I often ask myself..... What is the better strategy and what does an elite coach do?
A) Recruiting the best athletes you can and tailor your offense or defense to suit those players.
B) Recruit players who best meet the criteria of your already built system.
I've seen it successfully work both ways , but the most vivid example that comes to mind is the way Urban Meyer adjusts his playbook and style to suit the athletes he has. There is not "Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole" type deal.
Meyer has erected a championship churning machine with that Spread Offense which is specifically designed to utilize Tim Tebow's explosive running ability in addition to his throwing skills. The entire offense runs through Tebow to utilize his talents which it should since he's obviously Florida's heart and soul on offense.
Likewise when Tebow graduates or if he ever got hurt this season, Meyer will be running a more pro-style type offense tailored to suit Brantley's cannon-like arm and pinpoint accuracy.
I think the key is creating your team's indentity and sticking to it once it's identified.
Being a Buckeye fan, I'm an annual victim of Tressel's notorious "fit a square peg into a round hole" routine. He has a wonderful athlete in Terelle Pryor at QB and still trying to run a conservative "Ground and Pound" Power-I/Play Action offense to complement his always tough defense and special teams.
Problem is, you don't have a bruising mauler of a RB anymore in Chris Wells, Pryor can't throw a consistent accurate ball and isn't a precision pocket passer, and you don't have an elite receiving core. This offense is designed to centerpiece a pocket passer with a power running back which is built around the idea of "Managing the game by controlling the clock and gaining 5-6 yards per play with the occasional home-run playaction deepball."
It's truly frustrating to no end to watch your coach try to apply a universal identity to his team to try and get the job done. He has zero imagination or creativity and certainly no adaptability.
I'm interested to know the opinions of all you die-hard college football fans out there: What are the ingredients of an Elite Coach?