Football analyst Bryan Broaddus was one of many attendees for Jason Garrett’s near-hour-long press conference at Valley Ranch. The coach discussed the new faces on his staff but the tone of the press conference centered more on the play-calling aspect with Garrett suggesting a change could occur with Bill Callahan perhaps calling the plays in 2013 but a decision hasn’t been made.
Broaddus will address that and more in his weekly edition of “3 Pressing Questions:”
With Jason Garrett saying a decision hasn’t been made on the play-calling, do you think it’s important to get that finalized sooner than later?
Broaddus: I thought that Garrett gave an interesting answer today when he spoke about how this process has been going on for a couple of seasons now and how it continues to evolve from year to year. From my experience in the NFL, the coaches as a collective group have always put the game plans together and the play caller relies on their input throughout the week but in the game as well. I remember in Green Bay how Andy Reid, Jon Gruden and Sherm Lewis would not only get the plan together but would install it during the week but on game day, Mike Holmgren took the play card and called the plays but I also do remember times where Holmgren would get in a rut and he would let Lewis take a series or two. There were even times in the preseason where Holmgren would let Lewis or Reid call the entire game. I think you will see Garrett take the same approach this summer in training camp and allow Callahan to calls these games and they will make their adjustments from there. As long as things are ironed out before the season starts that’s all that really matters.
If Bill Callahan ends up calling the plays, what do you know about his offensive philosophy?
Broaddus: I have worked with Bill Callahan before in Philadelphia and I have known him since he was a college coach at Wisconsin. Garrett was right when he said that Bill had been exposed to several different kinds of schemes. At Wisconsin they were a tough, physical smash you in the mouth offense under Barry Alvarez. He moved on to Philadelphia where Jon Gruden was taking the West Coast approach that he learned from Bill Walsh and Mike Holmgren but also screen packages that he copied from Bob Schnelker from the Vikings but also thoughts from Paul Hackett while Gruden was at Pittsburgh as a receiver coach. There is no doubt that Callahan was most influenced by Gruden and you could see that with their teams in Oakland. Not only did they have to deal with Al Davis in his desire to get the ball down the field in the passing game but they were able to come up with a physical running game with an offensive line with size but backs like Tyrone Wheatley, Jon Ritchie and Zack Crockett that could hammer the ball at you. If Callahan in fact does get the play calling duties, I believe that you will not only see things that Jason Garrett has brought to this offense but a mixture of some of the schemes that he and Gruden had success with in Oakland.
What are your thoughts on Garrett saying part of the decision to change to a 4-3 scheme centered on the ability to learn it quickly?
Broaddus: I worked in this scheme before as a pro scout in 2000-2003 so I have a decent understand of what it takes to have some success in it. When you watched those old Buccaneers squads under Kiffin, the one thing you noticed is how much they gave you the same look with some variations but it was more about the players playing the same scheme over and over but doing it really well. Sure there were some talented defensive players for Tampa but you didn’t see their defense give up huge plays or busts in coverage. It was sound and solid, sure you saw Kiffin adjusting his fronts and creating blitzes but to generate pressure but it wasn’t to the point where it was down after down. It is a simple scheme to play front and coverage wise because you don’t line up all over the place. You play with speed and you make the offense work to have to move the ball on you. There were plenty of moving parts to Rob Ryan’s scheme but that was the way he coached and that is okay but it puts a great deal of pressure on your defense to have to make adjustments even up until the time the ball is snapped and that at times put the players in bad positions. This defense doesn’t require all the bells and whistles, it just requires you to play in coverage and run to the ball which makes it easier to play.