Picture Pages: Predictability

Submitted by Brian on October 23rd, 2012 at 11:50 AM


oh good this again

The great unresolved question we batted around Monday on the podcast was the perpetual great unresolved question of the last year and a half: "quien es mas falto, Denard o Borges?"

I'm not done with things yet but am I leaning Borges, except since Michigan went into a shell against a good defense and won the game instead of throwing five interceptions and losing it, by "blame" I might actually mean "credit." Michigan won, and outgained the other offense by about 50 yards, and was only about 50 yards short of the output spread genius Urban Meyer managed against the MSU D. In terms of the OH MY GOD TOTAL DEBACLES that have speckled the Borges/Denard partnership, this ranks much lower than having under 200 yards of offense before you're forced to chuck the ball all over the field. See: Iowa, ND 2011, etc.

That said, a quarter into the game, Spartan safeties have made tackles at the line of scrimmage twice, Chris Norman is regularly meeting lead blockers two yards in the backfield, and the only significant gains Michigan has acquired are on a Gallon throwback screen on which it looks like Norman busts hard and the ten-yard Kwiatkowski out. Here's an example of the first two phenomena:

This is a super-aggressive quarters defense that Indiana exploited against both MSU and Ohio State—which is attempting to run the same scheme—with various cover-4 beaters. Michigan elected for the shell, and won.

Even so, man. Michigan has spent weeks setting things up as they played Bye, Virtual Bye One, and Virtual Bye Two; Michigan State is coming off three consecutive hard-fought games. I'm not sure if Spartan Overpreparation is a real thing or not—I hope so. Otherwise we're putting all our chips on the idea that Borges really doesn't have the faintest clue how to run a spread offense and that things will get better once a Real Quarterback™ is in place*.

*[If you've ever made this assertion I hate you.]

An Example

Okay. So here's Michigan's end-around version of the veer that they've been putting on the field for a few weeks now. It looks different; it's really just the same thing as the veer, though.

[Please forgive the crappier than normal image quality—the BTN was taking wide shots, which is generally good for this sort of thing, but this week's torrent is bleah for whatever reason.]

Anyway: Gallon in the slot, Michigan in a Borges-standard three-wide pack. The alignment of Gallon hints at the end around motion, BTW. MSU is in their standard 4-3 even. The guys at the top of the screen are going to be the relevant ones. Gholston is the DE, Denicos Allen the LB.


As Gallon goes in motion, Allen—and only Allen—moves to the LOS outside of Gholston. Live this gave me a sense of disquiet. That's not sliding some linebackers over. That's an awfully specific thing to do.


A  couple of moments later, the snap has been made and Denard is in a quasi-mesh point with Gallon. I say "quasi" because the action here is so fast that it's hard to believe there's any real read component.

Anyway. Four MSU players are relevant here.


  1. The boundary corner blitzes. He is the contain guy if Gallon gets the ball.
  2. Allen is now the End Man On The Line Of Scrimmage—EMLOS(!). His goal is to get the two-for-one that allows Bullough to be the free hitter, or at least foul the hole and thus rob whoever gets to Bullough of his burst of impetus.
  3. Gholston is the main cutback defender. Once Allen is the primary hole he's got to prevent anything from cutting behind it.
  4. Bullough is the guy MSU would like to be the free hitter a la Demens. Bullough's ridiculously good at football and sheds blocks like whoah; having him as a free hitter is a luxury few teams have.

On the Michigan side of things, Lewan is adapting to the play as it develops and pulls out some of the old zone playbook. When Gholston dives inside of him he goes with it, using his momentum to take him past the point where he wants to go. Toussaint also reads the funny business going on and heads straight for Allen. Omameh is pulling; his eventual destination should be Bullough.

This is hard to see in the next still, so watch for it in the video: the legs you see poking out here like the Wicked Witch of the West with a house on her…


…are in fact the remnants of a killer cut block on Allen by Toussaint. But Allen has still gotten his two for one:


Omameh is literally hopping outside that block. A moment past this and the two players will be even, which means Denard can't follow him, which means he's not blocking anyone, which means two for one, which means Max Freaking Bullough is a free hitter.

Michigan's one saving grace on this play is the Lewan-Gholston matchup. Denard gets a cutback lane because Lewan has blasted Gholston to a point on the field even with the playside and backside DTs. Bullough is surprised by Denard's attack angle, as is Norman, and both have a tough time cutting back as fast as Denard can.


