Offensive, defensive coaches emphasize adaptability
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.