Miami Hurricanes OC Rhett Lashlee has Jimmy Johnson aggressiveness

BIRMINGHAM, AL - DECEMBER 30: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, AL - DECEMBER 30: (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The aggressive play calling that offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee showed for the Miami Hurricanes against Louisville on Saturday is reminiscent of the approach Jimmy Johnson took during his Canes tenure from 1984-1988.

New Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has an aggressive approach to play calling. Lashlee takes the same approach no matter what the score in a game is. Miami legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer elected Jimmy Johnson used the same strategy during his coaching career.

Johnson was accused of running up the score against Notre Dame in a 58-7 Miami Hurricanes victory in 1985. Lashlee has not been accused of running up the score at Miami, but ABC and ESPN lead college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit likes the direction Lashlee is taking the Miami offense and sees him as a future head coach.

Herbstreit will work his second Miami game in a row against Florida State Saturday night from Hard Rock Stadium. Herbstreit was impressed with the Miami offense against Louisville this past Saturday. Herbstreit saw graduate transfer quarterback D’Eriq King throw for 325 yards and three touchdowns against Louisville.

Herbstreit spoke to the Miami football announcing team Joe Zagacki and Don Bailey Jr. on Hurricane Hotline on Tuesday night. The former Ohio State QB spoke about Miami redshirt junior defensive end Jaelan Phillips, the need to stay focused week to week and the impact that Lashlee and King have had on the Miami football program.

"“I’ve got a lot of faith in Rhett Lashlee…I’ve followed his career very closely. I think he’s a head coach in a year or two somewhere. He’s going to have those kinds of credentials.When you talk to him, I’ve been doing this 25 years [and] there are certain coordinators you talk to and you just know you’re talking to a guy that is going to be a head coach in a year or two. He’s got that feel to him. In the meantime, you guys are getting a taste of how he operates.He’s from that system where it’s not like you and I when we’re up by a score or two we’re going to run the ball and kill the clock. He’s in attack mode until it’s done, until the horn goes off. That’s a different mindset than Miami has had in a long, long time. He’s basically bringing them into the 21s century.”"

Johnson had a similar view about not being concerned with the score and the approach his teams take. The Notre Dame game in 1985 helped set the culture of the confidence and instinct to put other teams away. Herbstreit told Zagacki and Bailey Jr. that the success of that era was about accountability and opponents fearing Miami.

"“I’ll stop throwing,…when you stop blitzing. And that’s the thing. Everyone thinks it’s a fine idea for the losing team to keep battling; so why can’t the winning team? Isn’t it their job to stop the score?”"

Johnson instilled into his team the attitude of never letting up. Lashlee is beginning to instill the same attitude in the Miami offense this season. The Hurricanes scored two 75-yard TDs against Louisville and a 47-yard TD. The pair of 75-yard TDs for Miami came after Louisville scoring drives cut the margin to seven in the third quarter.

Lashlee has the attitude to cease momentum from the other team. Johnson was the same. The final four seasons Johnson was the Miami Football coach the Hurricanes went 44-4. Miami easily could have won national championships in each of Johnson’s final four seasons. Lashlee might not be at Miami long.

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If the Miami Hurricanes offense continues to evolve and the skill level that is currently on the roster the projection by Herbstreit that Lashlee will be a future head coach seems almost certain. Lashlee is changing more than the offense for Miami. The culture of the Miami offense is evolving and changing for the present and future.