The Wisconsin football team announced the hiring of offensive coordinator Bobby Engram on Monday. They held his introductory press conference today. Joining Engram was his son, Dean, who is a part of the Wisconsin football program and recently switched from defensive back to wide receiver.
Here’s what we learned about the Badgers’ offensive coordinator from his press conference.
What will Bobby Engram’s duties be?
Engram will help fill in the vacancy left by former offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, Joe Rudolph.
Since Rudolph left, the Badgers filled the offensive line position by moving inside linebackers coach, Bob Bostad, to the position. Bostad has experience as an offensive line coach in the past, both with the Badgers (2008-2011) and then in the NFL (2012-2015).
The Badgers already have Alvis Whitted as their receivers coach, Gary Brown as the running backs coach, and Mickey Turner as the tight ends coach.
So if he is going to coach a position, it would likely have to be the quarterback position, which head coach Paul Chryst was in charge of last season.
Engram was asked about it during his introductory press conference, and deflected the answer, saying that was up to Chryst.
Bobby Engram is coming to Madison from the Baltimore Ravens where he was the tight ends coach. He had a lot of success there, coaching All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews. But he also coached the receivers while he was there too. So one of those positions would make the most sense, but unless Chryst moves Whitted or Turner to another position, Engram would take on the QBs or just have the offensive coordinator title. Engram hinted that there may be some changes, but that is still being decided.
Will Engram be calling plays?
In 2020, Joe Rudolph called plays as the offensive coordinator. In 2021, Paul Chryst took over play-calling duties after the offense struggled mightily in the covid-shortened season. Many Wisconsin football fans would argue the offense still looked stale even after Chryst took over.
So the big question is, would Chryst give up playcalling and give it to Engram? According to Engram, the play-calling would be a ‘collaborative effort.’ Jeff Potrykus, of JSOnline, thinks Chryst will still be the one holding the play sheet on Saturdays.
He’s ready to work with Graham Mertz and Chase Wolf
An obvious question Engram was going to get was about Caleb Williams. The Engrams and Williams are reportedly close family friends and Engram would have been a big reason why Williams would have come to Wisconsin. Engram downplayed the idea that he was hired to get Caleb Williams to Wisconsin, saying that the relationship was intact well before Williams was in the transfer portal. He said because of the timing of his hiring and Wiliams’ recruitment people wanted to link the two.
Engram also stated that he has already talked to both Graham Mertz and Chase Wolf and they are excited to get started.
If you know anything about Graham Mertz is that he seems to be a person of high character. As Engram says, there’s a lot in college football you can’t control. I doubt Mertz would go into this situation with a negative attitude towards Engram because of his connection to Caleb Williams.
But with Williams at USC, it’s all Engram and Mertz moving forward and they are excited about it.
You can watch the entire press conference here.