Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Jun 2005

Chow, Other Assistants, in the Spotlight

After having fun with Norm Chow's name, which will be the "go-to move" of 95% of all NFL beat writers when they need to fill up column space on slow Thursday mornings this fall (I will admit that I almost quoted a lyric from the late great Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" to title this Extra Point), Len Pasquarelli notes how Chow is already placing his stamp on the Titans offense. Pasquarelli also takes a look at some other assistants who will be more scrutinized than usual at the start of the season.

Posted by: on 21 Jun 2005

10 comments, Last at 21 Jun 2005, 12:46pm by Vinny


by Bill (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 12:58am

That's better than the awful, interminable eight thousand puns on marijuana that Pasquarelli would pepper into every Ricky Williams article he wrote last year, inbetween veiled shots at Williams' intelligence.

The shame is that he doesn't need to resort to that stuff to write a good column.

by Sean (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 4:21am

Agreed. Len is unquestionably the best around, but I've never figured out why he feels the need to harass Ricky Williams at every opportunity. The Ricky the Weirdo schtick is completely unnecessary.

by Malene, Cph, DK (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 6:29am

liked the cheap shot at Mike Martz though, lol...

btw,could we maybe found a movement to eliminate the term "move the ball vertically up the field" from coach-buzz-speak? I mean, really, what's that supposed to contribute that "passing" doesn't? It's getting to a point where writers are just using it instead of "deep"! - Len: the Redskins "rarely threw vertically in 2004" - really? so the majority of the 514 pass attempts were actually along or behind the LOS? Maybe he's counting snaps? except, they're sorta vertical as well, you know...

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 7:57am

Hold on, something was actually contributed by Vinny? I thought he had gone into hibernation until the fall, when he'd come out refreshed and ready to correctly pick 32% of college games again. Good to see you still exist. Go Buckeyes.

[Warning: Leno-quality joke coming]
I look forward to seeing what "the legendary Hudson Houck" can do with that Miami line. Last year they were as horrible as the legendary Hudson Hawk. We'll be right back with Ashton Kutcher. Take it away Kevin.

I have to admit I completely forgot about Chow going to the Titans. I wonder how this will affect USC. Maybe they have so much talent, the only noticable effect will be that they only win each game by 28 instead of 35 this year. What kind of effect will it have on Leinart, and could it actually help him?

by Tim (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 10:33am

The basic philosophy – that the more plays you run, the more chances you provide yourself to attack the defense, and to locate its vulnerabilities – has been embraced by the most veteran Titans players.

This makes no sense to me. More precisely, I have no idea how you would make use of such a concept in a football game. The number of plays you run is strictly a function of how successful your plays have been. If they're too unsuccessful, you have to punt, and you don't get to keep running plays. If they're too successful, you've scored a touchdown, and unless you kick onside, you don't have the opportunity to run any more plays for a while. So I don't see how you build an offense around running as many plays as possible. I thought the whole point was to get as much as possible out of each play you run.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 10:50am

Tim (#5 )--

By shortening your time of possesssion (calling and running the plays faster), you increase the number of possessions per game -- for both teams, unless you onside frequently. But that would tend to give you more scoring opportunities.

Assuming that's how he's planning to run the offense, it's the all-game hurry-up offense, like Indy sometimes runs now and Buffalo ran in the Jim Kelley days. Added benefit: by getting to the line quickly, you can either snap the ball before the defense is set, or run down the play clock at the line, possibly getting a defensive player to jump.

It's worth noting that, like most not-entirely-conventional offensive strategies, it helps to have good personnel to run it. It remains to be seen if Tennessee has enough solid, disciplined players left after their cap purges to run this strategy successfully.

by MDS (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 11:50am

Trogdor, I think Lane Kiffin, the guy who's replacing Chow at USC, seems like a smart young guy. (He's the 29-year-old son of Monte Kiffin. Damn it, the guy's a year older than me and he's already USC's offensive coordinator. Why the hell couldn't my dad have been a football coach?) But I don't think the departure of Chow will help Leinart at all. In fact, I'm going to predict right here and now that Leinart will not be the first player taken in the 2006 NFL draft. I will further predict that he won't be the first quarterback taken. I'm going with Omar Jacobs of Bowling Green.

by charles (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 12:00pm

RE: 7
Officially co-signing with MDS about jacobs, he has way more potential then leinhart. The real question is whether bennett is ready to be a no. 1 receiver for 16 games. He didn't see many 1 cbs with derrick mason around.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 12:43pm

I suspect that most 'novelty' offensive tactics like the constant hurryup work mostly because of their novelty. If it's different from what a team faces the other 15 times a season, then you have to prepare for it differently, and you're slightly slower to react. Once you get accustomed to it, the effects fade.

For example, if everyone started running the all-hurryup offense tomorrow, the first team to slow things down would probably get a slight edge just because other teams aren't used to facing it. Suddenly, the offensive coordinator is hailed as a genius for using more time to deliberate, and giving his players an edge at the line.

Everything works until it doesn't, and you're an innovative geniius right up until the moment you're a worn-out old coot whose time has passed.

by Vinny (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2005 - 12:46pm

Trogdor, that's 43% -- thank you very little.... As for my hibernation, I had planned to emerge earlier after the NCAA hammered Senator Tressell and tOSU for rampant rules violations, but that wasn't going to happen, of course...

Seriously though, I'm jumping on the MDS bandwagon as well re: Leinart's stock dropping this year. I think Reggie Bush and AJ Hawk will both go earlier. I'm not sold on Jacobs just yet though.