FanPost

Dave Rader: Our new QB Coach; Our new QB developer

[Editor's Note: I was in the middle of writing this, having spent a lot of time last night on it. Then I got on this morning and saw that ColReb'sLastBreath had done it already. Mad props for the research. Having done it myself, it takes a while to access all those media guides and sort through the data there. - Juco]

Not one Ole Miss person is happy about hiring Dave Rader, other than Houston Nutt apparently.  He lacks flair.  He definitely has never worked at Chotchkie's.  He isn't a name that is going to wow anyone.  Not when the talk of the SEC is big "name" coaches and great "recruiters".  

Lane Kiffin did have flair, and so did every assistant that he hired.  He had an arsenal of "recruiters" that he brought in with him.  Ask Tennessee how that is working out for them.  I remember how it worked out for us the last time we hired a "recruiter."

Not one person is giving Rader a chance.  I honestly haven't heard one argument for him.  I honestly don't know how this will turn out.  But since no one else is giving the man a chance, I will.  Here is the best argument (at least the best that I can find using the internet) for why Dave Rader is the right person for the job.  Here is why Ole Miss will be better because of Dave Rader.

(This is long and includes statistics of QB's who no one cares about.  However they are the QB's Dave Rader has coached)

1.  No other coach has more experience.  None...that we have the ability to hire as a QB coach.  Dave Rader has been a head coach at the D-1 level 11 years.  He has been a QB coach/OC for another 9 years, all at the D-1 level, at least 1/3 in the SEC.  More importantly, the man has a history of doing more with less at QB.  More of a history than anyone that I'm aware of.  The best part about it, is that he develops QBs, meaning that they show on the field marked improvement in statistical categories.  Lets take his last job as Alabama's OC/QB coach.  Another thing to keep in mind is that this latest stretch was entirely under NCAA probation (my way of saying that Shula/Rader get a bad rap, I think they would have done remarkably better had they not been on probation and been able to recruit more talent). 

Quarterback

Eligibility

Year

Games

Efficiency

ATT

COM

COM%

TD

INT

YRDS

Brodie Croyle

So

2003

12

118

341

182

53.4

16

13

2303

Brodie Croyle

Jr

2004

3

164.63

66

44

66.7

6

0

534

Sean Pennington

?

2004

9

105.93

152

82

59.3

4

8

974

Brodie Croyle

Sr

2005

12

132.78

339

202

59.6

14

4

2499

John Parker Wilson

So

2006

13

126.51

379

216

57

17

10

2707

Dave Rader Leaves

John Parker Wilson

Jr

2007

13

114

462

255

55.2

18

12

2846

John Parker Wilson

Sr

2008

14

122.27

323

187

57.9

10

8

2273

Everyone remember Brodie Croyle?  I do.  Not one person would call him a "great" QB by any stretch of the imagination.  What Rader was able to do with him though was make him into a great game manager, something that Jevan Snead was not.  Jevan Snead, regressed as a QB under our outgoing OC/QB coach Austin.  Rader was able to develop Croyle into a QB you could depend on to not lose you the game.  Who can say that about Austin/Snead?  

The key stats to look at are the efficiency ratings and the TD/INT ratio.  As a starter, Brodie Croyle developed astoundingly from his sophomore year to his senior year.  His efficiency rating went from 118 as a sophomore to 132 as a senior.  (I'm ignoring the junior year b/c he was injured before SEC play)  More importantly though, is the interceptions.  His sophomore year Croyle had a TD/INT ratio of 16/13.  For the rest of his career he was 20/4.  I'll repeat 20/4.  Our departing QB was 20/20 after his great sophomore year.  Yeah, that's saying something.  Also something I found interesting, John Parker Wilson's best year was...you guessed it, when he had Dave Rader as his OC/QB coach.  In fact Wilson's numbers get worse over his career, even though Alabama as a team got better (meaning their defense did, their offense didn't improve without Rader).  

So what about years in which Rader was not under Mike Shula.  Well, for part of them he was actually coaching Shula, hence the connection between the two.  Here is a breakdown of Efficiency and TD/INT that I could find from old media guides.

