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. gopack968 07/09/2007 at 3:48 PM #

    “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.”

    No matter which QB winds up starting, this should be the offense for the first few games. We have the backs but will not have the QB, either in size or experience, no matter who wins the job. After a few games we can experiment with a more wide-open offense, based on a solid and established run game.

    My guess is that the team will gel mid-season and finish strong. Whether we get to a bowl may just come down to when the gel firms up.

  2. lush 07/09/2007 at 3:48 PM #

    “It would be interesting to see Chow post-Rivers”

    He won a national champioship or two at USC with Carson Palmer and Matt Leinhart. He now is calling plays for Vince Young.

    “even Chow is not immune from criticism. The BYU fanbase soured on him before he left.”

    i thought he left because he wanted to be a head coach and the Mormons where never going to let a “Chow” do it.

  3. noah 07/09/2007 at 4:02 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.”

    A draw on 3rd and 10 is better than a sack or an INT. Sometimes, it’s better than an incomplete pass.

    And Chow was basically run out of Provo by the fans. When he was hired as OC, a couple of BYU fans came by the old StateFans board and filled everyone in.

    They talked about how Chow had once been a prominent figure on Lavell Edwards’ radio and TV show…but had quit appearing after the shows got hijacked by people upset by the lack of off. consistency. They even linked to a couple of BYU boards and everyone thought they were sitting pretty once Chow had left…

    Chow probably will never be a head coach because being able to call a good off. scheme and teach QBs how to succeed has little to do with being a good head coach. Just like there are good sales people who couldn’t head a branch office for Acme, Inc….and there are branch managers for Acme, Inc. who would suck at selling. Different skillset.

  4. VaWolf82 07/09/2007 at 4:17 PM #

    If you look up “conservative offense” in the dictionary, you will probably find a photo of Frank Beamer. I have probably watched more VT games over the last 20 years than any other team besides State.

    “Conservative” is not bad by any means, but it eventually limits your program. QB’s and WR’s want to go somewhere where they will be used….for more than handing off or blocking for the RB.

    The best offense is a balanced one….one that runs and throws on every down. This is what I hope to eventually see in Raleigh. It was nice to read noah’s comments to find someone even more pessimisstic than me. I would put State’s ceiling at around 0.500.

    Here are BC’s offensive rankings in the ACC last year:

    Rushing Offense 9
    Passing Offense 1
    Total Offense 2
    Scoring Offense 3

    I wouldn’t label those numbers as being too conservative.

  5. tvp 07/09/2007 at 4:19 PM #

    BYU Fans : Chow :: BC Fans : TOB

  6. BJD95 07/09/2007 at 4:21 PM #

    FWIW, I could see us winning 6, MAYBE 7. Anything beyond that would be a near-miracle.

    You can be pretty bad and still get to 6 or 7 wins. Remember that lousy Kansas team we creamed in the Tangerine PR’s senior year?

  7. packpower 07/09/2007 at 4:23 PM #

    Hopefully tvp’s equation is correct.

    It is amazing the number of people who take shots at Sheridan. He may not have had a lot of five star recruits but as Keith Jackson would say, “He could take yours and beat his or take his and beat yours.”

  8. vtpackfan 07/09/2007 at 4:51 PM #

    BC fans were left with the responsibility of stating the reasons why TOB and his staff broke off their long standing relationship. It’s all bull, and that is because it came down to what it almost always does: Money.

    As noted numerous times BC was always on the short end of the stick when it came down to Bowl selections. They don’t have a large following and there is no “Bean Pot” Bowl played on any frozen NE tundra as of yet. It would take an automatic bid by making the ACC championship year after year to remedy that.

    So the school doesn’t rake in the extra dough from the better bowls, they don’t have boosters to raise enough cash to give their coach a raise, and “presto”, we have a coaching change that controls cost. What I like about professional sports, typically baseball, is that everyone is transperant and honest about their lot in sprts life. Either “high, I’m a large market team” or ” Hey, I’m a small market team, can you spare a dime”.
    Div I college sports are in denial that they are run that way and would like us to beleive that their a hidden mysterious reasons for coaching changes.

