Kenny Dillingham and the Up-Tempo Pro-Style Offense

Coach Eric Boles Analysis

During a signing day interview, Coach Kenny Dillingham proclaimed that his Oregon Ducks offense will be a Pro-Style offense that goes fast. The first thing that pops into most people’s heads when they hear that is something along the lines of an up-tempo copy of what the Stanford Cardinal do. That is not what Coach Dillingham means when he uses the term Pro-Style. To understand this, you need to look no further than what he said about his Florida State offense.

Ty Thompson

When asked what his offensive philosophy was by the FSU media, his answer was simple, “Pro-Style offense that plays fast.”

If you take what Coach Dillingham says about his offense, and then watch any Florida State game during his tenure, does it match what you think a Pro-Style offense is? So, if he doesn’t mean an offense that plays under center with three tight ends and a fullback, down in and down out, what does he mean? Put simply, he’s going to design a balanced offense with plays that are built around its playmakers.

Troy Franklin

Maybe that’s a little simpler than it actually is, but that’s the new Ducks offense in a nutshell. There are a few aspects of the scheme that make it a Pro-Style. The first being that the offense will use the tight end position in a larger role than in recent years. In Coach Dillingham’s offense, the TE will be far more than a blocker; he will be an integral part of the passing game. Not only that, but the mismatch opportunities that the TE creates will be utilized in plays designed specifically to get him the ball.

This idea of scheming an individual open actually extends to every eligible receiver on the offense. That goes for the running backs and every one of the wide receiver positions. Yes, there will be a progression that the quarterback goes through, but each play will be called to get a certain player open.

While we’re on the topic of the air attack, the wide receivers will have specific positions that they play. Where a lot of teams play WRs as left side or right side only, the Ducks will have an X, H and Z position. And though they will primarily play in these spots, they will also have the ability to be interchangeable as Coach Dillingham works to put them in the best mismatch opportunities. (Learn here about X and Z receiver positions)

Byron Cardwell

On top of a complex passing game, the Oregon Ducks will also roll out a varied rushing attack. The ground game will deploy zone runs, gap schemes, options, QB runs, RPOs and even bring back the WR sweeps. The sheer variety of run concepts will also allow Coach Dillingham to roll out his extensive play-action passing attack. All of this at a dizzying attempt to run 80 plays per game.

What Coach Dillingham means by a Pro-Style offense that goes fast is really simple. But there is a complexity to it that I can’t quite do justice to in a 500-word article. I can only whet the appetite of our readers, as we look to dive deeper into this offense throughout the rest of the off-season and into the 2022 season.

Coach Eric Boles
Newark, Ohio
Top Photo Credit: Twitter

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