For the last two games, OC Joe Moorhead has called the game from the box rather than the sideline. This has corresponded with a significant change in Oregon’s passing offense, as the past two weeks have also come with the best two games for QB Anthony Brown. Brown still has a long way to go in terms of becoming a developed passer, and it is still highly unlikely he will ever be a distinguished passer at Oregon, but he is becoming a more well-rounded quarterback for Oregon this year.
To date, Moorhead has preferred to call plays from the sideline. That in itself is not inherently a problem, as not every offensive coordinator operates from the box. Nick Saban demands his coordinators to be on the sideline to call offensive plays instead of the box. It does make sense that if an OC can effectively call plays from the sideline, he should — because it gives him direct access to arguably the most important player on the field, the quarterback. It allows the OC to coach up the quarterback before he steps onto the field and right after he steps off.
However, it is not uncommon to see a quarterback talking to the coaching staff in the box after a series, whether that is by putting on a headset or, in Oregon’s case, picking up the red phone. For the OC to be an effective coordinator and quarterback coach, it does not require him on the sideline. It might actually be more effective for Moorhead to to be in the coaches’ box.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum is BACK! Come get the links to Oregon Sports articles, the press releases from the Oregon Athletic Department and the news from your fellow Duck fans. It is the only safe place on the web for Duck Discussion, so join us over there!
Brown has played only two games at Oregon in which he has thrown for more than 200 yards, and both have come with Moorhead in the booth. That can’t just be a coincidence. The offense is more in sync than it has been for the majority of the year, and the offensive line is really coming together. Additionally, the game plan against UCLA was probably the best since the Ohio State game.
Moorhead is able to diagnose what is happening concerning quarterback play in real-time far more accurately from the box than he can from the sideline. He is able to make adjustments faster and can determine the best course of action. Moorhead is really the best qualified to diagnose quarterback play problems, and he needs the information during the game, not during film review afterwards.
This Oregon staff is still learning how to work together even though, on paper, this staff has some strong individual resumes. If Moorhead is here for the long-haul then there may be a time he could and should return to the sideline, but for now he is better off in the box where he can call the game and get this offense rolling more consistently. Mario Cristobal doesn’t need Moorhead on the sideline; the two of them aren’t seen standing next to each other standing and scheming through the progression of plays. Cristobal is more often seen yelling at the refs and talking to players. When was the last time anyone saw Cristobal holding a laminated play-sheet on the sideline?
Having Moorhead on the sideline is simply a luxury that Oregon cannot afford, especially with only one loss on the year and the playoff still at stake.
Top Photo From ABC Video
Come join us in the new Our Beloved Ducks Forum, where you get the news about Oregon Sports and is the safest place on the web to read and post your opinions!
David Marsh is a high school social studies teacher in Portland, Oregon. As a teacher he is known for telling puns to his students who sometimes laugh out of sympathy, and being both eccentric about history and the Ducks.
David graduated from the University of Oregon in 2012 with Majors in: Medieval Studies, Religious Studies, and Geography. David began following Ducks Football after being in a car accident in 2012; finding football something new and exciting to learn about during this difficult time in his life. Now, he cannot see life without Oregon football.
The Comments Below are CLOSED, as we are moving to the OUR BELOVED DUCKS Forum!
Comments below articles are now closed as we have moved all conversation over to the free Our Beloved Ducks Forum. It has been a big success already with many more posts than what we could fit into the comments below articles.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
Be a part of the forum and stay caught up! When you wish to post there, do know that you are protected just as you were on FishDuck. Join us on the free forum right here!
Our 33 rules at the free OBD Forum can be summarized to this: 1) be polite and respectful, 2) keep it clean, and 3) no reference of any kind to politics. Easy-peasy!
OBD Forum members….we got your back. No Trolls Allowed!