We used to talk about "St. Ted" Miller around here. It's interesting that, since he moved to the Phoenix area, the tone and focus of his writing seems to have changed. My sense is of more kid glove treatment and hype about his new "hometown" team in ASu, and reduced and downplayed coverage of Arizona. To be fair, the blog added a couple of other contributors, so their angles and slants also impact the overall optics of how the blog comes off, and others sometimes cover Arizona instead of Miller. Anyway, I took a gander today and scrolled back to an entry from the weekend. A fanboy went into some statistical analysis of how RichRod's offense has dropped-off disappointingly since his first year. But no discussion of our personnel issues this past season. Miller made a vague reference to how RichRod hasn't been able to stockpile enough talent to deal with it "when the injury bug hits."
I have a couple of reactions. First, Arizona's version of the spread offense was a surprise to the league in his first season. We racked up big numbers, and the defenses adjusted. But, it was good enough to get us in the P12 Championship Game and the Fiesta Bowl with a redshirt freshman at QB in 2014. And this past year, in addition to an unprecedented string of injuries, many of which were concentrated at the linebacker position, we lost our QB and lynchpin defensive player for much of the season. Even with all of their stockpiled talent, does anybody think if USC lost a bunch of players, including Cody Kessler and Su'a Cravens, that they'd be okay, despite the "injury bug"? How about Stanford in a similar situation, and without Kevin Hogan and Blake Martinez? The local and national media would have been yapping about the disaster all year and the impact on the league race from it. But in our case, we get a wagging finger and a lecture about how we need to stockpile more players to overcome such "bugs", as though it's no more than a brief bout with the flu. It's understood that we have to improve in recruiting, as an entirely new defensive staff attests to. But, some events are just unusual and overwhelming and can't really be planned for.
And that should be understood and acknowledged by all parties.