To many times in high school and college football we see coaches trying to force their system on their teams weather they have the players to run it or not. For instance, a team with an under sized line probably would not have much success trying to play power football and running between the tackles a majority of the time.
First year Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was recently interviewed and said one thing he has learned as offensive coordinator/quarterback coach at Houston and Texas A&M where he had an extreme amount of success the past three years; “don’t try to bottle talent up”.
Coach to the strength of the athletes you have. Kingsbury’s philosophy was successful at the University of Houston where they led the NCAA in yards, points, and virtually every offensive category and won offensive coordinator of the year. In 2012 Kingsbury took over the offensive coordinator/quarterback coaching job at Texas A&M following head coach Kevin Sumlin.
The Aggies lead the Southeastern Conference in rushing, passing, total offense and scoring offense. Texas A&M was the nation’s only offense ranked in the top 15 of the NCAA statistics in all four categories. Kingsbury coach Heisman Trophy winning quarterback , Johnny Manziel who was the first freshman to win the award. Kingsbury’s “coach to their strength” philosophy was evident in Manziel’s Heisman Trophy season letting Johnny make plays with his feet and Arm passing for 3706 yards and 26 touchdowns while rushing for 1410 yards on 201 attempts and 21 touchdowns. Brewer was 34 of 48 for 375 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Red Raiders back up quarterback in 2012. Brewer, who’s father Robert and grandfather Charlie, both had successful quarterbacking careers at the University of Texas has been a student of the game and position his whole life.
Davis Webb, who competed in the Nike Elite 11 finals in 2012 enrolled at Texas Tech last January in order to compete for the starting job this past spring. It turned out to be a highly contested battle. Nike Elite 11 Head Coach Trent Dilfer compared Webb to “a young Tom Brady” (2). Webb, who was unranked by Rivals.com and rated a two star recruit by Scout.com, impressed his Texas Tech teammates. One team source said “Webb is the real deal”. Webb had 2,722 yards passing with 23 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. This past spring "Kingsbury said there’s “no doubt” Webb is pushing others with more experience in the quarterback battle. Sophomore Michael Brewer, who played well in spot action last season, is the odds-on favorite to be the starter come August, but Kingsbury said Webb has “put himself in the mix. The competition is just going to make everybody better” (3).
Kingsbury, who is only 33, and played professionally as recent as 2007 tries to coach the way he liked to be coached and feels like his age makes it easier for him to relate to the players. His success with Case Keenum at Houston and Manziel at A&M don’t refute that theory.
With two solid quarterbacks on his roster, it will be interesting to see how Kingsbury coaches to the two players' strengths in the coming seasons in the highly contested Big 12. One thing is for sure. With Kingsbury calling the plays and two good quarterbacks in place it should be business as usual for the Red Raider offense which means a plenty of fireworks. Red Raider fans hope that translates to wins like it did the first time Kingsbury arrived in Lubbock.
3. Lubbock Avalanche –Journal 4-4-2013: Nick Kosmider