Bring up the “H” word.
“If I had the magic wand on changing rules, I would call holding much more effectively,” Miles said on Wednesday’s SEC coaches teleconference. “I think those guys that are pursuing the defense have to have their hands inside. … I think anytime an offensive lineman closes in around the defensive guy and he loads his body with greater weight, to me in play that is a much more significant problem than hurry-up.”
Not that you’re necessarily wrong, but good luck with that, Coach.
LSU’s Kevin Minter said he had a problem in last week’s game against Florida with the humidity. I didn’t realize it was so much drier in Louisiana. (Although to tell the truth, I don’t know why he’s making excuses. He played out of his mind in that game.)
But anyway, here’s some musical consolation for him, courtesy of Mr. Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Really neat post from Chase Stuart about another trend in offense: one-word play calls. The guru is Oregon’s Chip Kelly.
Kelly told the Patriots he was moving to a no-huddle that only used one word to signify everything involved in a play.
Sideline calls take too long. Wristbands too.
One word is all that is needed.
“The things they’re doing now, they’re even faster,” [Ravens tight end and former Oregon player Ed] Dickson said. “They have things where they can call one thing and it’s going to tell them formation, plays, everything, and all you have to see is coverage.”
The collective Patriots’ response to Kelly’s assertion was, basically, “You run an entire offense like that? How do you get the players to comprehend that?”
Kelly declined to be interviewed, but those with knowledge of the discussion said Kelly laid out his rationale.
Players memorize thousands of words in songs, hundreds of movie lines, and many other things involving pop culture.
Why can’t players have instant recall of a handful of concepts? Heck, everybody knows No. 2 on a McDonald’s menu gets you a Quarter Pounder, medium fries, and a drink.
“It’s kind of easy,” Dickson said. “It comes with repetition. A lot of guys learn different. Myself, I just needed to be out there repping those plays. The more comfortable you get, the faster you’ll go. He wants to make it easier to where you’re not thinking about anything, you’re just going fast. Make it as simple as guys can learn it so you can go really fast. That’s the key, making it simple for your players so they can play at top speed.”
There’s something so simple and yet so brilliant about that approach. You’d think even Gary Danielson would approve.
Questions from an alternate reality:
- Start with Travis’ post.
- Then, after reading this (“It’s not good that it’s like this halfway through, so we need to figure it out…”), ask yourself if this season might be unfolding differently if four defensive starters hadn’t behaved stupidly in the offseason.
- Finally, top it off by reading Andy Staples’ take about how long a coach in Richt’s circumstances should get: “… I’m afraid this question has no correct answer. Ohio State finally fired John Cooper, and Jim Tressel took the Buckeyes to the level the fan base desired. On the flip side, Nebraska fired Frank Solich, and Bill Callahan ran the program into the ground.”
Again, my point here isn’t to argue for or against canning Richt. Rather, it’s that there aren’t any easy answers. Unless you’re either totally fine with letting the program go on as it has for the past few years, or don’t have any problem with tossing head coaches out every three years if they don’t take things to a satisfactory level in that time, that is. I can’t say that I burn with the fire of a thousand suns for either approach, but maybe that’s just me.
It’s not just that Gary Danielson has this mental block about college offenses running anything other than good ole pro sets. It’s that he’s becoming more and more incoherent about it.
“I think when Penn State plays Northwestern, and both teams run 98 offensive plays, and an NFL game has 65 to 70, the college powers-that-be need to look at their product.”
(For what it’s worth, Penn State ran 99 plays; Northwestern ran 61)
Danielson, a former NFL quarterback, said it’s “all fair” when the offense doesn’t allow the defense to substitute simply by running its plays quickly and exclusively with the personnel it has on the field. Where it becomes unfairly advantageous, Danielson said, is when the ball is placed close to the offense’s sidelines and it’s able to make substitutions so swiftly that the defense is forced to hold tight with the players it has on the field.
So which is it that offends – running too many plays or taking a substitution advantage? Because those are two very different issues.
By the way, as a general rule of thumb, when somebody suggests that the college game needs to look at the product because the NFL does something better, feel free to cry bullshit. The NFL is all about parity. That’s not college. If Hugh Freeze needs to scratch and claw to give his team a chance to stay on the field with Alabama, more power to him. Because if all he does is line up and try to go toe-to-toe, Ole Miss is going to get waxed.
Maybe a forty-point blowout is Danielson’s cup of tea, but I doubt that’s a sentiment shared by a lot of people besides Saban acolytes.