NASHVILLE, Tenn. — To a man, Commodores on the offensive side of the ball have sounded a familiar refrain of how advantageous it has been to begin the 2022 preseason with the same offensive system that was utilized in 2021.
“It’s just so nice we don’t have to do much install stuff, you can just get right into it and really be on our Ps and Qs and have a great relationship with the quarterbacks,” Vandy tight end Ben Bresnahan said. “Everyone is on the same page.”
Bresnahan is one of a multitude of players returning for the Vanderbilt offense under the direction of quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Joey Lynch. Lynch had a hand in the design of the game plan going into all 12 games in 2021 and will again be looked upon to put the Dores in the best position to put points on the board in 2022.
Lynch’s offense will be able to grow and adapt even more with so many returners on the roster ready to improve last season’s production.
“The guys are ready to go. They believe in each other and are having fun playing football together, talking football,” Lynch said. “Just seeing from Year 1 to Year 2 the identity of what we’re building and following coach (Clark) Lea’s lead.”
Over the final four games of the 2021 season, Vandy’s offense averaged 20.8 points and 355.3 yards of total offense. Lynch and company hope to build on those numbers with a corps of playmakers who returned for a second season with Lynch and Lea.
Along with Bresnahan, Gavin Schoenwald is back at tight end. All three of Vandy’s top running backs – Rocko Griffin, Patrick Smith and Re’Mahn Davis – returned and two of the program’s top four receivers from ’21, Will Sheppard and Devin Boddie, also remained with the program.
“It’s a quarterback-friendly offense, that’s what I tell people. You’re the person out there controlling the offense,” Wright said. “You’re just being guys out there and at the end of the day you can go out there and play.
“I have a great cast around me, great receivers, great up front, seven different running backs who can run the ball – it’s a fun offense to be in, especially with so many weapons. They make my job easier.”
Wright, named the team’s No. 1 quarterback in the preseason, is charged with helping the offense be in a polished and precise position ahead of the season-opener at Hawai’i. It’s there that the Commodores will face a Rainbow Warriors defense that ranked 127th in passing defense and 71st in rushing defense in 2021.
But until that day, Lynch just wants his unit to focus on being great play after play so that nothing is left to chance Aug. 27.
“We talked about it just the other day as an offensive unit, the great offenses make the routine play. They really do. They execute and control the things they can control, ” he said. “We have to be the best offense in the country at the things that we can control.
“That’s our different procedures, our snap counts, our alignments and formation systems. We can do things that can create conflict for the defense just by our operation. And we got to buy into that. I think from a consistency standpoint, that will go a long way allowing us to be multiple.”
— Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt Athletics for VUCommodores.com.
Follow him @MrChadBishop.