Coaching Grades | Syracusefan.com

Coaching Grades

Rocco

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Shafer and McDonald are both first-time coaches in their roles, HC and OC, respectively. Obviously Shaf was going to deal with the steep learning curve of having to manage an entire game, stay in tune with all 3 facets of the game (O, D, ST) and continue to work with coaches on their adjustments. He was exposed many times this year. The good news is that he showed improvement down the stretch. Let's hope he continues on this trend. He's got the fire, he just needs to be able to fine-tune some of the game management things.

Same thing goes for George. The offense that he wants to run was not fully shown this year due to positional weaknesses. With the younger kids in this program and some of the kids coming in the 2014 class, his arsenal is improving but still mainly unproven. A buddy of mine talked to him and he said that he was rather restricted in his playbook, especially in the 1st half of the season. It opened up a little bit more in a few games towards the end of the season, but it's still wasn't the full playbook by any means. Last year, there were 958 plays (553 run, 405 pass) - roughly 58% run, 42% pass. I think once his full playbook is installed, we will see a much more balanced attack that will then trend towards 55% pass, 45% run. JMO.

Use the Dome to our advantage with some of these FL kids.
 

Full_Rebar

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I don't mind if McDonald has his own vision for what he wants the offense to be, but he needs to be flexible enough to play to the team's strength. I think he took too long to get back to the running game instead of trying to force the bubble screens, etc.

He should watch the Saints game from last week where Payton basically made Graham a bystander in order to get Watson out there to clear the way for the running backs. It's nice to have your offense, but it might be 2 more years until the pieces are in place to fully implement that offense. I don't think the offense needs to be complex to work. One of the cool things about the coaches feed of the title game was that the coaches showed that Auburn wasn't running a read option all the time-they had a TE and FB pulling for designed QB runs. I think it was Addazio who said "if FSU wants to know where the play is going, they need to follow #39"
 

Rocco

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I don't mind if McDonald has his own vision for what he wants the offense to be, but he needs to be flexible enough to play to the team's strength. I think he took too long to get back to the running game instead of trying to force the bubble screens, etc.

He should watch the Saints game from last week where Payton basically made Graham a bystander in order to get Watson out there to clear the way for the running backs. It's nice to have your offense, but it might be 2 more years until the pieces are in place to fully implement that offense. I don't think the offense needs to be complex to work. One of the cool things about the coaches feed of the title game was that the coaches showed that Auburn wasn't running a read option all the time-they had a TE and FB pulling for designed QB runs. I think it was Addazio who said "if FSU wants to know where the play is going, they need to follow #39"

Agreed. He was clearly learning and adapting on the job. I think he was making the right play calls towards the end of the season.
 

PhatOrange

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I beg George not to watch any pro games or visit any pro training camps.

I don't mind if McDonald has his own vision for what he wants the offense to be, but he needs to be flexible enough to play to the team's strength. I think he took too long to get back to the running game instead of trying to force the bubble screens, etc.

He should watch the Saints game from last week where Payton basically made Graham a bystander in order to get Watson out there to clear the way for the running backs. It's nice to have your offense, but it might be 2 more years until the pieces are in place to fully implement that offense. I don't think the offense needs to be complex to work. One of the cool things about the coaches feed of the title game was that the coaches showed that Auburn wasn't running a read option all the time-they had a TE and FB pulling for designed QB runs. I think it was Addazio who said "if FSU wants to know where the play is going, they need to follow #39"
 

PhatOrange

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We don’t need 958 plays. That’s part of the problem.

Same thing goes for George. The offense that he wants to run was not fully shown this year due to positional weaknesses. With the younger kids in this program and some of the kids coming in the 2014 class, his arsenal is improving but still mainly unproven. A buddy of mine talked to him and he said that he was rather restricted in his playbook, especially in the 1st half of the season. It opened up a little bit more in a few games towards the end of the season, but it's still wasn't the full playbook by any means. Last year, there were 958 plays (553 run, 405 pass) - roughly 58% run, 42% pass. I think once his full playbook is installed, we will see a much more balanced attack that will then trend towards 55% pass, 45% run. JMO.

Use the Dome to our advantage with some of these FL kids.
 

tep624

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GoSU96

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I don't mind if McDonald has his own vision for what he wants the offense to be, but he needs to be flexible enough to play to the team's strength. I think he took too long to get back to the running game instead of trying to force the bubble screens, etc.

True dat, and the pass game he used didn't play off of that strenght, it wasn't an integrated whole until very late.

The pass game he tried to implement was going to fit the QB and receiver group out there. It also didn't help that Flemming and Funderburk weren't available, for whatever reason.
 

All4SU

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We only need two plays. The pass play that works and the running play that works. ;-)
 

Crusty

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Guys, our offense sucked - there was no real strength because we didn't score points! It has been that way every year since 2002. I could care less how many yards we gain between the 20's. We didn't beat one good team last year and when we played good ones we got clobbered. We will never make it back to the T25 until we can score 30+ points.

Our only hope is a complete retooling to fit playing in a dome! That is what McDonald was hired to do and that is what he is on his way to doing.

