A Wide Receiver’s View
of Logan’s Offense
(Editor's Note: Former East Carolina wideout
Pete Zophy was the subject of
Ron Cherubini's 'Pirate Time Machine'
special feature which ran on Bonesville's front page the weekend of
December 1. During his interviews with Zophy, Cherubini also gleaned this
intriguing outlook, from a wide receiver's perspective, of ECU head coach
Steve Logan's complex offensive concepts.)
In a season
when the abilities of the wide receivers have come under fire... In a year
in which pass after pass was off the finger tips, through the alligator
arms, off the helmet, off the shoulder pads, and in the breadbasket, only to
be dropped on the ground, the question might be:
our receivers be this bad?”
According to one former Pirate receiver, the
current receivers are talented — very talented. Unfortunately, echoing coach
Steve Logan’s many post-game comments, Pete Zophy sums it up this way:
just aren’t getting it.”
Getting Logan’s complex passing game is no
easy task. But once it is mastered by the receivers and by the quarterback,
it is simply, in the words of Zophy, “unstoppable.”
“In Coach Logan’s offense, there should
never be one go-to guy,” Zophy said. “In his offense, there will always be
open guys. The quarterback just has to find that guy.
“It’s a complex offense. He gets it straight
out of the NFL with so many different formations and plays. All of it is set
and it is doable for a receiver to learn. But what makes it so complicated
is once you have a quarterback who has learned it…when he has it all down,
coach Logan then puts in the audibles, the check-offs.
"That is what made us
so good during the Peach Bowl season. Jeff (Blake) knew the offense so well
that he would check just about every play, depending on how the opponent
would line up. It can be unstoppable.”
who played for the Pirates during the 1988-92 span, said the path to success
lies in the continuity of knowledge transfer from the older players to the
younger ones. Since it takes awhile to learn the offense, the success of the
team depends on the players steadily maturing through the program.
To that end,
the playbook has been diced up and is spoon-fed to the young receivers.
“The way they coach the playbook is in
stages,” Zophy said. “You literally get 10 plays from the film (meeting) and
you take them and study them and then go right to the field and put them in.
It can be fairly overwhelming. But you get it… you get the reps and you add
10 more plays.”
So what is Zophy’s assessment of this year’s
“(Richard) Alston really catches my eye,” he
said. “But it doesn’t surprise me because he knows every play in the
playbook and he knows them from the quarterback’s perspective. Sure enough,
he has been making the big plays most consistently out there.
“For the other guys, most of them are young
and they haven’t seen the field enough. You watch them and you see that they
are obviously gifted athletically and have the skills. They just haven’t
‘gotten’ the complexity of this offense. You must get your assignment right
every time. I can understand why they have underperformed. But of course,
this late in the season, there is no excuse.”
Zophy said that just interpreting the
play-call nomenclature is a task within itself.
“The play calling is crazy,” he said. “First
there is the formation, then the movement, the blocking, the running back
fakes, and finally the action of the receivers. It really is crazy, but it
is incredible when you have it all down.”
Zophy’s favorite play, personally?
“I should know the whole play, but all I
remember is the ‘X drag,’ part,” he said. “The split end and tight end come
across the field against the action. The quarterback roles out on play
action and has the split coming across and the tight end coming across over
the top. It is a great play because it is almost impossible to cover. I got
a lot of my grabs on that play.”
Zophy believes the talent
level of ECU's pass catchers is fine and that the offense should be clicking in
players like Torey Morris and Terrance Copper mature. And if young
quarterbacks like Paul Troth, Sakeen Wright and Desmond
Robinson can get the offense down, the receiving corps will be an important
asset for the
Pirates next season.
Send an e-mail message to
Click here to dig into Ron
02/23/2007 02:07:35 PM