To say eyebrows were raised in January when Dave Odom named former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley as Mizzou’s new offensive coordinator would be an understatement. Dooley spent the previous five seasons coaching the Dallas Cowboys wide receivers following a disastrous three year tenure with the Vols which saw him turn in a 4-19 SEC record.
Dooley appeared Thursday night as part of a Mizzou recruiting event in St. Louis, providing hints about what fans can expect from the Tigers’ offense this fall.
“I was sitting around with our coaching staff like, we need to invent some word (for the offense), for recruiting,” Dooley said as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “They’ve got all these names (for offenses). Air Raid, and all this new stuff.
“Here’s what I’ll tell you. It’s not my offense. It’s going to be our offense. Because Missouri did some really good things last year on offense. And I would be a fool to come in and throw out everything they did. A lot of the things they did, to be frank with you, I haven’t been exposed to a lot. It’s been really stimulating to me to sort of watch and learn and talk to coaches, to Drew (Lock), and learn a little bit about what they did.
We are incorporating some of the things they did really well. We are incorporating a lot of the things we (the Cowboys) did that I learned over the past five years that can hopefully add to and make us a little more flexible and multiple in how we attack defenses. And then we are going to incorporate some things we did at Tennessee. It’s a little bit of a merger of a lot of offenses.”
The Post-Dispatch further quoted Derek Dooley as saying he intends to utilize the tight end position to a greater extent in the offense.
One big advantage Dooley will have with his offense in 2018 is senior quarterback Drew Lock. Lock led all of FBS with 44 touchdown passes in 2017. He also led the SEC by a wide margin in passing yards with 3,964, the next closest QB was Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham with 3,158. Lock’s 165.7 passer rating also was best in the league.
When Lock announced his decision to return to Missouri for his senior season, he mentioned the opportunity to work with Derek Dooley.
“There were a lot of factors that went into this decision, but the main ones include: a feeling of responsibility and loyalty to my coaches and teammates at Mizzou – we have goals to achieve together; having the chance to play for a new coach in Coach Dooley, and his system that will continue to add to my development; and of course, getting my degree,” Lock said in January. “I feel like all of these factors combine to give me the best chance to succeed at the next level.”
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