FBS Mission Statement:

We at FBS believe that offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring bears the largest share of the blame for years of sub-par output from some of the most talented players ever to set foot on Worsham Field. We believe the main objective of the VT football program - a national championship - will escape us as long as Stinespring is making the calls. We therefore advocate the improvement of our football program through the replacement of our offensive coordinator.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Football History Lesson Beamer and Stinespring Need to Both Learn: How a Pass is really just an extended handoff and is just as effective as a run

Once upon a time, in the 1950s-1960s to be exact, just about every single college and professional football team's offense used to be as vanilla, boring and predictable as ours. For a mental picture, we are talking along the lines of 3 yds and a cloud of dust boring or as Beamer and Stiney prefer, run left, run middle, and run right with very, very little creativity mixed in.

Then, something or rather someone unpredictable came along that would change the game of football forever. In fact, every modern football offense is derived in one form or another from this one man's genius offense. Simply put, this one man completely changed the way everyone at any level of football looked at offense. He is the main reason, in my opinion at least, that the game of football has evolved into the game we now see on our televisions or in person every Saturday and Sunday. Who is that man you ask? That man is Bill Walsh and he is the father of modern football. He changed the way the game is coached and played and he made it fun and exciting to watch (unlike our offense which is no fun at all to watch really).

What did Walsh do that was so special? Well, he completely changed the way people think about offense. I am speaking complete and total change of the status quo ( I am not going to give Al Davis any credit at all for any of these changes to offense although it is kind of funny to watch the Raiders still attempt to run the same offense today they ran in the 1960s) as in philosophy on down and distance, attacking a defense's weaknesses, etc. Walsh broke a lot of conceptions that Frank Beamer still has about offense (Beamer started coaching in 1972). The type of conceptions that caused VT to score ZERO first half points last Thurs night at home against UNC in an attempt to establish the run and control the clock via time of possession. The type of conceptions that did not allow Stinespring to attack UNC's weaknesses on defense and to take what the defense was willing to give our offense. Beamer's offensive philosophies still date back to past the 1980s before football was modernized and I want to clue Beamer, Stiney and other readers of this website on all of the great things about offense they are missing out on. If Beamer's offensive philosophy were more modern, Beamer would respect exactly how Bill Walsh changed the game of football permanently and would be applying the wisdom Bill Walsh taught every football coach as he rose up the coaching ranks in college and the pros during his time on Earth to eventually becoming head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Walsh won 3 championships before retiring as their head coach using his unique style of offense to attack, paralzye and pound his teams' opponents into submission. For those less familiar with football, I am talking about what has become known as the West Coast offense. In case it is not obvious, I am a HUGE fan.

Let me summarize the West Coast Offense for all of you who are not familiar with it and then apply its strengths to VT's offensive weaknesses and you will see the pieces fitting into the puzzle as I try to form this great mental picture for everyone about exactly why, in my opinion, VT should be running the West Coast Offense and why Beamer and Stiney did not learn anything whatsoever from the last 20-30 yrs of football history and what offensive philosophy is successful and what is not. (Hint Frank and Stiney it ain't yours!)

