One of the biggest aspects of Duke’s coaching staff reorganization is the offensive playcalling responsibilities.
Head coach David Cutcliffe took over that role prior to last season, but after one year, he has handed off the duties to co-offensive coordinator Jeff Faris.
“The biggest change, of course is me coming out of that (offensive) room and getting back to being our head football coach, which I did a really poor job,” he said. “ if I had to critique one thing, I needed to be across the board the head football coach. It became very obvious to me awhile in.”
Duke’s defense didn’t perform at the level expected of it, considering the talent the Blue Devils had at edge rusher and in the secondary. The team also seemed to wear down during games due to conditioning levels that suffered from the stay-at-home over the offseason. There were also failures on special teams, and the players and their parents took to social media to protest the school’s policy on not allowing family members into home games. Cutcliffe feels that he needs to oversee all areas of the team, which may have suffered while he focused on the offense last year.
See also: Duke shuffles football coaching staff
“I’m experienced at it,” he said. “I’m going to be involved with our offense, defense, kicking, all the phases of the program, the offseason, every aspect of what we’re doing. That will take the focus of my attention—in particular, the area of building our team and supporting our players, which is the most important job I have. I could not be more excited.”
The Duke offense suffered from a lack of preparation time, with the pandemic cutting short spring practice and offseason work.
“I heard Nick Saban, after a miraculous year, say this was hardest thing he’d ever done,” Cutcliffe said. “I concur. I increased the hard for me, and i don’t think it alloewd me to be everything I need to be for our team. … The head football coach’s role touches everyone. When you’re not completely in that role, then you’re depending purely on talent to make things happen. Our organization functions better when I am overseeing the entire operation of it. I can spend more time with our strength staff, with our recruiting staff and overall meet with players, meet with leadership more.”