At some point he is going to have to let it go - it won't be consistent but it will be fun to watch when it is on.
 

anomander

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Guys, our offense sucked - there was no real strength because we didn't score points! It has been that way every year since 2002. I could care less how many yards we gain between the 20's. We didn't beat one good team last year and when we played good ones we got clobbered. We will never make it back to the T25 until we can score 30+ points.

Our only hope is a complete retooling to fit playing in a dome! That is what McDonald was hired to do and that is what he is on his way to doing.

At some point he is going to have to let it go - it won't be consistent but it will be fun to watch when it is on.

We were also severely handicapped because we didn't have a FG kicker. The team had no confidence in Norton and the play calling once we crossed the 40 was effected by that. I really think we left a ton of points on the board because of this. it effected the players, and the play calling
 

Crusty

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We were also severely handicapped because we didn't have a FG kicker. The team had no confidence in Norton and the play calling once we crossed the 40 was effected by that. I really think we left a ton of points on the board because of this. it effected the players, and the play calling

Point taken but that alone won't close the gap. Helps to be sure.
 

OttoinGrotto

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Guys, our offense sucked - there was no real strength because we didn't score points! It has been that way every year since 2002. I could care less how many yards we gain between the 20's. We didn't beat one good team last year and when we played good ones we got clobbered. We will never make it back to the T25 until we can score 30+ points.

Our only hope is a complete retooling to fit playing in a dome! That is what McDonald was hired to do and that is what he is on his way to doing.

At some point he is going to have to let it go - it won't be consistent but it will be fun to watch when it is on.
Preach on, Crusty.
 

Rocco

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Guys, our offense sucked - there was no real strength because we didn't score points! It has been that way every year since 2002. I could care less how many yards we gain between the 20's. We didn't beat one good team last year and when we played good ones we got clobbered. We will never make it back to the T25 until we can score 30+ points.

Our only hope is a complete retooling to fit playing in a dome! That is what McDonald was hired to do and that is what he is on his way to doing.

At some point he is going to have to let it go - it won't be consistent but it will be fun to watch when it is on.

Did you forget about 2012 or just choose to?
 

Crusty

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Did you forget about 2012 or just choose to?

Please don't tell me you are going to hang your hat on one year when we barely reached 30. Besides, you will notice my post read 30+. I stand by my post.
 

Full_Rebar

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I don't disagree with the post, but I'm not sure SU can line up next year to score 30+ by throwing it all over the field. Now, maybe a QB and a couple of WR's will emerge to make this the case, which would be great. Until that happens I think the strength of the offense next year is still at RB so it might make sense to gradually build the offense MacDonald wants.

You can still be explosive, exciting, and productive in a "running" offense.
 

kcsu

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balance is the key to any good O. Become too one dimentional and eventually you are going to have issues. Think San Fran in the NFL and that is was George is striving for as that is the O or version of the zone read/pistol that George would like to get to.
 

Crusty

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balance is the key to any good O. Become too one dimentional and eventually you are going to have issues. Think San Fran in the NFL and that is was George is striving for as that is the O or version of the zone read/pistol that George would like to get to.

Absolutely. Hard to win without balance. Last year we had 43 explosive plays (20+ from LOS) versus an average of 78 for the T25. 21 of ours were rushes and 22 passes. Full_Rebar is correct that we can still be explosive with a running game but I think only if there is balance.

I am not sure what McDonald is exactly striving for but it looks like you may be pretty much on the money.
 

Full_Rebar

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If ESPN shows it again, everyone should watch the "Coaches Feed" of the BCS game. I think looking at Auburn's offense through the All-22 view shows how you can be explosive in a pistol offense which isn't pass-heavy.

Marshall had some very easy wide-open rides (some he missed) in that 1st half because of the way FSU had was crashing the line and keeping a spy on the QB. I don't think Auburn was running a huge amount of different plays, but they executed very well and kept FSU on their heels most of the game.
 

Rocco

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Please don't tell me you are going to hang your hat on one year when we barely reached 30. Besides, you will notice my post read 30+. I stand by my post.

Not hanging my hat on anything, especially on O. We can win games with a supped-up defense, rather a potent 30+ point offense. I think that seems more likely than anything at this point.
 

Crusty

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Not hanging my hat on anything, especially on O. We can win games with a supped-up defense, rather a potent 30+ point offense. I think that seems more likely than anything at this point.

Well, the only thing we know for sure from last year is that we can win games against teams with losing or marginal records - and not all of them either. At some point, we are going to have to score 30+ if we ever hope to return to national prominence. The T25 averaged 37.5 and only three averaged less than 30: MSU 29.4, USC 29.7 and ND 27.2.

Scores are going up each year and if we don't start putting up points we are going to lose all the gains we have made, which in the past decade (save for 2012) have been on the defensive side of the ball. Last year we averaged fewer points than we gave up.

I would guess that Marrone's biggest frustration was not being able to develop a high scoring offense. Even last year's team underachieved based on yards gained (6,192 or 476/game) versus points scored (30 PPG). This year the T25 averaged 466 ypg and as previously noted 37.5 ppg. There is no way DM or anyone else could have matched those numbers with the 2013 roster.

So, sure we can win against weak competition with ground and pound but that doesn't do it for me.
 

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