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More Thoughts on Steve Kragthorpe's Stepping Down

It took me a little while to figure out just how I felt about all of this, because as much as my mind immediately goes to the football implications, a man just found out he a disease that will eventually be incredibly debilitating, a year after his wife was diagnosed with her own illness. Don't even get me started on some of the horrific crap I've seen on some LSU message boards (the term Humanoids may be in need of retiring, because some of the comments were quite devoid of anything resembling humanity).

Spencer Hall said it best.

Dear Fate,

That was a dick move, sir. 


Of course, we're still a month or so from the season, and practice still goes on, as we saw here:

So just what does this mean for LSU? Earlier today, I submitted this to College Football News regarding just what this coaching staff re-shuffling might mean:

LSU still has a veteran offensive line, a group of big and talented running backs and an uncertain passing game. Regardless of who is calling the plays, expect the Tigers' offense to reflect its personnel. Moreover, given that practice began today with what appeared to be little noticeable change on the field, it's possible that Kragthorpe will still play as active a role in the day-to-day offensive designs and game-plans as he can (a belief echoed in Les Miles' remarks).

Promoting Studrawa allows for continuity within the staff along with a coach with success in the coordinator role, while simultaneously helping to alleviate Kragthorpe's responsibilities and stress. By all accounts, Kragthorpe isn't leaving Baton Rouge, and will still have a role in navigating the LSU offense. Studrawa will just be manning the actual steering wheel, and helping to lighten Kraghthorpe's day-to-day role as coordinator.

And I think that puts it succinctly. Stud has served as an offensive coordinator before (Bowling Green, 2003-2006), and that experience is extremely important in this setting. It's the start of fall camp, so any sort of dramatic offensive shift isn't just unrealistic, but unwise. Continuity in the offense that LSU is currently working on is huge. I would imagine that experience would further explain why this job would go to Studrawa rather than Billy Gonzales. The offensive position coaches can continue to focus on the teaching and prep work they're already doing, and Kragthorpe no longer has the bulk of the responsibility for offensive game-planning and scheming. That doesn't mean he won't be involved, it just means he'll no longer have the main responsibility.

He's stressed that he wants to still be around in as much capacity as he's able to muster, and this arrangement allows for Kragthorpe to do just that. Hell he can still dictate the plays he wants to call to Stud in the booth if he so desires -- the important thing is that Kragthorpe has some room to breathe and get accustomed to the change his lifestyle will be undergoing. Certainly the 12-18 hour workdays that offensive coordinating can command wouldn't have allowed that. Stud can focus on filling in the gaps. As offensive line coach, chances are he already played a role in the offensive game planning, as line coaches routinely help their coordinators script the best running plays for a given opponent. The main question will be just how active is Kragthorpe able to be on a day-to-day basis. If that changes, Studrawa could wind up pulled in different directions, and we've seen instances where good offensive line coaches suffer from that sort of an increased role.

But, as I said above, LSU still has the same players, and the same playbook it had this morning.