Daddy, what causes offensive suckitude?

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but, jeez, this is good:

Grab-bag offense: Far and away, the number one problem from a strategic view is a disorganized, “grab-bag” offense that lacks a definable identity. This isn’t to say that you can only do one or two things, but the bad teams almost universally do not know who they are. Say what you will about Tony Franklin at Auburn, but that whole thing was a mess last year because, among other reasons, they had an identity crisis. But this problem is not just germane to coaching changes or new offensive coordinators. Often, teams that have been fine try to “update” their offenses with the new-new thing, and more often than not they regress. There’s a completely true old coaching adage that it is less important what system you run than it is the fact that you have a system, preferably one that you know well and can coach. Hence an offense like Urban Meyer’s works for a lot of reasons, but one reason is that the entire team is completely committed to it. The same is true for Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, or Nebraska’s great I-option teams, or really any other good team you can think of. They might appear “multiple,” but there’s an identity there. Again, it’s hard to underemphasize this because not only does it make planning coherent, it has its biggest gains probably for practice time: when Meyer or Johnson or Osborne or any of the other committed coaches practice their offenses, they focus exactly on what they will actually do in games, and their stuff all fits together. A grab-bag team might be adding or subtracting stuff week by week, and they never get good at anything.



Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

15 responses to “Daddy, what causes offensive suckitude?

  1. Section Z alum

    amen. and i think that something like the “grayhound” would have been more effective in 2nd half if a good, blunt-force-trauma running game/play action had been established in the first half, as opposed to running it right out of the gate.

    but i could be wrong…


  2. georgiadawg85

    No offense, but isn’t this just a little ridiculous after a single game? 8 years we haven’t had an “identity crisis,” we lose a game and all of the sudden the buzz phrase with bloggers is “identity crisis.” I find it laughable that anyone thinks we don’t know what our offensive philosophy is. Of course we’re always a run-first team, but even run-heavy teams will take to the air when behind and they think they have to start playing catch-up.


    • No offense taken, 85. I guess Bobo’s post-game confusion didn’t bother you as it did me.


    • Jordan

      @ georgiadawg85

      I don’t think this was directed at UGA this year, but I do think it represents Bobo’s scattered approach and often head scratching play-calling.

      And in regards to the last game, I believe UGA ran the ball 8 times after the first drive. UGA abandoned the run being up 7-0, it had nothing to do with catch-up.


    • D.N. Nation

      To be fair, Georgia has always had bouts of head-scratching episodes on offense under Richt. Recall…

      Georgia 9
      South Carolina 14

      Georgia 13
      South Carolina 7

      Georgia 16
      UAfreakingB 13

      Georgia 0
      Vanderbilt 2 (halftime of ’03 game)

      Georgia 13
      Marfreakingshall 3

      Georgia 23
      Mississippi State (who was *a-w-f-u-l*) 10

      Georgia 14
      Colorado (ditto) 13

      Etc., etc. We’ve had great defensive play enough to counter this, and I think it’s mostly a bug rather than a feature. And for all the guff he’s (rightly) gotten recently, Bobo did give us what I found to be highly enjoyable offensive attacks in 2007 and 2008. A lot of that was player skill, of course…but we’re still recruiting great, so.

      FWIW, Urbs ain’t immune to WTF breakdowns. Bama ’05 is the obvious one, as is Auburn ’07; take away the Penn Wagerdom and ’07 WLOCP is a pretty inept performance as well. We’ll of course see what’s up with the scheme when Teebs is working at Sbarro.

      My delusional optimism took from the OSU game that the defense is good enough for the offense to right the ship. However, not only do I wish we weren’t playing USC this week, I wish the coaches would stop this back-and-forth with the media.


  3. NRBQ

    It’s shocking enough that the subordinate coaches don’t know what’s happening, ala forgetting to play Wooten and Brown, but clearly, Richt wasn’t aware of it, either.

    What are the chances this would happen with Urban or Saban or OBC, etc.?


    • D.N. Nation

      What are the chances this would happen with Urban or Saban or OBC, etc.?

      I take it you haven’t read Spurrier’s quotes about the run/throw mix this week.

      In short: If he’s kidding around, it’s a silly joke. If he’s not, he’s completely lost it and should be golfing.

      So, what are the chances? Very high.


    • Louisana-Monroe!

      “What are the chances this would happen with Urban or Saban or OBC, etc.?”

      Never, I say! Never ever!


  4. brad

    It seems as if we go into games with a play by play mindset instead of an entire game plan. Like, that play didn’t work. Hmmm. What next?


  5. Frank M. Davis, Jr.

    I am taking a vow of silence for the next three days. I hope it is both redemptive and restful. I am a tired, apprehensive Dawg and need a nap.


  6. GumpDawg

    GD85, this is not ridiculous and your comment about 8 years is off too. I have often made the statement that we had absolutely no offensive identity for the first several games of ’07. It was only the emergence of KM and his obvious talent that crystalized our game planning/strategy that year. Watch the USC (can I say that?) game of 07. Bobo didn’t have a clue. Or for that matter the GT game, his first calling the plays, in 06. We won that one by late team heroics and one well called drive. I don’t want to sound like I’m dumping on Bobo. I thought he’d learned a lot in 07 utilizing KM and was impressed by our offensive proficiency last year, BUT…he did have obvious weapons and a proven game plan/strategy from finishing 07 to work with. The new personnel at key offensive positions, I believe, has challenged Bobo in determining our ‘identity’ if you want to call it that. Or rather better stated, what is our bread and butter in what we want to accomplish to define the game and play to our strengths…what our plan/strategy is. The lack of a coherent plan after that first drive last Saturday, as well as his post-game comments, make this lack of identity very apparent.


  7. Hobnail_Boot

    All I remember from that night is watching Auburn-MSU in favor of USC-tOSU. Talk about a trainwreck.