In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that when I first learned Delaware was leaning toward hiring the offensive coordinator at Rutgers as its new head football coach, I had some significant doubts. If you watched the Scarlet Knights play this year, you know they were not exactly the most dynamic offense in the history of the game. As a matter of fact, there were extended stretches when their chief philosophy seemed to be that of former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes: “Three yards in a cloud of dust.”
After enduring an offense that could hardly be considered heart-pounding last season, Delaware fans were craving a coach who could bring an exciting brand of football to Newark. And to be honest, the offensive coordinator of last year’s Rutgers team did not seem to fit that bill.
Dave Brock’s Rutgers squad finished next-to-last in the Big East in passing offense and rushing offense. The Scarlet Knights averaged just 21 points per game (96th in FBS) and managed only 330 yards of total offense per contest (104th in FBS).
Numbers like that do not exactly knock your socks off.
Then when he arrived in Newark for his introductory press conference and I got a chance to listen to him speak for the first time, the 46-year-old erased my trepidation almost immediately.
Brock declared that his team would be on the attack in everything they do. Whether it be on the field or in the classroom, the new UD coach stressed his players would attack every task they take on together. He also spoke about Delaware being an elite job and that he truly believed the Hens would win right away.
By the time his presser had finished, I was convinced Brock would be an incredible recruiter. After all, he had altered my entire opinion of him in less than 10 minutes. Of course, my initial instinct was to not get too carried away. One speech did not erase an entire year’s worth of uninspiring offensive numbers.
But then I also realized that Brock has been coaching for a whole lot longer than just a single season. He’s spent time as an offensive coordinator at Temple, Kansas State and Hofstra as well. During those tenures, he employed a multitude of different offensive looks, including both pro-style and spread offenses.
That made me feel even better about the hire; but what sold me for good was what Brock had to say on Sunday during halftime of the Delaware women’s basketball game.
“I’ve been fortunate,” Brock said on Sunday about his previous coaching experience. “Some of those things were by choice and other things were philosophical things that the head coach believed in. I think when you’re an assistant coach, a lot like everybody in this world, you have a boss. So you try to do what they want you to do and play the style that they want you to play.”
“For us, I know the style that we’re going to play. We’re going to attack people. It won’t matter whether it’s offense, defense or special teams, we’re going to come after people constantly.”
That doesn’t sound like a guy preparing to run the ball 40 times a game. To me, it appears as though his methodical, grind-it-out play-calling at Rutgers was the byproduct of a conservative head coach, Kyle Flood.
Brock sounds like a coach that wants a balanced, aggressive and, most importantly, dynamic approach under his watch. In other words, he sounds like exactly the kind of coach the University of Delaware needs.