Upon hiring David Lee as offensive coordinator one of the first statements Houston Nutt made was that Lee would call the plays.
That’s a change in philosophy for Nutt, who has almost always preferred to handle that assignment himself. Though Lee worked with Nutt for two different stints at Arkansas, the only primary play-caller Nutt had with the Razorbacks was Gus Malzahn in 2006.
Nutt has said he will miss the challenge of competing 1-on-1 against the opposing defensive coordinator, but he quickly cited the perceived benefits of letting go, saying he’ll be able to be more involved with special teams and defense, two trouble spots in last year’s 4-8 season.
Lee says Nutt is on the money.
“I remember being a head coach way back 100 years ago,” Lee said. “When I took over play-calling, I felt like I really didn’t know what we were doing defensively, not like I should have. I didn’t have time to look at the kicking game or the opponent’s kicking game. I was planning, coordinating, calling plays and coaching quarterbacks.
“I can remember being mentally stressed and tired from wearing all those hats when November hit. I think this will give him a chance to improve his game management as a head coach, to call the shots and manage the game. He can oversee defense and the kicking game.”
Lee has praised the Rebels’ talent and depth at running back. He says his preference in play-calling is to put pressure on the defense with an up-tempo style.
Ole Miss begins spring practice on March 28.