Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things of Note

Typically the Monday press conference is useful only for the injury report, well that and the champions list if you are into that kind of thing. However, yesterday's pc had a little tidbit that I found interesting when it comes to the offense. When Coach Meyer was asked about the pass protection he said:

"We’re being cautious of that right now. We’re not doing a lot of the five-man protection, we’re mostly into six-man. You see the tailback in there quite a bit more than when Tim [Tebow] was here. We need to start getting into the five-man. Our efficiency isn’t really high in passing right now. […] That’s because we got a new quarterback [who has to] settle down. […] You’re going to see a little more five-man protection."

Translation - we have been very conservative with the passing game in an effort to make our first year starting quarterback comfortable, after three games we think he is comfortable and we are going to open up the passing game a bit.

Gary Danielson, who I consider the best TV analyst out there, made a couple of very interesting observations during Saturday's game.

  • This offense is a huge adjustment not only for the players but also for the coaches. We are not only changing our starting QB but the new guy is so vastly different from last year's guy it is going to take time for everyone to get used to it.

  • Eventually the offense that we will settle into a speed sweep running game and shotgun passing game. In the words of Danielson, Brantley is too good of a passer for us not to have a passing offense and to take it a step further if we don't run a passing oriented offense we might as well put in a different QB.

If you take those two observations and combine them with the statement from Meyer in yesterday's pc, you end up in the same place. Three games against heavily overmatched opponents. Three games with very vanilla offensive game plans, relying mainly on defense, special teams and the big play to win games the staff knew they could win that way. Three games, including one away game in front 102,455 hostile fans, to get the new quarterback comfortable with his role.

I think the coaching staff is well aware of the fact that in order to even have a chance of winning in Tuscaloosa in 2 weeks we are going to have to throw the ball a ton. With that in mind, I think we will see less vanilla this week, when it comes to offensive play calling. To me it is apparent that the offense that we see in Tuscaloosa will be nothing like the offense we saw against USF; and that change in style should start in the Swamp Saturday night.


Anonymous said...

I hope this is true. However, when last year's offense turned out to be little more than a shadow of the juggernaut that rolled through the SEC to the National Championship in '08, there was some talk that maybe we were holding something back. Unfortunately, we weren't, and Alabama took us to the woodshed.

Scully said...

Last year's offense wasn't holding anything back, it was being held back.

There was one game that the coaches were allowed to coach their kind of game - the Sugar Bowl.

How did the offense do in that game?

Sometimes a HBC's realization that the defense and special teams can win 10 games, means that the offense is not given the freedom to play.