- What does McCarthy mean when he says run the ball?
I think it’s complicated. It won’t be anything obscure in terms of percentage, it’s still going to be within NFL norms, But I do think we will see a lot more of Dak playing under center and utilization of 12 personnel on 1st and 2nd down. In that respect, pre-snap we will look like a run team.
- What was the philosophical difference with Kellen?
I think there were a few fundamental differences that McCarthy wants to see changed. I think a big part of it will be that he wants to control the clock and support the defense a bit more. That means longer, more consistent drives that aren’t so boom or bust. I also think he wants to clarify things a bit for Dak to reduce those interception numbers. I think rather than the litany of the comeback, curl, and option routes where he has to throw players open. We will see more slant, dig, post, and flat routes where that allow the receiver to do more after the catch. I also think we will see Dak less of Dak playing out of shotgun and slinging it and more of him under center.
- Why Brian Shottenheimer?
I think goes to the identity of what McCarthy wants to create. He recognizes that Dak isn’t Pat Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers and never will be (not sure Moore did). Dak does however have strengths, it’s just those strengths align more with a 2018-2020 Russell Wilson than they do the offense Kellen Moore runs. Hence the change to the OC that Russell Wilson had over that time.
- Why was Schoonmaker so highly valued?
We weren’t just looking for a blocking TE, we were looking for someone that can receive the ball but also block in a variety of ways. I don’t think we ever were looking at a guy like Kincaid because we aren’t looking for our TE’s to be a big receiver like Kelce. I think it comes back to Dak playing under center and our team’s "run" philosophy. What we want is TE’s that typically block before releasing. I think that fits Dak playing under center, along with both Ferguson (and his YAC ability) and Schoonmaker (with his downfield blocking) very well. I suspect we had three TE targets in the draft all at pick 59 (LaPorta, Musgrave, and Schoonmaker), and felt lucky to get one of them.
- Why Bergeron but not Torrence?
It was very clear we wanted a guard (Bergeron) by the War Room discussion but I think the type of guard was also very important. IMO we are only targeting guys that can pull, block at the second level, and with the athleticism to excel in a zone-blocking scheme. That is clearly Bergeron but very clearly NOT O’Cyrus Torrence. We went with Asim Richards who as a former left tackle could develop into what we are looking for, we already have Tyler Smith, Chuma Edoga, and Matt Farniok on the roster and to me, there’s a clear desire for our guards to be light on their feet.
- Why Deuce Vaughn?
I don’t think you draft Deuce Vaughn unless you have a specific plan. Again, I think we will see Dak play under center, and rather than have our RBs stay inside pass-protecting, we will see them running route and targeted in the screen game. I actually think Dak deals well with pressure up the middle and we are going to bait teams to blitz.
- Why was Cooks so coveted?
I think McCarthy simply wants that guy that can stretch the field. We saw Dk Metcalf do it for Seattle and while the polar opposite build to Cook that speed is required to really stretch the field.