Logan: From Booth to BC / NCS OC Comments

Nothing major in this feature on Steve Logan. But, it was interesting and something not to completely ignore in light of Logan’s connections to the Triangle and the overlap with the Tom O’Brien move from BC.

One tangent that I’d like to highlight stems from the following quote from the article:

Logan, 54, is replacing Dana Bible, who followed former Boston College head coach Tom O’Brien to North Carolina State. Although Boston College led the ACC in total offense two years ago and ranked second in the league last season, Bible’s critics said his play calling was too conservative.

First, Dana Bible IS conservative. NC State fans who long for the Norm Chow and Marty Gailbrath days need to realize this going into the relationship. As bad of OC’s as Noel Mazzone and Marc Trestman were…they certainly couldn’t be labeled as ‘conservative’. Ineffective? Sure. Poor play callers? Sure. But, not ‘conservative’. Many new NC State fans will need to re-calibrate their expectations of play calling in the future.

Q: Does anyone really care how subjectively ‘conservative’ an offensive coordinator is judged as long as the Wolfpack is winning?

A: Of course not. (Unless, of course, you were one of those sad souls who believed that Herb Sendek wasn’t liked simply because of his personality. Riiiight).

This is the thing about the Boston College fanbase that blows me away — your program was consistently performing at a very acceptable PEAK for YEARS. Eight straight bowls. Six straight bowl wins. Big regular season games with BCS implications. If the BC fanbase that didn’t like Bible was actually more passionate and supportive (insert word – ‘BETTER’), then the Eagles would have played in some really nice bowls instead of their ultimatel less-desirable destinations (interesting paradox, isn’tt it?) It wasn’t Dana Bible’s fault that the fanbase wouldn’t/couldn’t sell enough tickets to impress the Peach or Gator or Champs Bowls.

I’ve got a few related bullet-points on these comments that I’d like to randomly throw out for the record:

(1) EVERY fanbase in America finds problems with their offensive coordinator. Very few OC’s make it more than 3 or 4 years in one place in large part because of this phenomenon. It is just the nature of the college football. Live with it. Heck, a large number of LSU fans thought that they could do much better than Jimbo Fisher — even after winning a National Championship!! This is what makes OC’s like Norm Chow and Ralph Friedgen so valuable and so good. Even if a fan wanted to complain about a Chow or Friedgen, the fan inherently knows how stupid that they would look based on the respect that these coaches have deservedly built through the years.

(2) So, if an offensive coordinator has been in ANY job just half as long as Bible was at BC, then the fanbase invariable has a host of ‘examples’ of failure that are easy to focus upon. The unfortunate thing for ‘conservative’ OC’s is that they rarely punctuate their victories with a performance for which they get credit. An OC like Bible won’t get any credit from yahoo-Joe who doesn’t understand that the responsibility of the 20-17 win falls largely on the OC who chose not to risk an interception on a key play or whose play calls shortened the game by running 6 minutes off the clock in the third quarter and tired the opponents defense. But a Norm Chow will get extra credit for a reverse followed by a pass across the field to Philip Rivers for a touchdown in Chapel Hill.

It is understandble that different styles yield different perspectives of performance. But, when a program was consistently performing where BC was performing when compared to the resource base available at Chestnut Hill, who cares if the coordinator was “conservative”. Perhaps they HAD to be conservative because they knew that they did not have enough raw talent on the team to score more points?

(3) Which brings us to the issue of talent.

Both TOB (and Bible) have politely intimated that they only had limited talent at Boston College and one of the most exciting things about coming to NC State was the opportunity to coach more skill-position offensive players than in the past. If the last couple of weeks of recruiting are any indication of their judgement then we can conclude that they knew what they were talking about.

Similarly, check out some of the comments that we ran in a previous entry regarding TOB/Bible/NC State’s new coaching staff.

“What we pride ourselves on is that we put our players in positions to do the things they do well,” Bible said Wednesday. “I’ve learned that what you might want to be [as a player], and what you can be, might be two different things. We play to our strengths.”

