Colorado head coach Jon Embree and his offensive assistants have spent much of past three weeks in meetings and discussions about the direction and design of the offense for the 2011 season and beyond.
The offense will probably be tweaked here and there all the way through spring ball and even in fall camp as coaches learn the strengths and weaknesses of their players and the overall roster. But a lot of the terminology and playbook that players will learn in spring ball is now in place.
I spoke with new tight ends coach and passing game coordinator J.D. Brookhart about the process and the system this week as the beginning of spring ball nears (March 11).
“It’s going to be the West Coast system,” Brookhart said. “It’s going to be the quarterback making a decision based on what the defense does to distribute the ball correctly. It’s a very quarterback-driven offense. So what you see on Sundays is what you’re going to see on Saturdays here.”
There are a lot of pieces of the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers being incorporated into the Buffs’ scheme, along with a few wrinkles provided by wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy, who has spent the past seven years with the Texas Longhorns.
As we know from past interviews with Embree and Bieniemy, the Buffs will pride themselves on a physical running game, in the mold of Stanford and Wisconsin in 2010 or what used to be done here under former coach Gary Barnett. Brookhart’s tight ends will factor in prominently in both the run and pass games.
“It’s been fun,” Brookhart said. “You’ve got a lot of great experience in that room and in the end it’s terminology and everybody has worked well through it. I think everybody has a clear understanding that when we make a decision and that’s what coach Embree or coach (Eric) Bieniemy wants, that we move forward.”
“A couple of us have been head coaches and almost everybody has been a coordinator. I think when you’ve been in those seats, it’s easier to be in the other seat and understand expectations. I think it’s been a great room. It’s been fun to learn different things from different guys.”