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Great playcallers? Born or groomed?

by John Helsley Published: December 16, 2010

by Brandon Chatmon
bchatmon@opubco.com
Follow me on Twitter @BChatmon

Replacing Dana Holgorsen won’t be easy. Oklahoma State’s former offensive coordinator was a key contributor to one of the best seasons in Cowboys history.

OSU coach Mike Gundy said one of the biggest reasons he hired Holgorsen in January 2010 was his playcalling ability.

So with OSU searching to find an offensive coordinator with similar attributes to Holgorsen, the big question is this: Are great playcallers born or groomed?

“I think it’s a combination of both,” Holgorsen said. “You have to learn everything, then have answers for what they’re doing defensively.”

Meaning you can learn the offense extremely well and learn the counters to the various defensive looks you will see, then comes the hard part.

Calling the right play, at the right time. And it’s a trait that is a combination of natural instinct and experience.

“The only way to find out if you can make decisions in two seconds and adjust to things in three seconds is by trial and error,” Holgorsen said.

Remember Holgorsen was with Mike Leach for seven seasons from 2000-07. He left Texas Tech for Houston mainly because he knew it would give him the opportunity to call his own plays and make a name for himself.

Four years later, he’s poised to become the head coach at West Virginia.

Safe to say, you cannot underrate the importance of calling plays. And good play callers are recognized and pursued.

Now it’s up to Gundy to find the right one.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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