Okay, so we all know that communication issues are part and parcel of what Todd Grantham brings to every table he’s dined at as a defensive coordinator, and the “we” includes Dan Mullen. So after last year’s particularly putrid example of that, what does Mullen do? He fires a couple of position coaches and tells the new guys it’s on them to fix Grantham.
“We make certain that we rehearse everything in the meeting room, go through all our checks, go through our own field checks and make certain that we’re loud and we’re vocal in the meeting room so that we can on the grass, there’s no second guessing,” McGriff said.
“When we go, we’re in a meeting room, we’re watching video, we doing install, we go through the calls and signals like we on the grass. I mean, if you walk by the meeting room you hear the calls and if you peek in there, you see the hand signals.”
In an effort to emphasize the importance of stressing the calls, McGriff has had his guys do what just about every high school drama teacher requires from their student actors. You have to over-exaggerate.
“I have to teach them how to be like Hollywood a little bit and be like actors, and make sure we call those signals out and make sure we’re hand signaling,” McGriff said. “And the biggest thing is not only just communicate with your teammates, but make sure your teammate co-signs off on it. That means now he has it, that he has the check, and I’ll tell the safeties over and over again, ‘Do not stop communicating till your teammate co-signs off on it.”
The signing off requests have gotten downright silly at times…
“You ask one person to go to the restroom, the whole room going to co-sign and sign off on it,” safety Rashad Torrence II said. “Just simple stuff like that kind of goes onto the field and we just use simple, little tidbits to kind of nag off each other and that kind of translates to the field. But I really do think that our communication has gotten better.”
Aside from my question of what happens if someone really needs to go and doesn’t get the sign off for it, my main reaction to this is it sounds like something a Tennessee head coach would come up with. And, during a game, while they’re all getting Grantham’s late, complicated signals and then having to sign off with each other, why wouldn’t any competent offensive coordinator just go hurry-up on their asses?