Dick Harmon: BYU's new offensive coordinator Robert Anae made O-line top priority in a hurry
He expects his offense to go no huddle, speeding up the game, which could help eliminate delay of game infractions and possibly false starts because of rapidity in execution. He sees BYU’s offense taking 90 to 100 plays in a game, which will require quality depth and proper training of all offensive players, but especially the big linemen.
“You can’t do what we want to do without offensive line depth. We have our four freshmen and four JUCO linemen coming in as part of this year’s team. It was sweet to come in as an offensive coordinator and make quick decisions to take care of this major dent in the team with injuries.”
Anae praises new hire Garett Tujague, a 17-year veteran junior college coach at College of the Canyons in California and credited him with help in making a late run at JC players.
“He’s a great person and he has a great reputation. He was able to sort out at the last minute — faster than I’ve ever seen — a quality group to evaluate and sign in a very short time. I can’t even begin to describe all the different levels of evaluations we had to have done to get it to fall into place. I’m amazed that it all fell into place before signing day.”
Anae and Tujague were both coached as BYU offensive linemen by Roger French and Anae said that common building block give them a familiarity that is very important as a coaching tandem with blockers.
Finally, Anae was humble enough to admit that his two-year absence from BYU was actually a great blessing in his development as a football coach. To work with Mike Stoops at Arizona and then be the lone hold over invited to join Rich Rodriguez was significant in the knowledge he gained.
Anae was bowled over with what Rodriguez did with a running quarterback and how he utilized that position in a “managed” and “protected” part of the offense and plans on implementing some of that with the Cougars.
Anae said he will pick and choose parts of Arizona and Oregon’s offense — both offshoots of Rodriguez’ creation, and make BYU’s offense a “narrow focus” of some of those broader concepts. It will be tailored to what BYU’s personnel can do.
“What guy in my profession would want to take a couple of years and learn things from Stoops and Rodriguez? I feel very fortunate, as most coaches would, to have the experience I've had the past two years.”
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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