Developing playmakers a spring objective


Playmakers. You recruit them, train them and scheme to showcase them.

Paul Rhoads knows the formula is pretty simple. Playmakers win games.

In outlining his objectives for the next couple weeks of practice, Rhoads noted the need to develop playmakers at all offensive skill positions.

“We need to identify guys that can make things happen individually, regardless of scheme,” Rhoads said.

Prior to ISU, Tom Herman coordinated an offense at Rice (in 2008) that had 31 scoring drives of five plays or fewer. They were quick-strike because of playmakers.

“We need to attack more on offense and that will come through challenging the defense vertically downfield,” Rhoads – who also wants some make-you-miss guys – said.

The big-play ability needs to extend to the defense, too. Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham’s 2007 defense at USF led the nation in turnovers created and was third in tackles for loss. The Bulls had defensive playmakers.

“We must get better at putting pressure on the quarterback,” Rhoads said. “(It’s important) to challenge the playmaker, the decision maker, the QB.”

He hinted at more blitzes this spring to accomplish the goal.

Turning a seven-yard play into a 70-yard touchdown or registering a QB hurry on a key third-down play is the goal.

That’s what good teams do, and Rhoads is determined to find some playmakers on his roster and turn them loose this fall.

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