OAOA’s Justin Lee had this lede to his recap of the Midland scrimmage:
Texas Tech’s heir apparent at quarterback raised his hand, and pointed a finger.
“That’s your fault,” he said, with a smile behind his facemask.
Nic Shimonek and the Red Raiders offense had just punched in a rushing touchdown late in the team’s open scrimmage on Saturday at Grande Communications Stadium.
After the score, the rest of the players on the Tech offense celebrated, as they peeled back away from the line of scrimmage and headed back toward their sideline.
But the senior signal-caller hung around for a moment, pointing across the sweltering turf toward the defenders on the other side of the ball — challenging his teammates.
“That’s your fault,” he repeated, this time ribbing another Red Raiders defensive lineman over on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
“That’s your fault, too,” he said, calling out another.
I didn’t post this after the game with the thought that this was too good of a story not to highlight on it’s own
Let’s get this straight. Shimonek leads the team on a rushing touchdown and, with a smile, Shimonek sticks around after the offense celebrates and lets the defense know that they didn’t do their job.
When I first read this, I was a bit taken aback because saying something takes a certain amount of edge, even if you’re joking, to let the defenders know that they need to be better. And not only that, but an offensive player like Shimonek, who’s been around, but obviously has ridiculous credibility with the team, otherwise he’d have a black eye and there would have been a scrum.
And this got me thinking about how maybe this team lacked this edge last year. And that’s the thing about being the type of leader that Shimonek apparently is. He craves Kingsbury calling him out and as a result, he’s fine with dishing it out on his own. I’m trying to think of a player that would maybe do this sort of thing that’s run through Texas Tech and I can’t really think of one. But here we are, the first official scrimmage for the 2017 team and the quarterback is holding everyone accountable. I didn’t get to see all of Shimonek’s quotes after the game, but I’d guess he probably said that he wasn’t good enough.
And I think that this team and program has lacked a certain edge to it for quite some time. That’s not intended to discredit the players that have rolled through Lubbock because I think this is an incredibly tough thing to pull off for a college football players. There’s only so much time to develop that sort of pecking order.
I do think that I hope that this sort of tend continues because I think this team needs an edge to it. It’s been a while since I felt like this team could realistically beat anybody. Remember those days of feeling invincible even though the odds were stacked against you? I kinda get the feeling that Shimonek embodies that. I’ve gone back and forth as to how many games this team will win in 2017 and I still don’t know, but I kinda get the feeling that Shimonek isn’t going to let anyone off the hook.