Morgantown, West Virginia – The West Virginia football program has all of the pieces in place to be incredibly successful for many, many years ahead – an outstanding, young head coach, fantastic assistants, as well as improved facilities and recruiting.
However, one piece that is glaringly obvious is the lack of a real offensive coordinator with actual experience at the position. Although co-offensive coordinators Chad Scott and Gerard Parker are excellent parts of the team, they are not experienced play-callers. And while Head Coach Neal Brown has plenty of experience as an offensive coordinator, his duties as the leader of the program are far-reaching, and he should not have to focus his energy and time on calling offensive plays.
While the Mountaineers’ offense is certainly improved from last year, averaging 460.8 yards per game this season (25th out of 101 eligible teams), the offense is too often stagnant and lacks identity.
Who are the Mountaineers on offense? Are they a run team, or a passing team, or both? How exactly would you describe West Virginia’s offense under Neal Brown? During his time as the Offensive Coordinator at Texas Tech and Kentucky, Brown ran what he termed the “NASCAR SPREAD”, which focused on high octane production and speed.
Since arriving in Morgantown, Brown has been very, very conservative offensively, particularly on key third down plays. His questionable run calls on third and long have become his signature play call and has led to many missed opportunities.
With that said, West Virginia needs an identity. I understand West Virginians’ reservations with ever allowing Rich Rodriguez to come back home to Morgantown, but imagine Rich Rod’s spread offense with Garrett Greene and Leddie Brown/Alec Sinkfield. This is all unlikely, of course, but just imagine it.
Rich Rodriguez is a dream and won’t happen, but there are plenty of talented, experienced offensive coordinators out there that could focus on calling plays and bring a real identity to the Mountaineers. Virtually every football program in the country has an offensive coordinator that calls plays and does not rely on its head coach for a reason…it’s what works best!
The West Virginia football program is very close but lacks a few pieces towards long-term success, and the first piece that needs filled is a real offensive coordinator to lead the Mountaineers’ offense. The Head Coach has so many other responsibilities to handle and calling plays should not be one of them.
It’s time for Neal Brown to say good bye to his duties of calling offensive plays.