Morgantown, West Virginia 13-15 overall in his third season as the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, Neal Brown has failed the West Virginia football program and the people of the great state of West Virginia.
While the university has asked for patience, the time for patience has run out. A 2-4 record this season with no signs of likely wins ahead, Brown’s “Trust the Climb” has now become an absolute joke. A “climb” implies progress and there simply hasn’t been any progress for the Mountaineers since Brown arrived in Morgantown.
With that said, Brown must make the following changes immediately.
1 – Hire an offensive coordinator
One issue that is glaringly obvious is the lack of a real offensive coordinator with actual experience at the position. While Head Coach Neal Brown has plenty of experience as an offensive coordinator, his duties as the leader of the program are far-reaching, and he should not have to focus his energy and time on calling offensive plays. And again, he has not produced results on the field as the play-caller.
Neal Brown’s offense is not only too often stagnant and predictable, it lacks identity.
Who are the Mountaineers on offense? Are they a run team, or a passing team, or both? How exactly would you describe West Virginia’s offense under Neal Brown? During his time as the Offensive Coordinator at Texas Tech and Kentucky, Brown ran what he termed the “NASCAR SPREAD”, which focused on high octane production and speed.
Since arriving in Morgantown, Brown has been very, very conservative offensively, particularly on key third down plays. His questionable play calls have been responsible for missing out on so many opportunities.
An experienced, accomplished offensive coordinator would do wonders for the Mountaineers. Virtually every football program in the country has an offensive coordinator that calls plays and does not rely on its head coach for a reason…it’s what works best!
2 – Fire Matt Moore as the Offensive Line Coach
In 28 games under Neal Brown, the Mountaineers have rushed under 100 yards for 18 of those games. In addition, West Virginia is the worst rushing team in the Big 12 Conference. Yes, behind Kansas.
Brown simply cannot allow this to continue and axing his longtime friend Matt Moore might be the very best way to buy him some time with the fan base. While the offensive struggles are certainly not entirely Moore’s fault, the offensive line has never been good since he’s arrived in Morgantown and he will make an easy scapegoat for the struggles.
Firing Matt Moore is a first step in Brown winning back the confidence of the West Virginia fans. It shows that he is willing to make a cutthroat decision for the betterment of the football program.
3 – Play the quarterback that gives the team the best chance of winning
The Jarret Doege experiment is officially over. Anyone with a pulse sees that he doesn’t have it and as a redshirt senior, he never will.
Brown’s insistence that Doege was the team’s most improved player during the offseason has to make you re-think whether Neal Brown is a good judge of talent or not.
Look for Brown to finally make the change to Garrett Greene as his starter in two weeks when the Mountaineers travel to play TCU. However, this change is too little too late. The fact that it took Brown four losses see the obvious is disturbing and concerning.
4 – Continue to recruit at a high level
West Virginia’s record-breaking 2022 class is the highlight of Neal Brown’s tenure so far. Ranked as a Top 25 class, Brown managed to gain commitments from 3 four star players, including future starter Nicco Marchiol, as well as several under-the-radar three star prospects.
In order for West Virginia to be successful in the future, Brown must not only continue to land big-time talents, he must also be willing to play them. West Virginia’s top recruit from last season, Kaden Prather, has played only sparingly and recruits see that. Brown must learn to trust young players and allow them room to grow on the field.