Enos deserves time to develop his team
Sun Sports Writer
It is somewhat fitting that the 2010 Central Michigan football team has a completely fresh start.
The 2009 season was one of the best, if not the best, in school history.
The players that were lost at the end of the season were some of the all-time greats and their departure leaves many questions about just what the Chippewas have for next season.
Then there is a new coach, Dan Enos, who has a lot of question marks in his own right.
He is young, he is energetic, and he is offensive-minded. But, how will his vast experience as a coordinator and an assistant coach at various locations translate into his ability to be a head coach?
That is the ultimate question and that answer will ultimately determine the fate of the new-look Chippewas.
Clearly Enos inherits a talented football team.
The offensive line will be one of the best in the Mid-American Conference, if not the country.
The running back core is also very deep and talented and should give CMU the option of relying more on the running game if need be.
A stud receiver in Kito Poblah and quick slot receivers like Cody Wilson still make the passing game very attractive.
Questions arise at quarterback, but the potential for a special player is there in Ryan Radcliff and Enos has a history of developing talent at quarterback.
On defense, Enos has two of the best linebackers in the game in Nick Bellore and Matt Berning along with solid talent at safety and defensive tackle. Inexperience concerns at defensive end and cornerback are reasons for alarm, but that is where Enos will have to do his best work.
It looks as if the talent roster of Central Michigan is strong enough to where the Chippewas will be able to contend for the MAC West Division title, and maybe even the conference championship.
But, perhaps Enos’ biggest challenge as a new head coach will be the 2009 season.
It is unrealistic to expect Enos to be able to continue what was accomplished in 2009 in his first year as coach.
What occurred last season was something that is rare and expecting it to happen on a regular basis is a lot to ask of a small program like CMU.
If the fan base puts too much pressure on Enos to match the 2009 season, the new head coach may never be able to develop the vision he has for the program.
Enos may have put it best when he said the expectations were to “win championships consistently and compete in bowl games yearly.” Those are reasonable goals, especially for next season.
Remember, Brian Kelly set the bar high for Butch Jones, and despite some early speed bumps, Jones managed to set the bar even higher. Enos can do the same, but he needs time to develop his version of the Central Michigan program.
Some fans don’t like that he hasn’t been attached to Central Michigan and that he comes from Michigan State, but the guy knows what it takes to recruit in the Midwest and that is very important for the Chippewas.
Some fans don’t like that he hasn’t been a head coach. To that I say, neither was Butch Jones when he got hired.
Some fans are disappointed that Mike Bajakian didn’t get the job and that Dave Heeke didn’t hire within the current staff. Again, that was the case three years ago with Jeff Quinn and things turned out fine.
Enos is bound to make some mistakes next year. You can’t expect a rookie head coach to be perfect. But, you have to trust that he knows what he is getting himself in to and that he will surround himself with a staff that can make his head coaching transition go as smoothly as possible.
One thing I do know, is that Heeke did a great job in hiring Jones and he has been very thorough in his hire of Enos. If Heeke didn’t think Enos could produce a winning program, he wouldn’t have been in Mt. Pleasant on Tuesday with a flying C on his lapel.
So, just sit back, relax, and let the man do his work. Be excited and be supportive.
Once the fall rolls around, it will be like getting a present on Christmas. You aren’t sure what you are going to get, but it will be exciting to find out what it is.