ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Whenever there’s new blood at the top-end of the coaching staff, there’s something of an adjustment period, and for Michigan football, it’s no exception.
The Wolverines lost three-year offensive coordinator Josh Gattis to Miami this offseason, and thus elevated Sherrone Moore and Matt Weiss to oversee the post. While the scheme has remained the same, now the maize and blue have two coaches who are first-time play callers, which can require some acclimation. Gattis didn’t excel at that part of the job until year three, but Moore and Weiss have benefitted by having a weaker-than-usual nonconference schedule to get acclimated.
Thus far, Moore is happy with how that aspect of the game has worked, evidenced by both of Michigan’s first two games essentially being put away by halftime.
“It’s been good. Again, play-calling has been smooth,” Moore said. “Play-calling — I felt like there’s been a rhythm. Obviously, when you put up the points we have, it’s felt like it’s gone pretty well. We always think there’s things to improve.”
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Moore was most recently Michigan’s offensive line coach, a role he had for one year after being the tight ends coach from 2018-20. Now, he’s still overseeing the O-line, but has the added duties of an offensive coordinator.
So, what are the areas of the job where it’s presented something of a learning curve? For Moore, it’s been overseeing his unit as well as seeing the offense as a whole.
“Just different because I’m calling plays so it’s — obviously when you’re not a play-caller, you suggest plays, you have a thought process of what plays you would like to be called,” Moore said. “And then you’re suggesting a play call like, ‘I’d like to get this one in this area,’ but you’re not saying it during the series and there’s more focus on just your position. When you’re calling plays, you’re watching everything. So there’s less of me, like just watching the offensive line.
“When I’m calling plays is less than just watching a position. It’s more watching everything. And then between series and drives, it’s communicating with staff, trying to figure out what do we want the next series of things to look like, figuring out the rhythm and making the notes to make that happen. So then the communication with the players is to try to be as much and as detailed, but it’s just a little different when you are calling plays.”
As far as how plays are called, Moore insists that the program has a system, which appears to be by-committee. However, he won’t divulge exactly how it works — whether it’s by type of play that Jim Harbaugh wants, or if it’s strictly by down, distance, and situation.