On Wednesday, Texas Tech made of one two hires on the offensive side of the ball as head coach Kliff Kingsbury tabbed Brandon Jones as Texas Tech’s new offensive line coach.
Jones spent two years as an offensive assistant after graduating from Texas Tech in 2006 and was here in 2007 and 2008. Jones then went to Sam Houston State as the running backs and tight ends coach in 2009 and in 2010 from 2014, Jones was the offensive line coach with Ruffin McNeal at East Carolina, working alongside Lincoln Riley.
In 2015, Sonny Dykes hired Jones as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at California, most likely because McNeal attempted to increase Jones’ role at ECU in an effort to keep him and my guess is that Dykes offered the same title (see the Scout article linked below).
In this Scout article, we learn a bit about what Jones wants to do as a coach:
RG: What would you say is your coaching philosophy, and the underpinnings of the way you go about your business on the field and in the meeting room?
BJ: I think the biggest thing that my coaching philosophy is based on is the trust between the player and the coach. I have to trust those guys to be accountable, and dependable and do everything right. I’m a real stickler for details, and in order to be successful as an offensive line, you really have to be as tough physically as you are mentally tough. Those are the things that I hang my hat on, and those are the things that I’m going to demand of these kids. I think overall, I’ve been there. I know Zach [Yenser] was a young coach, like myself. I’m not going to ask those kids to do anything that I haven’t done at some point in my career. That’s what I stress to them. All the drill work, balancing school – which, I know they have to do a great job of, up here – and all the small things that I can really get out there and teach them and be a lot more hands on, more than maybe an older coach.
The official site head from Kingsbury and Jones as well:
“I’m excited to join Coach Kingsbury and his staff,” Jones said. “I’m looking forward to working with a great group of young men on the offensive line and helping Texas Tech continue to build one of the nation’s top offenses each and every season.”
In looking at the 24/7 Sports page on Jones he was responsible for most of the offensive line recruiting and even had a target of Dawson Deaton. Most of those players were of the 3-star variety, which fits within Texas Tech’s profile.
I’m very thankful for Football Outsiders’ offensive line rankings for some comparison numbers between the lines.
In 2016 California ranked 24th in the nation in Adjusted Line Yards, 33rd in the nation in Standard Downs Line Yards, 47th in Passing Downs Line Yards, 66th in Power Success Rank, 24th in Stuff Rate, and 3rd in Adjusted Sack Rate.
For comparison purposes, Texas Tech was 89th in Adjusted Line Yards, 83rd in Standard Downs Line Yards, 32nd in Passing Downs Line Yards, 76th in Power Success Rate, 72nd in Stuff Rate and 19th in Adjusted Sack Rate.
I know that’s a lot of numbers to throw at you, but the idea is that the worst ranking for Cal was 66th in the nation and Cal has 4 top 40 rankings in these offensive line categories, while Texas Tech only had 2 top 40 rankings. That’s an average ranking of 33 for Cal and and 62 for Texas Tech last year. That’s pretty impressive considering that Jones only had two years to work with this group. I haven’t taken into consideration who played, just raw numbers and that’s a good sign.
RRS’s Drew Kohnle talked with former Red Raider footballer Brandon Carter and what Jones meant to Texas Tech as a player and as a graduate assistant in 2007 and 2008:
“I think his knowledge of the game was his biggest asset and something all the young guys looked up to when I came in. Shawn Byrnes, Louis Vasquez, all those guys, we kind of looked up to Brandon. He was the guy to go to if we ever had a question. What do I do in this situation, what do I do in that situation because at the time he was the center, so he had to know the offense inside and out.
“As a player, he brought so much to the offensive line just because of his knowledge. He was a physical player, but his biggest asset was his knowledge of the game.”
There’s a lot more there, but Carter is very complimentary of Jones.