Can there be too much hurry in the hurry-up?

Interesting complaint from Texas A&M’s defensive coordinator:

“I think there needs to be a discussion on it within the league to figure out how they want to handle it [up-tempo offense], because it’s becoming more and more widespread with different teams. Like I said it’s a legitimate tactic if you are using the same personnel. But we’re having teams … last week, they’d run a 50-yard go route, the guy gets done with his route, runs right off the sideline, the other guy runs on from right at the line of scrimmage. Our corners have to run 50 yards back and they’re snapping the ball. Without the opportunity to sub, I don’t know that it’s legitimate.”

I can see both sides to this argument.  On the one hand, as long as both sides have the same opportunity to flog the defense, it would seem to be fair.  On the other hand, if the rules say that both sides are supposed to have an equal opportunity to substitute, then it’s up to the officials to allow that to happen before letting the play run (of course, that begs the question of how much time the defense should be given to make personnel changes).

If I’m a head coach, it probably comes down to what kind of offense I’m running as to which side I come down on the question.  But if I’m a defensive coordinator who wants to keep my job, my answer is going to be different, no matter what the head coach is weighing.  Which, when you think about it, explains Sherman’s and DeRuyter’s comments completely.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

18 responses to “Can there be too much hurry in the hurry-up?

  1. The other Doug

    What is to stop a team from running 50 yard go routes over and over to tire the CB out? Keep in mind that the WR runs it once while the corner has to sprint back to cover the new WR who just came in off the sidelines.

    • TennesseeDawg

      You only have 4 downs, that will stop it. How many QBs can throw 50 yard go routes for completions all day?

    • Go Dawgs!

      What’s keeping you from running another cornerback in as soon as the play’s over, the same as the other guy is running a receiver on immediately after the play?

      • CarolinaDawg

        If the offense runs the go route to their own sideline, then that’s a 50 yard sprint for the CB to get off the field before the play is run. Not saying I disagree with you, but definitely a problem.

        • Go Dawgs!

          It’s a problem, but it seems to me that the offense is getting penalized here for having a plan and being ready. If that corner is gassed and he starts that run off the field as soon as the play is whistled dead, he’s got time to get off of the field and get a new corner in the game before the ball is spotted for play. That’s if there’s a plan in place to do so, and if everyone in question is on the same page. But the same goes for the offense making that theoretical quick substitution after a deep incompletion. They’ve got to be ready with all players ready to do the same thing, with the possible exception of the play-side receiver having a shorter distance to run off the field. I feel the defense’s pain, but at the same time my reaction to this type of complaint has always been, “tough.” Going back to 2001 when Richt brought the first version of his hurry up to Athens, and we kept getting penalized for not allowing the defense to substitute, I thought it was ridiculous. If you’re ready to run with us, cool, but if you’re not, that seems more like a “you” problem than a “me” problem.

          • Go Dawgs!

            with “you” being the opposition and not you, CarolinaDawg.

            • HahiraDawg

              Everyone is assuming it is a deep pass incompletion. You can run the 30-50 yard sprint and throw a short route or a screen. The corner is nearly just as winded. I’ve seen this strategy for years. Run the corner off and substitute, do this several times in a row before challenging him. However I’ve not considered it in the light of the hurry up O. I’m an offensive guy (former receiver), but I don’t like it.

              • Go Dawgs!

                The story’s the same if it’s a shorter incompletion. The defense can have a plan for it. It still takes a certain amount of time for the referee to put the ball down. If they’re not ready, then that stinks for them. Their offense can turn around and do the same thing when they have the ball.

              • Go Dawgs!

                sorry, “shorter completion” is what I meant to type.

  2. CarolinaDawg

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing everything you can to win, within the rules of the game. I do think that when a certain tactic creates a genuine disadvantage that has little to do with actual football strategy and more to do with gaming the system, the rules committee should step in and come up with a solution. There’s a difference between gaming the system and gamesmanship, and it’s not a lot of fun to watch when someone beats the system.

