Editor's Note: This is the first in what will be a series of articles looking at potential OC candidates at Clemson. These profiles are intended to be informative and are not all based on insider knowledge. Some may be legitimate candidates while others may not be. These are all names that we hope will be considered by Dabo to some degree.
First and foremost I want to thank Chad Morris. He was the right fit for us at a time when we needed a boost to our offense. We had a boatload of talent and he was able to convert it into a winning offensive formula. For whatever reason, the formula went stale this season. A big part of that is probably the loss of talent at the quarterback position.
I worry that for this reason, Chad will have a tough time at SMU and this may be not only his first, but his final head coaching job. I kind of wish he had went somewhere like Tulsa or Houston where there is a better foundation in place. As good as he was, Chad Morris had his faults. Four major ones in my opinion. His faults lead me to having 4 criteria for our next offensive coordinator.
1. They must be proven. Chad Morris had only high school experience and a year in college at Tulsa. I want someone with a proven, lengthy track record as a college offensive coordinator. At least 5 or more years at this position, coaching at a high level would be ideal.
2. They must run a similar offense. I like Chad's offense, just not how he did it. I think his version was a little too simplistic. He also got very unimaginative and stubborn if the tide of the game turned. I'm also convinced some of the offensive line problems were due to conflict between him and Robbie Caldwell on what type of offensive linemen we should recruit. The compromise is obviously the utter crap we see on the field this year. I would like a guy that had some offensive line experience as well.
3. They should have consistently good offenses. Their offense must have been ranked in the top 15 or better for 2 of the last 3 years. This shows consistency. I don't want any one hit wonders or successful offenses based off of a great run by one amazing player.
4. We need someone who can develop a quarterback. Look what happened this year. One of my main gripes about Chad Morris is he has never had a decent 2nd QB in his system the whole time he was here. There was always a big gap between the starter and the next guy in line. Imagine if Stoudt could have been developed into a serviceable game manager instead of a guy who threw an interception every time he came into the game.
With those 4 things in mind, I present my first candidate; Bill Legg. He has a ton of experience as an offensive coordinator. He started way back in 1988 as the OC of West Virginia Tech for one year. He then went on to coach the offensive line for 11 years at Eastern Illinois, VMI and West Virginia. Having a guy with this kind of experience means he knows what it takes to be a successful offensive line and he would most likely work well with Robbie Caldwell.
He served as West Virginia's offensive coordinator for a year before heading to Marshall and served as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for a few years. This is good experience to have in case Jeff Scott leaves as well. Purdue then brought him over as their offensive line coach in 2003 and then promoted him to offensive coordinator in 2006. He served in this capacity for three years at Purdue and Florida International until Marshall brought him back in 2010. He currently serves as their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Overall he has 9 years of experience as an offensive coordinator and 15 plus years of offensive line experience. He was also a four year starter at center under Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen at West Virginia. Legg has been pretty successful at each of his stops and they haven't exactly been the easiest places to have success at.
As Purdue's offensive line coach, he sent four offensive linemen to the NFL in a two year period. That's more than we've ever dreamed of in a ten year period. Once he was promoted to their offensive coordinator, they led the Big 10 in passing yards and total offense in 2006. They then led the league in total offense and scoring offense in 2007. He only had one year to turn around FIU's offense and did pretty well in that short time. They improved 68 passing yards per game and were 10 points per game better in 2008.
We've all seen what he's done at Marshall. He has coached and developed quarterback Rakeem Cato. He has also had Marshall in the top 15 in total offense for the last three years. They were #6 in 2012, #12 in 2013 and this year they have the #2 total offense in the country. I'd say that's good enough to give the guy a look.