Hondo, Unfortunately 9 games in, our offense still appears to be good for only 2-3 solid drives a game. What is holding this team back from putting together 6-7 solid drives a game? Derek

I think a stubbornness to adapt.  We saw in the last drive at Wisconsin in regulation and overtime a change from that philosophy.  Let’s hope they go with a ‘whatever we have to do to win’ mentality from the opening snap this week.

 

Hondo, Anything you can tell me about what took place in the coaches’ box at Wiscy? I understand that at some point in the second half, there was quite a bit of “raised conversation” between the defensive and offensive coaches. If true, it’s about time! Arnold

This is NOT true.  I have talked with more than one person with DIRECT knowledge of the box and this is not true.

 

Hondo, Nick Hill is going backwards and is going to be important next season. Ryan

Ryan, he is going backwards, but he was never brought in to be a regular RB.  He was brought in for special teams.  He is going backwards there and it baffles me.  As he goes backwards he is making his importance for next year less significant.

 

Hondo, I have been noticing over the last few weeks that there seems to be zero blocking done on punt returns. I like the decision to put Langford back to return the ball, but shouldn’t we be giving him an opportunity to return a few? You have mentioned this guy is a burner, but I really don’t think he has been put in a position to display his abilities as a punt returner.  Tyler

I have asked Dantonio a lot about Langford.  First, I want to address the punt return blocking this year.  It has been horrific.  Especially at Wisconsin, I thought it was beyond ugly.  I think it was better earlier in the year.  As far as Langford, I asked Dantonio earlier in the week about him and why they can’t get him on the field.  Rather than me regurgitate it back to you, let me just post my question and his answer:

Q. I asked you a couple weeks ago about Langford. You talked about why he wasn’t playing. Just before the season, several of your offensive coaches talked about his speed. You tried to put some speed game in with Nick Hill. Wasn’t successful. Are you considering a limited amount of play to get his speed on the field or at this point it is what it is?
COACH DANTONIO: I think when you look at Jeremy, he’s a tailback by position. That’s what he’s been. We’ll try to find ways to get him on the field at times, whether as a defensive back or wide receiver.


He’s got to play his way through it basically. You got to see that during practice. I thought he played a lot last week in practice, particularly against the defense, simulating Montee Ball. Then we tried to use him a little bit with different things on special teams.

 

Hondo, I’m as frustrated as every fan here, to the point that it’s not worth wasting 3 hours of my time on Saturday watching a D2 offense. Say it or not, but this season is done (I don’t even think Minny on the road is winnable). Why not start playing the younger guys in preparation for next year?  PS – How much will it take to bring back Treadwell?  JJ

First, Tready is doing well and won’t be getting cut loose anytime soon.  Secondly, remember how fans hated Narduzzi and Treadwell and wanted them fired?  The only way there is a change at OC for MSU is if Dan Roushar leaves on his own.  You don’t start playing younger guys and give up a year when you still are playing for 8 wins and a good bowl.  You can debate the ability of Roushar, but you are wasting breath. 

 

Hondo, I am a former player as well. I played left tackle 1975-79. I have had the same concerns since Coach Dantonio arrived. I realize he wants to run a pro-style running attack. Which compliments his defense. The concern I have is with the development of the offensive line. We have not had an outstanding line. I know the argument will move to injuries but we were not good prior to the injuries. We have not had good run blockers. The left tackle was a d lineman until last year. We severely struggle against stout defensive lines ie Georgia, Notre Dame, traditionally Iowa, Wisconsin to name a few. We have not had an interior lineman drafted since Dantonio’s arrival. One can mention Kellen Davis but he was a tight end and recruited by John L. I know the line coach is the recruiting coordinator. Sometimes there is a tradeoff meaning a great recruiter is not always a good coach. So I am concerned with the development of the o line. I hope Dantonio is not so loyal to his assistants that he will be reluctant to make some changes.   Dr. James A. Hinesly

You bring some great points about the OL.  You are wrong about the OL Coach being the recruiting coordinator.  He has NOT been that for two years.  When he was the recruiting coordinator he only coached the TE position.  There are REAL concerns with the OL and OL coaching.  Real concerns.  Dantonio is one of the most thorough people I know and I am certain it will get a long hard look this offseason.  I can tell you that he is NOT one to fire staff.  Fans can complain all they want, but that is NOT his style.  The MSU OL coaching is in my opinion one of the two biggest areas of concerns on this team.

 

Hondo, how come our genius coaches have a kid like Cam Dillard from Michigan who comes on your radio show at least three times that I heard begging for an offer and they didn’t give him one.  He is a very good offensive lineman and now is on his way to Florida, not Central or South Florida, Florida Gators on a full ride offensive lineman scholarship.  Kid begged to be here. He is an offensive lineman and MSU doesn’t want him, but one of the best programs in the nation, in the SEC does? Is Dantonio that incompetent?  Also Hondo, Florida also has the #6 recruiting class for the 2013, the class Dillard is in.  Remember, it was this staff that didn’t want or offer Jon Hankins the defensive tackle from Detroit who is a star at OSU.  This staff may be good coaches, but they suck at recruiting.  Jon

Recruiting is not a science.  I agree that I don’t understand the Dillard situation.  The Hankins recruitment perplexes me because of how it turned out, but at least I can put that one in context.  Although I would agree there have been misses, all schools have had them.  Let me give you an example.  Joe Staley, the stellar LT for the San Francisco 49ers, and I were having lunch this past summer with Lloyd Carr.  Lloyd bemoaned how both UM and MSU had missed on him, especially being a state of Michigan kid.  It happens, but I would also point out there have been NUMEROUS more hits than misses with some great players.  I am bothered by Dillard, but I don’t agree with your assessment of their recruiting prowess.

 

Hondo, I know that Mark Dantonio is your friend.  He has done a good job at bringing us to a bowl game every year program, but we have to pick it up.  Hollis needs to thank him and let him go, or insist that he fire Roushar and bring back John L. Smith as our new offensive coordinator.  He wasn’t a head case as an assistant and we never had issues with offense when he was here. I know you are too lazy to take a hard position, but that would greatly help us. Phil in Wayne County

Phil, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  When voiced each of us exposed to it has a right to respond.  That is among the dumbest thing I have ever heard.  In six seasons he will have been to six bowls, had back to back 11 win seasons, won a Big Ten title and played for two more and a division title.  JLS was also a defensive coach by nature and didn’t call plays.  You are beyond ignorant and while you are calling me lazy, nice emailing me from a government email address.  Nice to see you “WORKING” on the job while I pay you to call me out.  Let me give you a piece of advice my father shared with me at a young age.  Do to my age and new technology I will slightly update it.  “Better to be thought a fool, then jump on a keyboard and send an email that proves it.”  Does Dantonio need to take a hard look at SOME assistants?  Yes, but this is preposterous and simply foolish.

 

There you go everyone.  Your weekly Q/A.  Feel free to send me one if you would like it for future articles.  Simply send it to me at SpartaNationMail@yahoo.com and put Q/A in the subject line.

About Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.

View all posts by Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. is the founder and publisher of SpartanNation.com and all of the family of services. The idea was birthed when overseas he ran into a Spartan not native to the United States who was wearing his Green and White proudly. He is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest information about Michigan State and Detroit Sports News every day. He resides in the Mid Michigan area. Follow Hondo on twitter here: @hondocarpenter.


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