5 Burning Questions as Texas Tech’s Joey McGuire Era Is Officially Underway
You can argue the Joey McGuire Era at Texas Tech began 134 days ago when he signed on the dotted line and immediately got multiple commitments from players who wanted to join him at Texas Tech. But today is the day that McGuire officially becomes the coach.
Sure, he's recruited and glad-handed with the best of them in the last five months, but today he gets the whistle on and gets to coach for the very first time.
Spring has sprung in Lubbock, Texas.
There are more questions than answers waiting for McGuire during Texas Tech's Spring practices, but that's exactly what they are for. What are those questions you ask?
Here are my five burning questions that McGuire must answer to have a successful first spring:
Is the Roster Complete?
McGuire and the crew recruited as much as they could before the recruiting dead periods in the offseason, but that doesn't mean they are done adding to this class. If they get through spring and identify a position or two where they need help, there's no reason Texas Tech can't add a late transfer or three heading into the fall.
The Red Raiders have already added nine transfers but could be in the market for even more. The offensive line remains a mystery with serious trouble with depth and production under Wells at that position. Four OL transfers, so far, show that is an area of concern early for McGuire and new OL Coach Stephen Hamby.
Who replaces Erik Ezukanma/The LBs?
The Red Raiders lost several key players from the 2021 team, including Erik Ezukanma, Riko Jeffers and Colin Schooler. Who steps up in those roles heading into 2022?
What's the Red Raiders' offensive Identity?
When McGuire first spoke to the Texas Tech fans he sounded like he wanted to bring Spike Dykes football back to Lubbock with a tough defensive-minded scheme that ran the ball and controlled the game. That's similar to how Baylor and Oklahoma State both got to the Big 12 title game last season. Then, he hired Zach Kittley. No shade to Kittley, I loved the hire, but his offenses don't scream 'ball control running schemes.' Kittley and McGuire will need to identify a happy medium to get the team identity in line this spring.
How does the coaching staff mesh?
Speaking of offensive identity, this is a brand new coaching staff that features a "first-time" head coach and a staff that doesn't have a ton of experience together. How will the coaches all gel under McGuire in year one?
Who is QB1?
This is the biggest question at every spring camp at nearly every level of football. Both Tyler Shough and Donovan Smith have a legitimate claim to the title after both starting games last year. Maybe the new quarterback's coach sees something in Behren Morton that will shoot him to the head of the pack. Only time will tell.
I don't expect all of these questions to have answers by the Spring Game, especially the quarterback battle, but I do expect major headway on who is playing linebacker and how this coaching staff is working together. I'd also expect McGuire and his staff to be able to quickly identify positions of need if they want to continue to work the transfer portal.