New offensive coordinators: real and imagined
When you are 108th in total offense nationally and last in scoring within your conference, making a change at Offensive Coordinator seems like a smart move. When your offensive coordinator turns 71 in the spring, having a new name in mind makes sense. Yet Rivals.com Mike Farrell is predicting that Gary Tranquill will return to BC as offensive coordinator in 2011. Let me say that this is the opposite of everything I have heard. I was always told that Tranq was taking it year to year and unlikely to return. Even in the past few weeks I have heard that Tranq would be retiring again. The only gossip I've heard that might support what Farrell is saying is that Spaz would like Tranq to come back. But everyone else, including Tranq himself, is thinking retirement. Regardless, I will stick to my prediction that Tranq will retire.
But the pending change leads us into one of the great parlor games of the BC offseason: picking our new offensive coordinator. I always assumed it would be current WR coach Ryan Day. Many said Spaz preferred current TE coach Dave Brock. Now there is speculation that internal promotions would be fallback options and Spaz would rather bring in an outsider. So here are some real candidates and some speculative and satirical ones.
Pros: Considered bright young coach with head coach potential. Worked with some of the most influential offensive minds in football.
Cons: Never called a game before. No one knows how or what he would tweak from our current system.
Pros: Has called plays at this level. Key recruiter for our current and future QBs. Would run an offense most similar to Tranq's.
Cons: Would run an offense most similar to Tranq's. Brock sat next to Tranq in the box while this offense sputtered along. That does not disqualify him, but it makes you wonder if he would have done anything differently.
Pros: Has called a game before. Knows how to run a wide open, high tempo offense.
Cons: Never called plays at this level. Just because he followed Chip Kelly and has Chip Kelly's playbook doesn't mean he can make BC into Oregon. Mixed results coaching our OLine.
Pros: While he doesn't have the BC roots as deep as Ryan Day, like Day, Sirmans is a well regarded coach who has been around many good offensive systems.
Cons: Never called plays. Never designed an offense.
Frank Cignetti, Jr.
Pros: Suddenly looking for a job after Pitt cleaned house. Followed Tranq at UNC so he knows how to follow him and transition to his system. Has a prostyle and balanced attack that would fit with our current roster. Would be the outside name that many desire.
Cons: No connection to Spaz. Pitt's offense has been criticized for many of the same issues we have (redzone, boring style, etc).
Pros: Probably out of a job at Indiana. Runs a pass happy sort of prostyle offense. Led the Big Ten in passing.
Cons: No connection to BC. No connection to New England. No connection to Spaz. The reason I mention him is that he is the type of guy who might be available and he has called plays before and could probably elevate the play of our current QBs.
Pros: Current Arizona State OC. Has called plays at a BCS level. May be looking for work depending how the dominoes in the coaching carousel fall. Worked with Gene's son while at the Jets. Runs a pro style that would fit our roster.
Cons: No obvious connection to Spaz. No connection to New England. Might not want to job hop.
Pros: Proven play caller. Knows the region well. Knows the ACC. Runs a style of play that would fit for BC.
Cons: Miami had inconsistency issues too. [This was floated to me as a real possibility but I can't ever see it happening. I don't think Whipple would come back and work for Gene. I don't know if Whipple would work at a place where he could have been Head Coach. I also don't know if Spaz would welcome someone who, if he succeeds, could be a threat to take Spaz's job.]
Pros: Passing Game coordinator for a FCS school. Alum.
Cons: No BCS experience. No FBS experience. [A blogger can dream, can't he? If you are going to go with an young unproven guy, you go with Day.]
Pros: NFL and college experience. Could run a prostyle offense. Knows BC. Worked with some of the current staffers.
Cons: No play calling experience. [Jags considered hiring John D when he first came aboard but everyone thought it wasn't the right time or situation. Now? What the hell? Everyone thinks Gene is calling the shots. Let's just take it to the next level!]
Pros: Play calling experience. Seasoned veteran. Can run different types of offenses. Turns 71 in August as opposed to April baby Tranq.
Cons: Wouldn't lower the average age of current staff. [If Spaz's wants an outsider with experience to match Tranq, Hall is his only answer...who is still alive.]
As I said, I expect Tranq to retire and Brock or Day to get the job. I hope that if Spaz does look outside the current staff he makes a hire who won't try to change everything. We have the pieces in place to take big leaps forward offensively. I would hate to start from scratch again.