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Revamped BYU Line Improved But Untested

2 October 2012 Brett Richins 81 Comments

Jamaal Williams ran for 155 yards vs. UH

BYU offensive line coach Mark Weber shuffled the deck with his offensive line before last Friday’s 47-0 win over Hawaii.

The coaching staff needed to do something after BYU was getting pushed around up front and having trouble establishing a ground game. The Cougars even had some difficulty getting a consistent push against FCS opponent Weber State.

Weber’s solution was to send center Blair Tushaus and guard Brock Stringham to the bench, and slide Braden Hansen from guard to center and bring in Famika Anae and Manaaki Vaitai to bookend Hansen on the interior of the line.

The result was that the Cougars rushed for 396 yards against the Warriors, the most in a game since 2001–the year Luke Staley won the Doak Walker Award and a scrambling Brandon Doman was the trigger man in Gary Crowton’s multiple offense. After not having anyone rush for 100 yards in a game this season, both Jamaal Williams (155 yards) and Taysom Hill (143 yards) cracked the 100-yard barrier vs. UH.

While the results were impressive, it’s important to note that they came against a decimated Hawaii defense that wasn’t very good to begin with. When two Warrior defensive tackles ended up in the hospital after encounters with Anae in the first quarter, a front seven that had surrendered 355 rushing yards to Nevada the previous week, could provide little resistance to the BYU ground attack.

Friday night’s game against Utah State (4-1) will be a much better barometer of how much improvement the offensive line has actually made. The Aggie defense is light years ahead of Hawaii. The Warriors are 106th in the nation in rushing defense, while Utah State checks in at No. 22. The Aggies are also 11th in the country in total defense giving up 281 yards per game (by way of comparison, the No. 5 BYU defense is surrendering 227 yards per game).

If it weren’t for a missed field goal at the end of the game at Wisconsin, USU would be coming into Friday’s contest undefeated. Against Montee Ball and the Badgers, the Aggies gave up just 234 yards of total offense and 156 yards on the ground. Against rival Utah, they gave up just 96 rushing yards to John White and the Ute offense, knocking White out of the game in the process.

And while the BYU run blocking appeared to improve, pass protection was still an issue. Weber’s line gave up four sacks against Hawaii’s hapless defense and freshman quarterback Taysom Hill was forced to escape the pocket in a handful of other instances when the protection broke down.

Pass protection usually comes along  a little slower than does the run blocking for a new or revamped offensive line, so it wasn’t a big surprise that the BYU line fared better in the run game last week. However, there will need to be a big improvement in pass protection this week. It’s a good bet that Gary Andersen will look to bring pressure on the expected starter Hill in order to try to force him into making mistakes. The Aggies know that they will have their work cut out against the BYU defense and will need to create some short-field opportunities for their offense.

One other issue to monitor on Friday night will be the center snaps. Hansen turned in a solid performance in his first ever action at the center position, but some of his snaps in the shotgun were low. Taysom was able to pick them up off his shoe strings, but Hansen will need to clean up his execution against USU. A bad snap has already cost BYU a game this year when Utah returned an errant Tushaus snap for a touchdown in the Utes 24-21 win in Salt Lake City. A turnover in the center exchange could become a game-changer against Utah State as well.

Nelson’s Demise Greatly Exaggerated?

A internet rumor that Riley Nelson’s retirement from the game of football was imminent seems to have been off the mark. Nelson joked about the rumor with reporters after Monday’s practice, saying that he had to hustle off to his retirement party. However, it does seem likely that Nelson will spend his second game in a row as a spectator on the sidelines.

Riley has desperately wanted to play for a full game against his old school, but it doesn’t sound like it is in the cards for the senior. Comments from BYU coaches on Monday seemed to indicate that Nelson is not ready to play. Some have speculated that his injury consists of cracked vertebrae in his back. If that is true, then it could be a while before he is ready to see the field, and it’s entirely possible that he won’t heal in time to get back on the field before the season is over.

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  • Walt Hanssen said:


    I wish you would write an article towards the end of the season that tries to determine what is BYU’s best defense of all time. The 2006 was Mendenhall’s best in terms of scoring defense but what was Coach Edwards’ best? I don’t have time right now to go research his teams but I assume that it would have been
    His 84 team or some other year when they were a top 10 team.

    Now I need to bring this comment front and center to see what fellow DSOB members think. Many people including sports writers and fans, have been mounting up against Coach Mendenhall saying that because he went for the two point conversion against Boise, has been slow to yank Riley, is not very accommodating with the press and is too set in his ways to take advice from others, including past coaches and players, that he should be removed or can’t get us to the next level. First of all, read this article:


    Second, he just took his staff to various NFL camps last summer to see if he could learn anything new and last, let’s make a comparison of Coach Mendenhall’s first 7 years against Coach Edward’s best 7 years and then Coach Edwards’ overall record since the beginning of his best period and Coach Mendenhall’s record and last their bowls records.

    First 7 years:

    Edwards: 52-28-1 .642
    Bowl Record: 0-3 (missed 4 years)
    Mendenhall: 66-24: .733 (8th in country for coaches with at least 5 years’ experience.
    Bowl Record: 5-2

    Best 7 years:

    Edwards (79-85): 77-12 .865
    Bowl Record: 4-3
    Ranked: 6 seasons
    Top 10: 2 (1 National Championship)
    Mendenhall: 66-24 .733
    Bowl Record: 5-2
    Ranked: 5 seasons
    Top 10: none

    Edwards Record (15 years) after best 7 years (86 – 2000): 128-62-2 .670
    Bowl Record: 3-8-1 (missed 3 years: 95, 97. 00)
    Ranked: 6 seasons; unranked 9 seasons including last 4

    Well there you have it. I am by no means trying to degrade Coach Edwards at all, just put his record in perspective compared to Coach Mendenhall. He had an incredible 7 year run from 79-85 when he was .865, ranked 6 out of 7 seasons, was ranked in the top 10 twice and one of those years was a national championship. Those were the glory years and those are the years Coach Mendenhall is referring to when he says he wants to return the team to its glory years. Edwards’ first 7 years prior to that and the 15 years after that were not the glory years, in fact he ended with 4 unranked seasons and by that time everyone was running him, very politely, out of town. In his glory years, he had Wilson, McMahon & Young who all went on to not only play in the NFL but start and win Super Bowls. Coach Mendenhall has had Beck & Hall, neither of which started more than a partial season. Every great year that Edwards had, he also had an all-American QB. If Mendenhall had those types of QB’s I think his record would be equal.

    Finally, Edwards had some assistant coaches who were ahead of their time at the college level. That helped him tremendously but Mendenhall hasn’t had one that I know of so the credit goes to Edwards who knew how to find great talent for assistant coached. Coach Mendenhall has put a lot of faith in Coach Doman but he is nowhere near the offensive mind of a Scovil, Holmgren or Chow. The best thing that Coach Mendenhall could do now is start looking for some young or old brilliant OC’s.

    OK, I know I’ve opened a can of worms so I just put on a bullet proof jacket so that I can withstand the barrage I’m probably going to get.

  • Martin said:

    I loved the nasty, physical style of play that Anae brought to the O-line against Hawaii. While I don’t condone or advocate intentionally injuring other players, I do like the fact that Anae’s physicality sent not one but two big Warrior D-linemen to the hospital. I am also glad they were not seriously injured. I hope Anae will continue to play with a mean streak and that it will rub off on the rest of the O-line. As for Weber, this just adds to my resentment. Why didn’t he have Anae starting from the beginning, and why was Tushaus starting at center at all? Poor O-line play cost BYU another loss to Utah, and has been a major contributing factor to BYU’s offensive struggles for several years. It is time for a change of leadership at that position group.

  • Brad said:


    I agree with you that Bronco Mendenhall is an exceptional coach. I am disappointed with many of the reactions by BYU fans on the message boards responding to the Utah and Boise State games.

    No one really talks about the fact that we played against solid defenses in two really hostile environments. Instead, the focus is on one or two decisions (playing Nelson versus Hill or Lark, two-point conversion). In both games, crowd noise was a huge factor. Not just for one or two plays. For most of the game. This is why I think BYU will do well against USU and Oregon State. We will have the crowd on our side.

    The road game against Notre Dame will be super tough. BYU’s defense will have to play well again and the O-line will absolutely need to improve – to protect the QB and to create some opportunities for Jamal and friends to move the ball.

  • Ryan F said:


    Interesting points. I understand that Edwards may have been playing similarly low level programs, so the comparison may be sound.

    Today though with Mendenhall, the only coach I’ve ever really known at BYU, I’m comparing him to collegiate football in 2012. The records of his tenure have been good, but they’ve been relatively weak schedules. I roll my eyes when people say, “10 win seasons! 10 win seasons!” 10 wins against who? UCLA one game, or Oklahoma, and then a bunch of nobodies. The seasons that we have 4 or 5 big games, we drop 2 to 3 of those games. Consistently.

    I’m not calling for Bronco’s head, and never really got on the bandwagon the last couple of weeks, but it is consistently disappointing to see someone like Taysom Hill riding the bench while we lose by 3 points to Utah and 1 point to Boise State on a coach’s erratic play call. We shouldn’t have to rely on injury to get better players onto the field.

    People typically just want to feel like we’re playing the best people and that the coach’s are meeting the sanity threshold.

    But all of the criticism goes away when games are won…or at least not lost on trivial things like that.

  • Gary said:

    We need to get coach French to teach the O-line how to hold and not get caught.

  • BYUHOCKEY said:

    Glad to hear the line was shook up a bit. I like the running results. hopefully we’ll see it again vs. USU.

    as far as Walt’s comment: i agree. The OC is not ready for prime time.

    the Nelson Mendenhall love affair has gone too long. I hope Taysom Hill plays the rest of the season. I like his arm strength and running agility and speed. I hope we see more of Jamaal Williams and Ross Apo as a result of Hill taking the snaps.

  • Gregory Lee said:

    @Walt –

    I think it’s safe to say that Coach Edwards wasn’t able to operate at the high level he would have liked towards the end of his tenure. I also think it’s safe to say those years spurred him (personally) toward retirement. I think there’s a lot to be said for the Head Coach managing the entire team and ensuring a solid coaching staff underneath him, especially coordinators. If I remember correctly, there was lot of turnover toward the end of Edwards’ tenure.

