With the commitment of Tyrone Swoopes, some Texas fans are wondering if there will be a shift in the Longhorns' offensive philosophy. And for good reason, as Swoopes is an incredible runner and a physically gifted, but incredibly raw, thrower. Vince Young, anyone?
Scott of Barking Carvinal, one of SB Nation's excellent Texas sites, takes a look at this issue using an incredible amount of video and football strategy information. This article is a must read for Texas fans, and also an interesting read for anyone who enjoys the game within the game. Here's an excerpt:
In short, pretty much the full complement of [Texas offensive coordinator Bryan] Harsin's running concepts are readily available in the pistol and the formation fits our trajectory perfectly with a running threat at QB (Ash and perhaps eventually Swoopes). Even with Brewer or McCoy in the game, you are still going to see the quarterback used as a running threat. That isn't to say that we are going to become primarily a pistol team... under Harsin there is no defining offensive formation but I do think it will become an even more significant part of our offense going forward because of the strong philosophical fits with our intent on offense.
There's a ton more that could be said on the subject, but I just wanted to respond to the notion that a dual-threat quarterback would somehow imply that we are changing our identity. It certainly doesn't. In part because we are already utilizing a ton of dual-threat concepts with David Ash and more fundamentally because Harsin's offense is concept driven. The plays and formations emphasized in any given year or in any particular gameplan are just a means to an end. "Spread offense" or "pro-style offense" are both inadequate and incorrect because that's not how he builds his ideas. Regardless of how athletic the quarterback, Harsin primarily wants a guy who can recognize what he's seeing from the defense and make good decisions. As long as they can cultivate a few usable skills our issue will never be that we aren't utilizing the "right" offense under Harsin because he isn't relying on his signal caller to fill in the conceptual gaps of the offense.
For more, including the videos, head to Barking Carnival.