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Cal Football

Musgrave Talks Offense as Bears Take a Break from Practice

October 30, 2020
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The Bears were given a day off from practice on Friday, and when they return on Saturday their attention will be focused on preparing for Washington.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave met with the media on a Zoom call on Friday. He praised a great number of his players, but a couple of choices to single out were interesting. 

He was asked if any of the tight ends had stood out in the last few days, he didn’t hesitate. 

“Collin Moore (16, above) has jumped out. He made a terrific catch a couple of days ago,” Musgrave said. “Caught a tipped ball down the sidelines the day before. He is doing a nice job”

But then he went on. “Jake Tonges is doing a great job. Both guys are really reliable. Nick Alftin has emerged as a Y candidate, doing a lot of nice things along the line of scrimmage with his hand in the dirt. 

“Mojo (Elijah Mojarro) is healthy, running great routes, doing all kinds of jobs for us in both the run and pass game. Then we’ve got the young guy Jake Muller who is really talented. He’s a little small because he’s a true freshman, but he’s battled and scrapped in there and tries to do his best holding up against these big defensive ends and sam backers.”

And Gavin Reinwald? “Yes, Yes, I keep forgetting about Gavin,” Musgrave said. “He does so many things for us, We like to split him out, too. And run some routes, He is just an outstanding athlete.”

His answer to the same question about running backs yielded a similar response. 

“A lot of players, not just running backs, when the pads come on they show different strengths different traits and you see what they’re really about,” Musgrave said. “It’s been eye-opening in a positive way. I'm excited about Chris Street, Damien Moore and Braderick Shaw, Marcel Dancy and you know Christopher Brown.

‘The one guy who has done outstanding is DeCarlos Brooks. All of them bring unique skill sets to the table and we are going to be able to utilize each and every one of them.”

He was asked what made Brooks stand out. “He is running really great routes out of the backfield and his run decisions,” Musgrave said. “When you do hand it to him he has a great sense for the linebackers. Playing cat and mouse with the mike backer in certain of our concepts. Ultimately he puts the ball in the correct spot, right there as the line is working their tails off to get guys blocked.”

Musgrave felt that as a group the Bears were getting the hang of his offense. “The guys have really embraced it. Guys have worked hard in the meeting room, worked hard in practice, both in the periods and the walkthroughs,” he said. “I feel good where the guys are with their knowledge.”

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Discussion from...

Musgrave Talks Offense as Bears Take a Break from Practice

2,898 Views | 15 Replies | Last: 25 days ago by calumnus
Big C
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Good info: Keep it coming!

LOL, I saw the photo with a player wearing #16 and instinctively thought, "Which quarterback is THAT? He's huge!"
calumnus
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Looking forward to the new offense. I really get the sense Musgrave is going to adapt to effectively utilize the talents he has.
FuzzyWuzzy
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I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.
Cal_79
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Did you like the previous offense? Or perhaps you just excel at finding the dark cloud in every silver lining?
BearForce2
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FuzzyWuzzy said:

I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.

You may be right but remember Tedord's first game when Cal hung 70 on Baylor? Tedford had the big playbook but they looked pretty sharp.

oski003
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agree. it is tough to install a new offense with limited practices and a start. fortunately, we have a solid qb who can improvise, along with a decent oline and good runningbacks.
calumnus
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BearForce2 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.

You may be right but remember Tedord's first game when Cal hung 70 on Baylor? Tedford had the big playbook but they looked pretty sharp.




The playbook under Cortez/Tedford from 2002 to 2005 was half of what it was when we went spread in 2006 but kept the old playbook too.
FuzzyWuzzy
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calumnus said:

BearForce2 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.

You may be right but remember Tedord's first game when Cal hung 70 on Baylor? Tedford had the big playbook but they looked pretty sharp.




The playbook under Cortez/Tedford from 2002 to 2005 was half of what it was when we went spread in 2006 but kept the old playbook too.
BF2 - good point. There are definitely exceptions and that's a good one to point to. I do remember the Baylor game, including the flea flicker to David Gray to open the game. Like many of you who watched the Holmoe years, I was in shock. Let's hope the 2020 offense clicks. I'm not ruling it out, let's just say I'm very cautiously optimistic. I think one interesting factor to look at would be - when Musgrave has installed a new offense in the past, how well did it go? I have no idea, I'm just saying it would be interesting.

Calumnus - also a good point. I personally don't care how big the playbook is as long as we can run it successfully! I'm going to assume Musgrave knows the tipping point where added complexity is counterproductive for this team.
oski003
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calumnus
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FuzzyWuzzy said:

calumnus said:

BearForce2 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.

You may be right but remember Tedord's first game when Cal hung 70 on Baylor? Tedford had the big playbook but they looked pretty sharp.




The playbook under Cortez/Tedford from 2002 to 2005 was half of what it was when we went spread in 2006 but kept the old playbook too.
BF2 - good point. There are definitely exceptions and that's a good one to point to. I do remember the Baylor game, including the flea flicker to David Gray to open the game. Like many of you who watched the Holmoe years, I was in shock. Let's hope the 2020 offense clicks. I'm not ruling it out, let's just say I'm very cautiously optimistic. I think one interesting factor to look at would be - when Musgrave has installed a new offense in the past, how well did it go? I have no idea, I'm just saying it would be interesting.

