‘Well, maybe you need new coaches, not new quarterbacks.’

This is a great read on the evolution of the spread offense, through the eyes of coaches.  There’s a lot of fun stuff in there — Hal Mumme’s confidence that his tinkering would work, Bob Stitt’s continuation of that confidence, the need to play fast to keep defenses on their heels, Dino Babers’ explanation of why he doesn’t use a playbook with his team — but what comes out more than anything is the motivation behind the increasing embrace of the spread.

It’s an equalizer.

In 1997, Mumme’s first year at Kentucky, his team played Steve Spurrier’s No. 1 Florida. The Wildcats offensive line was overmatched, so Mumme drew up a different kind of option.

Mumme: We couldn’t block Jevon Kearse, and so we told Tim Couch to either throw a bubble screen or hand the ball off. It was so easy to do. I don’t know why we didn’t keep doing it. We probably should have.

Which is what pisses off Nick “Is this what we want football to be?” Saban, of course.

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10 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

10 responses to “‘Well, maybe you need new coaches, not new quarterbacks.’

  1. ASEF

    Re: the HUNH Controversy of 2013:
    I know my issues were the advantage of allowing the offense to have complete control over substitutions and the advantage of snapping before officials were in position to do their job. For me, it crossed a line into gamesmanship.

    They have slowed the game marginally. Nick figured put his talent advantage means more rolls of the dice tilts the game in his favor.

    I think everyone’s good now.

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    • Good points. Also, I think linemen down field on the RPOs was a signficant issue.

      I think innovation in the face of overwhelming odds is one of the things I love most about football and sports in general.

      Related to Saban, I think we’re about to see another shift in his approach. I think last year’s defense showed him that his teams know how to defend the spread – up to a point – and now it’s time to adjust his offense again so that his defenses can be more effective.

      Have a good day,

      BD

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      • Related to Saban, I think we’re about to see another shift in his approach. I think last year’s defense showed him that his teams know how to defend the spread – up to a point – and now it’s time to adjust his offense again so that his defenses can be more effective.

        Based on comments of his I’ve read and posted about, I agree, BD.

        Always been a fan of contrarian thinking when it comes to offensive philosophy, and if defenses are gearing up to stop spread attacks, they’re not as likely to be as well-equipped to deal with a more traditional power-run, play-action pro-style offensive scheme.

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        • I like the pendulum aspect too. It makes it interesting.

          I also think a college coach is way more willing to run the zone read plays because all three quarterbacks dressed out cost him the same amount of money–none (Insert Ole Miss/Auburn quip). Those coaches only care about winning games. A NFL coach has more to think about and would be dumb to call those plays with a QB that they pay $10M a year with a 3 or 4 year contract. I wonder if GMs/Owners weigh in on something like that.

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          • Gaskilldawg

            Factor into the NFL thought process the fact that the NFL defenders are the biggest and fastest college defenders so the force of the collisions with the QB are greater than in college.

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      • doofusdawg

        I doubt Saban’s offensive adjustments will include trying to burn time off the clock and trying to win the game in the fourth quarter. More like opening up his offense more to get a lead big enough to make the opposing team one dimensional and then turning his defense loose on the quarterback. Then the fourth quarter can be for pounding em and ball and clock control.

        I hope this is Kirby’s thinking as well. But we can’t afford to have a bunch of three and outs in the first half… no wasted plays to set up the next hopeful big play.

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        • Good points. I think Saban will be haunted by the fourth quarter of the last Clemson game because all we needed was one pounding drive to seal the deal.

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  2. doofusdawg

    I’m afraid so far multiple means not doing the spread or the power game very well. One more chance for Cheney to do “what he wants to do when he wants to do it”.

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  3. I love a coach who makes the most of what he has instead of trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. I know someone who could really use that approach.

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  4. Red Cup

    Good article. The quote I like is that if you don’t have “elite linemen a wide open offense might be the way to mitigate the talent gap.” I thought our coaches got it in the Tennessee game. Most plays were run from the shotgun with multiple wides and we were able to run and pass effectively. But after that we went back to the same old 3 TE look and ran up the middle to no avail. That is what was most baffling to me.
    Having said that, I was not in favor of canning Chaney since we need some continuity. And, I am convinced it was CKS who decided we needed to establish our identity by trying to run it down everyone’s throat in spite of 9 man defensive fronts.

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