I don’t have a problem with ^this. Anyone want to ponder a guess as to how many games NC State might have won over the last four years if our offensive coordinators would have more accurately tailored our offense to match our personnel?

As one of our community members said in the comments section of a previous entry:

It is nice to hear that our new coaching staff will play to the players strengths and not stubbornly ask them to continue do what they aren’t capable of doing. Rivers senior year could have been so much more had Amato not been so stubborn with his defensive philosophy. Same can be said when we had our defense doing well and Amato stubbornly forced Jay Davis to try to be Phillip Rivers by asking him to pass so frequently.

I like what I am hearing…I hope the product on the field is the same consistently good product that TOB has produced year after year.

Follow-up: An interesting entry from BCEagle showing past statistics of Steve Logan vs Dana Bible’s performance.

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General NCS Football

82 Responses to Logan: From Booth to BC / NCS OC Comments

  1. Mr O 07/09/2007 at 9:38 AM #

    It is unfortunate that Logan won’t be on the radio anymore.

  2. gopack968 07/09/2007 at 9:45 AM #

    I’ll miss Logan as well. He has a knack for explaining complex football concepts to the layman.

    Funny that the article did not even acknowledge the strange symetry of the NC State/Raleigh and BC/Boston swapparoo between Logan and TOB’s staff.

  3. Clarksa 07/09/2007 at 9:57 AM #

    “This is the thing about the Boston College fanbase that blows me away — your program was consistently performing at a very acceptable PEAK for YEARS. Eight straight bowls. Six straight bowl wins.”

    I’m guessing BC fans don’t see it this way because they kept getting shipped to Boise, Charlotte, etc. for their bowl games. Its a simple fact that while they were good enough to play in bigger bowls, their fans don’t travel and buy tickets.

  4. BJD95 07/09/2007 at 10:12 AM #

    In a sense, the problem is being spoiled by Chow, who is probably the best offensive coordinator of the past 20-30 years in college football.

  5. Mr O 07/09/2007 at 10:41 AM #

    It would be interesting to see Chow post-Rivers. Chow has worked with some great QBs for most of his career.

    Boston College fans see TOB as responsible for not going to better bowl games because he didn’t win 1 more game the last few years. They don’t understand that identical records at most other ACC schools except for Duke and Wake would garner Peach, Gator and Champs Bowl bids.

    TOB had coached at BC long enough. Nothing wrong with BC and TOB wanting a change though I do feel that the BC fans I see on the internet are a lot more maniacal than we we were about Herb Sendek.

  6. RedTerror29 07/09/2007 at 10:59 AM #

    I’m convinced Chow would have made a servicable QB out of Davis or Stone.

    BC fans can throw out all the anecdotal evidence they want, but if your team had the most passing yards, second fewest interceptions, and the highest third down conversion rate in the conference, your OC’s playcalling is just fine, thank you very much.

    Logan is a “fans’ OC.” He’ll throw it deep on third down and go for it on fourth. It might not be the best strategy, and it might lose them some games, but the BC fans will get what they asked for.

    Consistency will wear thin anywhere, whether the coach has his teams under- or over-achieving.

    Boston fans are the most pompous, arrogant, self-centered, know-it-all fans in the nation, bar none, including when the deign to notice college football.

  7. westwolf 07/09/2007 at 11:15 AM #

    “Consistency will wear thin anywhere, whether the coach has his teams under- or over-achieving.”

    ^ So, a coach who has his teams “consistently” over-achieve will eventually “wear thin” with fans? I’m sorry, but that makes no sense.

    If a team consistently achieves at a high level, then fan expectations will certainly rise. But by definition, over-achieving means to exceed those expecations. How could that ever “wear thin”?

  8. Texpack 07/09/2007 at 11:23 AM #

    The Playstation generation thinks that throwing the ball 30 times a game is the only way to have a “great” offense. Just watch the Steelers ram it people’s throats and you should realize that a solid grind it out running game helps your defense a lot in addition to to wearing down your opponent.

