The CheckerBoard

The place for inside information on the Tennessee Vols


Offense - 2012 vs 2013

  • Now that we know who we are working with, let's have fun and compare.

    Can 2013 match 2012's production? This is a really hard question to answer at this point, but it could be fun to discuss. I don't think we'll put up as many yards or score as many points, because we won't hit as many big plays, but I think we will have a better offense in 2013.

    We now have at least two cerebral QBs on our roster, Worley and Dobbs. I think they will manage the game better than Bray. We also have two QBs capable of moving the chains with their feet, Peterman and Dobbs. That is an ability that can be back-breaking to a defense. You've seen it too many times; a defense forces 3rd down, the play isn't there for the offense, QB gets a first down with his legs. Call me crazy, but I think our 2013 QBs will give us a better chance to win games. There's a lot to be said for having a QB who knows what play to run and knows where to go with the football. I think between Dobbs and Worley, we'll find that guy, and it will help us win close games.

    We'll miss Patterson, but honestly I don't think we'll miss Hunter that much. He's got some amazing tools, but I was never impressed with his production. He did finish 4th in the SEC in recieving but we attempted the 2nd most passes in the league, so I'm not really impressed by that stat. What I remember most about Hunter was the tipped pass against Ole Miss as a freshman, and a few key drops as a junior. Patterson, on the other hand, is an irreplaceable weapon. 2013's got some pretty good weapons of their own; Croom, North, Pig, and Jenkins. That's a beautiful blend of size, strength, physicality, speed, elusiveness, and route-running. I really think Jenkins could be a huge factor in this offense with his route-running ablity and 4.5 speed. North should be able to help us as much as Hunter did. Croom and Pig are dangerous weapons that I'm interested to see how our coaches utilize. You gotta give the receiving edge to 2012, especially considering that we aren't sure who will replace Rivera, but I think it's closer than most people do.

    We have the best OL in the country. They're gonna dominate folks and I can't wait to see it. There is no reason why we shouldn't be able to block effectively against everyone we play, including South Carolina. I think Tiny did a great job against Clowney last year. We do lose Dallas Thomas, but Marcus Jackson is no joke. The benefits from the added experience and continuity resulting from the return of 4 already-experienced starters is immeasurable. I'm really excited to see what these guys can do. Could be the best OL in school history.

    There is no denying how much our RBs improved from 2011 to 2012 and there's no reason to think that trend won't continue in 2013. They began to run more aggresively last season, particulary toward the end of the year, and I think being in a run oriented offense will help them develop more of a physical mentality. Cincy ran the ball 492 times last year, averaged over 200 ypg, and led the Big East in rushing. They only attempted 371 passes, 106 fewer than Tennessee. Our RBs will also benefit from the offensive line and another off-season with Coach Graham. I think both Lane and Neal could finish with close to 1,000 yards, and I think at least one of them will surpass it.

    So schematically and overall I think we'll be better in 2013. I think we'll have a better decision maker at QB, but obviously nobody is going to throw it like Bray. I think we'll have a better OL and better RBs and combine that with the new scheme and we should have a MUCH improved running game. Our WRs are at least comparable. We won't have the big play aspect that CP brought but I do expect us to be more consistent in the passing game. Bray had 3 games of over 400 yards passing, and 3 games of under 200, we were widely inconsistent. A consistent running game will lead to a consistent passing game and this will help the entire offense form an identity. When you know who you are, you perform better when you're faced with trials. Last year's offense (particularly the QB) was an emotional rollercoaster because they didn't have an identity. You heard the coaches emphasize the running game, but you saw them emphasize the passing game. We won't see anything like that in 2013, and I expect better results in the W column as a product of that.

    What say you?

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by volfan28 17 months ago

  • +1 is what I say. Also, when are you going to post Defense 12 vs. 13? LOL.

  • You don't want me to tell you how I feel about the defense. I am in meltdown mode on that side of the ball. DCVol has a good, realistic outlook on the 2013 defense IMO

    This post was edited by volfan28 17 months ago

  • I actually think the offense will be fairly good. The OL is crucial. Should be able to run (at least to a respectable level) on every team we face. That is agood thing too. UT is going to need to run the ball. If they can, and I think they will, it take a lot of pressure off the new QB (which I actually think will ultimately be Peterman) and keeps our defense off the field. This will be particularly crucial at Oregon. If UT can run the ball against the ducks and keep their offense off the field, I think that game will be closer than people think. And if UT can run really well, who knows?

    I also agree that, as great as Bray can sling it, he may have made some bad decisions that lost games too. Although, i still think Worley can be an above average SEC QB, I am really interested to see what Peterman does in the Spring. Would also be interesting to see what Worley does if Peterman earns the starting job (i.e. will he transfer?).

    In short, i think the OL is good enough to win some SEC games this year. I don't think UT has to sling it all over the field to win. I also think that CBJ is a better on-field coach than DD (last time I mention even his initials). I know other think is too early for that assessment, but is what I think. I felt like UT had enough talent last year to win more games, but simply got out-coached. Hopefully, that trend is over.

