Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Calling plays is what Steve Spurrier does
By ESPN.com staff
The play-calling duties for Steve Spurrier the last few years have been like a hot potato.
He keeps trying to pass them off, which is mind-boggling when you stop and think how brilliant the Head Ball Coach has been at calling plays during his Hall of Fame career.
Eric Clapton plays the guitar. Steven Spielberg directs films, and Steve Spurrier calls ball plays.
That’s what he does … better than anybody else I’ve seen over the last two or three decades in college football.
But now, all of a sudden, with South Carolina poised to make history and the pathway to a first-ever SEC championship game wide open, Spurrier decides the play-calling duties will be more of a “community” effort.
That’s like Kobe Bryant saying he’s going to start letting his teammates take more shots when the game’s on the line.
Listen, Spurrier is always going to be in the middle of everything South Carolina does offensively, and whatever quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus calls, Spurrier is going to be right there listening on the headset.
But haven’t we been down this road before when Spurrier turned most of the play-calling duties over to his son, Steve Spurrier Jr., a couple of years ago?
No disrespect to Spurrier Jr., and no disrespect to Mangus, but these next three weeks may be the most important ones in South Carolina football history.
It’s not like the Gamecocks are in contention for an SEC championship every year.
Now isn’t the time for Spurrier to be experimenting with the play-calling.
And, yes, I realize that play-calling is often times overrated and that most of the work is done during the week.
Still, Spurrier is the best there is at calling plays, and if I’m a South Carolina fan, he’s the only guy I want calling plays these next three weeks.
I understand the “community” concept and that Mangus and offensive line coach/running game coordinator Shawn Elliott may have a better feel for the zone-read part of the Gamecocks’ offense. None of that changes the fact, though, that I want the Head Ball Coach as my trigger man.
Spurrier spent as much time on the defensive side of the field last week in practice as he ever has at South Carolina. He was worried about his pass defense, and rightfully so. He won’t stray too far from the Gamecocks’ punt return team this week in practice. They’re ranked 112th nationally.
All this branching out that Spurrier is doing is well and good. There’s nothing wrong with being hands-on as a head coach. He’s the one who’s ultimately responsible.
Delegating is fine as long as you have the most qualified people in the right spots, and there’s nobody more qualified to call plays at South Carolina than Spurrier.
With so much at stake over these next few weeks, why tinker with one of the most proven products out there?