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Friday, November 30, 2012

The Best Moment in Coaching

This is video after last night's game between Louisville and Rutgers.  Louisville's QB and Offensive coordinator embrace after a tough emotional win on the field.  This is for me the best moment in football, not just winning a tough emotional game but the bonds that have developed between players and coaches.  As you watch the video listen near the end a man says, "This is what people don't see."  And it's true, most people never see after an emotional win or loss what happens between coaches and players.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Coaching at Snow College

In the past month there has been a big change come up in my life.  Earlier this month I interviewed for the Tight End coaches position at Snow College.  Last week I was offered the position and accepted.  Less than a year after moving back to Oregon I am returning to Utah as a football coach at a JC.  I pondered over taking this job and I came to realize this would be a good step for my goal of coaching at higher levels.  Snow is a top junior college program in the country and sends quite a few players on to D-1 schools.  One great thing I will get to do is go out and recruit players, something I am looking forward to.

I am excited and thankful that this opportunity opened up for me.  I am also thankful for Coach Riley welcoming into his staff this last season on such short notice.  He and the rest of his staff are good men who I hold high respect for.  This was just a chance that came up I had to take.  I want to thank everyone that has helped me as I have worked as a coach.  Without them this opportunity wouldn't be possible.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Having Fun Playing Football

How many of you remember this scene?

Now how many of us laughed at this part of the movie when we first saw this film?  It is a pretty funny scene but it brings to mind something that I want to address that coaches can do with regards to having fun while playing football.

Question for you coaches, how many of you have told your players to have fun playing football before a game?  It's an honest question because I think at times as coaches we can forget to tell our players to do this.  We get so focused on the game plan and pregame warm ups that we at times tend to miss telling our players something very very important.  To go out and have fun playing the game.

This is something I have started telling my players as our pre-game warm ups end and repeat just before taking the field that I want them to have fun out there with a big ole' grin on my face.  I have found that it helps the players relax a bit more on the field.

Isn't that what is important when it comes to football, coaches?  Having fun out there?  Make sure you let your players know this before playing the game.
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Newest Post on Play Full Throttle

My latest blog post is actually now on the Play Full Throttle website.  I will continue to post here but have been invited to post my material on that website as well.  Here is a link to the article where I talk about having your defense shift from one front into a completely different one prior to the snap of the ball.  If you have any questions about the topic, please make sure to email me or leave a comment.  Thanks everyone, hope you are doing well getting ready for the new season.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

To Pistol Or Not Do The Pistol Offense

As I have been looking at different offensive systems one there's been one that is increasingly picquing my interest. I have been thinking I need to learn more about the Pistol offense that was started at Nevada.

In the last few years this seems to have become an increasingly popular offensive formation amongst college and high school teams across the country.  Based on what I have read, proponents of this offense say it has an advantage of being the best of the spread and under center offense since the back is aligned right behind the QB. 

I have read that by having the back aligned this way it prevents a defense from knowing what side the run play is going.  In essence the run game is similar to what you would do if you were wanting to run all your plays out of I or single back formations.

The argument I constantly hear is that in the spread the defense knows which way the run play is going.  I disagree in that if the defense cheats to one side it allows for cutback lanes with the inside zone.  Another way to keep a defense honest you can run a counter.

I guess the biggest thing I would like to learn more about is my favorite play out of the spread which is the Zone Read.  To make this play work it seems that you would need to have the back cross in front and then bend the play back into the zone blocking like below.

I don't see as much a chance for cutbacks since the defense could be reacting to the backfield action and work more to their right.   Compare this to the zone run out of the spread with the back aligned to the side as shown below and how it can lead to cutbacks for the running back.  Below are illustrations on what I mean.

Back is able to hit the hole playside
Defense cheats, is washed down the line opening up a cutback lane for the back
The zone run from under center you will see the same chance for a cutback.  The difference is that the QB isn't reading the end on whether to pull the ball or not.  This makes me wonder if because you might not get as good a cutback with the zone read in the Pistol that the veer has become more prevalent among teams that want to run option.

