I have no mixed emotions about WF blog Blogger so Dear busting out the Sun Tzu Art of War schtick. I've never had much patience for comparing football to war - in every single case it is a poor comparison.
It's a Q&A article with Sal Interdonato of the Times Herald Record; go on ahead and read it if you like - not many fanbases will self-identify as Army's enemy.
Anyway, there is actual football to get to. Army needs to find their heart. I don't mean they need to find the desire to win - they need to find a way to get a consistent advantage. Last year, West Point had the athletes and experience to do more with Coach Monken's midline option offense. Amazing graduation losses saw the offense lose a combined 10,000+ career rushing yards in one off season. You're not going to replace players like that in one year, and through two games in 2015 the offense hasn't been able to achieve its aims.
Two years ago, Army had the athletes and they also had the scheme. Ian Shields' offense started basic every year, he tailored his scheme to his players. Shields' first year as OC the formation was a Wing-T. By 2010 year there was some 2 back veer and some of that same Delaware T. with the H-back motioning presnap into the backfield next to QB Trent Steelman. In time Shields installed his patented T-formation, using presnap motion to create momentum for the offense and imbalance for the defense. There were new formations and new ideas every month - we saw split backs, we saw short yardage Delaware-T, we saw full series of plays run from unbalanced formations.
Above all of that willingness to mold the offense to the team, after the first 4 games of the season Army opened up the playbook and set opponents up for misdirection. By Larry Dixon's junior year of course Army still had the FB dive, but they worked in a ton of misdirection to get more out of the middle of the field. I'm thinking specifically about the play known as 'Doc' - the fullback counter predicated with misdirection to the outside.
The 2015 season is young and Shields would still be pretty shallow in his playbook at this early point of the season, but using this comparison, I am trying to highlight that more could and should be made of each play. Maybe this week we'll see opponents start to chase some ideas around the field. I'm suggesting it now because if you can't beat Fordham or UConn with your script you might think of adding in a few wrinkles.
Kickoff in under 24 hours. Go Army!
Friday, September 18, 2015