    However, the fact still remains that the BYU Cougars play at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Prior to his promotion to Head Coach, BYU Football didn’t exist. BYU didn’t have a national following, a solid pipeline of LDS Players, or even a stranglehold on Utah. At the time, Utah and Utah State were superior programs. Comparing the first seven years under Coach Edwards to anything other than a backwater program with no history suddenly trying to emerge into the limelight is a fool’s errand at best. You can’t even compare BYU in the 1970s to Boise State in the 2000s because Boise State clearly benefited from the exposure of national television in key games, especially the Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma. By the way, who kickstarted those games on ESPN? Lavell Edwards and the BYU Cougars.

    The standard for Coach Mendenhall needs to be the one he sets for himself: state championship, annual bowl victories, and competing for a national championship. If BYU can put it together for the rest of this season, the team will be poised for a very successful 2013 campaign. Winning out next year against one of the toughest schedules in the country would guarantee a spot in the National Championship Game. However, that’s very unlikely. I’d be very comfortable seeing the Cougars competitive in games against Top 25 teams. If I were allowed to set BYU’s program goals, they would be state supremacy coupled with perennial Top 25 finishes and interspersed with BCS Bowl seasons. If BYU can maintain that for 4-5 years, I believe perennial Top 25 recruiting classes will follow (imagine BYU with Xavier Su’a-Filo and Manti Te’o) and the team will be poised to compete for National Championships. It all hinges on winning. Winning the right way, definitely, but winning.

  • Rick said:

    I agree with Brad.
    Gotta love fans (and common-taters) that know it all, after the fact. BYU is lucky to have Mendenhall! He puts it all out there, makes the tough decisions and lives with the consequences and carping. He is a true leader of character and has earned the respect of many, many fans and supporters.

    To me, the lowest form of fandom is the all-knowing Monday-morning quarterback who hides behind an internet moniker!

    Rick Nielson
    Henderson, NV

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Great article Brett…the line needed shaking up and Anae really made a difference, albeit against pretty poor competition, but none-the-less, he was a force on the field and as Martin said, hopefully his style of play will “rub off”.

    This is the type of change which must be made in the offensive scheme, and as Walt pointed out, the difference we have now is Doman is not equipped to make those changes and Bronco cannot help him.

    LaVell did have glory years…and if there had been a BCS playoff then, he would have had BYU in at least two of the Championship games, with teams playing the top level offense in college football. Bronco’s 10 wins were against weak competition and while he has become a decent D coordinator, his head coaching skills are still lacking when it comes to bad decision-making, favoritism above winning, and stubborn refusal to listen to logic and make changes.

    Remember this, Bronco has said his goal his goal is a BCS Championship…and two undefeated years to get there. Bronco did turn around a bad situation, but he had a foundation of tradition and a rich history of exciting football as his legacy and building cornerstone. LaVell had NONE of that when he started.

    If Bronco wants to come close to emulating LaVell’s best 7 years, he needs to change his ways. He must hire the best coaches, and let them coach…and stay away from his crazy preferences, biases, self-righteous arrogance, and org-behavior prattle, and concentrate on football.

    Right now, BYU needs to get a decent offensive scheme and passing scheme in place, and there are many who could help him do it, to add to their D, or we can never achieve the goals Bronco says he wants to achieve.

  • Jared (the not original, I guess) said:

    I’ll speak up as one who’s on the “coaching change” bandwagon. I love Bronco as our defensive coordinator, but we need a HEAD coach who is able to wrap his HEAD around the fact that both sides of the ball are needed in order to win games. The Utah game was the last straw for me, watching our team bumble through that game with dumb mistake after dumb mistake – which consequently are many of the same mistakes they made against Utah last year as well as the year before. It became clear to me that Bronco simply isn’t getting this team prepared for big game environments. He does not appear to be learning from mistakes, and we continually lose games (what I consider THE most important games) not because we’re outmanned or outplayed, but because we’re outprepared and frankly, outcoached. I’m just tired of the embarrassing losses. While the two losses this year weren’t blowouts, they were both still very embarrassing. In short, I simply think the answer to Brett’s question a few articles ago is yes, it does appear that BYU has hit it’s ceiling with Bronco.

    Now, that said, I have no idea who could come in as head coach. So, I guess Bronco will just have to do.

  • Jim Tills said:

    Momentum in a close game means everything. Crowd noise destroyed BYU in the Utah game. Eight times we were penalized for false starts, we had two horrific center snaps, one that was booted even further back by a lineman going for the loose ball, and eventually going for the Utah touchdown that became the deciding factor in the game. BYU was the better team against both Utah and Boise State. The noise level was the twelvth-man winner for Utah in that game. In an 11-man vs 12-man game, the 12-man team will win most of the time.
    The game noise didn’t seem to be as big a factor in the BSU game. Poor quarterback play and poor coaching decisions were. Why Tayxom Hill didn’t start the second half and especially after the pick-6 interception is beyond me—one of the poorest coaching mistakes Bronco has ever made. I used to blame that type of decision on Anae in prior seasons; now, that decisions like that again astound sound reasoning, it has to be Bronco. I love him for what he does for BYU standards, for his defense genius but hate his inability to sense what to do in critical meaningful situations that demand change. Even if the team had made the 2-point conversion toward the end of the BSU game, it was not the right decision. At times like that what happens to Bronco’s mind? Was it Doman who really made the decision? If so, where was Bronco?
    Now, we are in for a treat. We get to beat up on Utah State University. They are a very good team but we will win. The Crowd Noise will be on our side; it looks like Taysom Hill will probably start, and a newly reconfigured offensive line is coming into place. All these factors will give us the offensive surge we need to score points where they have been so scarce in previous games against tough competition. My guess: BYU 32, Utah State 21.

  • CBT said:

    I thnk that a bad Hawaii defense is the equal of a Weber state defense. Maybe even better. So go compare game stats and let me know if BYU’s Oline improved from teh Webers State game to that HAwaii game.

    I think yes.

    HAving Anae, Hansen abd Vaitai on the interior line made all the differnce in teh world. Our tackle play with Mathews and Brown has been solid all year, but our interior line play has been poor. Really poor.

    Anae and Vaitai were solid on run blocking, and just need more reps on the passing downs to get a rhythm. Great improvements, and they can and will get even better.

    Add a really fast Hill and a talented Williams to teh mix, and BYU has some players who can hurt a defense in space, make guys miss, and run away from people. Combined with improved line play, nice bonus.

  • Batman said:

    Makes you wonder why BYU started Tauhaus and Stringham to begin with? Both guys played terrible early in the season. Tauhaus and his bad snaps cost us in the Yewtah game. Tauhaus looks to small to me to be an effective Division I center. Stringham’s man knocked him 8 yards into the backfield on the 2 point play at Boise, which delayed Hill’s ability to see the open receives down the field. I think OL recruiting hasn’t focused enough on finding guys who are both the fit in stature and attitude. Seems like some of the OL is too soft. If you look at most of them they were also fairly lowly rated coming out of hs and byu has missed on some of the bigger OL recruits.

    I liked the fire shown by the OL this past week, specifically Anae. Whether that translates into the next few games against better competition we shall see.

  • Walt Hanssen said:

    Jared, I totally respect your opinion and I think it had some merit. I do think, however, that when nae was here he had the offense running on all cylinders until his last year in 2010 when we went through the Heaps/Nelson fiasco. I think when you look at BYU’s history from Lavell to today, you would agree that when any of these three head coaches have had a good-great QB, they have succeeded and when they haven’t, they have not succeeded. I know that is a generalization and you could say that about almost any coach in college football, but I believe that is true. Given that, I think in terms of the overall program, Bronco has been comparable to Lavell.

  • Walt Hanssen said:

    I meant to say Coach Anae

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Jim and Jared, good comments…you have touched on the essence of the Bronco/Head Coach. Bronco has no inherent feel for the game…no instinct, he goes by wrote and repetition and his slanted opinions are influenced and weighted heavily by his overriding emphasis on toughness, and being an underdog, over-achieving, etc. Why? Because those elements that allowed him as a player, to overcome some of his lack of talent and be able to play in college.

    This is why he clings to Riley and makes ridiculous statements as he does so. This is why he played him against Utah and Boise State, despite the fact Riley proved in practice he could not perform due to his cracked vertebrae. A real HC would have sat him down and prepared Taysom Hill the week before the Utah game. This is also why he went for two because he has no understanding of momentum or real feel for the game he loves…

    Bronco is a Robot and because he has no feel for the game, he tries to make up for this weakness with pre-set procedures and talking points most of which make him sound ridiculous and unintelligible. He keeps himself rigid to these protocols for fear of being “discovered”, and puts the layer of his “righteousness” on top…standards are easy since they are by wrote and he can follow them.

    This is also why toughness and hard works his mantra, because in his mind, they can always overcome talent and based on his own person experience and preferences, are preferable to talent. However, this is not true. Good coaching, combined with talent, and reinforced by hard work and toughness, will kill a bunch of scrappy less talented players. As a couple of Hall of Fame athletes from different sports; Jerry Rice and Michael Jordan, what happens when you work hard, are tough, and have also have talent.

    The sad part of this equation is this, you can run a program and adhere to standards, but without change, Bronco has reached his ceiling and so has BYU. We can reach the top of the national stage (although the jury is out if this is possible as an indy), and it is not our standards, or our policies, which will prevent us, it is what we are lacking with our Head Coach.

    Let’s hope something can change the equation, just as having Jamal Williams and Taysom Hill getting playing time changed by injuries…at least the Offensive Line coach had the smarts to see his guys weren’t cutting it and made changes to Anae and Vaitai which obviously made a difference…

    But we will need much more against a very good coach in Gary Anderson…including changes in the offensive scheme, play-calling and execution. We didn’t lose to Utah and Boise State because they had superior talent, we lost because of coaching failure.

    Look at who his two offensive coordinators are; two men who had never been offensive coordinators. Anae was not an OC, and had never been one. He was an excellent Offensive Line coach, and that is what he is doing for Arizona right now but he was over his head as a OC. He did his best, but had no feel for play calling and was predictable and also by wrote.

    Now we have Brandon Doman, who is a Bronco disciple, and wants to do well, but simply does not have the experience or the creativity to do what needs to be done. More help is needed. That is on the HC.

    Hopefully our coaching failures will not doom us again versus Utah State, but Friday will tell the tale. When we get play Oregon State and Notre Dame, it will take the best talent we have and much better coaching to have any shot at winning.