Other questions have come up as I have looked at this offense when it comes to the run game.  With a counter you can read the end and if he chases the tackle then pull the ball.  Is that still something that can be done out of the Pistol or because it might take longer to develop something that is negated in that play.  What about with the QB counter?

One of the best things is that I am in Portland and so today I will be stopping by Portland State and speaking with their offensive staff.  But I would love to hear from other coaches on the strengths, weaknesses, and experiences with this offense.  Should I look more into doing the Pistol or not for my future as a coach.

Update:  I wasn't able to meet with them today, the pro day got moved up.  But I will probably be meeting with them next week.
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spread Offense GT Counter Play-Action Pass

This is a topic that came up on Coach Huey with another coach asking if anyone had any experience running some play action pass off of the GT (or Guard Tackle) counter action.  The GT counter has become a huge play within the spread especially at the high school level that having a pass off of the action is a great way to slow down a defense from immediately crashing the pull.

This play can be run from a doubles, trips, two back, and multiple other formations with effectiveness from the gun.  The first three drawings are of how you can run the GT Counter from the gun in three of the formations.  I haven't gone into great depth about how to block the running play against the different fronts, since you could block it differently than I would up front with the line.  Again these are just examples to give you an idea on how you can incorporate play action passes using the GT counter action.  The motions I give are pretty generic but they can be adapted to how you call it.

GT Counter Plays
Doubles Yo-Yo 37 Counter

In this formation you can see that we bring a receiver in motion to block the backside end.  I would use a larger receiver like a TE so that they can make this block.  I used Yo Yo to represent the Y going in a motion one way and then coming back to make this block.

Right Trey Halo 36 Counter

This play we have the H coming across to the left, hence the halo and blocking the end.  Again this is setting up the defense using that motion to get them thinking run.

Blue Right 36 Counter

As you can see we run this out of two backs as well with the back that isn't getting the ball crossing in front first to pick up the backside end.  This is where this play can get extremely effective, you have started to pull the defense more into the box which will allow you to get a back out on one on one coverage against a backer or safety.  You should be able to win this more often than not for a big play.

GT Counter Play-Action Pass
Now that we have run the counter play with the motions, you will start to find the defense want to cheat to the side opposite of the motion.  It happens with kids, especially high school kids who see the play and then want to get a jump.  So here are examples of the play run off of these motions and formations.

Doubles Yo Yo 137 Counter Boot

Even though the play goes to the right it is called 137 because the line action is the same as running 37 Counter.  The 100 is added to signify to the players it is the play action pass.  This is a simple yet effective way of not over complicating your team.

As you can see by the draw up, our motion receiver will chip the end then get out into the route.  The QB is going to watch the end and see if he can get outside on a boot or needs to pull up and get rid of the ball now.  The QB should get depth should he choose to roll out, to avoid any chance of that end catching him.  He should take a quick glance at the deep ball and see if it is coming open but the quick shoot route or 10-14 yard crossing route will be the routes most likely coming open.  The deep split route can be the last read if the high safety or safeties are coming up on crosser.  If nothing is open run the ball.   It is important that the line doesn't get too far down field in their play action look.

Right Trey Halo 136 Counter Boot

Same as what happened above the chip and then out into the route is vitally important.  It will help sell the run to the flat defender giving your receiver a chance to get out and run with the ball.

Blue 136 Counter Boot

This formation has been where I have really seen this play hit for big yardage.  The defense has packed more into the box and sold for the run, Usually the back slipping out into the flat is open by at least 10-12 yards, leaving them one on one with a safety to make the tackle.  

Now for a lot of coaches these routes are very similar to the boot routes they run off of the inside zone from the gun.  One of the great things is that your kids don't have to learn a lot of new routes and can still have an effective counter to a defense cheating against your counter play.

And lest you think you can only run the play with two receivers to either side you can still call the play and run it with three receivers to one side as shown here.

Right Trips Ha Ha 137 Counter Boot Flood

So there you go coaches, an idea on how to run some play action passes off of counter action in the spread. Of course this isn't the end all of be all when it comes to pass combos and routes.  I would love to hear from other coaches what their experience has been and ideas on route combos, please leave your comments below.
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