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MidtownJacket

Helluva Engineer
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2,869
@33 CPJ has said many many times he doesn't signal in plays because of his time at NAVY. He has an anecdotal story about the guys (some of whom took code breaking as a course) were coming to him during the game to tell him the other team's signals.

As a MAJOR factor of our offense relies on misdirection that would put us at a significant disadvantage. Having said that, we could obviously go to signing in plays on what we believe to be clear downs (3rd and long needs pass, 4th and inches needs dive) but again why tip the other team any more?

Finally, as to creativity and the apparent lack of playing time/practice time. I recall CPJ mentioning time in and time out that when we can not run our base offense having cutesy stuff doesn't really help. I get some people don't like the 3O, or our base packages. That is a fundamental theory discussion - not necessarily lacking in creativity. One could argue that his constant adjustment of splits, use of motion to set up future plays, response to overall D theory during the game to exploit expected weakness (ala running the wheel route from the BBack any number of times) all line up behind the creativity masthead.

I admit, I am a big fan of this offense, and to that end love watching the nuance and subtlety to it. There are some guys on here who are WAY more XsandOs smart than I am, and some old playbooks of CPJ have been posted multiple places on here. I might suggest you read some of the Q&A threads, or review the text of the playbooks to get a different (if not more accurate) perspective on his creativity.
 
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2,077
Taking nothing away from Dwyer, but Laskey scores on FSU on that first play. We were in trips so that took away one of the safeties. The other safety completely ran out of position biting on motion and there was NOBODY in the middle of the field after that. The MLB got chipped by an OL and there just wasn't anybody else.

Yeah, Mickey Andrews got schooled big time.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
@33 CPJ has said many many times he doesn't signal in plays because of his time at NAVY. He has an anecdotal story about the guys (some of whom took code breaking as a course) were coming to him during the game to tell him the other team's signals.

As a MAJOR factor of our offense relies on misdirection that would put us at a significant disadvantage. Having said that, we could obviously go to signing in plays on what we believe to be clear downs (3rd and long needs pass, 4th and inches needs dive) but again why tip the other team any more?

Finally, as to creativity and the apparent lack of playing time/practice time. I recall CPJ mentioning time in and time out that when we can not run our base offense having cutesy stuff doesn't really help. I get some people don't like the 3O, or our base packages. That is a fundamental theory discussion - not necessarily lacking in creativity. One could argue that his constant adjustment of splits, use of motion to set up future plays, response to overall D theory during the game to exploit expected weakness (ala running the wheel route from the BBack any number of times) all line up behind the creativity masthead.

I admit, I am a big fan of this offense, and to that end love watching the nuance and subtlety to it. There are some guys on here who are WAY more XsandOs smart than I am, and some old playbooks of CPJ have been posted multiple places on here. I might suggest you read some of the Q&A threads, or review the text of the playbooks to get a different (if not more accurate) perspective on his creativity.
I used to use hand signals when I was coaching. The key is to have dummy calls. If you are still worried about getting picked you have 2 people by you, with one giving the call and 2 faking it. A team may have been able to decipher the formation from me, but not the play. Could care less if they know the formation.

I've also picked signs during games. It was usually wing T teams with a limited number of plays. When you only have a handful of plays like CPJ, it probably wouldn't be hard to pick. You would see the same sign repeatedly with a different tag each time. Yet another disadvantage to this system.
 

AE 87

Helluva Engineer
Messages
12,967
@33jacket -- yes, CPJ says that they have had the ability to signal plays as part of their 2 minute drill. Like I said, that's a difference in philosophy not a failure to install the ability.

Creativity, in this context, refers to the ability to come up with new formations and new ways to attack defenses. Now, you say "never really committed." However, again, this is a difference in philosophy not creativity. The same applies to whether you use A-Backs or WRs as slot receivers.

FWIW, I don't dispute your right to hold a philosophical opinion about how to be most effective offensively. I just don't think the facts support your attack on him for having a lack of creativity or mental defect.
 

