Of­fen­sive, de­fen­sive coaches em­pha­size adapt­abil­ity

The Sun Herald - - Sports - BY PARRISH AL­FORD

Two veteran coaches, both new co­or­di­na­tors at Ole Miss, say adapt­abil­ity will be a key as they seek to in­stall new sys­tems with the Rebels.

Spring drills be­gin in late Fe­bru­ary.

Of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Rich Ro­driguez and de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Mike MacIn­tyre, each fa­mil­iar with one an­other from their Pac-12 days as head coaches at Ari­zona and Colorado re­spec­tively, have their own philoso­phies but will re­main flex­i­ble with new play­ers.

MacIn­tyre will em­ploy a 3-4 scheme as Ole Miss tries to im­prove a unit that has ranked at or near the bot­tom of the SEC’s ma­jor sta­tis­ti­cal cat­e­gories from the fi­nal sea­son of for­mer co­or­di­na­tor Dave Wom­mack to the last two un­der Wes­ley McGriff.

MacIn­tyre was a de­fen­sive as­sis­tant at Ole Miss when David Cut­cliff hired Chuck Dries­bach to run the 4-2-5. The 3-4 be­gan to grow on him when he was a Dal­las Cow­boys as­sis­tant un­der Bill Par­cells.

The out­side lineback­ers are the key to the scheme, MacIn­tyre said, with their abil­ity to rush, cover and fit the run.

Ro­driguez in­her­its a pass­dom­i­nant unit that of­ten moved freely be­tween the 20s only to bog down in the red zone and set­tle for short field goals.

He’s be­come known as a runori­ented spread of­fense coach but cau­tioned against la­bel­ing his sys­tem. It’s not so im­por­tant that the quar­ter­back be an out­stand­ing run­ner as it is that the quar­ter­back be com­fort­able with the idea of run­ning.

“What we’ll eval­u­ate through­out spring ball and go­ing into fall camp is, ‘OK, what do our guys do well? What fits their tal­ents and what do we have to do to win games?’”

Both coaches said they won’t try to fit square pegs into round holes.

Rich Ro­driguez

Mike MacIn­tyre

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