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Breaking Down the Buzz: Oregon State

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Oregon State will have a new offensive coordinator for the first time since 2004.  (USATSI)
Oregon State will have a new offensive coordinator for the first time since 2004. (USATSI)

Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the Eye on College Football examines what current hot topic the fans of one BCS team are obsessing over -- rationally or not. Today's team: the Oregon State Beavers .

What they're talking about is … The hire of John Garrett as offensive coordinator. Danny Langsdorf spent nine seasons as Oregon State's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before accepting a job as the New York Giants next quarterbacks coach last month. Garrett, older brother of Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, was first reported as Oregon State's next offensive coordinator last week, but the school officially introduced him on Tuesday via a press release and chainsaw-friendly Twitter announcement.

Garrett spent 2013 as the wide receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after working as an offensive assistant for his younger brother in Dallas from 2007-12. He was the Cowboys' tight ends coach and also served as the team's passing game coordinator in 2011-12.

What they're saying is … "him?" After Langsdorf's exit, many of the fans on The Oregonian forums and over at Building The Dam (SB Nation's Oregon State site) were hoping that Riley would use this opportunity to bring in a younger, possibly more innovative, offensive mind. In the eyes of Beaver fans, the hire of Garrett seems to be steady-but-uninspiring.

A sample of reactions from The Oregonian and Building The Dam:

"I can honestly say I have no idea if this is a good hire and neither do most of you, but I certainly hope he can recruit."

"I would hoped we'd have found some younger innovative OC at a school on the lower level on his way up. Not a guy who got fired by his brother and was a coach for an offense that was dead last in the NFL in passing this last season."

"To say that this choice is uninspiring at the outset would be a huge understatement, considering that Garrett has essentially been fired 2 years in a row for being a party to an offense that was hugely disappointing, though there were certainly others that had a lot to do with those dumpster fires.That said, at this point, after most pro and college teams have already filled out their staffs, the options were pretty limited, especially given how reluctant Oregon St. has been to pay top $ for anything."

"Honestly don't know anything about Garrett, other than he's been around the coaching block in the pros. But I think Riley has been on a roll with new coaching hires, so I'm inclined to expect good things from the new guy."

What we're saying is…don't expect a radically different Oregon State offense in 2014. Garrett might be replacing a regular on Riley's staff, but the offense could have undergone a much bigger transformation if offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh and starting quarterback Sean Mannion weren't back in the fold for 2014. Cavanaugh interviewed for the same position at Oklahoma State before announcing his plans to stay in Corvallis on Feb. 13 while Mannion elected to return for his senior year after getting a third-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.

Additionally, it was Riley, not Langsdorf, calling the plays for the Beavers offense for much of the last two seasons. With Riley and Cavanaugh together, the expectation is that Oregon State will continue its pro-style, zone blocking offense. Riley said as much in his introduction, explaining that Oregon State won't be "changing everything out under Sean [Mannion]" but added that his goal for the offense is to "grow and evolve."

Regardless of who was hired, Oregon State fans were likely to see the same offense, led by Mannion and six other returning starters, in 2014.

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