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Bill Cubit talks a bit about why he took the Illinois job and gives some hints as to what he plans on doing here.
Bill Cubit was officially announced as Illinois' new offensive coordinator on Monday, and while we've already taken a look into the statistical history of Cubit's offenses at Western Michigan, the truth is there's still a lot about him we don't know. Considering how important he'll be to this program in 2013 -- he's only tasked with taking one of the worst offenses in all of college football and maybe the worst in program history and making it competent -- that should probably change.
Luckily Cubit gave us a bit of insight while talking to MLive.com. Cubit had three job offers to choose from but ultimately ended up taking the Illinois job.
"This one right from the very beginning intrigued me the most," Cubit said. "I'll be coaching in the Big Ten and I'm really looking forward to that challenge. They've struggled a little and I'm looking forward to that challenge."
One of the offers Cubit had included the head coaching job at Western Illinois. Now, while there's something to be said about turning down a chance to be a head coach again for a position as offensive coordinator, it's also important to point out that the offensive coordinator position at Illinois likely pays more than the head coaching job at Western Illinois.
Both Chris Beatty and Billy Gonzales made $400,000 last season while Cubit made $377,250 at Western Michigan.
The most interesting comments Cubit made, to me anyway, were the ones about what he's already been doing and what he plans on doing at Illinois.
"What I'm doing now is just looking at the personnel and looking at what certain kids can do," Cubit said. "There are some good players there and we just have to maximize their talents. I don't know if it's going to look exactly like it's been at Western. There's a system in place here. ...You just develop the system within the system."
The part that stands out to me is when he says things may not look exactly like they did at Western and he has to "develop the system within the system."
Now, one of the biggest concerns I've seen expressed since we learned of Cubit has been the fact that he's run a pass-first offense at Western Michigan, and we don't really have a pass-first quarterback here. At least, not yet. Nathan Scheelhaase hasn't looked like much of a passer in recent years, though I do feel he has the potential to be at least above average as a passer in the right system. Still, putting Nate in yet another offense for his senior season may not have the best results.
Then there's Aaron Bailey who has been a running quarterback in high school. He has an arm, he just hasn't had to use it often because why bother throwing when you can just run away from everybody?
Reading between the lines of what Cubit's saying, though, this certainly seems to be a problem he's aware of. So I'm guessing that during his first season at least we'll be seeing some of Cubit's old offense at Western mixed with what we've seen here the last few years as far as the run game. Then in the second year we'll start to see the more pass happy offense Cubit's used to.
Of course, that assumes there is a second season here for Cubit. An assumption that probably shouldn't be made considering the fan base's current opinion of Beckman after only one season. Though if Cubit can find a way to turn this offense into a successful unit that opinion of Beckman might just change.