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.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

General NCS Football

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

  1. VaWolf82 07/10/2007 at 9:21 AM #

    ^That’s what happens when you start lines with dashes.

    VAWolf – Do you think VaTech’s program growth has been limited?

    I think that VT’s recruiting has been limited by their conservative offense and this MAY have limited their growth. Recruiting is a very in-exact science and why a kid chooses one school over another is often hard to quantify. I tend to think that alot of QBs and WRs have tended to go to other schools….but certainly couldn’t prove it.

    The last several years that VT was in the BE were not exactly stellar years. And their bowl record under Beamer is not all that impressive (7-8). So I think that there are both positives and negatives with Beamer’s conservative offense.

    I would also say that Bible’s play calling the last several years with a good QB at BC is not nearly as conversative as what I have seen from Beamer. So this gives me hope that with the right personal, Bible will run a balanced, rather than a blatantly conservative, offense.

    There is always some chance that one of State’s QBs will develop and become a productive QB. However, I also agree with the author that the offense this year may be run to keep the defense off of the field, as much as pure offensive stats.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if noah’s projections came to pass. I wouldn’t be happy, but I won’t be on the internet cursing Bible either.

  2. RabidWolf 07/10/2007 at 9:26 AM #

    A conservative approach is good if you can put points on the board with it. I don’t mind running the ball and the clock when needed (FSU) if you can keep the opponents offense off the field and the defense on the field for long sustained drives, you will win about 8 of 10 times.

  3. Girlfriend in a Coma 07/10/2007 at 9:49 AM #

    I think I was a little harsh earlier with my Ted Cain comment about the draw on third and long. Upon further reflection, I now recall that he mixed in a healthy dose of fullback up the middle on third and long to keep the defense guessing.

  4. BJD95 07/10/2007 at 10:00 AM #

    ^ Ted Cain did suck. I think we can all agree on that!

  5. Pack92 07/10/2007 at 10:06 AM #

    Mr. O, you are so right and I am getting WAAY too old. I think I blanked out the Logan years because they coincided with the O’Cain years in Raleigh.

    I would say one thing about the QB list from the article. Yes, Blake and Garrard could both sling it a mile and in Blake’s case that seems to be the only thing teams wanted him for. It’s not tough to put up passing numbers with that type of offensive mentality. Daunte Culpeper can also sling it a mile but without a Randy Moss he has not fared so well. There is more to a QB than arm strength.

  6. Girlfriend in a Coma 07/10/2007 at 10:33 AM #

    As long as we win, I don’t care if we run on every down.

    I remember a seamless transition from the Ted Cain system to the slightly more aggressive Kiser/O’Cain system. The O’Cain system, however, seemed obsessed with “setting things up” and “breaking tendencies.” I think those two concepts shaped our entire game plans, literally. That was back when I still listened to coaches’ shows and that was all he talked about offensively. “We ran that play to break our tendency and set something up for later.” Often a reverse was called to accomplish one or both of these goals. Most often the reverse failed, it seemed.

    I distinctly remember good sustained drives that were stopped by a failed reverse. My obvious thought in that situation was always “Why stop a perfectly good drive to ‘set something up’ or ‘break a tendency?’ Why not just score? That way we don’t have to set anything up.”

    But I digress.

  7. newt 07/10/2007 at 10:34 AM #

    Chow is idolized here because he was only here for 1 year. I used to post criticism of Chow as “too conservative” from USC message boards to point out the fact that the OC always takes heat from the fans, no matter who he is.

    Conservative football is awesome when you’re dominating the other team’s line. One of the most enjoyable halves of football ever was at Kenan a few years back when, I think it was, Cotra ran the ball up UNC’s gut on nearly every play, and they just couldn’t stop us. Conversely, some of the most miserable games were ECU’s Harley running all over us in Charlotte and Miami’s James running all over us in the Hall of Fame bowl.

  8. Mr O 07/10/2007 at 10:46 AM #

    Rabidwolf: 8-4???

    There won’t be a non-NC State fan in the world that will predict us to go 8-4. We will only be solid favorites in three games.

  9. noah 07/10/2007 at 10:47 AM #

    That win at Carolina with Cotra Jackson was our first win over them since Sheridan left (1992?). They just had no gas in the fourth quarter. Biggest play in that game was them jumping offsides on a punt on fourth and short that kept their defense on the field. The special teams apparently knew they were waiting for the longsnapper to look and then jump on one. We didn’t go on one and the entire line started clapping, knowing what Carolina had done.

