Play calling and scheme

I know that play calling and scheme are fan favorites when it comes to discussion. Guessing play calling, or playing armchair QB is something we can all do. Its fun. I certainly do it.

But I have heard some really strange comments on these topics.

One comments was that this is “a high school offense.” Well, maybe it is. I don’t know what constitutes a high school offense and what doesn’t. But if it is a high school offense, someone better call Dabo at Clemson and tell him. Do people not realize Chad changed the Clemson offense and put in place what they run now? (yes, I know its been tweaked). Here in Clemson country, everyone gives our very own Chad Morris credit for the Clemson offense. Clemson fans and coaches love him to this day. Morris is wildly popular here in SC.

I also hear about how “dumb” our trick plays were. Well, that seems to be a double standard from folks who claim to want a “wide-open” offense. What does “wide-open” mean? Run lots of tricks? Throw 80% of the time? Have a phone book size play book? Have every formation imaginable? I thought our offense was pretty “wide open” Saturday. Maybe too much so. It was not effective until Starkel went in for sure. We tried multiple trick plays. Unfortunately, they didn’t work…(whereas the Colorado flea flicker from their own end zone DID work…). One didn’t work because Starkel made the exact type of mistake Morris cited when they chose Hicks. (This is not an anti-Starkel post. I am totally excited he’s the started now. But we will have to live with mistakes for while).

As for play calling…anytime something doesn’t work, you can complain about play calling. One caller on Drivetime today (I was listening as I took a nap!) said “why would we run the ball up the middle on 4th and 2?” Of course, if we run wide and it doesn’t work, it would be “why run wide against SEC speed?” if we throw and it doesn’t work, its . “why throw when you have Rakeem Boyd?”. Man its easy to question playcalling after a play doesn’t work. Its an infallible position!

Many are questioning the WildHog. I get that. It got stuffed. But, I have seen that scheme work…recently…at other schools. Not just “back in the day.” I actually applaud Morris for looking for a way to accentuate the abilities of De’vion and Rakeem. I have to assume Rakeem can throw, and that we just haven’t seen that. If he can’t throw well enough to force DB’s to go cover the actual QB and other WR’s…then it is a doomed scheme. McFadden could. Brown could when Miami was making headlines with it in the NFL.

Basically, as a coach and as an OC, your plays need to work. If they don’t, your play calling will be questioned. Not your team’s fundamentals, or the skill level of your players (which is partly coaching too).

My point is this: I don’t think scheme or play calling was the problem. I don’t think its lack of talent either. The problem is lack of experienced talent. I actually do think we have enough talent on the squad right now to compete. But some of that talent is not ready to play today. I also think it takes three classes for a new coach to really have a roster that they can totally be held accountable for. Morris ain’t there yet.

And I am not blindly loyal to Morris. I don’t know him. Have never met him. But I do know we have players that really shouldn’t be having to play…but are needed anyway…especially on the o-line and d-line…where being older and stronger is so important.

So, I am hopeful we will see improvement as the year goes along and young but talented players plain ole get better.

Ok. My rant is over. I gotta quit watching Saban’s press conferences. They make me aggressive.

They are just so entertaining. Even my wife loves to watch ole Nick get wound up. Of course, my wife could get wound up too when she taught middle school orchestra in inner city Houston. That’s another post entirely.


Excellent post as always.

I’ve been to inner city Houston. I’d love to hear those stories. She must be a strong lady.

Let’s just say the gangs in the school were totally afraid of “Mrs. Taylor.” My wife is amazing. She shrugged off cancer like an arm tackle.

Great post!


Actually I shouldn’t say that. It sounded cute and glib. Cancer is obviously deathly serious. Mary was very fortunate. Blessed. She is cancer free after a major scare 4 years ago. Her docs use the word “cured”. I will say her unbelievably positive attitude and willingness to use meditation and nutrition as a vehicle for cure became the subject of an article on the MD Anderson newsletter. She’s totally my hero and best friend.

I do wish she loved football. Can’t have it all though…

We will be debating play calling forever and ever. Blocking is over rated. It’s about play calling.

I’m kidding, but I do know that there are better calls than others.

I do like more QB runs, but I’m not sure that these QBs are the best for more QB runs.

My problem with the trick play was the timing, we were moving the ball down the field rather easily at that point. We werent in the 1st half, why not run it with the wily veteran that was stalling out. I just thought when we had something finally working, dont quit on it, when you finally get a hot hand, pour it on… and the wildcat never worked on Saturday night, how many time did we run it and what did that play produce. Off the cuff, i would say it went for negative yards on the cumlative, and I think we had to use a time out coming out of the half, I am not sure what we were trying to do at that particular time, but I thought it was a wildcat formation for a second, and I think #14 was in the game, who was that?

I see now that #14 was Harrell.


Understand where you are coming from. At least for me it is very frustrating to see plays called which don’t match either the situation or players. We should not be calling any plays which are slow developing either by design or by the players abilities …our OL is too weak. We need fast hitting plays. We also need to accept what does and doesn’t work. We don’t have the talent to overcome stubbornness.


I had the wildcat for seven plays. I may have missed one. Because one of them ended up being a failed double reverse pass for a Hicks sack and minus 8, it turned out to be dead even in yardage gained and lost. Someone said it was a dead giveaway that Boyd would carry on the wildcat plays. There were two where he didn’t. There was one conversion on third-and-2, a 5-yard gain. Not much else on the others.

I’d like to see Warren try to run the Wildcat. I think he was HS QB most of the time. He seems to make good decisions and not get flustered.

He is more geared for outside stuff than inside. Need both for Wildcat. But he is a gamer and needs touches.