Brad Willard discusses Mount Vernon and Tennessee's offensive success

Tennessee’s offensive scheme under Josh Heupel is statistically leading college football in the FBS.

The veer and shoot offensive scheme is also having success at the high school level in Texas with head coach Brad Willard at Mount Vernon.

Willard comes from Baylor’s coaching staff when the Bears experienced success with quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Bryce Petty in the veer and shoot offense.

Heupel was hired as Missouri’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2016. He brought in Joe Jon Finley from Baylor to serve as the Tigers’ tight ends coach under him.

With Finley on staff, Heupel began to install Baylor’s veer and shoot offense.

Finley served as an offensive quality control analyst at Baylor in 2015.

Willard coached alongside Finley at Baylor as an offensive graduate assistant. He worked with tight ends alongside Finley exclusively. Willard played running back for the Bears before coaching.

“Coach Heupel has done such a good job,” Willard told Vols Wire. “What we do is so simple. You have to have your twist on things, and tempo has got to be right to give you your advantage, so he’s done an awesome job.”

Willard is in his second season as head coach at Mount Vernon.

Mount Vernon has an open date this week after an 8-1 start to the 2022 season. Despite having a quarterback change due to injury this season, Willard and Mount Vernon have scored 42-plus points in every win.

“Our running back is about 50-60 yards away from 2,000 in nine games this season and has not had more than 30 carries in a game all year,” Willard said.

 “We’ve got a really special player that’s kind of helped get us through all the personnel changes with the quarterback going down. He’s really carried the offense.

Got a receiver that’s started for two years, since his sophomore year, we moved him to quarterback and he gives us a dynamic playmaking ability at the quarterback position.

We’re just kind of figuring out all that he can do with only one game left before the playoffs.”

Willard also discussed the offensive scheme having success throughout the sport of football, everything from tempo, teaching players to find referees quickly to have the ball spotted, and wide splits.

“You have to teach kids and that’s what we do even at the high school level, teaching kids to find umpires,” Willard said of teaching the system. “Don’t let ref’s play catch, let’s play catch for them and give them the ball where they can spot it.”

“It does take a lot of buy-in from the entire staff,” he said of the offense. “Obviously, the defense is going to be on the field more.

It’s just a completely different style of football game, not just offensively, so to see the amount of coaching staff’s that it has had, to kind of take off is a little bit of surprise.”

Story originally appeared on Vols Wire


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