They're unblocked, though, and there are many of them. Denard can only squeeze out four yards…


…as Gholston lies pancaked underneath Lewan yards from the play.



On separate run-throughs check out:

  1. Toussaint chopping Allen
  2. Lewan dominating Gholston
  3. Denard picking through traffic
  4. Michigan getting four yards off of two great blocks.

Things And Stuff

UNLEASH THE EPIC RABBLING COMMENT THREAD. Guys, I'm totally sorry, but sheeeeeeeeeeeeit. This is happening all the damn time. The play above is MSU knowing what's coming as soon as Gallon goes in motion and having a plan to combat it. The plan works—pretty much, anyway—despite the playside defensive end ending up on his stomach eight yards away from the play.

Michigan's not getting anything of the sort in kind, and the first play on which Joe Reynolds makes an appearance features this defensive formation:


filed under "lol 100% run" in the MSU playbook

That wasn't a fakeout, man, those jakeryans came at the snap, leaving one corner anywhere near a simple curl/flat or smash combo with the twinned receivers.


This was a run. A –3 yard run. Yeah, sure, opposing defensive coordinators don't know about Michigan's substitution patterns. Probably just a coincidence.

That cannot happen. You cannot allow the opposing defense to align like that. Michigan allows it all the time.

Okay, okay, is going away from all run all the time a danger that makes Denard chuck interceptions? Possibly. I watched Denard make those curl/flat throws as a clueless sophomore, though, and you just can't let the above happen. I'm finding lots of wins for MSU based on their prep for this game, and few for Michigan. The throwback screen that worked was more Norman busting hard than anything schematic working.

I know they got some stuff later, so I'll probably be less peeved about this when the UFRs come out. I am pretty disappointed that M spent the first quarter running absolutely nothing new against Michigan State of all teams.

Lewan vs Gholston is no contest. It was no contest a year ago, it's no contest this year. He made a couple plays that didn't show up on the scoresheet when he was well-schooled on Michigan's sweep play and used his athleticism to shoot a gap—and Funchess took out Schofield in the process—but once he gets locked up, game over man. He did himself a disservice by not playing for a 3-4 team. He'd be a terror in ND's scheme. As a 4-3-even DE, he's the third-best player on his own defensive line.

Toussaint got a win here. This went a lot worse for him when he was trying to lead Denard into iso runs and Chris Norman was tearing ass at him. The lack of Rawls was pretty weird given the context.

Players don't really matter here except at the margins. Gholston got annihilated and Michigan got four yards. That was MSU's worst case scenario on this play.

Michigan's counterpunches to this sort of thing are not even really the Dileo completions. Dileo catches his first two balls on second and eleven and third and six; the last one was clearly not a play action situation, so all you've got to show for this is the single catch and run from the second quarter.

You should be able to punish the level of aggression shown by the MSU defense in some way. Michigan could not last year and could not this year—at least not in the structure of the offense. Last year, Roy Roundtree broke a tackle to turn a slant into a touchdown. This year, Denard juked and juked and juked to get his 44-yard run towards the end on a QB draw that had absolutely nothing to do with the base rushing offense.

The most alarming thing so far: Michigan's first pass on first down is three drives in. It has a play action mesh point of the sort MSU has been tearing after all game, and no MSU linebacker takes a step to the line of scrimmage. Why? The line sets up to pass block immediately, without anyone pulling. Michigan has not had a run play yet without a pulling lineman.


Denard doesn't have anyone open and ends up throwing his worst pass of the day, a near-INT that was so bad two MSU players had a better shot at it than any Michigan guys. Clearly he has not gotten through all his bad decision mojo, but I'm mystified that Michigan would not even try to draw those linebackers up by running plays that look like the ones they've already put on the field.



October 23rd, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

Brian, serious question:  In your e-pinion, how does Borges compare to DeBord in terms of predictability?  The criticisms you level at Borges seem to be very similar to your criticisms of DeBord (though it's hard for me to believe that anyone can be as predictable as DeBord). 

Blue in Seattle

October 23rd, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

You are frustrated with Borges because he is not yet a master of run read option with throwing constraints. I agree with you, and speculate that Rodriguez would have had bubble screens and the QB oh no to the slot to burn those safeties.

