I love Kerry Coombs as much as any other Bucknut. His infectious enthusiasm and recruiting prowess are real assets to the program.
However, he is our cornerbacks coach and our cornerbacks have not been very good the last couple of years. We have allowed more passing yards on defense than we have thrown for on offense thus far. Our d-line is in the top 2 of the B1G in just about every statistical category (and in the top 20 nationally in many categories).
Urban called our pass defense "very alarming" today during the media teleconference. He seems to recognize that our secondary is underperforming.
While Fickell's defensive scheming/playcalling may have something to do with the secondary's performance, we can't look past the fact that individual performances by our cornerbacks are sub-par by almost any standard. Individual performances are the result of poor player development, and where our cornerbacks are concerned, that responsibility falls on Coombs' shoulders.
I am not calling for Coombs' head on a platter, and I recognize that my hypothesis--that the secondary's performance may have more to do with Coombs' development of our cornerbacks than it does with Fickell's overall defensive approach--may be flawed.
I think our staff is doing a pretty darn good job overall. No one can fault them too much over the last 18 games. But I am starting to suspect that Coombs' may play a role in our woeful passing defense. Recruitment and enthusiasm aside, is he developing our cornerbacks like we need him to?
Why were special teams taken off his plate in the offseason? Was he underperforming with respect to player development in that area as well?