An article from the Wall Street Journal on the Baylor offense yesterday caught my attention, in part because of the title "The Best Offense in College Football Is Also the Laziest".
How could anyone possibly argue that one of the most explosive offenses in college football, that just reloads talent year after year (especially at quarterback), possibly be considered lazy?
According to the WSJ, the answer to that question lies in the philosophy that Art Briles has for his receivers, who have the green light from the staff to take plays off if they're not involved in the play call. I know, crazy thought right? But hear him out.
"We’re consciously proud of that fact, because it is different,” Art Briles explained in the article. “Why make a dog chase an imaginary bone? If we’re going to run somebody [downfield], we’re going to throw them the ball.”
“If they’re running fast, the ball’s probably in the air. If they’re not, they’re probably not. It sounds simple, but that’s okay, we’re fine with that.”
According to research done in the piece, Corey Coleman (regarded as one of the best receivers in the country) "loafed" on 28 of the team's 67 offensive snaps that he was in for against Kansas State last weekend, while KD Cannon registered 29 loafs in the same game. Yet at the final horn the two guys combined for 15 catches for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns.
That approach goes against what thousands of receiver coaches across the country, who want maximum effort on every single snap, are teaching their guys on a daily basis. Somehow, Baylor continues to get production out of their receivers that no other school in the country can match and that has to drive coaches who take a more traditional approach insane
"Those football purists, I hope they stay pure. We’ll just keep on doing whatever works for us.”
It's easy to see that Briles' approach keeps guys fresh and on the field for longer, but I can't help but wonder what other implications could telling guys it's alright to take plays off have?
This weekend, Briles and Baylor face arguably their biggest test of the year in a one-loss Oklahoma team in Waco. The two face off at 8pm EST on ABC so keep a closer eyes on the receivers NOT getting the ball tomorrow night.