The Purdue football offense has been truly offensive in the three years that John Shoop was the offensive coordinator. Here are some of the great stats that got him fired:
- National Rank in the country in # of plays of more than ten yards: 122nd, 119th, 119th (pretty consistent!)
- 3rd down conversions: 35% (106), 36.3 (98), 30.8 (119)
- Time of Possession Rank: 107, 90, 110
I could list a lot more of them, but that is enough. The point is that the offense was not good, and Purdue hired a new guy to be the OC. And that new guy is...Terry Malone. Malone was originally hired as just the TE coach, but was promoted after John Shoop was given his walking papers. No offense to Malone, but there probably weren't a lot of good coaches lining up for a shot at the Purdue OC job. He was probably considered the best man for the job on the current staff, so they gave him control of the offense.
Who is Terry Malone?
- Played Tight End at Holy Cross
- Bowling Green 1986-1995: Offensive Coordinator/TE Coach/OL Coach
- Michigan: 1997-2001 OL/TE Coach
- Michigan: 2002-2005: Offensive Coordinator
- New Orleans Saints: 2006-2014 TE Coach
So that resume doesn't look terrible at first glance. Let's look a little closer at his time as OC at Michigan, since that is what he is going to be doing in West Lafayette. His head coach at Michigan was Lloyd Carr, who had a pretty good run until his last few years. While Malone was OC, the Wolvies went 10-3, 9-3, 9-3, and 7-5. That seems pretty good; Purdue would certainly be happy with even 5-7 at this point.
I'm not going to look it up, but I am positive that Michigan had some pretty good players back then. Most likely they had their pick of a bunch of great offensive lineman, and Malone could just call runs and win at least half of the games without trying too hard.
That will most certainly not be the case at Purdue in 2016. No position on offense has a deep depth chart. When Darrell Hazell was hired three years ago, the main concern was that he spent most of his career at Ohio State, where they pretty much always had more talent than the opposition. So far Hazell has not proven he can win games without a decided talent advantage. It will be interesting to see if Terry "The Mailman" Malone will be able to scheme his way into some points, since he will not be able to rely on a big O-line that can wear down the opposition.
What type of offense is Malone planning to run at Purdue?
According to this interview with Tom Dienhart, Malone plans on being a "West Coast passing team with gap blocking mixed in with some zone blocking." I'm not an expert in blocking schemes, but it seemed like there were a lot of slant passes being thrown in the Spring Game, which I think is something associated with West Coast offenses. Don't quote me on that though.
Will the offense be better next season?
Hopefully. If the Boilers can just show a little bit of a pulse on offense and not get blown out on a consistent basis, that would be pretty good. I don't know if Terry Malone can work some sort of black magic with the situation that he is in, but at least he isn't John Shoop.