No one will accuse Paul Chryst of being verbose. That's pretty clear. Reportedly, his lack of - charisma, grandiose, whatever you want to call it - held him back from getting head coaching jobs he was otherwise qualified for. For better or worse, he's the anti-Graham (or Graham is that anti-Chryst, which is how I like to refer to it). He's a guy that seems to prefer to just coach behind the scenes and away from the salesmanship that dominates so much of college football today.
Whether that's the right approach remains to be seen, but he made two key announcements yesterday that have an impact with the media and with his team.
The first is that injuries aren't likely to be a discussed topic in his press conferences:
On Thursday head coach Paul Chryst said that inquiring minds will have to put their inquiries on hold until game day.
"Every week there are going to be some guys health-wise that we don't know (about their statuses), and we're going to see what happens," Chryst said at the start of his press conference Thursday. "It's this week and it will be every week, and I don't…there are guys on the staff who are trying to figure out exactly where we're going. So I won't comment on that and probably won't during the year."
He will comment on major injuries and surgeries, but don't expect to know how moderately banged up guys are doing headed into each game. I don't like it, but that's the way football is going. Everyone wants the Belichick code of secrecy. Fine. I'm not the one who's job is at stake every Saturday. I suppose we'll all be glued to Twitter during warmups to see if Ray Graham will play. Jerry Dipaola has a pretty good take on it over at the Trib blogs.
But the bigger news is probably the confirmation that Chryst will likely call the plays on offense:
Offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph met with reporters after practice Wednesday and among the subjects he addressed was play-calling. He indicated that head coach Paul Chryst, who spent the past seven seasons as the offensive coordinator at the University of Wisconsin, would be doing most of the play-calling.Rudolph is entering his first season as a coordinator.
“I imagine he’ll jump in there and get rolling,” Rudolph said. “I think we’re taking an approach where guys have areas of responsibility and we’re going to have a good plan going in and have a good idea from a preparation standpoint of what we’re calling in what situations.”
Chryst is obviously extremely qualified as a play-caller. Last season, Wisconsin had the sixth highest scoring offense and the eleventh rushing offense with Chryst at the helm. Still, I like the idea that you can fire the offensive coordinator when things get stale. It also makes me wonder what exactly Joe Rudolph will do. But having an elite playcaller is a happy problem to have, regardless of his title.
See yinz tomorrow.