  • Jeffrey said:

    Chewyjj, I appreciate your insight you bring to the table. I am curious to hear your opinion about the following article regarding the BYU QB and the offense game plan.
    I spoke with a former player from the late 90’s about the situation and it was interesting to hear his opinion regarding the offense. He is disappointed that the offense cannot take advantage of the wideouts that are on the team and are being recruited because either the calls are ‘woeful’ or the QB cannot incorporate them into the offense. That said, here is the link. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/55010506-88/nelson-quarterback-byu-doman.html.csp
    Keep up the good work Brett and all the comments.

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    When I read your post and find things such as, “he has no feel for the game, “talking points most of which make him sound ridiculous and unintelligible”, I come away with a sad feeling for someone whose only obvious intent is to criticize and tear down. You remind me of the Ute fan who ran up to Bronco as he was leaving the field and yelled obscenities at him. You can question his calls, choice of coaches, players, etc. but to say he is a robot and communicates unintelligibly is just pure ignorance. If he were a robot, unintelligent and coaching his defense by rote, he wouldn’t have had the success that he has had as a DC. As a head coach he has brought back respectability to our program, he has instituted the fireside program and at this moment is ranked as the 8th best coaching record in Division I college football with more than 5-years’ experience.

    I suspect that if you were a Ute fan, you would have turned on Coach Whittingham after losses like last week to ASU & last year to Colorado, that prevented them from going to the PAC12 South championship game. Disagree with someone’s choices and decisions but please don’t attack their character and intelligence. I trust that you do not have an ounce of knowledge of what it must be like to be a college head coach and especially one here at BYU and until you have walked in his shoes, I would be very careful of what you say. I myself have been upset with him after some losses, Utah & Boise State included but, hopefully I haven’t spewed venom in his direction in the moment of my rage. Calm down a bit, this isn’t nearly as important as the game of life we are each negotiating as our own head coach.

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    I just read the article you suggested by Jay Drew and I take away a completely different point of view than you did. It took John Beck until his senior year to be able to direct Coach Anae’s offense to perfection. Max Hall came in after redshirting during Beck’s senior year and took the reins of Anae’s offense and did a remarkable job for three years despite the fact that the team only went 10-3 the next Quest For Perfection year and that he locked onto only one or two receivers his senior year. After Hill ran 68 yards for a TD, the camera follows Hall walking down the sidelines elated and pounding his chest as if he was the one who either called or had something to do with the play. Heaps came in after winning the Elite 11 QB competition and never amounted to anything. He couldn’t stand in the pocket under pressure, he couldn’t progress through his reads and the only pass he could throw was the long ball. Now he may turn out to reach his potential but he couldn’t do it here because he was a freshman & sophomore, he didn’t have a drop back QB coach and he wasn’t tough.

    Riley made great throws to Hoffman last year but this year he has been hurt. Hill is stepping in and doing the best he can as a true freshman and if he has some decent QB coaching, by the time he becomes a junior and senior he could be one of the great ones to play here. So if you want to throw it at Doman and Coach Mendenhall, who promoted him, if we don’t see any improvement in Hill during this season and his next three. I think Brett has made this point already but I think the two coaches who are not properly training their players so that they can improve and progress are Coach Doman and Coach Weber. But, time will tell with all these things over the next four games.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Jeff, thanks for the nice words…as a former BYU player, I am passionate about BYU football, and I keep in touch with many alumni and former players, some of whom are very high profile, and virtually all of whom are very concerned about our current direction on offense, and to thinking process of our coaches.

    In addition, while Bronco get’s deserved positive marks and kudos for reinforcing the BYU Honor Code, it is important to remember a significant number of the 14 players who were breaking those honor code standards under Crowton in 2004 were defensive players, playing for Bronco. There were known issues, but until Crowton was fired, Bronco stayed “silent”. All this seems to be forgotten but it is symptomatic of the bigger problem with Bronco.

    Now, in specific reference to the SLC Tribune article: Last year’s win over USU changed BYU’s offensive identity, quarterbacking future http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/cougars/55010506-88/nelson-quarterback-byu-doman.html.csp I think it is right on point.

    The problem comes back to what I have been saying, which is we don’t have the proper leadership and we are dealing with coaches who don’t have the personal talent and offensive understanding to deal with how the changes to the modern game are really taking place.

    We have had mobile QB’s…Steve Young was a wish bone QB that set the NCAA record for accuracy…he had a strong arm and with proper coaching, became a terrific pocket passer…his NFL career ended from being concussions, but he had many great games going back to pass and saving the play with his legs when coverage broke down.

    Mark Wilson was a mobile QB… so have been many others, including the aforementioned Hall and Beck. Doman we much more a run-first QB, hence part of the problem for BYU now.

    In today’s NFL, you have seen QB’s who are mobile, in fact, the top picks the last two years were all mobile QB’s; Cam Newton, RG3, Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill…even Russell Wilson, and Andy Dalton, who was picked in later rounds, but won the job in Seattle is a mobile QB. What do they have in common, they can use their legs to inflict damage on the defense by running when plays break down…and at times have some planned runs…but none are run first QB’s. In addition, each of these QB ran passing offenses and are very accurate in the passing game. If you cannot pass over 60% completion, you are not considered an adequate QB…and the best QB’s are all over 65% and closer to 70%.

    Look at the difference between a run first QB, like Michael Vick, who always had a low completion percentage and due to pure raw talent, has never been a great “reader of defensive pass coverages”…he has far underperformed. It is also important to know that some of the great passing QB’s like Joe Montana and Ben Roethlisberger have the ability to move in the pocket, to get free…even though they are not the same threat to take off and run like Steve Young or even the latest NIner QB, Alex Smith or Green Bay’s QB, Aaron Rogers, whose mobility makes him even more elite when combined with his arm strength and accuracy.

    By the way, most of the QB’s I have mentioned have great arms…they can throw the ball all over the field. They can make the throws. Right now, Taysom Hill is a Andrew Luck clone, although it remains to be seen if he has Luck’s incredible mind. He is faster than Luck, has a stronger arm, and many of the same qualities, which is why Jim Harbaugh recruited him…but he should not be a run first QB. He can do incredible damage with his legs as we saw last game…his 4.49 speed is tremendous as is his natural footwork..but he should not be an option QB…he will get killed, and so will our program.

    The offense should be passing…with good schemes…we have OUTSTANDING receivers and we don’t use them…Taysom Hill and many of the other QB’s have terrific arms…the ball needs to go downfield, not side to side…there needs to be teaching “trees”…with receivers and QB’s reading the defenses and running the routes based on the D they are presented. I don’t know if Brandon Doman can teach this type of offense. We have a couple of terrific backs in Jamal Williams, who has great feet, great instinct and great speed…he can be an effective receiver…so can Foote, who is also a playmaker, but they must bet the ball in space.

    Our program is not on track…we are lost in this type of myopic vision which loses sight of offensive football; “Look, I am interested in coaching quarterbacks with grit, and guys that do things with maximum effort, that are tough, can handle injury, and can lead,” That is the Brandon Doman quote, but it is Bronco pulling his strings.

    We can have QB’s who are great leaders, mobile and fast, with terrific arms, but they need to be taught in a good offense…without that being done…the program will fall apart. Ask Denver how much their receivers enjoyed playing in a run-first offense last year…they all but disappeared…we have terrific playmakers at receiver and tight end, they need to get the ball down the field, with 15-20 year passes, not just little five yard hitches and slants…and in our gritty tough QB Nelson, on his best day does not have the arm strength to pull that off.

    We cannot beat teams by being just a run first option team, not matter how much Bronco and Brandon want us to make that a reality…that is not the way to a National Championship. Good D, yes, but without Offense, BYU can never get D players to match the SEC, or some of the elite recruiting teams in the country, which is why we must have an offense that can move the ball and a line that can open the holes and protect our QB…all the better if they are mobile.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Note-I just re-read what I posted and one part looks a little confusing because I was thinking of young QB’s who were mobile and throwing them together. In regards to Russell Wilson, who was picked in later rounds and won job in Seattle, in college, strong arm, accurate passer and mobile. So was Andy Dalton, also a non first round pick to Cincinnati Bengals is an accurate throwing QB who is also mobile and can run…a terrific player at TCU.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Dear Walt—-I am not like that Ute fan, but Bronco has much that I find offensive, not the least of which is how he uses religion as a weapon to silence his critics.

    Not liking Bronco has nothing to do with a testimony or temple worthiness, despite the fact Bronco made sure he told us he was an usher two Saturdays ago at the back door of the Brigham CIty Open house where no one questioned his two point play call-BLAH.

    In addition, I think Whittingham is a good coach, but he has a huge QB problem right now…perhaps a bigger one since he is playing Pac12 competition without the same quality QB’s we have waiting in the wings.

    un·in·tel·li·gi·ble adj. Being such that understanding or comprehension is difficult or impossible; incomprehensible:

    Have you listened to Bronco speak during halftimes or after games on KSL? He is unintelligible, with a capital U. He does not speak like any football coach I have every heard in my life. He speaks in babble speak meaning nothing. He is hooked on org behavior speak, with new age thrown in. He says things all the time that make no sense. He acts like he is doing us a favor coaching football when he wants to be a CES teacher.

    I had a huge issue with him calling out the Cougar Club last year for daring to disagree with his decisions and calling them Sadducees and Pharisees. I have a huge issue with the way he mixes not agreeing with him a part of questioning other people’s faith and character…so yes, I am calling him out…more people should…I think you would be surprised with the result.

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    Bronco didn’t recruit the players that were thrown out and as an assistant coach it was not his responsibility to have complete control over the players and the program. I don’t know when you played, who you played for and what position you played but it is clear that you are in the small group that have it out for Bronco and think that he is arrogant and doesn’t listen to former players’ opinions.

    It is true that every part of the program is his responsibility because he is the head coach so it is true that if the offensive identity is changing and is not performing well then it rests on him. For those who would rather have a offensive minded head coach, just remember that if BYU had hired their first choice, we would have had a defensive minded head coach as well.