  9. primacyone 07/09/2007 at 5:00 PM #

    Blog post on T. Manning.


  10. BJD95 07/09/2007 at 5:09 PM #

    ^^^ I thought Bear Bryant said that even before Keith Jackson?

  11. Mr O 07/09/2007 at 5:39 PM #

    I see a range of 3-5 wins this season. There is a reason we are going to be picked last in every single pre-season magazine in the Atlantic division.

    Based on the spring game, I can’t see anyone other than Daniel Evans starting. However, it has been rumored that day Beck was unusually bad that day.

  12. RedTerror29 07/09/2007 at 5:41 PM #

    VAWOLF: “The best offense is ….one that runs and throws on every down.” As opposed to what?

    I only see about four games I feel like marking down as wins this year. Winning anymore than that will be tough. And I don’t expect the full benefits of the new staff to sink in ’til next year (guys are still learning the system now).

  13. Primewolf 07/09/2007 at 8:07 PM #

    Uncertainty is maximized at P (probability) =0.5. In designing an experiment, the most value is created when you are equally unsure of its outcome.

    Uncertainty can be created in play calling in a given situation and also in play execution (Wake Forest misdirection) during the play.

    Defenses may not care about uncertainty, but may be risk adverse and try to avoid the big play. Or defenses may be risk takers (Amato) trying to make the big play, but also give up the big play.

    A good offensive coordinator sets up a game play to win the game to take advantage of uncertainties and defensive risks. I will take wins any day vs concerns over “conservative” or wide open. Alot of times your players dictate what you try to do.

    If BC’s Oline is as good as expected, Logan will have many options and may look like a genius, or he may look like he did his last few years at ECU>

  14. choppack1 07/09/2007 at 8:08 PM #

    “If you look up “conservative offense” in the dictionary, you will probably find a photo of Frank Beamer. I have probably watched more VT games over the last 20 years than any other team besides State.

    “Conservative” is not bad by any means, but it eventually limits your program. QB’s and WR’s want to go somewhere where they will be used….for more than handing off or blocking for the RB. ”

    VAWolf – Do you think VaTech’s program growth has been limited? I mean, it’s been limited in that they haven’t played for the national championship since 1999 – but I think they’ve been to a couple of BCS bowl games since then. While they aren’t USC, Ohio State or Florida – not many other schools are. They’ve actually managed to penetrate a pretty tight bubble that is college football powerhouses…Not many schools have done what they’ve done for as long as they’ve done it. I hope that NC State’s offense is conservative in such a way that it’s a bad season when we have 4 losses.

    Regarding Beck – while he does have the best arm of the 3, I also wonder if how he rates in the other areas. I think TOB and Bible go w/ the QB that they believe will execute their game plan the best.

  15. nikemike 07/09/2007 at 10:22 PM #

    Great post. Great discussion.

    Logan’s a very good coach (just ask him). His problems at ECU had very little to do with what took place between the lines. I was surprised by his move to BC at first, but with time, it makes sense in about 1000 different ways. He’ll have a top-flight QB to run a very QB-friendly (and dependent) system. He’ll have so much autonomy as to almost be a second HC. He’ll have an opportunity to coach the kind of kids he’s always talked about wanting to coach. With a good bounce or two, doors may fly wide open for Logan next year.

  16. packwolf90 07/09/2007 at 11:05 PM #

    I just saw something that had the football schedule on it. Beside the Louisville game it says Sept 29 (or 27). Possible Thursday nighter…….ESPN seems to love puttin louisville on thursdays so maybe we’ll get lucky.

  17. sf59 07/09/2007 at 11:09 PM #

    good stuff guys

  18. RedTerror29 07/10/2007 at 8:36 AM #

    ^^IIRC it was already decided Louisville would not be a Thursday night game.

