The Tin Age Of Gold Comment Count

Brian January 21st, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Tommy Tuberville, 1/11/2010:

"We're going to air it out," Tuberville said. "We're going to keep the Air Raid. I think it's something that Tech has hit upon that gives them that identity to recruit."

Rich Rodriguez, sometime in 2008:

“We’ll adapt. I like winning too much not to adapt a little bit to our personnel.”

Brady Hoke, 1/14/2011:

"I think you'd be remiss as a coach if you don't know your personnel, and you try to implement something that maybe you're not quite ready for. There's a way to grow to it. So we're not going to try to put any square pegs in round holes."

Midway through Rich Rodriguez's first season it had become clear that Michigan was spectacularly bad at football for the first time since the 60s, and the blame started to go around. A large portion of it was directed at Rodriguez shoehorning Michigan's pro-style personnel into the spread offense, and it was all dumb. Very dumb. I wrote a post explaining how dumb this was called "The Golden Age of Tin." In brief:

  • Despite having NFL talent up and down the roster Michigan was about 70th in offense in 2007. All of that talent left.
  • Michigan had moved to a zone running game two years before Rodriguez arrived and he changed very little on the line.
  • Four of the five starters skill position starters were freshmen who had never played in a pro-style offense. (Brandon Minor would later return from injury/discontent/quasi-suspension and play pretty well.)
  • The run-pass split was almost 50-50 a year after WVU ran 70% of the time.
  • The quarterbacks were bad in any system.

A couple years later, Nick Sheridan is a grad assistant, a redshirt junior version of Steven Threet has a 18-16 TD-INT ratio for a 6-6 Arizona State team, and Michigan's spread offense is one halfway decent turnover margin/defense/kicker from being awesome. Rich Rodriguez did a lot of things wrong in his time in Ann Arbor, but installing the offense he'd been running for 20 years wasn't one of them.

Because of all the things he did do wrong, however,

greg-robinson-fail

he's in a sad car with sad child. Al Borges is now in charge of Denard Robinson, a bunch of slot receivers, tailbacks no one except Fred Jackson thinks much of, and… well… a pretty decent set of pro-style outside receivers, tight ends, and (probably) offensive linemen.

Borges is going to do the only thing he can do with this personnel: coach a pro-style offense with a vertical passing game. This is not going to be as good for Michigan as continuity would be, but the person to blame for that is the athletic director, or Rich Rodriguez, or some of the things Rich Rodriguez did wrong. Al Borges has not spent the last 20 years figuring out how to get mileage out of quarterbacks who double as drag racers in the offseason. He's spent it saying "no, I'm not Jeffery Tambor" and passing to open up the run.

Coincidentally, the best example of what happens when you replace a Rich Rodriguez-type coach with a more passing-oriented guy is when West Virginia replaced Rich Rodriguez with Jeff Mullen. Mullen was the QB coach responsible for turning Wake Forest into a miraculously effective offense through 2007 and arrived in Morgantown promising more balance in the Mountaineer offense. He got it:

OC Year Runs Passes Run%
Rodriguez 2007 628 265 70%
Mullen 2008 517 305 63%

Unsurprisingly, passes got less effective as they became more frequent. The thing that dropped WVU from a national title contender to just another top 25 team was that despite rushing less, rushes also got less effective.

OC Year YPC YPA Pass Eff
Rodriguez 2007 6.2 7.8 11th
Mullen 2008 5.3 6.4 28th

If you're thinking Steve Slaton's exit for the NFL may have had something to do with that, replacement Noel Devine actually rushed for 6.3 YPC. What happened? Burgeoning Wolverine Star has a table of its own that highlights the severe drop in productivity from quarterback legs that started as soon as Rodriguez left. Pat White's rushes were exactly as frequent—down to a tenth of a percentage point—as they were in 2007 but his productivity dropped alarmingly. White averaged 6.7(!) YPC under Rodriguez and just 5 under Mullen.

While it's possible the schedule was tougher and the team weaker after Owen Schmitt and a few others graduated, Devine's numbers suggest the most likely explanation for that huge drop is that Mullen didn't know what the hell to do with White.

-------------------------

So. Michigan fans wishing to protect their soul-tingly-bits would do well to regard quotes like these from Borges as gentle untruths created for public perception: 

"I've been doing this for 24 years. I'm no genius and I do not pretend to be one, but I have a hell of a lot of experience with a lot of different types of quarterbacks."