    You can give credit only for the fact that Bronco is only doing a great job of teaching his players to follow the honor code, but the fact is he has the 8th best winning percentage of coaches with 5 years or more experience, his bowl game record is .714 compared to Edwards’ .333. Don’t come back and tell me that times were different then…go back to the great coaches of his time and compare their bowl game records with his and then justify it. Bronco has also won some big games, TU was ranked 15th in 06 and Oklahoma was ranked 3rd , Utah was 21st and Oregon was 18th in 09. Overall, he is 4-7 against ranked opponents.

    Finally, he is training his players to be future husbands, fathers and leaders and I am certain that when his former players come back 10 – 20 years later they will all praise him for what he taught them. It is easy to tear apart the program, but as a former player, why don’t you take the high road and look for something positive about your program.


    I watched them tearing a building down,
    A gang of men in a busy town,
    With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell,
    They swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

    I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
    And the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
    He gave a laugh and said, No indeed!
    Just common labor is all I need.”

    “I can easily wreck in a day or two
    What builders have taken a year to do?”
    And, I thought to myself as I went my way,
    Which of these roles I tried to play?

    Am I a builder, who works with care,
    Measuring life by the rule and square?
    Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
    Patiently doing the best I can?

    Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town,

  • Walt Hanssen said:

    Content with the labor of tearing down?

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Hey Walt, it is not a small number and you know nothing about me…or my missionary sons, or my outreach to non-members…or service in the church…but to save time, here is my response to someone with your same viewpoint; that Bronco is the best coach ever, not just at BYU, but anywhere…I stand by everything I wrote here in response to this HOMER article:

    BYU football: Are fans’ calls for Bronco’s ousting justified?
    September 27, 2012 Trevor Amicone is the founder of byutahinsiders.com

    Walt, Bronco listens to no one but himself and perhaps the authors of his books. This article at KSL will make you feel great-you should read it if you have not, I cannot stomach to read it again…I know a little bit more about Bronco. Like you statements, it is so far off base and included false facts, Bronco’s inflated record of 10 wins against bad teams.

    It also had this absurd statement: Mendenhall has the toughest job in college football, and he does a pretty darn good job at it. WHAT-ABSURDLY FALSE!

    So, in the interest of saving time, this is what I wrote to that day to Trevor Amicone. I want you to read it. It still applies, and until Bronco is willing to make some changes in his approach, it sums up my issues with Bronco AND WITH ALL THOSE equate gospel faithfulness and church fealty with not supporting Bronco, his many poor decisions and arrogant attitude…even though he does give weekly firesides during football season!

    Trevor-Ok, I have to admit, I was activated this week by Bronco insanity. I admit, I am far too OCD about it, but during lunch, when I read this article on Bronco, I got physically sick and had to stop eating)

    This is EXACTLY the type of article I find to be both maddening and tiresome. It defends the indefensible-Bronco Mendenhall with a false narrative, as if Bronco is the only person who can be our coach at BYU because of our impossibly high standards and his impossibly lofty character.

    Of course, it is posted KSL.com, so what do you expect? There is no doubt that Bronco ran to KSL to kvetch over the comments and criticism he is taking from true BYU fans, who have committed the horrific crime of wanting to see BYU Football reach its true potential, but this is viewed in some quarter (KSL, Homer BYU fans and Bronco protectors) as mortal sin. It is as if those expectations are analogous to not having a testimony of the gospel and made to appear as if our very membership and fealty to the church must be in question for daring to question Bronco’s Head Coaching (or lack of true leadership).

    Bronco himself started this with his comment after his practice on Monday when he told reporters who asked this horrifically graphic question: What reaction did you get in the community for going for two? No one mentioned it to be honest. I was working the door at the temple dedication. I was a greeter so you’d think that’d be a great opportunity but no one mentioned a thing about it. Our team hasn’t. Our coaches haven’t. My wife hasn’t. My relatives, friends haven’t. So you guys are the first. I would do it again.

    Hmmm, according to Bronco, even though this two point mistake which took the game from his players hands was in the NATIONAL SPORTS PRESS, and all over Utah, no one mentioned it to him at the temple doors. What is he talking about? Why would he bring up the temple other than to let us know how “righteous” he is…and how God must be with him.

    The King has no clothes is the obvious analogy here…isn’t that a problem? If not, what about, his never ending statements to all who will listen; “I would do it again”. What does that say about his failure to learn, accept mistakes, and vow to improve and not repeat those same mistakes again?

    Also remember, this is the same Bronco who last year called the Cougar Club Sadducees and Pharisees for daring to question him…how did the trustees feel about that type of self-righteous and conceited statement?

    This KSL article is yet another defense of Bronco that misses the point entirely, at best, Bronco should only be D-Coordinator, not a head coach, and it is LOL to think he would go elsewhere to pursue being a D coordinator so he could, according to you, “run barefoot without demands”. That is so false it is ludicrous. In a real D-Coordinator job at the schools you mention, Bronco would have to work three times as hard, with much longer hours, where 80 hour weeks are common during the football season. The fact is, at any good football program Bronco would have a much higher accountability and he could not withstand that type of scrutiny.

    This article was off on so many points to critique would take too much time and I need to return to work, but let’s just look at the last two paragraphs of this article:

    BYU fans are lucky to have him, but more importantly, the church is lucky to have him representing it. And the boys he turns into men are lucky to have him.

    He may or may not be a very good head coach, but that’s only part of his job, a very small part — at least according to his employers. Being a college football head coach is tough, but it’s even tougher when you are also asked to be a motivational speaker, mentor, missionary and father figure. Considering all that, Mendenhall has the toughest job in college football, and he does a pretty darn good job at it.

    No Trevor, BYU Fans are NOT lucky to have Bronco, or his arrogant ways, or stubborn refusal to change. Further, his employers, the Trustees (big T), should have every right to expect him to be a good head coach AND, be able to talk at firesides, AND to be a great representative of the University, AND TO LIVE THE GOSPEL, AND to be a “father figure”. HE DOES NOT HAVE THE TOUGHEST JOB IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL…far, far, far from it. That is a ridiculous statement based on some strange view of being Mormon.

    By the way, at other universities, the coaches are expected to do many of the same things listed in this article, but also be great head coaches and win big games. They might not all give “firesides”, but they do give motivational talks, speak to booster groups, etc. and they are expected to be molders of young men’s high character. That is a SOP with head football coaches at any great program. They are fired for not doing this.

    Fact-you can have BYU be a great missionary tool and churn out great young men, and do it even better by winning big games and beating good teams, and getting national ranking and playing exciting football. You win these games, you will have your firesides in stadiums, not churches.

    Bronco loves to talk about his righteous armor, etc. but let’s also remember, he also chose not to serve a mission…he wanted to stay and play football. There is no crime in that, many other great men and several general authorities have not served as missionaries, including some of our best football and basketball players…but, let’s not put Bronco on a pedestal as the paragon of virtue and good decisions.

    Here is the direct quote that Bronco gave in a Deseret News article published March 30, 2005, when asked specifically about not him serving as a missionary:

    “Even though I knew (going on a mission) was right, I didn’t walk away from my football career to serve,” “I really have, throughout my life, done everything I can through my coaching to represent myself and this church in a way that maybe wouldn’t make up for it, but make sure that everyone knew what I really believed”

    So, Bronco KNEW it was right to serve a mission. He knew the prophet’s admonition that every worthy young man should serve a mission. He says he KNEW HE SHOULD GO, BUT DIDN’T. For perspective, let’s remember what Bronco was at this time; He was not a football star, he played at Snow College and then Oregon State as a DB. He had no hope for an NFL career, was not at BYU (BYU decided Bronco was not good enough to be offered a scholarship), but still made the personal decision to not go on a mission.

    This was Bronco’s personal decision. Why is that an issue? It would not be except for his attitude towards many young men who make the same decision he made long ago.

    Let’s just give one example of Bronco’s attitude towards a top 10 H.S. recruit who made the decision to not go to BYU. Let’s see if he treated this young Polynesian man with the same respect and dignity he expects for given to himself.

    Manti Te’o, who chose to go to Notre Dame, and chose not to go to BYU and their defensive genius Bronco Mendenhall. This young man is now an All-American, defensive player of the year candidate, and held up as a great young man…we will play him in a couple weeks at NOTRE DAME:
    SB Nation-Mountain West Football Recruiting-Bronco Reveals why Manti Te’o Did Not Choose BYU
    By Jeremy Mauss ON AUG 6, 2009 3:24P
    BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall opened up at media days about why he thinks that BYU lost out on prized recruit linebacker Manti Te’o to Notre Dame. When asked the question on if BYU was close to signing Te’o Bronco’s response was “I don’t think we were close.”

    Bronco feels that it was something that was unrelated to playing football at BYU, but rather hinting that Te’o turned down BYU because Mendenhall’s urges players to go and serve a church mission. It seems from reading Bronco’s comments that he was not just urging but made it seem that if you are of the religion then it is your responsibility to go serve a mission.

    Here is exactly what Bronco said:

    “I am going to try to stereotype as best I can, so I protect their family and BYU. Usually when a young man who is LDS — a member of our church — has things presented as clearly as he had it presented to him and choses not to come, there usually is a reason they don’t want to come.”

    “And it is usually not football-related. And so Manti chose a private institution, with a religious background without truly the same semblance of rules, or an honor code, like BYU has. It would be great if we don’t go into specifics, but my guess is there was something that he didn’t want about BYU, and chose elsewhere. And that’s OK.”

    Is Bronco also saying that Manti Te’o did not choose BYU because of the honor code? Personally I do not think that is the case but rather his decision has to do with the suggestions coming from Bronco himself of Matni Te’o serving his church for two years away from football. Then with his visit to Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis made sure he was comfortable and found a local Bishop for Te’o to meet.

    It is widely known that Bronco does not put any stock into the recruiting services and has said that we do not recruit football players but rather the players recruit us. Some what bizarre but his latest quote on the recruiting services is quite amusing:

    “Some guy that drives a pizza truck at night and then is giving stars to recruits in the day, and he’s an expert? I don’t adhere to that philosophy. And so I put no value in [stars], I put value in the fit of the kid. And if he happens to be a five-star recruit, and he doesn’t come in and say, what can I do for the good of the team? Then I have recruited the wrong kid.”

    The kid must want to go to the school which makes sense, and while the coaches must do their own recruiting — unlike Miam, Fl– these services actually do good for these kids. These outlets give these athletes a forum for the athletes to get their info out there, yea the big star recruits will be picked up the not so highly rated guys benefit.

