Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Maybe we should keep the current offense
Some of football's most revolutionary offenses were happy accidents. Bill Walsh's West Coast system came out necessity when his big armed QB went down and he needed to adapt for a weaker but more accurate Ken Anderson. Rich Rodriquez's read option spread came about after a QB and Running back screwed up an exchange in practice while he was coaching at Glenville State. I don't think Addazio planned to create a new offense when he came to BC, but maybe our circumstances and the early results are reason to keep doing what he's doing.
Addazio's ideal offense
Addazio has been pretty forthright that BC is not currently running the offense he would want. His ideal is something similar to what he had at Florida with some Chip Kelly influences. It would be a run-first, uptempo spread with a mobile QB.
What is running this season
When Addazio took over he realized forcing his desired scheme on a roster that wasn't recruited for it would cause some unnecessary pain. So instead he and Ryan Day took elements of their offense and molded it a bit with BC's current roster and added some power running, jumbo packages that Stanford put in under Jim Harbaugh. While BC is not lighting up the scoreboard, there is certainly more efficiency than we ever saw under Spaz. It is working well enough considering it was only designed as a transitional offense.
Next season BC will have a more mobile QB, hopefully a few more playmakers and an improving offensive line. We should start looking like Florida did when Addazio ran their offense. It will be our own but many of the concepts will be like fellow ACC spread teams FSU, Clemson, UNC, Louisville, and Wake Forest. Those shared concepts with half the conference are my concern. BC won't be unique in the future making it easier to prepare and easier to gameplan against.
The case for keeping the hybrid
In any sport there is an advantage to being different. Think of the problems caused by Triple Option teams like Georgia Tech. Their opponents are not used to playing them and that can make up for talent differences or other weaknesses. I bet Georgia Tech's unique scheme gives them at least one extra win a seasons. This year BC's differences are creating some of the same problems. When we go into our big packages and/or unbalanced line, teams have to decide how to defend it. It creates mismatches. And even once teams have seen it, we've started adding wrinkles (play action, straight drop backs, late releasing players). If BC were to keep playing this style there are many more wrinkles to add that would keep our opponents guessing. Having a dual threat QB will also create new opportunities in this offense. Think of how effective naked bootlegs will be with a QB who can run if needed.
But being unconventional isn't the only reason to keep an offense. I think we can recruit to it. BC has always been able to find, recruit and develop big offensive lineman. Our trackrecord with Tight Ends is underrated, but I think we've done better with Tight Ends/H-backs/Fullbacks than we've done with elite WR recruits. I would also argue that our history of recruiting and finding running backs is good. The one area on offense where we haven't brought in a lot of elite talent nor sent any to the NFL is Wide Receiver. These playmakers -- who may be a bit undersized but have plenty of speed -- are the key to Addazio's ideal offense. Speed is also a big deal at Oregon. I am not trying to say we can never do something or perpetuate regional or racial biases but where do you think BC can recruit elite players: Tight Ends or WRs?
I also like mixing the Stanford Offense with the Spread because it doesn't make BC one dimensional. If recruited well and practiced well, we should be able to grind it out or get into pass-happy shootouts.
The offense hasn't been revolutionary enough for any to take notice or probably even get people in the Yawkey Football Offices thinking differently. Maybe next year if we struggle, Day or Addazio might say, "let's break out some of that power stuff we used last year" or "I think our unbalanced line would work against this team." I hope our finish to this year is strong enough that they realize what they have. Who cares if it is new or a mix as long as we can make it work?