But when Borges goes on to compare Robinson to Michael Vick and what he's doing with the Eagles…

"They said Michael Vick couldn't be a West Coast-style quarterback, and he's one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL. Why? Because they put him in situations to run and throw. Denard is 6-feet tall, like Michael Vick. He can run and he can throw and make things happen. If Michael Vick can do that with the Philadelphia Eagles, why can't Denard Robinson do that at Michigan?"

…he suggests that "a lot of different types of quarterback" boil down to guys running NFL offenses with various scrambling add-ons. This is not a fluke. Borges has an array of quotes along those lines. It's also not very realistic. Vick's long and winding journey to becoming a good NFL quarterback took ten years of intensive coaching. When he was three years out of high school (like Denard will be next year) he had a 9-7 TD-INT ratio; VT ran 74% of the time. Their offense was a grab-bag of spread 'n' shred mixed with pro-style that featured a heavy dose of option and even more "Mike Vick makes one read on seven-step drop and starts running." It was pretty effective, but it was even more run-heavy than Rodriguez's Pat White days and took the most outrageously athletic player in the last two decades to make it go.

I'm not sure Denard is quite that, and if we're talking about putting Denard in positions to run or pass that just sounds like a lot of rollouts. And here's the weird thing about Robinson: the guy hates running the ball when he's not explicitly directed to. When he got to the edge this year he invariably chose to throw even when it was third and three and there wasn't a guy within six yards of him.

run run run run run nooooooo okay [ninja stuff] wooooo

Maybe that's because Michigan's offense revolved around Denard running 25 times a game and he didn't want to put any more tread on his tires, but seriously, how many times did you scream "run!" at the TV or field last year?

Maybe this will work out. Maybe Michigan will run four verticals at opponents until their safeties scream for help, whereupon Denard will be able to enact one-read-and-scramble. It would be easier to imagine this happening with Braylon Edwards on the outside, but Michigan did have some success throwing deep in the bowl game and I'm guessing Denard's going to spend most of his offseason throwing fly routes.

But if it doesn't, there's no alternative. Coaches are old and crotchety and just are who they are. They have a very specific, gradually moving corpus of knowledge and when they deviate from that performance suffers. Borges is an effective coordinator with a certain sort of offense. Without it he's probably going to be a version of Jeff Mullen. This is no one's fault, really, just like it wasn't anyone's fault three years ago when Rich Rodriguez surveyed his offensive personnel and felt the crevasse beneath him inch open for the first time.

Tommy Tuberville, 12/27/2010:

"I still believe in running the football," he said. "More than what they did in the past. That's the biggest difference. We want to be a bit more physical and be able to run the ball, which will help throwing it down the field, too."

RIP, air raid. RIP, spread 'n' shred.

BONUS: we should put together a pool for when and where the first column approvingly citing Borges's ability to adapt relative to Rodriguez by comparing their first seasons shows up. Bonus points will be awarded for the most irritatingly shallow glossing over of the difference between junior Denard Robinson with seniors around him versus freshman Threetsheridammit surrounded by fellow freshmen.

DISCLAIMER SECTION: I expect these things next year: Denard is a better thrower, turnover margin is a lot better (fourth year running, that prediction), all yardage metrics drop, scoring drops slightly from 25th but is better distributed across the schedule, FEI plummets. Improvement from the defense and, god willing, kicker will mask a drop in offensive power.

Comments

Huntington Wolverine

January 21st, 2011 at 1:35 PM ^

  • Despite having NFL talent up and down the roster Michigan was about 70th in offense in 2007. All of that talent left.
  • Michigan had moved to a zone running game two years before Rodriguez arrived and he changed very little on the line.
  • Four of the five starters skill position starters were freshmen who had never played in a pro-style offense. (Brandon Minor would later return from injury/discontent/quasi-suspension and play pretty well.)
  • The run-pass split was almost 50-50 a year after WVU ran 70% of the time.
  • The quarterbacks were bad in any system.

A couple years later, Nick Sheridan is a grad assistant, a redshirt junior version of Steven Threet has a 18-16 TD-INT ratio for a 6-6 Arizona State team, and Michigan's spread offense is one halfway decent turnover margin/defense/kicker from being awesome.