  • If Worley plays up to his Gatorade HS Player of the year status then I say we won't miss a beat..same o-line same rb rotation and a bunch of highly recruited athletes at WR with a offensive minded head coach

  • +1 for the optimism, but I think the offense will be significantly worse.

    -Bray for all his faults was an SEC starter for 3 years, running the same offense, and can make any throw. I don't think he is a winner, but in terms of production, what he lacked in mobility I think he easily made up for in experience and his arm.
    - I agree that Hunter did not meet expectations last year (unfairly high coming off an ACL IMO), but opposing defenses were scared to death of him and CP. We are moving from a top WR/TE duo to Pig, ?, and Downs. It is no comparison.

    - The line will be very good, but new system and teams are going to be able to put an extra guy in the box. If you look at the games last year, nobody was daring to put an 8th guy in the box, and often times we were running against 6 man fronts. It won't be the same next year, plus it is a different system.
    - I like our running backs and think they improved throughout the year last year. I just think this will be the first time they are facing defenses aimed at stopping the run.

    I think CBJ is a better game coach the CDD, and because of that we may win more games, but I do not think there is any chance we match the offensive production from the team last year.

  • This post is for members of GoVols247 only. Join now! Start Free Trial
  • What about Drae Bowles as a solid wr... also I think we will start out with a Tight End by committee process that may find ONE solid guy. Maybe staying multiple in that position as well if it fits it in w CBJ' scheme.
    I really think having group of players on the field who can, may or will be able to switch positions on the fly without bringing in any subs will really be to our advantage by keeping the opponents D constantly guessing and having to make quick subs... Example : one play, Pig in the slot, Lane RB, Croom split out and Dobbs at QB.( clearly I'm leaving out many positions just in order to make a point)... Next play w zero subs... Pig at wildcat, Croom at tight end, Lane at wr, Dobbs as a wr on week side.
    Their are too many combinations for me to even think about trying to list...but, this is going to be one of our tactics and I believe one of our advantages especially with our O-Line!! VFL!!!

    This post has been edited 5 times, most recently by utpj 17 months ago

    signature image signature image


  • You must be looking at a different roster than me man... Because the roster I see lists quite a number of talented LARGE athletic as well as small and elusive talent at WR. IMO we have more depth at WR and MORE potential STARS than last year especially with our two pickups yesterday.
    Now im not claiming that we have a Patterson just waiting to break out...but we are in very good shape at WR with more options this coming season with depth. So if Bowels gets shook up for a play or three then we have someone of equivalent and/or superior talent to step in...
    Difference is...that when one of our two main receivers were not on the field last season there was not a sub with the same skill set. Yes...we did have ZR and he was phenomenal but juat no where near the same as CP or Hunter. JMO.

    signature image signature image


  • I'm just pretty excited to see the no huddle stuff this spring. 72 days until the O&W game!

    signature image signature image signature image
  • All good points, +1

    I think we have very good players where you have the ?. That seems to be the source of our disagreement but they are unproven, can't argue with that.

    We will see more guys in the box, but I like the sound of that considering we've got 6-4/4.4 on the outside and on the opposite side of the field we've got Croom and Pig. My hope is that we'll have a QB who knows when to check from run to pass and visa versa. With 8 in the box and Croom by his side, there's a plethora of ways to create open field 1-on-1s for Pig. Also, we have the ability to go 4-wide which would completley elimiate the possibility of 8 in the box and if they put 7, they better hope they have 4 DBs who can cover our 4 WRs because they aren't getting to our QB unless they blitz the house. By that I mean we are good enough up front to handle 5 guys every time, so if they plan on getting to our QB they'll have to bring 6 or 7 and a cerebral QB can exploit that. Lastly, I think we'll be good enough to run the ball well against 7 in the box.

    They key IMO, and you touched on this, is learning the new system. If our guys can learn the playbook well enough to play fast, I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to methodically move the ball down the field and even though we lost CP and Hunter, we still have players capable of popping big plays. Neal is 4.36, North is 4.41, and Pig is 4.42.

  • I agree. I particularly like the versatility of Croom (WR/TE) and Pig (WR/RB). We could easilty switch from 3-wide w/ a TE, to 4-wide, to 5-wide without having to make a sub. We will miss the big play ability of Bray and Patterson but there is other effective ways to move the ball and in some ways the methodical approach is better because it helps you manage the clock, something our previous staff didn't care about.

  • This post is for members of GoVols247 only. Join now! Start Free Trial
  • This post is for members of GoVols247 only. Join now! Start Free Trial
  • This post is for members of GoVols247 only. Join now! Start Free Trial
  • This post is for members of GoVols247 only. Join now! Start Free Trial
  • This post is for members of GoVols247 only. Join now! Start Free Trial
  • I definitely think that this next offence will have fewer plays that take up large chunks of yards than the previous offense did... I think it will be a very much faster pace dink n dunk O with some shorter passes that accomplish the same amount of yardage but with more(as in the amount) stylish plays.

    signature image signature image


  • Will we have the same "production?" No. But I don't think we need to have the same production. What we need to have is better balance instead of being a pass happy air show.

