When all you do is rearrange the coaching chairs on the deck of an offensive Titanic in the offseason, shouldn’t you expect some questions when that side of the ball continues to sink more than halfway through the regular season?
Last season, Michigan State’s offense was one of the worst in the Big Ten specifically and at the FBS level in general. Even the rudimentary stats bear that out.
- 116th (out of 130 teams) in total offense at 342.1 yards per game
- 126th in scoring offense at 18.7 points per game
Both of those totals were second-to-last in the 14-team Big Ten, ahead of only lowly Rutgers. So, what was Dantonio’s response to such ineptness? He returned his entire offensive coaching staff, albeit with reshuffled titles along with one assistant moving to defense.
… [the changes included] Brad Salem taking over as offensive coordinator/running backs coach, Dave Warner being demoted from OC/RB coach to handling quarterbacks, Jim Bollman taking over the offensive line again and Mark Staten sliding from offensive line to tight ends. Don Treadwell will handle wide receivers, trading places with Terrence Samuel, who is now coaching defensive backs on the other side of the ball.
Fast-forward to 2019, and the Spartans entered Week 7 having scored a combined 17 points in a pair of losses to Power Five schools. Against Wisconsin Saturday, MSU was shutout in was its third loss in seven games.
Following the game, Dantonio was asked a very reasonable question by a reporter: Was it a mistake to not bring in a new offensive staff and, if it wasn’t, how do you (my words ahead) fix the bumbling and stumbling on that side of the ball.
“I don’t think we ask those questions right now, we’re six, seven games into the schedule, I think that’s sort of a dumbass question to be quite honest with you.”
Bravo for Dantonio, sticking to his guns amidst a media backlash. But let’s play this out further.
Maybe, if the offensive struggles continue through the remainder of the season, he can again retain the same assistants and merely change the seating assignments in the coaches’ meetings. Or switch up the brand of coffee everyone drinks. Something along those lines.
Just spitballin’ here. Kinda like MSU’s offensive staff, come to think of it.