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2013 Draft Prep: Tendencies of new coaches

Senior Fantasy Writer
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This year, fourteen teams will have new play callers on offense. That insane number includes four men from the college ranks and one from another professional football league. And it does not include the two coordinators who took over during the 2012 season, Jim Caldwell in Baltimore and Dowell Loggains in Tennessee. So basically the turnover at play caller from this time a year ago is 50 percent.

Knowing who is calling the plays is important, but knowing their tendencies is even more important. Every coach will tell you they prefer to let the talent dictate their coaching decisions (except for Mike Martz) but some coaches are either too stubborn or too stuck in their ways to change certain things about the playbooks they carry with them. Knowing these things will help paint a picture of what to expect from their offenses and in turn their key Fantasy players.

What we've done is looked back at the relevant history of the five most intriguing playcallers coming into new jobs this season. Instead of studying the production of the players coached by these five guys, we looked at their play calls from a high level. How often they ran the ball, how often a running back ran the ball, how often they passed the ball and how often each position group caught it. The resulting numbers should better prepare you for what to expect from them this season.

Chip Kelly, Eagles

Chip Kelly
2012 UO 2011 UO 2010 UO 2009 UO 2008 UO 2007 UO 2006 NH
Plays/game 81.4 72.5 78.8 68.1 73.7 79.1 71.5
Pass plays/game 28.7 27.6 30.4 26.0 28.7 31.8 33.9
Total rush/game 51.6 44.2 47.1 41.4 43.8 46.5 37.6
RB rush/game 39.1 38.4 35.8 30.5 26.8 34.1 23.9
% rec RB 26.4 34.3 14.1 14.2 7.3 14.7 41.5
% rec WR 61.6 48.7 74.2 58.4 70.6 66.8 52.5
% rec TE 11.6 16.5 10.5 27.4 17.6 18.4 5.0

Like all coaches, Kelly will play to his strengths, but it's pretty evident that he leans on his running backs and the run game in general in his up-tempo approach. His last three years at Oregon were not only significantly run heavy but also featured an average of 35 to 39 carries per game just for running backs. And in those last two years the running backs were catching a high percentage of passes (thanks to De'Anthony Thomas, who we'll probably tout highly in 2014 drafts). But using rushers as receivers isn't something new for Kelly -- he leaned on them going back to his days at New Hampshire, especially if they couldn't get going on handoffs. Wideouts got a good cut of the pass attack whereas tight ends were only prominently featured once: Ed Dickson's senior season in 2009 when the Ducks didn't throw the ball nearly as much as in other seasons.
Bottom line: Not only should you expect LeSean McCoy to see a big dose of work this year, but whoever backs him up (for now it's Bryce Brown) will probably get a healthy dose of reps too. While the Eagles pass game might be a mix of West Coast principles with a quick-hitting mantra, there's a chance the pass game won't be as dynamic as the talent suggests.

Marc Trestman, Bears

Marc Trestman
2012 MTL 2011 MTL 2010 MTL 2009 MTL 2008 MTL 2006 NCSt 2005 NCSt 2003 OAK 2002 OAK 2000 ARI 1999 ARI 1998 ARI 1996 SF 1995 SF 1989 CLE
Plays/game 51.3 58.4 58.5 56.9 57.6 62.8 64.6 61.7 66.8 58.2 62.4 65.8 65.4 68.3 63.2
Pass plays/game 32.5 38.7 39.9 35.2 39.6 31.3 27.8 32.6 38.7 34.6 34.9 34.5 34.4 40.3 33.1
Total rush/game 18.7 19.7 18.6 21.8 18.1 30.7 32.6 26.4 25.9 21.4 24.8 28.1 28.4 25.9 28.0
RB rush/game 15.2 15.4 12.9 16.1 14.5 24.8 27.8 23.5 21.8 18.7 21.1 24.6 22.0 21.3 25.6
% rec RB 35.5 21.5 21.4 20.5 21.0 19.9 21.3 25.9 31.6 35.1 27.9 27.0 34.6 35.0 34.6
% rec WR 62.8 77.8 78.4 79.5 78.8 55.1 48.1 56.1 54.3 53.2 57.8 58.3 48.9 47.2 54.7
% rec TE 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 25.0 30.6 18.0 14.1 11.7 14.3 14.7 16.5 17.6 10.0

Note: Trestman's last five years involved him calling plays in the Canadian Football League, which varies greatly from the NFL. In the CFL, 12 players are on the field at one time and tight end isn't really a position. Slotbacks are regular contributors, which for this study we lumped in as receivers since they're basically receivers who line up in the slot. Canadian teams have three downs to get a first down instead of four in the NFL, meaning there are more possessions per game but fewer plays from scrimmage (more punting). The CFL also uses a 20-second game clock and the field is 10 yards longer than in the NFL. It all makes for a more pass-friendly league (you should check it out!).

