- Maxwell will Start and Win in 2013 - aka "Offense is an Ecosystem" (11/27/12)
- Why Maxwell 2013 is Not the Same Guy as the 2012 Version (08/19/13)
Heading into the season, I projected that reduced injuries, improved schemes, pass-run balance, experience and variety of other factors would lead to a better overall system. If that were true, combined with an older/wiser Maxwell and an injury free spring for him (unlike 2012) and having to earn the job (unlike 2012) and there would have to be some improvement for him and the offense. I spelled it out in both the posts and received much support in the view and actually picked up many fans repeating the concepts on M-Live and other media sites.
Most of us expected the receivers to produce better. I don't mean just catching "catch-able" balls. I mean making plays. Making those great catches that extend drives - that get the first down or that "second & short" which makes a play-action deadly. I mean creating separation down field so whoever is in at QB does not need time to check down to option 2, 3, and 4, causing a 2-yard throw on third and 8. I mean running a 5-yard route at five yards, not 3 yards, and yes, catching the ball. All good offenses get that type of play from their receivers. I was wrong about the receivers - so far. Then, there is the list of all the complaints about the scheme and other issues. Would Maxwell or any of the other quarterbacks function better if the rest were not so dysfunctional? Yes. But, it's their job to make good with what they have and O'Cookwell has failed. Dantonio has kept his word by giving them all a fair shot (consider camp and practices too).
So what is Dantonio to do now?
He knows. He has determined that Maxwell is the best quarterback, but the offense clearly does not work with Maxwell or O'Cookwell in there. He needs to add a new ingredient. He needs to add an element that does not exist in the current offense. He needs to add Damion Terry in heavy doses vs. Youngstown State.
- If DT truly does possess physical skills that other quarterbacks do not have, this offense clearly needs the help.
- If DT truly has "IT" as some have suggested, this offense needs as much of "IT" as is available.
- It prepares Terry for 2014.
- You have a low-mistake back-up in Maxwell (unless you take SpartanMan82's route of letting Maxwell be the holder on field goals the rest of his career).
- If the upside is just not true or Terry is just not ready, it could exacerbate the problems the offense is having by adding crucial mistakes the Spartans have avoided for the most part so far.
- If the upside is true, but the offense is so screwed up that even with the addition of Terry's strength's the offense remain anemic, it could spell disaster for the cohesiveness of an otherwise mentally tough team.
- The way I understand the red-shirt rule, Terry would lose his ability to red-shirt, setting up a real log-jam at the QB position next year if he is the assumed starter. It could could lead to a disastrous (yet doubtful) transfer of both Cook and O'Connor. Likely, one will transfer if Terry is the assumed starter.
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