Good evening Coach Diaco,
I just wanted to ask a few questions regarding the fine athletic program which you are the head coach of.
First, when dropping back to pass, the quarterback you so much adore, Bryant Shirreffs, checks his first read downfield. If that receiver isn’t open, he immediately tucks in the ball and runs straight ahead, usually for 1-2 yards or a sack. This is a painfully consistent act that has been happening for two years now, much to the shock and horror of loyal UConn fans. Are you okay with this? Has anyone taught your quarterback that there are other receivers out on the field? Did you assign him any check-down options? If so, why isn’t he checking? In the two years you have had him as your quarterback, have you or anyone else on your fine staff ever told him to run the ball less? To look for his teammates? It is so incredibly easy for defenses to read your team’s offensive tendencies. Any smart defensive unit would play decent coverage on Noel Thomas Jr. and then send the rest of the players after the quarterback, because he doesn’t look anywhere else. Awful. And let’s not forget that Mr. Shirreffs looks incredibly slow out there. Running the football should be his very, very last option.
And while on the topic of running, your rushing attack, sir, is unbearably dull. This may be because the defense only needs to worry about one receiver and send the rest of their players into the backfield, which ultimately stops the run. I don’t blame the offensive coordinator at all for the failure of this offense, because this has been going on for way too long. The blame falls squarely on your shoulders, sir, and that is why you get paid the big bucks.
Today, when you lost to the lowly 1-2 Syracuse team with the Big 12 looking over, you ran not one, not two, not three, but four straight running plays up the middle in the fourth quarter, down by 7, with goal to go. Who thought that was a good idea? Did anyone see that Syracuse was clearly biting down on the run? A play action dump pass to the tight end over the defense’s heads would have easily been a touchdown, and possibly a win for the team. It’s that simple. The entire student section knew that, which is why the boos were ringing from that side of the field.
The UConn fans today witnessed something special with the fake field goal try in the 4th quarter. It was gutsy, and clearly sparked the team and the fanbase looking on. Leave it to you, Mr. Diaco, to absolutely crush the momentum, allowing four straight failed running attempts to follow that incredible pass display. I personally have never seen Pratt and Whitney Stadium so deflated and disappointed in my life.
My suggestion is to have somebody actually coach Shirreffs. He has been the same exact player for two straight years and has shown absolutely no growth. Maybe with a little bit of work and diligence, he will be able to make basic reads downfield, and throw the ball much more effectively without constantly resorting to running. Do you have coaches that work for you? Can they do their job? Also, get creative with the play calls. It is, simply put, way too predictable at the moment, and you wonder why your offense barely moves the ball at all.
The worst part is that you, sir, seem to be utterly content with everything. When your punting unit runs onto the field after three straight failed run plays, you are clapping your hands and seem just fine with the tremendously disappointing offensive outing. When you just barely etched out a win against Virginia, a team that is ranked in the bottom 25 by many outlets including CBS Sports, you seemed as happy as a coach that won the super bowl. Why is this acceptable?
If you need help with creative play calling or telling your QB to shape up or sit the bench, I’d be glad to help, just let me know. In the end, however, the loss to Syracuse falls on you, and if the Big 12 Conference passes on this program, that will fall on you as well.
A UConn student who is sick of watching this boring, lowly team