Monday, September 10, 2007

Let's Get Physical

I think we can all agree on a few things.

1. The Irish offense has been woefully unproductive.
2. The offensive line is the primary source of that woe.
3. Our inability to establish any kind of running game is certainly among our root problems.

There's a lot to fix on offense, but you have to start somewhere. I would start by establishing a 4-yards and a cloud of dust running game. At his point, why not put our biggest bodies out there and see if we can't create a push that can can consistently get us four yards?

We're not using John Carlson as a receiver right now, so put him on the bench. I propose that the Irish install an unbalanced line package that replaces the tight end with an extra guard. I nominate Chris Stewart to be that 6th man in the trenches.

On first down we break the huddle and line up like this:


The left side stays the same, but we squeeze Stewart in between Dan Wenger and Sam Young, bumping Young out to the position formerly occupied by the TE. Put Asaph Schwapp at FB and either James Aldridge or Robert Hughes at TB.

Then we run right at the defense, with good "tempo", behind Sully, Wenger, Stewart, and Young. We go no huddle and do it again on second down. If we get a first down, we keep doing it until the defense starts respecting the run game, possibly mixing in a deep shot to Golden Tate or Duval Kamara or D.J. Hord.

If we end up in a manageable third-down situation we can bring in our "normal" personnel groups and run our "normal" offense.

This seems extreme, and heaven forbid I give Coach Weis advice on game plans. But the point is that we need to establish SOMETHING positive on first down and force the defense to react to us. The offense's inability to get going is largely due to the fact that we're getting almost nothing on first down, ultimately leaving a young, inexperienced offense in numerous 3rd-and-long situations, against very good, aggressive defenses. In my view, there is nothing better to establish on first down than the ability to run the ball down an opponent's throat whenever we choose to. If we have to get a little gimmicky by bringing in the big man, so be it.


Jack said...

I'm still thinking shuttle passes!
You need a QB like Clausen to do it with the all out blitzers. + some practice...Elway did it effectively with the Denver Broncos...It's qanother way to counter the BLITZES!!!!!!!

Adam said...

Great post. I think a video of "Physical" by Olivia Newton John would have been appropriate, however.