    Sometimes it seems that Bronco is trying to act like he is better than others by saying if kids want to play with us the athletes recruit us and we do not want to have to convince teenagers to come play football at BYU.

    BY the way, this article only shows Bronco’s overall record, which is radically inflated by his beating very weak teams… this year, beating teams with losing records and losing to Utah and Boise State. You should show these statistics:

    Here is how Bronco has done against every different type of opponent, 2005-2011: He lost to Boise and Utah, we have high risk (without changes) of losing to Utah State, George Tech, Notre Dame, Oregon State)

    • Mediocre/Quality BCS opponent (BCS team with 6+ wins) = 5-11
    • Quality Non-BCS opponent (non-BCS team with 9+ wins) = 6-10
    • Mediocre Non-BCS opponent (non-BCS team with 6-8 wins) = 15-1
    • Low Quality BCS opponent (BCS team with 5 or less wins) = 5-0
    • Low Quality Non-BCS opponent (non-BCS team with 5 or less wins) = 31-2
    • FCS (lower division) opponents: 4-0

    BRONCO KILLS LOW QUALITY AND MEDIOCRE COMPEITION. His combined record against the bottom 4 tiers is 55-3. His problem comes with the top 2 tiers of opponents, where his W/L record drops to a combined 11-21.

    HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO SOME BRONCO PEERS? HERE IS SAME EXACT RESEARCH FOR: Kyle Whittingham, Gary Patterson, and Chris Petersen:

    • Bronco = 5-11… 31%
    • Whitt = 11-8… 58%
    • Patterson = 6-3… 67%
    • Petersen = 7-0… 100%!!

    • Bronco = 6-10… 38%
    • Whitt = 7-9… 44%
    • Patterson = 9-6… 60%
    • Petersen = 7-4… 64%


  • Walt Hanssen said:

    OK ChewyJJ, now I can see where you are coming from…it is all in the name of religion, which is how many fights and wars begin. I have not worked in your shoes so I can’t address your point I do know that non-member players have participated in his firesides and I think there about as many non-member players on his teams as there were during Lavell’s time and he shows no favoritism to the member players. Remember that he didn’t serve a mission so he has changed quite a bit to even be considered to be the head coach here. Is Coach Edwards and RM? I have no idea. Peace brother!

  • BigCougar said:

    “Every great year that Edwards had, he also had an all-American QB. If Mendenhall had those types of QB’s I think his record would be equal.”

    Edwards was good at developing those QB’s and if you noticed during his heyday, he ALWAYS had his next great QB waiting in the wings, seasoned, primed and ready to take over. In one case with McMahon he had troubles keeping him placated on the bench waiting his turn so that Marc Wilson could finish. Jimmy Mac could’ve taken over sooner and BYU wouldn’t have missed a step.

    Another thing with Edwards QB’s, these guys weren’t heavily recruited guys out of H.S. They were guys who were overlooked. Edwards took lumps of coal and pressured them into diamonds. Bronco has recruited gems and then promptly mis-handled them until they left town or let them rot on the bench without a chance to develop.

    Conversely, Bronco has recruited some big time QB prospects in 5 star QB Jake Heaps and 4 star QB’s James Lark and Jason Munns. They were all highly sought after and received dozens and dozens of scholarship offers from big time programs.

    Riley received one offer from a 1-10 Utah St, largely because he was a hometown boy who’s grandfather was Rod Tueller, a legend in Utah St athletics. Bronco let his love of the “gritty” player blind him to more talented and capable QB’s who languished undeveloped for years. As a result the program has suffered some embarrassing losses and 2010 was an absolute disaster of a season.

    It’s not hard to compare and contrast Bronco’s inability to develop QB’s and Edwards impressive ability to find gold in other people’s garbage (so to speak). The record is pretty straight forward. Otoh, to compare Bronco’s first 7 years with Edwards first 7 years doesn’t really give you an apples to apples reflection of what Edwards did.

    Bronco took over a program with an established name, tradition and track record of success. It had suffered a few down seasons but after some pretty good recruiting by his predecessor was already showing signs of turning itself around when he took over and Bronco benefited from a seasoned QB and a ton of NFL talent on offense that was left behind by Crowton.

    When Edwards took over at BYU he was taking over a program that had a history of being a horrific football school and had a couple of losing streaks vs Utah that lasted for generations each. he didn’t inherit a team of experienced, seasoned NFL caliber players on offense who were going to be go regardless of the HC, he overhauled an entire culture of losing at BYU and in a decade made them National Champions in a sport that is designed to prevent schools like BYU from becoming just that.

    What you have to ask yourself is this, if the situations were reversed and Bronco was taking over as HC in the early 70’s could he have duplicated or bettered Lavell’s success. Answer? Absolutely no way.

    Could Lavell have taken over the 2005 BYU football team with a seasoned, primed and experienced John Beck at QB ready to have a break out season throwing to 2 NFL WR’s, an NFL TE, handing the ball off to an NFL RB, while being protected by 3 NFL Offensive Lineman and done as well or better than Bronco did (6-6)? Absolutely in a heart beat! As a matter of fact, he likely would’ve won 10 games.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Walt, I played for LaVell, he treated everyone the same…he had non-member coaches and players. As for your question about LaVell being an RM, I don’t think he did serve a mission, he was 19 in 1948 that was a very different time, but after her left coaching, he did serve an 18 month mission with Patty in New York City, ministering to inner city youth and he has been a Bishop. FYI, I did serve a mission and played after I came back…I just don’t want religion used to justify poor behavior or football decisions…Peace to you.

  • Old_Breed said:


    I have followed your comments for some time and respect your opinion due to your personal experience. One of the things that I am curious is in your opinion what other options are available? The LDS head coaching tree is limited. I believe that the tree for OC is larger since there isn’t an LDS requirement.

    Thanks for your time.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Big Cougar-you have said it perfectly, and as one of the players on those teams, with that team Bronco inherited, he would have done far better than 6-6…no doubt LaVelle would have been able to win more than 10 games.

    FYI, people don’t know how bad BYU was before LaVell. It was not just bad, it was a joke. I laughed at LaVell when he first recruited me because I didn’t even know where BYU was located.

    Chick Atkinson 1949-55 18-49-3 .279
    Hal Kopp 1956-58 13-14-3 .483
    Tally Stevens 1959-60 6-15-0 .286
    Hal Mitchell 1961-63 8-22-0 .267
    Tommy Hudspeth 1964-71 39-42-1 .481

    LaVell inherited a terrible program, had to build it from the ground up, even his stadium looked like a JC college stadium…but in four years had BYU as the top two offence in the country and in year five, a top 20 ranked team. The fact the current stadium is named after him is appropriate-he built BYU football.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Dear Old Breed…Great question. The answer is YES, the head coach needs to be LDS, but there are more candidates than you would think, and there are also several OC “candidates” around as well.

    The reason LaVell did so well, especially in his first 15-20 years…he hired the best coordinators he could find, even if he knew he would only have them for a couple of years.

    If Bronco could put his pride in check, and be more of a CEO type head coach, he would be in much better shape…I don’t know that he is capable of doing this.

  • Old_Breed said:


    Thanks for the response. Any names you can share?

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    It all makes sense now. You are an Edwards disciple so obviously you are going to choose him and you should BUT DON’T TEAR DOWN BRONCO AT THE SAME TIME.

    Bronco has a better overall record, a better bowl record (not even close) and he has done it with average assistant coaches. Ask Brett, Anae was already picked as the OC and he had to take him.

    Did you read the poem and tearing down? Read it again and then humble yourself and put the football program over your personal interests. You really aren’t a true alumnus or you wouldn’t be acting like this. IT’S THE BYU FOOTBALL PROGRAM, NOT EDWARDS VS. MENDENHALL. Besides as great a job as Edwards did, in his last 10 years he was average, in his last 5 years he was horrible (great year in 96 and then faded worse than my drive in golf and that is bad), his assistants had been around for over 20 years and the game had passed them all by and he was basically run out of town. His last four years he was 29-20 and only two bowl games and both of those were loses. No matter what you say, the evidence was clear just like with Bowden & Paterno at the end of their careers…old and washed up and like so many athletes who try to play past their prime. A great and honorable man, yes, a great example of a DS, you bet, but so is Bronco and if you don’t believe it ask President Eyring & some of the brethren what they think about him.

    You forgot to say that he is 4-7 against ranked teams. Go back & research Lavell against ranked team during his 29 years of coaching & see how he did. Bronco has restored the program and built it upon the foundation of : Tradition, Spirit & Honor. He gives all the credit to Edwards and says he will never be like him. Give the man some credit, calm down and if you don’t like Bronco, go support some other program until he leaves and then come back.

    “BYU has an incred­i­ble story. We had an oppor­tu­nity to learn that story and work with BYU to tell it in the Foot­ball Offices on the Provo, UT cam­pus. Coach Menden­hall wanted the lobby of the offices re-done, and we were up to the task. Coach Bronco Menden­hall has devel­oped the BYU foot­ball brand to a level never before seen by Advent and our team. The com­mit­ment to grow­ing the team from a group of young adults into men was some­thing truly breath­tak­ing to research and under­stand. With that story in mind, the lobby is now a tes­ta­ment to the pil­lars of BYU’s foot­ball pro­gram. See some of the results here in the gallery.” http://adventresults.com

    They have gone around the country to many universities and they put us right up there with the best. Now I’m going to go back to getting ready to see if Gary Anderson, a very good coach per Bronco, can bring his Aggies in here and beat us. If we lose, boo Bronco, if we win, give him some credit!

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    Great post, thanks!

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    Obviously the change in the OL with Braden Hansen, center; Famika Anae, guard; Manaaki Vaitai, guard; and Solomone Kafu, guard has really given it a whole new look. Besides that, Weber said that each OL needs at least one lineman that sets the tone for the unit and in this case it is Anae who has a mean streak in him a kind of a “take no prisoners” attitude. You have been around BYU football for many years, in your opinion, who were those players in past years who really set the tone of their OL’s?

  • Rick said:

    Wow CheweyJJ, your word count has to be approaching 10k with 1k in shouting. It’s obvious your problems with Bronco go far beyond a bad snap and two point conversion try. If not for those they would probably be 4-0 and this discussion wouldn’t even be on the radar.

    You judge Bronco very harshly. I wouldn’t fare well with that standard having not served a mission yet doing everything I can to make sure my kids do.

