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BYU Passing Game 1995

BYU Passing Game 1995

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Published by: razorback48 on Sep 29, 2011
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BYU'S
APPROACH TO OFFENSE
LaVELL
EDWARDS
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY
T
anks, I'm so happy to behere. I want to talk a littleabout our approach to foot-ball. I've been a high schoolcoach. I've coached the singlewing. I was a defensive assistantcoach at BYU and became the headcoach there
23
years ago. Westarted to throw the football andthe rest is history.I'm not here to try to get anyconverts to what we are doing. Ijust want to share some ideas withyou about our approach to the gameand what we try to do with it. Atevery level there are the "Havesand the Have Nots If you happento be at one of those "Have Nots,"you have to come up with a creativeapproach as to what you are goingto do. That is what BYU was.In
1962
BYU hired a guy named HalMitchell. He wanted to run thesingle wing. The only major collegeschool in the nation that wasrunning the single wing then wasPrinceton. Since I was the onlyMormon alive that was coaching thesingle wing, I got into collegefootball coaching. It didn't workand he was gone in a couple ofyears. I got to stay on. A new guycame in and started throwing theball a little. We had a kid by thename of Virgil Carter in
1964
wewon the first league championshipin the history of the school. WhenVirgil left we stopped throwing theball and went back to what everyoneelse was doing.In
1972
I was appointed the headfootball coach. I didn't realize itat the time but I had been coaching
18
years and had been associatedwith only
4
winning seasons. I gotthe head job. That shows you howreally bad that head job was. Evenwith my record it was better thanwhat they had been having. They hadgone
47
.years of football with alittle better than
3
victories ayear. In fact there were timesthere, they talked about doing awaywith football.I had a staff of
6
assistantcoaches. We had a stadium that heldten thousand people. The only timewe came closed to filling it waswhen we played our rival, Utah. Ifwe ever had a opening game on thefirst day of deer hunting season,we probably had only
25
women andchildren there. I decided we had todo some things. There wasn't awhole lot we could do about some ofthe things. The first thing we hadto do was change the perception wehad of ourselves. We knew we had todo something different with what wehad. That is when we started throw-ing the ball. We knew absolutelynothing about it. I had been asingle wing center when I played.The only time I handled the ballwas between my legs. I had been adefensive coach, so
I
went out andhired somebody to get us started.Ironically that first year we hada kid lead the nation in rushing.After that we went to throwing theball as a way of life. That firstseason we won
7
games and the nextyear we won
5
games. After thatthings took off for us.Over the years we have come upwith this attack that we use. Wehave had our share of good players.It was fun to watch Steve Youngin the Super Bowl. He came to us anoption quarterback out of highschool who onlv threw the ball
2
or
3
times a game. When he came to ourplace, we were thinking of makinga defensive back out of him. Theonly thing he wanted was a chanceto play quarterback before we madethe change. Of course you know thestory from there.The approach to what we are doingis quite basic and simple. We have
4
basic patterns that we startedwith years ago. With the evolutionof defenses today we have to makesome adjustments to these patterns,but they are the same ones we ran
23
years ago. I think that execu-
 
tion is the bottom line to what everyou do. We play people that changeblocking schemes from game to game.It is no wonder they don't everyget good at doing one thing. Theychange offenses anddefenses. Afterthe third change the school islooking for a new coach. Footballcoaching is a tough business. I'vebeen a head coach for
23
years andsome of these schools are workingon their 9th head coach. As a coachyou have to latch onto what youbelieve in and stick to it and makeit work. Execution is the wholekey. In practice I don't have tosay much. I ve got good coaches whohave been with me for pretty muchall my
23
years as head coach. Weare on the same wave length. We haveall different kinds of coaches onour staff. However, the bottom lineis they like to teach and work ontechnique.Because of the offense we run,selecting the quarterback is ex-tremely important. We have a lot ofstrong armed guys in our programthat have never played for us. Thefirst thing we look at in select-ing the quarterback is his consis-tency. We look next at hisperformance. We have to look at hisdecision making and judgment abili-ties. After those things we look atarm strength, foot movement andother athletic things he brings tothe quarterback's role. We have hadquarterbacks who have done well forus but have not done well in theNFL. That is a different game.When we set up our offense, thewhole key, s pass protection. Wespend an enormous amount of time onpass protection. We spend more timeworking on the running attack, thenpeople perceive we do. Over theyears in the hay days of JimMcMahon, Steve Young, and the oth-ers, we have never had a year thatwe have thrown the ball more thenwe have run it. Because we have hadsuccess with the pass rather thanthe run, we get that reputation.I have
5
or
6
points that arebasic premises that we like tobegin with.
1)
Basically speaking,if the defense is an odd man frontwe will man protect.
2)
On the evenman front we zone protect.
3)
Wewant to block big on big and we havea call to that effect. We want downlinemen on down linemen. We wantbacks on linebackers.
4)
We want toblock the weak side with
4
peoplein the balanced
4-4
defense. Wemake a call to get that done.
5)
Weblock away from the double receiverside.
6)
Our backs block on line-backers and particular the onesthat are least likely to blitz.That is based on scouting. If theoutside linebacker is likely tocome we use some kind of slideprotection to keep the back offof him. If the inside linebacker islikely to come we use a base call.
(7)
We double read with our guardsand fullbacks.We have one of the great teachersof pass protection blocking. Thisguys name is Roger French. He isone of the greatest teachers thathas every been around. There isnever a day where we don't have asession on individual protectiontechniques. He follows that with ablitz pick up period. We inter-change our quarterback so all ofthem get the work. While one isthrowing in the skeleton drills,the other is working in blitz pickup. We do it every day whether weare in pads or shorts.When he starts to teach,
1)
thefirst thing he does is teach theblocker to read the pass rush movesof the pass rusher. Roger spendshours working on getting the favor-ite move used by a particulardefensive linemen. He charts themand then teaches them to the offen-sive line.
2)
The worst thing anoffensive linemen can to is getover anxious. We want him to an-ticipate but not strike out. To bea good pass protector, they can'ttry to hit a guy hard.
3)
Never getbeat to the inside. If there is onething I've heard him say over andover this is it. Always honorinside fakes and ignore outsidefakes.
4)
Keep the defensive line-men's hands off the offensiveblocker. If the defense can turnthe offensive linemen's shouldershe has him whipped. They have tograb the offense lineman to do it.
5)
The offensive linemen wants tokeep his shoulders parallel to theline of scrimmage. The defense hasstarted to use quick speed rushercoming from a wide position. These"Big Jack Rabbits,"
6-4
and
240
 
