…it certainly has had an impact on football in general. Gus did not invent all of the details of his offense but he did put it all together in a unique package, developed it, and now many aspects of it are very common in high school, college, and pro football.
- Wildcat in short yardage situations. Now common. Before Malzahn, not so much.
- Jet sweep motion running wide and its fake opening up the middle for inside running. LSU was using jet sweep principals in their pro style offense to put running wide pressure threats on our defense.
- Run-pass-option. This is greatly helped by the current generous distance that linemen can block downfield during a pass play. It makes it very hard to read the blocking to determine pass or run.
- HUNH. Even Tom Brady uses the hurry up as well as the Razorbacks, this year, against Bama. Malzahn refined the signal boards on the sidelines, letting the coaches see the defensive personnel and their arrangement BEFORE calling the play. Besides tiring out the defense, possibly catching them not set when the ball is snapped, it forces them to reveal their hand allowing you then to call the play best suited to attack it.
- At Auburn, Malzahn uses powerful backs to run inside as the counter balance for play action deep passing. In the beginning, smaller quicker backs were used since they had more room in space to maneuver with the defense all spread out to cover the spread passing game. The shift to power backs puts more stress on the defensive line.
- His offense benefits a QB that can run and pass. They can be OK passers if they are great runners and there are lots more of those around than there are great pass only QB’s.
- The fact is that his offense is run by the vast majority of high schools in our recruiting region. That should increase the number of potential recruits available.
All of this would apply to Norvell too in case Malzahn stays at Auburn.