Profiling the Coaches :: Offensive Coordinator Neal Brown

The interesting thing about Brown is that there's just no much to base our opinion on what he can do and what he will change unless we take a look at the numbers, and even then, it's all assumptions rather than concrete evidence.

I thought it would be good to take at least two years worth of data. I should warn you that math is not my strong point. I can do all of the basic stuff, but other than adding and subtracting, I may not be much good. In any event, let's get to some figures:

Texas Tech
2009 (%)
Texas Tech
2008 (%)
Troy
2009 (%)
Troy
2008 (%)
Rush Attempts 319 (32.2%) 317 (32.3%) 444 (45.6%) 449 (46.1%)
Pass Attempts 669 (67.7% 662 (67.0%) 529 (54.3%) 523 (52.8%)
Total Offensive Plays 988 (51.0%) 979 (52.3%) 973 (50.9%) 972 (50.8%)
Total Defensive Plays 949 (48.9%) 891 (47.6%) 937 (49.0%) 939 (49.1%)

 

So what do these numbers tell us? Well, from the two years that we have with Brown at the helm, he does like to run the ball at a higher rate, which isn't necessarily a bad thing considering that RB Baron Batch may be this team's most explosive player. Not to mention, returning is offensive line coach Matt Moore who endured injuries and suspensions last year, but as a result, I think this year's unit will be much more prepared for the 2010 season in replacing three starters.

In any event, I think the key here is that no one really knows, although I think the numbers speak for themselves. Tuberville mentioned early during his press conference that he thinks that teams that are more balanced are tougher to defend, and this is coming from a former defensive coordinator. With Brown's hire, I think he's certainly leaning in that direction.

The one thing that I've seen mentioned, and this is something that concerns me too, is that what Texas Tech had in Leach was a very unique personality and what was, at the time he was hired, a very unique offense. I think we could all discuss what exactly is the Air Raid offense, but I think if anyone owns the patent to the Air Raid, it's Hal Mumme who is currently coaching in Abilene. That unique offense isn't quite as unique as it was when Leach was hired. You can find a handful of teams that run some version of a spread offense or have spread concepts, which is what the Air Raid is, in every conference. Leach was just more dedicated than most when it came to the concepts.

With Brown in charge, you have a coordinator that had the same coach as Leach in Mumme. Brown was a receiver at Kentucky when Mumme was the head coach and Leach was an assistant coach. Quite simply, Brown learned from the very best just as Leach did, and if Brown took anything close to the same things that Leach took away from Mumme, then I think the offense will be just fine. The one thing that I think I've taken away from the Mumme based offense is that the spread offense is about repetition, and if Brown has the same type of dedication as Leach did in terms of being repetitive enough during practices so that players can run plays in their sleep then I think he'll find more success than not.

And I would imagine that the play book is going to be very similar. And yes, despite the idealistic thought that Leach didn't have a playbook, but rather a napkin that he diagrammed all of his play, that's not true. He did have a playbook (see the 1999 Oklahoma Sooners playbook). There's no question that I believe Leach is an innovator and I think he kept it fairly simple on game-day, but I think it's proper to give Leach credit for having an offense that wasn't easy to master.

Now its up to Brown to keep some semblance of consistency in that offense and I do not believe that the concepts will change that much.  The run-to-pass ratio may change, but considering that Brown is straight from the Mumme Coaching Tree, the concern should rather be if Brown can keep the high level offensive success, put his own stamp on the offense and perhaps make it even better (blasphemy, I know).

Aside:  TR's dedfisher wrote a very similar article last night.  I promise I did not steal his idea for an article as I didn't have time to put together this analysis by last night, but I'd rather state that great minds think alike.

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