New Ole Miss OC Phil Longo describes his variation of the 'Air Raid' offense
Phil Longo is not a household name, but Ole Miss fans will soon understand what he brings to the table.
Longo, who directed the highest-scoring FCS offense in 2016 with Sam Houston State, was introduced as the Rebels’ newest offensive coordinator on Friday morning. He jumped on a phone call with 247Sports‘ Barton Simmons to discuss his version of the “Air Raid,” an adaptation of what he learned while spending time with Mike Leach nearly two decades ago.
“If I had to say with regards to who has been the biggest influence on me from a professional standpoint and a football standpoint I’d say it’d be Mike (Leach) with regards to throwing the football,” Longo said. “But if you watch us, you might not think you’re watching Washington State or Kliff’s offense at Texas Tech.
“In the passing game, I 100 percent believe in that philosophy (of Leach and Kliff Kingsbury) throwing the ball,” Longo said. “I think they’re as good as anybody in the business throwing the football. Probably the biggest difference is that there is a very physical downhill run component to our offense.”
Indeed. From 2014-15, Sam Houston State averaged over 240 rushing yards per game, which ranked inside the top 10 nationally. Pair that with a passing attack that ranked No. 2 with close to 370 yards and 4.5 touchdowns per contest, and that makes for one difficult game plan for opposing defensive coaches.
It’s also an intriguing addition for an Ole Miss offense that has finished no better than 7th in the SEC the last four seasons when it comes to production from the backfield.
“I’m just a very firm believer that the best odds in the house are taking what the defense gives you,” he said. “There are games we run the ball 70 times to win it and games where we throw 70 times to win it. I’m perfectly willing to do either but that’s never decided going into the game. That’s going to be decided by what the defense is taking away.
“The offense is designed to be simpler,” Longo added. “It’s designed to be more flexible so that regardless of our talent base we have the flexibility in the offense to promote the more talented players.”
To read more, head over to the original article at 247.