In the immediate aftermath of the Texas Longhorns firing wide receivers coach Les Koenning and tight ends coach Bruce Chambers nearly four weeks ago, wide receiver Lorenzo Joe sent out a simple tweet that now seems either informed or prescient:
Spread....— Lorenzo Joe (@LoJoe12) December 31, 2014
Ever since, speculation has swirled about big changes coming to a Texas offense that ranked No. 99 nationally in the F/+ rankings.
On Saturday evening, Albuquerque (N.M.) Eldorado quarterback Zach Gentry confirmed that the Longhorns are changing the offense heading into the 2015 season, which played a role in his decommitment from Texas last weekend and his subsequent commitment to Michigan on Saturday evening.
It's not entirely clear the exact direction of the offense and probably won't be until head coach Charlie Strong addresses it in a spring press conference or perhaps even until the annual Orange-White game on April 18.
According to 247Sports, the hire of wide receivers coach Jay Norvell could provide some of the expertise to lead the offense in a new direction:
Strong was said to be looking for someone with knowledge of tempo-oriented offenses with some element of a quarterback run game from spread formations.
Playing at tempo can wear opposing defenses down by limiting substitutions and give the quarterback easier pre-snap reads because there isn't as much time to make calls and disguise coverages. At times in 2014, quarterback Tyrone Swoopes looked most comfortable when he was playing at tempo.
And the lack of a quarterback run game was a subject of discussion at the end of the season, when Swoopes repeatedly missed what appeared to be opportunities to pull the football and make significant gains. The conclusion from those plays was that there wasn't actually a read on them, a rather baffling development considering that defenses were crashing hard on the running back and leaving wide-open running lanes.
Other than the need to better involve the explosive players on the Texas offense, the changes could be crucial on the recruiting trail in the efforts to flip five-star quarterback Kyler Murray from Texas A&M or four-star quarterback Kai Locksley from Florida State.
Not to mention other important offensive recruits like four-star wide receivers DaMarkus Lodge and John Burt.
Strong's dismissals of Koenning and Chambers served notice that he doesn't have a great deal of patience with the offensive staff, so assistant head coach for the offense/quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson, so there's clearly a limited amount of time for him to get it right.
But at least the staff will now have the opportunity to sell some hope offensively as a result of those planned changes and the Orange-White game will be a must-watch event for Texas fans trying to get a look at how the tweaks will manifest themselves this spring.