James Franklin: 'If it's a problem, you guys know who to blame, blame me'
Posted by: Josh Kendall on October 30, 2012
Vanderbilt is fourth in the NCAA in fourth downs attempted. How does James Franklin feel about that ranking?
Let him explain.
"I'm pissed because I want to be first," the Commodores coach said Monday at his weekly press conference. "(In) all of them. Most attempted. Most converted. Converted is good, right? We want to be first in everything. Second place is the first loser around here so we don't want to be fourth in anything."
The conversation started a riff from Franklin in which he eventually threatened to do away with punting all together, but he made the more serious point that he believed in being aggressive and would continue to do so.
"We are going to do take some calculated risks, and if it's a problem at the end of the day, you guys know who to blame, blame me, put it on my shoulders," Franklin said. "I think some people say, 'Well, we should do it in this game because we're not favored, and then not do it in this game because we're favored.' We don't approach it that way. We don't even look at things like that. We're going to play the same brand and style of football every single week. It doesn't matter who we play. That's our identity. It doesn't have to do with who we are playing against."
The Commodores have attempted 22 fourth downs and converted 10. Army leads the nation in fourth down tries with 28, and Louisiana-Monroe leads the country in conversions with 17 on 23 attempts.
"When I got here, everybody said, 'We don't take enough risks. We don't take enough chances. We don't run exciting plays,'" Franklin said. "Now we're too cute on offense, now we go for it too many times on fourth down."
No matter the response from outside the program, Franklin will continue his style, he said.
"It really sends a message to our players and our team that we believe in them," he said.
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Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com