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Dick Harmon: Brandon Doman will bring plenty of changes to BYU's offense

Published: Thursday, Jan. 6 2011 2:05 a.m. MST

PROVO —

So, what will be different?

Brandon Doman became a rookie Division I offensive coordinator this week. On top of that, he'll continue to coach BYU's quarterbacks.

Doman replaces a guy at BYU who was a rookie Division I offensive coordinator when he arrived from Texas Tech in 2005.

There are signs this rookie will be quite a bit ahead at this stage of his career. That's evident because of what both Doman and his predecessor experienced the past six years while working for Bronco Mendenhall and working with some of the best offensive talent the Cougars have ever fielded.

So, what will change? What refinements to a very good offense will we see in the months to come? How high should expectations be for Doman in this new assignment?

Answers to those questions are up for speculation. Doman already pointed out on Tuesday that a 30-year foundation is already in place. BYU has been very good on offense the past six years under the other guy.

Nobody can predict how successful Doman will be. He might struggle. What kind of play-caller is he under fire, when he has ownership of the offense? Doman has some great tools in returning players. One thing is certain: Doman's personality will take over BYU's offense, and that will be different.

In that alone, just because of his personality, things will turn a different way, conversations will change their tone, the style of even the same agenda will be altered, modified and adjusted.

"You watch and write stuff down," Doman said of his preparation. "I want it to be difficult to defend. It will be balanced. I love to pass.

"I want defenses to be kept guessing, and guess wrong."

Doman told reporters this week that his predecessor was very patient, but admitted he is not a patient person. Doman will take more chances and be more aggressive, that is a given.

Changes in X's and O's will be reviewed in coming months and in spring practice. But Doman's philosophy, administrative style and approach will be on display immediately.

To better attack the question of what will change for BYU's offense in 2011, I assembled a committee of experts who know the Cougar program. We debated and examined issues and projected what may be expected from Doman in the months to come.

This is the agenda they believe we will see:

Greater exactness of receiver routes — Produce Austin Collie precision and institutionalize it.

Pass-drop accountability — In the 1980s, pass-dropping was unacceptable, forbidden, taboo. It's been tolerated too much of late.

Wide receivers and tight ends must win — It is easy to beat average defenders, but these positions have to improve against the great ones. Don't recruit just WRs and TEs but playmakers. There's a difference between athletes playing football and football players who make plays.

Better schemes — Keep high execution while adding and tweaking schemes. Flip current formations, mix existing pass routes with twists so defenders can't jump spots. Inflate the red zone play inventory.

Adjustments in game — Better on-the-fly, in-game strategizing and counter-reaction capability.

Deception — Set up defenses; embrace trick plays as a tool, not an admission of weakness, but not at the expense of base play execution.

Unpredictability — More effort to mask trends, mix up known tendencies, be willing to abandon a script, especially early.

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