New offense gets back to ground game

The departure of five of the most prolific offensive players in school football history will leave the Falcon offense with a decidedly new look in 2006. Although Omar Jacobs, Charles Sharon, Steve Sanders, P.J. Pope and B.J. Lane are gone, coach Gregg Brandon’s new-look Falcon offense is anxious to bring their own style to the field in 2006.

“We are a very young team,” Brandon said. “From where I sit that creates some anxiety in terms of an experience standpoint. But, you know what, these kids will come out and play hard with a lot of passion.”

Despite a host of offensive weapons, BG struggled rushing the ball last year. The Falcons were out gained by 342 yards on the ground, over 30 yards per game, something that the team would like to see change this season with a new approach to their offense.

If this new look offense is to be successful, quarterbacks Anthony Turner and Freddie Barnes will need to be a major part of the turnaround from an offense that relied heavily on the precision passing of Omar Jacobs in the previous two seasons.

“I expect to run, that’s the kind of quarterback I am,” Turner said. “I’m more of a scrambler/passer where Omar was more of a passer. I can get myself out of certain situations that

Omar couldn’t.”

Brandon hopes to get back to the type of offense his team ran in his first season at the helm in 2003, with All-American Josh Harris taking snaps for

the team.

“I think we can get back to the nature of our offense,” Brandon said. “Both Freddie and AT are great runners, whereas Omar was such a great passer that we didn’t utilize that phase of

our offense.”

Although he can’t play both quarterbacks at the same time, Brandon would like to see Barnes, the team’s back-up, find a place on the offense to use his speed and athleticism.

“If [Barnes] is not playing quarterback, I don’t want him standing next to me,”

Brandon said.

If the quarterbacks are important to a running offense, the running back is critical. Dan Macon takes over this season as the team’s premiere back after being red-shirted last season.

Macon looks forward to the opportunity to lead a team which he believes is one of the most talented he’s seen in his time at BG.

“I’ve been here for three years and we have one of the most athletic teams since I’ve been here,” Macon said. “We’ve got a lot to show and a lot of leaders to grow throughout the season.”

In order to accommodate a running style, the offense will set-up differently than fans have seen over recent years. Players and coaches have pointed towards more use out of the tight end position, which will coincide with an I-Form offensive set up. Among the structural alterations, perhaps the greatest is the addition of a full back,

Pete Winovich.

Winovich is excited at the prospect of handling the ball on offense, something he did none of last year while on defense.

“I am thrilled to death,” Winovich said. “All summer, I have been working on it. I was able to get comfortable with my position. Dan Macon and I have a very good bond, which is great.”

The loss of his core offensive players creates anxiety for Brandon, but not to the point of being overly concerned. Still, the fourth year coach has questions for his team that have yet to

be answered.

“I am certainty excited about this team,” Brandon said. “We have a lot of question marks, but we have capable players ready to step in and continue the

winning tradition.”