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upon the Stretch (Outside Zone), Zone (Inside Zone), Counter (G-T), Lead Draw, Play Action Pass and Three-Step Drop Pass. That is certainly no secret to anyone who plays us. I don\u2019t think that our plan is any better than anyone else\u2019s, it\u2019s just what we do and what fits our personnel. Therefore, I will not attempt to sell you on what we do offensively. Any reference to offensive schemes that I may make is only to show you the amount of attention that the schemes get during a typical week. I\u2019ve always felt that what you do is not as important as how you do it.
Having an organized plan and working the plan fanatically is what gives you the best chance to win. I will try to share with you what we do during the course of a nor- mal game week, with regard to offensive preparation. I will go through what takes place all seven days of the week. I will cover preparation and installation of the offensive game plan, our practice week organization, our game day organization, and our weekend routine.
We are a two platoon football team at Smithson Valley. All but a few of our kids play only on one side of the ball. Therefore, we have a split coaching staff as well. Our offensive coaching staff consists of five coaches. We have a quarterbacks coach, a runningbacks coach, a wide receivers coach, and two line coaches. We have been very fortunate to have most of our offensive staff together for the nine years that I\u2019ve been at Smithson Valley.
Therefore, we have a plan that we all have ownership in and believe in. We work hard at it. It is a constant seven-day process for the coaches and a six-day process for the players. We try to have every minute of every meeting and practice accounted for before the week ever unfolds. This keeps us on track and insures that we cover all the situations that we feel are vital. It is a system that our players and coaches believe in and are comfortable with. However, I would not dare say that it is the only way. There are a lot of ways to get it done. We are constantly on the look- out for new and better ideas.
The following game week agenda is based on Friday to Friday. In other words, we have just concluded a Friday night game and will play our next game on Friday also. We obviously have to modify this plan when we are on a short week (Saturday to Friday).
All of our coaches report at 7:30 a.m. At this time, we review the previous night\u2019s game tape. The game tape is stacked. This means that we are able to look at each play from a normal camera angle followed immediately by the same play from a wide angle. This allows us to carefully evaluate each play without watching two separate tapes at two different times. At approxi- mately 9:30 a.m., we discuss what we ve seen and select game award winners.
At 10:00 a.m., four of our coaches (two offense/two defense) will take the team through a 50 minute running and weight lift- ing workout. Our other offensive coaches will begin to look at tape on our next oppo- nent. This is done in a rather quick manner, primarily to identify the basic fronts, cover- ages, and stunts that our opponent will use. We will chart each play later in the day. At 11:00 a.m., all of our coaches will meet with the entire team. The whole team watches our kicking game stacked tape from the previous night. When this is complete, our team separates into offensive and defen- sive units to view the previous night\u2019s stacked tape. Our players are seated by position and are critiqued by their position coach. This film session usually con- cludes around noon. Our players are then dismissed.
We have lunch brought in for our staff. We eat lunch while our middle school coaches give the entire staff a kicking game scouting report on our next oppo- nent. The scouts then break up and give the offensive and defensive staffs separate scouting reports on this opponent. When this concludes, we briefly refer to our sum- mer scouting report on our next opponent to check for similarities, changes, etc. from their past history.
Our offensive coaches spend the rest of the day thoroughly going through each tape of our next opponent. We make notes on personnel, schemes, etc. as we go. As we watch each tape, one of our middle school coaches will input all data for each play into our Digital Scout hand held computer. After all tapes are watched and all data is in the computer, the offensive staff will briefly dis- cuss what they have seen and what they think our basic plan of attack may be. Meanwhile, our middle school coach is run- ning off printed reports from the data that has been put into the computer. These print- outs will be copied for each offensive coach before they go home for the day. Once the
s t a ff leaves, I will personally input our off e n- sive plays from the game from the previous night into the computer for self-scout pur- poses. I will then run off a self-scout sum- mary combining all the games that I know our opponents have seen.
All of our coaches report at 1:30 p.m. The entire coaching staff will meet to dis- cuss our kicking game plan/personnel and our motivation plan for the week. Then the coaches will break up into offensive and defensive staffs. The offensive staff will then study the printouts of our opponent\u2019s defenses, trying to assess the most com- mon fronts, stunts, and coverages. We then try to determine our opponent\u2019s ten- dencies based on: 1. down and distance 2. formations 3. field position.
Next, we discuss our opponent\u2019s per- sonnel, trying to determine who to avoid and who to exploit. Then we discuss and brainstorm our base running and passing game. We do not try to reinvent the wheel each Sunday, but there are some changes and wrinkles that we will implement each week. Once we have a basic idea of what we want to run, we then try to determine which of our formations will make these plays the most effective and will get the most desired looks from our opponent.
