The first glimpses of Kliff Kingsbury’s Red Raiders will be
seen at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland on Saturday. Given the closed
nature of the practices and the tight lipped comments from the coaches, I
wouldn’t expect Kliff to empty out the playbook and divulge every trick to the
Texas Tech faithful, but I think the Red Raiders will show fans that things are
Pace of the offense – One player said earlier this
spring, “ If we ran NASCAR last year, this is in overdrive.” Kingsbury has said
repeatedly that Texas Tech will move very quickly offensively. Kingsbury expects to run about 100
plays, “plus or minus 20” so it will be a full scrimmage, but expect the
offense to move rapidly.
WR Routes – Gone are a lot of the timing routes of the
Neal Brown offense, welcome back to the routes that allow a receiver to find
the open space and catch the ball. The six routes and nine routes will be
featured in this offense prominently, especially for the quicker, shiftier
receivers like Jakeem Grant and Bradley Marquez.
Screens – Many folks cringed the last couple of years
when screen passes were thrown to big, physical receivers like Darrin Moore.
The screen game will be a key part of the Kingsbury offense, but they will be
tailored much differently. Remember Nehemiah Glover? Again, Grant will figure
in here as well, but also guys like Dominique Wheeler and Eric Ward to be in
the mix as well. Amaro is key in the screen game as
well for his blocking ability.
Front 7 – This group will be the key piece of the
puzzle in 2013. The defensive front 7 is the most experienced but they also
have the most to prove. Watch where and how they line up. Kerry Hyder is listed at defensive tackle, but will line up at
end in a 3 man front. Delvon Simmons is also listed
at end, which will be a good matchup against an OT to create a pass rush lane.Also pay attention to the two outside linebackers.
Similar to the boundary and field defensive backs, that’s how the outside
backers will line up. The “Bandit” is the position that could have his hand on
the ground in a 4 man front, blitz off the edge in a 3-4 look play run support.
Brandon Jackson and Pete Robertson are listed 1-2 at bandit. On the other side,
the “Raider” OLB will have a a
little more ground to cover, but from what’s been said by Terrence Bullitt,
will be very involved in the blitz packages as well.
RB and IR – Some personnel in this group will be
interchangeable. Sadale Foster will probably get
snaps all over the place. Deandre Washington could be
used in several different roles as well. Washington and Grant are the two in
this group with the most speed (until Middleton arrives). Kenny Williams
appears to be the inside/tough yardage back and is the leading returning
rusher. Watch how these guys are used and the personnel groups that are used in
QB – The Johnny Manziel comparisons will be inevitable
for Michael Brewer, but that isn’t a bad thing given Manziel’s resume. Brewer
to me always had a quicker release than Seth Doege. That will help the screen plays
develop more quickly. Brewer is also more mobile, both in the pocket and on the
run. We’ll see how that is implemented into the offense, as it could be the
biggest wildcard in the offense.