Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Opening Up The Offense

On simplifying Pitt's offensive play-calling:

"When you look at the plays we're running -- we're running zone plays, we're running tosses, we're running flip screens, we're running inside screens, quarterback draws, reverses, wide receiver screens. My wife would have a hard time drawing up more plays than we've got. In fact, I'm almost to the point that we have too much. It can get that way."

This is from Kevin Gorman's column this morning where Wannstedt is talking about the upcoming game at Syracuse. These three sentences show what the problem is with this coaching staff and playing the college game. It seems as the people (person?) in charge and some of the fanbase see different play variety as the only way to open up the offense and that isn't the case. One reverse and one flea flicker isn't alone enough to change the conservative nature of the offensive play calling.

What everybody is talking about in regards to opening up the offense and changing the perception that we are a conservative team is the type of play calls we run consistently. It's the 2nd and 8 runs up the middle after we ran a similar play on 1st down. It's the draws on 3 and 11 instead of throwing past the 3rd down marker. It's a bubble screen to the outside reciever when the other team is in bump coverage. It's putting in Greg Cross and running a simple bootleg on a 2nd down. It's putting Jonathan Baldwin in 7 plays and having him run the same route 5 of those 7 times.

Finding ways to get the ball to playmakers has nothing to do with many different styles of running plays we run. I've seen countless games where top teams will run entire drives where plays look identicial with small changes, but the plays work because it gets the ball to the team's playmaker. Throwing the ball to Shady seemingly helped him get a couple bigger gains later in the running game. It feels like much of the time, players only get one or two chances to touch the ball in unique situations, and then it's back to the same play they get every other week.

I'm not touching the part of the quote about his wife because I don't know what that means.


Brian Ising said...

Another interesting part of that quote is this: "I'm almost to the point that we have too much. It can get that way."

While the NFL mentality is obvious in Wanny's conservatism, it is also prevalent in his complex playbook on both sides of the ball. Our schemes are built for NFL players. It is difficult for college kids to pick up these schemes in the limited time they have. Perhaps, this explains why so many young players have a hard time finding the field. They can't learn the playbook fast enough.

They need to simplify things, especially on offense. Seriously, how many plays does WVU run? Their offense seems to work just fine. Pat White, who is no Rhodes Scholar, has that offense mastered, yet it takes our guys a few years to understand Cav's offense.

Of course, Wanny would have to check with the invisible man before making such a change to his philosophy.

John said...

Dear Lord what could there possibly to understand about Cav's offense. It is that lamest, blandest, piece of junk ever. Even my "party" student on "party" day could pick that offense up in 15 minutes. Sorry for the inside joke in advance dpj.

Brian Ising said...

"I feel good about Shane, and I do believe he will play this week. Something happened where he was going to go into the game, and then we were fine."

What the heck does this quote mean? He was going to go to the game, and then we were fine? What is he talking about? Could he be referring to the "invisible man"?

DPJ said...

That is right Brian. Shane was scheduled to go in during the 3rd quarter, but luckily there was a break in the action and the invisible man go on Wannstedts headset and told him to pull Shane.

No need for anything risky with a 14 point lead and Iowa's offense driving.