When our base offense has been whit- tled down to what we decide to go with and in what formations we will use, we then take a break from game planning. Our coaches will spend the next hour or so working on our scouting report, running off the scouting report, working on video edits for our players to view the next day, and preparing a bulletin board of information on our opponent. When this is complete, the staff meets again to discuss our blitz plan, pairing of plays for the week, goal-line offense, two-point plays, shots, two-minute o ffense, rush to the line plays, rocket motion plays, and gadgets/tricks.
We also reexamine our entire proposed offense to make sure we have enough ways to get the ball into the hands of our best play makers. Changes and additions will be made, if necessary. When this is complete, we again break up to individually prepare a summary sheet for our position players. This apprises them of changes, wrinkles, notes, etc. that may be pertinent to this week\u2019s game plan. We then recon- vene to set the practice agenda for the week and to plan Monday\u2019s practice.
On Monday morning, while the other coaches are in class, I study a printout of our own offense for the games that I know our opponent has scouted and/or has videotape of. A self-scout summary is pre- pared and referred to throughout the week. This self scout is beneficial in helping us spot our own tendencies and make changes if necessary.
Our Monday morning athletic period is primarily devoted to meeting with our play- ers about our opponent. We begin the day talking about ourselves, things that must improve, and the motivational theme of the week. The entire team is then given a kick - ing-game scouting report and watches video cuts of each of the opponent\u2019s kicking phases. The team then splits up into offen- sive and defensive units. The offensive players are given a scouting report on our opponent\u2019s defense. They then are shown video cuts of our opponent\u2019s base defens- es, blitzes, coverages, goal line defenses, etc. We then outline our basic plan of attack to our players, using the board to show them any wrinkles or changes that we may have for the week. We next progress to the field for a short kicking- game segment and an offensive walk through.
Monday afternoon\u2019s workout is the longest workout of the week. The kicking game is practiced at the very beginning of practice. Any tight ends, receivers and run- ningbacks who are not involved in the units that are being worked will go with our run- ningbacks and receivers coaches. They will work on ball drills and pass routes at this time.
After the kicking game is practiced, our offense will spend most of the day working on the Outside Zone, Inside Zone, Bootlegs off the Zone series, Play Action Passes off the Zone series, and the Three Step pass- ing game. The few complementary running plays to the Zone series will also be prac- ticed. These are the only running plays that we will practice on Monday and they will all be practiced in an inside run hull (with one of our quarterbacks). While this is going on, our other quarterback and the wide receivers will be in a one-on-one drill against our defensive backs (good on good) and a Force Drill where perimeter blocks for running plays will be practiced against a secondary. The quarterbacks will rotate from drill to drill.
and quarterbacks will go through a Boot Blitz Drill, where all of our bootleg schemes are practiced against all corner situations that we expect from our opponent. Our quarterbacks and wide receivers will then have a short pass-hull period where only our three-step drop passes are thrown. We finish the day with a team drill, which will consist of a handful of perimeter runs, three-step drop passes, and bootlegs. We will also include some of our special plays (Hail Mary, Long Count, etc.) in our team drill in order to practice them in game-like conditions. We videotape the inside run hull and team segments.
Immediately after practice is over, the videotape of these segments is shown. Our players are then given immediate feedback on their performance. After the players leave, our offensive coaches meet to dis- cuss the day. The play list will very likely be cut down at this time. We then plan the next day\u2019s practices.
On Tuesday morning, while the other coaches are in class, I select plays from our game plan to be included in our two- minute offense. The final selections are added to our game plan form.
Our Tuesday athletic period workout is devoted solely to offense (no kicking game). This will be a practice where we pri- marily work on fundamentals. The backs, quarterbacks and receivers will also have another Force Drill where perimeter blocks for running plays will be practiced against a secondary (same as Monday). At the end of the practice, we will have a goal-line offense run hull (with one of our quarter- backs). Our other quarterback and our receivers will work on individual goal-line routes (fade and quick flag) and go through a goal-line pass hull vs. a scout-team sec- ondary. The quarterbacks will rotate from drill to drill. We will then finish the morning with a team goal-line segment, where all goal line passes are practiced.
Immediately after school, our entire team goes through a 30 minute weight-lift- ing workout. When we take the field, the kicking game is practiced first. As in Monday\u2019s practice, any tight ends, receivers and runningbacks who are not involved in the units that are being worked will go with our runningbacks and receivers coaches. They will work on ball drills and pass routes at this time. We then progress on to an offensive workout. We start the
workout with a segment of Two-Minute Offense vs. a scout team. The rest of Tu e s d a y \u2019s practice is devoted to the Counter, the Lead Draw, Bootlegs off the Counter series, and Play Action Passes off the Counter series. All complementary run- ning plays to the Counter will also be prac- ticed. This would include our Fullback Counter and Scat/Scoot plays. We practice the Scat, Scoot, etc. vs. bags in a five- minute scripted period.
The Counter and its complementary running plays will be practiced in an inside- run hull with one of our quarterbacks. While this is going on, our other quarterbacks and the wide receivers will have a scramble drill and a one-on-one drill (good on good). Again, the quarterbacks will rotate from drill to drill. Our tight ends, runningbacks, receivers and quarterbacks will work a drill where all three-step and play-action series passes are rehearsed against corner blitz situations.
