Interesting article quoting AJ McCarron as saying Saban handcuffs his offensive coordinators. While he wasn't sure if this was the case in Alabama's last loss, while he was there Saban was known to do this (when Nussmeier was the OC). May explain a bit more why the parting was more mutual than anything.
Not too far fetched to believe the same is happening under Hoke.
Its an article form USA today (so its easy to read)
You can't escape the 'spread' offense in today's game. Its everywhere
Not trying to knock our OC and our coach, but its really hard to be a staunch supporter of 1 ideology. (insert your lebowski nihilist jokes here) unless your ideology is move the football
basically Kiffin is adapting to his players:
The Crimson Tide's offensive transition shouldn't surprise on another level. Blake Sims is a dual-threat quarterback, a sharp departure from the pro-style passers Alabama has had since Saban's arrival. Jacob Coker, the Florida State transfer who competed with Sims for the starting job, is also more mobile than previous Alabama quarterbacks.
To accentuate Sims' abilities, the Tide is running the zone read and rolling the pocket, among other things.
Some comments on the locker room issues thread got me thinking. Or datamining, anyway, I don't know how much thinking was involved.
RockinLoud and Johnvand suggested Hoke might be forcing Nussmeier to play a style he didn't necessarily want to play, the offensive problems now being "eerily reminiscent" of the defense under RR.
Of course with RR we had clear evidence that this was happening because they were running a 3-3-5 that neither of the coordinators ever ran before or since. I didn't see anything similar happening now but Gobgoblue pointed out that Alabama had more of a vertical passing game last year than Michigan has now.
Well, that's something that might leave a tangible mark in the box score, so I pulled some stats from Nussmeier's offenses since he became an OC: the percentage of play calls that are runs (sacks are included here of course but they don't impact the percentages all that much), and yards per completion, which might serve as a measure of route depth. Anything over 13 is a pretty big number; over 15 is mad-bomber territory unless you're running a triple option and only throwing a few times per game.
|2008 Fresno St.||56.3%||12.1|
The run/pass mix hasn't changed, but yards per completion are definitely down.
The problem is, YPC only measures the ones you catch. Are we not throwing the ball downfield, or are we just not completing the downfield balls we throw? That's impossible to tell from the box scores, we'd need charts of Alabama's offense to know.
The next chart's more interesting. Here's Al Borges's career:
When Borges and Hoke first hooked up, Al passed more than he ever had before. Even the second year when they had Ronnie Hillman running rampant the run/pass mix was still at the low end of Borges's career numbers.
And then they came to Michigan and it turned upside down.
Yes. Denard. True. But in 2013 when Denard was gone and the run game had collapsed they were still running the ball more than they had with Hillman.
Something happened between 2010 and 2011 and it wasn't Brady Hoke because, thankfully, the experiment was constructed so that variable was held constant.
What changed was the move from San Diego to Ann Arbor, not the coaches. And my unfounded suspicion is that a decision was taken to rebrand Michigan football.
We can change coaches all we want. As long as the brand is more important than the product, this isn't going to get fixed.
Continuity, establishing an identity, that I understand. These 180-degree turnarounds in philosophy are damaging; you want the players you recruit to get to play in a system that works for them. But if the managing of public perceptions starts influencing coaching decisions, it's a problem.
It is clear that in the absence of DR, we have had a pretty bad running game the last 3 1/4 years and very inconsistent offense. The common thread has been the awful play by our offensive line. It is safe to say that Nuss made a mistake in not making change for the OL coach. I would guess that if he had insisted on bringing his own OL coach, Hoke would have gone along. He does not have a long history with Hoke.
Everyone talks about Gardner's poor performance last year and about him being a turnover machine. Does it surprise anyone that he had three (3) interceptions in B1G play? How about 1 INT in the last 6 games? While he struggled in out of conference play, he cleaned up considerably once the conference started.
Is it unreasonable to expect this kind of improvement or is it wishful thinking?
If the play calling could help Gardner out (less under center play action where he doesn't see the defense for 3 seconds at a time, more screens and quick slants to defeat blitzes, etc.). We saw how Utah played against our blitzes - most of the time the ball was out before we could get close to the QB.
Looking at Devin's numbers from last year, consider that we didn't have anything close to the running attack we have this year.
Pertinent on the heels of the UFR and with a game coming up tomorrow, I took a look at breaking down Doug Nussmeier’s rushing attack, and how it all fits well into one system. This combination of 4-5 base plays makes it very difficult for defenders to read keys and take appropriate angles to attacking the offense, putting a lot of stress on them to be gap sound, and opening up things to the outside and over the top.