lb., get wide, explode off theball, and try to beat the offensivelinemen to the outside.The mistake the offensive line-men makes is trying to step out andfront the defense. If he doesn'tkeep his shoulders square to theline, the defensive end will duckinside him so fast it will make hishead swim. The offensive linemengives ground, gets one hand on thedefensive end, keeps his shoulderssquare to the line, and waits forthe inside move. If the defensivelinemen starts to go by the offen-sive linemen to the outside at thelast minute, he turns, gets bothhands on him and rides him past thequarterback.
6)
In the initialcharge the offensive linemen wantsto get his hands up and keep hisknees bent. The first move it topop up, not out. When he comes outrather than up, he is lugging andoff balance. He keeps his hands upand arms in tight.
7)
The offensivelinemen want to deliver a blow, getseparation, recoil, and hit again.
8)
They want to keep their feetmoving and never cross them.Before we get into the blockingscheme, let me say something aboutcoaching the quarterback. It hasbeen my experience that there areonly
3
or
4
things you want to dowith a quarterback. When we getthem we don't try to change theirdeliver of the ball or try to dothings differently with them. Wejust hope their coach in highschool got them started right. Thefirst thing we try to coach is
1)
keep the elbow above the shoulder.
2)
Make sure when he releases theball his thumb is down.
3)
The bestway to coach the next point is totell the quarterback when throwingthe ball to expose their numbers tothe target. This gives good hip andshoulder rotation. Another way tosay it is the ball never crossesthe face.
4)
Proper foot work isimportant in setting to throw theball. Don't over stride in throwingthe ball.
5)
They have to relaxbefore they throw. If the quarter-back holds on to the ball too long,he locks his front knee and throwsthe ball into the ground. He has torelax, keep his feet moving and hisknees flexed.The next thing I want to show youis on our protection. We see anawful lot of-"~ickel overages." Werun a lot of different formationsand do the same thing from them. Weseries our passes. Our
60
Series isa five step drop back pass for us.The
50
Series is our quick passinggame. Our
70
Series is a weak sideattack. The
80
and
90
Series areroll out passes. We want to blockbig on big as our primary rule.Since we are looking at an even manfront in this example we will be in,a zone protection scheme. The cen-ter makes a call because we have
4
potential rushers on the weak sideof the set. The running back andcenter have to block weak side onthe linebacker and Nickel back. Thecenter and weak side guard combi-nation block on the down man andlinebacker for any stunt they mayrun. The running back is going totake the Nickel back if he comesand release if he doesn't come. Thefullback is going to do the samething with the inside linebacker tothe strong side. On some plays wegive the fullback a free release.That means he is going to run apattern even if his linebackercomes. In that case we adjust theline blocking to block the blitzinglinebacker or read him and hotrelease the ball to the fullback.There are
2
or
3
things toconsider when you set up yourpassing attack. Against a zonedefense, make sure you have astretch in the defense. We want ahorizontal as well as
a
verticalstretch. The hardest thing to teacha wide receiver is to get depth.Ifyour pattern is a
12-14
yard curlor come back, you will have more
8-10
yard patterns than anythingelse. Don't let your receivers runthose short patterns. The defenseis trying to bump and knock themoff their patterns. They have tofight through those things and getthe depth to get the stretch in the

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