Whiskey_Clear

Banned
Messages
10,487
Did a conversation about the Bback just become another, trash the O scheme thread again?......looks like. I've seen our scheme stopped a few times when we have faced better talent. Haven't seen anyone yet beat our scheme with an opposing D scheme. If the scheme were so simple and unimaginative...I can't for the life of me figure out how we put points up on the board at all. One would think the same teams would be able to shut down our O year in and year out if it were so simple to stop.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
Did a conversation about the Bback just become another, trash the O scheme thread again?......looks like. I've seen our scheme stopped a few times when we have faced better talent. Haven't seen anyone yet beat our scheme with an opposing D scheme. If the scheme were so simple and unimaginative...I can't for the life of me figure out how we put points up on the board at all. One would think the same teams would be able to shut down our O year in and year out if it were so simple to stop.
If you think that defenses are playing us the same way they did the first 2 years, you are mistaken. We are sub .500 over the past 4 seasons vs FBS teams. I don't see that as reason to keep doing the same old things. Got to make changes to improve.
 

dressedcheeseside

Helluva Engineer
Messages
13,671
If you think that defenses are playing us the same way they did the first 2 years, you are mistaken. We are sub .500 over the past 4 seasons vs FBS teams. I don't see that as reason to keep doing the same old things. Got to make changes to improve.
Changes are what messed us up, if you ask me. Why do you think we keep hearing all the "getting back to our roots" talk?
 

Ash

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
679
If you think that defenses are playing us the same way they did the first 2 years, you are mistaken. We are sub .500 over the past 4 seasons vs FBS teams. I don't see that as reason to keep doing the same old things. Got to make changes to improve.

Oh no, if the dive does not work, do it again on 2nd down. Then rocket toss to the short side of the field and try and make up 8+ yards. Punt.

Opposing Ds have figured out how to play us by giving us looks to force us into running certain plays. Unfortunately with our scheme, we become very predictable much faster than other offenses since we run everything out of the same formation. I was hoping for some more/better wrinkles from the coaching staff but I have not seen them. Add CPJ play calling rut in for a few series (which he is prone to do) and you have a recipe for disaster.
 

AE 87

Helluva Engineer
Messages
12,967
If you think that defenses are playing us the same way they did the first 2 years, you are mistaken. We are sub .500 over the past 4 seasons vs FBS teams. I don't see that as reason to keep doing the same old things. Got to make changes to improve.

Since you've made the same point that has been repeatedly made, I hope you don't mind if I give the same response.

On what basis do you conclude that offensive performance has been the problem or reason behind our FBS w-l over these years? Some sort of statistical support would be appreciated (by me, at least).

Now, it's obviously ok if you just came here to share your feelings rather than for rational discussion.
 

IEEEWreck

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
587
I used to use hand signals when I was coaching. The key is to have dummy calls. If you are still worried about getting picked you have 2 people by you, with one giving the call and 2 faking it. A team may have been able to decipher the formation from me, but not the play. Could care less if they know the formation.

I've also picked signs during games. It was usually wing T teams with a limited number of plays. When you only have a handful of plays like CPJ, it probably wouldn't be hard to pick. You would see the same sign repeatedly with a different tag each time. Yet another disadvantage to this system.

Dummy calls aren't (at least from a cryptography standpoint) that useful. Without going super nerdy here, there's a reason Midshipmen with undergraduate courses on codebreaking were regularly able to pick signals.

It's tough to balance a code that's complex enough not to be broken but still more likely to be an asset than a liability with confusion on the field.

Interestingly, the lower amount of information to convey would allow us to be a lot more creative with that stuff because there's less to memorize. Let's say every play CPJ lines up with 4 assistants on the sideline, all of whom are wearing livestrong bracelets and throwing signals. For any offense, I could have CPJ's position tell players who is throwing a real sign, etc. But that's pretty complicated, and we've just forced our players to learn a code so that they can read another code. Recipe for disaster in a pressure situation. But, since there are relatively few plays to encode, I can have 4 or 5 simple systems to learn instead of hierarchies of systems. Let's keep it super simple. CPJ is the 'bit' (so to speak, this isn't binary at all) that conveys which system to use. Is he on the left? Then the guy he told to players to look to at the half is hand signaling the play. On the right? Ignore hands, the order of the other four coaches on the sidelines signals the play. Middle? Color of livestrong bands tells you what to do.
Second to the left? Buzz is signaling the play.

