The Times West Virginian

Sports

October 2, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN: Holgorsen explains tantrum

MORGANTOWN — Perhaps there were moments Saturday, as West Virginia was engineering a highly unexpected upset of No. 11 Oklahoma State on the football field, that your attention was drawn to the sideline.

One would expect while this upset was going on, the man behind it, Coach Dana Holgorsen, would have been an excessively happy fellow, but there were occasions when his displeasure bordered upon uncontrollable temper tantrums, so much so that after the game he admitted embarrassment over his behavior and apologized for the damage inflicted to his harmless headset.

And just what could have brought on such behavior?

Holgorsen readily admitted it was miscommunication between himself and his new quarterback, Clint Trickett, in getting plays into the game.

This made one refugee from the Paul Brown era when he solved the communication problem by running messenger guards into the game on each play wonder just what could possibly be so difficult about communicating the play from the bench.

And so it was that in the midst of Tuesday’s press conference, he asked Holgorsen just what it took to communicate a play ... and now we offer to you the explanation of just how difficult it is.

“View it as learning a sign language, like learning the sign language of the alphabet,” Holgorsen began. “How long does that take you? You could probably learn it in a week.”

So how come Clint Trickett, who has been at WVU since Aug. 1, doesn’t have it down?

Perhaps because that is just the beginning.

“That’s Step 1, learning what the signals are and what they mean. From there you have to process the play,” Holgorsen continued. “I give him the play and he has to process it.”

And just what does processing mean? A lot more than you may think.

“He has to make sure the personnel is right, where people line up, get them lined up, get it communicated to the O-line, get to the line of scrimmage, relay the cadence, go through the cadence,” Holgorsen said, now getting into it and speaking faster.

“You may have motion. You may have a changed snap count. You may change the play altogether, which he has no clue to do at this point.”

In this era of action and reaction, Trickett isn’t ready to be able to react to a defensive change at the moment.

“The more you do that, the easier it gets. That’s what he has to improve on. That’s on him. He should be better at that at this point,” Holgorsen said, now getting to the reason why he was losing it on the sideline.

“I mean, there were times in the game where I signaled the play to him and he looked at me like I was from outer space ... and that’s when I would throw my fits. It was just frustrating. It was like communicating with someone who speaks a different language.

“The language they learned at Florida State is different than the language we’re speaking here ... obviously.”

As frustrating as it was for Holgorsen, the final result made it acceptable.

“It’s taken some time,” Holgorsen said. “From there it’s, ‘OK, I got it, I got it, I got it’ and he communicates it to everyone else. Then it becomes, ‘Now, what do I do with the ball?’ That’s a whole other thing. The good news is when he snaps the ball and reacts to the game of football, that’s why we won the game.”

And now it is an ongoing process.

“He’ll get better with it,” Holgorsen said. “Me and him have been practicing all week, just walking by each other and signaling.”

But it isn’t something Trickett can work on alone.

“It’s really just me and him, two people communicating,” Holgorsen explained. “I got to get better at it. He has to get better at it. We both got to get better at it through practice, through games, through communicating.

“And it’s not just about signals. It’s about getting the signals and relaying it to everyone else. It’s part of being a quarterback. We do it a little differently than he’s used to. We’re going to adapt as coaches, he’s going to adapt and we’re going to get better.”

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.

    July 31, 2014

  • Post 17 stays alive in American Legion state tournament

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Filed in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU men’s basketball non-conference schedule announced

    West Virginia University Director of Athletics Oliver Luck has announced the 2014-15 men’s basketball non-conference schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • Post 17 #18-Post 1 #2  run copy.jpg Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tournament opener: PHOTOS

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.
    Felt struck out seven in 8.1 innings of work in the team’s first-round victory over Fairmont.

    July 31, 2014 9 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Pirates’ gaffe on bases proves costly

    Clint Hurdle says he and a pal often marvel over how there’s always something new to see at a baseball game.
    Too bad for Hurdle, what we watched Wednesday wrecked the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 7-5 loss.
    A timely, heads-up glance by reliever Jean Machi helped San Francisco take advantage of a gaffe on the bases by Pittsburgh, and the Giants tagged out of two runners who wandered away on the same play grab momentum and end a six-game losing streak.

    July 31, 2014

  • Speedy Shazier making quick impression

    Ryan Shazier grew up the football equivalent of a Rorschach test.
    Some coaches looked at Shazier’s 6-foot-1 frame with plenty of room to grow and saw a defensive end. Others focused on his blazing speed and saw a safety.
    Not Shazier.

    July 31, 2014

  • Wheeling holds off Post 17 rally in state tourney opener

    Wheeling Post 1 pitcher Mo Felt nearly went the distance in a 7-6 victory over Fairmont Post 17 on Tuesday afternoon at the West Virginia American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Hawley Field.

    July 30, 2014

  • Big ‘I’ golf coming to Pete Dye

    The Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship will make its first trip to West Virginia when Pete Dye Golf Club hosts the 46th annual installment of the event Aug. 5-8.
    The Pete Dye course, ranked No. 45 on Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses and No. 9 on Golfweek’s ranking of Best Modern Courses, will host 160 of the best junior golfers from 40 states during the 72-hole stroke play event.

    July 30, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings