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Oh, what the future holds


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Dan Rosen

By Dan Rosen
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 15, 1999
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My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Dennis Northcutt, Trung Canidate, Marcus Bell, DaShon Polk and Manuia Savea.

Oh, wait, they actually have a future. So, why do my thoughts and prayers go out to them? Actually, they go out to Dick Tomey and his coaching staff, for they may be searching elsewhere for employment and insurance benefits come January.

As well they should.

Northcutt will probably be a mid- to late-first round pick in the spring NFL Draft, a steal for whoever gets him.

Canidate, who now holds the all-time rushing record at UA after exploding in Corvallis for 221 yards, may very well drop to the second or third round of the draft.

But look out, because he will explode on the NFL scene in two or three years.

Bell reminds a lot of scouts of Zach Thomas of the Miami Dolphins or Ted Johnson of the New England Patriots. Whether he will be as good as those to All-Pros remains to be seen, but after getting drafted in the second round, he will get every opportunity to try to be that good.

Polk will be a project in the NFL and will probably be a Scout Bowl MVP next year after getting drafted on the second day. If he perseveres on the scout team, he will get his shot to make the regular team, and that may be all he'll need.

Savea is an offensive lineman and the NFL can't get enough of those big boys. He may get drafted, he may not, but he will make a team.

So, there you have it, five seniors that are ready to move on to the next level, and so they should. It is just too bad they can't leave right now.

But Dick Tomey, along with his defensive and offensive gurus, have given the opponent every chance to win this year and for that reason, and plenty others, they may not have a place to work next year.

Whether it was not blowing out teams like UTEP or Middle Tennessee State, or just barely losing to Washington, Oregon or Oregon State (the coaches couldn't do anything about Stanford and Penn State once the fourth quarter hit), the Wildcats have unbelievably underachieved this season.

This is a team that is loaded with individual talent, but they can't play as a team. They keep themselves in the game, but can't find ways to win. The team looks pumped up when they run out onto the field, but once the ball is kicked off, they look as deflated as a popped balloon.

All these things can be blamed solely on one aspect of the program, the coaching staff.

It is not all Tomey's fault, although all the blame does get pinned on him. He is the one to take the fall, but for the way the Wildcats have played this year, the rest of his coaching staff should drop like dominos once he is forced to resign, because he will never be fired.

The double eagle flex defense that the so-called "Swarm" likes to run has been figured out.

Everyone knows about the speed that Ortege Jenkins and Keith Smith possess, so therefore they know how to guard against the quarterback draw.

They know that the rush defense is decent at times, but the defensive backs are the most vulnerable group of football players in the nation, and 16 penalties against Oregon State is unacceptable.

But, most of all, the opponent knows that the Wildcats can't handle the hype of a big game or season. It happened in 1994 and now again in 1999.

For a coach to be here for 13 years and never make the Rose Bowl is pathetic. Therefore, Tomey and his coaching staff must realize they have overstayed their welcome and step down for the good of the program.

It's time to get this place a real deal college football coach.

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