Monday, November 26, 2007

Brett Hait Responds:

Brett Hait sent the following post to the VSL Newsroom:

What I'm trying to say -- and might not have clearly communicated in today's column -- is that Vanderbilt's margin for error is so small that it could not overcome the loss of what Chris Nickson had been expected to provide. The offense was built around Chris, and coaches expected nothing less than for him to take the next step in his development and be one of the SEC's best quarterbacks in 2007. When that didn't happen, everything changed. Nobody could get the ball down the field to Earl Bennett and, to be be brutally honest, VU did not have a running back who scares anybody. Vanderbilt's offense at times this season was a train wreck.

You make a valid point that Vanderbilt still had chances to win games with Mackenzi Adams at quarterback, and he deserves credit for that. My contention is that one or more of those games might have not ever come down to a field goal or last-minute drive had Chris Nickson been healthy and playing like he was near the end of the 2006 season. By the end of this year, coaches were using an ultra-conservative game plan, simply designed to avoid disaster, because they had little faith in Adams' ability to pass the ball.

I'm not making excuses or apologizing for anyone. I agree with you that this program underachieved this season and could have easily won seven games. Maybe even eight. I'm just saying that so much was dependent on Chris Nickson's skills that the ship started taking on water when he failed to deliver. And as I stated, the Commodores weren't good enough to overcome it.

Thanks for reading The City Paper and mentioning us in your blog. And thanks for the opportunity to engage in some healthy debate. We all have our opinions, and I think by now mine is well-documented.

Brett Hait covers VU athletics for The Nashville City Paper. He can be reached at

VSL Note: Brett Hait is a great reporter and does a fantastic job covering Vanderbilt sports. Beyond that, Brett is a class act. He absolutely did not need to respond to our post and did. As much as a beat reporter can (or should), Brett roots for Vanderbilt and wants to see the program to succeed. He has always been great to VSL and we appreciate him taking the time to respond.


Douglas James said...

Well argued by the Man we love to Hate. Now lets talk some basketball. Coaches poll is out and we are 32nd. Still getting little respect especially when you look at the teams that jumped into the top 25 this week. I'm looking at you Wisconsin, USC and Xavier. USC and X-men both have questionable losses and Wisconsin is 5-0 like us but only played 1 game last week. If it makes anyone feel any better the guy on Cbs sportsline has us at #21 in his weekly Top 26 poll. Hopefully the AP poll does us a solid

Anonymous said...

Can his City Paper drop the ridiculous far-right editorial bullcrap soon?

It's getting REALLY old.