Midterm time: Grade your players! How is each unit performing based on your level of expectation coming into the season?
RVM: Grades? Yuck! How about "Below expectations but improving" as a nice rubric criteria?!?
Andy: Obviously, Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks are getting A+s, and exceeding even the most unrealistic hopes. Beyond that, its a real mixed bag of good and bad, and as a result a good solid B- (5-1 means a lot of people are doing something right).
The O-line has overcome issues, and done an outstanding, A grade job of pass protection, but is struggling to do C work in the running game. RBs are Incomplete due to injuries, the TEs are probably B+, and the WRs a B because of a mix of As and Cs on the quizzes.
The defense progressed from F early to D and now seems to be flirting with a C. Injuries are a factor at LB, and depth on the d-line, but there are also issues that shouldn't be happening with ANY team at ANY level.
Connor: The offense obviously gets an A. No matter how high your expectations were heading into the year, there's no way Sean Mannion, Brandin Cooks, and Richard Mullaney haven't topped them. The defense is probably in that C-, D+ range, which I will gladly take after the frustrating performances against Eastern Washington and Utah. The special teams gets a B. Placekicking and punting have been solid, but every once in a while I would like to see us set up a punt return and block better on kick returns.
Midterm time: Grade your coaches! How are the position coaches all performing based on your level of expectation coming into the season?
RVM: Rubric column for the coaches would "Below expectations coming in, but doing some good things with what could have gone much worse." Unless you are a QB or a receiver coach and then it is "Above expectations, and need to keep the pedal to the medal!"
Andy: Special teams are a D (Oregon St. CAN NOT block a kick return), and that's been a problem for a while now. The defense should not have had the regression they had, and though the staff has somewhat worked through some of those issues, they should have been better addressed before the season ever started.
I'm concerned about the offensive blocking scheme being able to foster a good ground game, but obviously the decision to go with pass blocking was a good one. We'll see as the second half of the season rolls on.
Connor: Pretty much a direct correlation of what was said above. The offensive staff has been terrific, and the defense, while improving, still needs a lot of help. Bruce Read and the special teams get a C-. Sure, Trevor Romaine and Keith Kostol have been great, but special teams coaches work most on the return game, and that has been terrible.