Can Martin make Chase Rettig better?
I don't blame Chase Rettig for our offensive problems. Behind a better offensive line or with consistency from his offensive coordinator, the results could be very different for him. I predict that Rettig will make significant progress this year under Doug Martin. But how much progress should we expect? To get a better understanding I tried to measure that last two times Martin took over an offense as an offensive coordinator/play caller. The most recent example was last season at New Mexico State. Prior to that, Martin's last Year 1 rebuilding job was as offensive coordinator under Dean Pees at Kent State in 2003. I didn't get into Martin's years at ECU because Steve Logan was calling the plays and I didn't consider Martin's time as Head Coach at Kent State as he was recruiting to his own system, not trying to make an inherited player better.
New Mexico State 2011 After seven seasons as Head Coach in Kent State, Martin did not waste any time getting back into football. He took the OC job at New Mexico State last year with the hope of sparking their offense. He inherited Matt Christian as quarterback. A Senior, Christian started as a JR after transferring from Junior College. As a JUCO Christian completed 58% of his passes. In his Junior year at NMSU, he completed just 49.6% of his passes and threw 7 TDs and 6 INTs. Under Martin, Christian showed solid improvement. His accuracy improved to 52.3% and he also improved his TD/INT ratio to 15/8. That seems pretty mundane, but when you consider a 5.44% improvement in accuracy and a 114% improvement in TDs, that sort of spike could help Rettig.
Kent State 2003 Josh Cribbs was a phenom before Doug Martin got to Kent State. But entering his JR year (2003) Cribbs needed to bounce back from a sophomore slump (48.9% completion percentage, 4 TD/14 INT). Under Martin's tutelage Cribbs improved his efficiency and productivity even though his completion percentage remained flat. He completed 48.9% in 2003 but improved his yardage by 1410 yards and his TD/INT ration to 14/9. But even though it wasn't in Martin's first year, Cribbs also showed that an inaccurate passer can improve dramatically as he completed 64.5% of his passes as a senior.
Regardless of the coaching Rettig should get better next year. Most of our playmakers returns and the offensive line can't get much worse. Martin might not be a miracle worker, but there's nothing to suggest he's going to screw Rettig up. At this point all we are asking for his some excitement and a little hope.