    Yes, Patterson was fun too watch. But at the same time there is some merit in having a guy who can just run a route and pick up the needed four, six yard, whatever to move the sticks instead of scoring in 10 seconds and having your defense back on the field.

    We really need the run balance. I'm bias toward the run, I admit, and believe in running the ball down the opponents throats. That's why I was really hoping we ended up with a good RB in this class like Green or Ford. I'm hoping Jabo Lee is a diamond in the rough. I think our backs will be good, but it's never bad to pick up someone who can be more of a playmaker in the backfield.

    But if they stack up the box that's going to be trouble. I can't see us having a completely incompetent passing game. We still have playmakers on the outside coming in and between four quarterbacks I would like to think we can find someone competent enough to throw.

  • You make some really good points. My answer is a question, I guess.......does it HAVE to be better than last year's offense? What I mean is, that with the defense we had our offense HAD to put up playstation numbers sometimes just for a chance to win. With a less porous defense, that doesn't get gashed 10 times a game, we won't have to have someone throwing for 400 yards every game. I think we have the nucleus for a very good football team. It will be fun to watch and see who separates themselves from the crowd and become stars.

    signature image signature image signature image
  • This post is for members of GoVols247 only. Join now! Start Free Trial
  • I'm looking forward to watching our defense just as much, if not more, than watching our offense. There is no way that our offense is going to put up as many points as our offense did this past season because we won't have Bray, Hunter, Patterson, or Rivera. But I do think we will have a much more balanced offensive attack. With our O-line being the best in the country, Lane and Neal being a year better/healthier, and so much depth at WR (Pig, North, Jenkins, Dallas, Croom, BOWLES (who I think is going to surprise a lot of people), plus QB's who can actually scramble, we are going to have a lot more options and be much less one-dimensional. I don't think we will put up as many points as we did last year, but I think we will have a much more balanced attack and it will keep defenses on their toes.

    The defense is going to be the key (duh). We will be switching back to a 4-3, which most of the guys on our defense are more accustomed to. I expect McCullers to improve significantly and I think Jason Carr will make an immediate impact on the D-line. And let's just be honest, Maggit and AJ Johnson are going to be absolute freaks next year with another year of experience and strength & conditioning under their belt (assuming they get/stay healthy). Plus I think Reeves-Maybin will be an immediate impact player once he gets healthy. At safety I expect us to be much stronger. We'll have Moore back who I think is poised for a big senior season. Randolph will be back after that ACL tear. And LaDarrell McNeil, who made freshman All-SEC last year, will undoubtedly be improved. My biggest question mark is our cornerbacks. I know we picked up some JUCO guys and that will definitely help. But my opinion is that our corners will still struggle with one on one coverage against elite SEC receivers.

    All in all, I think going 7-5 would be great next year. We'd make a bowl game and it would show that there was progress being made. If we went 8-4, I'd be convinced that Butch sold his soul to the devil. However, with the schedule we have, 5-7 or 6-6 sadly seem to be the most realistic outcomes. Hope I'm wrong though!

    Butch, please!

  • This is often overlooked but I would be willing to bet it's one of the hottest topics in the spring. It will probably be the most significant shift in philosophy the players have to deal with.

    Go back and think of the top offensive coaches in the last 5-7 years... Kelly, Malzahn, Holgersen, Morris, and Sumlin are all very up-tempo. They all realize that all you have to have is a handful of schemes that you run really well, really fast.

  • Nice analysis by the OP. +1

    The importance of a big, strong, experienced offensive line can't be overemphasized. With all due respect to the greats we've had QB, WR and RB, skill players come and go. The best teams UT has had have been when our O- and D-lines were dominant. We have lots of fancy offensive schemes these days, but at the end of the day, football is still a simple game: run the ball and don't let the other team run the ball.

  • Love this thread.

    I am of the opinion that WR is the most overrated position group on offense but I still think the drop off is going to be significant. Nobody on the roster is a proven third down guy, nobody is a proven deep threat, and for all the stars in our WR corps, we just don't know how that will translate to college (Look at the UF WRs, a lot of stars, minimal production).

    I hope I'm wrong, I just don't see us being nearly as scary on offense next year. We played games last year where opposing teams could do nothing to stop CP or Hunter, we don't have that.

  • i enjoyed this thread as well..just got on and read through the posts..i've said this in other threads, the offensive outlook next year is worrisome to me..New scheme, new coaches and new qb and WR's..Do we have talent? sure, but there is simply no way to replace what Bray, CP, Hunter, Riveira and Z Rogers meant to this offense. IMHO, people are going to look back at that offense next year and realize how underappreciated it was. You might not like Bray's mental wherewithal, but dude could flat out sling it.. He made throws that others just cant, i dont care how smart or mature they are. His numbers were not just good, but historically good...i think some people are overlooking just how good he was..

    As for the receivers, yes, on paper they have measureables..But there's a reason Bowles and Croom didnt see the field last year. We really have no idea what their productivity level will be. So trying to project out our offensive output based on completely unproven players is scary to me..

    The offensive line will be our rock, for sure..but boy have we lost a ton of skill and production..i think, being objective, we are in for a ton of growing pains on offense..perhaps more so than on D..

    This post was edited by frostyvol 17 months ago