Five Expectations from OC Kasey Dunn Calling Plays
STILLWATER -- With the news today from the University of Georgia that Todd Monken is going to land there as the new offensive coordinator for the Dawgs versus ending up somewhere else, possibly Oklahoma State as an offensive analyst, we know the brain trust for the Cowboys offense this coming season.
Kasey Dunn with his 26-years of major college coaching experience, 23-years of Division I FBS experience, and two-years in the National Football League, that Dunn is ready for this.
As it is anytime you are calling plays for a head coach that also called plays, Dunn will be under scrutiny with Mike Gundy. Some of the offensive coordinators at Oklahoma State have, at times, always given in. But like any good coaching staff, you want to have what I will call aggressive discussion.
You have to have different opinions and in the end, the group derives at the best answer and you move forward. That process is for game planning and in between series, halftime, etc. When the plays are being called, Dunn has to be the one voice and the decision maker. Gundy knows that from his experience, and I believe Gundy made this move because he has confidence in the veteran coach that has been stellar in producing top flight receivers.
I like the make up of the offensive staff with Dunn having been around and knowing John Wozniak and Jason McEndoo. Offensive line coach Charlie Dickey will head into his second season, but I think he has fit in like a glove with the staff. The new member is quarterbacks coach Tim Rattay and coming fresh from the NFL and a division that has invested deep into RPO and some of the college offensive schemes. I think Rattay could be a really good addition.
Okay, so what will we see different with Dunn that we'll like and that could help the Oklahoma State offense.
1. Dunn's thought process will help mix up Big 12 defensive coordinators
It always helps when a program changes up offensive coordinators and the play caller. Every play caller has a rhythm and tendencies. Dunn is definitely a coach with imagination and that will serve him well. He is also a clean slate as he has not called plays before, unless you look at that first series of the second half in last season's opening win at Oregon State. I think it will help the offense that defensive coordinators have no book on Dunn.
2. Get ready for more pass to set up the run
So many times because of the potency of the passing attack and the rebuilding the past 4-5 years of the offensive line, the Oklahoma State offense has often had to use the pass to set up the running attack. Dunn has been through all of that and will be more than willing to continue that path when it is needed. It works well.
The good thing is that with Chuba Hubbard and his ability, and the fact that the offensive line is stronger and has more depth than it has since at least the 2013 season, the Cowboys and Dunn will also be able to set up some of the passing game with the run.
3. Chuba Hubbard in the passing game
Last season Chuba Hubbard would spend some of the practice, usually during special teams work with Dunn and his core of receivers. Hubbard wanted extra work at catching the football and there is no coach better at drilling and helping players become the best they can be at catching the football. There is work catching tennis balls at high speed off the Jugs machine and work catching footballs at high speed and close range off the Jugs machine. Hubbard has become really proficient at catching the ball and what better way to get him into space where he can create explosive plays. I do expect Hubbard to become more active in the passing game and not always as a pass protector.
4. More pass game that really highlights the talent of the receivers
Head coach Mike Gundy has preferred to have a quarterbacks coach and, generally, a former quarterback coordinate the offense and call plays. We are all human, so in crunch time a coach that spends so much time with the quarterbacks is going to lean on calling plays the quarterback is most comfortable with. He will go with a big lean on his talents. Don't get me wrong, that is important. I think Dunn knows the quarterbacks and will be conscious of doing what they can do best.
He also has the knowledge of what the receivers do best. Which routes they run well, ball skills, ability to run after the catch, and what situations they are most comfortable with. Match-ups are so important and Dunn will be very aware of those. I think that could lead to a better called game when it comes to passing scenarios.
Mike Yurcich leaned a lot on the vertical game and the quick game. Mason Rudolph was more comfortable with those. Sean Gleeson was heavy to the quick game. I think with Dunn you will see more intermediate and short passing game. As I said earlier I think you will see more imagination in the pass game.
5. Decisive action in game situations but open to contributions
Dunn is a confident person. It radiates from him whether in practice, on game day, or just hanging out. Dunn always seems comfortable. That translates to calling plays. To borrow an old Navy Seal motto, "plan your dive and dive your plan" and I think Dunn will be that way. However, I also see him being confident enough to get off the map when the situation calls for it. I see him having an offensive staff room that welcomes input from all corners. Confident people are usually people that willingly accept contributions from others.
Honestly, this will be an exciting time for Oklahoma State fans to have a familiar face calling plays with some very talented players the fans are familiar with as well.