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.