Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2013 Draft Prep: Tendencies of new coaches

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

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 .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Seahawks to go with Will Tukuafu at fullback
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:52 am ET) The Seahawks will insert fullback Will Tukuafu into the starting lineup, according to the Associated Press. 

Will Tukuafu signed with the club Wednesday, and will replace Derrick Coleman. Coleman began the year as the team's primary option, but was placed on the IR Saturday. Robert Turbin had served as the team's temporary option at the position with Coleman out, but will assume his normal role as backup running back with Tukuafu in tow. 


Saints K Shayne Graham not asked to do much Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:46 am ET) Saints kicker Shayne Graham was not asked to do much in his team's 28-10 victory over the Panthers in Week 9. Graham, who converted three field goals his last time out, was not summoned for a field goal the entire night. He added four extra points.

The Saints will host the 49ers in Week 10.


Saints WR Robert Meachem makes late-game grab in Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:43 am ET) Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem, who has been an afterthought in the aerial attack, came down with his first grab since the third week of the season in his team's 28-10 victory over the Panthers.

Meachem broke free down the middle of the field for a comfortable 25-yard reception late in the fourth quarter. He was targeted twice in the win. He has five catches for 85 yards on the season.


Saints RB Travaris Cadet does little in Week 9 victory
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:39 am ET) Saints running back Travaris Cadet failed to make much of an impact in his team's 28-10 Week 9 victory over the Panthers Thursday night.

The team heavily relied on Mark Ingram, who took 30 handoffs on the night. As a result, Cadet was only limited to five touches. He took two handoffs for only 1 yard and caught three of the five passes thrown his way for 29 yards.

The Saints will host San Francisco in Week 10.


Saints WRs Colston, Cooks each limited to three grabs Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:36 am ET) Saints wide receivers Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks each had quiet performances in a Week 9 victory over the Panthers on Thursday.

Colston came down with a 22-yard pass from Drew Bress on the second offensive series of the night and only had two catches the rest of the way. He caught all three of his targets for 36 yards. Cooks had a similar night, as he came down with two receptions -- one for 18 and another for 5 yards -- on back-to-back plays on the opening drive, but was limited to only one grab the rest of the way. He caught all three targets for 38 yards in a 28-10 victory.


Saints WR Kenny Stills racks up 72 yards Thursday night
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:29 am ET) Saints wide receiver Kenny Stills enjoyed another productive performance, cracking the 70-yard mark in a Thursday night victory over the Panthers in Week 9.

Stills had a costly drop on the opening drive which resulted in an interception by D'wan Edwards. He bounced back with catches of 16, 9 and 17 yards in the second quarter. He was targeted eight times and finished with five catches for 72 yards in a 28-10 victory. He has 373 receiving yards through eight games, most by any other rookie receiver this year.

The Saints will host the 49ers in Week 10.


Saints TE Jimmy Graham scores, looks like old self in Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:13 am ET) Saints tight end Jimmy Graham appeared to be back to his old self, scoring his fifth touchdown of the season Thursday night against the Panthers in Week 9.

After a pass interference penalty that brought the team to the 1-yard line, Graham came down with a reception in the end zone for a 1-yard score with three seconds remaining in the first half. He caught five passes for 50 yards and a score at halftime. He only caught two passes the rest of the way and finished with seven grabs for a team-high 83 yards and score on seven targets in a 28-10 victory.

Graham has scored in back-to-back games. He'll look to extend his scoring streak to three at home in Week 10 against the 49ers.


Saints' Mark Ingram cracks century mark, scores twice Thursday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:06 am ET) Saints running back Mark Ingram found the end zone for the second consecutive game, scoring twice and leading his team to a 28-10 victory over the Panthers in Week 9 Thursday night. 

Ingram barreled into the end zone from 3 yards out late in the first half. He also aggravated a right shoulder injury in the first half and played through the pain in the second half wearing a sleeve. walked into the end zone from 3 yards out on a draw play with 5:34 remaining in the game to secure the win.

He took 30 handoffs for 100 yards and two scores, notching back-to-back career highs in carries over a five-day span. He caught one of two targets for 10 yards. He has 272 yards and three rushing touchdowns over that span.

He'll look to stay red-hot Week 10 at home against San Francisco.


Panthers K Graham Gano hits his only field goal Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:03 am ET) Panthers kicker Graham Gano hit his only field goal attempt Thursday against the Saints. 

The Panthers offense had a tough time getting anything going, limiting Gano's chances. His only attempt came with 12:57 left in the contest. Gano managed to hit from 31 yards out. He also managed one extra point attempt.

Gano will look for more Week 10 against the Eagles. 


Saints' Drew Brees overcomes early mistakes to secure first road win
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:02 am ET) Saints quarterback Drew Brees worked past a couple of early turnovers and scored two touchdowns to lead his team to their first road win of the season Week 9 at Carolina.

Brees had two turnovers over the first 10 minutes of the game. He was picked off by Dwan Edwards on a tipped pass from Kenny Stills on the opening drive of the night. On the ensuing drive, he lost a fumble after Erik Lorig got pushed back into him while trying to pass protect. 

Brees bounced back with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham with three seconds remaining in the first half. He gambled on a 4th and goal in the third quarter, leaping over the goal line for a 1-yard score -- his first rushing touchdown of the season.

Brees compiled 297 yards through the air while completing 24 of 34 passes. He added one touchdown and one interception, registering a 94.9 passer rating. He was sacked four times and rushed for 2 yards and a score on four carries in a 28-10 victory.

The Saints will host the 49ers in Week 10.


 
 
 
Rankings