The Boise State football team's ever-growing offensive playbook will shrink this season.
The coaching staff's review of the offense - which scored 30.2 points per game last season, the program's worst output since 1998 - confirmed coach Chris Petersen's initial theory.
"We have too much stuff," Petersen said during final preparations for Monday's first spring practice. "It's all about repetition, and things change rapidly on the football field, so that look you practiced three times during the week, it's a little different look than what showed up (in the game). So we need to cut back so (the players) can get better at a few things - not be a jack of all trades, master of none.
"We need to get better in terms of our precision and execution."
Senior left tackle Charles Leno Jr., who wants to see an improved run game this spring, said the Broncos tried to do too much last season. They averaged 4.6 yards per carry - down from 5.4 in 2010.
"Just simplify it," Leno said, "and it's going to be easier to do it."
The Broncos have added pieces to their offense since Petersen arrived as offensive coordinator in 2001, inheriting the offense installed by Dirk Koetter in 1998.
They've used elements of the spread. They've installed parts of the pistol. They've gone no-huddle.
They also had three offensive coordinators in as many years from 2010 to 2012. Robert Prince returns for a second season in 2013.
"We've been able to manage it and we probably still could manage it," Petersen said of the growing playbook, "but in some ways it's refreshing to go back and take a look at, 'Do we need this?' It's going to be a work in progress through spring. You're never done. It's continually evolving and we're adapting, but I think we've got to stay very disciplined in our choices we add into our game plan so we don't water ourselves down."
Trimming the playbook puts Petersen in a bit of a pickle.
As a coordinator, he said, he always felt most anxious when his game plan didn't include enough creativity - "enough good stuff, the voodoo we used to call it," he said.
Now he's streamlining.
"That's going to be the trick, to balance those two things," he said. "The beauty of so many things is when you can find the balance and create simplicity for yourself and your players but there's enough on the table that it can create some confusion and some conflict for your opponent."
That balancing act will be key in the run game, where the Broncos' variety of schemes sometimes led to breakdowns.
"We just need to be more efficient," Petersen said. "We have always been a team that loves to throw it around. That will never change, but we've always believed it starts with an efficient, effective run game. And so we're just looking hard at how to make that happen better.
"We're excited to get out there and try some of our new ideas and some of our strategies and see where we go."
Boise State will practice 15 times from Monday through April 15. The only workout open to the public is the Spring Game, which is at 5 p.m. April 13 at Bronco Stadium. The other scrimmage is closed to the media and public. The team scatters for spring break March 23-31.
Pro day, when NFL scouts come to town to check out last year's seniors, is March 21.
PERSONNEL AT A GLANCE
Returning starters (5 of 12): LT Charles Leno Jr. (sr.), C Matt Paradis (sr.), WR Kirby Moore (sr.), WR Matt Miller (jr.), QB Joe Southwick (sr.)
Lost starters (7): LG Joe Kellogg, RG Michael Ames, RT Brenel Myers, TE Chandler Koch, WR Mitch Burroughs/Chris Potter, FB Dan Paul, RB D.J. Harper
Key reserves returning: WR Aaron Burks (sr.), WR Geraldo Boldewijn (sr.), OL Spencer Gerke (sr.), OL Jake Broyles (sr.), TE Gabe Linehan (sr.), TE Holden Huff (so.), RB Jay Ajayi (so.), WR Shane Williams-Rhodes (so.)
Redshirts to watch: QB Nick Patti, RB Devan Demas, OL Travis Averill
Newcomers to watch: RB Derrick Thomas, WR D.J. Dean
Returning stat leaders: Ajayi 82 rushes, 548 yds., 4 TDs; Southwick 248-of-371, 2,730 yds., 19 TDs, 7 ints., 141.78 eff.; Miller 66 rec., 769 yds., 5 TDs; Moore 36 rec., 368 yds., 1 TD.
Returning starters (5 of 11): DE Demarcus Lawrence (jr.), DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe (sr.), DE Sam Ukwuachu (so.), S Jeremy Ioane (jr.), S Darian Thompson (so.)
Lost starters (6): DT Mike Atkinson, LB Tommy Smith, LB J.C. Percy, N Dextrell Simmons, CB Jamar Taylor, CB Jerrell Gavins
Key reserves returning: DL Tyler Horn (jr.), DE Beau Martin (jr.), DE Kharyee Marshall (sr.), LB Blake Renaud (jr.), LB Tyler Gray (so.), N Corey Bell (jr.), S Dillon Lukehart (so.), CB Bryan Douglas (jr.), CB Donte Deayon (so.)
Redshirts to watch: DT Elliot Hoyte, LB Ben Weaver, LB Chris Santini, S Chanceller James
Newcomers to watch: DT Tutulupeatau "Deuce" Mataele, CB Cleshawn Page, LB Darren Lee
Returning stat leaders: Ioane 70 tackles, Lawrence 48, Renaud 46, Bell 45, Thompson 43; Ioane, Thompson 3 ints.; Lawrence 9.5 sacks, Horn 5, Ukwuachu 4.5; Lawrence 4 forced fumbles
Returning starters (1 of 2): P Trevor Harman (sr.)
Lost starters (1): K Michael Frisina
Other key returners: KO Dan Goodale (jr.), LS Kevin Keane (jr.), KR Shane Williams-Rhodes (so.), H Matt Miller (jr.)
Redshirt to watch: P Sean Wale
Newcomer to watch: K Tyler Rausa
Returning stat leaders: Harman 42 punts, 41.2 avg.; Williams-Rhodes 13 KO returns, 24.9 avg.