Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shortest Mailbag Ever.

Any insight on Bobo getting more creative and/or Richt calling some plays this year? -zombear13

Well before I can talk about this coming season for Bobo we have to take a look back at both Bobo's play calling as well as Richt's play calling from his days when he was calling his own plays for the offense. I spent a bit of time trying to do a comparison of the numbers on offense and how it compared to teams wins when Richt was calling the plays versus when Bobo was making the calls. I took Richt's best 4 years, 2002-2005, and compared them against Bobo's four full years of making the play calls.
Here is a break down:
Richt - 20 points or less 15 times(8 wins) Bobo 14 times (4 wins)
           21-29 points      10 times (10 wins) Bobo 9 times (6 wins)
           30+ points          28 times (26 wins) Bobo 29 times (25 wins)
Avg     29.06ppg (                                    Bobo 31.27 ppg

What this shows is that the offenses were extremely similar scoring in each category at about the same rate over the 4 year period. The team however was more likely to lose with Bobo calling plays in every category of points scored. What this points to is that whether Richt or Bobo is calling plays it is more about what the defense is doing. So I don't think that Richt calling plays would have any type of big impact on the overall offensive numbers.
To me the biggest issue with Bobo is it seems to be feast or famine within individual games. The team often has games like the UF game in 2010 where in the first half the offense can't move the ball at all, turns it over, and kills the team, then in the second half looked almost unstoppable. When the offense is on Bobo calls plays with the best in the country. However when the offense is struggling it seems like he is unable to manufacture a few first downs here and there to help with field position and resting the defense.
So to answer the question, what will be different this season, I go to what I believe was an overlooked issue. Stacy Searels who just left as offensive line coach to go to Texas was also the run game coordinator. Most people believed this was just a title to justify paying him a bit more money. However with the hiring of Will Friend to replace Searels he made a subtle comment that may have a big impact on the play calling. He said that his lone job will be to coach up the offensive line, not to be running game coordinator. I don't like the idea that you have a different guy planning the run game as is planning the passing game. I think that leads to disjointed plays. As big a part of play calling as picking the right play on one down is using that play call to set up something for the next down or even the next series or later in the game. I believe(or is it hope?) that this will allow Bobo to have a game plan that is smoother and more consistent.
The final reason for hope of better play calling is Murray now being a 3rd year player with a full year of starting. Part of what David Greene such a great quarterback was his ability to audible out of a bad play at the line into a better one. That didn't always mean the new play would get a huge gain but it helped avoid negative plays. I believe that Murray will be given more options to get himself out of a play call that the defense seems ready for and thereby avoid big negative plays that puts the offense is bad situations.

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