Footwork and the Fall of the Passing Game

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

In his front page post, N. mentions a part of Jon Gold's article in which he discusses that, in practices, we are focusing on teaching our QB's footwork.

In the article, Coach Chow is quoted as blaming the move to the pistol as the culprit in the loss of accuracy in the passing game. 

It seems that our QB's, when in the pistol, have sloppy footwork -- which Chow has always seen as a byproduct of running out of gun type formations:

" ... that's why I've always been reluctant to go into the gun, because the footwork gets really lazy. Footwork is real lazy in the gun. I fought it for the longest time, until I realized you can't fight it anymore, because that's all high school teams do. It's huge. It's a big difference. Footwork is very lazy in the gun, but we opted for it, so we have to deal with it now."

(Emphasis added)

That makes a lot of sense to me. 

We have QB's, with the exception of Bell, who were recruited to play  in our  pro set offense.

But, because we had an O line that could not block well enough to open up a running game, we moved to the pistol. Now we can run, but our pro-set quarterbacks are having trouble throwing the ball accurately.

Add to that that our receivers cannot catch catchable balls. Why?

My theory, because we are choosing our receivers based upon how well they can block -- not on how well they can run routes, create separation, catch the ball and run. Don't think that's true? Take a look at how often we've commented about how well our WR's have been blocking downfield on long run plays. That's why they are playing. They can block.

I find a few take aways in the quote.

First, as we all know, we are still dealing with the failure of the previous regime to stock the cupboards with O line talent (and the missions and injuries that are a natural part of the improved recruiting we have been doing).  An offensive attack is like any other complex set of relationships -- a failure in one area causes failures in others; and,

Second, CNC is well on top of his game, his clutch has not slipped, he is not out of date -- he is simply trying to use bailing twine and duct tape to pull together what elements we do have to put up the best O possible. Why did we go to the pistol? Because we had to. Had we not, we'd have no running game and probably the same number of sacks we had last year. Obviously, both CRN and CNC knew that there were risks in going to the pistol -- particularly a risk at QB with two candidates who were pro set guys. Actually, KP narrowed the risk. If healthy, he's shown himself to be a good pistol candidate. But, he could not stay healthy long enough for us to take advantage of the new pistol O. RB is a great kid, but he's a bit  far from being a pistol QB at this time. 

This article makes clear the difficulty, and some times futility, of trying to make a silk purse our of a sow's ear. (My mom used to use that saying all the time.)

Had we continued with last year's offense, there would be people challenging the coaches for being stubborn for not looking to change. They changed. They took a risk. It paid off until KP was injured. And, now, we are sort of in "no man's land". 

Bottom Line for Me: In one paragraph, CNC explained why our passing game is not as effective in the pistol as it was last year. I assume he has a lot more one paragraph explanations in him as to other facets of the O. I, for one, don't need to hear them. I respect and trust CNC. He is a fierce competitor and I don't think he takes a back seat to anyone in his desire to win.

And, one more thing: Do we offer ballroom dancing classes for our QB's? Jen is trying out for the UCSD DanceSport team and tells me that it's all about footwork.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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