While no one likes the comments typically associated with “Coach Speak,” there’s a reason why it exists, and Deion Sanders is proving why it exists.
In the post-game press conference following his team’s 28-16 loss to UCLA, Colorado’s third loss in the last four games, Sanders took direct aim at his lineman while answering a question about their inability to protect his son, QB Shedeur Sanders. His solution for the offensive line’s woes? Get rid of them, essentially.
“The big picture, you go get new linemen. That’s the picture, and I’ma paint it perfectly.”
Deion Sanders on Colorado’s offensive line struggling to protect Shedeur:
“The big picture, you go get new lineman. That’s the picture and I’ma paint it perfectly.”
— On3 (@On3sports) October 29, 2023
Well, there’s the vote of confidence every struggling player wants to hear.
Now, Sanders is right. The offensive line has been bad and needs to improve, there’s no doubt. But this isn’t the NFL, where you can make a trade or pick some off the street or a practice squad and expect some immediate impact. Any “new linemen” Sanders acquires won’t be able to help his team until next year at the earliest, and next year is a long way away.
In fact, the end of this season is a long way away. Colorado has four games left. So, what Sanders essentially did here is put his struggling line on notice that, instead of working with them and trying to make them better, their days in Colorado are numbered. I’m sure that will be a lovely final month of football for Sanders’ o-line group.
This message also stands in stark contrast to Sanders’ previous statements that he “cares about the kids” on his team. Where is the caring in this message? Or, does Sanders only “care” as long as the kids are playing well and helping to elevate his image?
A coach adhering to the traditional rules of “Coach Speak” would have answered the question about the o-line like this: “We all have to be better. This isn’t about one player or one position group. This is about the team. Would those guys tell you they need to be better if you asked them that? Of course, they would. They know they need to be better. But I also have to be better. I have to make sure I’m putting them in a position to win. And that’s what we are going to work on as a team this week.”
Now, would anyone have liked that answer? Of course not. Would he have cut those players at the end of the year after saying all that? Probably. But, would that coach’s offensive lineman feel like the man who holds their scholarships in their hands just took a scimitar to their dreams? No.
Also, where is the sense of personal responsibility from Sanders here? Colorado has lost or nearly lost every game since college coaches got tape on them after Week 1. Couldn’t it also be that Sanders and his coaches aren’t all that good at their jobs after all?
Just a thought.