Does everyone remember the Dana Holgorsen era? Oh the good ol days of having 4 plays called in advance, rushing to the line, snapping it quickly, then hurriedly getting back into formation to either promptly run the next predetermined play, or look back to the sidelines for the audible. Well those days are gone, gone, and in their place are many questions about Mr Monken and his ability to replace Dana (and his Brut/Red Bull musk). Now I want to add one more question to the list.... Who should handle the playcalling?
There are really only 2 possibilities.
1. OC Todd Monken calls all the plays.
At the collegiate level, the OC handles the playcalling 99% of the time, so this fits with the norm. In some rare occasions the on-field personnel are allowed to audible, but even this freedom is usually tempered by an extremely abbreviated list of plays to audible to, or by having the team look to the sideline for the audible playcall. Having OC Monken handle 100% of the playcalling would not be risky, it would not be news-worthy, it would be the safest, easiest, and and the status-quo thing to do. But what if the Cowboy staff decide to roll the dice and go with another option.....
2. Brandon Weeden calls plays at the line.
This is rare, even at the NFL level. You know all those stories you read about Peyton Manning being insane? How every minute of free time he has is spent watching film? That is all to prepare him for his 2nd job (the first being quarterback) of handling the playcalling for the Indy offense. This would be an EXTREMELY risky move. But, consider the following:
- Brandon Weeden is not your average college QB. He is highly intelligent, mature (not "mature for his age", he is actually mature), a hard worker, and physically gifted as a QB. Brandon actually interviewed Coach Monken before he was hired, and reportedly Brandon's thoughts were weighted equal to any coach or administrator at Oklahoma State. If you can trust your QB to assist in making high-level hiring decisions, you can trust him with anything.
- Brandon Weeden might be the most knowledgeable Cowboy (player or coach) in regards to this offense that Dana put in place last season. As was much publicized, he was the one tasked with teaching the offense to the newly hired Coach Monken.
- The defenses Brandon would be preparing for are typically not all that complex. At the college level most defenses aren't mixing things up and disguising coverages and blitzes to the extent they do in the NFL because 1) they don't have enough practice time to master these schemes, and 2) no QB's in college call their own plays so why bother.
Granted, I don't know what is being discussed behind closed doors, and I don't personally know how Weeden preps for the season or individual games, but given the things we do know about him as a quarterback and a person, his mastery of the offense, the amount of responsibility already placed on him (he is making frickin hiring decisions), and the neophyte status of Coach Monken in terms of this system, it seems that the possibility of Weeden handling some portion of the playcalling has to be considered. It would be a bold move and something that is rarely seen at the collegiate level, but if there was ever a perfect situation to implement something like this, it is this season with this team.
And yes, part of me just wants to see these types of hysterics at BPS.
Note: With the in-helmet technology, all QB's receive a playcall from the bench (even Peyton). Nowadays, the idea of a QB calling plays at the line is more in reference to him having the entire playbook available to him for his audible selections, and having the green light to audible at any time.