FOOTBALL BREAKING: MTSU Hires Brent Dearmon as Offensive Coordinator

blueraiderJT

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I knew you wouldn’t like him, he’s an RPO guru.....kidding.

This offense will come down to QB play and how fast the team can learn his system/terminology. I wish he could hire his own OL coach and RB coach that was familiar with him/his system.

I like that the KU players loves his enthusiasm and he is apparently a good recruiter.

When a team is executing an RPO offense with smart qb play, it’s a beautiful thing. If the QB can’t handle the reads or is slow, then it’s turd. I would feel a lot better about our moves if Mallory and Hickmann were gone as well.

I agree 100% about our OL coaches. I watched more KU games and there are some things I like. I like his use of the TE. I liked the WR schemes and some of the RB screens. I hated the QB running stuff. The short run playcalling was not good. It really does look like more of the same crap we run which doesn't work and it didn't work at KU.

I hope it does here but at this point Brent would have been just as good as the OC. If you're gonna get a Franklin like dude, might as well let our best QB ever run it since he already knows it like the back of his hand.

Then again, I could be completely wrong and hope I am.
 
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AustinLewis

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I agree 100% about our OL coaches. I watched more KU games and there are some things I like. I like his use of the TE. I liked the WR schemes and some of the RB screens. I hated the QB running stuff. The short run playcalling was not good. It really does look like more of the same crap we run which doesn't work and it didn't work at KU.

I hope it does here but at this point Brent would have been just as good as the OC. If you're gonna get a Franklin like dude, might as well let our best QB ever run it since he already knows it like the back of his hand.

Then again, I could be completely wrong and hope I am.
Just because a guy is an RPO guy doesn't mean he's an RPO guy.

Dearmon runs an entirely different system than TF so it's gonna be a learning experience for the staff and players.

That said, IMO, the biggest reason why the inside rushing game didn't work under Franklin the last few years was the OL, as O'Hara was running for his life and the RBs couldn't find a hole. While they've overhauled their OL this offseason, I would have liked to see a new OL coach to address the issues in that unit.
 
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Predarat

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MT hires an OC away from a P5 school. However it was from one of the few P5 schools MT could actually beat. Typical Middle.
 

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MT hires an OC away from a P5 school. However it was from one of the few P5 schools MT could actually beat. Typical Middle.
He did some really good things as HC at his alma mater, NAIA Bethel. Similar to the national runs that Lambuth had in the late 90’s and early 00’s before going bankrupt and sold to the Univ of Memphis. He could turn out to be the second coming of the late Don Meyer but as of yet, he’s flopped as an OC against big boy football 🏈 Drawing up X’s & O’s and giving coaching seminars is fine and dandy but I’m more impressed by W’s & L’s and right now we have a 50-50 Head Coach.
We’ll see.
 
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sWiley

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He did some really good things as HC at his alma mater, NAIA Bethel. Similar to the national runs that Lambuth had in the late 90’s and early 00’s before going bankrupt and sold to the Univ of Memphis. He could turn out to be the second coming of the late Don Meyer but as of yet, he’s flopped as an OC against big boy football 🏈 Drawing up X’s & O’s and giving coaching seminars is fine and dandy but I’m more impressed by W’s & L’s and right now we have a 50-50 Head Coach.
We’ll see.

Great points. Everyone looks like a genius on the whiteboard with their theories and holding the marker last but it never plays out on the field that way.

Coordinators earn their keep with their game plan installation throughout the week, film/tendency studies, and good play calling on game day to exploit and setup the opposing teams.

it’s been a while since we’ve had elite level coordinators here at MT. Busters final season here was pretty impressive and Manny Diaz was very good too. Shafer impresses in spots but needs to be more consistent.
 

Sommy

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I seriously doubt Franklin was watching much film or planning the last few years. Week after week it looked the same. Almost like he came up with his favorite plays and said here's our playbook for the year. No need to change anything, doesn't matter who we play.
 

RaiderDawg78

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Just because a guy is an RPO guy doesn't mean he's an RPO guy.

Dearmon runs an entirely different system than TF so it's gonna be a learning experience for the staff and players.

That said, IMO, the biggest reason why the inside rushing game didn't work under Franklin the last few years was the OL, as O'Hara was running for his life and the RBs couldn't find a hole. While they've overhauled their OL this offseason, I would have liked to see a new OL coach to address the issues in that unit.

