FOOTBALL: Point/Counterpoint; Should Doug Martin Return As OC?
Experience And Stability Bring Success
Published: Monday, December 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
The downfall of the Boston College football team’s season could be blamed on a multitude of factors: a small senior class, injuries, disappointing player to coach communication, and, of course, the misdeeds of Frank Spaziani. Almost every aspect of the team was on a downward trend, bar for one extremely notable exception, the growth of Chase Rettig into a full blown ACC quarterback with an arm and precision that puts him on par with the other QBs of the conference. Rettig threw for more than 3,000 yards this season, which was almost double what he threw last season. The progress he made over one season is incredible, and he was one of the only bright spots during a dismal season.
This improvement could be a result of experience, confidence, or just the fact that BC desperately needed a passing game in order to make up for the lack of running game, but it cannot be denied that this year’s quarterback coach and offensive coordinator, Doug Martin, was an integral part in Rettig’s improvement. Here are a few reasons why Martin deserves to stay with the Eagles and help develop the offense of the Eagles for next season.
One of the biggest and most basic facts in support of Martin’s employment with the Eagles is a desperate need for consistency on the team. Rettig has been faced with four different offensive coordinators in his years as an Eagle, meaning a whole new offensive system to learn almost every season. The connection between an offensive coordinator and the team sets up the entire system for how a game is played, and since the quarterback is orchestrating the game on field, this relationship is vital to the success of a team. It seems as though Martin and Rettig have found a communication pattern that works for them, and it has obviously produced results. As the team is now in a major upheaval, it could be extremely comforting for Rettig to be able to depend on Martin to help with the new coaching transition.
Another important factor is that Martin came in and did his job. There are many moving parts of a football team that need to be aligned for the team to generate wins, but if you consider Martin purely from the angle of offensive coordinator, he was successful in his job. The offense this year was anemic in ways more influenced by the loss of offensive threats (remember that time Montel Harris ran for seven touchdowns over at Temple?) and poor execution more than anything. It is important to remember that when it came to fourth downs, it was the head coach who made the decision to have Nate Freese warming up on the sidelines. Martin was brought to BC to help improve Rettigs skills, which he succeeded in doing.
Finally, Martin has experience and a lot more to show. During his time as head coach for Kent State, Martin coached the Patriots player Julien Edelman into being one of the biggest and most multi-talented forces in the NFL, and Edelman credits Martin for helping him improve. With only one season under his belt, Martin has not had any time to truly show what he can do as a coordinator.
The first year is about establishing relationships, and next season will be when the effects of Martin’s teachings will truly make an appearance on the field. BC was willing to give Spaziani four years as head coach to prove himself, and it doesn’t seem quite fair to sack a coach who seems to be more equipped at his job than Spaz was after only one season.
This off-season for the Eagles will play out like a night at a poker tournament. There are a lot of players and extremely high stakes, and every decision Brad Bates makes from now on will be a huge gamble. Martin could stay and help rejuvenate the program back to a semblance of its former glory, or an entirely new staff could come in and make a huge difference for the better. But there is something to be said about respecting the connections and personal relationships that have been established, and from all reports it looks as though Martin has created a positive environment for the offensive line to grow in. So either way, Bates has a huge choice in front of him, which he will surely make with the best intentions and after careful deliberations. Plus, at this point, what’s left to lose?