Fobbs confident in Grambling’s players amid Tigers’ coaching turmoil

Grambling State quarterback Elijah Walker and the Tigers hope to turn things around this weekend when they travel to play at Alabama A&M. (Photo by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT/LPJ)

Staff report

Grambling’s football team is 0-3 halfway through this most unique of all seasons, and the Tigers’ offensive playcallers have left the coaching staff each of the past two Sundays.

Tigers coach Broderick Fobbs doesn’t see a meltdown. He sees it as a time to rally around.

While the optics aren’t good, the core is, he said. Specifically, the corps.

“I can’t say enough about our players. They have been stellar in this situation. It’s been a tough, tough spring season for us, a lot of changes, a lot of incidents, some beyond our control, some because of us.

“We just have to learn from it,” said Fobbs in his weekly media session Monday morning.

“Championships are never won by just hopping on the elevator or skipping steps. We’ve won championships here. I’ve been part of championships at other places. One thing I know about winning championships is you have to take the stairs and you have to put your foot on every step. You can’t skip a step. You can’t get on the elevator.”

Fobbs wasn’t ready to outline how Grambling’s offensive plan will be designed, or who will call plays Saturday at Alabama A&M. It seems likely that it wasn’t going to be departed quarterbacks coach Kendrick Nord, who had that role in the 48-21 home loss to UAPB Saturday.

“I’ve been evaluating my staff for the last couple of weeks, and for the coming weeks as well. I wanted to make some changes, move some people around to see how they operate in different areas. After last week, I decided to make more moves. Coach Kendrick Nord wasn’t too pleased with some of the movements and he decided to dismiss himself, remove himself from the program,” explained Fobbs, diplomatically.

“It was a surprise … he voiced his opinion,” said Fobbs. “I wasn’t planning to remove anybody at this particular time.

“We have to do a better job of coaching our players and putting them in positions to succeed. Our kids are working extremely hard. They are bonding together, pulling together like they should.

“There will be (coaching staff) changes made at the end of the season, and there will be better days. We will make sure our program is one to be reckoned with like it has been for several years since we’ve been here,” he said.

Fobbs stepped into a national disaster taking over the program for the 2014 season. The Tigers not only collapsed on the fields in 2012 and 2013, but walked out and refused to play an October 2013 game at Jackson State, protesting abysmal facilities and a lack of commitment by the university.

That winter, Fobbs was hired, and three seasons later the G-Men were not only SWAC champs, but HBCU national champions too.

The current situation isn’t remotely as dire as when he took over, but it’s more agonizing, he said.

“It hurts far worse right now. If you care about winning, you’ll stay up all day and night to get it done. There’s no feeling quite like this feeling.”

Much of what helped Grambling return to glory in his first three seasons seems in place today.

“The strength of our team is our players’ character. If there’s anything you learn from being in the situation we’re in, it’s the character of our players. It squeezes its way out in situations like this. You’ll know either for the better or the worse. We’ve been in this situation before. I saw the same thing in 2014, which is encouraging. We just have to help them as much as we possibly can, because they’re doing what they should do.”

The immediate task is to get that converted to improved performances, beginning in Huntsville, Alabama, on Saturday afternoon.

“We have the ability to play well,” he said, confidently.

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