To your point:

Lots of teams adjust the offense to the QB without a two or three  year implementation period.  Cincinnati mixed it up with Pike and Collaros (same season).  OSU did it with Boeckman and Pryor (same season).  PSU went from Morelli (pro style) to Clark (Spread HD) in a one year span

Pike and Collaros isn't changing systems, it's your starter got injured and your back-up came in and ran the system he's been learning.

Boeckman and Pryor was "we have a great run game to bail out our freshman QB that can't throw or read defenses."  That team would've been, and was, much more productive offensively with Boeckman under center.

PSU from Morelli to Clark is a transition but ignores that Clark was in year 3 when he took over for Morelli with decent playing time sprinkled throughout years 1 and 2. 

lunchboxthegoat

January 21st, 2011 at 2:15 PM ^

so let me get this straight, we're vilifying RR for making GERG run a defense he did not run or understand or have any capacity to teach and then we're turning around and blaming RR for a terrible season because he ran the offense that he knew how to run and he understood and had a capacity to teach? OK....

 

yes, history tells us that [email protected] was an EPIC FAIL. But let's not pretend like we can have it both ways.

saveferris

January 21st, 2011 at 1:44 PM ^

The falacious argument here is that somehow the transition in 2008 could have been handled in a way that would have produced a result acceptable to the fanbase.

So Rich Rodriguez comes in and "adapts" to the talent he has on hand, which is still essentially none (sorry, Mallett, Manningham,and Arrington are still gone).  Michigan limps through to a 5-7 or 6-6 season.  Everyone is still pissed off because we either missed a bowl game or went to a every unimpressive bowl game and his seat is still getting warm.  Oh yeah, and he's a season behind in getting his offensive squad acclimated to his style of football.

The bottom line is 2008 was going to be a disappointing year regardless of who was coaching or what offense we ran.  Applying omniscience to this argument is pointless.

M-Dog

January 21st, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

with some Threet play action passes in the ND and Iowa games.

He should have done some more of this in his winnable games like Toledo and Purdue and tried to go at least 6-6 and keep the bowl streak alive. 

it would have slowed the full glorious implementation of the spread, but he would have lived to fight another day.  

blueheron

January 21st, 2011 at 1:48 PM ^

"If wonder if Brian thinks that Michigan would have been WORSE than 3-9 if they had used a more "traditional" offense in 2008."

You don't seem like a big-picture thinker (sorry).  So ... maybe the ineptitude at QB, if steered slightly differently, could have gone 6-6 in a PRO-STYLE (!!!) offense.  Great.  What would they do the next year?  More PRO-STYLE?

raleighwood

January 21st, 2011 at 2:15 PM ^

So I guess that you're proclaiming yourself to be a "big picture" thinker?  That would mean you agree with the course of action that set them up for a 3-9 season which set them up for a 5-7 season which set them up for a 7-6 season which set them up for a new coach.  Is that the "big picture" that you're talking about?

Regarding what offense they would run the next year......I would answer whichever offense gave them the best opportunity to win games.  Winning games preserves jobs.

Jasper

January 21st, 2011 at 2:38 PM ^

With all respect, I think you missed something obvious.  Rodriguez runs the spread (for better or worse).  That was his plan all along.  As a mere mortal (or worse, depending on whom you ask), he didn't have another offense available.

He thought that the spread gave him the best chance to win.  Given that, why would he delay to process (transition to the spread) for a year just to *maybe* get a couple more wins?  (That's the ridiculous part of all this.  Way too many people assume that available talent had nothing to do with the '08 results.)  Bad risk:reward ratio.

M-Dog

January 21st, 2011 at 5:46 PM ^

When large projects are implemented that do not have a "payoff" for years, they provide interim milestone "victories" along the way.  It's standard procedure. 

They do this to provide interim payoffs so that the whole damn thing does not get cancelled.  They don't just say "Hey, you're going to love it in five years, just close your eyes and go away until then." 

This actually slows down the overall payoff but it's necessary to be able to keep going and to live to fight another day. 

This is what RR should have done.  He didn't, and he got cancelled. 

blueheron

January 21st, 2011 at 2:46 PM ^

Apu: Welcome, steady customer. I see you are ready for the civil war re-enactment.
Homer: I need some supplies. I keg of beer, and a six pack to hold me till I tap the keg.
Apu: Here you go.
Homer: Thanks. Are you sure you don't want to come? In a civil war re-enactment we need lots of Indians to shoot.
Apu: I don't know what part of that sentence to correct first, but I cannot come.

