The Weekly Blitz

Nov 082009
Authors: Matt Stephens

Something I never understood in football was why an assistant coach was called an “offensive coordinator” when the head coach called all of the plays. Granted, the head honcho should have final word, but if he’s the one with all of the say, then why call someone else an “offensive coordinator?”

As most of you know by now, last Thursday CSU offensive coordinator Greg Peterson was reassigned from his duties at that position, as well as from wide receivers coach, to focus all of his time on recruiting, an area he has served as coordinator for the Rams since he was hired on Jan. 14, 2008.

There is no doubt that Peterson is an excellent recruiter with his silver tongue and farm boy accent that makes him so easy to talk to. He has found quite a few sleepers for the Rams including: Lou Greenwood and CJ James, as well as potential stars like Chris Nwoke, Joe Brown and Nico Ranieri.

He’s a great recruiter and an excellent coach who comes from the tree of Bill Snyder, the man responsible for building what was possibly the worst program in college football history – Kansas State – into a national powerhouse in the 1990s. In his first year back here in 2009, the Wildcats are in a position to win the Big Twelve North.

Peterson has learned from the best, but in my eyes, he is about to leave the green and gold for good thanks to his reassignment due to one main reason.

By my count with the current recruiting class, the CSU football team has three scholarships remaining with their 14 current commitments from the 2010 class. On top of that, one has to assume that wide receiver Tyson Liggett will finally be on scholarship next year, cutting that number to two.

Now I understand that players transfer or burn out, or some commitments greyshirt — don’t decide to sign or choose to play professional baseball instead (i.e. Tyler Shreve) — but right now, there are three scholarships left. Why demote Peterson for just those three?

And it’s not as if he hasn’t coached some great wide receivers.

Dion Morton might be the most clutch wideout in the Mountain West Conference — Ryan Gardner had the best summer camp — but since his 43-yard catch against Colorado, he wasn’t really used again until this past Saturday at UNLV. And Jyrone Hickman could be the most talented receiver on this squad if he’d just get in a game, but most of you have probably never heard of him.

On top of that, the announcement came at such an odd time. With the Rams needing a win this past Saturday to keep their post-season hopes alive, why bring this distraction to the program, especially when there is a bye week coming up?

Now with Peterson’s reassignment, demotion or what have you, it raises the question of what other assistants are on hot seat?

So the “offensive coordinator” title gets dropped when the Rams’ offense ranks 97th in the country in scoring offense, what happens to defensive coordinator Larry Kerr and his staff when in total defense, pass defense and points allowed, CSU ranks 90th, 99th and 101th, respectively?

This season was a step backward when it comes to what happened on the field.

I still think this football program here in Fort Collins has a lot of promise for the future and a step back, as I called it, isn’t a red flag when rebuilding a program. But one of the main reasons I have so much hope for the Rams, in years to come, is because of Peterson and what he has done on the recruiting front.

Right now CSU has six three-star commitments (according to the database) and after speaking to three-star wide receiver Chris McAlister from Del City, Okla., last week, he appears to be favoring the Rams. This current class is looking strong with multiple guys who will most likely play as true freshmen next year.

While I know all coaches have their own recruiting area, to me, the overall success comes down to the coordinator – Peterson.

Someone will snatch up this Nebraska farm boy, and if he’s no longer on staff, are other additions or changes going to be made this off-season or are we looking at a house cleaning?

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at

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