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Friday, November 4, 2011

David Yost Explaining How Screens Make Up Part Of Missouri's Run Game

Here is a video of David Yost offensive coordinator at Missouri explaining how they use the bubble and now screen as part of their run game.  Contrary to what some coaches believe there is a read on the play as Coach Yost explains with reading the middle backer and his alignment during the play. Many more coaches are implementing the screen game as part of their offense. It puts pressure on the defense because they get a run read but then the ball is passed out to a receiver. Coaches I suggest you take a look at using these screens as part of your run game from the spread as it will help pull more defenders out of the box. What have been some of your experiences running a screen off of your zone run out of the shotgun spread?
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Reason Why I Love to Coach

Here is a clip from the Boys of Fall documentary that ESPN did.  It is segments talking about the role of coaches in the lives of the boys we coach and teach.  I have said it before, you need to think about why you coach.  Why do you want to be out there?  Is for yourself or is it for the boys??

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Coaching at Sunset High

Well since moving back to Portland Oregon I have found another school I will be coaching at.  Tomorrow morning I will start helping the Sunset Apollos, my old high school.  I have often wondered what it would be like to come back to my old high school and help with the program and now I will get the chance.

I will be working with the O line again as well as the Tight End, running scout team, and handling the Hudl system for the school.  I am excited for this opportunity.  Sunset isn't the same type of place like Timpview, but it will be a great chance to learn how to rebuild a school from a very good coach.  I enjoyed meeting Coach Riley, I think we will mesh well in terms of coaching philosphy.  I also look forward to working with my new staff.  As a side note one of the coaches is my old head coach and it will be good to see him again.

I will continue to bring up posts talking about different football topics and events.   Football season is here, let's get to work!!!!
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Funny to Think About Now

So one advantage to moving back has been the ability to watch some classic football games.  Here are a couple things that stood out to me this past week that really kind of made me chuckle about the offense side of the ball.

I was able to watch the 2005 Fiesta Bowl between Utah and Pitt on ESPN Classic.  It was near the end of the game when Brent Musberger asked his co-announcer Gary Danielson if Urban Meyer was going to have trouble running his spread offense in the SEC?  Well Gary of course replied that he thought so because of the speed of the linebackers and d-line.  Why does that give me a chuckle?  Well 5 years later the spread offense like Urban Meyer is alive and well in the speedy SEC.  Seems like commentators forget for all the speed on one side of the ball, the other side will have it too.

The second game I saw was the 1993 Rose Bowl game between Washington and Michigan on the Big Ten Network (yep even the west coast gets this channel).  In the second quarter Washington is driving for the go ahead touchdown and Brent Musberger (man that guy has done a lot of games) is commenting on the passing game for the Washington offense.  At this particular point they were 10 of 12 passing with 188 yards and one touchdown.  Their run game was ineffective as Michigan had basically everyone in the box.  Right after he says this, Washingon runs the ball being stuffed on two straight runs.  Brent then comments that Washington fans are probably thinking, stop running the ball and just pass it!!!  Next play, Mark Brunell passes for a touchdown and Washington goes ahead 21-17.  This made me chuckle because of how insane it would seem to coaches now doing your offense that way.

It is just kind of funny to see how football has changed since that 1993 bowl game.  Offenses more spread out and defenses not stacking the box as much (Washington was basically like a 5-3 that game).  I think at some point the tighter formations will make a return but just interesting to see how much the game has changed from even just a few years ago.
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Moved Back to Oregon

Well I recently resigned as assistant Offensive Line Coach at Timpview and moved back to Portland Oregon.  I decided that I needed a change in my career outside of football and to take some classes while here.  It wasn't the easiest decision to make as I knew I would miss the kids and working with the coaching staff.  I have learned so much from Coach Wong and the other coaches I am really indebted to them.  I am thankful that Coach Wong took a chance on me 5 years ago to hire me on his staff.  I hope I can continue learning and remember what he and the others have taught me.

I want to wish the Timpview team good luck this season as I will still be checking up on them.

As for me coaching up here in Oregon I am not sure.  I would love to help a program out, though it is close to the season starting at the high school level.  I would even be up for volunteering at one of the small colleges around here.  Any Oregon coaches in the Portland area I would love to hear from you so we can talk and meet. 
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Pass Protection When You Go Five Wide

After my last post about the passing game from 5 wide, I was asked to talk a little about what we did for pass protection using the five wide set.  One of the difficult situations when passing from empty is that you will only have five blockers and a defense that can bring six pass rushers while locking up man to man.  So what can you do as an offense to provide protection without giving up big sacks?

