By all accounts, the student-athletes on the CSU football team love Steve Addazio. Just watch QB1 Todd Centeio and DE Toby Mcbride talk about the state of the program after Colorado State’s disappointing loss against Air Force:
Brick by Brick.
It’s hard to think Centeio and McBride aren’t genuine in their belief. Of course, they’re doing what every college athlete does, or is supposed to do, when confronted with adversity during the season. They’re simply just echoing Coach Addazio’s message he’s been preaching all year. Accountability, take it day by day, etc...These young men truly believe the message and foundation Steve Addazio is trying to lay down in Fort Collins.
Outside of that locker room, the perception of where this program is headed could not be more different.
Addazio leans on accountability as a central theme to his program building, but fails to be accountable himself. After every loss this year he’s directed the blame to something other than his own incompetence. Injuries have been the latest crutch he’s leaned on, but that’s just one of the many excuses the coach has pointed to during a litany of disappointing outcomes.
The worst part is how he handles the media after losses. For lack of a better word...he’s an a**hole. He treats the people asking him questions like they’re idiots. Like the only one in the room that knows anything about football is him. He’s rude, brash, and incredibly egotistical for someone who hasn’t accomplished anything of importance as a head football coach, at Boston College or CSU.
Just watch him here after the loss to Air Force:
I’ll be honest, after dealing with ho-hum Mike Bobo for 5 mediocre seasons, this kind of rhetoric was a breath of fresh air when I first heard it at Addazio’s introductory press conference. However, after squandering promising opportunities against Vanderbilt, Utah State, Boise State, Wyoming, and Air Force, this act has gotten a little stale. It’s the same script every time:
-Ignore they just lost
-Talk about the good things they’re building (brick by brick, blah, blah, blah)
-Attack a reporter for asking a tough question
-Leave the press conference making everyone in the room feel uncomfortable
-Rinse and repeat
Now I don’t necessarily care if the head football coach is a “nice” guy or not. The nature of the position is to be that way. Not every coach, of course, but some of the most successful coaches to ever live have conducted themselves this way. My problem? Steve Addazio isn’t one of those guys.
You have to adapt to the community you’re trying to build a program in.
Fort Collins is a great place, with great people, who prioritize character over anything else. Addazio’s failure to realize this culminated last week in an embarrassing lack of support.
Just look at the crowd for rival Air Force:
It’s tough because Addazio is at the beginning of trying to build a program. It’s hard to judge a guy until the team is fully his, players he’s attracted and recruited to come to Fort Collins. But it’s also tough because the young men he’s inherited are damn good football players. How is this possible? Because for all of Bobo’s shortcomings as a head coach, one thing he did well was recruit. That’s the main reason his run at CSU was so disappointing. He simply couldn’t convert talent to results.
That’s why this year has been so frustrating.
Is Addazio building something? Sure. He’s brought a toughness and physical nature to our team that wasn’t there with Bobo. But has he also squandered multiple opportunities to win games? Absolutely.
His coaching staff’s offensive play-calling has been prehistoric. Between being a CSU fan on Saturdays and a Denver Broncos fan on Sundays I feel like I’m living in the Twilight Zone, watching the same boring offense over and over again.
The main problem is that Addazio is hell-bent on running the ball, no matter the circumstances or personnel, and it has come at the expense of wins. Two weekends ago against Air Force, down the entire game, CSU ran the ball 37 times compared to only 22 passing plays. It’s been a common theme throughout the year. This strategy works great when you’re winning, but it’s nearly impossible to get out from behind the 8-ball when you’re continuing to play this way while losing. Simply put, Addazio refuses to adjust mid-game. He’s stuck in his ways. It’s a concerning reality moving forward.
And don’t get me started on CSU’s red zone offense. It’s been abysmal.
Trey McBride, the top tight end in the country and a projected 1st round pick in next year’s NFL draft, has 1 touchdown all year. That’s a mind-boggling stat, but it’s a perfect illustration of Addazio and his staff’s failure to utilize their biggest strength. In fact, the Rams have had 43 redzone chances this year and have only scored a total of 19 touchdowns. That’s not nearly good enough.
So what’s next for CSU?
Unfortunately, there’s no real choice in the matter. Steve Addazio is going to be given the same chance Mike Bobo got to build this program. A mid-major doesn’t have the same luxury as a Power 5 team, as there’s no starting from scratch after just 2 years. This is what we’ve got, and for better or for worse, CSU and their fans have to live with the results.
All I can say to that is...
Thank god for Niko Medved and the Colorado State Basketball program.