In football, some coaches stick to their scheme and make players adapt to it, but that isn’t always the wisest thing to do.
According to Michigan defensive lineman Chase Winovich, the Wolverines offense is evolving to better utilize the skill-set of Shea Patterson and other mobile quarterbacks such as Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton.
Winovich prefaced his comments at Big Ten Media Day by saying he doesn’t know who the starting quarterback will be and went on to say “Coach Harbaugh has become more open in the sense that he’s ready to make adjustments to ensure that Shea is going to be in the best possible area. If he has to run more of a spread offense.”
Patterson transferred from Ole Miss, a team that was a spread offense with heavy elements of the RPO (run-pass option).
“I would be surprised if (Harbaugh) didn’t shift the offense around to what fits Shea best, or whoever is the quarterback. That’s what I’ve noticed more and more with coach Harbaugh’s mentality is slowly coming around to trying new things, figuring out something that works.”
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Jim Harbaugh’s coaching career. As head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh changed the scheme midway through a season that culminated in a Super Bowl appearance. When Colin Kaepernick became the quarterback for the 49ers, Harbaugh used plenty of read-option and put him in the pistol formation, both elements were not used in the offense before Kaepernick took the helm as starting QB.
Based on Winovich’s comments it sounds like Michigan will be using a little spread, RPO and pistol at the very least in 2018. They won’t scrap the scheme that has been used prior, but the added wrinkles, added plays/formations, could potentially make it much harder for opposing teams to game plan against Michigan. But it all boils down to execution when the dust settles. Still an interesting development nonetheless.