I've been reflecting on what's been bothering me about our offense over this weekend. It's hard to complain when you're putting up 500+ yards/50 points a week, but something just seems off, both from the play calling and execution perspective. It's like we're not achieving to our lofty potential--but even that makes me feel like a jerk to say because of the aforementioned 500 yards/50 points.
But I think I finally put a name on what's bothering me and I need you all to help confirm/tell me that I'm full of crap. We lack offensive synergy. Synergy is basically defined as the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. And right now i think our whole (hehe) is equal to the sum of its parts. And that's ok, because our parts are pretty damn fantastic. But we lack synergy. It's not that our offense is at all performing poorly, but rather we could be performing more efficiently and making better use of our talent across the board--Johnny included.
So much of this clicked for me when folks responded to this question I posted on twitter:
Can someone shed light on how much freedom Johnny has at the line? If he doesn’t like a play call from the sideline can he veto it?— stringsays (@stringsays) November 10, 2013
the two main responses that I've been thinking about are
@stringsays He was definitely waving off something yesterday and mouthing "No more, no more" after another errant pocket play.— Decade Plan (@decadeplan) November 10, 2013
So if Johnny does have complete control at the line, it makes sense that we're going to empty backfield/1 back sets and throw the ball around. We're basically playing a game of "go out and get open", and it's working. It kind of makes sense that our packaged plays are oddly timed because there's no consistent flow to the game...we're operating on Johnny's view of what's going on which (and I mean this with all due respect) is incomplete. It makes sense why our offense seems disjointed and that's because, in essence, we have two sets of offensive coordinators--Spav/McKinney and Johnny.
I went back through and watched the first couple of drives from Alabama, and man, our offense clicked. Decent combo of run and pass, with the long ball mixed in, and tempo was pretty damn fantastic. That screams to me that our OC is very capable of scripting plays to the extent that Kliff did last year (and dont get me wrong--Kliff had his own share of issues as well. I have nightmares about how winnable that LSU game was). But there's just no synergy between McKinney/Spav and Johnny when it comes to on field play calling. I'm not saying that Johnny needs to check the sideline for every playcall, but I wonder if there's a loosely based plan that they go into games with that Johnny operates within? Or does Johnny simply have full reign of the offense?
We are a great offense with excellent pieces, but they're just not working together well right now. Johnny and McKinney/Spav arent complementing each other with their play calling efforts. The run game isnt opening up the pass game (how odd is it that we have so much trouble running between the tackles except on plays where Johnny goes freak mode?). The pass game isnt opening up the run game. Johnny running isnt opening up lanes for other RBs. The simple truth is that our offense isn't working as well together as they could be. And that's scary because if they did work together we'd be damn near unstoppable.
Synergy. I may not have said anything at all through this fanpost (I kind of feel like a politician with empty words) but I keep going back to this word. Synergy. Comment below and tell me if I'm right or wrong.