Doman's dual role

With quarterback coach Brandon Doman taking on the added responsibility of offensive coordinator, he not only has to help the young guns continue to progress, but further develop the new Cougar offense. Whether or not Doman's added responsibility has hurt the progression of the quarterbacks has been a topic of speculation.

Should Coach Doman just be the quarterback coach so he can just focus on that one responsibility? Or is there something to be gained by having the quarterback coach be the offensive coordinator?

Though there have been some bumps in the road early on in the season, which Doman admits, the long-term benefits might be more beneficial to the quarterback position when all is weighed in the scale of pros and cons. At least, quarterback Riley Nelson believes so.

In fact, Nelson said it's been advantageous.

"The reason is because before we would install a play and that was it," Nelson said. "We would know the reads and the formation and things like that, but now because our quarterbacks coach is the offensive coordinator, we're learning more what the object of the play is and why others are doing what they're doing within the offense. Before we were getting coached up on things like that a little bit, but now we're learning more about the little things and a lot of other things."

"I do find there is great advantage in having the quarterbacks coach be the offensive coordinator, but it's not imperative and it doesn't absolutely have to be the case," said Coach Doman. "In this situation it just happens to be the case, and we're working hard to hone some of these advantages that the situation allows. We have a long ways to go as far as me being a good coordinator and these guys playing better, but we're getting closer and we understand where the advantages are and are working hard to further develop those advantages."

According to Nelson, Doman's new responsibilities have given him a new perspective on coaching the quarterbacks.

"I think before when Coach Doman was a position's coach, that was just his responsibility and he focused just on developing the position," Nelson said. "Now that he's the offensive coordinator his mindset has changed, and he is also able to help us broaden things from a quarterback's standpoint."

"Now he expects us to understand what we're trying to do, and that's kind of helped the quarterbacks to evolve into being mini offensive coordinators. I think by having a quarterbacks coach as the offensive coordinator, it makes us all mini offensive coordinators."

The downside could be the amount of time it takes for the quarterback and coach to build symmetry and direct the offense as one on the same page. However, Nelson feels this isn't an issue.

"We not only keep learning how to become better quarterbacks, but we're learning why everybody else is doing what they do within a play," Nelson said. "Before we would memorize the plays, memorize the reads and memorize the progressions, but now we're being taught to understand why we're looking for what we're supposed to be looking for. Like I said, it's been advantageous."

"It's been very advantageous to know that the guy that's actually calling the plays, working through all the ideas, sees what we want on the board, and then going through what we want as a staff is the one actually sitting in the meetings with the quarterbacks," Coach Doman said. "In the past that wasn't the case. So, I think that's where the advantage comes."

This is how, as Nelson alluded to, the quarterbacks can be sort of a proxy coach out on the field.

"These guys will have a really good idea as to why I'm calling the play that I call, so when a play comes down to the field they should know the bigger picture and what we're trying to do rather than just knowing the play," Coach Doman said. "Then they should know how to handle that understanding as the last line of defense.

"I am calling the plays but every day I have a quarterback meeting with these guys, so not only do these guys have to know what we're doing but they have to be the last line of defense. If they need to audible out of that call, or make adjustments on the field based on what the defense is doing, they can audible out of that and into a better situation knowing what we're trying to do. Hopefully at that point we should all be on the same page."

When asked about whether Doman's responsibilities as the offensive coordinator take away from time that could be spent actually developing the quarterbacks, Nelson said, "No, because when he meets together as a staff he then has a different role. Our position coaches are so good that he can then dilute the information that way. In other words, he's doesn't have to spend time teaching the position coaches the offense because they know what to do.

"Then in our meeting room, we've gotten the exact same instruction and maybe a little more now. We're now given more of an added perspective as to how everything now fits together in the total scheme of the offense."

During practices, Doman can focus on the quarterbacks because of the job that other coaches on offense do with their respective position groups.

"We've got five coaches on this staff," Coach Doman said. "During skeli period Coach Lance Reynolds is going to coach the tight ends and Joe [DuPaix] will coach the running backs. If I want to interject here or there I will, and I do interject more than I did last year, but that's because I'm in a different role.

"The amount of interjection never takes away from what I'm doing in regards to quarterback development, and if it does they won't play like they're supposed to. I'm constantly monitoring and watching that and making sure that I'm staying on top of my position group."

That doesn't mean, however, that Doman won't coach up other positions on offense.

"Sometimes it requires a little bit more attention from me or time of mine to talk to the wide receivers or tight ends or something, but my attention does certainly get focused more on what's going on out on the field. But ultimately I'm still the quarterbacks coach and I trust the other coaches to coach their positions, so ultimately when the ball is snapped I'm watching the quarterbacks."

Doman said his extra duties this year have not led to him neglecting the quarterbacks on BYU's roster.

"The reality is if someone were to watch the way I'm coaching these quarterbacks now in comparison to when I wasn't the offensive coordinator, there isn't a difference," Coach Doman said. "I don't think by me being the offensive coordinator it's taken any more time away from these guys than it did before. I thought about that from day one and spent a lot of time thinking about that, and I don't think that's been an issue and you'll have to ask the quarterbacks if that's the case to be sure."

Nelson echoed Coach Doman's sentiment.

"We still get the exact same amount of instruction we need. There'll be times in individual drills where maybe we're working on exchanges with running backs and he'll go over and look at o-line schemes and stuff like that, but it's no different. We're working with Coach DuPaix and he's making sure our tracks are online, and so we're always getting the same instruction based on what drill we're running."

Doman began the season as a coach on the sidelines, but eventually moved up to the press box during games. Now, he can no longer interact face-to-face with his quarterbacks during the course of a game.

"Even when I'm calling plays in the press box, I'm watching the quarterbacks and get a feel for what's going on," Coach Doman said. "I'll have coaches watch particular things that I want watched, and rarely do my eyes leave the quarterback so I can coach him during the game, either the quarterbacks or the quarterback's read that's occurring on the field. That way I can communicate to him what I'm seeing, or what he's not seeing, and because he knows what we're trying to do as an offense [he] can make the adjustments on the field as that last line of defense."

In the end, it's Doman's goal that this will make those under center more lethal players.

"I do have my focus placed on a lot of different things and it's just added more to my plate," Doman said. "I don't think that I've allowed that to take more focus away from the quarterbacks, but instead I've put more of what all that focus is more into the quarterback position."


Total Blue Sports Top Stories