Friday, December 23, 2011

Welcome, Doug Martin

The talk that BC would be hiring a new offensive coordinator has been floating around since the Mike Faragalli rumors of a few weeks ago.  Since then it seems that BC has been interviewing a number of candidates for the offensive coordinator position.  Yesterday, somewhat surprisingly, Doug Martin was announced as the new offensive coordinator for next season.  

Most recently, Martin was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for New Mexico State.  This past season, under his tutelage, the Aggies were ranked 25th in passing offense in the FBS, an impressive statistic and a reason for hope for BC fans.  Prior to New Mexico State, Martin was the head coach at Kent State from 2004 to 2010.  Martin's record at Kent State is not particularly impressive, compiling just a 29-53 record over seven seasons.

I am not sure how to react to Martin's hiring.  For starters, I am not comforted knowing that the announcement came as a surprise to many current players, who expressed their astonishment openly on Twitter.  It concerns me that if the players do not know about something as major as this what other things are they not being told about?  Furthermore, aside from his performance at New Mexico State and that he can claim to have coach Josh Cribbs (who played for him as a quarterback but is now a running back) and David Garrard (during his time in the '90s at East Carolina) Martin does not seem to have much to hang his hat on.  Statistically looking at his time at Kent State he was lack luster, with mediocre performances each year, no bowl appearances and 6-6 his best finish.  It makes one worry.

That said however, I do think Martin has an upside.  His success at New Mexico State can't be ignored, nor can his success with Cribbs and Garrard.  Furthermore, as ATL Eagle points out, Martin has close ties, philosophically and otherwise, to Jags and Steve Logan.  Arguably, Logan was the best offensive coordinator to set foot at BC.  Martin is a Logan disciple from when he served as Logan's assistant at East Carolina from 1992- 2002.  Frankly, I think that anyone who was even in the same room as Steve Logan at any point in time, would be an improvement over our current and former offensive coordinators.  There is also reason for BC fans to hope in this.  Martin may not have had tremendous success in the past, but that could be attributed to talent level.  Perhaps with the talent he will inherit at BC, Martin could prove himself to be a more than capable (at least comparably...) offensive coordinator.

Martin's lack of past success concerns me, but not as much as the fact that he will be our fourth offensive coordinator in as many years.  Continuity is important for athletes and for the BC football players to be unlearning one system and learning a new one almost every year makes it difficult to succeed.  I was a club athlete in my time at BC.  Over the course of four years, I also had the misfortune of having four different coaches.  My team had success, yes, but not nearly as much as we could have had if we had been working and training in the same system for four years.  The adjustments that need to be made to each new system take time and getting used to, things will not just change over night.  I hope that the players can adapt quickly to Martin's system, whatever it may be.

Although I have my concerns and reservations about Martin I do think he has tremendous upside and he is certainly an improvement over our past few coordinators.  My hope is that Martin will take a page from Logan's book and bring back an exciting brand of football to BC.  Martin has in the past run pro- style and spread type offenses.  The talent exists at BC for a successful offense, hopefully Martin can adapt his system and coaching style to maximize the talent that our players possess.

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