Does "run game coordinator" interfere with the OC's playcall

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  • I've been wondering how this is supposed to work, and I've always heard that an Offensive Coordinator "gets in a playcalling" groove as the game goes on and they see what the defensive game plan is.

    But how is an OC supposed to get in any kind of a rhythm, and how is an Offensive line supposed to get in any kind of a groove, when things are always in flux?

    I got this idea after reading this article on

    "This past week in a win over the Rams, that meant nine carries for 19 yards by Lacy and eight carries for 20 yards from Rawls.

    However, as Next Gen Stats pointed out, Rawls did almost all the heavy lifting. No ballcarrier in Week 5 faced a crowded, 8-man box more than Rawls, who essentially ran into a brick wall of defenders on 62 percent of his carries. "

    It sounds to me like the Rams recognized when we were going to run the ball, and loaded the box accordingly. The whole goal of the OC is to make the formations look the similar every play, so that the DC can't tell whether it's a run, pass, or who it's going to.

    That, and then they set up a big play by showing the same thing several times, and just when the defense think they know what's coming, say a run, the OC calls for a deep throw down the field. So while the defense is loading the box, the WR has 1 on 1 coverage. (Unlike the double coverage that got McEvoy intercepted).

    That play should have been set up, late in the game, so that the defense thought it was a run, or sweep and put a lot of men on the line, leaving the WR with single coverage, and not double. IMHO, a trick play early in the game doesn't have that good of odds, because the defense hasn't shown their cards yet. How can you run a trick play, when you have no idea what the D is doing?

    I'll bet that if a study were done, most successful trick plays happen late in the 1st half, and after.

    And as far as our RB rotation goes, I think Rawls is going to win the job once he gets his feet under him. He showed pre-injury that he could run well behind a poor offensive line, and I think this line will improve each week as the season goes on.

    Losing George Fant and Chris Carson early is another thing that really set our Offense back. Fant was the one that had all the reps at Left Tackle, and Odiahmbo got thrown in there. Plus the line was getting used to Carson, and Carson was getting used to how the line was blocking. I heard Dave Wyman talk about how early on, Carson missed a few holes. He still gained yards, but could have gotten more by following his lead blocker.

    And like we saw early last year, shuffling the O-Line right at the beginning of the season, as well as shuffling RBs, has disastrous results.

    More from

    In Pete Carroll's egalitarian, post-Chris Carson backfield, there is no first- or second-string anymore. Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls will be treated the same.

    "We're just going to keep working our guys and keep rolling with both really worthy guys," Carroll said, via ESPN. "We'll just pound away and see what happens as the games go and everybody is ready to go." ... ual-status
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  • Sadly despite running out of shotgun a lot, we still clearly telegraph when we are going to run. Most teams these days line up to pass and then run if they see the numbers in favor of running. We don't seem to do that. We bring in an extra tackle and tell the world what's coming.

    Watch the NE offense. They trot out of 2 TE 1RB formations over and over and run or pass based on what they see at the line of scrimmage. We don't seem to take advantage of the numbers and spend many wasted series "establishing the run". I'm not sure that smash mouth mentality works as well in todays NFL. Certainly most of the top offenses are more fluid in their decision making based on what look the defense gives.
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  • I have a couple thoughts.

    First of all, I definitely would not characterize McEvoy's throw as being into "double coverage". They illustrated pretty clearly during the telecast that the safety, Cody Davis, trailed Nick Vannett over the center of the field, and only intercepted the ball because of an incredibly heads up play. Him having time to recover and make a play on the ball is more of a testament to a WR-as-QB telegraphing his throw, not getting it released super quickly, underthrowing the pass (notice how McKissic has to come to a complete stop and turn around in an attempt to make a play on the ball), etc... I think the failure had more to do with execution than playcalling.

    Second, Rawls only has 31 pass targets in 25 career games. He doesn't have great hands, and he doesn't isn't good in pass protection. It's not just a matter of passing when he's in there as to not become too predictable, him being limited in both of those areas discourages passing because he's somewhat of a liability. I would say Rawls being predominantly involved in run plays is an indictment on him not being a complete back, not on the palycalling.
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