This is a key point. It sounds like his base offense is built around the RPO, so it’s not just a package he uses sometimes. I am curious what style of RPO offense he uses? is it a Joe Moorhead, Ken Briles, Chip Kelly, Urban Meyer/ Dan Mullen style, Gus Malzahn or some other tree? As you know, there are very simplistic offense or some very complicated versions. Some versions are easier to teach, but the simplicity makes them easier to adapt to. Some have more options and when you have the right QB it looks beautiful, but it also can look like crap with the wrong personnel.

Saying someone is an RPO guy is like saying this coach likes to run the ball. I am curious to look at film or have one of the GoMiddle guys break this down.
 

AustinLewis

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This is a key point. It sounds like his base offense is built around the RPO, so it’s not just a package he uses sometimes. I am curious what style of RPO offense he uses? is it a Joe Moorhead, Ken Briles, Chip Kelly, Urban Meyer/ Dan Mullen style, Gus Malzahn or some other tree? As you know, there are very simplistic offense or some very complicated versions. Some versions are easier to teach, but the simplicity makes them easier to adapt to. Some have more options and when you have the right QB it looks beautiful, but it also can look like crap with the wrong personnel.

Saying someone is an RPO guy is like saying this coach likes to run the ball. I am curious to look at film or have one of the GoMiddle guys break this down.
RPOs are simple, yet complex. Everyone from Sarkisian at Alabama to Tony Franklin runs them. There are :

First Level RPOs : Read DL
Second Level RPOs : Read LB
Third Level RPOs : Read Secondary

Then you have to account for the blocking scheme (zone vs gap).

I've watched some film Dearmon. He's gonna be more multiple in personnel and formation than Tony Franklin. Franklin was primarily 10 (one back) and 11 personnel (one back and one TE/H-back) with 2 x 2 or 3 x 1 (trey (y attached to OL) and trips (y away from OL)), while Dearmon (so far) appears to make use of 10, 11, and 12 personnel with multiple formations out of these personnel groups.

I'm expecting more of.a downhill rushing attack with RPOs to attack overzealous defenders.
 
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AustinLewis

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RPOs are simple, yet complex. Everyone from Sarkisian at Alabama to Tony Franklin runs them. There are :

First Level RPOs : Read DL
Second Level RPOs : Read LB
Third Level RPOs : Read Secondary

Then you have to account for the blocking scheme (zone vs gap).

I've watched some film Dearmon. He's gonna be more multiple in personnel and formation than Tony Franklin. Franklin was primarily 10 (one back) and 11 personnel (one back and one TE/H-back) with 2 x 2 or 3 x 1 (trey (y attached to OL) and trips (y away from OL)), while Dearmon (so far) appears to make use of 10, 11, and 12 personnel with multiple formations out of these personnel groups.

I'm expecting more of.a downhill rushing attack with RPOs to attack overzealous defenders.
Oh, and one more thing : With the offensive systems and RPOs that I'm most familiar with (Meyer, TF, and Chip Kelly), the basic principle is attack where the defense is weakest.

If you bring 10 personnel into the game and the defense aligns in dime with 5 in the box. Run. You can read the backside defender and use your 5 OL to block the 4 defenders in the box while reading the backside defender.

If you bring 12 personnel into the game and the defense aligns in base with 7 in the box. Pass.

And I'm not so sure complexity in plays = a better offense. Plays are expensive. You have to install them in camp and then rep them on a weekly basis.

Formations are cheap. You can run a dropback mesh concept out of multiple personnel groupings and throw tags on the backside of runs to attack defense (i.e. inside zone right with TE slice and/or inside zone right with TE bluff slice to the flat)
 
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RaiderDawg78

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Oh, and one more thing : With the offensive systems and RPOs that I'm most familiar with (Meyer, TF, and Chip Kelly), the basic principle is attack where the defense is weakest.

If you bring 10 personnel into the game and the defense aligns in dime with 5 in the box. Run. You can read the backside defender and use your 5 OL to block the 4 defenders in the box while reading the backside defender.

If you bring 12 personnel into the game and the defense aligns in base with 7 in the box. Pass.

And I'm not so sure complexity in plays = a better offense. Plays are expensive. You have to install them in camp and then rep them on a weekly basis.

