It’s easy to get the idea from some coaches much more familiar with Kendal Briles’ offensive goals than any of us in Arkansas that we were wrong.
We were under the impression his offense is to go fast. I mean, that’s what we took from his comments about wanting tempo.
The term used by coaches that have faced it is warp speed. In other words they want to go much faster than anything Razorback fans have seen or even heard previous coaches wish they could have.
When it works it will be faster than anything the SEC has ever seen. It makes Gus Malzahn’s fastest tempo almost look like they were forming a huddle between plays.
It makes Briles’ offenses difficult to defend because, well, he believes a tired offense has an advantage over a tired defense and when it’s rolling he’s not substituting.
“He might have a wide receiver in the game that is ready to pass out but he is staying in the ballgame so the defense can’t substitute,” former Houston running backs coach Kenny Pope said in an interview last year.
The key, like any other tempo offense, is getting first downs but it’s also about a mind-set. Some other coaches who used to run a lot of tempo have slowed down considerably. They out-think themselves.
Following the traditional thinking of keeping players fresh means the defense also gets a chance to move guys around and substitute to keep their guys fresh, too.
Briles will move guys around and if he catches a defensive back on the wrong side of the field he’s going to keep things going to that side as fast as possible as long as possible.
It comes down to execution, which is why if you think there’s a real competition at the quarterback spot for the Hogs you are probably completely off base.
To have any hope of doing anything he wants with the offense early, Briles is going to need a quarterback that can make really fast decisions and have the confidence he knows enough to make it work even if that’s not the best decision.
Feleipe Franks is the only one on the roster that’s shown he can make those decisions sucessfully on the fly.
The previous coaching staff may have WANTED to go fast but couldn’t figure out how to get off the starting blocks. Part of that was bashing any confidence at the quarterback spot, going with eight different people over two season.
Earlier in the year at our first meeting with the assistant coaches, it was pointed out to Briles the previous staff had only managed to get about 30% of their offense installed.
He came about as close to a smirk as one can get without a positive identification of such facial expression.
“We’ll have the offense installed,” he said with a hint of a smile. He didn’t know then about all the virtual teaching that would follow due to the coronavirus.
If the Hogs’ new offense has any type of success we may discover the virtual teaching the coaches were forced to endure had a hand in it. The players we have spoken to feel more confident in their knowledge of what’s wanted.
Now they just have to make it happen on the field and in the SEC where Briles has never coached before.
And if they do, fans better buckle up because you’ve never seen an offense go at a pace like Briles wants to go.