Rogers from a Notre Dame perspective
I asked the Notre Dame fans from the defunct Irish blog Blue-Gray Sky for their thoughts on our new Offensive Coordinator Kevin Rogers. What follows is a string of quotes from them. Please note I am not cherry picking what they wrote.
I have to confess I have very little immediate recall on Rogers, other than embarrassing clips like this:
I always blamed Davie and not any of the offensive coaches.
The offense was good enough in 1999 to win all those close games.
The Rogers offense was effective at times, but horrible in others. He ran far too many qb draws, so many that it was easily predictable. 2nd and 3? Qb draw. 3rd and long? Qb draw. First and goal inside the five? Qb draw. 3rd and 78, qb draw... U get the picture...
The guy was brought in to make Jarious Jackson and Carlyle Holiday the second comings of McMabb and instead installed a vanilla offense with no sense of clock management. It always seemed like he had all the pieces but he could never really put them together. Now, how much of that is Rogers and how much is Davie? Couldn't tell you. However, we were unnecessarily mediocre under him, I will say that much.
I remember shotgun with 2 backs being a big part of what we did.
The straight-armed, telegraphed hand-off never bothered me. What bothered me was using the straight-armed, telegraphed hand-off without a counter play or play action off it.
I can't wait until Rogers calls Y-hide to beat us at home, and ND fans everywhere explode because they knew it was coming, but Kelly admits they didn't see it in any of the tape/film in preparing for the game.
I remember a common knock being our lack of an offensive identity. Shotgun, option, wishbone, power I . . . we were like the menu at one of those greasy fast food joints that tries to serve every conceivable kind of food.
Really, we had some amazing players on that team and a smattering of cleverly designed/called plays here and there.
If you ask some offensive players from that era they'll tell you that they believe (as Rogers believed) that he was often hamstrung by Davie, who was too hands-on for his own good.
Its funny to look at the careers of people like Rogers - if you took out his ND tenure, you'd think he was a pretty decent offensive coach, given his success at places like Syracuse and Va Tech. As fans, we often joke that people "didn't forget how to coach when they got to South Bend," but for someone like Rogers I really wonder if that's true...
Straight-armed telegraphed running plays
Here's how every Notre Dame running play looked under Rogers.
1) QB gets the ball from center and turns in the direction of the running play
2) QB extends arms out as far and as straight as possible towards RB
3) QB walks towards running back until RB takes ball.
It should be noted that this was especially ineffective on long-developing run plays. I remember it being explained at the time as making it as easy as possible for the backs to handle handoffs or something. It completely telegraphed every play. If ND didn't do this sequence, they weren't running the ball. Bleh.
He's a victim of staying at ND for a year too long. He was offered the OC job under Stoops and stayed, getting tuition and stuff for his kids covered. Ditto a few other big ones. He was offered a few small head jobs but didn't go, and I think he was offered the Rutgers job as well.
Instead of waiting to see where the dust settled after they pulled the plug on Davie -- who I can confirm absolutely bludgeoned the offense, including some technique issues many people talk about -- he took a job with Frank Beamer the next day, even though it was a position coach job and a really stubborn decision. From there he took the reins on some offensive stuff, but was stuck behind Steinspring, who's a complete idiot.
The negativity of ND Nation and how sour it went really wore on him, his family, everybody.
He did a pretty good job w/the Vikings O, interviewed for the OC position w/the Bears, but they gave it to Martz, and then this year happened, hence him needing a new job. Went back to college I'm assuming because of the labor situation, and I suspect he'll do well at B.C.