Last season, the Liberty Blue Jays didn't keep many secrets about their intentions to run the football. Nearly 85 percent of the offensive calls were running plays, some from the wildcat formation.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
It's no wonder why coach Chad Frigon says the goal now is to produce a more balanced offense.
Of course, that's easier said than done.
With all five offensive linemen returning this season, led by Division I prospect Jacob Francis, along with running back David Graves, there certainly will be temptation to continue to run the football.
"When you're running the football and it's working, it's hard to go away from that," Frigon said. "But our goal is to become more balanced. Our passing game (last season) wasn't as good as we needed it to be. We expect that to improve."
Similar improvements are expected from a defense that welcomes back eight starters. The Blue Jays' defense was marked by inconsistency in 2012, but with all-state linebacker Devin Houston roaming the middle, there's reason for optimism. Houston was the co-defensive player of the year in the Suburban Gold Conference last season.
He is joined on defense by Tyler Baker, who will likely have the luxury of focusing most of his attention on the defensive line a year after being asked to play on both offense and defense.
"I think the biggest thing for our defense is we gave up a lot of big plays last year," Frigon said. "We were really sound most of the time, but we'd give up one 50-yard run. That really puts you in a bind. We can't afford that."