Even though he’s in his fifth year as a member of the Michigan football coaching staff, this season presents a new challenge for co-offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore.
It’s not just his first season calling plays, but splitting that responsibility with someone else — co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss. Moore will be the first to acknowledge that it’s a work in progress.
Standing at the podium Wednesday, Moore wasn’t looking to give any specifics about the intricacies of his individual responsibilities such as which downs he calls or how the job is split between him and Weiss, but he still gave some insight.
“I am game planning and calling specific downs, everything,” Moore said. “We game plan it all.”
But then Moore spoke candidly, albeit under his breath.
“Still trying to figure it out.”
While just a simple comment, it shows that Moore understands this year’s offense is an ongoing process that will take time to perfect.
After all, the Wolverines have two play-callers this season — one with a background in the trenches, the other with quarterbacks — each trying to make the offense their own while sharing that vision with each other.
That is not the status quo in college football. Splitting a responsibility as critical as play-calling certainly introduces the possibility of hiccups down the line.
Two games in, things are going smoothly.
“It’s been good, play-calling has been smooth, (it’s) been great,” Moore said. “We feel like there’s been a rhythm. Obviously, when you put up the points we have it’s felt like it’s gone pretty well and we always think there are things to improve.”
There’s no denying that Michigan’s offense is running like a well-oiled machine thus far. Even when facing lackluster competition, putting up 42 points in a half — as the Wolverines did in the first 30 minutes against Hawaii — is nothing to scoff at.
But just because the offense is scoring points doesn’t mean that it’s close to where it could be weeks from now. Everything is still in flux. Moore acknowledges it himself.
Last season in his role as offensive line coach, Moore could suggest plays or voice his opinion, but he didn’t hold the keys to the offense. He was simply another voice in then-offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’s ear.
“Obviously, when you’re not a play-caller, you suggest plays … (You say), ‘I’d like to get this one on this series,’ but you’re not saying it during the series, there’s more focus on your position,” Moore said. “When you’re calling plays, you’re watching everything. … And then between series and drives, it’s communicating with the staff, trying to figure out what we want the next series of things to look like.”
For Moore, gone are the days when he can just focus on his group. It’s definitely an adjustment, especially considering how good that unit was. His unit — the offensive line — won the Joe Moore award last season, crowning them the nation’s best.
That offensive line, which was a catalyst for nearly all of Michigan’s major breakthroughs a season ago had Moore’s hands all over it. Now he must broaden his focus; alongside Weiss, he has the entire offense to look after.
If the accolades Moore’s unit accrued last season were any indication, there’s no telling what the Wolverines’ offense could look like under Moore and his compatriot by the end of the season. After all, as Moore said:
They haven’t even quite figured it out yet.