Monday, July 25, 2011

Sometimes simpler is better

Through spring practices, the buzz surrounding Tim Beck’s appointment as Nebraska football offensive coordinator was about “keeping things simple” and “sticking with what works.”

When Bill Callahan was the head coach, he had a tendency to at times call the same play even if it was not working but also had a tendency to out-think himself. When Shawn Watson was the Huskers offensive coordinator, he fell into the latter category.

Husker fans are counting on Beck’s simplified approach leading to more consistent results. After all, the Nebraska defense played well enough the last two seasons to win Big 12 titles but a subpar offense cost Nebraska consecutive conference crowns.

Beck’s offensive philosophy is about what happens at the point of attack. Basically, there’s no point running six yards to gain two and no point throwing three straight passes when it’s first-and-goal from the 1.

The challenge Beck faces is that Nebraska will be young on the offensive line. The Huskers have 29 offensive linemen on the roster but only four of which are seniors. The good news is three have starting experience. In the meantime, there are three juniors, eleven sophomores, three redshirt freshman and eight true freshman.

The root of Beck’s simplified approach will revolve around keeping which plays have worked but using simplified verbiage rather than having it take a full sentence like the West Coast Offense.

On the passing side, look for the receivers to run where the defenders are not so as to include option routes within the play to get open and put the defender at a disadvantage.

On the running side, the simplified approach is more likely to be guys firing off the ball and knocking people down. The key is to get a real play action and normal passing game going that compliments the run game or can be gone too just for the heck of it for fun.

I believe Beck can and will accomplish those things in time.

The key to success this season will be how fast Beck can adjust to being the guy in charge. Some people can handle it and others are not very good at it. When there are 85,000 fans watching your every move even if you are hiding out in the sky box, the results will be seen on the sidelines, getting players on and off the field, getting plays in timely and last but not least, what happens once the ball is snapped.

More to the point, however, is that football is not a hard game if you outexecute your opponent,

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