I've seen other teams start to incorporate spread/shotgun formations when they have a Young QB, or think they have a weakness on their O-Line. I saw teams that were smashmouth, grind it out football teams last year, come in this year with the spread firmly in place.
This year, I also watched a team run option out of the spread/shotgun. They put the entire package in after the first game. Its my opinion, but its not the formation that causes the problems, its the execution.As NU tries to become one of the more elite teams, our swings will always be wider than some of the others who recruit from a wider pool of talent, and who have coaches who have been building a program for more than 4 or 5 years.
Its the same with no-huddle. I think if you want to, the no-huddle can take about the same amount of time as a conventional huddle to get running - the difference is that the defense never knows when the team will set or when the ball will be snapped. Throwing off the other team's rush is a good thing. But again, the key to all of this is execution. You make the plays and the no-huddle becomes a non-factor.
So now, what is the problem with the D....
I suspect there are several, but most important, youth is a problem on the D-Line. Rarely do you see freshmen come in and make a difference on D-Line, maybe a few more do it as Linebackers, and for some reason, CBs and Safeties seem to be able to start as Frosh, if the guys up front are shutting down the middle. Our guys apparently are not getting it done up front and maybe its technique, maybe its youth, maybe its strength, maybe its all of the above.
What you can't do is dump the entire staff and hope to hire a new set of assistants who will try to make these guys play. Again, my opinion, but few teams start 2 freshman and 2 sophs on their D-lines and win. Somewhere a decision was made to try to use the younger guys because in 2 years they will have a core group of linemen to be able to maintain the development of the younger players.
I'm always intrigued by the former ball player who can watch 2 quarters and assess the talent level of a team. I've always had to watch kids in practice, then look at video, then watch games before I could figure out who was good and who wasn't. Of course if your producer decides early in the week that the problem is with talent...
I guess I need to get some old NU rosters and recruiting class info from the GB years and see just who was recruited and when on the Rose Bowl team. I'm trying to do some analysis of recruiting class mix but I need to look beyond the 3 years on the web sites.
In any case, I wonder if we're not over reacting. Unless you're one of the college "semi-pro" teams, you tend to cycle up and down.
-- da Coach