Apologies around, I have been sitting on this interview for almost two months until I found it in my email. I spoke with someone who knows new Hawaii offensive coordinator Aaron Price when they were at UTEP.
Here is where we learn about Hawai'i's offensive for this upcoming season.
1. What type of offense did Aaron Price run at UTEP?
Simply put, the offense run by Aaron Price, and Mike Price for many of his years as a HC, is a one back, spread offense. It was, for the most part, a pass heavy offense, but was a little more balanced the last couple of years as UTEP has been fairly running back heavy.
2. What was the reason for the offense to never being any better than the top half of Conference USA? Was it recruiting, play calling or something else.
In the early years of Price, the offense thrived. But, following two 8 win seasons, it was just never the same. And, I'd say it struggled for a multitude of reasons. Some of the blame has to be put on the personnel and recruiting, but I'd place the majority of the blame on play calling and scheming.
UTEP has never brought in the most highly sought after recruits, but especially under Price, they were able to attract some talented players. However, at times it just seemed like it was trying to shove a square peg into a round hole as the play calling got very predictable. Of course, those players still have to go out and execute, but from the outside looking in, the play calling just wasn't do them any favors.
3. What would you say are the strengths of Price running an offense?
I'd say that Price brings quite a bit to the table. Despite not having a ton of success at UTEP, he's a guy that has been around the game, and some successful programs for years. He's got quite a bit of knowledge, and given the right personnel, I think his schemes could work. Considering Hawaii likes to pass the ball a lot, it may be a great fit.
4. Does he have the playbook to be versatile for what Hawaii will do on offense? Hawaii is expected to pass a lot but also mix in some pro-style sets for a more balanced attack with the run.
I can't exactly say that he's got a real versatile playbook. At least, it wasn't shown at UTEP. I think some of that had to do with the fact that he was never truly handed the reigns. He got to call the plays, but I think Mike Price had a lot of input. Maybe with a little more freedom at Hawaii, we could see more than we ever saw with the Miners.
5. You mentioned predictability, was it that Price would call the same style of play in the same down and distances or the same plays out of the same formation. So, how was he predictable?
As far as predictability, I'd say more than anything it was a matter of calling the same type plays in similar down and distance situations. I can't tell you how many times, as a fan, I could call the play that was to come. If I can see that, I can just imagine what a defense that has been that team can see.