A few days ago I put up a post about UB surviving in a Buffalo Bills world. Matt Susman over at Hustle Belt decided to take me aside and share his insight. It was nothing groundbreaking but it was a sound call. Win baby win! UB has just one winning season since rejoining the ranks of division IA football, aside from that there is just one more season that was not a total bust.
Both of those seasons fell under turner Gill and last years dumpster fire of season sure felt like the old Hofher days. Coach Quinn has already taken decisive action in the replacement of three coaches (two were fired and one left). The coaches who coach Quinn brought in show a huge departure from those who are no longer with the program.
Gone are the long time associates and friend, Greg Forest. Gone is the last holdover from Gill's staff , Juan Taylor. Gone is the kid who came up in coaching under Quinn, Daniels.
The guys who Quinn brought in with him were well versed in the Brian Kelly offense. In the case of Forest he had been running it for two decades and it was the only collegiate offense that Daniels had ever known. Juan Taylor was a popular coach among players and fans who had a huge hand in Turner Gills success. All three were guys who Quinn inherited (some from Kelly and some from Gill). They were the 'safe' picks, safe picks that blew up.
His attitude this season has been a 180. There are some common stopovers between the still remaining UB staff and the new hires but common stops is all that they have.
The bulk of the new offensive staff are not only new to Quinn but they are guys who have worked in systems that differ from the one which Jeff Quinn used last season.
Many fans talk about the spread as if it's a specific system. But it's not, its not even a specific set of formations. It's a philosophy. Make the defense start each play from sideline to sideline hit the weak points you just created. Some coaches hit it with the run, or the option, or a straight pocket passer.
You could run a spread that puts the ball in your halfback's hands 70% of the time if you have the right line and the right halfback. You could also throw on all but short yardage plays. I very much doubt you'll hear the term pro set, or one back, or any other number of offenses, but the game should look different than what the bulls tried last season.
The difference was apparent during the spring game. The offensive line is, on average, 20-30 pounds heavier this season and the Bulls focused more on the run. In 2010 Quinn could not thin out his line fast enough. Lean and fast has been replaced this year with big and strong.
For Quinn, a coach who made his career in the Kelly system, anything new at this point is bold. He is one of the highest paid coaches in the conference and two wins this season will not cut it. This years out of conference slate is likely to produce just one win and outside of Akron I don't really see a game we 'should' win in conference so this team need to be better, and fast.
What makes him bold is that Quinn is 'changing hose in mid stream'. Sure you replace some aspects of the offense that were awful last season but pushing the reset button on your coaching staff has the risk of creating 'rebuilding year part duex'. This will either work out well (4-7 wins would be a big step up) or blow up in his face (2 or less wins). If this blows up it will be hard to blame the assistants, that card is very hard to play two years in a row.