| NEWS Florida State buying into offensive coordinator Kendal Briles' no playbook offense - Tallahassee Democrat

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The world of calling plays for a college football team is always changing.

Every coach has a different way that they run things. Some coaches have thick binders full of plays in their playbook. Some coaches have only a handful and get by running variations of those plays.

Some coaches have large double-sided play sheets that they use during games. Some coaches don't use play sheets at all.

Then there's Florida State offensive coordinator Kendal Briles. He doesn't have a playbook or a play sheet to run his offense.

"It's new for me too," FSU coach Willie Taggart said.

"Don't get me wrong, they get plays that they have to go on. But it's just not a typical playbook with everything in it. You think about these kids got math, science and English and everything else to tote around and carry and learn. You can't make this AP. This is football. We’ve got to be able to teach them so they can go out and execute."

At first the players weren't quite sure how it was going to work. How do you run an offense without a playbook?

"I was shocked," FSU wide receiver Tamorrion Terry said.

"I was scared. I was like, ‘Oh, we have no playbook. How are we supposed to learn this?... I lost my mind. Everybody lost their minds."
But Briles went to work immediately to make things clear to the players that would be running his offense.

It's just a different way of doing things, but the end result is still football. And that's something the players have been doing for almost all their lives.

"You don't necessarily have the playbook, the traditional playbook, but you give those guys plays to go over and you just have a different way of teaching our guys," Taggart said.

"It's just not the conventional way. And it's a way that guys have bought into and picked up on pretty quick. I've been impressed myself with it. And I'm excited to see them continue to grow from you know, I just think it's a different way of teaching. And it's a creative way of teaching the way. it is good to see that guys have been able to pick up on it and execute."

Briles' track record as an offensive coordinator is well established, with stints at Baylor, Florida Atlantic and Houston last season. That experience makes it easier for the players to buy in on something like this.

Three of his four offenses have been in the top eight in points per game, including his No. 1 offense (48.1 ppg.) in 2015. All three have come with different teams in different ways.

The trick is making things simple enough for the players to understand everything. The less thinking they have to do the quicker they can do it.
And that is a Briles staple.

"It helps so much," Terry said.

"Doing a play. Knowing a play. Looking at the sideline getting the play from coach making us fast tempo. The (offensive) line don’t even have to look to the sideline and just get ready and we go on with the next play. Doing that has helped us so much, and it’s going to pay off."

The idea behind the offense is that it puts pressure on the defense to be in position at all times. It's tiring and requires incredible conditioning for the players.
FSU's attempt at running a fast-paced offense didn't go as planned in 2018 after shifting over from a pro-style offense in Willie Taggart's first season.

The Seminoles are planning to move at an even faster pace than they were asked to do last year, and with that comes the simplicity of the offense.

Running a complex offense with a lot of plays would only diminish the pace at which the offense ran. That would take away the biggest advantage that comes with this type of offense.

"it's good that we don't have playbook because we could just look to the sideline and get to play and hurry up back to our offense's fast tempo," Terry said.

"Defenses don’t be ready and it just gets our momentum going so fast."

But despite the simplicity of the offense, there's a lot of work involved.

Know the score

Not having a playbook means that the players have to know exactly what they're supposed to be doing at all times.

That means a lot of repetition. It also means a lot of time in the film room.

"We have to watch so much film and you have to stay around your coaches in learning so much because we don’t have a playbook," Terry said.

"You have to be around and we have to stay focused and embodying and what you have going on because with no playbook, I can’t say it's harder but it's so simple we have to just stay focused and buy in."

Kendal Briles By The Numbers
*As offensive coordinator at Baylor (2015-16), Florida Atlantic (2017) and Houston (2018)

Average points per game
Briles (4 yrs.): 41.8
FSU (2018): 21.9

Average yards per play
Briles (4 yrs.): 6.7
FSU (2018): 5.12

Passing yards per attempt
Briles (4 yrs.): 8.36
FSU (2018): 7.1

Yards per carry
Briles (4 yrs.): 5.59
FSU (2018): 2.79

Plays per game
Briles (4 yrs.): 80.1
FSU (2018): 70.6
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