    We did that to Florida State down in Tallahassee the next year. We kept their defense out there in the fourth quarter while something like eight minutes went off the clock and they were totally out of gas.

  10. Mr O 07/10/2007 at 10:54 AM #

    Wasn’t the game where we ran the ball every play in the 2nd half Philip’s junior year and Gator Bowl year? TA went nuts and we ran on something like 22 of 26 plays in the 2nd half.

  11. noah 07/10/2007 at 11:21 AM #

    Well, there were two games that had that happen.

    During Rivers’ first year, we got up 24-7 and Carolina slowly started to creep back in. The big play was a third and forever and Levar Fisher JUST missed Little Ronnie Curry as he scrambled for a first down. Curry finished off the drive with a touchdown and Carolina ended up getting right back in the game.

    On a FG try, Julius Peppers ended up getting flipped upside down and left the game with a concussion. After that, we were able to run the ball…didn’t matter who was in the game. Ray Robinson sprained his foot so Cotra stepped in and, in the fourth quarter, just ran all over them.

    Two years later, we were down 17-7 and we finally abandoned all the trickery and finesse and just slammed the ball down their throat in the second half.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but some very kind person got me and my father 50 yard line seats about 20 rows back from the field for this game. It was a little warm and I ended up having to hit the medical tent for some gatorade, air conditioning and Advil. As I made my way back to the tent, I remember some a-hole fratboy screaming at the top of his lungs, “SEVENTEEEEEEN TO SEEEVENNN!!!!”


    But, thanks to the nice people who make Advil and the nice EMT people who had it out at football games, the headache started to ease up…right around the time we started to pound the ball. I don’t think we threw the ball for the entire third quarter. We ended a drive with a touchdown and then on the XP, Carolina blocked it and Dough Justice made us all laugh by trying to run it back for a touchdown.

    Sean Locklear, lying down…with Carolina linemen lying on top of him, managed to get up and despite having about a twenty-yard deficit to make up, tracked Justice down before he even got to the NCSU 35 yard line. He knocked him out of bounds and the play was dead.

    Of course, the UNC fans around us were delirious. They thought they were going to get the ball there and I heard one of them say that our touchdown didn’t count now.


    That led to my famous maxim….”Carolina fans know f*#!-all about football.”

    Carolina didn’t score the rest of the day. I think we passed maybe five times in the entire second half and we just ground them into bits. Kenan was pretty crowded in the first half…but there was all kinds of leg and elbow room in the fourth quarter.

    And then we got stuck behind all of those people going home. The game that ended somewhere between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. We left immediately at the final gun and it still took us two hours to get back to Raleigh from Chapel Hill. And yes, we were in a car. It took 90 minutes just to get from Kenan to I-40.

  12. VaWolf82 07/10/2007 at 11:24 AM #

    Cotra’s running was mostly in the fourth qtr after Ray Robinson got hurt.

    In the Gator Bowl year, State was down at half by three and then down by 10 when UNC scored on the 2nd half’s first possession. TA and the OL then went wild and ran something like 13 straight plays. The quote from someone (burton?) in the paper was that they could hear the UNC defensive players yelling “Run! Run!” before the snap….and then couldn’t stop TA.

  13. noah 07/10/2007 at 11:33 AM #

    Yeah, it was no secret what we were doing. We went to an extraordinarily simple formation. Something like two tight ends, Burton as a quasi-h-back/fullback, TA behind him and one WR. We lined up and it was off-tackle left…off-tackle right…off-tackle left…off-tackle right.

    Meanwhile, that stupid shmuck for Raycom kept saying, “Carolina needs a hero.”


  14. RedTerror29 07/10/2007 at 1:18 PM #

    VaWolf, after an entire day, I finally understand your comment and you are right. And I think TOB/Bible will try to emulate that pro-like balance.

  15. packpower 07/10/2007 at 1:41 PM #

    I wasn’t laughing when Justice tried to the return the blocked extra point – Sean Locklear made a great play. I have never seen an offensive lineman run that fast. The 2002 squad had a great offensive line.

  16. noah 07/10/2007 at 1:51 PM #

    Locklear ran the 40 in about 4.8 seconds. Dough Justice….didn’t.

