Tom Herman addressed the play-calling issue head on in Big 12 Media Days. Well, obliquely. But the lines are available to read between:
“The good thing is we don’t have to make that decision now in the middle of July. We’re going to do whatever is best for the University of Texas and for our offense. Again, I have always been very intimately involved in the play calling on game day. There isn’t a play that’s called that I don’t have veto power of, and so, you know, I think the true measure of an offense and its efficiency is one, the talent that he is on the field, certainly. Again, there were multiple games where we started five true freshmen, a true sophomore, and there is an element to that that you’re probably not going to light the world on fire on offense. The best thing about true freshmen is they become sophomores and they develop and they learn how to finish. The way that we handle play calling is very collaborative. What we do throughout the week is much more important than the three hours on Saturday in terms of game planning, in terms of installation of the game plan, in terms of the knowledge and retention of our players of that game plan. So no decision has been made nor do I feel any sense of urgency to have to do that.”
It’s a little disguised secret that play-calling was collaborative at the end of last season - to the degree that it was unclear that Tim Beck was anything but tangential participant. That likely proved useful for Tim Beck’s job security as Tom Herman and Drew Mehringer didn’t experience particularly good results either.
While Herman is absolutely right that play-calling is just the culmination of a much more robust process leading into game day; and that play-calling in and of itself is somewhat overrated and misunderstood by the majority of fans and media; that lengthy process of installation and game management needs to be headlined by a coordinator Tom Herman can trust so that Herman can do the work of managing the larger program.
Put another way: how much time do you think Herman spends sweating Todd Orlando’s game planning and game time decisions?
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