Formations are cheap. You can run a dropback mesh concept out of multiple personnel groupings and throw tags on the backside of runs to attack defense (i.e. inside zone right with TE slice and/or inside zone right with TE bluff slice to the flat)

I have a little personal experience with very simplistic RPO at the HS level and became familiar with the Dan Mullen / Joe Moorhead versions through my other school. I found Moorhead’s version to give our QB too many options and analysis paralysis. The SEC’s all-time leader in QB rushing flourished under Mullen, but sucked with Moorhead, who was considered a guru. It was odd, JoMo’s offense worked well at Fordham and Penn State, sucked at MSU, but was decent again at Oregon. mullen’s version worked at MSU and I think it had a lot to do with his system and the QB. Same for Malzahn at Auburn - the right QB (Nick Marshall and Cam), and his offense was crazy good. Other Qbs, not so much.

Your analysis is spot on. I am curious how many option routes BD’s version has for the WR in his RPO package. I felt our QB with JoMo was struggling to make the pass read & then struggled to recognize the coverage/option route choice his WR were making. He held the ball way too long on passes. Teams started loading the box and shifting coverage a lot and the QB struggled. That said, Penn St was awesome.

It always seemed Mullen’s RPO was great with the running QB threat and the stress he put on the read-side safety. His QB’s hit the slant behind that crashing safety all the time.

I’m interested to see how this places out with BD.
 

MTLynn

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I’m interested to see how this places out with BD.
You know that Rick will have his fingers in the offense... I'm expecting to see sideline bubble screens aplenty because he loves bubble screens like Andy loved the Utah pass
 

RaiderDawg78

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You know that Rick will have his fingers in the offense... I'm expecting to see sideline bubble screens aplenty because he loves bubble screens like Andy loved the Utah pass

It’s possible.

Joe Brady and LSU mastered this 2 years ago. If you have a QB that is a threat to run, you can combo the bubble screen/slant with a QB draw. You see a lot of bubble screen / inside zone RPOs - the QB reads pass/run presnap. One of my favorites is something Malzahn used a lot with the inside zone option and the QB essentially optioning the CB after the X receiver ran a bubble/flat route. It’s essentially the triple option with the WR instead of a HB.
 
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blueraiderJT

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My problem with this RPO stuff is that it's ticky tack yardage. You work damn hard for 2-4 yards usually and if everyone isn't on point, plays blow up more than they don't. What I saw with Kansas is the same as I saw with us. Short run plays would get blown up and when we needed big plays, the ball is getting thrown like 3 yards behind the marker. No killer instinct and no deep routes to keep the D honest. D just loads ip the box and blows up plays.

Now I did really like seeing the use of the TE and I hope like hell we do that. That could keep the wolves at bay and force the LB's to cover more vs. blitz which allows us to create more in the backfield and in space. It will be interesting. He's young and has a fresh energy. The Arizona WR along with Ali staying gives me hope. He seems like he's already recruiting well with Brent. Those 2 are already bringing in better players than Silvoy and Franklin have in a long time.

The NC state QB has talent and can throw. Hopefully this QB take off first crap goes the way of the DoDo bird and we can have some real Quarterbacking again. O'Hurry just did not go through his reads much even when he had time to do so. When he did, he did great. 2019 Marshall game, 2020 Troy (the final game) 2and the 020 Rice games were his best games.
 

RaiderDawg78

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My problem with this RPO stuff is that it's ticky tack yardage.

The LSU offense 2 years ago with Joe Burrow and Joe Brady was a heavy RPO offense. Auburn, Florida, Oregon with Chip Kelly, Ohio State and Clemson are RPO heavy offenses. Even Alabama had games this year with an RPO called over 25% of the time. RG3 won the Heisman at Baylor with an RPO base offense. I would guess 80% of college offenses are RPO base offense or has an RPO play in the playbook.

The offense can be explosive if the QB can make good presnap reads and can make good decisions during the play plus the OL needs to block. These have not been strong points for MT.
 

AustinLewis

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I have a little personal experience with very simplistic RPO at the HS level and became familiar with the Dan Mullen / Joe Moorhead versions through my other school. I found Moorhead’s version to give our QB too many options and analysis paralysis. The SEC’s all-time leader in QB rushing flourished under Mullen, but sucked with Moorhead, who was considered a guru. It was odd, JoMo’s offense worked well at Fordham and Penn State, sucked at MSU, but was decent again at Oregon. mullen’s version worked at MSU and I think it had a lot to do with his system and the QB. Same for Malzahn at Auburn - the right QB (Nick Marshall and Cam), and his offense was crazy good. Other Qbs, not so much.

