The Million Dollar Question

In writing the preview for this year's offense, there was one inescapable question that could have an enormous impact on literally everything else: what to do with John Chiles?

To start, let's accept the premise that Colt McCoy is the starting quarterback. There are some who think he shouldn't be, but it's a moot point, given what we know. For the purposes of this post, it's Colt.

We can go one of two ways from there. First, we can keep Chiles at quarterback, and get a QB/WR depth chart that looks something like this:

POSITION Player 1 Player 2 Player 3
Quarterback McCoy Chiles Harris
Flanker Shipley Collins Grant
Split End Williams Webber Buckner
Sub B Wideout Cosby Hales Kirkendoll

 

Alternatively, we can decide to use Chiles as a receiver, with a QB/WR depth chart looking something like this:

POSITION Player 1 Player 2 Player 3
Quarterback McCoy Harris Chiles*
Flanker Chiles Kirk/Collins Grant/Buckner
Split End Shipley Williams Webber
Sub B Wideout Cosby Hales Kirk/Collins
*Emergency

 

 

(You can quibble with some of the ordering and positioning, but we just don't know what we've got with most of these kids yet. Still, feel free to revise as you see fit.)

Which is preferable? It seems to me that if you're the offensive coordinator and you go with Option A, you're committed to using John Chiles in a not insignificant role at quarterback. A repeat of last year would be a waste of Texas' best playmaker on an offense that desperately needs them. Don't forget: Texas lost its three top weapons from a B+ 2007 offense.

Option B appears to make a good deal of sense. For starters, by almost all accounts, Harris is further along as a passer/game manager than Chiles. Moreover, he's perfectly capable of running the zone read, which means you don't lose the ability to have a back up come in for a change of look/pace. And you get Chiles on the field where he can affect the game from the get-go.

On top of all that, it's worth noting the secondary effect such a move would create by forcing opposing defenses to gameplan for a diverse unit featuring a flanker like John Chiles. All those nifty trick plays we've run with Jordan Shipley would be run through Chiles, who's not only a better athlete, but also can be used as a second quarterback on the field. The opportunities to be creative are limited only by your imagination.

Am I missing something, or does this not make a lot of sense?

--PB--

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