Andy Ludwig has the keys to the offense

Sometimes being a good head coach means getting out of the way of things you don’t particularly understand. Last fall Derek Mason pretty much gave a tutorial of how to not be a head coach during the first month or so of the season, with the biggest impact of his lack of offensive knowledge being the issues at quarterback.

Whether Mason just didn’t trust former offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell, or whether Mason just thought he should have more input on the offense than was required, is up for debate. What is certain however is the type of quarterback carousel which derailed the ‘Dores in 2014 should not strike again in 2015.

A wise man once said that the key to being a successful manager or administrator is to staff your weaknesses. Obviously not everyone is good at everything, so you should concentrate on what you know and employ someone else to cover the stuff you don’t.

That appears to be exactly what Mason has realized with the appointment of new offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig.

"Whatever Coach Ludwig wants at that position (quarterback), he understands what he wants," Mason said. "… I have found out in this business, as a head coach you'll make every final decision about what happens. But at the end of the day, let guys do their job. If he can't do his job, then why is he here?"

That quote, via The Tennessean, is indicative of how Mason has grown up as a head coach over the course of a season. During the most recent practice Mason worked exclusively with the defense on one side of the field, while Ludwig did the same with the offense on the other. The only time the two crossed was during a couple of full team drills.

Most have seen the fact that Mason has taken up the defensive coordinator role as being a blessing for that side of the ball. With his blend of experience, and his ability to now coach one on one, it is obvious why this would be the case. The unseen factor here, however, is that Mason getting out of the way of the offense is also a blessing for that unit. By putting his full faith in his coordinators, and by not micro managing any aspect of the offensive unit, this Vanderbilt team is in a far better position to succeed this fall than they were last year.

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