FORT WAYNE – Purdue coach Darrell Hazell doesnt do Twitter. But his quarterback, fifth-year senior Rob Henry, does.
Apparently, so do a lot of angry Boilermaker fans.
After a 42-7 shellacking in Purdues opener against Cincinnati, Henry received plenty of reminders via Twitter about just how poorly he played. Critics lashed out at him because of the mistakes he made during his 18 for 35 performance, in which he threw two interceptions and got 161 yards on his throws for an abysmal quarterback rating of 12.1.
It all led up to Henry posting two tweets from his account, @RobHenry15, after the game.
I apologize to all my family, teammates, friends and fans, he said in the first tweet.
My performance today was unacceptable. Never played that bad in my life.
Staying off twitter for a while because there obviously needs to be a lot more work done and a lot less talking on my part, he continued in the second post. #BoilerUp.
Henry, as always, was his harshest critic. And Hazell didnt see the need for it.
Rob didnt need to do that, he said. Were all a part of wins and losses, and Robs a part of our football team. Obviously, he needs to do things better, but we all need to do things better.
Rob certainly didnt need to go on Twitter and apologize to anybody.
And that, Hazell said, is because Henry is his guy.
Redshirt freshman Austin Appleby and freshman Danny Etling wont be coming to the rescue for Purdue. Hazell feels the Boilermakers have a better chance to win with Henry on the field, regardless of his performance in Purdues first game.
I think that you have to give Rob an opportunity to go back into the position, Hazell said. The guy has not played for a couple years. I understand that the fans are probably a little upset as we all are, but I think you have to have a little bit of patience with him and for him, and then at the end, they will be happy about Rob Henrys play.
If Henry sticks to what he said after the game against the Bearcats, those words from Hazell could be prophetic.
Not many people saw much potential in Henry during the loss. Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com said on Twitter that Henry is perfectly capable of badly missing open receivers no matter who isnt covering them, and that there is no reason to expect better play from the signal caller against Indiana State this Saturday.
Hazell thinks otherwise, and Henry expects better from himself, as well.
We just have to prepare harder, Henry said after the loss. The coaches are doing a great job with us, and its up to us. Were the ones that go out on the field and perform.
Not the pundits. Not the Twitter trolls. Him.
I think hes got to be able to take exactly what they give us. And we have open guys, hes got to hit those open guys, Hazell said. He doesnt have to feel like he has to win the game. Hes got to get the ball dished out to all those people around him, and then well start seeing the chains move. And thats what we need.