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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Offensive Familiarity

I wanted to give credit to Ed Finley, who responded to a post about RB Tyler Gaffney's ties to Stanford, where Lance Taylor is now RBs coach.  Taylor never coached Gaffney, but it brings an inside knowledge that's very valuable.

It opened up the thought that Carolina, in a way, drafted familiarity with the rookies on offense.  G Trai Turner played at LSU.  Cam Cameron's their coordinator, and he's 100% pure Coryell.  Gaffney?  Well, people wrongly attribute Jim Harbaugh to the WCO because of a very late Bill Walsh connection (that lasted about a year before Bill passed) but Harbaugh essentially only ever played in Coryell, and he runs Coryell.  Pep Hamilton is Coryell, as is David Shaw.

So, Gaffney is Coryell.

Now, the mechanics of that change a bit if the college game in either case is simplified.  And it could be.  Mike Shula got rid of a lot of the terminology for the sake of quick calls, and the college game has gotten quick calls down to a science with their Chip Kelly style play boards and all that.  But, the philosophy is the same.  For Turner, the protections and philosophy has to be essentially intact, and I would expect the same for Gaffney.

Now, for Benjamin.

It's hard to call him too experienced at anything at this point.  College coaches without a pro lineage don't carry that same slotting from within the three major systems (I'm calling the run and shoot dead again).  Ron Rivera has called Jimbo Fisher's scheme "Pro style" and that's apt.  It does come from a more standardized pro style philosophy than the Mike Leach, Dana Holgorsen, Gus Malzahn type guys.  It's pro, adapted to spread and screen.

So it's harder to fully push that Kelvin Benjamin has that same familiarity (you would be saying that about Marquise Lee, and I believe Jordan Matthews, for what that's worth, but I believe Benjamin more talented in the long run).  He did run a fairly full route tree, and Dave Gettleman backs that with "more than most".   Fisher's ideals as currently used, seem to include 2x2 receivers at most all times (whether slot or TE, there's always an inside and outside receiver, and therefore a lot of combo routes - sometimes mirrored, sometimes different on each side. Most pro systems push a lot of 3x1, and isolate on the back side (usually, the weak, usually the X).

So, in that form, it will be interesting to see - is Benjamin the isolation guy (which works with the corner/fade, the comeback, to a point the bang-8/skinny post), or is he the guy you put within a framework?


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