But I also remember people being excited about the SDSU offense that was happening right before Hoke left. There is a high cost to the practice time of all these plays, and each year there are 20 new freshmen who need to start learning the eventual play book. This is not just Borges unfamiliarity, but also a hybrid approach because they are making a strategic change. Yes there is a cost, but so far it seems lower that the cost of a three win season in year 1 of a coaching change.

These eighty or so players can't learn their skills like Neo, " I know Kung Fu!"

A coach can't call plays that the players can't execute. The previous performance of Borges makes me think it is not a lack of understanding what would work. I think it's more about having one NFL prospect on the offensive line, and a QB who can't throw under pressure. You can call a pass protect with a pulling guard against an hyper aggressive defense if you like. I think I would go for straight up blocking, and hope one of those short quick receivers would just start getting open.


October 23rd, 2012 at 7:12 PM ^

A three win season was the cost of Ryan Mallett bailing on the program and shitty recruiting by Lloyd Carr from 2005 until the end of his tenure.  Arizona has the #5 total offense in the country and is a dramatically better team than a year ago despite losing an NFL QB, their leading rusher, and their top 3 receivers from a 4-8 squad.  Talking about transitions and stylistic differences is just as silly as it was when Rodriguez was here.

Al Borges, no matter what label he or anyone else gives his offensive system, should be familiar with ways to attack a team on the perimeter when you line up in multiple wide receiver sets and the opposition doesn't respect it.  That doesn't have to be with one particular play and it certainly doesn't have to only arise out of a read/audible if the defense is doing the same thing on a regular basis. 

Everything you have said goes against what Al Borges is actually doing.  If your quarterback can't handle pressure, get the ball out of his hands quickly.  If he can't read the defense, throw it to the perimeter where there are fewer defenders to read and less opportunities for adjustments.  If the line can't protect or is subpar (which is patently false, but that's another issue, not to mention our 2006 o-line actually only produced one draft pick and the 2003 line produced two) do the same.  If teams are keeping their safeties back or playing off your receivers, get the ball into their hands right away and let them try to make a play (When have we seen a corner have to make a tackle on Devin Gardner in space?).  Instead we are running fakes of plays we don't run that fool nobody, having the QB drop straight back and chuck the ball downfield into traffic.  You say we can't run all these complex plays, yet instead of snapping the ball and having the QB throw the ball to a receiver right where he is, we are running complicated downfield routes that force both the quarterback and the receiver to read the defense in order for the play to work successfully, a defense that is of course totally prepared for these kinds of plays and not being forced to attack the line of scrimmage and make tackles in space against guys like Gardner and Gallon.  If the players can't execute that, how do you expect them to execute the downfield throws Borges is actually calling?  And how is a throwback tunnel screen less complex than a straight-up long handoff to a WR with no one directly in front of him?

It's a nice sentiment you've put forth and I wish you were right but the fact is Borges has made things more complicated while simultaneously making them less effective.  That isn't a transition cost, that is just bad business.





October 24th, 2012 at 9:29 AM ^

I actually agree with a lot of this.  I really don't understand why we don't put devin Gardner in a position to make a play.  A toss to Gardner would be really interesting to see... he's got to be challenging to tackle.   What I would give to see him with the ball in his hands in space. 


October 24th, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^

Loping speed though, and very hard to bring down a la Vince Young, or David Terrell actually is the strongest comparison that comes to my mind when I see him with the football. A subtle plant and go from him and a tackler is toast as much as if Denard just double clutched him. His slash-n-cut is reminiscent of Denard's too.

Has a Denardian presence in the pocket (here Illinois Zookedly only sent a 3-man rush--you shouldn't do that against him ever):

the unsilent m…

October 23rd, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

because the offense/quarterback is limited to what it can do. Again, the key to success against this or any other spread offense/quarterback is: take away the run, take your chances with the pass (i.e. turn the spread option quarterback into a drop-back quarterback).  The pattern is well-established.  It is also well established that when it is working for the opposing d and we can't take advantage of their necessary gambles, it looks just like Saturday, and the previous 4 games with MSU, and Alabama, and Notre Dame, and Wisconsin...


