Head coach Paul Johnson made the first and possibly last coaching change of the offseason yesterday, cutting ties with two-year special teams coordinator and assistant offensive line coach Ray Rychleski. Rychleski's special teams unit, which performed relatively well during his first season at Tech, suffered mightily in year two, finishing 106th nationally in terms of kickoff return yardage. That coupled with poor offensive line play for the majority of the season spelled doom for Rychleski, who previously held the same position with the Indianapolis Colts. Though his unit was less than effective last season, celebrating his firing in any way would just be distasteful. Rychleski is, by all accounts, a great coach and equally great person. We wish him the best of luck in the future.
Brian Gregory had some interesting things to say in his press conference following Tech's close loss at the hands of North Carolina over the weekend, largely pertaining to the team's performance and how he sees the team progressing as the season moves on. His comments on how transfer Adam Smith has contributed to the flow of the offense were also worth reading; Smith has truly added a third dimension to the often stale Tech offense with his three point shot. I really do love the progress that the team has made this year, but the fact that almost all of it will be gone next season is discouraging. Hopefully Smith and others will help make 2015 truly special.
While the NFL season has officially ended for many of the pro Jackets, more still will be suiting up for the playoffs with their respective teams. Among these players is wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who finished off another strong season with a 117-yard, 1-touchdown performance for his Denver Broncos despite a brewing quarterback controversy in the Mile High City. It will be interesting to see if Bay Bay can continue producing at a high level in the playoffs, especially when the Broncos name either Peyton Manning or Brock Osweiler as the starter.
I'll leave you today with the tragic tale of the Alamo Bowl, a game which saw the Oregon Ducks blow a 31-point lead and lose in triple overtime to Gary Patterson's TCU Horned Frogs. The story of the game was undoubtedly Gary Patterson's now infamous decision to change shirts at halftime with his team trailing 31-0, opting for full purple over his previous selection and reaping the benefits. Maybe Paul Johnson needs to start wearing nothing but purple on the sidelines. Heck, we can even take it one step further and change Tech's mascot to the Fighting Purple Kool-Aid to help him out. I'm all for it.
Was parting ways with Ray Rychleski the right decision to make?