ESPN Analyst Trent Dilfer Was Wrong to Blast Oklahoma Offense

Lisa Horne@LisaHornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterApril 30, 2013

When former Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2013 NFL draft, ESPN Analyst Trent Dilfer was asked for his opinion on the selection.

News OK's Anthony Slater transcribed what Dilfer had to say about Jones:

I went through all Landry Jones’ 2012 film and I just disregarded it. I do not hold him accountable for what happened last year. The offense is a joke. It’s spitball. The receivers are brutal. The playcalling is brutal. They take him out in the red zone, they never let him get into a flow. My final grade on Landry Jones is go back to 2011, he’s a high-ceiling guy. I like a lot about him. I hate what they did with him in 2012…The whole offense is built around getting flashy numbers and not scoring points.

Did we learn anything about the qualities Jones possesses as a quarterback? Did we learn anything about Jones except that Dilfer likes him?


And that's the problem when an analyst is trotted out to to discuss a quarterback's positives and negatives and all we glean from his analysis is that Oklahoma's offense was ''a joke'' last year. What Dilfer is being paid to do is to analyze a quarterback's ability, not throw a team's offense (and its coaching staff) under the bus.

Dilfer is a former Super Bowl-winning quarterback, so he does know how to dissect film. Like ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, Dilfer has been one of the network's go-to guys when analyzing NFL quarterback prospects.

Gruden has been known to be brutally honest with prospects in his series Jon Gruden's QB Camp. But Gruden's no-frills approach reflects his genuine desire to help improve a quarterback's play at a higher level.

Dilfer's evaluation offered no such benefit. It was an open shot at an Oklahoma team that went 10-3 last season.

A team whose offense scored 69 points on Florida A&M, 41 on Texas Tech, 63 on Texas, 52 on Kansas, 50 on West Virginia and 51 on Oklahoma State.  

An offense that was nationally ranked at No. 12 out of 124 teams in total ''a joke?''

A team that was nationally ranked at No. 15 in scoring offense was ''not scoring points?''

Did Dilfer even bother to do any homework here?

It's quite possible that Dilfer had no idea that Oklahoma's offensive line was a M.A.S.H. unit last season. It's also possible Dilfer dislikes Oklahoma and decided that the 2013 NFL draft was the perfect opportunity for him to lob shots at the Sooners. Either way, his statements made him look as though he didn't have any specifics on Jones or the Sooners' offense. So he went for the shock value.   

If Dilfer wasn't impressed with the Sooners' offense—and let's face it, many fans weren't—then just say so. But to call a team's offense ''a joke'' and its receivers ''brutal'' is counterproductive and sounds like something a rival team's fans would say.

You know, like an "overrated" chant. Or, more to the point, "you suck."

That sort of analysis is what I expect from a fan who's had way too many beers and wants to bait the opposing team's fans in the bleachers. It's the analysis I expect from middle-schoolers and teenagers when describing something that they think is stupid, boring or pointless. No details—just a blanket of disrespect.

Now it's broadcaster speak. 

Way to go, Mr. Dilfer. Picking on teenagers and young adults in front of tens of millions television viewers is a new low.  

Dilfer is held in high regard when conducting Elite 11 quarterback camps—I've witnessed up close and personal his excellent coaching advice to high school quarterbacks. He doesn't sugar-coat his analysis. He's full of fire and brimstone and his intensity level is high. 

But when Dilfer unloaded on Oklahoma during that ESPN broadcast, there was no insightful analysis of Jones. There was no fire or brimstone. Just a bunch of cheap shots. 

At Oklahoma's coaching staff. At Oklahoma's receivers. At Oklahoma in general.

Now that's brutal.  


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