A lot of posters seem to feel that Shula's offense will be productive, if not prolific. They cite the enthusiastic comments from players, particularly Cam.
I tend to be a student of history. Here are Shula's offensive numbers as a coordinator and head coach:
Total offense: 28th, 29th, 22nd, 28th
Scoring offense: 30th, 23rd, 18th, 27th
Alabama (03-06) (head coach, but the team ran his offense and he had a lot of influence over OC Dave Rader)
Total offense: 79th, 94th, 67th, 65th (out of 117)
Scoring offense: 69th, 64th, 85th, 68th
In eight years where he has been directly or ultimately responsible for an offense, he has never hit even the midpoint of these two key metrics.
Some would say that with strong defenses at both Tampa and Alabama, the offensive philosophy was necessarily tailored towards ball control and conservative play. Some would say that he was limited in terms of offensive talent. Some would say he's never had a player with Cam's physical talent.
Those may be valid points, to a degree. But here we have a guy who is almost 50 years old, doing something he hasn't done (indirectly) in 7 years and directly in 14 years. Aside from Cam, he has (collectively) average talent at best, and he won't have the luxury of a defense that will allow him to just put 14 on the board and win a game. It's illogical to me that he could be expected to be successful at it, because he never has been, regardless of whether he was ever really called upon to be successful at it. In the NFL, gameday success doesn't fall into your lap in mid-life just because you can write a playbook.
So why will this year be different?