GT hires Chip Long as new OC/QBs Coach


Georgia Tech Fan

From fear the wave earlier this season


Can Chip Long adjust?​

Offensively, Tulane has taken a big step back this year. Whether it’s the players struggling to adapt to Chip Long’s system or Chip Long not adjusting to the talents of his players, Tulane has at times been anemic on offense. Sure, there have been glimpses. We got off to a hot start against Oklahoma and had a good sequence of offense against ECU and Houston, but otherwise, we’ve been spotty at best. We haven’t been able to run the ball with any consistency and have done an awful job protecting Michael Pratt.

The worst thing we’ve done is put too much on Pratt. Coming into this season, Pratt had played 10 college games and is adjusting to a new offense. Yet, we’ve overloaded him with decision after decision. It seems like every play, Pratt is making a choice on a run-pass option or a read-option. Sometimes you just need to let the kid hand the ball off or throw a quick screen. What has happened is teams are overplaying the running back and letting Pratt run with the ball. They are trading a few yards for a hit on the QB. And the result has been that Pratt is concussed and has suffered injuries to his shoulder and knee. He’s not going to survive if something doesn’t change.

I was fired up with our decision to hire Chip Long not so much because of what he did at Notre Dame but what he did at Memphis. I thought that this offense would look something like Memphis’ 2016 offense with quick throws, screens and a good running game. This offense looks nothing like that offense. We haven’t done much to get the ball to Jha’Quan Jackson, one of our best playmakers. We finally targeted him deep last week against SMU and hit 2 long pass plays. Where has this been all year? Why aren’t we doing more with Ygenio Booker in the pass game or Deuce Watts, another playmaker who hoped to produce a big season? Why is Tyjae Spears not more involved now that he looks healthy? There is no reason on Earth that Michael Pratt should have the most carries on our team, but he sits as the leader at 73. The Tulane offense has failed to capitalize on its talent this season.

This isn’t an easy fix, and it’s going to require a lot of soul searching by Willie Fritz. He must decide whether Chip Long can get the most out of the roster or whether Long’s offensive philosophy is in line with what Fritz wants to do. Fritz came to Tulane wanting to run the ball and after 3 years realized that he needed to develop the pass game or Tulane was not going to win many games. Will Hall was a good fit and took our offense to a new level, but it still felt like the passing offense was lacking when we needed it. The transition to Chip Long was supposed to be seamless, but it has been anything but. The offense that Long is running just doesn’t suit Michael Pratt’s talents.

Watching SMU and Houston, I can’t help but think that Pratt would be better off in a balanced form of the Air Raid. SMU, in particular, does an incredible job of scheming plays so that the QB does not take many hits. There’s s always an outlet receiver or a relatively safe throw to bail the QB out when he needs it. Houston has been less successful avoiding sacks with Clayton Tune at QB but Tune still hasn’t taken nearly the beating that Michael Pratt has. Pratt has only been sacked 17 times, but he’s avoided 10-15 more sacks by gaining minimal yardage while still taking a hit. You may be thinking that SMU and Houston throw the ball a lot more than Tulane and that they are predominantly passing offenses, but you’d be wrong. SMU is almost exactly at 50/50 in their run to pass split. Houston runs the ball 4 times more per game than it passes. Tulane is at 36 rushes per game and 34 pass attempts. Those other schools just scheme it a lot better than we do.

The verdict: I don’t think that Chip Long and Willie Fritz were a match made in heaven. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a mutual parting of the ways at the end of the season. If that happens, it will be interesting to see whether Fritz reverts to a more conservative approach or continues to probe ways to make this passing game more explosive. If Long stays, the offense must be more tailored to our talents.
Tulane offense stats last 3 years:
2019: 449.3 yds/gm; 33.1 pts/gm
2020: 393.8 yds/gm; 34.7 pts/gm

Long hired for 2021
2021: 386.7 yds/gm; 27.8 pts/gm

GT offense
2021: 366.9 yds/gm; 24.0 pts/gm


Helluva Engineer
His personality and coaching style is a well needed change for the lockeroom.
I was thinking the same thing. Hopefully, this is part of a larger "culture" adjustment.

From the article:

“I want all of our guys to be confident,” Long said. “Good players want to know the truth. They want coaches who are going to be honest, up-front coaches who make demands. To learn how to get better, you’re going to make a mistake. Keep pushing, high pressure. When game day comes around, it gets easier. We need to be a grittier group. Learn how to practice harder.”


Helluva Engineer
Question now is do we hire a QB coach ?
Don't know, but I found this about CCL:

From the article:
"Long also helped develop current Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book into one of the nation’s premier quarterbacks in 2018. Book won his first nine career starts, becoming the first quarterback in program history to do so. In 2018, Book’s 68.2 completion percentage set a new program record and ranked eighth in the country. Book threw for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns that season and was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award. He was also a finalist for the Manning Award."


Staff member
I don't know, I never played football at the college level but the OC does more than stand on the sideline or in a both and calls plays correct?

The OC coordinates the practice for the Offensive correct? Drills, intensity, etc. right?