The first thing that stands out is that Trestman loves to lean on his running backs as receivers. In his 15 years as a play caller his rushers have caught essentially 20 percent of the completions or more every single year. So if we give Jay Cutler 350 completions, that's 70 for the Bears running backs and Matt Forte will probably dominate those. Trestman's lack of use of running backs in the run game in the CFL is because of the rules, but in the NFL and college his running backs totaled at least 21 carries on average in nine of 10 years. His utilization of tight ends was never high in the NFL -- a seemingly troubling sign for Martellus Bennett -- but if Alshon Jeffery can't keep up his end of the receiving game then that trend could turn. Besides, it's been five years since Trestman has even needed to use a tight end. Finally, you don't see it here but Trestman has used a goal-line back religiously, including using quarterbacks in the CFL (a common use for backups in that league is to work the goal line). Michael Bush should have his role carved out.
Bottom line: Trestman should be a fairly predictable play caller in terms of annual stats. On a week-to-week basis, he'll probably mix things up aside from these obvious facets: Matt Forte will touch the ball a lot and Brandon Marshall will get thrown at a lot. Those are the two must-draft Bears players regardless of who is calling plays. There is no data that suggests Cutler will throw like crazy, especially since Trestman's NFL quarterbacks averaged over 38 pass attempts just twice in eight years.

Nathaniel Hackett, Bills

Nathaniel Hackett
2012 SYR 2011 SYR
Plays/game 79.1 67.8
Pass plays/game 36.3 34.8
Total rush/game 41.8 32.6
RB rush/game 34.7 26.2
% rec RB 16.3 15.3
% rec WR 66.4 56.7
% rec TE 16.9 28.0

Hackett is an interesting case: He's the son of long-time NFL coach and offensive coordinator Paul Hackett. He also picked up a lot of pro experience as a quality control coach before jumping to Syracuse with Doug Marrone and then following him to Buffalo. There's not much of a track record of Hackett as a play caller -- just two years -- but they're radically different. As Ryan Nassib told me at the Senior Bowl, Hackett scrapped the Orange's offense literally just before the start of training camp last year and re-invented his system to mimic elements of what Chip Kelly was doing in Oregon: Hyper-tempo, no-huddle offenses. Syracuse squeezed out more than 11 plays per game from 2011 to 2012 as a result and the team was successful. Hackett leaned on his run game much like Kelly did in both seasons, but they were far more represented on handoffs in the new scheme compared to the old. And unlike Kelly, backs didn't catch a ton of passes under Hackett -- hopefully something that will change now that Hackett has C.J. Spiller on his side. Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel is also a different kind of player than Nassib and could further influence how Hackett calls plays.
Bottom line: It's a little dangerous to make assumptions on Hackett's intentions given the limited data and new talent he has in Buffalo, but Spiller (and, yes, Fred Jackson too) should handle a lot of work. Steve Johnson should see a lot of catches. And if the Bills had a healthy, capable athletic tight end, he might also be valuable.

Bill Callahan, Cowboys

Bill Callahan
2007 NEB 2006 NEB 2005 NEB 2004 NEB
Plays/game 74.8 68.9 72.0 66.7
Pass plays/game 40.1 29.4 37.0 29.3
Total rush/game 34.8 39.6 35.0 37.5
RB rush/game 29.9 34.1 27.7 31.9
% rec RB 32.1 29.9 22.6 23.1
% rec WR 59.1 55.3 67.8 56.4
% rec TE 8.8 14.3 9.2 19.2

Callahan made a late rush to our survey when Cowboys owner Jerry Jones named him the play caller for the 2013 season (he was already the offensive coordinator). Callahan previously called plays at Nebraska but a reliable source told us he only coordinated the run game in Oakland with Marc Trestman as the play caller. The last time Callahan called the shots he was very running back friendly. Over four years at Nebraska running backs had a huge cut of the offense while receivers and tight ends got whatever they could. But there's a catch: Callahan never had talent like Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten at his disposal. It stands to reason Callahan isn't so hard-headed that he discounts the Dallas pass game that posted 295.6 yards per contest ...
Bottom line: ... but it does suggest the run game won't get lost in the shuffle either. The Cowboys were ranked 31st in rush attempts last year, averaging 22.2 per game. That's a nice positive for DeMarco Murray, who is still otherwise an injury risk.

