Aug 03, 2020

New hire looks to build on offense

The Fresno State football coaching staff is finally complete, and preparations for the upcoming season are already underway.

The initial feeling out process for new offensive coordinator Jim McElwain is over, making the time from here on out nothing but official business.

McElwain, who last year served as quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders, is already looking forward to spring football action, where the current Bulldogs squad will begin to show what it’s made of.

“I think that’s what spring ball is for,� McElwain said. “In college, it lets you develop a personality as a team and it lets you sit back after those 15 practices and say, ‘OK, this is who we are, this is what we need to be.’

“We’re gonna be physical and we’re not gonna back down from anybody.�

McElwain very much wants to simplify things for Bulldogs players, and his previous experience at other colleges as an offensive leader should give him instant credibility with current Fresno State players. That’s why McElwain has set early and realistic expectations for his new team.

“Just what we expect as a staff out of them,� McElwain said. “Don’t think you need to do too much. Do it within the system. Take what the defense gives you and eventually they’ll give you the game.�

And like Fresno State head coach Pat Hill, McElwain is all about winning, and poor offensive numbers don’t always have to affect a team’s overall performance.

“The ideal outcome is win. Offensively we get caught up in numbers too much. It’s about wins and losses,� McElwain said.

But that’s not to say that when the time comes, McElwain’s playbook won’t have a trick or two up its sleeve.

“I think if you look into the background of what we’ve been involved with, there may be some unique formations that you may scratch your head at, but those will only be used if the defense has a weakness to that,� McElwain said.

Assuming all goes well with that, McElwain doesn’t intend on leaving Fresno State anytime soon.

“I really hope it’s home,� McElwain said.�I really do.�

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