This last season I had my line step to protect inside gap to outside gap first.  The reason behind us doing this was because the fastest way to get to the QB is from the middle of the line.  We would step down half a step to protect that inside gap, if no rusher showed then we would look outside.  However as I look back on this past season I would like to make some changes to our empty pass protection to better protect the QB.  Not that we had many problems last season when we went empty but I am always looking to optimize our performance.

What a lot of teams like to do when it comes to pass protection is either slide the whole line right or slide left:

This type of slide protection can help your line pick up outside blitzes to one side but also help pick up a middle blitz that many 4-2-5 teams will employ.  Against a 50 front team, the backside guard and tackle of the slide need to check inside gap first to help teammate and then look outside gap to help pick up rushers.

So if a team brings six rushers what needs to happen?  Again you need to protect inside gap first and the QB is responsible for the sixth rusher to get rid of the ball.  Ideally you want that sixth rusher to be an outside rusher as he will have further to come and the QB can see him and even throw the ball to the area that has been vacated.  Your receivers also need to recognize the blitz and help the QB out by adjusting their routes to help the QB get rid of the ball quickly.  They need to look and see if there are any safeties over the top.  If the QB sees that there is a 6 man blitz coming he can also audible to a hot route.  You might want to slide protect to the backside of your QB since that is the side he won't be able to as easily see the outside rusher coming.  

I have also thought about widening our line splits a little more to widen the defensive front to help slow down their line stunts and also their outside blitzes.  My only concern is the middle blitzes that will come and if we get to wide if our tackles will be able to slide and pick up the defender over the guard.

You can also help make that pass rusher go further by rolling your QB out of empty.  You can use your 3rd receiver to act as a lead blocker and run roll out pass plays.  You can even go quads and do roll out game with the 4th receiver staying in to block.  

By getting rid of the ball quickly, you will start to force that pass rush to slow down.  Every time having to chase the QB then go chase the ball after it is down field will start to wear down the rush.  Combine that with a run game and you can keep the defense guessing instead of just always rushing the passer  

The biggest thing you can teach your line is that they don't need to make a huge block when it comes to pass blocking.  Sometimes all they need to do is give a nice push to knock the rusher off track to give your QB just a few tenths of a second more to get rid of the ball.  Watch this video from FSN's Sports Science to give you an idea of what I mean.

So there you go, just an idea of how you will want to do some pass protection when going five wide.  I would love to hear other coaches thoughts and what they have taught their players.  Any coaches widened their splits when in empty and how did that go?  Like I said I am looking to optimize the blocking for this coming season.
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Example of Passing Game in Empty

Even though we are a team that doesn't necessarily do empty all the time I have found that I like going empty and wanted to talk more about some plays you can run from the empty set.  In my previous post I talked a little about the run game from empty.  Today I would like to talk about using the passing game from empty.  A great advantage of this type of offensive set is that it puts the defense in a real bind by spreading them out allowing more one on one situations.  Because of the quick passing game one thing that you can find is that it starts to tire the defensive front out.  They start to rush the QB, ball is gone and they then have to turn and chase the ball carrier.  If a team blitzes it is the same situation as they will have to turn and run once the ball is gone.  Teams will have to be rotating multiple players and this again can put help your offense as you will be wear a defense down.

One disadvantage obviously is that there is no back in the backfield to help block and so you need to have a good short passing game to help prevent teams from blitzing.  One of the most common passing plays that teams will run is where all five receivers will run hitches.

Empty Right 50 All Hitches

By the spacing you set up, it will help allow your receiver to find the open spot in the defense.  The inside curls can help punish a team that brings it backers that can also be checked into go routes if the middle backers blitz and the defense is in cover 0  This is a great universal play against zone and man to man coverage.  Usually against zone you will find on the three receiver side that #2 receiver will come open quite a bit.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Run Game Out of the Empty Set

I really do like going empty on the offensive side of the ball and find that it puts the defense into a bind on what they have to do.  While spreading the defense out, this formation also allows you the opportunity to still have a run game out of empty.

Jet Sweep

A great play that is commonly used is the Jet Sweep by teams.  You bring the slot back in motion and at the snap as he is going full speed is given the ball by the QB or if you are really good, he can read the backside D with the QB keeping.  Line blocks just like a stretch play and the ball carrier reads and makes his cut upfield.  If the defense starts to cheat a backer to cut off the run on play side, the slot on the 3 receiver side can align closer to cut that player off.  

If the backside backer goes in motion with the motion of the slot, then your QB will want to pull the ball.  A great compliment play especially if a defense starts cheating to the motion is a QB counter play.  

QB Counter Play

This play is a great way to take advantage of an aggressive defense and allow you the opportunity at some big plays.  As you fake the hand off to the motion back, the QB follows the pulling tackle.  The back can carry out his jet sweep fake or you can have him go pick up the backside end to prevent him from disrupting and chasing the play down from behind.  

