Another Indictment of the VT Offense

There has been lots of talk about overhauling the VT offensive staff, with many of us critizing the playcalling and lack of identity as the main problem. On a few occasions, I've heard O'Cainspring supporters defending the offense by blaming the lack of production on player execution and talent. Execution, in my opinion, is coachable, and therefore any lack thereof is on the coaching staff. Talent, on the other hand, does differ from program to program based on geography, resources, etc.

The easiest way to measure talent is to look at NFL rosters. Sure, some players might be "coached-up" into NFL contributors (ie Danny Coale), but the majority are elite physical specimens who are born into NFL ability. Below is a comparison of Oregon's offensive players currently in the NFL versus VT's.

OREGON
Mark Asper, OG, Minnesota Vikings
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Bucaneers
D.J. Davis, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Ed Dickson, TE, Baltimore Ravens
LaMichael James, RB, San Francisco 49ers
David Paulson, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Dante Rosario, TE, San Diego Chargers
Geoff Schwartz, OG, Minnesota Vikings
Adam Snyder, C, Arizona Cardinals
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
Fenuki Tupou, OT, New Orleans Saints
Max Unger, C, Seattle Seahawks

VIRGINIA TECH
Jarrett Boykin Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver
Duane Brown Houston Texans Offensive Tackle
Blake DeChristopher Arizona Cardinals Offensive Lineman
Darren Evans Tennessee Titans Running Back
Jeff King Arizona Cardinals Tight End
Will Montgomery Washington Redskins Center
Josh Morgan Washington Redskins Wide Receiver
Eddie Royal San Diego Chargers Wide Receiver
Tyrod Taylor Baltimore Ravens Quarterback
Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback
Ryan Williams Arizona Cardinals Running Back
David Wilson New York Giants Running Back

My first observation is why does Oregon have so many NFL-ready tightends? My second observation is that Oregon, one of the most prolific offenses in the NCAA, has produced the same amount of NFL offensive players (12) as Virginia Tech, one of the most inept offenses in the NCAA.

How is this possible?

I believe that this is the most damning indictment of our current offensive coaching staff. We have essentially wasted several years of elite offensive talent running our inept, disfunctional, predictable, "multiple" offense.

It is for this reason that I wholeheartedly support replacing our offensive staff as soon as possible. It is for this reason that I wonder "what if" Frank had pulled the trigger several years ago? I firmly believe that the answer is that Virginia Tech, with its clear access to and ability to recruit NFL talent, would have reached the upper echelons of NCAA football. Hopefully we can still get there. Let's go.

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Comments

Mostly in agreement

I agree that we tend to turn out more offensive players in the NFL than what you would expect based on our offensive output over the years, and in general the opposite is true of our defense. If we had a better offensive coaching staff for the last 3-5 years, that trophy case would almost certainly not be empty today.

However, calling Oregon "one of the most prolific offenses in the NCAA" is somewhat of a misnomer. From 2000-2003, they barely averaged more offense than we did, and even all the way up through the 2009 season they weren't what you'd call an offensive powerhouse. That is mostly a recent thing, and has a bit to do with the tempo of their offense and the sheer number of possessions they tend to get as a result.

Oregon Offensive Rankings - Total Yards / Game

2004 - 49
2005 - 22
2006 - 13
2007 - 10
2008 - 8
2009 - 28
2010 - 4
2011 - 3
2012 - 6

Although maybe not "prolific", that is significantly better than Virginia Tech over a similar span.

Maybe I didn't explain myself too well. Up through 2003, they weren't really any better than us. 2004 they started improving, as those numbers illustrate well, but even so, it wasn't until these past 3 years that they have been a truly top-tier offense. Still better than us though.

BTW, I didn't have the actual rankings by year, I was looking at total yardage output. Not that it really affects much, just cleans it up a bit

Interesting

You raise an interesting point. I believe another key to the differences between our offense and theirs is that Oregon's offense has a solid, nationally known identity, and it's really the identity of their team as a whole. They're going to be fast, go vertical in the passing game, run all over you with motion and misdirection, and score an ungodly amount of points. Simply put, they're offense is sexy. Our offense, on the other hand, has not been a key to our brand. We were the scrappy team from bumfuck nowhere that was going to make you earn every inch when we were on defense, and would make you pay for any mistiming on special teams. Offense has never been what we were about. But it started to be. Between 1995 and 2001, we developed an offensive identity, on the national stage. Power run was who we were, with speed around the edges to keep defenses honest. We mixed a balanced amount of pass, but it was only a complement to our ground game. We had a consistent system that worked, and it led us to a marquee Sugar Bowl win, and got us into a title game. If we could get back to that, picking a system, keeping it simple and consistent, and demanding outstanding execution, we could pick up where we left off and become a perennial contender.

TEs

They have more NFL ready TEs because they have athletes in that position because of the up tempo offense whereas our TEs are basically glorified linemen with the exception of maybe Ryan Malleck. LT3 would have been that type of TE if we had someone that could have been a better QB than him.

Our new offense

(yes, I'm being hopeful) must be what the recruiting base (state) will support. We believe, and most want, a power-ball control offense (ala Alabama). However, look at the linemen VA, MD, NC, SC and PA produce. Most are undersized and "projects". However, there is an outstanding amount of skill position players...who usual leave the state (which is a different issue). Foster has been successful because his system is built around his players. That's also why we don't put too many defenders in the NFL (also why we put so many DBs there...the "skill position" players on defenese). I gotta vote for an up tempo/quick hitting style of offense that doesn't require the OL to drive block or hold blocks for a long time (re: our idiotic slow developing plays which NEVER work). Don't know if that means Oregon, Clemson, Nevada, etc style...just the "feel" of the offense needs to be exact and determined.

We put the K in Kwality

I disagree

...in that the regional high school systems should not hold our offensive our defensive identities hostage. Hire a coordinator that has a system and recruit to it, don't implement a system that plays to todays trends. What is popular in virginia hs football today will not necessarily be popular five/ten years from now.

Said it before....

I have it before and will say it again, why doesnt beamer go after the O line coach and offensive coordinator at oregon? Their system works, and they recruit the players that fit the system, we run the same type of offense or at least attempting to, take a page from the Redskins with rg3 as well. Also how many of those peopel on that list are starting in the nfl? Im thinking not that many...

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

As I've said before...

Unless the OC at Oregon is getting a HC job, going anywhere else would be a downgrade.

Logan 3:16

Solution:

1. Convince Beamer to retire
2. Hire Oregon's OC as HC
3. Hire Oregon's OLC as OC
4. Win

Right? Right?

From the list of Hokies?

Duane Brown is one of the best OL in the NFL today.

Jeff King is a starter and has been since his 2nd season in the league.

Will Montgomery has been a starter for the last 2 seasons.

Josh Morgan has been a starter for the last 4 seasons, except for missing much of last year injured.

Eddie Royal started for most of his first 4 seasons in the league, but not this year.

Michael Vick's road has been well documented, currently riding the bench since Foles came in and played well after Vick's concussion, and the Eagles are having another bad year.

Ryan Williams would be starting for the Cardinals if he would stop getting injured.

David Wilson is currently starting due to injuries ahead of him.

So, depending on how you look at it, anywhere from 4 to 8 of them. Which is a good bit.

I'm confused...

Who are these O'Cainspring supporters you speak of?

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

I think the 2 of them

Are currently on vacation somewhere in Costa Rica. They'll be coming back after the bowl game if they think it is safe. I hear they live somewhere near Hooville.

VTCC '86 Delta Derelicts, Hokie in Peru