Weber State football is currently practicing in Heber City for what has become an annual pilgrimage to break up fall camp for a few days.
Before the team took off for the beautiful Heber Valley, offensive coordinator Dave Schramm spent some time discussing how offseason changes to the coaching staff affect his roles with the team.
The veteran coach, in his second year as WSU's playcaller, will also coach quarterbacks after doubling as the receivers coach last year.
When tight ends coach Al Pupunu left for Colorado and quarterbacks coach Kelly Bills left to become the offensive coordinator at Central Washington University, head coach Jay Hill opted to move Schramm to quarterbacks while hiring Jared Ursua to coach receivers and promoting Skyler Ridley from graduate assistant to full-time assistant over tight ends.
"It allows our receivers to have a little bit more attention because now the playcaller isn’t in their room," Schramm said. "Now, coach Ursua can spend a bit more time on the technical part and not worrying about putting plays together. So it’s a good situation for us."
Schramm has been an offensive coordinator at previous stops like Fresno State and Utah. He's previously done it both from a press box — like he did last season — and from the field. He says when also responsible for coaching quarterbacks, he feels more connected when he's down on the field.
That's not to say things weren't working last year. He says he and Bills were always on the same page, but that it might also help to be hearing one less voice regarding plays.
Schramm's most successful stint as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach was his four seasons at Fresno State, which included coaching now-Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. In that pairing, the Bulldogs were third nationally in total offense in 2013.
He laughed when considering how much stock outsiders put on whether the offensive coordinator is "upstairs" in the press box or "down" on the field.
"You’ve got your play sheet, you’re going to run your plays accordingly. It’s not some big giant secret," he said.
For what it's worth, Ursua, Ridley and graduate assistant Brady May will be in the coaches booth "upstairs" during games for the offense.
Ursua came to WSU after coaching receivers for four years at Southern Utah. Ridley was a graduate assistant for three years at WSU, and May recently hung up his cleats as a WSU All-American to graduate and join the staff.
Last year, Schramm had to use a phone to talk with his quarterbacks during games. This season, he'll be side by side with Jake Constantine, Kaden Jenks and Kylan Weisser.
"I like to look in their eyes and kind of see where they’re at," he said. "The guy touching the ball on every play, making a decision, I can get a feel for where he is from the psyche standpoint."