October 23rd, 2012 at 5:58 PM ^

It's the literally showing not one single thing different during a huge rivalry game against an elite level defense that knows every move you make because they are obsessed with you. You can show different looks and still be within a scheme that your limited QB is comfortable with. You can do that and not always run when Reynolds is in the game. You can try different types of runs within a limited scheme that Denard has shown he can do sometimes (speed option, just as an example). You can counter your tendencies on first down. You can QB oh no. You can do a lot of things without chucking the offense and shwoing up in the wing t.

When people like Brian gripe about Borges, many of them are not saying lets chuck it everyhwere, or lets "do some trick plays guys!" They mean not calling the same plays as last year within the same formations and tendencies when State is playing us exactly the same as last year. You cannot rely just on execution to win against good defenses, and my concern is that our coaches in fact do rely on that, to the exclusion of strategically sound changes that in fact could help our limited QB and non all-world (yet) skill players


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:22 PM ^

I mean, from the box I would imagine he sees all of this developing on every play. I would think QB oh noes to Funchess would work miracles against the alignments MSU was running?

Yes? No?


October 23rd, 2012 at 6:30 PM ^

I agree. Borges must see this and must know. Therefore, he must "know better." It is worrisome that our preparation yields predictable results, and that we seemingly are unable to adapt or "fake them out."

If we are trying to "set them up" or sandbag them by running similar plays to the variation that will trick them, I'd like to start seeing the variation that tricks them at least once in a while.

Isn't it about trusting the offense to make a play, or are we just dumbing it down in fear that they can't?

EDIT: Read the transcript of Borges' press conference; they knew what they were doing as far as playcalling (conservative) and did it on purpose. They did not want extra decision making going on during a play. Wasn't pretty but was effective....we won...which Borges said is the idea,

Red is Blue

October 23rd, 2012 at 1:21 PM ^

In the Dantonio era, I believe MSU is something like 1-4 in the week before M (MSU had a bye week preceding M in 2011) which is much worse than their overall record during that same time (48-26).  I'm sure there are a bunch of possible explanations such as 1) just a coincidence, 2) the opponents they play the week before MI are tougher than their average opponent or 3) MSU is prepping for M more than one week ahead.  Just speculation, but I wouldn't be shocked if MSU was willing to decrease their chances of winning the game ahead of M just to increase their preparation for M.  



October 23rd, 2012 at 6:36 PM ^

All year, spring, summer, fall MSU prepares to beat Michigan. Much like OSU and Michigan (used to?) do. For the most part, we prepare to be the best team possible and win all our games, and prepare specifically for a team game week. You kow MSU is breaking down Michigan film 365 days a year in some small aspect.


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

It was clear throughout the game MSU knew what play was coming based on personnel, but again, this brings up the option to check out of a play.  I know Hoke made a comment that Denard has an option to check out of a play 50% of the time, but I can only recall 1 or 2 times, the whole season, he has changed the play.  It is very frustrating to watch MSU overload one side of the line, knowing what UM intends to do, and yet UM still runs right into the blitz.  I don't know if this is on Denard or Borges, but man is it frustrating.

I Like Burgers

October 23rd, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

If your QB isn't making plays to check out of obvious bad situations, then its on you as the OC to at least talk to him during the game and make it clear what he needs to do.  And if he still isn't doing it, then call up some different plays out of the same formations and put him and the offense in a situation to succeed.  For all that Mattison does to give the defense some advantages, Borges seemingly does nothing.


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

You don't even need to check out of a play.  Brian says it perfectly, all you have to do is watch the game film from the MSU / Indiana game and realize that State can be over aggressive.  So you design a play that looks like one thing, but it's another and you just hammer them doing the wrong thing.

I don't know if it's a lack of trust in Denard, or a lack of faith in the receiving corps, or what, but it was really frustrating watching the offense struggle the way it did on Saturday when MSU seemed ripe to be burned with their consistent over-committing.


October 23rd, 2012 at 1:53 PM ^

Even more so because you, me, and everybody else knew about that for a few years now. States been setting its defense up to be taken advantage of every game for successive seasons now. Hoke even said their defense is high risk, high reward in the presser. We didn't capitalize on it, though. Feels like we almost did the opposite, like we ran right into mismatches headfirst over and over again. The playcalling doesn't feel safe to me, it feels stubborn. 


