Texas Tech football released their updated roster (PDF) and as mentioned earlier this morning, the roster does not include Breiden Fehoko, Gary Moore and Michael Cooley.
- The Fehoko transfer was discussed at length yesterday and there are rumblings that this was a result of David Gibbs not retaining his brother, Sam, as a graduate assistant. This is a weird dynamic because you really can’t afford to let a player hold you hostage about personnel on staff, but on the other hand, it’s just a graduate assistant position. I think I side with Gibbs on this, he should be able to hire who he wants. I think Sam was a graduate assistant for two years and maybe Gibbs wanted a new voice at that position. The more I think about it, the less I’m on the side of the Fehoko’s, as that really is a coach’s decision and if that one thing is going to drive you away, then I don’t know what to say. It’s not as if Sam didn’t get an opportunity. Maybe it’s the timing, the fact that Sam was let go in December. In any event, it feels as if this is Breiden transferring as a result of that decision and the whole Family Over Everything is true to the extent of their actual family, but not true as to his football family.
- The roster also does not include Clarence Henderson, who is not off the team, but not participating during the spring. I think this is almost always code for “get your grades in order and you can play”.
- Jett Duffey is also not on the roster and suspended for the spring and summer semesters.
- Gary Moore is not on the roster and I can’t get worked up about that either. Moore was replaced in the starting lineup late in the year by Kolin Hill or Kris Williams depending on what spot you think that Moore was going to play. Moore finished with 15 tackles and no sacks from your “rush” defensive end.
- I’m weirdly not freaking out about the news of Fehoko, Moore and whoever is not on the team. Normally, I get really anxious in situations like this and I’m not anxious at all. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s because I’m somewhat immune to these things at this time, or maybe it’s because I’ve read and watched enough tape to know not to be totally upset about this. This isn’t to say that I don’t think Fehoko or Moore have value, but I’m not sure what value they have. They are definitely important in terms of depth, but are both of these guys are essentially just guys. My thought here isn’t that there’s someone better on the roster, but they are essentially replaceable guys. Their play wasn’t so great that they were incapable of being replaced, nor so bad as to consider it no big deal because of the depth. I think the baseball term is “replacement level“:
Replacement level is simply the level of production you could get from a player that would cost you nothing but the league minimum salary to acquire. Minor league free agents, quad-A players, you get the idea. The concept is pretty tidy. These are the players that are freely available and if five of your MLB level players came down with the flu, you could go out and acquire replacement level players without really giving up anything you value other than their union mandated payday.
In other words, if you had no one on your roster on March 1st and just needed to populate a team, you’re generally signing replacement level players.
The idea here is that I think their production can probably be replaced by pretty much your standard defensive end. I think if you played Lonzell Gilmore the same number of snaps as Gary Moore, you’d probably get 15 tackles out of the deal and 4 tackles for loss. In fact, you might just get more. Same thing for Fehoko, you plug in Mychealon Thomas and he was likely to get 19 tackles last year just by virtue of seeing those snaps. I’m not saying that neither one has value, because I do, but I think their value is replaceable. The problem is the depth, especially at defensive tackle, but maybe Nelson Mbanasor makes that transition.
- None of the weights have been updated for the roster, so you’re still looking at what was there last year at the beginning of the year. This is one thing that sorta drives me insane, which is never updating these sorts of things. Of course, it’s totally selfish because I want to track these sorts of things.
- The 12 early enrollees obviously make a huge difference for the overall size of the team and they make a huge difference in terms of how they’ll end up competing for 2017. I’m excited about all of them and think they’ll make the defense better. I know, I’m crazy for even thinking that, but I’m sticking to it. The defense is going to be better unless there are significant injuries.