    I’ve never seen a linebacker run that slow. If he had slowed down, he would have been going backwards.

  17. RAWFS 07/10/2007 at 2:56 PM #

    Amato’s fortunes underwent a steady decline once Mike O’Cain’s OL recruits matriculated out of the program. To be sure, Chuck had some success on an individual level, but he never seemed to take filling the recruiting ledgers with the thick-necks up front that really are the heart of the offense.

    I think that had PR#17 had to play behind the patchwork and thin ranks of the past 2-3 years that he would have been an also-ran QB that went in the 3rd round of the NFL draft. After all, no one looks good under center when they have two defenders in their face before they can take three steps of a drop-back.

    This is a mistake that O’Brien and Bible are NOT making. It may not be readily apparent in the first half of the year, but take heart, help is on the way. It’s a shame we don’t have linemen as good as the Killer B’s (Baker and Brown) because one of those two would be All-American if we did.

    That’s why I predict a bright and sunny future for Brandon Barnes. He’ll have the benefit of a fully rejuvinated Wolfpack OL and it will be a joy to watch this guy play.

  18. waxhaw 07/10/2007 at 3:26 PM #

    Amato had a little success converting 2nd string DL to OL and I think he made a huge error in assuming he could continue to do that.

    When combined with QB problems on Davis (3 star), Stone (4 star) and missing on Scheaffer at the last minute, Amato was very very close to getting over the hump.

    Hit on one of those QB’s and have another offensive lineman or two pan out and we win a lot more games. Win a lot more games and we don’t lose as many good coaches…..etc.,etc.,etc.

  19. noah 07/10/2007 at 3:54 PM #

    I think Amato’s mistake was banking on S. Florida to keep giving him quality players to sustain the line. FSU is having the same problem. Actually, Miami had that problem last year too.

    You can find WRs, DBs and RBs a plenty in S. Florida. But there seems to be a serious shortage of quality linemen there.

    That doesn’t seem to be a problem in places like PA, Ohio, and NJ.

  20. primacyone 07/10/2007 at 4:12 PM #

    T. Manning has narrowed his list.

    Listing on his “Scout” profile


    I was really only worried about Florida, and now he has them third.

  21. primacyone 07/10/2007 at 4:16 PM #

    ^Pack still on top over Clemson and Florida.

  22. noah 07/10/2007 at 4:48 PM #

    If he goes anywhere other than here, it will be a tremendous shock and disappointment to a number of people.

  23. VaWolf82 07/10/2007 at 5:05 PM #

    Amato had a little success converting 2nd string DL to OL and I think he made a huge error in assuming he could continue to do that.

    I’ve often wondered if this practice impacted the OL recruiting in later years.

    I think that Amato’s decline wasn’t a function of losing MOC’s OL recruits, it was a function of running out of slow DL to move to the OL combined with poor OL recruiting. And the decline was certainly hastened by poor play at QB.

  24. Girlfriend in a Coma 07/10/2007 at 6:14 PM #

    Amato was obsessed with “winning” the recruiting season to the point that he would sign “multi-star” guys everyone knew would never suit up (like Dukes), over-recruited positions with higher “star averages,” and under-recruited positions (like OL) with lower “star averages.”

    This artificially inflated our “recruiting rankings” and our expectations, and left huge holes in our roster.

    What TOB has done re: recruting so far has done more to take the luster off of Amato than almost anything else I can imagine. Obviously it wasn’t that hard to recruit here, and recruiting to NC State was Amato’s personal bailiwick, or so we thought. TOB, not known as a great “star average” recruiter, has come in and basically matched if not outdone Amato’s best years (so far).

    Give Amato credit for building stuff and selling tickets — both things made us able to land TOB and increased our profile significantly. The guy was masterful at those two things and was what we needed at the time we got him.

    Beyond that you can have him.

  25. CaptainCraptacular 07/10/2007 at 7:20 PM #

    /\*What TOB has done re: recruting so far has done more to take the luster off of Amato than almost anything else I can imagine.*

    Excellent post! Hopefully in the future (I have very modest expectations for this year) the results on the field will match the vibe surrounding TOB and the job that he’s done so far. It certainly appears that we have 2 coaches in place in our major rev sports that are an absolute great fit. Add Choboy, Kay Yow, and Lisa Navas to the mix, and its one of the best sky’s the limit feeling I’ve had about Pack sports in a long time.

Leave a Reply