    Bronco has his faults, don’t we all. But I doubt he deserves this kind of treatment.

    Rick Nielson

    ps. I would be more sympathetic if you would be more forthcoming with your name and which years you played.

  • Jeffrey said:

    Wow, this is a lot more than I asked about. @Walt…. I am in complete agreement that the biggest need is to take a long hard look at the OL coach and the OC. Regarding Back and Hall’s performance in Anae’s system…. Beck struck me as a student of the game from the first time that he stepped on the field as a freshman. His development seemed to come from his own study and his own work. Hall was fiery from the get go and had that swagger about him that was undeniable, however, he regularly only targeted his favorites on the field and in my mind didn’t really progress from his Sophomore year to his Senior year. That comes down to coaching… I was unsure which offensive coach wasn’t stepping up to the plate, I thought it was Anae to be perfectly honest and that things would change with Doman.
    Since the debacle in 2010, the problems on the offensive side of the ball, especially with the QB’s have only gotten bigger. I don’t think Doman is capable of manning both the OC and the QB coaching job. That was obvious last year to me with the lack of improvement from Heaps, the dumbing down of the offense for Nelson…. there was no identity and there really still is no identity.
    I reference the article because I find it very difficult to believe this is the same offense that even Anae implemented with ‘just a few tweaks for a running QB’. The offense was dumbed down significantly in the middle of last year, and right now no one really knows what the offensive identity is. Are we an option, a power running team (not with the OL problems), a read option, a wing back, a spread, what? Through this year we are a running team and I agree with Alema Harrington who stated after the Boise debacle that if they are a running team, no matter who is QB will eventually be injured… the QB (regardless who it is) will not last if the play calling continues to be what it is.
    I enjoy picking the brains of former players to get a sense of what they are seeing from the same on the couch position that I have. I found it interesting that a former starting receiver told me he is very disappointed that there is all the talent and the coaching for the wideouts; but there is very little being done to truly utilize their abilities because the starting QB is not truly capable of maximizing their talents, the freshman is just getting his feet underneath him, and the coordinator ultimately has not shown the ability to run an offense that can utilize all the talent that is on the field. His words not mine.
    I hope they win out, I enjoy the physicality of the defense, I love attending the games with family and enjoying conversation with other fans. I want them to make noise on the national scene, and I want the offense to find it’s roots and really be a dynamic passing offense that has a mobile QB.

  • Chewyjj said:

    Walt, you and your poem are missing the point. I am not a disciple of LaVell…I admire him, I respect him, but he stayed too long..I called for him to retire after the 1996 14-1 season…it was way past time and a great time to go out. He didn’t and that was a mistake.

    Everyone has a life expectancy, especially in athletics…coaches, athletes…there is a time to go, you see it all the time…Joe Paterno, Brett Favre, etc…Coach Edwards was no different. I am past the life expectancy for this post…but I have tried to give you facts, and actual stats and real Bronco quotes.

    The problem is, Bronco will never get there…he is already maxed out…hit the ceiling as Brett described a couple weeks ago…he cannot go to the next level…and that is bad for BYU because as an Indy we have to be winning the good opponent games, not just the easy game. His rah, rah, run to the Y, I am a robot, dont challenge me, hide behind religion approach and then talk in strange platitudes will not make up for lack of coaching leadership…and cannot overcome a poor OC coordinator. Can Bronco change? Don’t think so.

    BYU is a world class university and deserves to be able to have a coach to take them to this next level…you should want that as well. We need a coach to take us to the next level just as LaVell did years ago, or Frank Cush did for Az State, or Bill Snyder did for Kansas State, or Joe Paterno did for Penn State but should have left 10 years earlier, or Bobby Bowden did for Florida State, but also stayed too long…that is what we need Bronco to be, but he is not capable. YOu can write all the poems, send me the quotes, but it wont change that fact.

    p.s. this has nothing to do about Bronco not serving a mission…just how he judges those who do not serve a mission and chose not to play for him…the double standard…

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    Another great post. I’m with you, this isn’t about Edwards vs. Mendenhall; it’s about our 2012 team doing its best and all of us cheering for them to show our support and not jumping down their throats every time they make a mistake or lose.

  • Kyle M. said:

    I think Walt is Bronco himself. Remember when it comes out that *I called it first!*

  • Chewyjj said:

    LoL kyle. Love it

  • Spamdawg said:

    Just something to think about since the 2 point conversion has been brought up a few times, I just want point out that BYU missed 2 extra point kicks against Hawaii at home not on the road with the game on the line. The field goal kicking has been horrible this year. Under the pressure I don’t know that BYU would have been able to make the extra point and if they did and went into OT what are the chances they make a 42 yard field goal which it would have been if the offense preformed like it had for most of the game? Not very good. Plus a robot wouldn’t make the decision to go for 2. Bronco plays it safe 99% of the time which is why I think we have a hard time competing against top teams. I am not saying I like the call but I do like it when I see Bronco make risky calls.

    If I am not mistaken the players of the team helped make that call. So Bronco didn’t let the team down the team was apart of that decision and they wanted to go for it.

  • Jared (the not original, I guess) said:

    The 2 point coversion thing is just a footnote in this conversation, in my opinion. I definitely disagree with the call – think it was really stupid – but that’s not why I think we need a coaching change. The fact that we were in that position to begin with is a big part of why I think we need a coaching change. With the talent that we have, we should have BLOWN OUT Boise State and Utah. It’s just a crying shame.

  • Bryan Taylor said:

    @Walt-Please take off the blue colored goggles. Bronco will never make BYU a national player or get BYU to a BCS game.

  • Martin said:

    Wow a couple of people have completely hijacked the comments feature of this blog. Just a word of advice to some – if your post is longer than the article itself its probably too long. This is, after all, Brett’s blog. If you have that much to say you should probably create your own blog.

    As far as the whole controversy over Bronco that has erupted over the last few weeks, and whether or not there is a need for change I will say that I am personally torn. I like Bronco as a person, and I think there are some things he does extremely well as a coach. The last two seasons have proved to me that the man is a defensive genius and I want the man leading BYU’s defense for as long as he is willing to. I also think that Bronco really gets what BYU is all about. In fact, he not only gets it but I think he genuinely has a testimony of it and that is important. The Brethren LOVE Bronco for that reason. Having said that, I have felt for some time now that the program as a whole is underachieving, particularly when you compare it to other comparable programs like TCU, Boise State and yes, even Utah. Those programs have accomplished MUCH more than BYU has during Bronco’s tenure, and you cannot tell me that those programs have a significant advantage over BYU in terms of recruiting and resources because they dont. Yes, BYU has a limited pool of athletes that it can recruit from because of the HC and academics, etc, but there is still a TON of talent in that pool and BYU is top dog in it because it is the flagship university of the LDS church. No, it does not get every top LDS athlete. There will always be players like Manti Teo and Jabari Parker that will probably end up going to a bigger name program, but BYU still gets the lion share of LDS talent, as well as a good portion of non-LDS talent (Cody Hoffman, Jamal Willimans, etc). So I really do think BYU has the talent to be better than it is. What that leaves me with is the conclusion that they are just not being coached up as well as they could be, and that Bronco is simply being outcoached by his peers like Chris Peterson, Gary Patterson and Kyle Whittingham. This does not mean that I want Bronco to go. Far from it. But it does mean that Bronco needs to improve and urgently if BYU’s experiment with independence is going to work. Holmoe and Bronco have both said that BYU has to win more big games in order for independence to work.

  • Jeffrey said:

    @Jared, we should have been able to dominate to a degree each game that we lost which leads to Martin’s post. Patterson and Peterson are the two measuring sticks that I think really matter.
    Why? They have shown the ability to take lesser known kids and coach them into amazing athletes and turn a program into a power because of a system. Look no further than the Defensive End position at TCU…. most of them were former running backs. How can a running back become such a defensive force, on the line if it isn’t the coaching? Supposedly an offensive player doesn’t have the mindset to be a good defensive player… so I have heard and been told. So how did that happen?
    BSU has had a consistent offensive system that has been very well coached up for the past 12 or so years. The talent is coached up to become decent draft picks with the the only infractions being a sleep over for a recruit from another program. So the recruits aren’t necessarily top flight players that we wouldn’t have a chance at getting.
    I left Utah off the list because McBride built the foundation that Meyer and Whittingham have improved upon and maintained (especially the defense).
    Mendenhall finally has a system on defense that fits our recruiting base and the results are in the pudding. Our offense had an identity with Anae, but for reasons behind closed doors things didn’t work.
    How come our offensive identity cannot be something similar to BSU? Are their recruits that much better than ours? Possibly, but I would say they are on par with our talent level. So the missing ingredient is coaching… specifically on the offensive side of the ball.
    Take a look at the coaching tree from BSU versus BYU over even the past 5 years. There is a lot more interest and movement from BSU to other programs… to me that is a concern.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Jared and Jeffrey-you are 100% on point…and are seeing the issue clearly and reinforcing what needs to be done. We should be able to accomplish what TCU or Boise State have done, especially with the right system considering how wide our talent pool can stretch.

  • dave said:

    I don’t think that you can compare Coach Edwards & Coach Mendenhall. They were from different times with different resources, expectations & challenges. It is apples and oranges.

    When I think of Mendenhall’s approach I think of the way as a DC he stubbornly held to the 3,3,5 scheme. BYU can more easily recruit top quality line backers and D linemen than defensive backs. Eventually he gave in, but it was a painful process. It cost us some wins.

    It is true that Bronco’s speaking mannerisms are painfully awkward. So – it is his style, and you can’t hold that against him any more than the mannerisms of Lou Holtz or Les Miles (or insert your favorite “colorful” coaching name here). Still, Bronco is just a weird duck.

    It is also true that he often sounds/seems condescending. A guy’s personality is a guy’s personality and some people are just more socially adept than others, but again, Bronco is just odd. You can be orthidox without being condescending, at least some people can. Bronco can’t.

    All of those issues are peripheral if your team is playing well. We aren’t.

  • Scott said:

    Ken Nuimatalolo (sp) is doing some good things with the very limited talent that Navy has; their recruiting pool is far smaller that BYU’s. I think he would do a great job here. Dave Kragthorpe, who Bronco wanted to hire originally for the OC job, would also be a great addition.

