Dick Harmon: BYU offensive coordinator Anae takes a symbolic, philosophical approach to 2013 season

Published: Saturday, June 29 2013 3:30 p.m. MDT

“It was really hard to manage. I think it will be a great equalizer and become a competitive advantage for us because what I saw in spring and what I saw in visiting other teams that go up-tempo, we are going faster than anyone else I saw.

“In order to do this you need great conditioning. But what if, as we’re doing this, the talent at some spots may not be as good as we’re building it, but they are better conditioned, know their assignments better, and will try harder longer? My guess is, under that tempo and chaotic atmosphere, that rebuilding will show dividends quicker than realistically would have been expected.”

As a defensive coach, what about the simplicity of facing this new zone blocking scheme?

“We couldn’t stop it this spring and it wasn’t because we didn’t try,” said Mendenhall. “As a program, we chose not to play some of the better players, but every day our defensive staff was trying to figure out how to stop it and we didn’t have much success.”

That, said Mendenhall, is the greatest predictor so far of why he feels confident in Anae’s offense. “We couldn’t stop it, not consistently. I like that — the respect that generated between offensive and defensive staffs and players.”

Mendenhall said Anae’s offensive players worked harder and longer than the defensive players last spring, and when that happened, it had immediate impact on his entire team.

In short, Anae is trying to create something a little new, something valuable, something that did actually work with Rich Rodriguez at Arizona in his first year in Tucson when Rodriguez retained Anae after a coaching change.

Anae is applying his own eight-second symbolism through his personality, which does have an edge akin to a bush machete.

It’s simple. No grass stains on the QB.

Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at dharmon@desnews.com.

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