When I first heard the news this week that Boston College had hired Doug Martin to be their next offensive coordinator I had the same reactions many of you had.
"Seriously, this is the best you can do GDF?"
But after reading a little more about Martin as an offensive mind and his strategy on moving the ball, I have to say I am starting to drink the BC Athletics Kool-Aid again.
First of all, his record as a head coach at Kent State is completely irrelevant to the conversation of whether or not he can be an effective OC. Look instead to his work with his offenses, last year New Mexico State averaged 400 yards a game, almost a 100 more a game than the Eagles. True his last two Kent State offenses were equally as putrid as BC's, but in 2008 Kent State had the 35th ranked offense in the country. That is pretty hard to imagine, because after all, they are Kent State. Martin has the ability to put together solid offenses, so there is reason to be hopeful.
Martin also has a long history of molding serviceable QB's, and putting together effective offenses. Josh Cribbs, Julian Edelman and David Garrard may not be elite NFL quarterbacks but their skill sets made them attractive to NFL teams. And if Cribbs and Edelman are the type of players that Martin looks for to run his offense maybe things are changing around BC. Neither run the NFL pro style offense that BC has driven into the ground the last three years. They are mobile, fast and electric. Unfortunately, Chase Rettig doesn't have much in common with any of these QB's. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts to this signing, and whether Martin will adapt his scheme to work around Rettig or possibly look at someone else.
Many BC fans have brought up the point "Well isn't this just conceding that we should have hired Steve Logan in the first place?" It's hard to argue with this and it's true. But why is that a bad thing?
I will be the first to admit that I wanted Logan here over Spazoo, but that isn't an option right now. If GDF wants to bring in Steve Logan Lite to run the offense, then I don't see why people are complaining about this. I miss the days of Logan's offense, and if he can turn this offense around and make this team successful again.
As one of the most vocal complainers of the Spaziani Era (or Error) and the reign of Coach Flip, one of my biggest beefs has been the conservative style of offense. Running on passing downs, giving up before half time, poor passing game plans etc etc., we all know the criticisms by now. Now i never specifically called for a Spread Offense at BC, especially with the personnel constituted as is, but I wanted an OC to open things up. Spice things up with a few five wide receiver sets, bunch receivers, anything to change the pace and keep opposing defenses on their toes. Last year I thought that Kevin Rogers would have done that, but he never got the chance. Could Doug Martin be the man to finally mix things up? We shall see.
I understand that I am looking at this hire through cheery and fatally optimistic maroon and gold colored lenses, and that the reality of what actually will occur is most likely different. After this season, we are all getting a much clearer view of how things are really run on the Heights. Frank Spaziani and GDF have probably already told Doug Martin how things are going to be, and I can't imagine that will be all that different from 2011. But there is always hope, and maybe just maybe there has been some change at Boston College, and we can all pray that things may just be a little different next season. And as an Eagles fan, isn't that all we have left?