Livingston, Don MacArthur, and new-comer Scott Gower.

We will post one question with each response every day for the next ten weekdays.  Make sure to check in every day to get your BYU Cougars update from our roundtable of Cougar faithful.

BYU LOGO7.  Lets talk about coaching (keep in mind that these questions were asked and largely answered prior to last week’s announcement concerning Robert Anae):

  1. Assuming Bronco Mendenhall returns in 2013, which changes in the staff do you expect and why?
  2. If Brandon Doman is back as offensive coordinator in 2013, how does he improve the product on the field?
  3. Can Bronco Mendenhall adequately manage the whole team while dedicating so much time to the defense?

Carl Behunin:

  1. One Riley NelsonI’m only calling for Weber to be gone as offensive line coach.  With Lance Reynolds opting to retire, that would be two positions to fill.  BYU fans are hanging by the shred of hope that Riley Nelson’s departure will cure many ailments which have looked bad on the unit coaches.  Cougar Nation is lying to themselves if they think Riley’s leaving will cure everything, but it will help.  Many more coaching changes to come after next season.
  2. If I’m Brandon, I figure out how to put the get John Beck or Max Hall more years of eligibility. To run BYU’s pro style/west coast offense well, it takes a good quarterback.  It may not improve next season with limited experience at that position, but Doman can still develop the game plan more in that style and stick to it. Cougar fans don’t like gimmicks that much.  They can smell an infomercial proclaiming the best but selling a terrible product from miles away.  We need to see you’re working hard, Doman. And please, stay up top in the box.
  3. I don’t believe he can.  And I believe Bronco knows he can’t either.  It’s not to say he can’t learn, but let’s get real.  He’s been head coach for 8 seasons now.  His chances of managing both well in the future are doubtful at best.  I’d like to see him either be the head coach or be the defensive coordinator.  If I look in to my crystal ball, I say he makes a change after next season.

Don MacArthur:

  1. Umm let’s skip the assuming Bronco returns.  He isn’t going anywhere and he absolutely should NOT go anywhere.
  2. BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall

    Only one coaching change, I think we will see a new offensive line coach.  There will be a shifting of duties.  If Bronco doesn’t give up his DC title to focus on HC duties overall, I will be surprised.  At the very least, I think he will incorporate a lot more help on the defensive side of the ball from other coaches.  On offense, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Coach Reynolds become more involved in game planning and play calling alongside Doman.

  3. If he can, he hasn’t been up to this point.  He’s a genius on the defensive side of the ball, so I hope he can find a way to do it.  I don’t see it though.

Matt Quinney:

  1. Doman III wouldn’t be surprised to see Bronco required to take a lesser role in the defense in order to be more involved in the offense.  I expect Mark Weber to retire.  I could see Lance Reynolds retire, but I could just as easily see him elevated to co-offensive coordinator to help season Brandon Doman just a bit more.
  2. First and foremost, he needs to develop his offense that he is comfortable with and understands and then coach his team to play within his offense.  He can’t be wishy-washy with the schemes based on who is taking the snaps.  Second, he needs to step further away from the position coaching (i.e. quarterbacks) and just focus on being in charge of the entire offense.  And third, learn from Bronco Mendenhall how to get the most of your assistant coaches on the offense and then hold them accountable for success.
  3. No.  He can’t.  The offense started to fall apart in 2012, which also happens to be the season that Mendenhall took over the defense mid-way through.  In the seasons previous, the defense wasn’t nearly as good as it was this season, but it was more balanced against an offense that could manufacture points.  I firmly believe that Bronco needs to give up his coordinatorship and focus on being only a head coach.

Mike Livingston:

  1. CahoonI can’t imagine we see zero change.  I like what Ben Cahoon and Lewis have done.  Doman should get one more year to show what his offense looks like without Riley ruining it. Special teams were a failure in 2012.  Mark Weber needs to be replaced with an old school nasty, physical offensive line coach.  It defies galactic logic that BYU can’t have Stanford’s running game to compliment Doman’s running QB scheme.
  2. I need confidence in Brandon Doman, pure and simple.  I don’t have confidence in his play-calling, scheme, player decisions or prep.  He has more non-QB skill position players as any OC BYU has had.  I’d love Doman to show us who runs his offense successfully so we can look forward to that team.  Oregon, Texas A&M, Air Force??
  3. Simple answer.  No.  Not this way.  He has an OC with training wheels on.  Bronco is really the only great coach on BYU’s staff. He’s the only coach that’s ever considered for other jobs. He needs to surround himself with seasoned, great coaches if he wants a great product.

Scott Gower:

  1. Lance ReynoldsWe know that Lance Reynolds is gone, so we need a new tight ends coach. I think Bronco will upgrade the offensive line coaching (which is desperately needed), but I don’t really see too many more changes, contrary to what we’ve heard. It wouldn’t surprise me if a new offensive coordinator replaced Brandon Doman, but I am not really expecting it.
  2. If Doman is back, he needs to give the offense some identity. He has been all over the place in these first two seasons, and BYU needs some consistency so players can grow and learn within the system. Taysom Hill is faster, more athletic and has a stronger arm than Riley Nelson. The talent is there, we just need improvement and health from the offensive line and a consistent offensive system. If Doman is back, he won’t survive another similar offensive season. 2013 is a tryout for his offensive coordinating future.
  3. Bronco Mendenhall can do it, but he needs to be able to trust the offensive coordinator, and I don’t think he has been able to do that the last couple seasons. When BYU gets an offense you can trust again (read: when BYU has an offensive coordinator Bronco can trust), nobody will be accusing Bronco of spreading himself too thin.
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