- - -

Yes, winning games preserves jobs.  On that we agree.

- - -

Exactly what kind of offense, with Threet/Sheridan at the helm, should RichRod have run?  Some details would be nice.  -1 for any unsupported references to PRO-STYLE.

- - -

"That would mean you agree with the course of action that set them up for a 3-9 season which set them up for a 5-7 season which set them up for a 7-6 season which set them up for a new coach."

Suppose your magical offense (from the prior section) would have resulted in (optimistically) six wins.  How would the next year have gone when the spread offense started to get seriously implemented?

- - -

I don't necessarily think that RichRod would have succeeded if he had been given more time.  There were plenty of screw-ups in other areas.  I just don't think it's fair to blame him for the state of the cupboard in '08.

Go Blue from T…

January 21st, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

I like that there's a prominent picture of GRob in this article that is entirely focused on the offense. He was terrible.

Good article though and I'll take September 26th in the pool, just after the SDSU game.

psychomatt

January 21st, 2011 at 1:23 PM ^

Hoke really better deliver on the promise of a much improved defense almost immediately, because the thought of even a small step backward on offense combined with anything close to our 2008-2010 defense is 2010 Texas level depressing (and without the preceding decade of 10-win seasons to fall back on).

TXmaizeNblue

January 21st, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

"Maybe Michigan will run four verticals at opponents until their safeties scream for help"

Yeah, problem is if one of those verticals get wide open 20+ yards down the field, Denard will most likely under/over throw the guy.  I hate to be pessimistic but I fear a major increase in Denard INT's this year.

JeepinBen

January 21st, 2011 at 1:39 PM ^

You do recall Denard's improvement from his Freshman year to his sophomore year Throwing, right? 

Look at the first play from the Illinois game, or that ND TD pass - those are 4 vertical routes. Denard threw them just fine, even when his shoulder got hurt. Don't forget he gets another summer to work on everything and get healthy. 

Everyone Murders

January 21st, 2011 at 2:21 PM ^

This seems unduly negative.  Denard seems very coachable, and look at the progress he made as a passer in his second season compared to his first.  We were all frustrated by inaccuracy in vertical routes, but Borges may be precisely the guy to resolve that problem.  Borges seems to recognize the need for development, so let's give him a chance to "take the next step" and give us a new and improved flash trilithium QB.

"He’s accurate when he gets his feet on the ground. That’s probably the part we’re trying to develop the most. We know he can run and will explore that skill, but we’re going to try to take the next step with his throwing."

 

fatbastard

January 21st, 2011 at 1:20 PM ^

Rodriguez and disdain for a coach who hasn't coordinated a play for us yet?  Why can't Denard be Vick?  Maybe the better question, is why can't Denard be as good or better than Troy Smith at OSU?  He's a very similar player.  He is probably more talented.  He is faster and more elusive.  I'll take that style of coaching with Denard.  Personally, I don't care if we have 800 yards in offense if it means we only possessed the ball for 25 minutes and scored 21 points.

Jon Benke

January 21st, 2011 at 1:22 PM ^

I think we'll see a ton of shotgun formations, and that Denard will pass much more than he did last year, though he'll always have the "option" to run.  This seems like the most logical way to go about running this offense.  We also have very good depth at WR.

wolverine04

January 21st, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

I don't think it's valid to say that it'll take DRob as long as Michael Vick to learn a west coast style offense.  Vick admitted on many occassions that he was a slacker and that he rode his talent without studying the game.  If DRob has proven anything this past year is that he works his butt off. I'm not saying he will be the Michael Vick of Michigan next year or that Al Borges will turn him into MIchael Vick, but that the potential for DRob to be Vick isn't out of the realm of possibility.

ESNY

January 21st, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

Vick said on numerous occasions that he essentially refused coaching and time watching video until he got out of jail.

I think with the new coaching philosphies that even if D-Rob did do a lot of rollouts, that he would be more inclined to run if nothing was open downfield.  it was almost like he (or maybe RR) was trying to prove that he wasn't just a running QB and would go out of his way to pass on "passing" plays rather than take what is given.  If he does alot less designed runs, hopefully he'll be coached not to have that mentality and take what the defense gives.

wolverine04

January 21st, 2011 at 1:40 PM ^

Exactly. 

