What can Brown do for TTU?
So, for the second time in three years, Troy’s offensive coordinator is leaving to take the same position at a program led by Tommy Tuberville.
First, it was Tony Franklin leaving for Auburn after the 2007 season, and now, Neal Brown is heading out to Lubbock, Texas, to take over a Red Raider team that is no stranger to the ways of the spread.
Many people may wonder why Brown would jump to a Tuberville-led staff when his mentor, Franklin, was unceremoniously fired by Tuberville after just half a season at Auburn, but the situations could not be any more different.
Auburn has traditionally been a run-first team. When people think Auburn, they think Bo Jackson or Ronnie Brown.
When people think Texas Tech, they think passing. They think of Graham Harrell and an offensive scheme that all but abandons the conventional running game.
Brown won’t run the same offense as Mike Leach did, but the transition from Leach’s scheme to Brown’s scheme will be much easier than it would if Tuberville tried to turn Texas Tech into a power running team.
So, I believe Brown will have success at Texas Tech. The pressure placed upon him will not be nearly as intense as it was on Franklin at Auburn.
While Brown’s departure is clearly a good career move for him, what does it mean for Troy?
Head coach Larry Blakeney has already said the basic offensive scheme will not be changing. The philosophies might change somewhat, but the spread offense is here to stay in Troy.
However, it won’t be easy to replace a man who led Troy’s offense to finish second in the nation in total offense for the 2009 season.
Add to that the departure of Levi Brown at quarterback, and all sorts of questions about Troy’s immediate future start to arise.
But, the news isn’t all bad.
Clearly, Brown’s departure is disappointing to both players and fans alike. However, in a way, Brown’s new job is a sign that Troy is headed in the right direction.
Several coaches have left Troy over the last five years to accept jobs considered to be higher up in the coaching ranks.
Clearly, the Troy program is doing something right. Coaches can be great at their professions, but if the on-field results aren’t impressive, no opportunities for advancement will arise. So, when the Auburns and Texas Techs of the world come calling, they’re just looking to imitate some of the things that have enabled Troy to be so successful over the last four seasons.
And remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Nick Duke is a sports writer for The Messenger, and he can be reached at nick.duke@Troymessenger.com or on Twitter at Messenger_nick.