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My Open Letter to Coach Danny Hope November 9, 2012

Posted by intellectualgridiron in Sports.
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Purdue Quarterback Rob Henry (photo by Patrick “Sarge” Murray)

Dear Coach Hope:

Sir:  As a friend and former aide, I have readily come to your defense over the past couple of years as fellow Purdue alums have grumbled at me about Purdue’s lack of progress.  This past week’s result, I imagine, has done nothing to assuage the proverbial natives from becoming even more restless.  You and I both know that whatever is going on right now offensively is not working.  Might I humbly and amicably suggest that the best way to salvage the season is to make a sudden about-face in terms of offensive strategy?

Think about it from a potential opponent’s point of view.  Iowa, Illinois and especially Indiana must be licking their chops right now, drooling over how they are going to shut you guys down.  Surprising them would be a sure ticket to making them eat crow.  The main current problem, I have concluded, is that you have under-skilled personnel trying to execute over-engineered plays.  My idea is to simplify.  Draw up some simpler plays, have your guys attack the defense, and you could potentially win by sheer surprise if nothing else.


Moreover, let us look at it another way.  Mack Brown at Texas just announced that the Longhorns will run some of their plays out of the wishbone in tribute to the late, great Darrell K. Royal.  Could we not do something similar as a fitting tribute to the late, innovative coach?  You wouldn’t necessarily have to run out of the wishbone (thought it would be nice!), but you could keep Rob Henry under center and run out of the veer.

What if it does not work, you ask?  I answer with a rhetorical question in turn:  so what?  The current offensive approach is clearly not working.  What have we to lose?  I can see Kirk Ferentz and company completely baffled if you were to come out with a different, simplified scheme.  It will be the talk of the Conference!

Ultimately, though, the long-term solution is a totally new, original, offensive game plan.  You and I both love Purdue, but both of us would acknowledge that this fine school is tougher to recruit than Ohio State, Florida or even Texas Tech.  The relative difficulty in recruiting stems from its spotty-at-best Fall weather and its relatively rigid academic standards.  What you need is a niche offense that nobody else does; a quirky offense that nobody encounters, nor has time to prepare for.  It also has to be a ground-based attack so that you can, as mentioned before, take and maintain control of the game.  My solution, therefore, is to install a triple-option wishbone/flexbone-style attack, not unlike that which they use at Navy or at Georgia Tech.  Such a niche offense would attract niche players who would be overlooked by schools with more conventional offensive packages.

This suggested shift in offensive strategy could be just the key to turnaround and long-term viability for which the Purdue faithful have hungered.  With your unswerving ability to motivate and Coach Nord’s mastery of the X’s and O’s, I have no doubt that the two of you will succeed in implementing this idea not only for a turnaround in the short-run, but better yet for an investment in long-term viability for the program. You can do it — Boiler Up!

your friend,