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Possibly controversial question. How much of an asset is Shawn Bell to this staff?

1,595 Views | 18 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Bigkahunaww
The Banterer
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I'm going to start by saying that 35-34 was the game where I fell in love with Baylor football. I rushed the field as a high school student and still have a #35 Baylor jersey hanging in my closet. Shawn Bell will forever be a legend in my mind from those memories.

But to park the Delorean and come back to the present, my instinct from watching Baylor football the last six years is that he's proven very little as a position coach at the Big 12 level. I will grant you that he got a bit of a raw deal being made OL coach, given his lack of experience at the position, but our OL was bad during his time in the role, so while I can't judge him too harshly for that, he didn't exactly impress.

He then had his best year as TE coach, though the arrival of Sims probably had something to do with that, before becoming the QB coach for the last two seasons. I understand that coaching takes time, but it's almost shocking how similar the poor QB play from Bohanon and Shapen has been. They both seem badly lacking in confidence and anticipation in the passing game. Bohanon was able to extend drives with his legs, but these issues have been more noticeable with Shapen at the helm. One might even wonder if Shapen's seeming regression from last season could be a result of the coaching he's received as QB1.

But those factors don't tell the whole story of a coach's value, since recruiting and team culture are also major factors. I don't follow recruiting closely at all, so my only real impression in that area is that our offensive talent doesn't seem high enough to think he's that much of an asset. Maybe he's crucial to incoming talent, but I'm unsure about his performance compared to a potential replacement.

As for culture, this is an area where I think Bell is an asset. I watched a few of his interviews in trying to form an opinion on Coach Bell, and he seems like a pretty perfect mix of caring about his guys with a classic football mentality. One somewhat concerning note from those interviews is that he almost exclusively talks about that kind of stuff, never really getting very much into the game itself.

I understandably would love to see Shawn Bell become a successful coach, and I shared the unspoken dream out there that he could be Baylor's next Teaff. China Spring is basically Waco, so it's home for him in every way. The problem is that I'm just not sure he's up to his current task, much less being the head coach.

This brings me to my final point, that it's very rare for a coach to spend all their time working their way up at one place, then succeed in taking it over. There is a lot of professional value in seeing how other people do things, and while he has served under two coaches and three OCs, I think he could learn a lot in a place where he's just another staff member.

I've been extremely hesitant to post this for a number of reasons, not least of which is that I am not a fan of calling for someone's job, much less someone who was critical to inspiring my love of Baylor football. The problem is that I fear that Bell is languishing in a too-comfortable relationship at Baylor. He's not contributing as much as he should to Baylor, and Baylor isn't pushing him to be his best. After a disappointing season where staff shakeups have been discussed, no one is above a critical evaluation, and I haven't seen this mentioned at all.

I'll end the way I started...how much of an asset is Shawn Bell to this staff?
BellCountyBear
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Good question. I've also wondered if he has a longer leash than others because of his roots and even because of "35-34" because we were so desperate to beat those *******s.
bear2be2
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If Shawn Bell wasn't an asset, he wouldn't have been brought in and promoted by Rhule and retained by Aranda.

Trying to judge position coaches from the outside is almost impossible. But Bell's offensive lines were worlds better than Wickline's, his tight ends performed well and he got the most possible out of Gerry Bohanon last year. There's little reason to think he's the problem with our quarterback situation right now.
parch
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As an o-line coach, he had a forgettable impact. He was the o-line coach in 2018 and 2019, neither of which produced much in the running game or protection. He also never recruited a regular starter worth noting in 18 months.

As a TE coach, he had a forgettable impact. He was the TE coach in 2020, which was something of a lost year in multiple ways, so it's hard to fault him too much here.

As a QB coach, it's honestly hard to say what his impact has been, but at least on the field I don't think it's been anything notably positive. From a recruiting perspective this has by far been his best role, as he was the primary guy who ID'd and reeled in Novosad, and he was also primary on Richard Reese's recruitment. If Novosad is what he's supposed to be, that alone will likely buy him some time, as firing the position coach with the closest relationship to your blue chip QB is not the smartest idea.

That said... and I love Shawn Bell, as our time at Baylor more or less mirrored each other... his two QBs have been Shapen and GBo. Mechanically both of them have been trainwrecks. Absolute technical disasters, both of them. Horrible footwork, no pocket presence, overthrows, underthrows, mentally scattered, the whole nine yards.

The player has to own their share of it, but Shapen has gone like four steps backward from where he was at the end of 2021. Watch that OSU B12 title game again. He's a different guy now, certainly a worse player. If you can't hold your QB coach accountable for that, I don't know what else you can hold him accountable for.
geewago
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Well you know...it all depends. If you're a QB coach it depends on what you got to work with. If they give you Quincy Carter you look pretty dumb, but if they give you Troy Aikman you look rather smart.
Hob Howelll
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I think he's a decent recruiter. I don't think he's a great Xs and Os guy. I've heard he has aspirations of being the head coach someday, but I don't think that's going to happen unless he's willing to take a coordinator job somewhere else. But I digress
BUBBFAN
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geewago said:

Well you know...it all depends. If you're a QB coach it depends on what you got to work with. If they give you Quincy Carter you look pretty dumb, but if they give you Troy Aikman you look rather smart.
Yes. Good players make coaches took good, Bad players make coaches took bad. It is hard to coach a bad player into being good. Maybe a little better, but not good.
Mothballs
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geewago said:

Well you know...it all depends. If you're a QB coach it depends on what you got to work with. If they give you Quincy Carter you look pretty dumb, but if they give you Troy Aikman you look rather smart.