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

To my simplitic mind, it looks like Borges has taken the offense sort of back to square one after the Notre Dame game, where they spend a good portion of the week in practice continuing to help Denard master the base offense rather than gameplanning for our opponent's particular tendencies.  I kept waiting for the big eff you playcall where we catch MSU being overly aggressive and kill them with it, too, and it never came. 

The game plan seems to be that we make sure Denard is good at running the offense as we've designed it, execute it well, and hope it's enough to win games (with the defense keeping us in games, it's worked so far).  The alternative is that Borges is just not good at analyzing opposing film and gameplanning for it, which is too terrifying to contemplate and frankly seems impossible to be true.



October 23rd, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

The problem is that a "base" offense with no constraint plays is not a complete offense. 10 plays each run out of different formations are less effective then one play, run well, with a couple constraints and an available audible.

An example is our laughably predictable play action. It looks so little like our running plays that not a single person is fooled and you're better off just passing from an empty backfield - takes less time and give you more route options.


October 23rd, 2012 at 1:00 PM ^

When you think about it, when the current coaching staff took over, they had a big project in Denard.  Teach him a new playbook, retool his throwing mechanics, retool his footwork, teach him to read the defense, audible out of bad plays, etc.

At this point, I think they've probably decided they've gotten as far as they could in the 2 years they had to work with him and are just trying to keep the offense simple enough to win games.  Denard is who he is, so they're making do the best they can.  I think it can be good enough for us to win the conference championship, but in the end the final judgementt on the Denard - Borges Fusion Cuisine will probably be around a C.


October 23rd, 2012 at 4:10 PM ^

I'm not saying "make the offense more complex". I'm saying "make the offense more cohesive". We apparently spend a fair amount of time teaching the offense how to set up and block I-form play action. But that's a mediocre play at best because we don't run out of the I very often or very well, so everyone knows it's a pass when we set up that way (or at least face little punishment for always assuming it's a pass).

Instead, dump that play and draw up a fake zone read to a quick pass designed to punish teams who aggressively crash the zone read. Or something like that. You're teaching the same number of plays, and one fewer formation, so it's no harder on Denard. But you're more effective, because the defense is forced to wait and react rather than immediately attack at the snap.

Why does the throwback screen work so often? Because until Denard turns around and tosses it, it looks like a dangerous play we actually run and defenses are forced to respect that. Make more plays like that and fewer plays that can be pre-determined just by checking the formation.


October 24th, 2012 at 12:56 AM ^

Stick to predictability, which is what you were talking about in the first place.

First of all, the notion of predictability is over-rated. Teams knew Bo was going to run at their ass, and couldn't stop him.

Second, even if predictability was as important as you think it is, it is generally not as common. The defense might stack the box on first down, but they don't know whether we're running iso, counter, power, trap, sweep, inside zone, outside zone, belly, veer, or dive (that about sums it up). Each plays has strengths and weaknesses, and myriad keys that defenders must read to get themselves in the right place.

Third, predictability is bullshit. You have no fucking idea what is going to be run, other than a vague run\pass option which is so simplistic it is stupid as it doesn't account for any of the types of runs or the infinite number of route combinations that may be called.

Fourth, predictability is bullshit. RR's offenses tipped off whether the run was inside or outside on every play. The backs just gave it away based on alignment. And still, his teams got a shitload of yards because even though defenses knew where the back was headed, they didn't know if it was a run or a play action, they didn't know whether it was a give or a keep, and they didn't know the blocking scheme.

Fifth, predictability is bullshit. All zone runs are one of two plays, the zone and the stretch. That's right. There are essentially only two ways to block a zone run. And you guys love that shit. Why? Because it works. Why? Because it is executed properly.

Lastly, predictability is shit. Dana Holgorson, darling of this crowd, has said that he installs his offense in three days.  How unpredictable can such an offense be? Not very. They key is having good plays, calling them at good times (which can lead to - natch - predictability), and executing them.


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

After the ND debacle the offensive mindset seems to be "We're going to do what we do best, and dare you to stop it." It's worked so far, but it's frustrating to watch against a team that can actually stop it.

I don't think the issue is that Borges is terrible at watching film and game planning, because we've seen him come up with some pretty good game plans that counter what the opposing defense does best (I would count 2011 MSU and 2012 ND here), it's just that those tend to be game plans that this offense is not capable of executing well.

