Let’s get deep inside the offensive philosophies of Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin. These questions came from early during the first week of spring practice.
On making tight ends part of the offense again.
They’re excited that there’s some role. Every offense is different. Some years I’ve had offenses that don’t involve a ton of tight end stuff. Others I’ve had it involved like crazy. They’ve still gotta earn the right to be the best 11 on the field. As tight ends they have to prove they can add a lot of value when coach wants to go to these type of formations.
On evolving his offense over years and tinkering with it over the years.
Whether you’re running a business, whether you’re running an offense...it became evident if the way you’re doing things is the only way you can do it....you’ll start to get passed up. You can’t run too many things and not run anything well. But we’ve been able to pull different things that will give us an advantage.
I’ve never been a name guy for our offense. I don’t have a name for our offense. It’s a multiple offense. It takes time. It takes the guys to be able to handle it mentally and physically to be multiple. I feel like when you are multiple, it gives you a lot of advantages.
Some years you might have different personnel...last year [at Eastern Washington] you might have a wide open offense. Some years you might have more tight end play.
It gives you more advantages when you’re in those red zone situations, third down situations, short yardage situations to be more multiple and to give defenses different looks.
On offensive origins.
It evolved. My tree goes all the way to one-back. It goes back to the Mike Price, Dennis Erickson era. My quarterback coach was a guy who came from that tree and he’s now been at the NFL at different times. It all started with the one back philosophy, and that single back, and a lot of what we do is similar to the stuff I was doing and playing in 20-plus years ago.
But then you evolve and you take advantage of certain situations. Hey I can involve some more play action by involving tight ends. I can take advantage of this RPO (run-pass option) and what that gives you. If you ever find yourself feeling like you’re a finished product, I just think then you’re done. None of us are. I just believe you can continue to grow in what you’re doing offensively. It’s going to give you a great shot to put more of a bind on the defense.
Biggest focus on implementing the offense
Not trying to put in too much at once. I had to catch myself on how I was planning on installing certain thing. I’ve got to remember from a knowledge standpoint in terms of our terminology standpoint, you have a lot of first year freshmen. This is the first time they’ve heard some of this terminology. I have to do a good job of not trying to go too fast and not trying to move onto new stuff until we’ve mastered some of the base stuff.
That’s the tricky part. This is only 15 practices in spring. We’ll still have two-thirds of our practices in fall camp before we play the first game. I don’t have to get everything in within five practices. I’d rather take it in a pace at implementing it over time.
On bringing Nick Edwards with him
It was big. Coach Edwards is a guy that’s been my right hand man the last three years within the pass game along with our great quarterback coaches. He’s just got such a knowledge where he can fix some things or help me with some things, in terms of “what do you think here coach?”, giving great ideas.
I saw that when he was a player, being able to understand the mental part of the game. Just knowing also how he coaches the receiver position. It wasn’t by accident these [Eastern Washington wide receivers] became draft picks and in the [NFL] combine. You don’t just recruit them and roll balls out. They weren’t ready-made five star players. He’s developed a lot of All-Americans and that isn’t by accident. It’s exciting to have him there. These receivers here can go a long way in terms of the things he’s going to do with him.