Michigan’s new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier looks to have simplified things with the offense, namely the running game.
“It seems a lot more easier (to understand) than last year’s offense, we’re going to get used to it,” sophomore running back De’Veon Smith told MLive.com on Tuesday. “The running schemes, they’re a little bit more simple.
“Coach (Al) Borges, to me, was more of a pass first and run second (coach), I feel like coach Nussmeier (is the opposite).”
Anyone who is familiar with the type of offense that Nussmeier ran at Alabama the last two seasons know that this is the type of system he likes to run: one that employs multiple running backs and does it often.
While Al Borges‘ system did have some pro-style elements to it, they tried to do some things from sideline-to-sideline and it just didn’t work with the personnel they had. Obviously, the lack of development along the offensive line played a role in the weak run game last season, but there were scheme and play calling issues, as well.
Nussmeier’s running backs will be running more downhill. Sophomores Derrick Green and the above mentioned Smith should benefit greatly from this because they are power runners.
Being worried about the development of the offensive line is a legitimate concern. What that being said, a simpler run game means that blocking schemes could be simpler, as well. Offensive lineman love contact, so asking them to block for a downhill running scheme should be able to fire those guys up.
It is still early in the off-season, but it is an encouraging sign to Michigan fans that the impact of the Nussmeier hiring is already being felt by an offense that desperately needs to improve.