For us last year?
Our running woes (like pretty much all things) were multifaceted:
1) First and foremost is personnel, and overwhelmingly so. DSmith, Jensen, Dot were all poor. Benenoch put some of the worst OG play on the field you’ll ever see. This isn’t just about ability, but also attitude. Everyone on the line not finishing blocks is a contagion. The inverse is also true.
2) There is strong evidence to suggest Warhop’s coaching is a problem.
3) Run game coordinating. DK (and staff) have a tendency to want to be too multifaceted n the run game. He runs an extreme diversity of running plays (all 3 schemes including various Leads) and will run them weak or strong, left or right, from unbalanced sets and a lot of short motion with TE and Flanker.
In my opinion it’s too much. If your personnel is bad up front in the run game, you find out what they’re good at…and you run that…over and over…with subtle differences in formation and minor nuance.
Less is more.
So it’s really the opposite of “predictable play-calling” when it comes to the run game. It’s expecting too much broad competency from guys who aren’t good.
Finally, minor misuse of personnel with OJ. OJ is an absolutely fantastic move blocker in the run game (and a great pass protector). However, he’s just ok as an in-line PoA blocker. We used him too much in the latter and not enough in the former (and using him more in the former has knock-on effects whereby you can run PA off the same look and have, for instance, OJ fake a Lead or slide under the formation to fake a kick out on the unblocked backside DE and then release to flat). Don’t get me wrong. He was used in this way, but more as a wrinkle than as a feature. It should be the inverse. He should be featured that way.
4) RB play (last on the list). For the most part, Barber played well with what he had last year. However, I can recall probably 5-7 Zone carries where the play was blocked well or the cutback was available and he just misread it. Some of those plays should have gone for chunk yardage.