  9. tvp 07/09/2007 at 11:43 AM #

    First, this is a fantastic entry SFN.

    re: OC – even Chow is not immune from criticism. The BYU fanbase soured on him before he left.

    I’ve tried to, not reason with the BC fans, but understand where they were coming from. We were badly misrepresented in the media following Herb, so I wondered if the same thing was happening to BC. I tried to put myself in their shoes. Ultimately, I just cannot see where they are coming from. Can you imagine a coach who wins 7-10 games EVERY YEAR (and on a slow but steady upward trajectory) being villified here like TOB was at BC?

  10. RedTerror29 07/09/2007 at 11:47 AM #

    ^^^Over-achieving is relative to the potential of the program, not the expectations of the fanbase. Which is why it wears thin, expectations will slowly rise while the potential of the program may stay the same. Eventually fans start to take 8-9 win seasons for granted and say ‘why can’t we take the next step?’ It’s not entirely rational, but fans don’t like to think of their team’s potential being limited.

  11. noah 07/09/2007 at 12:05 PM #

    There are a couple of things that scare me about this year.

    One, I’m on record as saying I think we’re going to suck. Three or four wins is our ceiling, IMO. (yes, I know…I’m a horrible fan. I should just go pull for Carolina. Save it…)

    Second, I think we’re going to be EXTREMELY conservative. If you think that the key to our success if going to be trick-plays every other down and throwing the ball 85 times a game….yeah, you’re not going to like this year.

    I think we’re going to see a return of the fullback-up-the-middle, three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust offense that Sheridan always ran.

    Why? I think O’Brien and Bible are going to try to constantly win the turnover battle, constantly shorten the game, constantly try to keep our defense off the field (and when they ARE on the field, as fresh as possible) and constantly try to maintain some control over field position. If they can do that, maybe we’ll find ourselves in decent position in the fourth quarter and steal a game here and there.

    Drop back and fling the ball all over and there’s going to be a lot of sacks and a lot of interceptions. It’s going to be the last couple of minutes from the UNC game every week.

    That whole “Why can’t we take the next step” thing is a bit of a canard, IMO. A lot of teams win seven or eight games. Not very many win 10 or more. The “next step” ought to be called “The Next Step”. Capital letters, proper noun. Lowercase letters imply that it really is just one step. It’s not….it’s one great big mountain. Otherwise, you’d see teams doing it all the time.

    It would be interesting to have a mountain of sortable win/loss records for the last 60 years of college football. Sort through and find out how many teams have won eight or more games. Probably be a pretty big list of schools. Now, how many have won 10 or more? The list gets substantially shorter, but there’s still a bunch of teams.

    Now…how many have won 10 or more while playing six teams who ultimately ended up in a bowl at the end of the year. The list gets substantially smaller. And I’d bet THAT list would be made up of the same schools over and over…

  12. tvp 07/09/2007 at 12:13 PM #

    ^Noah – I agree with you on the “next step” talk and on what the offense will be like.

    I disagree that 3-4 wins is the ceiling. Curious as to why you think that. IMO we hit rock bottom last year, and we were still in every game except Southern Miss with a good shot at winning near the end. I can’t help but think we’ll get a few more of those tight games under this staff. I’m thinking 6-6; plus/minus a game would not surprise me.

  13. sportprojections 07/09/2007 at 12:13 PM #

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    Please contact me at [email protected] if you’re interested. I apologize for using the board but I can’t find a contact area.

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  14. RAWFS 07/09/2007 at 12:14 PM #

    If NC State has good offensive line play they can be as conservative as they like and play a ball control game plan. We have three very good running backs, so there should be some fresh legs late in the game. That’s when long runs are broken off, because the defense has been pounded into submission throughout the game.

  15. Girlfriend in a Coma 07/09/2007 at 12:29 PM #

    Hopefully noah’s football projection for this year will be as wrong as his basketball projection was last year.