 

Quarterback

Team

Year

TD

INT

Eff

Lewis

Bama

83

14

127.93

Shula

Bama

84

15

93.18

Shula

Bama

85

16

8

150.02

Smith

MSU

86

10

MSU has terrible Media Guides [Edit: Don Smith is MSU's all-time leading passer.]

Rubley

Tulsa

87

12

17

107.8

Rubley

Tulsa

88

17

20

109

Rubley

Tulsa

89

22

6

132.5

Frerotte

Tulsa

90

5

10

84.7

Rubley

Tulsa

91

18

9

139.2

Frerotte

Tulsa

92

6

11

106

Frerotte

Tulsa

93

21

15

129.1

Fitzgerald

Tulsa

94

5

14

bad media guide

DeGar

Tulsa

95

6

7

96.1

DeGar

Tulsa

96

9

6

103.6

Fitzgerald

Tulsa

97

9

13

121.5

Fitzgerald

Tulsa

98

10

6

121.4

Blankenship

Tulsa

99

7

15

bad media guide




Key things to look at are where an individual QB starts his career and finishes.  I do realize that most of these numbers are bad.  Honestly, I don't care, because every single one of these QBs were really bad based on a talent level.  Hell, he was recruiting to Tulsa, cut him some slack.  The key is to look for improvement for each individual QB.  For instance: Mike Shula in his first year as a starter had an eff. rating of 93.18 with TD/INT ratio of 15/alot (Alabama didn't include interceptions in their media guide for this year, so I'm assuming it was high).  His senior year he was 16/8 with a rating of 150.  Look at Gus Frerotte: starts 5/10 with an abismal rating of 84.7, his senior year he is 21/15 with a rating of 129.1.  

Every single QB statistically gets better as long as Dave Rader is their coach.  ALL OF THEM.  There is no outlier.  There is no head scratcher that proves the theory wrong in some cases.  Every single QB that has ever played for Dave Rader has improved his game substantially as long as Dave Rader was his coach.  

Jevan Snead's numbers regressed this past year, so yes it does happen, and it happens to supposed "good" QBs.  John Parker Wilson's numbers regressed without Rader as his coach.  The most impressive part about these numbers to me is the people that he is working with.  Not one of the QBs on that list is what you would call a "talented" QB.  In every situation, Rader took an OK or bad QB and made them into an efficient QB who wouldn't lose him the game.  Personally I'd like to see what he can do with a QB who is talented.  Ole Miss will hopefully provide him with that opportunity.

2. My second point is that he personally is responsible for recruiting the greatest QB recruit in college football history.  Seriously.  There is only one person that Rivals.com gives Rader credit for recruiting.  That player is the only undefeated QB in high school and college football history since integration (yes I realize he can still lose, but he hasn't thus far).  Greg McElroy has never lost a football game in which he has started since the time that he was in the 9th grade.  Dave Rader recruited him.  I'm OK with Rader recruiting 1 person every 4 years as long as that player never loses a game he's starts.  I'm OK with that.

OK, so I only really have one point, but my point stands and there is no evidence to the contrary.  Dave Rader can develop a QB.  Yes, unfortunately some of the numbers when he is breaking in a new QB are not good.  And by "not good" I mean really really bad.  Being fair though, those QBs were really bad with or without Rader.  Hopefully the QBs we have on the shelf have more talent than QBs of Tulsa in the 90s...hopefully.  

The point that I'm making though, is that Rader knows how to develop a QB to make the right decisions.  He knows how to take a QB and build on what is already there and make them better.  In the world today, IMO too much weight/credit is given to a "player's coach" or a great "recruiter".  Yeah, having great recruiters is a bonus, but there is still something to be said for actual good developer's of talent; for coaches who are good at coaching.  Dave Rader is one of those coaches.  He is good at coaching, and coaching up QBs specifically.  As a Rebel, I still vividly remember the last time Ole Miss made a hire for a good "recruiter."  I'm happy with Nutt hiring a good coach as opposed to a good recruiter.  Rebels, you should be too. 

This post is a Red Cup Rebellion FanPost. Please don't sue us.

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