Doman building offensive identity

Under first-year offensive coordinator Brandon Doman, the offense has been placed under the microscope of refinement and a new identity has emerged. It's an identity older BYU fans will recognize from years gone by, while connecting a new generation of Cougar fans to BYU's offensive traditions of old.

As fall camp has progressed, one thing has become clear: the Cougar offense knows what it is and how it's going to attack opponents. Under Coach Doman, there is no mystery or sorting out what this offense is all about.

"I think we have a more clearer plan of what we're trying to do, really," said receiver McKay Jacobson. "I think we have a more clearer understanding and a sense of who we are and why we do some of the things we do. I think Coach Doman and the coaches did a great job of instilling that way back over spring ball, and we're seeing it translate now in fall camp."

Coach Doman is combining BYU's standard of execution with a greater emphasis on having a higher I.Q.

"We've still got some things we have to work on, but now we know why we have to work on those things," Jacobson said. "We know why certain things within our offensive identity are so important now. So with that being said, I think we're a much smarter team overall. Every year is a new year, but I think we've taken great strides in going where we want to go.

"I think there are obvious changes that [Doman's] brought to our offense that you can see out here during practice. Defenses are going to have to cover the entire field while not knowing what's coming, and that's a huge advantage for us. Everyone is together and everyone understands what the focus is."

Sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps agrees with Jacobson that Coach Doman has helped the offense establish a greater sense of identity.

"Yeah, I'm seeing more of who we are and what we want to accomplish," Heaps said. "We're a talented football team, but really we're still kind of a young as well, but with that being said, we're an experienced football team as well. I think it's a great mixture, so we're growing and developing our identity together, but I think if you were to describe our football team, we're a hard-working, gritty bunch. We're going to scratch and claw while fighting to win football games.

"We're a very talented football team, and so it's fun for me to throw to some of these guys and let them run downfield. It's also fun for me to hand the ball off and let these guys run behind a big offensive line that's putting guys on their backs. We've got a great scheme that's becoming more refined and more diverse under Coach Doman and this great coaching staff."

Heaps feels that being in sync with Doman will help him be a better field general.

"I think we have a better understanding of what we want to do and how to accomplish it," said Heaps. "We're seeing what Coach Doman has brought to the table. With me knowing him and his personality, while having a great relationship with him over these last two years, has helped me to know what he wants accomplished on the field.

"Knowing him has helped me to have a better understanding of what kind of characteristics we want to bring to our offense. I think having that relationship and understanding is good because in the end it will manifest itself on the field. I think people will see how competitive Coach Doman really is by the type of offense we'll have this year. It's been fun for me because our team continues to grow and grow into the type of team we want to be."

As one who was recruited by many high-caliber offensive minds and quarterback coaches from around the country, Heaps familiarized himself with various college offensive schemes. Judging by how he praised Coach Doman, it's apparent that Heaps thinks he stacks up with the best.

"I think Coach Doman is one of the best, if not the best, young offensive minds in college football, and that's the best compliment I can give him …

"He's a rising star in college football and I think people will see how much of a star he is this year. I even think he could maybe be a future head coach here some day. He's a stud and his enthusiasm is so contagious and I don't think you can do an offense any better with how we approach the game than what we're doing here at BYU."

Having once been groomed by offensive guru LaVell Edwards, Doman will return the Cougar offense to its simple roots. Cougar fans can expect to see an offense developed in all aspects, much like a team within the NFL.

"This is as pro-style as it gets," Heaps said. "Everything that we're doing in regards to developing our players and offense is the NFL way. We're not doing it by our own terms, we're a team that's being developed like an NFL program but at the college level in every way. I can't say enough about Coach Doman and I have all the confidence in him no matter what play he calls [that] it's going to be a successful play."

Having consulted, researched and analyzed a congressional library-sized amount of information at his disposal, Doman is now solidifying that Cougar identity. Sure, there will be tweaks along the way, but the core of the offense is developing.

"Coach Doman has worked his tail off to help this offensive team and to help us be successful," Heaps said. "He's gone around to different teams and really took a closer look in terms of schemes and plays and creating a variety of ways to attack a defense. The great thing is we can run any run, any play action and any pass out of any formation, so the predictability when you do that goes way low.

"Then on top of that our commitment to the run game will stay consistent throughout the game because teams will have to respect our run game even if it's not working. Our offense is going to be tough to beat week in and week out, and Coach Doman and our offensive staff has worked tirelessly to get the right schemes, the best schemes and the right plays to go with those schemes we could possibly have to be successful.

"Our goals are less predictability, throw the ball all over the field, have the ability to make big plays and be consistent in our run attack. We have a great offensive line that will allow us to do that. Our coaches are holding us to a much higher standard, even higher than before as an offense. The way we've started off fall camp and the way we're progressing as an offense, you can't be more excited as a group. I'm excited to see what we look like coming out on September 3rd."

And neither can BYU fans.


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