  16. packpower 07/09/2007 at 12:52 PM #

    Here’s my $0.02. I don’t think it’s fair to criticize any Offensive Coordinator or Quarterback the for the Pack since 2003 because the Offensive Line’s play was not strong in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Some of it was because of injuries, some of it was because the prior coaching staff focused on the skill positions and the Defensive Line and some of it was poor position coaching; however, it would have been difficult for any QB or OC to excel in that situation.

  17. RedTerror29 07/09/2007 at 12:57 PM #

    ^So the OC has no responsibility or accountability in regards to the offensive line?

  18. choppack1 07/09/2007 at 12:57 PM #

    A couple of thoughts on our offense.

    First off – excellent point about how our fans need to prepare themselves for a very conservative offense. This year – this conservative offense may not even be that effective. As properly noted, the sure way to bring criticism to your offense is to try and establish the run. We’ll see that dreaded balance we had to endure during the Sheridan years.

    Regarding production – in addition to total offense, I looked up scoring offense. I was happy to see that BC was 3rd in this category in the conference – behind Clemson and FSU. I was concerned about this – but after looking at it, I fell better.

    Regarding to the Logan vs. Bible debate. If you read Logan’s history at developing QBs – it’s indeed horrifying to think he’s in our division as an OC – hopefully, he won’t be there long. I regard Logan, Chow and others as “Ferrari’s” – Bible appears to be more of a minivan or a station wagon. His offenses won’t be full of trick plays and fireworks…it’s meant to be reliable. It’s meant to control the game – and win the TO battle. We know that in the ACC – if you aren’t FSU or Miami, in most cases, that’s who wins the game. I think Bible’s offenses are created w/ this in mind.

    It won’t make for the most exciting football – especially against lesser talented opponents. However, we should win more games as a result of this strategy. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

    Noah – like you – I think we struggle this year – and maybe next. Year 3 is when we should start seeing what TOB will do here.

  19. statered 07/09/2007 at 1:36 PM #

    I will be happy with a pretty consistent 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense IF at opportune times we roll the dice and try to suprise people going down field. To me the whole point of running the ball like this is to set up another play once the opponent keys on it. You have to break tendency every now and then.

  20. packpower 07/09/2007 at 1:47 PM #

    If the OC doesn’t have the players and didn’t hire the OL coach, I don’t see how one can place blame on him for the line play. An OC can’t control injuries and favoring speed over strength in recruiting either.

  21. noah 07/09/2007 at 1:52 PM #

    “So the OC has no responsibility or accountability in regards to the offensive line?”

    If you can’t run-block and you can’t pass-block…it really doesn’t matter what plays you call.

    Of course, an OC has to recognize that and respond. Remember when Torbush took over at UNC and hired some dum-bass OL/OC….Steve Marshall, maybe?…who tried to implement the “fatback offense?”

    With UNC’s personnel at the time, it was like taking a Ferrari and hooking a trailer up to it and deciding that you were going to use all that “horsepower” to haul lumber. Or…conversely…trying to take a moving van and using that “horsepower” to win at Indy.

  22. BJD95 07/09/2007 at 2:03 PM #

    I think a run-heavy offense would be best served with beck as QB, since he apparently has the best deep ball (and thus could have the best chance to keep defenses honest).

  23. packbackr04 07/09/2007 at 2:59 PM #

    BJD^ I respectfully disagree. i think you can run the ball and keep a defense honest without going “deep” as your passing attack. if you can run the ball effectively, you dont have to heave it 35 yards downfield to open up the d. some nice quick pass plays over the top would work just a effectivley in my mind. and i think evans is most well suited to stand in the poclet and throw some some quick hitters(slants, screens) to keep the d honest.

  24. packbackr04 07/09/2007 at 2:59 PM #

    also i expect that our 3 tailbacks will be used as recievers coming out of the backfield alot this year

  25. Girlfriend in a Coma 07/09/2007 at 3:43 PM #

    I just hope we don’t have to endure the “Ted Cain give-up draw” on third and long 10 times a game like we did when he was here. Or at least it seemed like it was that many.

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