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The Adjustment Phase And The Penalty Problem

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

There are always growing pains associated with changing coaching staffs, altering systems, and implementing them. Especially in NC State's case, where the offense takes on an entirely different look. Needless to say, this transition has, uh, not gone so great. The pre-snap penalties and illegal formation calls have felt like a constant up to this point, and this sort of thing is extra damaging when you're missing several key contributors.

We all knew this adjustment phase was coming, but I have to admit I didn't think it would be quite this bad. To take it from a positive perspective, this stuff will get cleaned up with more reps, and that's going to make this team better over the second half of the season. Dave Doeren obviously isn't happy about the lack of execution up to this point.

"To be honest that comes down to the players getting that off the tape," Doeren said. "It's a point now where the guys have talked a lot about is as a team. You are going to have a lot of what I call combat penalties, you're fighting for the ball and the ref calls PI, you think it isn't, and that happens in football.

"We got to eliminate the roughing the kickers, the pre-snaps, the illegal formation type things and we will. Hopefully we'll see that this week."

As Doeren notes, it's not the "combat penalties" that are the problem; the pre-snap nonsense that puts the offense behind schedule is what's really killing us right now. The margin for error is thin enough as it is.