New Tiger offense seen as blend of the past

Chris Easterling
Updated: Thursday, May 4, 2017
Massillon offensive coordinator Jon Mazur<br /><div id="dfp-300x250" style="float:right;"><script type="text/javascript">googletag.display("dfp-300x250");</script></div>
Massillon offensive coordinator Jon Mazur


EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of two stories looking at the philosophies of Massillon's new offensive and defensive coordinators based on their comments at the Spring Kickoff. Saturday: Defensive coordinator Craig McConnell.

MASSILLON

The questions kept coming to newly-promoted Massillon offensive coordinator Jon Mazur. The Tiger fans attending Wednesday night's Spring Kickoff just had to know what they could expect from the latest person installed in charge of the Tiger offense.

"'What are we going to look like?'" Mazur told the crowd during his time to speak. "'What are we going to run?' If you've watched us the last two years, you kind of take a little bit of each and just smash them together."

The Spring Kickoff was the first opportunity for Mazur to address a large contingent of Massillon fans in one spot since he was promoted by head coach Nate Moore to replace Brett Cooper, who departed for a head-coaching job in Indiana. During his four minutes at the podium, the man who has been the Tiger offensive line coach since Moore's arrival managed to spell out what he hopes to see from his side of the football once the season rolls around in a little more than three months.

The best word to describe the philosophy would be "multiple," something Mazur made clear in characterizing the offense.

"Who are we offensively," Mazur asked rhetorically. "We are a multiple-formation, multiple-personnel offense. You're not going to see the same guys staying out there on every single down; the same skill guys. We are going to be running different guys in. ... We're going to do some things with different formations and different personnel."

Two years ago, with Jon Hunek running the offense, the Tigers employed a high-tempo spread attack which utilized a combination of cards and signals to relay in the plays. Hand signals were also utilized by Cooper a year ago, but the tempo was not nearly as fast-paced as it had been in Moore's first season in Massillon.

Mazur believes a no-huddle, up-tempo approach is the best way to proceed for this fall's offense. It's a philosophy which is shared by the rest of the offensive coaching staff, including new addition, quarterbacks coach Jarrett Troxler.

"We're going to move fast," Mazur said. "Not quite as fast as two years ago, but we're going to move fast. We're going to stretch the field. We're going to have big-play potential."

Up-tempo and no-huddle doesn't mean complex, however. The Ohio High School Athletic Association permits groups of no more than seven at a time to receive individual coaching during the offseason, a provision which the Tigers have tried to take advantage of in working through the installation of the newest offensive philosophy.

What the ultimate goal is for the offensive coaches is to see the players playing fast once the season starts in August. The best way for that to happen is to turn the thinking now into instinct later.

"We think we're going to be really difficult to defend, but really simple to execute," Mazur said. "That's a key for us. We want our kids to know what they're doing every single play so they can play fast."

Mazur, though, doesn't want to get all caught up into names and labels when it comes to his offensive philosophy compared to previous Tiger coordinators. Whatever one may call his offense compared to Hunek's or Cooper's, he doesn't necessarily care.

Well, there is one thing he hopes the Tiger faithful see in the offense.

"We want to play Massillon football," Mazur said. "We want to win the line of scrimmage. We want to punch you in the mouth. We want to finish. We want our receivers to block downfield. We want our quarterback to take care of the football and make big plays. We want our running backs to finish runs. That's who we are."

Something Mazur believes should be true, regardless of who is calling the plays.

Reach Chris at 330-775-1128 or chris.easterling@indeonline.com.

On Twitter: @ceasterlingINDE