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October 14, 2008

Question from Lew Too bad about loss at MT. Can't understand the prevent defense in the 4th quarter. You kept them in check the whole game, A pass rush in the last two minutes probably would have been better. Time to invent a defense rather than using a prevent defense. Sure on field mistakes were made but the last 1:39 was a disaster. Never should have happened. It looks like the team loses concentration in the 4th quarter. Keep trying.

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
The first touchdown came against pressure. We were in a regular defense and brought more than four people. That is part of our scheme. There are different ways to play the defense in that situation. Some call it prevent others call it soft. You can play loose and still play man with in the zone. That is what we were in, in those three plays going down the field. It was not a Hail Mary pass where they threw. They didnít run their guys down their in a bunch. They were trying to throw it to their tallest guy. Obviously, we should have built a wall right before the end zone jammed the receiver right there and make the play on the ball. It is hard to get this kind of work in practice so sometimes you are in that situation for the first or second time. The odds of that happening are obviously very great that we would be able to make the play.

Coach Schnellenberger.

Question from Scott
I have to say that I watched your game on ESPN2 on Tuesday night and was surprised on how poor a coaching job I witnessed. That loss sets solely on you and your coaching staff. Now I am not a fan of FAU, or MTSU for that matter but I am a fan of football.

There were many decisions that were questionable including such conservative play calling but two really stand out. The first is you get the ball back with 2 minutes left in the first half, in pretty decent field position, and you call 3 straight running plays and then punt. You have a very good QB yet you don't allow him to the opportunity to increase your lead. The second, and most inexcusable, is not having 5+ guys in the end zone for a Hail Mary. I was taught that back in Pop Warner 20+ years ago.

I have never written to a coach before in my life but I felt compelled after watching that fiasco last night to write this morning. Had you a let your play makers make plays last night, you would have walked over that team. That loss was on you and your coaching staff. Thank you for your time.

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
We appreciate you taking the time to write us about our game against Middle Tennessee.

Question from Tim
I just want to tell you that I am a great fan of yours and I really think you are doing great things at FAU. I feel that the offense is really not clicking right now the way we have as Owl Fans have been accustomed to seeing all of last season and this year against UAB. My question is it seems that our best two receivers are Lester Jean and Cortez Gent but I am wondering why those two are not in the game together very often. Iíve attended many of the off season practices and I really thought that those two would be great together. I have seen Chris Bonner drop pass after pass in games and donít understand why he is getting unearned playing time in games. He just has not produced in games and I feel after these past three weeks Jean and Gent should be in the starting lineup together and letís see if itís a spark this team has been missing. I think that Lester Jean is an explosive receiver and just donít understand why he seems to play only a couple of series and is not ahead of Chris Bonner.

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
You are observant in your observation in what is happening on the field. I will tell you that the distribution of drops is about equal in fact Gent has the highest percentage over Bonner. Playing time between Bonner and Jean works out as equal each are going to play two series in a row and switch back off, sometimes because of a series length it might change. We have great confidence in each of those receivers plus the two tight ends are doing extremely well handling the tight end position following Harmonís injury. Overall we have a lot of improving to do to become efficient like we were a year ago.

Question from Terrance
I have been watching, when I can, the Owls. I think it is amazing what you have done with program. When I visit Fort Lauderdale Iím going to get tickets. Do you think you can bring the boys back after the lost to TROY.


Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
I hope our team is made of a great group of young men that are over achievers. We have had a period in our development where we havenít made the plays like we have made in the past. This upcoming game against Western will allow us to go out, play hard and come home with a win. A win at this juncture would be a good tonic for our football team.

Question from Lance
Hey Coach,
At one point will we see QB #2 Mr. VanCamp this season?

Even when Rusty is playing terrible especially because of the collapsing pocket and the predictable passing (like Grant or Gent, Grant or Gent, Grant or Gent... defenses are catching on pretty quick), we haven't seen you put in the more mobile, "stronger armed" VanCamp.

As we've seen in the Spring Game and practices, VanCamp has no problem using his legs to get out of a bad situation. Across the college football landscape, we're seeing more and more QBs running to get the additional 3-5 yards for a first down. Rusty doesn't seem to be able to do that, which means we're not converting on as many fourth down as we could be, yes?

I understand this is old school football with pro-style passers but if it isn't working and we're 1-5, shouldn't we try something different and give VanCamp a shot?

What about a 2 QB system, with Smith as the main QB and VanCamp off to the side. If Smith gets hurried then he can toss it laterally to VanCamp so he can throw it or run it?

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
If we donít begin to move the ball and have a much better offense, there will be a time for Jeff VanCamp to get his turn. It is so important for us to have Rusty come back and play well. I will give him every opportunity to do that and will continue to do that until I think it is not productive.

Question from Nick
Would you consider letting an assistant go in mid-season for non-performance?

Would you consider taking over the offense personally?

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger

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