    I like Bronco as a D coach, and I think he does get the vision of the orgainzation that operates the school, and I’m pretty sure that he would never be fired because of this, but he uses that too much in his everyday coach speak, IMO. He needs to better learn to seperate the calling from the job. I have to do that, we all have to do that. He just is not a great head coach, I agree with you on that Chewy.

  • Steve said:


    Criticism is part of the job. If he doesn’t like it, he should step down.

    I can’t stand Bronco’s double standard of everything he says – saying the players need to trust each other but he doesn’t (huge examples but I’ll take the San Jose St. game last year when the defense was playing fine in the first half but he started playing prevent defense in the second half for some unknown reason. The Boise St. game where he should’ve kicked the field goal and trusted his defense that had been playing very well), he plays Bronco guys over guys who can play better (VERY small amount of examples: Jamison Frazier over Van Noy last year, Chad Barney over Kip Nelson, Zed Mendenhall over Lasike, Ogletree over Uani Unga or Noah Pikula (except for whatever down and short – he’s a good run stopper but anyone could play this better when other teams go away from Van Noy because he’s such a beast)), his blindness about the teams difficiencies (punting last year, offensive issues before the season even started last year, etc…this goes beyond last year, though), admitting he didn’t adequately prepare his defense many times (Tulsa 2007, CSU game at home against Bradley Van Pelt when they were torched) or even game time adjust when they were consistently getting beat, etc…I could go on forever.
    Also, he’s head coach at BYU – he shouldn’t have gone for the field goal at the Utah game solely because it wasn’t that far away from midnight. BYU does not play on Sunday, and you can bet they would’ve had to walk off the field at midnight even if it went in to overtime. HE’S HEAD COACH. That should be on his mind when making a decision to kick the field goal, or go for it from the 19 yard line. If you say to kick it still, there’s no reasoning with you.

    He’s not a good head coach with his stubborn mindset or playing favorites (wanting a hurt player to play and not trusting his OC to make the decision. Band of Brothers anyone). I only talk about Lavell because he’s the standard – anyone who says otherwise doesn’t really understand reality: he developed players consistently. Rob Morris wanted to play running back at BYU. Lavell sat him down and told him he’d play running back on Saturdays but he’d play Sundays as a linebacker: Rob trusted him. He was a great player evaluater, not perfect but he was great. Peterson at Boise St and Patterson at TCU fall in the same category. Not only that, but they are great DEVELOPERS once the players get to college. I’m not seeing BYU’s players develop like they could as a whole – and overall, that is the head coach’s responsibility.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Great comments Scott…you are right about Navy’s coach…there are others as well. We do need a good OC.

    BYU Head Football and Basketball coaches are not “callings”, they are jobs, with specific goals and guidance as there are in any job. In this case it is to win while concurrently upholding the standards and vision of the BYU and the Church.

    Bronco has become a much better D-Coordinator since he ditched the 3-3-5 and recruited to our strength at line and LB…it has made a big difference.

    My point from the beginning, with far too much data as Martin pointed out)due to my frustration with people talking without good football knowledge is; Bronco is not good head coach…and will not take us to the next level. As Brett said, he has achieved the limit of his personal abilities, which has been further denuded for all to see due to his stubborn and self-righteous attitude.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Steve, terrific comments-you are 100% on point. Thank you for bringing up the “play favorites”…I have heard this repeatedly over the years from players, starters and back-ups.

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    Coach Edwards won a National Championship before there was a BCS system & got back to the top 10 once in 96. Bronco hasn’t restored the program to the 79-85 era but neither could Edwards after than. Bronco has restored the program to as high as it has ever been except that one 7 year period and his bowl record has far exceeded Edwards which it is very curious that not one DSOB member has commented on this. Why? because it is the same reason that Obama can’t run on his record this year because he has none to talk about. his only hope is to lie and distract us from the issues (sorry for the political comment but it is as maddening as this whole discussion about the program under Edwards and Mendenhall).

    As for the 2-point conversion, even Peterson said he would have gone for it and regardless no one will ever be fired over that type of decision.

    As for Peterson & Patterson being the measuring stick for Bronco, let’s get real, they are the measuring stick for every single coach in this country,bar none but neither of them have the obstacles that BYU has. For crying out loud a whole bunch of TCU’s players were indicted for smoking marijuana and who knows how many were who weren’t caught. So don’t give me the Peterson/Patterson comparison, neither of those two could come here and do anywhere near as well as they have done where they are.

    As for the blue tinted glasses, who knows, like the insinuation that Paul was dead on the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, maybe I am Bronco! Nobody will force Bronco out…he will on his own terms and I can assure you that like he has said, he won’t be around for nearly as long as Edwards was and you know what, I don’t blame him.

    Is he the best coach in college football? Obviously not, but he has done a great job following Crowton, and he is very well respected everywhere except here (“And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.”

    Anyway, I appreciate all of your comments but can’t understand the bitterness towards Bronco.

  • Steve said:

    @ Walt

    I’ll comment on the 7 year bowl period – there’s a bowl game that my grandma could make every year by showing up. That’s how many bowl games there are. Lavell would’ve always been to a bowl game (except for at the beginning) had he been head coach during this era. You only have to be 6-6 (UCLA was 6-7 and got into a bowl game). This only speaks to the fact that you haven’t played and looking for anything to justify Bronco. I don’t get it. I know no coach is perfect but I can pick Bronco’s decisions apart and that shouldn’t be the case if he’s “good” head coach.

    Head coaches stick together and Peterson and Bronco are friends. What else is he going to say – Bronco gifted that game to him by deciding to go with Riley for the first half and not preparing another QB.

    Bitterness – I wouldn’t call it that, but irritation – for sure. I kept making excuses for him in the past, but then I started seeing patterns for his failures instead of improvement from them. That’s a huge issue – I’d get fired in similar circumstances from my job, if that were the case.

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    Now your looking through Edwards shaded glasses. Edwards never put a lot of emphasis on the bowl games and treated them like a treat for his teams which is why they were rarely well prepared. Bronco had one too, after the 08 season when they lost to Arizona but that was one bowl game.

    s for sticking up for Bronco, forget it, he doesn’t need anyone, including me to stick up for him nor does he want us to. He’s a big boy, he doesn’t want or need our condolences when he makes a mistake (in our eyes). Until any of us, including CheweyJJ, has walked in his shoes or been a coach at the Division I level, we need to spend our valuable time on something else. It’s like some one coming into our family as a stranger and telling us how to be a better husband or father or criticizing us for our decisions. Good grief, there are far more other important things in life than to wager back and forth over Edwards vs. Mendenhall. But, if it will help, I agree, Edwards was a better coach.

  • dave said:


    This is just football, amp down big fella. We all feel passionately but it would be best to drop the poltical and misapplied bibilical references. Maybe rethink the bitter comment, of all the posts yours might sound the most angry. Just stick with the facts, which are for the time being are that the BYU offense is struggling. Everyone is just trying to explore the “whys” of that fact.

  • Seasider said:


    It is true that bowl games are much easier to get into than during Lavell’s time but I think you might selling Bronco a little short in this area. His 2005 and 2010 seasons are seasons where you could say BYU didn’t really deserve to go bowling. The other seasons BYU had 10 or more wins and in most cases would’ve gone to a bowl game during the Lavell era. I would love to see BYU compete in better bowls than the Las Vegas bowl but they’d either have go undefeated or be in a better conference for that to happen.

  • Steve said:


    I’m not saying those teams weren’t good enough. To me, those teams speak more to the athletes they had on those teams – covering up bad decisions or lack of good coaching. I think BYU’s athletes have been good enough to do a lot better with a coach that had the ability to really lead them. With a better coach, they would’ve beat Utah in 2008; UCLA and Tulsa in 2007 never happen the same way. They were good. I’m selling him short in coaching for sure because he deserves it and has proven it. He proves it every time I try to give him some credit – I only have to wait a couple of days after I try to give hime some credit until he proves otherwise with something else he says or decision he makes.

  • Dave Carter said:

    Having spent a good portion of my day reading the comments here, I’d like to throw in my two cents (and they’re probably worth less than that, but oh well).

    First, I live in Boise and was at the game. That was a very hostile environment. The crowd was as loud, if not louder, than any home crowd (I’ve seen em play in RES, @UCLA, @OSU, @USU, @WYO, @UNLV) I’ve seen. When the offense took the field after the TD, I thought it was the right call. I loved it. Go for the jugular while you’re in striking range. The funny thing is, had that ONE play gone differently, I truly believe we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    That being said, I agree with what has been said regarding Bronco as a head coach. I don’t believe (having never walked in his shoes) that he is capable of taking this team any further than they are. I don’t like the fact that he doesn’t try to get his team amped up for big games, and think that is a contributing factor as to why we regularly come out flat against quality opponents. I don’t think you need me to list examples. I should mention that I have defended Bronco for a long time against harsher critics than me. But watching the Utah game this year, reality set in: Whittingham is a better head football coach. Don’t tell me that Utah has superior talent. Don’t tell me BSU has superior talent.

    That being said, BYU will not make a change until Bronco puts together a string of losing seasons and ticket sales drop off and ESPN drops us. We all know that wont happen because our schedule is such that we can handle the majority of teams we play. We have that kind of talent. The hardest thing is, when we lose, it’s rarely because we were going against superior talent. It’s because we came out flat, made ridiculous mistakes, etc.

    So, get used to it fella’s. These time’s aren’t a changin.

  • Walt Hanssen said:


    Good advice for me and good advice for CheweyJJ.

  • Walt Hanssen said:

    Dave Carter-

    Incredible insight and that ends my involvement in this particular article. There is nothing more meaningful to say after your great post…for me at least. Now if we lose to Utah State for any reason, I will be extremely upset.

  • Dave Carter said:


    Thank you for the kind words, and I’m with you, if we lost to Utah St (I was there the last time we lost to the Aggies) I will be sick. Can you imagine, losing to Utah and Utah St in the same year? When was the last time that happened? Surely not in my lifetime.

  • Dave Carter said:

    *if we ‘lose’ to Utah St…

  • El Jefe said:

    Welcome to the ChewyJJ sports blog. Sorry Brett, you have been ousted just like what many of you want to do to Bronco. Haha. I hope our defense scores some points for us on Friday cause we will need it.