Another way to take advantage of an aggressive defense as well is to play action off of the motion and try to take advantage of a safety that is rolling or coming up early to stop the jet sweep play.

Play Action Post SE Drag

This is a just an example of using the run to also set up your play action passing game as you take advantage of a defense that rolls to the 4 receiver side.  By isolating 1 on 1 backside you can have a favorable match up.  If the safety rolls too far the post can take advantage of the defense.  If the safety stays in the middle you can look at the post if the defense isn't in a zone or check down to the drag or swing route.  Another play change that you can do is have the 3 players actually slow block a screen to the motion player if the safety stays in the middle and it looks like the defense is staying in a 3 deep zone.  

There you go just a few examples of having the run game out of an empty set and how you can also take advantage of what a defense gives to you.  You really can force the defense to run a coverage that you like and get them into a position that favors your offense.  Coaches let me know about your experiences running the ball out of an empty formation.  Also what your opinions are of the example plays I have shown here.
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Need to Take More Chances

This is something that I need to get better at in my own life.  Taking risks can be so scary and I tend to be cautious.  Ironic huh?  Here I am having coached football for the last 5 years and I am afraid to take chances in my life.  Another irony to all this is that I got the opportunity to coach at Timpview due to taking a shot in the dark.

So why I haven't I taken more chances with regards to my coaching career?  It isn't because I'm not extremely confident in my ability to coach.  In fact I dare say I could probably go to a program and be able to make a difference to that staff immedately.  Sounds pretty arrogant I know but that is actually the confidence I have received from coaching at Timpview.  Part of the reason I don't take chances is that I tend to get pretty complacent and let's be honest it is nice to coach at a school where your first three years you win a state title.  Still I need to take a chance and put myself out there to continue to progress as a coach.

Let me give you an example of how I didn't take a chance.  Recently I wrote a blog post about how I would rebuild a high school football program.  This became a popular post still receiving traffic till this day.  Guess what I did after writing that post?  I didn't even ever contact the school I wrote about.  I didn't contact any schools that were looking for coaches.  I did nothing just played it safe. 

Compare my actions to one of my fellow coaches Zach Nyborg.  After two years of coaching he took chances, he even applied to take over his old high school.  Though he didn't get the position Zach kept taking chances (unlike me) and was able to get a student assistant position at Utah State University.  Now does this mean he is on the fast track to a college coaching career?  No it doesn't guarantee anything, but I am jealous of him because he has a real opportunity in front of him.

You might ask why I am writing this post?  Well one of the points of this blog is to help other coaches, even young coaches starting out to learn from my mistakes and avoid them.  If you want to coach you need to set out specific goals.  Where do you want to be in 5 years as a coach?  What level do you want to be coaching?  As for me writing this blog post is a way to now keep reminding myself that I need to take more chances not only as a coach but also in my daily life.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Importance of Coaching Staff Unity

I wanted to talk today a little bit about the importance of staff unity.  For the past few months I have been speaking with a friend who is coaching at the college level.  As a GA my friend has a great chance to learn and has been giving their all for the program.

Well this past season has been very tough on my friend as a new assistant came in.  This new assistant had been a college head coach and knew a lot of technique.  My friend was initially excited but over the last few months the situation has deteriorated and become increasingly frustrating.  I won't go into too much detail about what was happening between my friend and this assistant but let's just say it has become an untenable situation.

My friend went to a coaching clinic and was able to network and meet other coaches.  Now my friend has been interviewing with another college and the head coach of the other school wanted to use the offer to get a job at the current college.  My friend told me this and I said do you really think that this could work for you to stay with this assistant?  I also asked could you really recruit a kid to your school while you have a staff that can't get along?  It will come out at some point.

And that is the point I was trying to make, maybe the head coach wants to keep you, but this situation is not ideal.  We expect the players to be a team and that is how the coaches should be.  We have all seen programs where the coaching staff will argue.  I have seen staffs argue on the sideline and get into fights.  We have played teams at Timpview that have been that way.  No good can come from this situation and could hurt the program for a few years.

I have encouraged my friend to continue for the job and they are a finalist for the position now.  If you are a new coach coming into a program or just starting out pay attention to this fact.   You can't have cancers within a coaching staff.  If you feel like you can't get along with the staff then moving on could be the best for both parties involved.

What do some of you other coaches think?
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Friday, January 28, 2011

My Coach Sucks

Saw this on the Coach Huey forum and just had to share.  All you coaches know you have experience with this happening no matter the sport.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Smart Football Breaks Down the BCS National Championship Game

Check out Chris Brown's article on Yahoo about the BCS National Title game and the spread.  It's a good read and will provide a lot of good insight to others who will be watching the game.  This should be a good chess match.
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