Thursday, January 28, 2010

Coach's Diary: Dave Rader Edition

It's a little known fact that most coaches in every sport in every level of competition keep a diary. Here, they have a place where they can turn and reveal their innermost thoughts and reactions to both the smart and incredibly stupid things they do during the course of their job (We know they don't turn to their wives because she doesn't understand the complexities of sport, but a blank piece of paper sure does.). And, thanks to my stealthy skills in the field of breaking and entering, you, the reader, now have access to these innermost thoughts penned by some of the finest and not-so-finest minds in the world of sport.

(NOTE: For those of you wondering just who the hell Dave Rader is, he was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach during Mike Shula's illustrious run at Alabama. Although he's been out of coaching for three years, his name has erupted in the last day or so as a candidate for Ole Miss' vacant offensive coordinator position. Why in the hell this has happened I do not know.)

7:32 PM

Dear Diary,

Holy smokes have I just found myself a winning lottery ticket! A friend here in Tulsa hooked me up with some photographs of Gus' nemesis, Houston Nutt, who's at Ole Miss. I know, who knew he was there! And I gotta tell you, these pictures aren't pretty. I mean, I've never seen a grown man punt puppies with such vigor and rage. Really disturbing stuff. Anyway, I guess Gus must have let Houston know about these pictures and now Houston won't stop calling me asking me if there's anything I need. He even told me about a job on his staff that had just come open. And as luck would have it, it's what I used to coach when I was at Alabama with Mike (by the way, I wish I could unsee the pictures I had of him rampaging through that nursing home. He didn't have to break all the wheelchairs.).

Wow, the thought of getting back into coaching just gets my heart pounding again. Brings back a lot of good memories. Remember that '03 team at Alabama? We tore it up that year. 79th in total offense (85th in passing and 54th in rushing) and 69th in scoring at 25.5 points a game. Man, what a year! I even helped Brodie get up to 72nd in passing efficiency. In the country! Yeah, we went 4-9, but we were building something.

And if I'm gonna mention '03, I have to bring up '04. 6-6 and 94th in total offense (112th in passing and 76th in rushing) and 64th in scoring offense (24.6 a game). It was a little shaky there, but we got in sorted out. Improved by two wins! And I even got Spencer out of the dark and brought him into the light. Could you believe he finished 91st in passing efficiency? I'd have to think about it, but that could have been my finest performance ever.

By the time 2005 rolled around, I was really hitting my stride. Heck, we even went 10-2 that year. Won the Cotton Bowl. I coached 'em up better than ever that year. Got us up to 67th in total offense (69th in passing and 65th in rushing) and squeezed out 85th in scoring (21.9 a game). Brodie and I worked hard and it paid off when he finished 42nd in passing efficiency. My first top 50 quarterback! A special kid and a great year.

My last year in 2006 was a tough one. Not so much that we finished 6-7, but that I really felt like with the progress we made that I was set to help us crack the top 60 in every offensive category for the first time. I had a young, but talented quarterback in John Parker (47th in passing efficiency and two straight top 50 qbs for me) and we were really cranking that year. 65th in total offense (49th in passing and 77th in rushing) and 68th in scoring (22.9 a game). It was too bad Mike didn't have any dirt on someone over him. We might still be there. And 2007 certainly would have seen us crack the top 60.

Well, need to wrap this up, gotta go find all my old playbooks out in the garage. I know I'll be dreaming of power runs and basic play-action passes tonight. Can't wait to hear from Houston!

P.S. I hope Houston is ready for all the ideas I'm going to bring. I just know he'll let me tinker with the offense.

P.S.S. I need to send Gus a gift for helping me out. I'm thinking a visor would be nice.

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