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Washington Huskies Weekly Debate: Should O. Coordinator Jonathan Smith Return For 2016-2017

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20 games into the new regime, we ask if this season will be the last we see of Jonathan Smith as the Husky's playcaller and offensive coordinator, mostly because Oregon is still a touchy subject.

Jaydon Mickens, a once prolific receiver, joins the crowd full of students who are utilized nearly as much in the offense as Mickens.
Jaydon Mickens, a once prolific receiver, joins the crowd full of students who are utilized nearly as much in the offense as Mickens.
Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The almost monthly "should he stay or should he go" debate returns after another abysmal Washington offensive performance, and the uncomfortable feeling of debating whether or not someone keeps the job that supports their family is back. It's tough for me, and I don't even know the guy! Imagine if you were the one who hired him and now has to let him go because he just couldn't cut it as an offensive coordinator. Seems like that's another underrated tough part of the job that people overlook constantly, but it's also one that sometimes is easier to see as an outsider. You know, like when one of the homie's new significant other is obviously a bloodsucking parasite set on destroying everything about your homie that made their life fun and enjoyable. You can tell the homie is being dragged down, but like, I don't know, maybe that's just how they're going to be in any relationship and you're overreacting. Or maybe, they're so blinded that they can't see their old life being ripped apart at the seams. Is it your job to tell the homie it's time to drop them and move on?

Yes, not only is it your job, but it's also your job to share your opinion on your favorite team's struggles and advise on whether or not it's time to move on to someone new. Share that opinion in the comments and in the poll, but before you do that, I'll try and make an argument for both options.

Keep Him Around

Victim Of Circumstance

It's one thing to call someone a bad coach when they are overflowing with talent and are putting up lackluster results (the Los Angeles media made it a point to do this whenever a Steve Sarkisian coached USC team got outscored) because it's expected to not mess up when you have the all the ingredients for something great. You know, when you order steak from a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse vs. the steak quesadilla at 12:30 AM from Taco Bell, you expect a lot more out of the Ruth's Chris steak, because you know it's a prime cut and the seasonings are all top notch, compared to the steak from Taco Bell, where as long as it's warm and cut, it's a win. Looking at the UW depth chart, you don't see filet magnon across the board. Sure, you see some pieces that could be a productive part of any offense in the country, but then you also see a collection of teenagers playing a year too early across the offense line (who are playing their hearts out, for what's it worth) and a quarterback a year removed from a life where his biggest worry was how he was going to ask someone to homecoming. And last year wasn't much different, except Smith also didn't know much about anyone on the roster, who might not fit what he wants to do offensively.

That's the dangerous part about a sample this small. You don't really know if he's a year away if you don't give him that next year, where he could finally have the right ingredients to cook the way he wants.

It's Not Like He's Not Trying Hard

It's one thing to roll out a gameplan each week that's predictable, boring, and lacks imagination. Coaches who do that are the ones you don't mind getting rid of because they think they don't have to try different things to have success. Smith is the opposite, where his you can tell his gameplans and formation switches and hard counts probably took him hours upon hours to compile and prepare. Sure, they haven't been very great, but a misguided dude trying his hardest is only missing the right direction on what will work, and maybe he's close to finding it. If that's the case, him figuring that out could lead to a scary offense with how much work he's willing to put in to try and make things work out.

Continuity is Key

With a young team, being around the same coaches in the same system is a key towards building up consistency. Guys shouldn't be on coach number three by year three, unless you don't care about them growing as a football player. The players who are in the system for longer learn more of that system as they go, moving up from basic concepts to advanced concepts, like they would as they progressed in their major. With Jake Browning potentially being the quarterback over the next four years, is it the smartest idea to start him over with quarterback coach two on year two?


Cut Him Loose

His Offenses Suck and They're Getting Worse

If you take out the week three matchup against FCS Sacramento State, the Washington Huskies offense is averaging a cry-yourself-to-sleep-at-night bad 21 points per game. That's good for 100th in the country and second to last in the Pac-12, ahead of Oregon State. If you point to last season's scoring as a point of success, you should know that it came about due to 10 touchdowns from the defense and special teams, which he doesn't coach.This season's 12 touchdowns through 5 FBS games becomes a little more spooky when you see that a quarter of them came from a Dante Pettis punt return, Sidney Jones fumble return, and a Tristan Vizcaino fake FG touchdown. That means this offense is averaging less than two touchdowns per game against teams that are on the same level as them!

What he's here to do is create an offense that scores points and frankly, he's proven that he cannot do that at this level through 20 games. How many more times we have to watch an offense go out there, shift three times, and then call a play that gets you two yards when you needed seven? I've seen too many of those in my life already.

There's Better Out There

There are 99 teams in the country who are going a better job scoring than this team, so how could you make an argument that he's the best guy for this program? That's just mathematically improbable that there isn't at least one person out there willing to take the job as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Washington Huskies that could lead an offense to more than two touchdowns per FBS game. I mean, Browning's high school coach found a way to get him to throw like 90 something touchdowns in a single season, you're telling me that he couldn't find a way to get three per game with the offensive talent the team has already?

Seriously, These Offenses are Bad

But I'm sure nobody reading this is shaking their head in disagreement that the offense is, in fact, not bad. Or maybe they are. If you are, send me a pair of those purple colored glasses, baby!

Please vote in the poll below and try to remain as civil as possible. I'm sure Jonathan Smith didn't accept the job two years ago with the desire to lead the 100th best offense in the Country, and by all accounts he's a stand up citizen. I guess whether or not that means anything is up to you.