Everybody is talking about Play calling. Honestly, that is the least of my concern. It's how intense, focused, etc outside of the actual football game is the results we will get on the field. right?

Again, I did not play college football but I just want to make sure that the OC is in charge of a lot more than just calling plays on the sideline.

The head coach is in charge of everything, so they can overrule any practice plan or training drill or anything else a coordinator does. Sometimes, an offensive-minded head coach will be heavily involved in the offense. The reason I bring this up is the OCs job is going to be what Collins lets that job be.

Collins is more of a defensive-minded coach, but he’s one with a particular plan as to how practice should run. He would probably give Long a lot of freedom in running the offense anyway, but he might be under more pressure to do that now, especially with the defense in disarray.

I’ll assume that we’ll see pretty typical OC responsibilities, adapted to fit into Collins’ dynamic practice style.

The OC is in charge of the entire offense. All the offensive coaches should report to him. He should have a plan for the entire offense, design the playbook, and the position coaches should have a training plan to fit in with what the OC wants to accomplish. They should have goals and metrics for the offense and for the practices. They should have a plan for what they want to recruit.

In high school, an OC calls the plays, runs the offensive part of the practice (for when the teams break into different squads), makes the plan for what the offense will practice, and tells the offensive assistants what they want them to do.

In college, they’re just under the head coach as far as saying “give that guy a scholarship—I can use them”. They would come up with an offensive game plan for any given game (“after looking at the game film, here’s how we attack VT”). They might even guide strength coaches and players on development plans for certain players (“keep Jimmy lean and fast, work on his agility”).

The challenge on giving you an answer is knowing how much an OC delegates to assistants, and how much a HC delegates to the OC.

When Long comes in, the first thing he’ll have to do (aside from recruit) is come up with a development plan for the offense. He’ll have to assess what he has, figure out where he thinks he can get them in less than a year, and sketch out a plan to get them there. He’s like a teacher planning a curriculum, even if he pretty much uses the same learning plan every year. He’ll tailor it to what he needs—if his players can’t catch, that would get extra emphasis in the plan, or we’d get a run-heavy offense. Part of the plan might be “we’re gonna do a lot of mat drills”. Some OC’s might be winging it on a daily basis, but that should be pretty rare at the P5 level.

He won’t be coming up with a plan from scratch, or a playbook from scratch (although that’s happened—that’s how we get new offensive schemes). He’ll be tweaking what he already has.

He doesn’t have to do everything himself, but he needs to have his QBs read the defense the way he wants, have his backs and receivers learn the offense and the reads too, his linemen read and block correctly, etc. So he writes his plan and all the assistants write their plans to support his plan.

He’ll have to tailor his plans to his players, and his players to his plans too.

One weird thing we had is that Key was the run game coordinator. Last year, Patenaude was in charge of the passing game and the overall offense, but Key managed the run game. When you have a split like that—if we really had a split like that—your assistant head coach and run game coordinator and or OC have to mesh well and their plans have to mesh well, or you get a disjointed offense.

Key is our one OL coach and he’s also our run game coordinator. Even though we’re talking about Long, GT might need Key to focus entirely on getting the line playing well, or we might need extra help there.

What an OC does vs what he delegates also depends on his strengths. A good OC knows their weaknesses, and finds an assistant who is good at those things to take that over. If an OC is great with the offensive line, but not a QB whisperer, he’ll get a QB coach. If he’s an ex-QB, he’ll delegate another part of the offense to someone else.

Long is still going to have to fit his practice and development plans into what Collins sketches out.

It’s worth noting that Saban and Urban Meyer are detail-obsessed, with exacting practices and plans. Ed Ogeron and Dabo Swinney probably aren’t as detailed in their plans, but having the right goals and consistently working towards them is a key feature of successful head coaches and coordinators.


Ramblin' Wreck
As far as an OC, Long is fine. He's experienced at the P5 level (a high level at that) and ... he's willing to take the job to get back into somewhat big time football. I would call this an upgrade ... not what I wanted, but I think he will be fine.
Long going to coach QBs as well or are we still looking for a QB coach?


Helluva Engineer
One weird thing we had is that Key was the run game coordinator. Last year, Patenaude was in charge of the passing game and the overall offense, but Key managed the run game. When you have a split like that—if we really had a split like that—your assistant head coach and run game coordinator and or OC have to mesh well and their plans have to mesh well, or you get a disjointed offense.

Key is our one OL coach and he’s also our run game coordinator. Even though we’re talking about Long, GT might need Key to focus entirely on getting the line playing well, or we might need extra help there.
I hope this gets fixed. We need one guy running the show on offense. That would be the offensive coordinator.


Georgia Tech Fan
It’s not a big splash hire by any means. It’s also not a bad hire.

He can coach better than what we had if he has players ie ND. He fell off at Tulane mainly in the red zone.

With our coaching situation at the top a bunch of guys weren’t options cause nobody wants to come then have to go in Collins doesn’t make it. We could have done way worse. How good he is remains to be seen. It’s an upgrade, but we shall have to see how much.