Bell's two years as QB coach he has had two 4* Elite 11 QB Finalist prospects to work with...one was forced out and the other is riding pine behind a shortstop. The talent appears to have been there but wasn't developed. Navasod is the next man up and Bell is on the clock.
Harrison Bergeron
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Mothballs said:

geewago said:

Well you know...it all depends. If you're a QB coach it depends on what you got to work with. If they give you Quincy Carter you look pretty dumb, but if they give you Troy Aikman you look rather smart.

Bell's two years as QB coach he has had two 4* Elite 11 QB Finalist prospects to work with...one was forced out and the other is riding pine behind a shortstop. The talent appears to have been there but wasn't developed. Navasod is the next man up and Bell is on the clock.
This. College football is littered with non-4* recruiters turned into game-changing QBs. I do not think it is controversial that Baylor has not produced a great QB under his tutelage.

Exhibit No. 1: http://www.espn.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/player/_/id/172398/patrick-mahomes
PartyBear
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We had a non 4 star QB who ended up winning the Heisman and was the number 2 player taken in the draft.

That all said I doubt Aranda does anything until after the bowl if he does anything regarding anyone on the staff.
bear2be2
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Harrison Bergeron said:

Mothballs said:

geewago said:

Well you know...it all depends. If you're a QB coach it depends on what you got to work with. If they give you Quincy Carter you look pretty dumb, but if they give you Troy Aikman you look rather smart.

Bell's two years as QB coach he has had two 4* Elite 11 QB Finalist prospects to work with...one was forced out and the other is riding pine behind a shortstop. The talent appears to have been there but wasn't developed. Navasod is the next man up and Bell is on the clock.
This. College football is littered with non-4* recruiters turned into game-changing QBs. I do not think it is controversial that Baylor has not produced a great QB under his tutelage.

Exhibit No. 1: http://www.espn.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/player/_/id/172398/patrick-mahomes
He's only been the quarterback coach for two years. Gerry overachieved. Shapen underachieved. Making either a referendum on his coaching ability is stupid.
Golden Helmet
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Think I'll let his bosses decide if he's an asset to the staff or not.

Baylor is paying them to make that assessment.

I've seen him coach and teach first hand at multiple practices…he's high energy, very detailed in his approach, gets a lot of reps in individual, half line, and pass hull…I've seen substandard coaching and he's not one of them.

I had high hopes for Shapen - but by the end of the season I'd decided he's a baseball player first.



Golden Helmet
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If you're going to start a thread like this - get one going on the new WR coach this season.

If there are any changes made - I'd be willing to bet he's on the top of the list.

Harrison Bergeron
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bear2be2 said:

Harrison Bergeron said:

Mothballs said:

geewago said:

Well you know...it all depends. If you're a QB coach it depends on what you got to work with. If they give you Quincy Carter you look pretty dumb, but if they give you Troy Aikman you look rather smart.

Bell's two years as QB coach he has had two 4* Elite 11 QB Finalist prospects to work with...one was forced out and the other is riding pine behind a shortstop. The talent appears to have been there but wasn't developed. Navasod is the next man up and Bell is on the clock.
This. College football is littered with non-4* recruiters turned into game-changing QBs. I do not think it is controversial that Baylor has not produced a great QB under his tutelage.

Exhibit No. 1: http://www.espn.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/player/_/id/172398/patrick-mahomes
He's only been the quarterback coach for two years. Gerry overachieved. Shapen underachieved. Making either a referendum on his coaching ability is stupid.
I disagree.
parch
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I would agree with you. Positionally our WR group was our biggest enduring disappointment. Dallas Baker has much more to prove than Shawn Bell does.
muddybrazos
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PartyBear said:

We had a non 4 star QB who ended up winning the Heisman and was the number 2 player taken in the draft.

That all said I doubt Aranda does anything until after the bowl if he does anything regarding anyone on the staff.
We've only had 1 Heisman winner and he was a 4 star recruit.

https://n.rivals.com/content/athletes/robert-griffin-20424?view=pv
Stefano DiMera
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Probably semantics. Party was probably referring to him being classified as Athlete not a QB.
muddybrazos
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Stefano DiMera said:

Probably semantics. Party was probably referring to him being classified as Athlete not a QB.
If you clink the link to his rivals page it says his position is dual threat QB and he was a 4star. I always use rivals as the gold standard especially in 2008 bc they were the biggest & best recruiting service at that time.
Bigkahunaww
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Interesting article from 247sports

ripping Springs four-star quarterback Austin Novosad announced via his social media Monday evening that he will remain committed to Baylor, choosing to stick with the Bears over Texas A&M, Ohio State, and Notre Dame among others.
Novosad is the No. 8 ranked quarterback in the country per the 247Sports Top247 Rankings. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Novosad was the second commit of the Bears 2023 class, having given the Bears a commitment on December 16th, 2021. Novosad spearheads a Baylor group ranked No. 15 by the 247Sports Composite team rankings.
Baylor was able to land an early commitment from Novosad off of the promise that Baylor wouldn't take a quarterback in the 2022 recruiting cycle as they didn't.

Novosad gave his pledge after Baylor denied Pinson Valley (AL) 2022 QB Zach Pyron when Pyron tried to flip from Georgia Tech and recommit to Baylor as he had previously been committed to the Bears from March 2021 through September 2021. After seeing Baylor was firm on their promise, Novosad committed to the Bears the day after early signing day on Dec. 16 2021.

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