Will Muschamp and Chad Morris have never faced each other on the football team, but it’s still tough to think about South Carolina’s head coach and Clemson’s former offensive coordinator swapping football secrets.
That’s what happened this week at the SEC meetings this week, though. Muschamp and Morris have known each other since Muschamp was an assistant coach at Texas and recruiting Lake Travis High School, where Morris was the head coach. Morris is entering his first year as head coach at Arkansas.
“Will and I have had numerous talks and actually talked this weekend a little bit about things offensively and the way the game has evolved in the last five or six or seven years,” Morris said.
One of the ways Muschamp has evolved in that time is becoming more willing to embrace his teams playing an up-tempo offense. Like many defensive coordinators and defensive coordinators turned head coaches, Muschamp in the past has looked skeptically at fast-paced offenses because of the impact it has on the defenses ability to prepare in practice and the pressure it can put on a defense to be on the field for long stretches of time during games.
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“I think at the time when (up-tempo offense) was starting there was some resistance because maybe it was, ‘I don’t believe this whole era is moving in that direction.’ The more it kept on that track, it was, ‘I better get on board with this, and I better understand how to defend this and be able to do it on a daily basis on not just on occasion,’” Morris said. “I think there is more and more of an openness with defensive coordinators.”
Muschamp has promised that his offense’s pace is going to increase this season under new offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon. Morris and Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables made a fast offense and dominant defense work during their time together with the Tigers.
“You have to have a great working relationship and it starts with the head coach,” Morris said. “Dabo (Swinney) did a phenomenal job of laying the vision he wanted for our program. Then it was up to Brent and I to work together to make sure he got what he needed and I got what I needed, and then we still used the iron sharpening iron theory we use. We worked extremely hard together.”