  • Walt Hanssen said:

    BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  • Walt Hanssen said:

    Wow, maybe Bronco is correct in that there is more to being a football coach than just winning games. TCU admitted that Pachall admitted to smoking marijuana last summer when so many players were kicked off the team, failed a drug test and yet was still allowed to play. Remember when Manti Teo came here in 08 to visit and Bronco got wind of the fact that he was at a party where there was drinking and subsequently was not recruited. Same kind of thing happened to Kyle Van Noy but he sat out a year, paid the price, changed and still came to BYU. Teo could have done the same thing too. It’s all about principles and I’m glad we have a coach who sticks by his. There have been other players over the years who were disciplined, put on probation, one even left the school but came back into full grace and ended up having great careers. That’s all part of being a great coach. Same thing happened with Coach Rice, a truly great coach also, and Branden Davies.

  • Jared (the not original, I guess) said:

    I agree that it is great that we have a coach with principles and I love that he upholds the honor code and all that good stuff. That’s all great – truly. I just wish he could do all that and install an equally great offense. Both are part of his job. He’s doing one, not the other.

  • Walt Hanssen said:

    Jared (the not original, I guess)

    You are absolutely correct, he has to do both well and so far this season he isn’t doing his head coaching responsibility as well as he should in relation to having an offense as good as his defense…that should at least be his goal. I guess we will see if he is making progress tomorrow night.

  • Troll Level...100!! said:

    So any chance we could get a character limit on comments?

  • Jared (the not original, I guess) said:

    I would only add that he hasn’t been doing this part of his job, not only so far this year, but last year and the year before as well. I think there are arguments to be made that he hasn’t ever done it as well as it could have been done. It’s just that a lot of us are finally fed up with it this year.

  • Dave Carter said:

    @Troll level 100

    Here’s an easy solution for your problem with the long comments: if I comment looks too long to you, don’t read it.

    See how easy that was?

  • Steve said:

    @ Walt

    Please don’t compare Bronco and Dave ROSE. Bronco doesn’t hold a candle to Rose. Bronco is not the only one who could uphold standards and still out coach him.

    Coming up from Crowton wasn’t saying much, by the way. There was only one way to go – up. I’m sure there were some saying to keep Crowton, too, before he was let go (you sound like you might have been one of them). Doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy or coach; just means BYU needed to go a different direction. I think this is the same here.

    No one ever said anything about Patterson’s character. I’ve only seen comments about how he coaches a team and how he develops football talent. Off the field issue is a completely different question, which I’d like to give someone else a chance. Lavell proved it could be done – good coaching and helping the players avoid off the field issues. He wasn’t perfect but he handled everything the way it can be. You can’t say that there isn’t anyone else out there that could do the same. I’d like to see what they could do to find that person.

    Please, please, please – one more thing. Please stop saying you’re not trying to defend Bronco. From your comments you sound like your his mother – e.g.: you defend him like you birthed him.

    I just want the best coach out there coaching; he’s proven to me he’s hit his ceiling..

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Steve thanks for saying what I was thinking…Jared…same with you.

  • BigCougar said:

    I think you made this a “Mendenhall vs Edwards” discussion when you posted in this thread:

    “let’s make a comparison of Coach Mendenhall’s first 7 years against Coach Edward’s best 7 years and then Coach Edwards’ overall record since the beginning of his best period and Coach Mendenhall’s record and last their bowls records.”

    If you intended something else then it wasn’t clear at all. In reading your post above (the first post on this article) it looks pretty straight forward that you were insinuating Bronco has done more with less and that Edwards’ success was because he had NFL stars at QB and genius assistants galore while Bronco has been deprived of all those riches.

    I think it’s just the opposite and the reason Bronco HASN’T had those luxuries is because of him. Edwards didn’t believe he was the smartest guy in the room and everyone else was just “Pharisees and Sadducees”. Edwards hired assistants who were smarter than he was to run his offense and then he trusted them to do that job. Sometimes it meant they argued or disagreed over things but they were all on the same page and they worked through their differences.

    On Bronco’s staff if you disagree with him you flat out get fired or asked to leave. Some recent examples are Rob “Freight Train” Morris, Robert Anae and Jaime Hill. Bronco doesn’t want to be disagreed with or anyone “smarter than him” around, he wants “yesmen”. It’s quite a bit like the children’s story, The Emperor’s New Clothes.

    As a result, the best and brightest assistants, who aren’t typically “yesmen” don’t want to work for him. Look at Jeff Grimes, he didn’t stay long at all before getting outta Dodge. He’s now the OL Coach at Auburn and helped them win a National Championship recently. The Longhorns wanted him so badly that they were willing to make him the highest paid OL coach in the country. He turned it down to stay at Auburn.

    I think I’ve already covered Bronco’s QB mistakes in a previous post, but will touch on it again. He’s actually recruited higher caliber more sought after QB’s during his first 7 yrs (Munns, Heaps, Lark, etc) than Lavell did and Bronco has either squandered them undeveloped on his bench or driven them off. When he took over the program he inherited John Beck and Max Hall and both of those players went on to the NFL thanks to Anae’s & Doman’s offensive coaching. Now that Anae is gone things seem to be a little chaotic and the lunatics (Bronco) appear to be running the asylum so to speak regarding the QBs.

    Since Anae left and Bronco making the decision who the starting QB should be has the QB situation improved, stayed the same or declined? Anae left over his disagreement with Bronco about Bronco insisting that Riley Nelson be the starting QB over the more talented Jake Heaps.

    Bronco has made huge errors in judgement in the past (we all remember his proclamation coming out of fall camp that his offense was the furthest along of any offense he’s coached to date and then promptly watched the wheels fall off in game 1) and now with his insistence that we get a damaged & seriously injured Riley Nelson back on the field playing ahead of more talented and completely healthy QB’s on the roster.

    Anae lost his job because he held his ground and wasn’t afraid to tell Bronco when he was wrong. Now we have a situation where Doman is having to do the same thing and tell Bronco he’s wrong and that Riley is hurting the team, losing us games and Hill gives us a better chance of winning.

    Will Bronco’s immense pride allow him to take counsel from his assistant who is supposed to be the offensive expert on the team (Bronco proclaims he is not an offensive guy) and let Doman do his job (run the offense)?

    If history tells us anything, I don’t think Bronco can do it.

  • BigCougar said:

    “Please stop saying you’re not trying to defend Bronco. From your comments you sound like your his mother – e.g.: you defend him like you birthed him.”

    hahahahaha! good thing I wasn’t drinking milk when I read that! It would’ve sprayed all over my monitor. Very funny!

    Good point, I agree Bronco has hit his ceiling and actually think he hit it in 2009. Typically when someone hits their ceiling they don’t hover at it they settle in somewhere below it and it appears BYU is nowhere near the level they were in 2009 offensively.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Big Cougar, terrific post-you are 100% right…and there is even more to this back story, which is why I have always said Bronco is not the right person to be Head Coach…his my way or the highway approach does not work…in can never get us to the next level, and no one with any ability is willing to work under this type of regime.

    The problem also lies at the feet of our Athletic Director, who knows all of this, and more, but takes no action. It is disheartening…since we say we want to be a big time program, we want to play in BCS, but this coach will never take us there because of all the elements you have described.

    Worse-he and others, use the church and gospel to hide behind and as a weapon towards those who see what you have described. In fact Bronco himself is described in D&C 121:9. We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion”.

  • BigCougar said:

    @Dave CArter
    ” When the offense took the field after the TD, I thought it was the right call. I loved it. Go for the jugular while you’re in striking range”

    I don’t hate the call to go for it and appreciate Bronco’s willingness to be aggressive. So often he’s just the opposite and when we get a comfortable lead on a team, instead of pouring gas on the fire and burying them completely he takes his foot off the gas and lets them back in.

    The play wasn’t a bad call but I think it would’ve been successful if the play called for Hill to fake a handoff to Alisa up the middle to draw in the defensive front 7 and then have Taysom roll out looking to run it in if the secondary stays back in coverage or looking to throw if they move up to tackle him.

    it was also a good point on your part that BYU usually loses big games because they shoot themselves in the foot. For a coach who preaches that we don’t gameplan for opposing teams and instead we just focus on execution and assignment knowledge, we sure don’t look like we do much of that at all when we play Utah, TCU, etc. Our execution is non-existent and we have some embarrassing moments where we absolutely look like we don’t know what we’re doing. It makes Bronco look like he’s clueless and full of hot air because we do the same thing each time and he does nothing about it.

  • BigCougar said:

    “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion”.”

    Ooh, good one, we had a lesson on that recently in priesthood. I didn’t even make that connection until now. Amen to that.

    That’s the one most truly amazing quality about Lavell Edwards that stood him out above anyone else. He continued to stay humble in spite of all his success and never let it get to his head and never sought out the glory or the spotlight. You just don’t see that anymore. It will be Bronco’s undoing.

  • ChewyJJ said:

    Big Cougar…you are 100% right…LaVell is still that way today. Dave Rose is very similar.

  • Jared (the not original, I guess) said:

    Well, for what it’s worth, I just tweeted to Tom Holmoe and gave him my opinion that we need a coaching change. Gotta love twitter – at least I’m not 100% powerless (only 99.9% powerless).

  • Dave Carter said:


    I couldn’t agree more with you, I hated the play-call when we went for the 2 pt. conversion. While I liked our decision to go for it, I think the play you described would have increased our chances to convert.

    I understand Bronco’s desire to keep his team even-keeled; the amount of pressure and stress on the players before a big game must be overwhelming to some, and I can see how that could affect their in-game performance. However, to say BYU-Utah is “just another game” is silly to me. He’s right, it’s another game in the schedule, but let’s call it like it is. That game is a WAY bigger than BYU vs Hawaii or BYU vs timbucktwo. Do you think Les Miles and Nick Saben tell their teams that, when they meet, it’s “just another game?” Please don’t insult my intelligence coach. It’s not just another game. It’s a season-defining game.

    I am SO sick of coming out flat in big games, and midway through the 4th quarter, when the game is clearly out of reach, hearing the commentators say, “You know, Bronco has an interesting strategy there in Provo. He has a list of priorities for his players, and guess where football is on that list Bob?” And then Bob says, “You tell me George.” and then we have to hear George say, “It’s 5th! Can you think of another Division I school that has a list like that?”

    Listen, I am ok with football being 5th on Bronco’s list. I believe in balance. However, I’m not ok with that list being public. Keep it to yourself. My family and my faith are both WAY more important to me than my job. However, you won’t hear me telling my boss this.

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