I think Borges knows how to run the offense that gets the most out of these players. I also think Borges knows how to create a game plan that attacks an opponent's weak spots. But I don't think he's very good at combining the two. Until the last few weeks, he seemed to default to "game plan" mode and the team suffered for it when they couldn't execute. The MSU game suggests that the offense is now defaulting to "base package" mode, and while that makes it one-dimensional, it gets the job done and is much less likely to backfire.

There are still some serious issues with the way this offense operates. Having a "We are clearly running on this play" receiver or a "We are clearly passing on this play" tight end is a very bad thing. Having no discernible system to check out of bad matchups could cause serious problems. If the team takes care of business the next few weeks, and these issues are fixed just in time to surprise an unprepared OSU team, all will be forgiven.

I can dream, can't I?


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

Yeah, I've been telling myself that once the read-option base offense Borges will know what he's doing, but the complete lack of even easy, common-sense type adjustments has me worried. I really wish we could get some analysis of his SDSU days to see if there's some hope there. The play calling is almost becoming Debordian, but in a spread set and Denard instead of Mike Hart.


October 23rd, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

Here's 29 picture-paged plays of SDSU vs. Navy two years ago.





What you're seeing here probably isn't the full offense; at  the beginning of that season Borges had talked about the need to narrow the scope of the playbook that year while his young players learned the ropes.

The Squid

October 23rd, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

This was a completely crazymaking game from a offensive playcalling standpoint. MSU was well-prepped and knew exactly what was coming on many plays. Probably a dozen times I thought, OK, fake the inverted veer and toss it to the slot on a slant. Please please pleeeeez. But no.


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:32 PM ^

again last night and noticed, almost everytime Denard went to do a read option play, even before he would put the ball in the RB's belly, the MSU LB's were just pinning their ears back and flying towards the line of scrimmage.  Borges needs to add a "pass option" to the standard read option play to keep the LB's honest.  We need some sort of crossing route or curl by a TE or slot receiver while running the read option.  If the guy covering the slot receiver blitzes (or is left uncovered!!!) , then the slot receiver route becomes a hot route screen or fly route.  Have Gallon cut off his motion in a Jet Sweep type of motion, short of the tackle and run a crossing route behind the DL and LB's (if they react to the read option play).....

All Borges does is play RPS with the same basic read option running plays.  Against lesser defenses, we can time and time again shoot "Rock" and over match a lesser opponent.  However, against a stout defense, Rock does not always win (No matter what Kramer and Mickey say)..... I don't care how good our OL is, when the defense sells out 8 or 9 guys on the possibility of a run play, you don't just have to "execute" the same play better or work on our "technique" to succeed.  You need to make them pay by using their aggresion against them with appropriate "alternate" play calling, until they become hesitant to committ to either option. 


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

It actually looked to me like Allen walked down in response to Denard lifting his leg. Allen didn't appear to look at Gallon at all and he seemed to move down before Gallon went in motion


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

Otherwise we're putting all our chips on the idea that Borges really doesn't have the faintest clue how to run a spread offense and that things will get better once a Real Quarterback™ is in place*.

*[If you've ever made this assertion I hate you.]

Weren't you pretty much making this assertion back your "Route Trees vs. Infinite Variations of the Zone Read" Alabama picture pages? Unless you are only hating the insinuation Denard isn't a "Real Quarterback".


October 23rd, 2012 at 1:10 PM ^

But anyone willing to write off senior Denard Robinson for a "meh, lets prep for a REAL offense next year" is worthy of some hate.

Yes, yes they are. Hate them with the passion of a thousand suns. That hate will definately make you stronger. Top to bottom, this team is pretty good. Not National Champion good, not Top 10 ranking good, but they can win the conference and punting that aside would be unconscionable. This isn't 2008, where Rodriguez faced an entirely different situation personnel-wise


October 23rd, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

I honestly don't know what to say.  Reading this, I think to myself, "If a former engineer turned blogger can figure this out, why can't a guy who gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars do it?"  But in reality, it's just not that simple.   As much as Denard was under pressure to perform, I think Borges was under more.  He's a fairly arrogant guy, which I think is somewhat charactersitic of all Offensive Coordinators.  HE knows what's best.  And, (in MY opinion), Borges doesn't want to allow Denard to check out of the run play and into a pass to the uncovered Slot.  It's the same arrogance that prevents him from running bubble screens.  I get the sense that Borges feels like the bubble screen is somehow beneath him.