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Potential ‘Canes Offensive Coordinator: Sean Gleeson

The Princeton play caller is young and very innovative

Pittsburgh v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes are in need of an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach that can tear down the entire “scheme” and start fresh. Sean Gleeson, the current Princeton Tigers offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, could be that guy. Gleeson is young and determined to create lasting positive relationships with his players.

Gleeson was promoted from running backs coach to offensive coordinator and moved to the quarterback meeting room in 2017. With Gleeson calling plays the Tigers scored 47 points per game for the 2018 season which is good for 2nd overall in the FCS.

Under Gleeson’s tutelage, quarterback Chad Kanoff won the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year. Kanoff broke the Princeton and Ivy League records for single-season passing yards with 3,474, and the Ivy League single-season completion percentage of record of 73.2%. Kanoff is now a backup quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.

2018 quarterback John Lovett threw for over 1800 yards with 18 touchdowns and only three interceptions. The dual-threat passer also ran for 894 yards and 13 scores on the ground. Gleeson knows how to get the most out of his talent and obviously is producing top-level quarterback play at Princeton.


At Princeton, Gleeson has used multiple tight end sets to create extra gaps for the defense to defend. Sometimes they’re part of running different zone schemes and being used like h-backs to kick out defensive ends or wrap on an arc block and block alley players on inside zone read. Other times they create gaps for things like jet sweeps or quarterback sweeps. Regardless, Miami would have to sign another tight end or h-back in order to run Gleeson’s scheme.

The quarterback needs to be a dual-threat player in order to get the most out of the scheme that Gleeson and the Tigers ran in the 2018 season. The quarterback doesn’t have to be an elite runner, but has to be mobile enough (think: N’Kosi Perry) to run the football 4-5 yards on a keep and to be able to move around in the pocket.

Quarterback Buck Sweep

In many ways this isn’t innovative at all, unless you’re the programmers from Tecmo Super Bowl back in the 90’s. If you were an avid Tecmo fan you recognize this play from the Philadelphia Eagles playbook as QB Sweep with Randal... I mean QB Eagles... running the football. The h-back seals the defensive end on the edge, the running back lead blocks and the guards pull around for 2nd level defenders.

They’re getting more bodies at the point of attack than the defense and with their other innovations, like the Bash play I’ll break down next, they’re able to keep back side defenders at home and allow for overloaded numbers play side. Miami has ran a little of this with Deejay Dallas at times over the course of the season but the Tigers just use their starting quarterback to keep all of their options open.

Bash Running Concept

Bash was a Chip Kelly staple at Oregon as he used the jet sweep and zone combination for his Bash. At Princeton, the Tigers use a guard-tackle counter instead. The angle the over hang player, who was playing over the #3 (most inside receiver) attacks on is a threat to the jet sweep. Thus the QB pulls and runs behind the guard-tackle counter pull.

Princeton runs this same play but this tape from USF gives a better camera angle. You can really see how Bash works and why it’s a great concept for teams to run. The defensive end to the sweep side will step down when he sees the tackle pull, that is enough time for the sweep to get outside of him. The over hang player is in the box allowing the running back, who is lead blocking, to get an easy lane on him.

Pull Read

Give Read

Passing Concepts

Chad Kanoff and John Lovett, two elite Princeton quarterbacks in 2017 and 2018, have put together some stellar passing tape for Sean Gleeson. From watching Princeton film I’ve seen some Air Raid concepts in their passing game. Princeton likes the shallow crossing routes as well as stick routes. Of course play-action passing will be a huge part of their game as they love to run the football as much as sling it around.

Kanoff, now a member of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, shows off his patience, field vision, and touch on his tape.

Lovett doesn’t have the same highlight tape available but here is a video made about him floating online.


Gleeson is Princeton alumni and it’s going to be hard to pull him from the northeast but if any southern school can do it I would assume it’s Miami where many northeasterners have family in the tri-county area. Gleeson has experience recruiting New Jersey, where Miami has had success recruiting, and he recruits Ohio as well.

The price would be right for Gleeson and he’s proven that he can coach All-Ivy type players at both running back and quarterback while also putting up a high scoring offense as a coordinator. He’s used to working within the confines of strict academic standards and with guys that are focused on education outside of football. I really like the fit he could bring to the Hurricanes coaching staff.