But we hired him to run our offense, not serve as the head coach. And this guy has been coaching offense for 30 years, most notably as the OC at Colorado State (before he took over as head coach), and the OC for the Rams, Bills, and Chargers in the NFL.
Here are some of the nuts and bolts of Fairchild's system, as best as I can tell from scouring the interwebs:
- He runs a pro-style offense that is seen as more conservative than not. Should be a good fit with Tom O'Brien doing quality control for the offense.
- He's good at "coaching up" young / inexperienced offensive players and maximizing skills and abilities.
- He likes the short and intermediate passing game -- call it dink & dunk if you wish.
- He prefers versatile running backs who can contribute in the passing game. (Smoke says hello.) Fairchild really clicked with Marshall Faulk.
- He elevates mediocre quarterback talent (Marc Bulger) into effective game managers and productive passers. Everywhere he goes, he develops good QBs. Losman in Buffalo is probably his biggest failure in this regard.
- He throws to his tight ends A LOT.
- He likes a limited number of plays run out of a lot of different looks, very much like Bill Lazor.
- He delivered the best recruiting class in Colorado State history, and the book on Fairchild is that he is a very good, willing recruiter who has a little bit of a closer's mentality.
- He picked up a lot of passing game savvy from his three years coaching under Mike Martz with the Rams.
- He seeks run/pass balance, but at his core he's a passing game guy.
- He's not afraid to grind between the tackles with a power running game (see: Travis Henry's Pro Bowl season in 2001).
- He's fallen in love with throwing screens, drags, and slants recently. Maybe he's lost his appetite for taking downfield risks after he's been canned at his last three stops.
- He is not an innovator, and runs a very conventional attack.
Lots of good stuff about Fairchild on the CSU website, HERE.
It seems like it could be a pretty good hire. The guy is on the downside of his coaching career, obviously... but what that means is that he brings a lot of experience to the table, never a bad thing. I think he'll mesh well with Tom O'Brien, and that had to be a big concern with this hire. He's also a very good QBs coach, another big concern.
This hire is not a home run, but it's a solid single that advances the runners.