Pep Hamilton, Colts

Pep Hamilton
2012 STAN 2011 STAN
Plays/game 67.7 71.9
Pass plays/game 28.4 32.0
Total rush/game 37.8 39.2
RB rush/game 31.1 35.0
% rec RB 27.5 27.9
% rec WR 32.9 42.8
% rec TE 38.8 29.0

Again, not much of a sample size with Hamilton, but like Callahan in Dallas he is expected to lean on his running backs a little more than his predecessor did. The Colts' run game ranked 14th in rush attempts but finished 22nd in yards gained. That's not pretty. Hamilton has used a West Coast scheme that leans heavily on running backs and tight ends in the pass game, par for the course for most coaches in that system. Note that in both 2011 (with Andrew Luck) and 2012 (with a quarterback far inferior to Luck) Hamilton called more runs per game on average than passes. In fact, in both seasons, running backs had more carries than quarterbacks had pass attempts! While it would be surprising to see the Colts be close to a 50-50 balanced offense with Luck under center, maybe they'll be closer to that mark than you might think.
Bottom line: Whoever ends up as the Colts' primary rusher after training camp should have a spot on your roster. Whereas Bruce Arians might have given up on the ground game a little too early, Hamilton has shown he'll stick with it even if his quarterback is named Luck. Naturally, Hamilton won't be afraid to lean on Luck either, especially considering the variety of receiving threats he has. The Colts might not be quite as explosive as last season but they should be as effective.

A note on the other new playcallers

Bruce Arians, ARI Aggressive and pass-happy. Should be very good for Larry Fitzgerald, Carson Palmer.
Mike Shula, CAR Good track record as quarterback coach but has leaned toward run in play calling career.
Norv Turner, CLE Long history of leaning on running backs, throwing downfield. Josh Gordon is a legit sleeper.
Adam Gase, DEN First-year coordinator will probably yield to Peyton Manning. Good idea.
Jedd Fisch, JAC Another up-tempo coach from the college ranks. Fisch will use zone blocking & timing patterns.
Andy Reid, KC Reid might follow the up-tempo and pistol movements after being a West Coast guy for 10-plus years.
Marty Mornhinweg, NYJ Like Reid, a West Coast guy who might change it up. Won't matter with a tepid offense.
Greg Olson, OAK Will use power blocks to suit Darren McFadden, deep throws to suit Matt Flynn.
Ken Whisenhunt, SD Whiz's history in Arizona post-Kurt Warner is ugly, but the Chargers might air it out.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

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Player News
Titans receivers can thrive in YAC with Marcus Mariota's accuracy
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) The Titans wide receiving corps could gain more yards after the catch this season because of rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota and his accurate throws, per ESPN.com.

The Titans were 24th in the league in yards after the catch last season, but with Mariota under center that can all change.

“If you have an accurate quarterback, it allows us to get more yards after that catch,” wide receiver Harry Douglas said. “And that’s one thing that makes a receiver dynamic -- first being able to catch the ball and then being able to do some things with it after you catch it. I feel like [to this point] Marcus has done everything he needs to do to get the ball to his receivers.”


Saints RB Khiry Robinson doesn't feel he's on outside looking in
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) Saints running back Khiry Robinson might be the least known of his backfield counterparts, but he doesn't feel like the off man out, per ESPN.com.

Robinson knows the team is heavily invested in the likes of Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller, but he's still confident he can thrive in whatever role the Saints put him in.

“I’m the type of person, I’m gonna get what I get and do what I do with it. So whether it’s 20 carries or one carry, I’m gonna do the best of my ability every play,” Robinson said.

Robinson has shown flashes of success during his three years in the league. Injuries played a key role against him last season, which can ultimately put him as the third back on the depth chart. He will use the offseason to continue to improve and challenge his counterparts for playing time.

“I just gotta keep working,” Robinson. “It’s all love in the backfield. We all work together, try to help each other. So I think it’s a good thing we’ve got a full backfield again. So if anybody goes down, we’ve got another player right up there to do the same thing.”


Browns OL Michael Bowie itching to compete for starting spot
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Browns offensive lineman Michael Bowie is not required to report to training camp until the end of July. But never mind that - he's heading out after the last Independence Day firework explodes in the sky.

Bowie is itching to get started. He missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury after starting for Seattle on its Super Bowl title team in 2013. He is seeking to stay in tip-top shape in an attempt to land a starting spot on a Cleveland line that is the strength of the team.

"It's up to them to decide who is the best five," Bowie told the team website. "All I can do is take care of my business. Hopefully I can get a shot. That's what I'm working for."

Bowie participated fully in the offseason program, working mostly with the second team at right tackle. That will likely be the spot at which he competes for a starting job. Incumbent Mitchell Schwartz has not performed particularly well there and Mike Pettine has vowed there will be competition all over the field in camp.


Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan nearly recovered from knee surgery
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan appears to be on target to join the team for training camp after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery that prevented him from participating in earlier offseason activities.

Kerrigan, who registered a career-high 13 1/2 sacks a year ago, had the operation to alleviate pain in the area.

"My leg feels really good and I'm glad I got the surgery - not just for football but it makes my everyday life feel better so I'm glad I got it done," he told CSN Washington. "Now it's just a matter of getting stronger and getting into shape."

Kerrigan added that he's been running and now only needs to regain strength to insure his place at training camp.


Texans waive DT Brandon Ivory
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) The Texans waived rookie defensive tackle Brandon Ivory on Thursday, according to ESPN.com

Ivory was arrested on first degree burglary charges in Tuscaloosa, Ala. just one day ago. Ivory's agent Jeff Guerriero said Ivory is not guilty of the charge. 

"I spoke to Brandon he is not guilty and his name will be cleared of all charges," Guerriero said. 


Chargers TE Antonio Gates suspended 4 games for PED use
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drugs policy, the team announced. 

It's unknown at this time what drug Gates tested positive for. Gates, in a statement, said he was unaware that he took a banned substance

"In my 12 years in the NFL, I have taken tremendous pride in upholding the integrity of the NFL shield and all that it entails," Gates said. "I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and I have never knowingly ingested a substance that was banned by the NFL. In an effort to recover from this past season, I used supplements and holistic medicines, and unfortunately, I have now learned that those substances always present a risk because they may contain banned substances even if the ingredient list doesn’t reflect them.

"As an NFL veteran and team leader, I should have done my due diligence to ensure that what I was taking for recovery was within the NFL guidelines. I understand that I am responsible for what is in my body and I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues. I take full responsibility for my actions. I’d like to express my sincere apologies to the Chargers, my teammates, coaches, fans and the league who have always supported me and expected and gotten nothing but the highest level of integrity from me."

With Gates out for four games, the Chargers will turn to Ladarius Green as the team's top tight end, though it was expected for Green to continue getting more looks in the passing game. Green is entering the final season of his rookie contract. 

The Chargers expressed disappointment in Gates for his suspension but plans to stick with the longtime veteran through the suspension. 

"We are tremendously disappointed for our team and our fans as well as Antonio, but no more disappointed than Antonio is with himself," the Chargers stated. "Antonio is a member of the Chargers' family and we will continue to support him 100-percent. We have the utmost confidence he will stay in excellent shape for the season and be ready to go when he returns in Week 5. While it's unfortunate to not have him to start the season, we have complete confidence our tight end group will continue to play at a high level."  


Packers' Datone Jones out 1 game for substance-abuse violation
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Packers defensive lineman Datone Jones will be suspended for one game for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, according to NFL.com. 

Jones will miss Green Bay's season-opener against the Bears. In 2014, Jones totaled 22 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in 13 games played. 


Cowboys LB Rolando McClain suspended four games for 2015
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) The Cowboys announced that linebacker Rolando McClain has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season due to violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. 

McClain hasn't been able to participate much in offseason workouts due to going under offseason knee surgery. McClain will be eligible to practice in training camp and is expected to be healthy by then. 

"I apologize to my family, the Cowboys organization, my teammates and Cowboys fans for my mistake. I will not break the rules of my profession in the future, and I regret my error," McClain said in a statement, via CSN Bay Area. "I look forward to returning to the field on week 5, when I hope to help my team beat the Patriots.

In 2014, McClain, who had previously retired twice before being traded from the Ravens to the Cowboys, totaled 81 tackles and a sack in 13 games played.


Jets DL Sheldon Richardson suspended four games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was suspended four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, the NFL announced Thursday.

“I apologize for letting down my family, teammates, this organization and the fans," Richardson said in a statement via the Jets, per Fox Sports. "However, words aren't enough. This is something that can only be addressed by how I handle myself from this point on. I don't want this to take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. While I won't be there at the start of the regular season, I will do whatever I can to support my teammates until I'm able to return to the field.”

Richardson, who was a 2013 first-round pick, is entering his third season in the NFL. He was the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2014.

He has totaled 84 tackles and 11 1/2 sacks in 32 career games. He also has one safety.


Texans DT Brandon Ivory arrested on burglary charge
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7/1/2015) Texans defensive tackle Brandon Ivory was arrested Wednesday morning in Alabama and charged with first-degree burglary, according to a Tuscaloosa Police Department report obtained by SportingNews.com.

Ivory and another man were allegedly involved in a home burglary when the two entered the residence by kicking open the back door and then demanding money from the residents. The two stole money and two Ipads from the residence. Ivory and the other suspect were arrested at their apartment shortly after the incident with the stolen money and property.


 
 
 
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