That's a little silly but the point is that with less information to be encoded you can teach players 5 very simple systems reliably with the same mental effort as one more complex system.

Also, on that note, it's time to start an association of EE, CompE, and CS students who try to break the other team's signals. I smell the IEEE's newest team!
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
Since you've made the same point that has been repeatedly made, I hope you don't mind if I give the same response.

On what basis do you conclude that offensive performance has been the problem or reason behind our FBS w-l over these years? Some sort of statistical support would be appreciated (by me, at least).

Now, it's obviously ok if you just came here to share your feelings rather than for rational discussion.
The stats that are available have FCS and Syracuse stats in them, so that doesn't tell the real story of consistency. Those great rushing stats have still not gotten us over the .500 Mark against FBS teams and especially vs Va Tech, Miami, Clemson, and UGA.
 

augustabuzz

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,180
The stats that are available have FCS and Syracuse stats in them, so that doesn't tell the real story of consistency. Those great rushing stats have still not gotten us over the .500 Mark against FBS teams and especially vs Va Tech, Miami, Clemson, and UGA.
Are you claiming that Syracuse is not an FBS team? If you want fairly consistent stats peruse the ACC conference only stats.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
Dummy calls aren't (at least from a cryptography standpoint) that useful. Without going super nerdy here, there's a reason Midshipmen with undergraduate courses on codebreaking were regularly able to pick signals.

It's tough to balance a code that's complex enough not to be broken but still more likely to be an asset than a liability with confusion on the field.

Interestingly, the lower amount of information to convey would allow us to be a lot more creative with that stuff because there's less to memorize. Let's say every play CPJ lines up with 4 assistants on the sideline, all of whom are wearing livestrong bracelets and throwing signals. For any offense, I could have CPJ's position tell players who is throwing a real sign, etc. But that's pretty complicated, and we've just forced our players to learn a code so that they can read another code. Recipe for disaster in a pressure situation. But, since there are relatively few plays to encode, I can have 4 or 5 simple systems to learn instead of hierarchies of systems. Let's keep it super simple. CPJ is the 'bit' (so to speak, this isn't binary at all) that conveys which system to use. Is he on the left? Then the guy he told to players to look to at the half is hand signaling the play. On the right? Ignore hands, the order of the other four coaches on the sidelines signals the play. Middle? Color of livestrong bands tells you what to do.
Second to the left? Buzz is signaling the play.

That's a little silly but the point is that with less information to be encoded you can teach players 5 very simple systems reliably with the same mental effort as one more complex system.

Also, on that note, it's time to start an association of EE, CompE, and CS students who try to break the other team's signals. I smell the IEEE's newest team!
I don't think you understand what I mean by dummy calls. By dummy calls, I mean things within the play call that mean nothing. Our plays could be yelled out at the LOS by the qb, and the defense would have no clue what we were talking about, much less someone trying to decipher the hand signals.

Ex: uno, Ray A Queen, zip, Bama blue, Chevy 9, brown

Can you guess what part is actually 1) the play, 2) the formation, 3) the tag, 4) the second tag, 5) the dummy call. You may not even hear this same play again, or you may not hear it until later in the game. By that time you will have heard/seen 20+ different plays. Oh, and I can call the same exact play and change several of the words. Good luck picking that off.

My guess is that his code breakers picked Army's signals. I agree that it's not that difficult if you only run a handful of plays.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
Are you claiming that Syracuse is not an FBS team? If you want fairly consistent stats peruse the ACC conference only stats.
I knew this was coming. My point was there are going to be a couple of stat pumping games against a Syracuse or UNC that don't translate to the actual consistency of the offense.
 

AE 87

Helluva Engineer
Messages
12,967
The stats that are available have FCS and Syracuse stats in them, so that doesn't tell the real story of consistency. Those great rushing stats have still not gotten us over the .500 Mark against FBS teams and especially vs Va Tech, Miami, Clemson, and UGA.

So, you're just sharing your feelings?
 

