Jerry Schmidt looks at a physical specimen like Trent Williams and sees a Pro Bowl left tackle... With the proper "dedication" to pulling pulling tractor tires across football fields in 100 degree heat and catching 50 pound concrete blocks in the offseason, of course.
It's what strength and conditioning coaches like Schmidt get paid to do: torment college football players in some maniacal quest to realize their full potential.
Blowing sunshine doesn't really fit in with that. In fact, I'd say it's antithetical to Schmidt's job description.
Which is why his plainspoken assessment of Williams' pro prospects in an interview with Washingtonpost.com should surprise no one, least of all Williams himself. Yet, ESPN blogger Matt Mosley's characterization of Williams' reaction hints that the coach's candid comments did sting the now-former Sooner.
Should Williams be upset? That's up to him. Normally, I try to steer clear of these kinds of spats.
I think there are more interesting questions to consider here:
- Did Schmidt have some kind of obligation to talk Williams up?
- Should Schmidt have kept his opinion to himself if he didn't plan to portray Williams as the hardest-working man ever to pass through Norman?
- Was it a mistake for Bob Stoops to "let" Schmidt talk to Jason Reid in the first place?
- Did Schmidt say anything that was actually out of bounds?
My take: Schmidt said Williams has tons of potential, but needs to work harder. If the consensus is that Schmidt crossed some line here, then we shouldn't be surprised that coachspeak has become so ubiquitous in the sports media.
Would love to hear what the readers have to say on this.