Cowboy Backs (stay or go)?

OSU_Sports_Nut

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Let me first say I've never been a big fan of Cowboy Backs because we allocate scholarships for this position, which takes scholarships from athletes who have the potential to make big plays at wide receiver AND more importantly it compromises our depth on the offensive line (which if you ask any old school coach they'll tell you that's where games are won and lost). Now I understand the need for an offense to have a fullback or a tight end (so I'm not advocating to take these duties out of the offense), but why not use a second string offensive tackle (at the tight end position) or a second string guard (at the fullback position). This change would give those second team offensive lineman extra reps on the field blocking (even though it's a different position) and it would add a more physicality to the offense. In addition, this change would allow those Cowboy Back scholarships to be reallocated to wide receivers and offensive lineman, giving us more depth at both positions. Plus, we have a hard time finding tight ends and fullbacks at the high school level. So why continue to throw away scholarships by forcing a square peg into a round hole?

For some reason, we continue to allocate scholarships Cowboy Backs who only catch the ball 1-2 times per game and block 90% of the time. Does anyone else see this as a waste of scholarships (for the few of touches they have per game and without any real game changing players)? If their primary purpose is to block, why not use these scholarships for more offensive lineman and use them as JUMBO TE's and FB's? In addition, this would allow us to play some SMASH MOUTH FOOTBALL with these jumbo and unbalanced sets. Plus, these unusual sets create pressure and confusion on defenses because most teams will be ill prepared to defend these types of plays. For example, when the ball is thrown to these OL they are usually wide open because if they keep their normal numbers (but still check in with the referees as an ineligible receiver) once the ball is snapped most linebackers lose them during a play-action pass. In addition, unbalanced sets can be used to gain an advantage and create confusion on the defense. For example, if a OL comes in to play TE and lines up at the right tackle position, as long as no player covers them up they are still an eligible receiver and can be slipped out into the flat for a screen on the opposite side of the field as the RB.

When I coached, we used to do take ALL of our players through catching drills at the beginning of the year to identify offensive and defensive lineman who could catch the ball so we could use them during the season to play TE and FB (assuming we ever needed or wanted to throw to them). Btw, in my last year of coaching our two best hands on the team were offensive lineman. Additionally, why don't more power 5 teams take time to identify current players on the team for other positions. For example, sometimes a DT could be the best TE on the team or a RB could be the best passing rushing LB'er on the team. Imagine a few years ago when we had James Castleman and Tyreek Hill. Now imagine Hill (or an elusive RB like Hunter) lining up as a standing DE (really wide) on the blind side of quarterbacks on 3rd and long. Don't tell that wouldn't make a QB rush a throw, or an offensive lineman sweat, or an offensive coordinator completely freak out. And just think if James Castleman had gotten noticed as a pass-catching TE before the last game of his career (he probably would have been a devastating blocker at FB too). I think Castleman could have played in the NFL at TE/FB. I just don't understand why most division 1 programs get so arrogant they forget to look on their own team. Smaller colleges (division 2 and 3) and smaller high schools (divisions 3A, 2A, A) seem to always find players to use at multiple positions. Gundy is innovative and always looking for new and creative ways to do things. Therefore, I will continue to hold out hope that his teams will eventually implement some of these things.
 
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OSU_Sports_Nut

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After 3 games in 2020, the Cowboy Backs have caught a grand total of 3 passes (Cater 1 catch = 17 yards & Woods 2 catches = 6 yards).


I'm pretty sure we can find some lineman who are much better blockers who could catch 1-2 passes a game. Plus, when a lineman is used as receiver it confuses the defense because their numbers are not eligible to receivers. Additionally, it allows the offense to do unbalanced sets to further confuse the defense, especially in goalline situations.

 
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