Your analysis is spot on. I am curious how many option routes BD’s version has for the WR in his RPO package. I felt our QB with JoMo was struggling to make the pass read & then struggled to recognize the coverage/option route choice his WR were making. He held the ball way too long on passes. Teams started loading the box and shifting coverage a lot and the QB struggled. That said, Penn St was awesome.

It always seemed Mullen’s RPO was great with the running QB threat and the stress he put on the read-side safety. His QB’s hit the slant behind that crashing safety all the time.

I’m interested to see how this places out with BD.

And you've added another element to the RPO discussion is how the QB processes information. Steve Sarkisian discussed adapting offensive plays to QB mental process in a clinic talk a recently. It's on YouTube for those interested.
 

AustinLewis

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My problem with this RPO stuff is that it's ticky tack yardage. You work damn hard for 2-4 yards usually and if everyone isn't on point, plays blow up more than they don't. What I saw with Kansas is the same as I saw with us. Short run plays would get blown up and when we needed big plays, the ball is getting thrown like 3 yards behind the marker. No killer instinct and no deep routes to keep the D honest. D just loads ip the box and blows up plays.
This is a faulty premise on so many levels....

First, yardage is yardage. Even if it's ticky tack yardage It doesn't matter how you get them.

Second, the "traditional" run play averages ~4 yards a carry and it can get blown up too.

So, by your argument, a traditional run concept that gets 4 yards is ticky tack. And needs to be thrown out of the playbook.

But, back to the RPO discussion, if you are getting 2 yards out of an RPO, either you : 1) Made a bad read; 2) Designed a bad RPO; 3) Coaching them to execute poorly; or 4) Defense made a good play.

RPOs create opportunities for explosive plays. And, coached correctly, they happen. Why? They are stretch the defense vertically and horizontally. They put defenders in a bind.

Look at Alabama, Oregon (Under Chip Kelly), Clemson, Florida, oh...and Western Kentucky under Brohm. Some of the most explosive offenses at all levels relied on RPOs.

And, fwiw, to throw it deep, you have to have an OL that can protect long enough to throw it deep and a QB who can push the ball vertically down the field. MT's OL, for the most part, didn't protect O'Hara well enough to consistent create positive opportunities with the drop back passing game.
 

blueraiderJT

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The LSU offense 2 years ago with Joe Burrow and Joe Brady was a heavy RPO offense. Auburn, Florida, Oregon with Chip Kelly, Ohio State and Clemson are RPO heavy offenses. Even Alabama had games this year with an RPO called over 25% of the time. RG3 won the Heisman at Baylor with an RPO base offense. I would guess 80% of college offenses are RPO base offense or has an RPO play in the playbook.

The offense can be explosive if the QB can make good presnap reads and can make good decisions during the play plus the OL needs to block. These have not been strong points for MT.

Yeah, but those P5 teams have the horses and coaches to run that offense. WE DON"T. What works for a powerhouse, won't always work for us. Hell, Bama could run the wishbone with blindfolds on and still destroy. I guess we need to quit playing football because we haven't been able to run a decent O in over 2-3 years. I'm for whatever works but I'm not for doing something that someone else is doing just because it's trending. I would much rather focus on fundamentals and taking care of the ball more than running a system that's flashy and is promoted by the big schools.
 
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AustinLewis

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Yeah, but those P5 teams has the horses and coaches to run that offense. WE DON"T. What works for a powerhouse, won't always work for us. Hell, Bama could run the wishbone with blindfolds on and still destroy. I guess we need to quit playing football because we haven't been able to run a decent O in over 2-3 years. I'm for whatever works but I'm not for doing something that someone else is doing just because it's trending. I would much rather focus on fundamentals and taking care of the ball more than running a system that's flashy and is pronoted byt the big schools.
The “flashy” offenses often find their start at “smaller” schools without the 5 star athletes at every position. And guess what? They work there too.
 

blueraiderJT

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The “flashy” offenses often find their start at “smaller” schools without the 5 star athletes at every position. And guess what? They work there too.

Yes but it's freaking defferent and you know it. When the spread really worked, defenses weren't as conditioned and there were more talented skill position players on lower level teams. If you were fast enough, you could run it no matter the size. But look at the numbers. In 2002-2018, Offenses that ran a pure spread back in the day THREW THE BALL WAY MORE THAN THEY RAN. They were faster. They didn't look to the sideline and wait to snap. They snapped and ran back to the line. It worked because it gassed the defenses. Defenses have adjusted which is why the run has been put in more. This newer version of the spread with this RPO variant emphasizes way more on the run now and that's suicide for a G5 to try to run up the gut on a P5 or G5 with a good D. Some can do it but it's a very small number who can.