  3. Will Trane

    You mean like strength and conditioning. In football you had better be able to run and to run with stamina. Up tempo is not something new. I dare say many of those people in Sanford have not watched many high school football games in the past few years. It is just hard for them to understand what has happened and they do not like it. You do not have to have 50 yards passes with WRs going on and off the field to be up tempo and no huddle. Most of these young men coming out of high school today ran and played in up-tempo running games.
    In Athens they want to see a 2 TE set power I. Where do you think Derek Dooley falls on this issue. Look at his WRs and sets. He is light years from his dad. Rogers, Hunter, Arnett, Bray, Poole, thinke he is like Auburn wants to put the offense in gear. Notice how Ds are changing with this. Watch the subsitution patterns of TG. I have not heard CMR and staff moan and groan about this. CMR came out of FUS with up tempo. He wants to run deep seams with talented WRs…like the 6 or so against UT. They want to spreed the D vertically, even for the running game.
    As to advantages, how do you have the largest offensive line in D1 football and you have trouble converting downs and distance. You have trouble protecting your QB. Some of us are tyring to figure out why a team has trouble converting 3rd or 4th and short with a mobible QB and a talented, but young RB. For defense players, an up tempo running game wears your ass out in a hurry, especially with a physical O line and RBs. 70 plays of running, shedding blocks, covering an area, and making a tackle is tough.
    When is the running game going to kick in at UGA this year? How many break away runs have they had. If an RB breaks off a 30 to 40 yard run will the D makes subsitutions. Probably…just watch the sidelines. Well coached teams have a solid game plans and game management. That means keeping your players fresh for all 4 quarters.
    A lot of these high school programs run before day light. Many of the kids are up at that time running in the off season. How many 7 0n 7 have any of those fans in Athens attended in the past few years. I’ve seen HS spread offenses subsitute the entire O line in drives.
    Just a few things to ponder.

    • Cojones

      Just read your post after posting below. Funny how minds think past the “W” when the Senator puts up the brain food. And how we went directly to Georgia’s play arena. Any question (like the one we were fed) that generates more questions is a great question.

      Kudos, Senator.

  4. Cojones

    Funny how it depends on the opponent and how deep your enmity towards that team goes when answering the question honestly. The answer also depends on the quality of your subs.
    Gilliard and ‘Tree being subbed by Robinson and Herrera kinda toys with your view of the question. The opponent can run until his tongue hangs out and he still is going to be blasted with some Junkyard Dawg energy. How long can Kwame and/or Big John deal with stamina issues to endure the push without a break or sub? It’s an intrigueing question that coaches have already figured out several years ago and have relegated it all to depth. While we think that coaches worry about depth related to injury subbing, they have worried much more about what a no-huddle offense will do to that depth.
    It’s a question that should also give us pause as to what happened to the team due to the massive injuries endured around 4 yrs ago . While the staff was finding bodies to fit a position of play, other questions were in play in their minds and this would be one of them.
    They had to deal with it while the agitated fan base was clueless. How could you explain everything to the fan base without tipping your opponent to your weakness? You couldn’t. Only those in the arena know of the questions and possible answers needed to post a W and keep the torch burners away from the door long enough to rebuild their way out.
    It’s a hard question along the lines of, but not quite the moral dilemma of overrecruiting. If we have enough personnel in good health then it’s to our advantage to pour it to the opposition whenever we can and ,as fans, we won’t give it a second thought. However, if we are on the receiving end on D and our nose guard is exerting himself play after play down the field without relief, then conditioning becomes a paramount issue. When he crumbles on a run play that results in a td, then it would seem unfair to us that our best rested person was not in the fray. So it goes.

    Hey, this coaching crap ain’t so simple , is it?

  5. Pingback: Designated Read: I will turn this one around – Campus Union

  6. Patrick H

    It’s in the rules that the defense gets an equal opportunity to substitute so the refs have to provide that opportunity.

    Also, the defense can only react to the offense so it’s not a balanced equation without the rule. Depending on the player change there could be a variety of substitutions the DC would need to put in, it’s not always just a WR change.

  7. ScoutDawg

    Well it depends on if P. Wagers is an official in your conference. Mark Richt used to run the no-huddle like a really good watch. The officials decided it wasn’t fair and made him stop. Then U. Cryer went to UF and really sped up the tempo but that was OK. I don’t know.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      That’s when the conference office has to make a decision about what the SEC permits coaches to do on offense. Then the SEC Head of Officials is supposed to be sure the game officials are enforcing the rules even-handedly and consistently game to game. That has been a serious problem in the past but, hopefully, will no longer be so with the promotion of Steve Shaw.