Boston College announced on Thursday that Doug Martin, offensive coordinator at New Mexico State University and the former head coach at Kent State, will be the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2012. He replaces Dave Brock, who replaced the mysterious Kevin Rogers, who replaced the 20-years-past-his-prime Gary Tranquill.
His résumé is not horrible, but it does not jump out. His team at New Mexico State this past year gained a lot of yardage, but did not score a lot of points. In fairness, the Aggies’ problem was defense, as they gave up 40+ points seven times. If you’re asking if he has a big-time coaching pedigree, however, the answer would have to be no. Martin has been working at schools like East Carolina (under Steve Logan), East Tennessee State, Kent State, and New Mexico State.
I’ve read the stuff about him being an “offensive mastermind” as New Mexico State put it, and I’ve heard about how he worked with David Garrard and Josh Cribbs. We heard the same things said about Brock, who coached Josh Freeman and Jordy Nelson at a Big XII school and whose offenses were good. I’m not crazy about the move because I don’t know how big of an upgrade he is over Brock, if at all, and therefore it puzzles me. After all, BC just poached a doormat WAC team, not LSU. It’s not quite making a change just for the sake of making a change, however: it’s probably more like teeing up a new excuse and insulating themselves from blame.
If Martin works out, Spaz and Gene will be lauded as geniuses by the likes of Blauds and Dinich (they’ll say it either way, honestly), and if he doesn’t, they’ll trot out the “well, ya know, four offensive coordinators in three years, whaddya want” line. If Brock would have come back next year, people might have started expecting some offensive results, and God forbid that happens. Bringing in Martin, or anyone else for that matter, keeps instability in this position and gives them an excuse if it all goes to hell again in 2012, and you know the local media will buy it, just like they’ve bought every other one coming from Gene and Spaz so far. They’ll say we need to “give him time” to implement his system and/or they’ll chuck any number of players under the bus, with Chase Rettig at the front of the line.
Boston College’s offense has been in a nosedive for the last four years; things are not going to magically improve overnight when your offense is so bad. If Dave Brock were to be the offensive coordinator again, there would be an expectation of improvement based, if nothing else, off of stability at this coaching position. Furthermore, fans are not going to tolerate five years in a row of bad offensive teams and would want all the coaches gone. What, then, is the solution? It’s all about keeping expectations as low as possible, and, if all else fails, having someone else fall on the sword.
To me, it’s fairly obvious that by making this many changes to the offensive coordinator position, they’re either (1) doing it intentionally to give themselves a new excuse or (2) they’re sensationally incompetent, or both. A new offensive coordinator isn’t always a bad thing, and can be a net plus if done right, but one would think BC might aim a little higher, which they did not here. Whatever the case may be, Martin will be the fall guy if BC can’t score points next season, and that’s just the way Spaz and Gene like it.
At this point, it might not be entirely accurate to suggest that anything will change next season with a new guy and, presumably, a new system. Boston College has had three coordinators in the last three years and the Eagles have been very conservative and unsuccessful throughout, so the fourth time might not be the charm here. That’s one of those things we’ll have to judge at this point next year.
I was open to giving Kevin Rogers a chance last year, and then Dave Brock. Doug Martin likewise deserves a chance here in 2012; just don’t expect an overwhelming response. While I’m sure Martin has worked hard, this isn’t a home run hire or even a stand-up double hire; it’s more like a bunt single or reaching on an E-6, it probably was not even necessary, and it doesn’t make a ton of sense in BC’s current state.