Coaches Corner: Matt Gracey
With the Matt Gracey era of Mesquite football a couple weeks away from beginning, we caught up with him to talk about his new schemes, style of play and the fortunes of having a quarterback who play his way.
Offensive production has sometimes been a bugaboo at Mesquite. What kind of a style do you believe in?
Spread offense, we’ll go from 5-wide to sometimes two guys outside, it’ll be multiple formations and we do a lot of stuff. Kind of in the Oregon-style to keep you off balance. We don’t have a lot of size, we’re not going to run people over with huge guys, but we’ve got some pretty good athletes. It’s a different style than we’re used to. I like taking risks, and you’ll see a bunch of different things. We’ve got athletes and we want to take chances. That’s been my style. You’re a genius when it works and an idiot when it doesn’t. There will be some negative plays, that happens in a spread-out offense, but there will be big plays too.
It must help having a returning starter under center (Steven Bevan). What do you like about him fitting into your style?
Steven is a leader. He’s smart enough to make good decisions. He understands offense in general, because it doesn’t matter what offense you run as long as you understand it, how to attack defenses. He gets it. (Reardon) did a tremendous job teaching him about defense, because I didn’t have to. He knows what to do with pressure, he’s a smart kid.
What style of defense will you run?
Defense 3-4 with some variations. We’re finding out with our younger guys that they can fill in better than we thought. Sophomores and juniors will have to step up with what we’ve got which is already a good, solid, senior class. The younger guys are doing well. It’s been several people, you’re talking 8-10 different people which is good to see.
Where are your team’s issues through camp?
It’s always about where you are on the line. Offensive and defensive line are the biggest questions and we knew that after losing four of five O-linemen (starters). You’re going to have question marks but our coaches have done a great job.