So, in summary
So, we’ll see. This probably isn’t going to be an instant fix, even if we got Lane Kiffin to give up his head coaching job and be our OC.
- We’ve hired an OC
- Long likes to pass more than the average OC, but he’s not in Air Raid territory
- He’s used a “standard” blocking philosophy, not the wide splits we moved away from three years ago
- We can guess that Key keeps coaching OL in pretty much the same way
- How this affects our offensive coaching assignments is unknown
- He’s coached some good offenses. This past year may have been his worst.
- It’s unclear whether he’s been a marked upgrade over the OCs he’s replaced. He’s done better, and coached in some of the biggest stages possible, but he’s also had some underwhelming stops.
- If you’re looking for the consistency we’ve been missing (regularly staying ahead of the chains), he doesn’t have a track record as a miracle worker in that area.
- He’s really good with TEs, but he’ll be coaching QBs. He’s had success with QBs
- Whether our OL gels this year is unknown. It’s our biggest need, but it’s not something most OC hires will cover
- The stats seem to tell a cloudy story. There aren’t many OCs who are going to be clearly separated from the pack, though.
For me, I won’t have a read on this until he starts coaching. The last couple of spring practices haven’t given me any indication on the team’s progress, but it’s still where I’d look to see an indication of offensive progress with the new OC—I guess I don’t learn.
IMO, Long will be a good OC. Will he be in the elite category like the Flex option and Air Raid coaches? Probably not, but he doesn't need to be. He's had one offense that knocked on the door of elite (2017 Notre Dame), but his other offenses have been very good (20's-30's OFEI). His Tulane offense had some extenuating circumstances, so I wouldn't read too much into the 70's OFEI. From reports, it wasn't his on the field production that got him fired at ND, but as the cool kids these days like to say, he needed to work on his emotional intelligence and soft skills. Hopefully the year being an analyst at UT and a year at Tulane have humbled him. He's still a young guy, and can be a very good head coach one day. People rave about his offensive acumen and knowledge of developing talent...there's not a question there.
My hope is that Long will be CGC's Friedgen. The pieces are there for Long to have a good to very good offense. There's no reason this team can't compete on talent alone...but CGC needs to do better with the coaching aspect of being a HC.