If DRob can make the same strides he did over the summer last year, I don't see how he can't be successful this coming year.  His accuracy was horendous his freshman yaer and it improved enough to take the starting job this year.  I think next year his long ball accuracy will be on par with his short passes this year.

I think he's a very coachable guy.  You can teach a kid to throw, you can't teach him to be fast. I think that was RR's problem when he first got here.

flintwoverine

January 21st, 2011 at 1:22 PM ^

BONUS: we should put together a pool for when and where the first column approvingly citing Borges's ability to adapt relative to Rodriguez by comparing their first seasons shows up. Bonus points will be awarded for the most irritatingly shallow glossing over of the difference between junior Denard Robinson with seniors around him versus freshman Threetsheridammit surrounded by fellow freshmen.

Brian,

This is a really intellectually dishonest argument.  You are critisizing people for inevitably glossing over the fact that Rodriguez lost Mallet, Arrington/Manningham, and a bunch of lineman, when you are glossing over the fact that Rodriguez had something to do with losing all of them.  If you want to quibble over how much blame he should get for that you can, but to assign him no blame is you simply selecting the meme that Rodriguez was a good coach that did what he should have done and if we'd just waited he'd have been great, but he got screwed, and then selectively choosing data to support that.

One of the best things Hoke has done, your chicken little imitation ("oh no, the world is falling, Denard is definitely leaving.  What?  He's not?  Well then he'll definetly leave after spring ball.") not withstanding, is get all of Rodriguez's players to buy in and stick around.  He should get some credit for that, just as Rodriguez should get some blame for his inability to get Carr's player's to stick around.

Michigan4Life

January 21st, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

with any of the offensive starters leaving. 

Mallett was going to transfer regardless of the coach and RR was a perfect excuse for him to transfer back to his childhood favorite team, Arkansas.  Mallett wasn't well liked by his teammates and was a douchebag/immature.  Manningham was going to leave no matter what even if Carr hadn't retired.  Apparently, Arrington made a pact to leave with Manningham and he did.  Arrington was probably the one who's most likely going to stay but he didn't want to deal with learning new offensive system, new QBs who isn't as good as Henne/Mallett.  The bunch of OL were either graduated or didn't want to play football(Alex Mitchell comes to mind when he basically quit football but the coaching staff begged him to stay until the end of the season).

What RR was left with an entirely new offensive starters that doesn't really fit his system.  The OL depth was in shambles.  Aside from Long, the rest of the linemen were terrible and didn't bother replacing them because the backups were worse.

Maybe RR pushed Boren away but it is just as much as Boren's fault as it is RR's fault because Boren hated the new S&C training and RR didnt' let him come home every now and then to help out his family.  Boren was resistant to changes.

ESNY

January 21st, 2011 at 1:37 PM ^

Its not worth the time to try to correct these people.   They are convinced that Mallet, Manningham and Arrington (but esp Mallet) was 100% forced out by Rich Rod.   No matter of fact will sway their opinion.   Despite the fact that we were a 7-5 team that lost every skill position player from that team, it was RR's refusal to adapt his system that was the biggest issue.

Michigan4Life

January 21st, 2011 at 1:42 PM ^

that are that bad like Threet/Sherdian, most of the OL and some of the WRs, you might as well implement your offensive scheme as soon as possible so the offense can get better quicker.  I don't have an issue of him implementing his system because that what he's hired for, his offensive system.  RR threw the ball more than he ran which is an indicator of how he tried adapting his system to his player.

I doubt that Michigan is a 7-5 team, they're closer to a 5 win team than a 7 win team.

mmiicchhiiggaann

January 21st, 2011 at 2:33 PM ^

We're just as convinced that RR forced them out as you are convinced that RR had this amazing conversation with them to try and stay. You have no more evidence then we do. Yet based on his personality and stubborness to do things his own way when he was here I'll stick with the logic that he didn't reach out to them like you all conclude.

kgh10

January 21st, 2011 at 3:08 PM ^

Nobody thinks RR had this "amazing conversation" with them to try and stay. We have these things as evidence:

1) Rodriguez stating publically that he spoke with both Arrington and Mallett, especially Mallett more than once, about sticking around. Do you have reason to believe he LIED about doing this?

2) Manningham was always gone. This is not even to be discussed by anyone rational.

