Mack Brown still believes in Garrett Gilbert. Do the rest of us?
In the second half of the 2010 national championship game Garrett Gilbert almost led the Longhorns to victory against Alabama. Because of the second half of the title game, Gilbert was thought to have a bright future playing for Texas. However, last season did not go as planned.
Does that mean this year will be a bust to?
We will discuss the five reasons why Garrett Gilbert will succeed this coming year.
Coming out of High School Garrett Gilbert had every accolade you could try to achieve in High School. Gilbert was a five star recruit, Gatorade and Parade National Player of the Year, EA Sports Mr. Football USA, USA Today’s Offensive Player of the Year, and won two straight Texas 4A State Championships.
Point is Garrett Gilbert can play and win.
Winning in high school does not guarantee success at the next level but his play in the second half of the Championship game against Alabama and the best defense in the country showed Garrett can play well at the college level.
Everyone is judging Gilbert based on the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately standard. This is not excuse time for Garrett but if you look at his whole body of work, does Gilbert come off as the reason for Texas’ lack of success last season?
A majority of Garrett Gilbert’s games, which include his high school games and the national championship, have been great games for him; only last season did a Gilbert lead team not play well.
I discount the first half of the BCS title game because no quarterback ever would have been successful in that situation. So Garrett’s high school games and second half of the championship game were all that you can ask for from Gilbert and more.
Gilbert has the tools to be a great quarterback and even though last season was a disaster, playing last year was great for Garrett Gilbert to learn from.
Experience is the name we give our mistakes.
Garrett Gilbert received an inordinate amount of experience last year.
On the field Gilbert was tormented by throwing 17 interceptions to only 10 touchdowns last season. Off the field Garrett was tormented by the media and fan base for throwing only one interception less than the nation leader in interceptions.
This dubious honor is not helping Garrett in the offseason as well. Mack Brown has publicly said that there will be a quarterback battle for the starting spot in this upcoming season; however, reports by Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesmen state that Brown has privately told Garrett he will be the starter.
This news to the media and the fan bases of Texas Football is causing an uproar. Many critics do not believe in Garrett Gilbert because of what he did last year. No one can argue against the fact that Garrett did not play well but no one is considering whether or not Garrett has learned from those mistakes and is better for it.
The Texas spring game did not help Garrett out either throwing an interception with zero touchdowns, but, that spring game had Gilbert playing in a new offensive scheme that he was still trying to learn.
This offseason Mack Brown brought in Bryan Harsin to completely revamp the offense.
Every quarterback including, Garrett Gilbert has to learn this new system. The question is, will this new system work?
The past ten years Hasin was coaching at Boise St. with the last five years being the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.
Under Hasin the offense at Boise St. has been some of the best in the nation year in and year out. The system will work because it has proven it will work.
Garrett and the other offensive players need to buy into the new system as soon as possible so that success in this new scheme will begin when the regular season begins.
Garrett Gilbert will be watching tape of past great Boise St. Quarterbacks to see how to win with Hasin doing the play calling. If Gilbert can replicate what Kellen Moore and others have done then not only will Garrett succeed on the field in 2011 but so will the Longhorns.
That being said the success of this new offense does not rest solely on the shoulders of Gilbert, Garrett has to have great play from the players that surround him.
Last year and even in the national championship game Garrett Gilbert has been let down by some of his teammates. Dropping passes and missed blocking assignments are the worst thing that can happen to a quarterback.
Even if you have Tom Brady in the backfield, if you can’t block the defenders and the wide receivers drop the ball the likelihood of success will fall dramatically.
Mike Davis has a year of experience under his belt which will help Gilbert out tremendously. Darius White did not have as well of a year as hoped for in his first year in Austin but he hopes to play much better this coming year.
Jaxon Shipley, younger brother of Jordan Shipley, will join the Longhorns next season and will try to help out Garrett immediately by playing like his older brother.
But the best reason Garrett Gilbert will play better will be star running back Malcolm Brown.
Brown is a 6’0” 215 pound power back. Do not think because he is a power back that he is slow. His speed is still one of the best in the country.
Last year on 197 carry’s Malcolm rushed for 2,192 yards, an 11.1 average, with 24 touchdowns.
The lack of running game for the Longhorns was the real issue last season and with the addition of Brown in the backfield the Texas Longhorns running game will be back and will open up holes for Garrett to have a great year.
Longhorn fans need to stop looking in the rear view mirror and start looking ahead to this coming season. Come August every team will have the same record.
Yes, last year was a major disappointment but, that does not mean it will carry over into the 2011 season.
The big issues for the Longhorns were not poor play by Gilbert but rather a number of situations outside of Gilbert control. Bad offensive schemes, dropped passes, and lack of a running game all contributed to the dreadful offense Texas displayed last year.
This year is a brand new year.
New offensive coach, new running back, and more experienced wide receivers should give Texas a much better season than they had last year.
Garrett Gilbert is a winner and he will show it this fall.