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Published: Thursday, 9/12/2013

End Zone: Toledo Rockets 9/12


U.S. soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann in an interview a while back with the New York Times criticized media covering his team.

His beef? American players, unlike those from powers like Brazil or Spain, aren't held accountable by the public. An absence of scrutiny breeds complacency, he asserts. Klinsmann in effect condemned the soccer media for not condemning his team.

Many coaches use the media as a motivational tactic to ignite a fuse under a struggling or wayward player. Matt Campbell falls into a third category: Protector. UT's coach doesn't invite tough coverage nor does he view the men and women wielding notepads as a vehicle to get his team's attention. We learned this when Campbell on three occasions took issue with the "media" and its stern diagnosis of quarterback Terrance Owens' start to this season.

Owens is struggling. Campbell is firing off defenses. Owens slipped, the coach said, contributing to a deflating interception before halftime in a loss to a so-so Missouri team. The ball sort of squirted from Owens' hand for another pick, Campbell said.

Out routes and crossing patterns aren't working. Campbell's playbook for Owens has been reduced to one call: Max protection.

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