Brigham Young Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall has commented that he and offensive coordinator Brandon Doman have decided to pursue quarterback recruits who are not only good passers, but good runners as well. Now that spring practices have wrapped up, and Doman has a little more time on his hands, a quick trip to Philadelphia for lunch with the Eagles head coach Andy Reid is in order.
What good would a trip to the City of Brotherly Love be for Doman? First, Reid is a member of the Band of Brothers having played for BYU from 1978-80. Second, Reid is thriving in the NFL with an offensive scheme similar to the one Doman wants to run at BYU.
The Philadelphia Eagles were the fourth best offense in the NFL in 2011. They did it with a dual-threat quarterback (Michael Vick) and two outstanding outside receivers (Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson). The tight end is also a threat (Brent Celek, 62 receptions for 811 yards in 2011). LeSean McCoy provides a reliable rusher so Vick doesn’t have to do it all.
The BYU offense in 2012 will feature Riley Nelson at quarterback who can hurt opponents with his arm and legs. His two best receiving options will be the two wide outs Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo. Tight ends Austin Holt and Richard Wilson will compliment Hoffman and Apo nicely. Rather than the running back by committee approach that has been used the last two years, Michael Alisa and Joshua Quezada will share the bulk of the carries with one, possibly, emerging as the go-to back for the Cougars.
Over lunch, Reid could instruct Doman on the how to succeed with this style of play, even when going up against NFL caliber defenses. As the 2011 season showed, the efficiency of the BYU offense took a nose dive against TCU and Tulsa—the two teams Nelson faced who had quality defensive players. BYU’s opponents have all offseason to watch film and prepare for Nelson’s style of play. The key to the 2012 season will be how BYU plays against Notre Dame, Boise State, Georgia Tech, and Utah. Each of these teams will field a quality defense capable of shutting down a dual-threat quarterback.
As Reid and his Eagles have proven, it is still possible to succeed against these defenses, but it requires the offense to attack them differently than they do more inferior opponents. Reid knows what those attack schemes are. Doman needs to know them.
This business lunch wouldn’t be just about 2012. Taysom Hill figures to be the quarterback in 2013. He is more of a Vick protégé than Nelson. Hill has a stronger arm and is lightning fast.
Go ahead and enjoy your Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, Doman, but not so much that you don’t soak up Reid’s offensive wisdom.
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