IEEEWreck

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
587
^^^ Nodawgs, validity of outlier trimming aside (assuming those games can be called outliers), perhaps a more pressing question would be, given what happened with execution problems and CPJ's response to them, what makes you think he won't change the plays he calls to find something that works? Don't we need the offense to, you know, work first?

Oh no, if the dive does not work, do it again on 2nd down. Then rocket toss to the short side of the field and try and make up 8+ yards. Punt.

Opposing Ds have figured out how to play us by giving us looks to force us into running certain plays. Unfortunately with our scheme, we become very predictable much faster than other offenses since we run everything out of the same formation. I was hoping for some more/better wrinkles from the coaching staff but I have not seen them. Add CPJ play calling rut in for a few series (which he is prone to do) and you have a recipe for disaster.

Are you watching the same games I am? If we're talking only about last year you've got the order wrong. Rocket/Dive, throw once or twice, miss on third and long. Punt.

But that's because we couldn't put together a decent 30/midline to save our lives. Fairly sure we've all had enough thinking on why that happened.

Wrinkles are cool when you use them as a strategic response. That's not where we were last year. If anything, CPJ does a huge amount of innovating, but won't keep at something new that's getting blown apart. It's funny to me that a lot of people stridently argue that CPJ is too stubborn because he won't run into the ground with a new idea that isn't working. Some thoughts:

1. Real football is not like NCAA 14. Defenses pretty much know exactly how they want to react to every formation you can throw at them. Misdirection is another beast entirely. The only real question is who can execute better given a formation.
2. When our offense is working, forcing us to run certain plays is a really bad idea. That's why its tactically interesting and how 08 and 09 happened.
3. When you can't execute, formation is irrelevant. Line up however you want, if you have a [player] who can't [execute a thing] their DC knows how to ride that all day long no matter where you put them. If you have a long enough list of can'ts, you run out of ways to not expose those weaknesses.

I've never heard anyone who thought CPJ was stubborn and left behind with respect to offensive plays who said that and had a 'given what we saw with [X,Y,Z] performing and [A,B,C] falling short, we could have overcome their [strength that hurt our production] by doing [a thing].
And although there's generally a higher caliber of person on this forum, most people I talk to who think that way, when you get down to it, can't see the field, even to the extent of being able to identify the pitch and dive keys and what happened on a given play. I'm not saying I always can, but I do try to learn more and understand better. And I find that as I do, I enjoy the games even more.
 

IEEEWreck

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
587
I don't think you understand what I mean by dummy calls. By dummy calls, I mean things within the play call that mean nothing. Our plays could be yelled out at the LOS by the qb, and the defense would have no clue what we were talking about, much less someone trying to decipher the hand signals.

Ex: uno, Ray A Queen, zip, Bama blue, Chevy 9, brown

Can you guess what part is actually 1) the play, 2) the formation, 3) the tag, 4) the second tag, 5) the dummy call. You may not even hear this same play again, or you may not hear it until later in the game. By that time you will have heard/seen 20+ different plays. Oh, and I can call the same exact play and change several of the words. Good luck picking that off.

My guess is that his code breakers picked Army's signals. I agree that it's not that difficult if you only run a handful of plays.

This is a cool problem. First of all, I don't know coming in the number of distinct encodings you are using, so I have to collect what you say every play and note the number of different signifiers as well as their frequency. I'll get the formation pretty fast purely based on frequency. Then I probably start working on a form of contact analysis, since plays and keys have a relationship with how often they get used together. I'd probably need to work this out before hand, using analysis of tape of your previous games if I'm especially studious. The idea is that you're likely to use certain modifications or adjustments with certain plays more often than others. Even better, I have the ability to change what you call to some extent. If the DC starts inducing a certain adjustment, etc. I can falsify my hypothesis in one play. That's a really powerful tool because now I'm using statistical analysis to guide guesses and crossing off possibilities.

I bet a midshipman or three sitting on the bench can get at least the formations and most tags by halftime. If they have buddies with TI-89's or laptops behind them I bet they get the calls too.

Also, the dummy call would give me the most trouble if you have as many dummy calls as play calls and you call them in more or less the same proportions that you call plays. If the noise looks a lot like signal, it's a lot harder to filter.
 
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