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Cotey: Zephyrhills coach has something up his sleeve

Quarterback Tyler Guy may be running a different offense at Zephyrhills in the fall. Coach Jerrell Cogmon hopes to implement the triple option — or so he says.

LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN | Times (2007)

Quarterback Tyler Guy may be running a different offense at Zephyrhills in the fall. Coach Jerrell Cogmon hopes to implement the triple option — or so he says.

Given his way, and yes, it will be his way, new Zephyrhills coach Jerrell Cogmon will run the triple option next season.

In little coffee shops around Zephyrhills, this is probably cause for great consternation and already is stirring up some discussion.

Two sugars, cream and what the heck is the new coach thinking?

It's the first great debate of the 2009 football season.

Tyler Guy, triple-option quarterback?

Really?

Well … maybe.

"I'd like to run the triple option, I really would,'' he said Monday, "but I am not an idiot.''

Here's where Cogmon is on the issue:

He wants to run the triple option. But he knows the Bulldogs' hopes next season probably rest on the right throwing shoulder of Guy, the returning starter.

So asked what he will do, he threw triple option out there.

And whattaya know — people are already talking about Zephyr­hills football.

"I heard,'' he said, with a chuckle.

What will Cogmon really do?

Not saying.

"I gotta save something for the season, don't want to give away all my secrets to the other coaches.''

Cogmon hasn't coached since 2004, but he is experienced enough to know that a new coach, especially, has to fit his philosophy around the returning talent.

The triple option, then, is something the Bulldogs may just have to ease into, or Cogmon might find himself looking to replace his best player, something he has already told Guy and his father he has no intentions of doing.

While Guy, a junior, is one of the best athletes in Pasco County, a rare three-sport athlete who starts in football, basketball and baseball, his 40 time is not, well, his forte.

He is 6 feet, 6 inches tall, and weighs around 220 pounds. By definition, that makes him a pocket passer.

He's good enough to already have drawn a little Division I-A interest.

Cogmon thinks he can help bring in more.

"I talked to Tyler about this,'' Cogmon said. "I just want him to be able to show people he can move around. If a college coach asks another coach about Tyler, he'll probably say he's too slow. That's what you hear.

"He's too slow."

So Cogmon wants Guy to meet him halfway.

Maybe that means working out a little with Zephyrhills track coach Jason Rouser, a gold-medal sprinter who will take over the junior varsity program.

Maybe that means embracing increased mobility, because more and more colleges are demanding it from their quarterbacks.

Maybe that means trying the option, even if initially it seems utterly ridiculous.

Listen, Cogmon can't turn Tyler Guy into an option quarterback and more than he can turn him into a wide receiver.

He can add some mobility to his game. He can have him sprint out on occasion. Heck, he can run the triple option a couple times a game as a wrinkle.

That could be enough, could be just be the middle ground Cogmon is looking for.

"I know I'm going to have to make some concessions this year,'' Cogmon said. "We have a plan. Can't say yet. But I think you'll like it.''

Whatever triple-option hybrid Cogmon has planned, it's a heck of a thing to try your first year, a heck of a way to make a first impression on some of the county's most loyal football fans.

Then again, a new approach is kind of refreshing, and imagining the triple option after Guy graduates isn't so crazy.

Cogmon was 4-16 in two seasons in his only other head coaching job at Leto, but never really had a chance there.

Disillusioned, he got out of the coaching game and started an apparel business, but has been to a number of Pasco County games the past few years.

He has been a substitute teacher at Land O'Lakes, Wiregrass Ranch and Zephyrhills, where he helped previous coach Tom Fisher in the weight room.

He considers himself a motivator. He promises to "beat the hallways up" to find players, so he doesn't have to scramble to fill his roster like Fisher sometimes had to do.

His kids will study hard, practice hard and "chop wood.''

They will adjust to the changes, and there will be many.

Cogmon will adjust to his players.

And this crazy Guy-option-super-secret-offense thing?

It will either work, or they just might need to start stocking up on stronger coffee in Zephyr­hills.

John C. Cotey can be reached at johncotey@gmail.com.

Cotey: Zephyrhills coach has something up his sleeve 04/06/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 6, 2009 10:59pm]
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