For those of you not familiar, the West Coast Offense is an attacking offense. The offense is designed to attack the opposing defense's weaknesses whatever they may be until the defense makes an adjustment. If the defense does not adjust to what the offense is doing, the offense is capable of scoring a ton of touchdowns, taking lots of time off the clock and producing big plays all while keeping turnovers to a minimum. If you watch Super Bowl highlights of the 1980s 49ers Championship teams you will know exactly what I am talking about. The precision and coordination with which they dissected their opponents and destroyed them was amazing and unbelievable. How would such an offense be capable of scoring so many points without turning the ball over a lot? Because the offense is also predicated on ball control, but unlike the conventional way of controlling the ball via the run only (Beamer's preferred and sometimes only choice), the West Coast Offense was designed by Bill Walsh to allow the offense to attack the field vertically and horizontally with the pass and to control the ball and time of possession with a short, precision passing game as well as mixing in the run to keep the defense honest and on its heels not knowing what would come next. While untimately, the West Coast Offense's goal is to achieve a relative balance of run and pass, the philosophy is if the defense is forcing you to be unbalanced towards run or pass to win than so be it as long as you win and produce points with minimal turnovers all while accomplishing the other objectives I already stated! The passing game was built on precision timing, precision route running and precision accuracy by the QB. Unlike our offense, the West Coast Offense was designed to force the opposing defense to cover every single eligible receiver on the field at the time, including the rb, te and fb, because anyone was a threat to catch the ball on any play. The offense was also designed to get the ball in space into a play maker's hands and allow them to produce lots of yards after the catch. Imagine if we threw the ball to RW 5+ times a game and gave him the ball out in space! What is the difference if you control the clock and move the chains with the run or the pass as long as first downs are gotten and touchdowns are scored? I don't see any difference but, unfortunately, Beamer does!

The reason I am even talking about the West Coast Offense on this website is because I firmly believe VT has all of the physical pieces in place to effectively run a college version of the West Coast Offense successfully. Minus a good playcalling OC (buh bye Stiney) who can attack the opposing defense's weaknesses and make adjustments to what the defense is doing and a head coach willing to upgrade our offense into the last few decades of modern football as well as switch to a more balanced offense that some games would mean we would have to pass a lot more than we would run. The offense would still be able to control the ball ( a short pass for 4-5 yds is just as good as a run for 4-5 yds), but more than anything else the West Coast Offense would allow us to use our current offensive player's natural athletic abilities more (it would keep all of the rb, te and wr involved in the passing game every game), get our playmakers the ball in space and a chance for good yards after the catch (more big plays) and it would allow for Tyrod to do more of what he does best and we would run more bootlegs and rollouts for him where he is given quick, precision passes or the run/pass option to tuck it and run for some yds (Steve Young did this).

Also, switching to the West Coast Offense would allow our athletic, but undersized OL to actually play to its strengths and block out in space on screens, pull on traps, etc instead of having to play to its weaknesses and try to block bigger and strong DLs like those of UNC, Miami, Clemson and FSU. Most importantly, it would allow us to attack the defense's weaknesses and we would not be so predictable anymore as in Butch Davis giving a halftime interview stating our offense ran approximately the exact same 4 plays in the first half and no adjustments to his defense were necessary. One of the best things about the West Coast Offense is that it is great at taking what the defense gives it, exploiting that weakness and going from there. If they stack the box, fine, we'll attack the edges of the field with the pass, we'll use misdirection on bootlegs, rollouts and screens. If they play the pass, and keep the safeties deep to protect against the deep ball, we'll run because we have a numbers advantage up front now. In my humble opinion, this is the type of creativity, adjustment making ability and willingness to attack and exploit our offense is missing. We already have an attacking defense. If we switched to the West Coast Offense, we would stop under utilizing our offensive talent plus our offensive players would be more ready for the pros. It is no mistake that Eddie Royal thrived last yr in Mike Shanahan's version of the West Coast Offense. Mike Shanahan saw exactly what I and many of you saw; that Eddie should have been given the ball more out in space on offense and that he was misused here at VT.

I will now get down off of my soap box because the history lesson is indeed over. I hope you enjoyed it! Hopefully one of Beamer and/or Stiney's trolls in the Athletic Dept who are monitoring this website will read this and will tell them what I just said! You can tell them I also ordered my Fire Stiney t shirt and that I will be wearing it around my gym here in Northern VA where I workout with many others Hokies. Our numbers will grow. Frank, if you don't want a Bobby and Jeff Bowden like situation, it is best to do something about the offense SOON! Ask Bobby about his legacy down in Tallahassee, and you'll receive another history lesson and another warning about history repeating itself from those who don't learn from it!

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