Texas Tech Football: Resetting 2017 and Looking at 2018

It’s never too early to think about next year.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’be somewhat struggled to really wrap my head around everything that’s happened since Friday. These are my random thoughts about the state of Texas Tech football as I look towards 2018.

  • Something to consider is that all programs are going to be allowed to hire one additional coach as part of the coaching staff. Teams can add a 10th assistant starting January 9, 2018. This means that Kingsbury will have another assistant to add to the group. It will be interesting to see who is added and on what side of the ball. If I had to guess it would be an offensive coach and if I could really sort of hope, it would be an offensive coordinator.
  • The biggest questions headed into the offseason, at least for me, are at quarterback and at running back. Both Nic Shimonek and Justin Stockton will graduate and Texas Tech will be left with some options at both positions. At runningback, I think a large part of the equation is incoming freshman Devin Brumfield, who could start from day one. I’m sure that Tre King will have something to say about that, but this is a position that is going to need contributions from King, Desmon Nisby and Demarcus Felton.
  • Quarterback is a bit more tricky. Mclane Carter is more mobile than Shimonek, but he’s got a ways to go before he is ready. We don’t know anything about Jett Duffey other than what we knew in high school and maybe the wildcard, Xavier Martin. I’m not completely sold that Martin will always be at inside receiver because I think he was that good at quarterback. Kingsbury has said a handful of times that having a mobile quarterback allows him to do some things that he can’t do with a less mobile quarterback. I think the spring comes down to Carter and Duffey and I’m not betting against Duffey.
  • It’s reallyl important to me that the quarterback be more mobile. I think the quarterback needs to be a threat to run for good yards. We’ve seen this year how the offense struggles when the passing game isn’t producing, but if the passer is a threat to run, then things will open up. This is high on my priority list.
  • Defensively, I’m pretty happy with where things are at. The defensive line has shown marked improvement, so much improvement that if you want a reason for the improvement, it’s is that defensive line. The improvement of the line allowed the linebackers to do their jobs and not only did Jordyn Brooks and Dakota Allen didn’t just do their jobs, they were better than average, they excelled and that’s how that front seven is supposed to work.
  • I think the secondary still needs some work, but David Gibbs has done a decent job of recruiting those defensive backs and I won’t be shocked to see some of those redshirt freshmen defensive backs come in and impress like Demarcus Fields did this year.
  • Some of you were discussing giving Kliff Kingsbury a contract extension and I think I’d be on board with this. His current contrat expires on December 31, 2020, so he essentially has three years remaining, the buyout was $6.7 after this year and the presumption is that it is lower afer next year. Lots of things can be negotiated in a new deal and the buyout can remain the same. I’m not all that worried about Kingsbury moving on to another place. I think Texas Tech and Hocutt has shown him some serious loyalty and Kingsbury could extend that loyalty by agreeing to a lower buyout, but also extending his contract.
  • The other item that I’d negotiate is higher salaries for his assistant coaches. I think Kingsbury and Gibbs have struck a pretty nice mix of coaches with who they have on staff. I haven’t been particularly impressed with the special teams play. According to Football Study Hall, Texas Tech special teams was ranked 111th this year and was 67th last year, probably thanks to having a decent field goal kicker. Regardless, it would be nice to go out and just buy a really good coach, but I htink Kingsbury is somewhat hamstrung by the assistant coach salaries he’s previously agreed to.
  • The only coach that I can remember that didn’t have a contract safety net was Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia. That worked out well for Dana, he gambled and he won. He probably knows a lot about gambling. But the concern is the recruiting aspect of things and that’s a problem.
  • I’d also like to see Kingsbury try to negotiate an offensive and defensive analyst. Like Sonny Dykes has been for TCU (I’m not saying at all that Sonny would take that similar role with Texas Tech and think he’ll be an offensive coordinator or a head coach sooner rather than later). It would be nice to have that additional bit of preparation for the coaches to get while they are focusing on the game at hand.
  • The rumors were that there was some significant money behind what would happen if Kingsbury was replaced and it would be nice if some of that money could be used to help Kingsbury and Texas Tech improve their current lot, again, by expanding the budget for assistant coaches, allowing Kingsbury to hire a top-notch offensive assistant/coordinator and possibly a special teams coach.

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