Many are wondering just what the Oregon Ducks offense may look like under new offensive coordinator, Will Stein. Honestly, probably not all that different than it did under Coach Kenny Dillingham. I believe that Coach Dan Lanning will take a similar approach to Oregon’s offensive system that Coach Urban Meyer took to his. No matter who was coming into the program to lead the offense, they were going to run the already installed system.
I would assume, that means that the Ducks will roll into the off-season being in year two of a scheme they already know the terminology to, instead of starting over. Just by watching the tape, you can see just how similar Coach Stein’s system already is to what Coach Dillingham was doing with the Ducks.
All of this does not mean that Coach Stein won’t have his own wrinkles and concepts that he brings with him from his time with the UTSA Roadrunners.
This is one point where Coach Stein and Coach Dillingham differ a little bit. When Coach Dillingham was hired, he talked about wanting to run as many plays as possible, even north of 80 snaps per game. I don’t know if that was ever a real target, but it painted the picture of what he wanted to do with tempo. Of course, that changed depending on the situation the offense found themselves in throughout the season.
Right of the rip, Coach Stein talks about wanting to use tempo strategically. To him, the days of constant tempo are over. In other words, he does not want to go fast just for the sake of going fast, but when the defense gets caught in something that he doesn’t want to let them out of.
11-Personnel (1RB, 1TE)
Of the four UTSA games I’ve watched, the most used personnel package is far and away 11P. They were almost always in this grouping, with 12P being the next most used.
Now just because they were in 11 or 12P doesn’t mean that they didn’t go with the look of other personnel packages. What I mean by this is that they still went to 2×2 and trips spread looks, or empty packages, but with the same personnel. This is very similar to what Coach Dillingham liked to do with personnel packages.
It’s an incredible ability to have when the Ducks decide to go up-tempo. If they catch you at a disadvantage, they can increase the tempo and throw different looks at you without ever having to sub anyone in. They’re able to get to all of their looks from both 11 and 12P.
Here’s one that could make some Oregon fans a little uneasy. Coach Stein uses quite a bit of the Pistol alignment. Much more than Coach Dillingham did, but not as much as the offenses under Coach Mario Cristobal. His offense was very successful with it, and very multiple.
Coach Stein does use a version of the alignment where the running back is a little closer to the line of scrimmage. He places his QB at a five-yard depth, and the RB at a two-yard depth behind him. This allows the mesh to hit quicker, and ultimately the play to hit quicker.
Coach Stein’s offense uses a heavy dose of the RPO. In that way, it is much closer to what Coach Moorhead did with Oregon versus what Coach Dillingham did. The way that Coach Stein uses the RPO really enhances the run game, as there is a large variety of concepts attached to each run. This also reduces the amount that he asks the QB to run the ball, but that too is still an option. The run game is what you could imagine having if you combined Coach Dillingham and Coach Moorhead’s offenses.
The slot in Coach Stein’s offense is asked to do quite a bit. Motion is a big part of what they do in both the RPO and jet sweep game. They’re also asked to be the second RB in their 20 and 21P looks. From the tape alone, you can see that the slot is one of the more important pieces in Coach Stein’s offense. Given everything asked of them, it’ll be interesting to see who mans the position next season.
Think of what Coach Stein will bring with him as addition to an already established offense. Not having to completely start from scratch will go a long way in how good the Oregon Ducks offense will be in 2023.
Coach Eric Boles
Top Photo Credit: Eugene Johnson
Phil Anderson, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.
Eric resides in Central Ohio, just outside the capital city of Columbus. He is a former offensive assistant and return game coordinator for the Ohio State – Newark/Central Ohio Technical College Titans football program.
He is an OSU-N graduate, having completed a Bachelor of Arts program in psychology.
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