The Oregon State Beavers have named their new offensive coordinator for the 2014 season, announcing that John Garrett would be calling plays next season. John, the brother of Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, has spent a significant amount of time as an assistant coach in the NFL with a brief stint in college. Despite his experience, however, there’s one thing that Garrett will be doing for the first time with Oregon State next season: calling plays.
That isn’t to say that Garrett isn’t well-traveled. He’s had stops with the Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, and most recent in 2013 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an offensive assistant coaching wide receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks. He spent four seasons with the Virginia Cavaliers from 2004 – 2007, coaching the wide receivers and being promoted to assistant head coach for the offense in his final season before returning to the NFL. But at all those stops, he’s never held the duties of an offensive coordinator.
Head coach Mike Riley, though, remains optimistic about the offense with Garrett at the helm. In a statement, Riley said:
“[Garrett] is about teaching, details and technique. His broad knowledge of the game will add to what we are doing at Oregon State. We have a senior quarterback [Sean Mannion]; we aren’t changing everything out under Sean, but my goal is for our offense to continue to grow and evolve, and John will certainly provide that opportunity to do so.”
It seems pretty risky handing over the Oregon State offense to a first-time OC. Despite their prolonged losing streak in 2013, the Beavers ranked No. 26 and No. 29 in FBS, respectively, with 6,071 total yards and 34.8 points per game last season. Mannion led the No. 3 passing attack in the nation, averaging 372.6 yards per game and is on the verge of breaking the Pac-12 record for career passing yards. His 10,436 passing yards are just 1,891 yards behind all-time leader Matt Barkley.
That’s a lot of firepower to put into the hands of a coach who has not handled the responsibility of leading an entire offense before. Can Garrett put his years of positional coaching experience to good use and find a rhythm as a play-caller in 2014?