Everyone is trying to label our draft as a move to smash mouth over the more "acceptable" modern passing offense. I think we are actually moving our offense forward in the newest trend, the "Hybrid" offense. What do I mean by hybrid? We have an OC who comes from Minnesota where they have a very talented OL and guys like AP and P. Harvin. PC made his name in college on a team with a great OL and this guy named R. Bush. What do these teams have in common, along with NO and Philly, they have big strong talented OLs and play maker backs who don’t necessarily fit the mold of RB or WR, in the classic sense. They do a lot of swing passes and screens, which are essentially run plays where you have moved and spread the line of scrimmage laterally.
We went and got Leon Washington and Golden Tate last year and kept Force employed. All three are exciting play makers who don’t exactly fit the mold of the classic WR or RB. All three have the potential to do exciting things with the ball in space. You can’t just sling the ball out to them and expect it to work though. You need an athletic and mobile OL.
Now you might be saying STUFR, you are drunk; we also traded for the Beast. I would say, yes I am drunk, but the fact that we went after the Beast actually helps my point. That’s because if all you have is hybrid play makers and a small OL who can go out and help them, then defenses will key off that and stack the outside, knowing that you aren’t really capable of running it up the gut. The OL that we are building is fast and agile, but also big. That combination doesn’t show up in the later rounds. Late round OL draftees are either fast and agile or big, not both, as a general rule. The OL that we are building is plenty big to go old school, punch you in the face and nail your sister football. To top that off we put the Beast behind them. When we run it up the gut you will either get a big fatty in your face or the Beast will take you out prison style.
More importantly, much like Danny already wrote, you don’t need a great QB to run this offense. You need someone who can hit the screen and swing pass well and in an ideal world has enough of a gun to stretch the field. That last part is key and the difference between this being just an ok offensive philosophy and a great one. If you have a broken Hass or a T. Jackson type back there this offense will function, but it won’t be great. If you put a Favre or a Brees behind it then it can be great. You now have explosive playmaking ability on short passes and the ability to smash mouth and keep the interior honest. Add in a QB with a gun and then the secondary has to stay honest. CW needs to learn to throw the swing and screen better, but if he can, he may thrive in this type of philosophy. This philosophy can easily make a good franchise look elite, see K. Kolb.
So if you are worried about going back in time to a smash mouth philosophy, I wouldn’t worry about it. We are actually moving towards the newest movement in offensive philosophy, the hybrid. We can argue about what we should have drafted at each position, but it is tough to get big, fast and agile OLs in the back of drafts. Maybe we don’t need as many of them as we will have, but if it works, this could be really good.