Can something be more complicated and easier at the same time? Missouri quarterback Drew Lock believes so.
The Tigers star will be shifting from Josh Heupel’s fast-paced offense to a more traditional pro-style offense under new offensive coordinator Derek Dooley during his final season at Missouri. It’s what he wanted as he prepares to embark on a potential NFL career, but is it what the Tigers needed to improve on a 7-6 record in 2017?
That’s a question that will be answered in the fall, but for now we know that the former Vols head coach and Dallas Cowboys wide receivers coach has found a way to challenge the senior quarterback during his first stint as an offensive coordinator.
Lock told The Kansas City Star’s Alex Schiffer that Dooley is challenging him in ways that Heupel’s sometimes simplistic offense could not.
“It’s more complicated of an offense, but I do think it’s easier,” Lock told Schiffer. “It was a little more guessing games last year on what I thought receivers were going to run. And this year I have it set in stone what they’re doing every single play. It makes me a lot more comfortable back there. I know exactly what’s going on.”
Lock is doing NFL things like lining up behind center and playing in pro-style formations this spring in Dooley’s offense, which was a much-needed addition to his skill set if he’s going to impress NFL scouts.
Lock told The Star that he is experiencing play calls and formations that he’s never seen before, and that learning the Dooley play book has presented quite a challenge.
“This is exactly what I want to experience,” Lock told The Kansas City Star. “I want to be able to speak ball. I want to be able to talk NFL stuff with NFL people and I wasn’t going to be able to do that.”
Making Lock more comfortable is a smart idea, but Tigers fans are likely a little uneasy about drastic changes to the offensive set. After all, the Tigers offense led the SEC in both points per game (37.5) and yards per game (502.2) under Heupel’s scheme in 2017. Critics would say that the pace of the offense worked to the detriment of a defense that ranked 11th in the league in total defense and 12th in points allowed.