Coaches Need to Plan for Teams’, Players’ Futures
Most Razorback fans feel like this has been a lost season for the Arkansas football team. With that being established, why is the coaching staff ruining some opportunities for the program’s future?
Tyler Wilson has given more than enough to this University and deserves a tremendous amount of respect, but there is no reason he should have been playing in the fourth quarter down by 25 points.
When head coach John L. Smith was asked if backup Brandon Allen should be receiving some snaps to gain experience he simply said, “maybe.” Maybe we should have someone who is adult enough to stand up and say we are going to prepare for the future.
Jeff Long has a huge decision on his hands, and right now, the end of the season can’t come soon enough. As I said, it’s fine to have a bad season. But to not plan for the future is very unprofessional.
Some young players are gaining valuable playing time at other positions, but what are we going to do next year when Wilson is no longer leading the offense onto the field?
There’s no debate Wilson should start and play almost all of the game, but when the game is decided, why not give Allen some experience?
Whether it is Smith, offensive coordinator Paul Petrino or player collaboration, the team must plan for the future like they would all be here next year. It seems to be a general consensus, at least among fans, that the entire staff is out at the end of the season, but it’s their duty to coach and prepare like they are here for the long haul.
Maybe I’m wrong and overreacting that a backup quarterback needs some experience, but Wilson himself received experience behind Ryan Mallett a few years ago. Quarterback is the toughest position in team sports, and any amount of experience helps.
The Hogs will have to win both of their last two games to even be bowl eligible. The final two opponents are Mississippi State on the road and the home finale against LSU.
With the potential of the game getting out of reach, maybe in the final moments of the fourth quarter some back-ups will receive some Southeastern Conference game experience.
I don’t want to take anything away from what the starters have done or given to the program. The players are still working and preparing the same each week, despite the season seeming to be lost. The coaches are the ones that should be making decisions for the future, not the players.
A new head coach should be named within the next few weeks. I hope he is left with a group of players who have confidence in moving forward and competing in the SEC once again.
That, however, begins with the current staff and how they handle current situations and prepare for the future of our program.
Zack Wheeler is a staff writer for The Arkansas Traveler. His column appears every Tuesday. Follow the sports section on Twitter @UATravSports.