I appreciate the recent articles on how Fisch runs his offense. There are, however, some major flaws with the articles in analyzing Fisch. First of all, the articles are based purely off of statistics and only a few games that Miami played in 2012. When Jedd took the offensive coordinator position in 2011, the offense Miami ran was vastly different in many aspects than he did in 2012. These years are also the first experience Jedd has had as being an offensive coordinator. Prior to an OC, he was the QB coach for the Seahawks. I will explain how not only he is going to be a great OC, but how he is also a struggling QB's best friend.
What do you say when someone asks you what makes a great offensive coordinator? A great OC puts his players in positions where they can execute plays. A poor OC is one that thinks his plays are great, but finds out his players can't execute them. A great OC develops plays to attack specific players and defensive schemes. A poor OC calls the same plays over and over based off of a piece of paper. Jedd has proven that he coordinates his offense around the players he has available and dictates to the coaches overall game plan. He is also very good at scheming for certain defenses. This sounds simple but it's actually very rare to see this type of talented OC not let it all go to his head.
It's important to understand the history behind the entire situation rather than just going off of a few games. Let's not only look at the facts with all of Jedd's experience as on OC starting in 2011...let's take a look at what was happening prior to his arrival at Miami.
In 2009-10, Jacory Harris was a 3rd year starter senior QB at MIami. Harris was not your prototypical NFL passer because he lacks arm strength. To be quite frank, he had a noodle of an arm. Harris was known for throwing more INT's than TD's and a low completion percentage during his stint with prior UM OC Mark Whipple. In a nutshell, Whipple's offense was primary based on taking deep shots down the field. This was obviously not a good fit for Jacory considering his inability to make deep throws. This led to many INT's that cost the team and eventually led to almost the entire staff being let go. Let's take a look at Jacory's statistics at UM for verification:
In 2011, many UM fans were upset that Jacory was going to start at the QB position over the prototype NFL QB Stephen Morris. When Jedd came in, however, he changed the UM offense to put players where they could execute. He implemented an offense with many quick passes, screens, and roll outs. He rarely called 5 step drops to heave the ball down field like his predecessor Whipple. He also implemented he wild cat and many trick plays to keep pressure of the QB. The results were very noticeable in the UM offense. Jacory was at teh top of the conference with a 65% completion percentage and threw 20 TD's to only 9 INT's. Not only was the passing offense more proficient. Miami had a 1,000 yard rusher for the first time in almost a decade.
The UM head coach, Al Golden, ended up being unhappy with the number of offense plays during the 2011 season despite the increase in production. Al instructed Jedd to come up with an offense to increase their play count over the course of a game by 15-20 plays. So Jedd then implemented the up tempo no huddle for 2012. Miami ran zero no huddle offense in 2011.
in 2012, Stephen Morris became the starter. Stephen is an entirely different QB than was Harris. Stephen has a cannon for an arm. His arm strength is eery similar to Rex Grossman for his size. In my personal opinion, Morris will be a 1st round pick next May. Think EJ Manuel before you go blasting me on this one. My fingers are crossed he becomes a Jaguar buts that's an entirely different story. What Jedd did on 2012 was implement more vertical passing routes and deep outs to go along with the up tempo offense. This played Stephen's strengths and the UM was as good as any they've ever had. This is coming from a UM season ticket holder who's also been to every BCS NC game that UM and for that matter that FSU has ever played. You can blast me later for being a UM fan and an FSU grad. My point is I've seen first hand some really good offenses from the big 3 over the years. The fact is that Morris broke every major passing record at UM in 2012.
The reason why UM's offense and Jedd Fisch deserve so much praise is because you could argue the UM run defense was the worst of any school in a BCS conference last season. This gave teams a huge advantage in moving the chains and clock management. Another huge problem in particular was the pass rush. The pass rush was nonexistent. The offense needed to have serious clock management as well as score 40 plus a game to have any shot against average to good teams. Does this sound familiar Jaguar fans? What if the Jags played up tempo and got that last score against the Pats late last season? Jags WIN. What if the Jags offense could manage the clock a little better against the Texans in Houston? Jags WIN. What Jedd did was give the team enough wins to go to the ACC Championship and possibly a major bowl game with no help from the defense. Jedd called the right plays to the right personnel and found ways to win most of the close battles.
It was bitter sweet for me seeing Jedd leave Miami for Jacksonville. I must say that there is not any other OC on the planet I'd rather have than Jedd...even if he is a Gator.
Let me know if you guys enjoyed this read...if so I'll follow up with "Why I think Gabbert will succeed in 2013, yet it might be more false hope."