Morgantown, West Virginia – Neal Brown is an excellent builder of programs, he does and says all of the right things as a head coach, but he is a C minus play-caller and it has now cost the Mountaineers 3 very winnable games this season.

Neal Brown recently revealed that not only does he and wide receivers coach Gerard Parker share the play-calling duties, he also said that Parker handles the play calls when the Mountaineers are between the 20 yard lines on each side of the field, and then Brown makes the play calls in the red zones (inside the 20 on each side of the field).

Huh?  

No other team on the planet uses this strategy and there’s a very good reason why…it doesn’t work!  Of course it would be very easy for a media member to ask Brown what the logic or rationale is for this, but they’re far too busy kissing his ass to ask anything meaningful of the head coach.

Following the loss at Texas, Brown said the following: “There’s all kinds of data that says it’s the right thing to do.  In this league, you better score touchdowns down there to win and it’s proven week in and week out.”

Where is this attitude all game long when he calls draw play after draw play on key 3rd downs?  Brown is right, you must score touchdowns in the Big 12, but what he fails to see is that this must be done throughout the game, not just in the closing minutes.  Brown, who is far too comfortable playing field position and punting the ball, trusts his defense a little too much.  

How many times throughout the game do the Mountaineers have 3rd and 5 or 3rd and 3 or 3rd and 12, and Neal Brown predictably calls a draw play that has little to no chance of actually moving the chains?  Time and time again, he chooses field position over first downs, which would ultimately lead to touchdowns.

This is why the Mountaineers lost at Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas…Brown’s insistence on being overly cautious and conservative.  Brown claims to be “aggressive”, but he’s aggressive at the wrong times and in the wrong places.

For instance, Brown chose to go for it on 4th downs against Texas instead of kicking field goals, which would have put the Mountaineers ahead.  Fine, but instead of simply getting the 1 yard or the 3 yards needed for the first down, Brown drew up plays that went for large chunks of yardage that were not needed at the time (ie throwing 20 yards downfield in the endzone when West Virginia only needed a yard for a first down).

Neal Brown offers the West Virginia football program a lot, but he has no business calling plays for the Mountaineers.  This nonsensical play-calling plan that he shares with Gerard Parker is responsible for 3 losses this season and should be scraped immediately.  

Hire a real Offensive Coordinator – someone with experience – and allow this coordinator to handle all of the play calls, and the West Virginia Mountaineers could take the next step forward as one of the best teams in the Big 12 Conference.