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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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