David Cutcliffe on Duke's Offense: "We're Changing Some Things"
As Duke returns to campus, coach David Cutcliffe looked at the offensive side of the ball, which is in a transition period after a season when the Blue Devils didn’t move the ball consistently. After the season, Cutcliffe announced that he’d take over as playcaller and offensive coordinator.
“We’re going through some changes,” he said. “We’ve got a new coordinator that I hope I don’t have to fire. We’ll see how that comes along, but were changing some things over there, to be honest with you.”
Cutcliffe has taken on a larger role in offensive planning meetings and with the quarterback position group.
“We had great coaches meetings via Zoom,” he said. “I was set up so well in my home. I had a big screen and projector, and we worked and worked and worked. We had meetings with the players. We’ve been back in for two different weeks as a staff. so I like where we are offensively. We have to answer a few questions.”
Duke has several returning starters on the offensive line and a new position coach in Greg Frey.
“We’ve got competition up front,” Cutcliffe said. “It all starts with Jack Wohlabaugh in the middle, but I’m going to be interested to see—We’re looking at some different combinations of guards and tackles. Greg Frey, being a new line coach, I’m loving every minute of his energy, creativity and enthusiasm. We’re going to be better there.”
The skill positions also have promise.
“I think we’ve got one of best groups of tight ends, starting with Noah (Gray),” he said. “They’re going to play different roles. We’re going to utilize that group differently. I love our backs. I wish we were little healthier back there. We’ve got some young people—Marvin Hubbard, Jaylen Coleman—so with that position, we need to stay healthy, but we’ve got some dynamic folks.
“Then I like our receivers. We’re going to be relatively young there. But we have some dynamic athletes.”
That leaves the quarterback spot, where Clemson transfer Chase Brice is the favorite to win the job.
“I’ve got to fix the quarterback thing,” Cutcliffe said. “I know you all want to know, ‘What’s Chase Brice do?’ I’ve never seen him throw the football in person yet. So give me a little while.”
As for handicapping the fight for the starting job, Cutcliffe kept it simple.
“Remember when you were a kid, and you picked teams, and somebody wanted to be all-time quarterback?” he said. “That was the best deal. The all-time quarterback has to throw it better than everybody else. Everybody asks me all the time, ‘What’s the first thing you look for in a quarterback?’ Well, accuracy. Otherwise, he’s not a good quarterback, period. So the all-time quarterback is going to throw it better than everybody else. So you can save yourself that question. I just told you how it works.”