Thursday, April 30, 2009

Painting the wrong picture: Purdue’s Football outlook is not as bleak as it reads…

I read an article in the South Bend Tribune today that made me blink multiple times before I re-read the article. Here is the link to the article: LINK

I feel that the article’s intention was not to paint the picture of how Danny Hope is coming to Purdue to resurrect a fallen program. On the contrary, its intention was to highlight the intrinsic difficulties in following a respected coach of who was a campus icon.

That being said, the article reads almost with the air of an obituary for Coach Hope. Much of this editorial aftertaste is attributed to the closing of the article highlighting all the obvious issue that Purdue will be facing going into next season. Touching on Justin Siller’s dismissal and McBurse’s Clearinghouse process leaves a reading feeling sorry for Coach Hope’s position.

Personally, I do not thing that the cupboard is as bare as the article implies. I, of course, am always hopefully optimistic regarding our football team. I grew up in the Fred Akers/Jim Colletto years of Purdue football. Therefore, there is still a sparkle in my eye regarding the last ten-plus years of Boilermaker football.

Coach Hope has at his disposal a competent stable of running backs, bolstered by McBurse’s clearance to play by the NCAA. Jaycen Taylor will by cleared by fall and Ralph Bolden is an up and coming dual threat back who is just a sophomore.

Joey Elliot at QB is a fifth year senior who has had enough game experience and skill to actually vie for a starting spot last year against Curtis Painter, who is now with the Indianapolis Colts.

There are question marks as with every program. Will the receiving corps step up and deliver? Is the defense going to be able to carry the offense early in the season until the unit gels? Only time will tell on questions like this. But as writers and fans, these are the questions that entertain us until the season begins.

I think that the Boiler faithful is ready and excited for Coach Hope. Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke has done a masterful job of managing the alumni and fan base expectations through two major coaching transitions. Using the succession plan model has given both Coach Hope and Coach Painter head starts in public relations and recruiting setting both coaches up for success rather than failure. Coach Hope’s energy and passion have been well documented and on display to help inject tremendous positive energy into the team and the fans.

There is no denying that the last couple years of Purdue Football have lacked the passion and enthusiasm that existed during Tiller’s early years. However, Coach Hope is taking over at exactly the perfect time. Here’s wishing Coach Hope the wisdom, passion, and energy for a successful tenure at Purdue University.

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