  19. Pack92 07/10/2007 at 8:43 AM #

    What am I missing about Logan? The last game I watched him coach at ECU we rolled over and went conservative in the 2nd half and watched a game slip away we should have easily won. He gets run out of GT and the next thing you know he’s holding the clipboard and headset for Jimmy Johnson at Miami. Then he’s a talking head on the radio? I believe plenty of TOP coaching jobs opened between now and when he was asked to leave GT but I just don’t remember him being mentioned on any “we have to get HIM” lists. Just sayin…

  20. BoKnowsNCS71 07/10/2007 at 8:45 AM #

    I’ll go with the Pack at 7-5

    Win — Sat, Sep 01 Central Florida Raleigh, N.C. 6:00 p.m.
    ESPN 360 – Live Online

    Loss Sat, Sep 08 Boston College at Chestnut Hill, Mass. 2:30 p.m.

    Win Sat, Sep 15 Wofford Raleigh, N.C. 6:00 p.m.
    ESPN 360 – Live Online

    loss Sat, Sep 22 Clemson Raleigh, N.C. TBA

    Loss Sat, Sep 29 Louisville Raleigh, N.C. TBA

    Loss Sat, Oct 06 Florida State at Tallahassee, Fla TBA

    Win Sat, Oct 20 East Carolina at Greenville, N.C. TBA

    Win Sat, Oct 27 Virginia Raleigh, N.C. TBA

    Loss Sat, Nov 03 University of Miami (Fla) at Miami, Fla TBA

    Win Sat, Nov 10 North Carolina Raleigh, N.C. TBA

    Win Sat, Nov 17 Wake Forest at Winston-Salem, N.C. TBA

    Win Sat, Nov 24 Maryland Raleigh, N.C. TBA

  21. Mr O 07/10/2007 at 8:56 AM #

    Pack92: You are thinking of former ECU head coach Bill Lewis(may have his first name wrong). Steve Logan hasn’t worked in college since getting fired by ECU.

  22. RabidWolf 07/10/2007 at 9:02 AM #

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

    Actually, IMHO, it is unfortunate that State fans will ahve to endure him being on the opposing sidelines at least once a year. He was the rock in my shoe when he was at EZU, and his “go for the jugular” approach will cause headaches for all the opposing defenses that face him this year and in the future.

    BoKnows, I would have to disagree with a couple of the W-L predictions you put out. State could beat FSU, with a bit of luck and determination. ClemPson could overlook the ‘Pack as they have done in the past when we weren’t supposed to “be that good”. Louisville will be in our house, and with their past record, the CF will be ROCKING!! Remember what that did to FSU!?! I, too will take the ‘Pack with a winning record, but more along the lines of 8-4 with a win over ClemPson or Louisville simply because of the crowd noise, the arrogance factor, and the unknowns that always surface when others play the ‘Pack in Raleigh. Remember what arrogance got us over the past 2 seasons?? These are NOT guarantees and should not be used for wagering as they are for entertainment purposes only. ;P

  23. VaWolf82 07/10/2007 at 9:06 AM #

    VAWOLF: “The best offense is ….one that runs and throws on every down.” As opposed to what?

    – One that nearly always runs on 1st and 10
    – One that nearly always runs a screen or draw on 3rd and 15
    – One that nearly always goes deep on 2nd and short

  24. RabidWolf 07/10/2007 at 9:13 AM #

    ^ or one that repeats the same play set on nearly every posession (Trestman AND noendzzone err..Mazzone)

  25. BoKnowsNCS71 07/10/2007 at 9:18 AM #

    Rabid wollf – agree with you. I sort of hedged my bet and wavered on a few. I think we will win a few we don’t expect and lost a few we shouldn’t. Seems like that runs in our blood. I do think we we will go bowling. Most likely in Charlotte unless we can over achieve.

    Historically (as if that means anything) we have gotten a bounce out of new coaches in the first year (usually followed by a sophomore slump in year 2). So I’m hoping that the new leadership gets the decent talent on our team pumped and making fewer errors/turnovers and mental mistakes.

    After all the wolfpack had 7 close losses last year and had we not been shooting ourselves in the foot and playing without an offense — we could have done much better.

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