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Williams: Washington learned his lesson without Kingsbury yelling

Posted: September 17, 2013 - 10:43pm  |  Updated: September 18, 2013 - 12:16am
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Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington drops the football before he crosses the goal line Thursday against TCU.   Stephen Spillman / AJ Media
Stephen Spillman / AJ Media
Texas Tech's DeAndre Washington drops the football before he crosses the goal line Thursday against TCU.
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DeAndre Washington was watching that night two weeks ago when Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan made highlights with a conspicuous gaffe.

Trevathan, having intercepted a pass and drawn clear of all pursuit, started his touchdown celebration too early. He dropped the football just before he reached the end zone.

In that moment, DeAndre Washington thought the same thing you and I thought.

“I was like, ‘Man, how could he do that?’” the Texas Tech running back said.

And then, just a week later, DeAndre Washington did the same thing. He was tearing down the sideline on what should have been a 49-yard touchdown catch-and-run when he dropped the ball a half-yard early.

And you thought the same thing I did: Man, how could he do that?

“It’s exciting,” Washington said. “I just got in the zone. That moment in time, it got the best of me.”

Washington says he thought he’d reached the pylon at the goal line before he released the ball. Not that he’s using that as an alibi.

“I just want to say it was a dumb mistake on my part,” he said. “I’m just glad we were able to come away with the result that we did.”

When Trevathan pulled that stunt, Denver had a 42-17 lead on the Baltimore Ravens and went on to win 49-27. When Washington did it, Texas Tech was locked in a 10-10 tie with TCU with about four minutes left.

Embarrassment might have been the least of his worries. It could have cost his team a game, a conference game at that.

And then something happened you might not have expected: Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury gave Washington’s gaffe no-big-deal treatment. According to a sideline reporter, and the principals involved, Kingsbury said something along the lines of, “We’ve got to go score again.”

I asked Kingsbury what the message was in the aftermath.

“Just what I told him on the sideline: ‘Hey, man. It happens. Go make another play. Not a big deal,’” Kingsbury said. “There’s no reason to jump on him. He knows what he did. Learn from it. The penalty we got from that was about the least thing that could have happened.”

That’s part of what saved Washington. The discarded football sat in the end zone, dead after an official signaled touchdown. Had it rolled through the end zone and out, the ruling would have been a touchback with the Horned Frogs taking possession.

Tech was assessed a celebration penalty, not on Washington. The Red Raiders retreated to the TCU 15 and scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown three plays later.

Two weeks ago, when Trevathan nonchalantly tossed aside what should have been a touchdown, Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio gave him a tongue lashing then and there.

Presented with similar circumstances, Kingsbury chose restraint. In the heat of the moment, no spontaneous anger. With the game on the line, no berating the player.

“It’s case by case and player by player,” Kingsbury said. “But knowing DeAndre and the type of competitor he is, he made a mistake and he knew it was going to be all over the country on every replay. I just think less is more at that point with the fact he knew he made a mistake.

“Now let’s get him fired up and go score again.”

He did, and they did.

That Kingsbury didn’t flip out seems consistent with his personality. At least, Washington told me he wasn’t surprised by his coach’s reaction, or lack of one.

“I think that’s what makes coach Kingsbury the way he is,” Washington said. “How we’re able to interact with him, the way he interacts with us, it’s not all about just yelling at us 24-7 to get his point across. I respect that about him.

“I think that makes coach Kingsbury the guy he is. He’s real cool, real laid back. He never gets too worked up, never gets too stressed out, and that kind of carries over to the team. We try to keep calm and never let the adversity get the best of us.”

The touchdown Washington missed out on would have been the fifth of his career, by the way. The Red Raiders are expecting he’ll visit the end zone many more times in the years to come. Better brush up on protocol for what to do with the ball.

“I’ll just keep it with me,” he said. “Just take it the sideline with me. I might just take it home. I know I’m not going to drop it, though.”



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Bravo Kingsbury!

Calm, cool, collected. It will resonate with your team Coach Kingsbury!



Beats the cursing and name calling he would have received from one of the previous coaches! Cliff continues to earn the respect of his players and everyone else who cares about Tech football.


Honestly, we are blessed...

by the presence of Mr. Kingsbury.

On the other sideline, Patterson had yelled himself so hoarse (at his own players) by halftime he was barely able to give an interview coming off the field.

For this reason, ANY RECRUIT who watched the game would NEVER sign with TCU and would ALWAYS sign with Tech. And they are our #1 adversaries on the recruiting trail.

And, and by the way, Mr. Williams: Never again.


Make more bonehead plays

And I think Kingsbury would come unglued. He wasn't happy vs. SFA when No. 18 Eric Ward got a holding penalty and it wiped out a Mayfield bootleg TD. Uttered some choice words seen on camera.



Don't think you're going to see Kliff "come unglued."

He's about as cool of a cucumber as you'll ever expect to see in a head coach at this level with so much on the line.

Realize that in the SFA game, he was NOT yelling at a player. That's the point of the story, that Kliff tends to keep his cool and keep things in perspective when it comes to his players. But he still lets loose every now and then with some emphatic word choices. So what?


Thank you Kent Hance for bringing Kliff home!

Kliff is class all the way.

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