The Draw is practiced in a segment in which the scout team is told that every play is a pass or a draw. Therefore, the front is asked to pin their ears back and rush up the field. They are promised that there will be no trap, power, or zone blocking. This reassures our scout defense and therefore they give our offense a realistic look. We also work on pass protection at this time. We work pass protection against every blitz the opponent has shown. Therefore, we call this drill Draw and Blitz Pickup. The Draw and Blitz Pickup drill will require one set of runningbacks, tight ends and one quarterback. While this drill is going on, our other quarterback, another set of running- backs and tight ends, and our wide receivers are going through a pass hull. We rotate the groups of backs and receivers halfway through these drills.
We finish the day with a team drill that is devoted to the passing game, with some Lead Draw being run. Again, we ask the scout team to rush up the field hard (no trap, power, or zone blocks). As with Monday\u2019s practice, we also include some of our special plays (Hail Mary, Long Count, etc.) in our team drill to practice them in game-like conditions. We videotape the inside-run hull, the Draw and Blitz Pickup drill, and the team segments.
Immediately after practice is over, the videotape of these segments is shown. Again, this give our players immediate feedback on their performance. After the players leave, our offensive coaches meet
to discuss the day. The play list may be cut down once more at this time. We then plan the next day\u2019s practices.
By this point, we have modified our play list to its near final stage. While the coach- es are in their morning classes, I sit down and make our down and distance play selections for the week. I also select plays to go into our Four-Minute Offense, Last Three Plays, Coming Out Offense, and Red Zone Offense. Once these selections have been made, they are added to the other situations that were decided upon Sunday and Tuesday (goal line, two point plays, gadgets, etc.). Our written game plan\u2019s rough draft is now complete. This rough draft is xeroxed and placed on each coach\u2019s desk to review and study.
During our athletic period, we work pri- marily kicking game and offensive funda- mentals. Our quarterbacks and wide receivers will have another three-step drop pass/force hull. We finish this practice with a team segment of inside running game and play-action passes. This segment is videotaped and watched by our offensive coaches during lunch. This allows us to spot any mistakes immediately and correct them in the afternoon practice.
By Wednesday afternoon, we have now concluded most of our heavy contact work. Before we take the field for our afternoon practice, we spend 30 minutes watching game tape of our opponent. This gives our players a good feel for our opponent in a game setting (their film study on Monday was limited to viewing video cuts only). When we hit the field, we go into a situation practice. There will be kicking-game seg- ments interspersed throughout the workout to improve the tempo of practice. Our offense will go through a \u201cgoal line & two- point play\u201d script, a \u201ccoming out\u201d script, and a \u201cthird and long\u201d script.
These scripted plays will be run against the defense most likely used by our oppo- nent in these situations. Our tight ends, receivers, runningbacks, and quarterbacks will go through another Boot Drill (same for- mat as Monday). Our offense will also have another Draw and Blitz Pickup period, which again is run simultaneously with a pass hull (same format as Tuesday). We will also have a segment devoted to our Shots and Tricks. We conclude the day by rehearsing our \u201cSpecials.\u201d This includes our Hail Mary Pass, our Fall on the Ball (kill
the clock play), and our Long Count (used to induce an offsides penalty from the defense). We videotape all the team situa- tion drills and the Draw and Blitz Pickup drill.
Immediately after practice is over, the videotape of these segments is shown. Our players are once again given immediate feedback on their performance. When the players leave for the day, our coaches then meet to script our first 10 plays of the game.
On Thursday, we practice only during our athletic period. This practice is devoted primarily to kicking-game run throughs and substitutions. Offensively, we will rehearse our two-minute offense one last time (against air concluding with a \u201cNo Time Field Goal\u201d). We also introduce our script of the first 10 plays. We take time to explain why each play has been selected and tell our players what we hope to achieve with each play. We then run through these plays at half speed against a scout defense.
After school, our entire team meets for about 40 minutes. They are shown game tape of our opponents for about 20 min- utes. The remainder of the meeting is a motivation time. One of our coaches will speak to the team for about 10 minutes and I will speak to the team last. Our players are given the rest of the day and evening off.
On Friday morning, I will write the final copy of the game plan. It is then xeroxed, laminated, and given to each offensive coach. During our athletic period, our team will again be shown videotape of our oppo - nent and have a final walk through. Our offensive players will walk through all spe- cial situations that may occur and once again rehearse the first 10 plays.
Immediately after school, our entire team reports directly to the field house. They eat their pre-game meal, watch a highlight tape, and have a devotional. Upon conclusion of the devotional, we have a short kicking game meeting with the entire team. Players then go with their position coach for one final meeting. By now, it is time to tape and dress for the game.
During the game, all of our offensive coaches are in constant contact with each other. We use three offensive coaches in the press box and two offensive coaches
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