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New Wisconsin offensive coordinator Bobby Engram looks to boost Badger passing game

Bobby Engram Wisconsin Badgers Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens tight end coach Bobby Engram provides direction as tight end Eli Wolf (87) walks across the field. (Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

MADISON, Wis. (BVM) – The Wisconsin Badgers made the decision to move on from Joe Rudolph as offensive coordinator after the 2021 season. This upcoming season, they are giving Bobby Engram, former Penn State alum and NFL wide receiver, a chance to help jumpstart the Wisconsin offense. 

Engram was a decorated Penn State wide receiver in the 1990s. He still holds the record for most receiving yards and touchdowns for the school. He went on to play in the NFL for 14 seasons, making an impact on multiple teams at the wide receiver position.

After retiring in 2011, he began his coaching career with the San Francisco 49ers. From there, he moved around for a couple years before finding a home in 2014 with the Baltimore Ravens as the wide receivers coach. It was in Baltimore he found his stride as a coach, and after four years of coaching the wide receiver group, Engram was promoted to tight ends coach. 

His time as the Ravens tight end coach proved to be very successful for him and the team, as he developed  one of the more dominant tight end groups in the NFL. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews only had 552 yards and three touchdowns in Engram’s first season as coach. This past season, Andrews reached 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career, and finished sixth in the entire NFL in receiving yards. 

Steve Smith, former Ravens wide receiver and future hall of famer, gave high praise to Bobby Engram.

“Bobby Engram used to be my wide receivers coach down there and he moved to tight ends. What’s the best part of that team? The tight ends,” Smith told Sports Illustrated. 

Recognition from a bona fide star should inspire hope in Badger fans as Engram will look to bolster a passing game that has been fairly stagnant over the past 10 plus years.

The Badgers have been known for having an elite offensive line and running game, but have not been able to capitalize on the ground game success with an equally effective passing game. For the first time in Wisconsin football history, the Badgers successfully recruited a four-star quarterback in Graham Mertz four years ago. 

Though he has shown flashes of greatness, Mertz has yet to blossom in the Badger offense and generate that much needed boost in the passing game that has separated Wisconsin from the rest of the top teams in the country. Wisconsin finished with just 160 passing yards per game last season, ranking in the bottom 15 in the entire country.

The hope for Wisconsin is that by adding a successful player coach who specializes in the passing game to their offensive coaching system, Engram can help develop a new, updated style of offense that will generate more big plays. With less focus on the running game, the offense will ideally become more balanced and less predictable.

Though the role of Engram in the play calling of the offense is still up in the air, he has a lot of experience under great NFL coaches to add to Paul Chryst’s offense. In his introductory press conference, he seemed very eager to get involved in the team and learn as much as possible about the players. His goal is to identify how he can have each player reach their full potential as a Badger and produce an offense to match their extremely dominant defense from last season. 

He said that for now, the offensive play calling will be a collaborative effort, but between him and highly touted defensive coordinator Jim Leonard, the Badger coaching staff has taken a huge jump,  hopefully in a positive direction. 

Wisconsin fans should be very excited about the prospect of Bobby Engram being instituted as the new offensive coordinator, and Engram as well as the fans should have a lot to look forward to in a promising 2022 season.

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