2) Many consistent insider rumors that Mallett wanted to transfer before the 2007 season ever started, during the 2007, and after the 2007 season (which he did). He did not get along with many of his teammates (I and many others know this for fact due to interactions as students with him and various other players on that team).

3) A rumor that even Carr threw transfer papers at him mid-season.

4) Mallett isn't a complete idiot and saw an excellent opportunity in his home-ish state to play in a Petrino coached offense vs. playing in a running-style offense with RR miles away from home with teammates who he wasn't really close to.

Yet, you believe based upon his supposed "personality and stubbornness" (assuming much?) that he not only didn't try hard to keep them on the team, but FORCED them out? This is your "logic"? Occam's razor, dude. Use it.

It's really not that hard to believe there would be nothing RR could possibly say to make Mallett or Arrington to stay considering the things we know and the things we're pretty darn sure of.  Is this the end of this topic or what?

kgh10

January 22nd, 2011 at 4:13 PM ^

Haha I'll do my best Jamie! I must say I always smile when I see a post by you or OC and some others. Well first I'll read the post, nod in agreement, and then later notice that it's one of you guys.

Tagg

January 21st, 2011 at 3:08 PM ^

There were many reports that Mallett wanted out halfway through the season because he was homesick. So there is a good chance that he made his mind up long before Rodriguez was even hired.

Do I have proof? Of course not, I wasn't there but at the same time the only insight you likely have into Rodriguez's personality is what you saw on T.V. I'm sure there is more to a mans personality than what you see on the television.

psychomatt

January 21st, 2011 at 1:40 PM ^

So, Hoke is a god (and certainly superior than RR) for convincing Denard to stay in A2 despite the fact the DRob has said publicly that he stayed because of the friends he has made in A2 and not wanting to walk out on his teammates. Of course, the difference between Ryan Mallett and Denard Robinson goes as a plus one in the Hoke column as will improved defensive stats for 2011 despite the fact that our defense is bound to improve from 2010 to 2011 simply because virtually every starter on defense returns and the average experience level will probably go up more than any other of the 120 FBS teams in the country.

Fine, Hoke is a god. Somebody commission the bronze statue. I am sure the Great Brandon would like it in time for the 2011 home opener (or even earlier, so he can roll it out at a couple of Walmarts during fall camp).

Vasav

January 21st, 2011 at 1:34 PM ^

The only starting lineman Rod lost was Boren. Manningham was probably headed to the draft anyway. That leaves Mallet and Arrington (and Clemons - who wasn't a returning starter). Arrington left early because Mallet left, so yes Rod could have done a better job there. As for Mallet, I think Rod did the honest thing -  (assumed conversation) "We've got two returning offensive starters, and I'm going to be implementing an offense that isn't the best fit for your skills. You're one of the best young QBs in the nation, but if Terrelle Pryor comes here, you'll be on the bench. It's probably best for you to head back home and tear up the SEC."

So he lost Boren, Clemons and Arrington on offense. Even with them, our line would still have been woeful, and our QBs would still have been Threet competing with Sheridan.

But yes, kudos to Hoke for keeping this team together. I think Rod may deserve some credit for making them love each other and love Michigan, but Hoke certainly desreves much love.

Bronco648

January 21st, 2011 at 1:26 PM ^

If you watched the video, it sure seems the Robinson is faster than Vick.  I would hope that a system, similar to tOSU with TP, would work fairly well.  And, that a change in defensive scheme, and a coordinator who is familiar with said scheme, will get some stops.

Undefeated dre…

January 21st, 2011 at 1:27 PM ^

I know, I know -- he already can run really well, and has shown he can be an effective passer. What he doesn't do well is threaten both options on the same play. The quick step-to-the line zip pass doesn't really count, because it's a designed play.

Given the huge strides he made from 2009 to 2010, I'm sure he can develop his improvising skills. I look forward to a few Griese-esque rollouts, where we actually may run the ball as well as zipping it to a TE 12 yards down field or a WR 20 yards downfield.

ebvelleman

January 21st, 2011 at 1:27 PM ^

Al Borges will do what he knows best.  This is, however, not as vanilla as all the hype makes it out to be.  Just watch SDSU's bowl game against Navy and you'll see a large variety of formations are play calling.  Yes, Ryan Lindley will be a pretty good pro-prospect and is a very accurate passer but Borges showed enough variety in his play calling that I am not worried about this transition.