Calumnus - also a good point. I personally don't care how big the playbook is as long as we can run it successfully! I'm going to assume Musgrave knows the tipping point where added complexity is counterproductive for this team.


It will be interesting. It will be a tough (unfair) test but we will learn about Musgrave in the process. One of the prime skills an OC needs for the college game is the ability to teach quickly with limited practice time and adapt quickly to a very dynamic personnel situation (recruiting, development, transfers, injuries, ineligibility...now COVID.). If Musgrave can improve on the past three years so we have even an average PAC-12 offense we know we are in good shape going forward.
SFCityBear
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calumnus said:

BearForce2 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.

You may be right but remember Tedord's first game when Cal hung 70 on Baylor? Tedford had the big playbook but they looked pretty sharp.




The playbook under Cortez/Tedford from 2002 to 2005 was half of what it was when we went spread in 2006 but kept the old playbook too.
If Tedford had lasted at Cal for another season, that cardboard with all his plays on it would have gotten so big, he would have needed an assistant to help him carry it out onto the field. A former player told me at the time that Tedford's last playbook had so many plays, it was probably not possible in the week before a game for his players to have practiced the plays he might call in that game. And too often, it looked like they hadn't practiced some of the plays that were called. After all the early success leading to some real hope, it was very sad how the Tedford era came to a close.
GMP
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calumnus said:

BearForce2 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.

You may be right but remember Tedord's first game when Cal hung 70 on Baylor? Tedford had the big playbook but they looked pretty sharp.




The playbook under Cortez/Tedford from 2002 to 2005 was half of what it was when we went spread in 2006 but kept the old playbook too.


Do we really know this is true? Were the players expected to know all of Tedford's playbook plus Dunbar's? Or did some concepts get scrapped? Or do we know what Dunbar brought was equal in volume to what Tedford had? This seems like one of those things people assume until it becomes "true."
calumnus
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GMP said:

calumnus said:

BearForce2 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.

You may be right but remember Tedord's first game when Cal hung 70 on Baylor? Tedford had the big playbook but they looked pretty sharp.




The playbook under Cortez/Tedford from 2002 to 2005 was half of what it was when we went spread in 2006 but kept the old playbook too.


Do we really know this is true? Were the players expected to know all of Tedford's playbook plus Dunbar's? Or did some concepts get scrapped? Or do we know what Dunbar brought was equal in volume to what Tedford had? This seems like one of those things people assume until it becomes "true."


https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/It-ain-t-broke-but-Tedford-wants-to-fix-it-2470239.php
GMP
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calumnus said:

GMP said:

calumnus said:

BearForce2 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.

You may be right but remember Tedord's first game when Cal hung 70 on Baylor? Tedford had the big playbook but they looked pretty sharp.




The playbook under Cortez/Tedford from 2002 to 2005 was half of what it was when we went spread in 2006 but kept the old playbook too.


Do we really know this is true? Were the players expected to know all of Tedford's playbook plus Dunbar's? Or did some concepts get scrapped? Or do we know what Dunbar brought was equal in volume to what Tedford had? This seems like one of those things people assume until it becomes "true."


https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/It-ain-t-broke-but-Tedford-wants-to-fix-it-2470239.php


That doesn't really answer my question.
calumnus
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GMP said:

calumnus said:

GMP said:

calumnus said:

BearForce2 said:

FuzzyWuzzy said:

I have to say I'm nervous about our offense. I really like our experience and Musgrave seems like a good coach but learning a new offense is hard, and an NFL offense even more so. Learning all new terminology, where to line up, and where to go at the snap is hard enough. But those are just the basics. Even if you master those, your offense can still suck. The players also need to learn all new pre-snap and post-snap reads, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Mastery of that requires smarts, and time, and experience in the offense. Compounding it all is SIP since March and fewer (I think) practices.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think it is reasonable to expect some disjointedness and what will look at times like the guys have never played the game before. Their brains will be spinning and it's hard to play fast and mistake-free when that's happening.

You may be right but remember Tedord's first game when Cal hung 70 on Baylor? Tedford had the big playbook but they looked pretty sharp.




The playbook under Cortez/Tedford from 2002 to 2005 was half of what it was when we went spread in 2006 but kept the old playbook too.


Do we really know this is true? Were the players expected to know all of Tedford's playbook plus Dunbar's? Or did some concepts get scrapped? Or do we know what Dunbar brought was equal in volume to what Tedford had? This seems like one of those things people assume until it becomes "true."


https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/It-ain-t-broke-but-Tedford-wants-to-fix-it-2470239.php


That doesn't really answer my question.


It shows that Tedford's intent was to ADD Dunbar's spread offense to his existing (already complex) pro-style offense to make it more complex and difficult for opposing defenses to prepare for. To your point, Dunbar's offense was not as complex as Tedford's so Tedford's did not "double" when they were added together. Though with every new OC thereafter more was added to the playbook. Nothing was ever taken out.

Another website used the "pages of the playbook" measure to compare Tedford's 2004 offense to his later offenses and those of NFL teams. Wilner wrote about it too.

And yes, the players were pretty much expected to know the whole thing. Obviously many didn't but it was often a factor in who was chosen as a starter, with player's seniority and knowledge of the full playbook keeping more physically talented younger players off the field.

Tedford' even said he learned from his Cal experience and changed his approach at Fresno State. He has "his" encyclopedic playbook with every play he has ever encountered and a much more condensed "abridged" version for the players.
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