Dan Werner

COLUMBIA - New South Carolina offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon has just four quarters' worth of experience calling plays.

But McClendon will have plenty of experience around him to lean on in the offensive meeting room and on the headset in his first year running the Gamecocks' offense.

New quarterbacks coach Dan Werner and his three decades plus with a whistle is a welcomed addition to an already impressive offensive staff.

"His track record speaks for itself," head coach Will Muschamp said this past Friday. "His experience, I'm really excited about this combination. When I was a coordinator for a lot of years at a high level, I always had sounding boards in the room.

"How the game plan processes, how you're going to attack an offense or defense, the situational football that always comes up, are discussed through that week for gameday. There's no question that Dan is going to be an outstanding sounding board for Bryan in that room along with the rest of the outstanding staff that we have here at South Carolina."

  • * South Carolina running backs coach Bobby Bentley is widely known as one of the best coaches and offensive minds in state of South Carolina high school football history.
  • * Offensive line coach Eric Wolford has experience as an FBS run-game coordinator, FCS head coach and NFL assistant.
  • * Pat Washington is one of the SEC's most tenured coaches with two decades of SEC experience under his belt on five different SEC staffs.

While the final call that goes from McClendon's headset to the signal-callers on the sidelines to quarterback Jake Bentley will be McClendon's decision, there's a whole process of scouting, evaluating and teaching that goes into an offensive game plan each week.

Since Werner visited Columbia during bowl preparation, he and McClendon have remained in contact, and the Gamecocks' new play-caller is excited about working with a veteran who has produced offenses that have led the league in about every statistical category.

"I do feel like we have a really good offensive staff that knows a lot of ball and has done it at a high level for a long time," McClendon said. "So I think he’s going to be a huge addition, but I am so excited about working with – and Coach (Muschamp) said it – it’s like having a sounding board.

"It’s no secret that I worked at Georgia for awhile, and Coach (Mark) Richt was Mike Bobo’s sounding board when he was calling plays. Coach Muschamp is (Travaris Robinson’s) sounding board. He can say ‘hey, I see what you’re seeing. You might want to try a different way, because I tried it like this and it didn’t turn out so well.’ It can just help you through some things. That’s why I’m excited about working with him.”

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