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Baylor Football

DeLeone knows the need to win now: 'That's our job'

October 13, 2017

George DeLeone has been in coaching 48 years and part of his plan isn't coaching through the 2017 season to simply get to season 49 where the grass could be greener for the Bears. Now into week seven of the College Football seaso and he's watched Baylor's passing game find it's way with much help from his unit, and he's still working diligently, despite being dealt a short stack, to find a solution for a running game that has yet to have an individual rush for 100-yards.

Jim Black

A roster of 15-18 offensive scholarship linemen is where DeLeone says he will eventually settle in, not a tremendously far cry from the 12 who are eligible to compete after senior Ishmael Wilson left the program during the team's week off.

But it's important to note the fact that exactly half of those 12 are true freshmen, including center Ryan Miller and guard Xavier Newman who have both been asked to start games for the Bears this fall. Two others, Josh Malin and Sam Tecklenburg, are converted tight ends from the 2016 season.

Regardless, DeLeone continues to push on in his 48th year while expecting nothing less than to win not only in the future but in the present.

"I check my mail every day and I haven’t seen a sympathy card yet," DeLeone told David Smoak of ESPN Central Texas on Thursday. "I haven’t seen a sympathy card yet that I’ve gotten in the mail. We have to win this week and you have to win every week. The guys that we’re working with are committed that way and it’s our job to get them ready."

Listen to the entire conversation between Smoak and DeLeone here.

A former offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, run-game coordinator, associate head coach, tight end coach, defensive line coach, linebacker coach and a few more left off for the sake of space, DeLeone sees the solution, running the football, as the answer to a lot of the problems, especially considering the state of the program at the moment.

What state is that? It's heading into Stillwater Saturday to face Oklahoma State with an estimated 12 scholarship players behind the 44 players who make up the offensive and defensive two-deep. In other words, a severe lack of depth that is attempting to go up against one of the most prolific offenses in the country.

"One thing it does, it obviously keeps the defense off the field," DeLeone said. "In this league with these high-flying offenses that we face every week, that would be a tremendous help. We haven’t done our part on offense yet to do two things: Convert third downs to allow us to stay on the field and be able to run the ball well enough to burn clock.

We have to win with the players we have now. That’s our job. Our job is protect the quarterback. Our job is to run the ball. Period. We’re not mortgaging the present so we can win games four years from now. That’s not what we’re doing here. We’re working our tail off in this week and that’s the way it has to be.
- George DeLeone

"Now, that’s heresy to the spread offense people who don’t care about time of possession, but where we are in the program right now, that would really help us. The onus is on the offense to convert third downs and the onus is on our offense to run the ball better. Part of our problem with third downs has been these stupid penalties. We’ve had too many penalties which have got us to first and second and 15, second and 20, well now you call the play on third and 15."

"We eliminate penalties, we convert third downs, and we now can run the ball better because the down and distance are in our favor. All that’s going to make a significant impact in our offense."

Junior offensive lineman Patrick Lawrence, one of only eight players remaining on the team who participated in Baylor's last game in Stillwater, noted that finding a way on the ground has been the main focus since returning home from Manhattan two weeks ago.

"It’s all we think about, really," Lawrence said. "That and protecting Zach (Smith). It’s our main emphasis as an offensive line this week. So we just have to go out and do it. We’ve been practicing our butts off trying to get movement of the line and then the running backs are practicing and trying to run right behind us. Like I said, we got JaMycal (Hasty) back and all our running backs for the first time I think so hopefully they’ll do their job and we’ll establish our run game up front."

For the offensive line, having a running back who can get eight yards when it's blocked for four, as Matt Rhule recently stated, is something that has been missed all season. Lawrence expressed his excitement to have both Terence Williams and Hasty on the field together, but DeLeone also noted his favorable impression of Hasty during the spring and fall.

"JaMycal is a — again I’m partial to what he did in camp and what he did in spring ball," DeLeone said. "He had a great spring and, I think, was poised to have a really good year. I think it will help our offense, I really do."

"The two freshmen have done a great job back there with Love and Ebner, but it’s good to have some experienced guys back there and I’m sure they’ll all play and get reps," Lawrence said. "I’m excited to see what J-Myc and T-Dub are going to do and we’re just going to block our best for them."

The duo combined for 1,671 yards and 14 touchdowns a year ago, but in only three games between the two in 2017, the thunder and lighting combo have combined for 109 yards and one touchdown. Due to injuries, the most experienced group returning on the offense hasn't been able to do their part to pull the offense out rut.

"Well, it’s frustrating because if you’re an offensive line coach and you’re an offensive lineman, what you really want to do is run the ball," DeLeone said. "That’s the bottom line. That’s who you are. And, obviously, we’re going to do whatever it takes to win. If we’ve got to throw it 90 times and win the game, sobeit, but I’d rather be in a situation where we can run the ball because it physically dominates the opponent. You break their will. And we have not come close to being in a game like that yet."

© Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

As the old saying goes, freshmen aren't freshmen any longer after they have reached this point in the season. Well, it's probably only right to say tight ends aren't tight ends anymore either.

That's where DeLeone stands.

"We have to win with the players we have now," DeLeone said. "That’s our job. Our job is protect the quarterback. Our job is to run the ball. Period. We’re not mortgaging the present so we can win games four years from now. That’s not what we’re doing here. We’re working our tail off in this week and that’s the way it has to be."

For Lawrence, he feels after two weeks of preparation for Oklahoma State, the time that it all comes together is soon.

“I feel like this week we’re going to go and get it done and then we’re just going to roll from there," Lawrence said.

Discussion from...

DeLeone knows the need to win now: 'That's our job'

5,135 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 6 yr ago by bobo
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"Now, that's heresy to the spread offense people who don't care about time of possession"

Translation: That's heresy to the spread offense people who only care about winning.

The good news is that we won't have to worry about our defense being on the field too long this week because OSU will only take about 1:30 to score each possession.

I just knew that when we were winning so much in this high flying offensive league we were doing something wrong. It turns out that this coach has it figured out: we weren't winning the clock! Never mind that we won back to back championships with a fast paced offense run by 2 and 3 star recruits.

I was all about Rhule when he got hired but this was not the game plan he advertised in his interview according to Rhoads. I'm sure Rhule is a great guy, but we don't have time for him and his coaches to spend a few years trying to figure out how to win in the Big 12 when his predecessor already had it figured out.
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He talks a good talk. Talks like Briles actually in the early days actually. He is the only one on the staff I have heard say "we have to win now" "we have to win the next game" "we have to win with the players we have."

I hope this guy's thinking rubs off on everyone else.
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Really. Winning is their job.
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