The best we ran was 2012 with Benny. We had 2 very good OL coaches and we lost them both the following year. We actually imposed our will that year. We haven't since.

Again, if this guy is an RPO guy and we can make it work, then great. I just don't see it happening. We don't have the personnel. The biggest question is will he adjust? Buster did do that in 2013 when the O was too complex and then we dumbed it down and beat a very good Marshall team. So, if he's willing to adjust and fit the O to what he has to work with then I think he'll be good for us. He'll be an upgrade. The Kansas offense was not that though. It was bad and hard to watch. They kept doing the same crap over and over. So that's why I'm not super excited.

Look at Coastal Carolina, yes, they had some RPO stuff but they also used the option, pistol, shotgun and was just plain creative and simply worked with what they had to work with. Their short field personnel was brilliant and the play calling is smart as hell. It ain't hard.
 
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crclarke55

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I disagree - Stock is much more well respected than Tony Franklin in the coaching community.
I agree. Tony Franklin has nuked everywhere he’s left. It’s his calling card. calling Out the cold, cruel, college football world and still selling his books and videos. Don’t forget he was involved in the Hal Mumme chaos at Kentucky. He was knee deep in it then wrote a tell all about it. Stand up guy huh.....
 

AustinLewis

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Yes but it's freaking defferent and you know it. When the spread really worked, defenses weren't as conditioned and there were more talented skill position players on lower level teams. If you were fast enough, you could run it no matter the size. But look at the numbers. In 2002-2018, Offenses that ran a pure spread back in the day THREW THE BALL WAY MORE THAN THEY RAN. They were faster. They didn't look to the sideline and wait to snap. They snapped and ran back to the line. It worked because it gassed the defenses. Defenses have adjusted which is why the run has been put in more. This newer version of the spread with this RPO variant emphasizes way more on the run now and that's suicide for a G5 to try to run up the gut on a P5 or G5 with a good D. Some can do it but it's a very small number who can.
10 years ago, the "spread" teams were primarily 10 personnel (1 back, 4 WR) with a change up formation or two, even TF had the "T-bone" (12 personnel) formation during his time at LaTech. And yes, they could "run" the "power" oriented P5 schools to death because they were conditioned for 80 snaps a game.

When the spread came to the P5 and the P5 schools adapted their defensive personnel to the spread (defenders got smaller), they adapted on offense too.

They ran the same plays, but they ran them from 11, 12, and 21 personnel to get defenses back in simply coverages, get defenses back in base (and attack specific defenders who were liabilities in coverage), and downhill, power rushing attack against a lighter box.

Football is a cat and mouse game. Or, even better, adapt or die.

If, as you allege, the "new RPO variant" (that's incredibly vague and hard to define) emphasizes an inside rushing attack, yeah, it MAY be suicide to line up in 12 personnel against Bama (but, let's be honest, it's always suicide to line up against Bama). But it MAY also be that 12 personnel RPOs create advantageous matchups on the outside which CAN create explosive plays on the perimeter (which is what TF was able to do at LaTech with the T-Bone formation).

FWIW, I'm not saying Dearmon is going to coordinate the nation's #1 offense, nor am I saying he's the worst hire that will led the nations worst offense.

Dearmon is a good coach. He's respected. He understands RPOs. He has a good feel for a inside / power rushing attack while also understanding how to create big plays.

With any hire, there’s inherent risk. IMO, Dearmon is worth the risk. I like the hire. Seems like a good fit (both schematically and geographically). But, like any coach, it may not work out. But he has the knowledge, skills, and history to show he can make it work. So I'm willing to see what the "Dearmon" offense looks like at MT
 

blueraiderJT

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Really? TF was played out and tired. Crazy too. I guess you saw the Army game where we got sh!t whipped. Army runs a 1932 offense and they ate our lunch on national TV. What we ran sure as hell ain't what Bama runs. LOL.

Watching Kansas was like watching us play and it didn't give me warm and fuzzy feelings. What history does he have? Dude, he won at a D2 school. He has won one FBS game as an OC. Let that sink in a bit. But hey, he might win here. He has good talent to work with. I'll take whatever success we can get. Happy to be wrong.
 
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