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special teams - the middle tennessee way

special teams - the middle tennessee way

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Published by Michael Schearer

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Published by: Michael Schearer on Nov 16, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/01/2013

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After making the transition from

Division I-AA to Division I-A t h r e e years ago, my coaching staff and I knew we had a tough task ahead of us. Considering the teams that we were scheduled to play and the caliber of ath- letes we were facing, we knew that we had to find an edge for ourselves by out- working other people and doing things the right way.

An area that we felt like we could out- work other teams was in the kicking game. In the past three seasons, our special teams units have been the decid- ing factor in several games and have given our offense and defense numerous chances to be successful.

An area of special teams preparation that is of extreme importance to the Blue Raider\u2019s is practice time and meeting time. We utilize a weekly practice plan when preparing for the upcoming game. This plan allows us to schedule offensive and defensive meetings without interfering with special teams preparation. We normally devote thirty to 45 minutes a day of special teams meeting time and practice time. Our in-season kicking/meeting schedule is as follows:

Sunday Meeting
4:00
Team Meeting
4:15
Pride
4:30
Dawgs
4:45
Kickoff Return
5:00
Bandits
5:15
Position/Individual Meetings
Sunday Practice
PAT-FG & PAT-FG Block (Period 1)
Pride Protection (Period 2)
Kickoff Return (Post-practice)
Monday Practice
PAT-FG & PAT-FG Block (Period 1)
Pride vs. Opponent Fronts (Period 2-3)
Dawgs (Post-practice)

Tuesday Meeting
2:45-3:00 Pride Meeting
3:05

Position/Individual Meetings
Tuesday Practice
PAT-FG Block (Period 1)
Pride vs. Scouts (Period 12)
Kickoff Return (Period 23-24)
Bandits (Post-practice)
Wednesday Practice
2:45-3:00 Kickoff Return
3:05
Position/Individual Meetings
Wednesday Practice
PAT-FG & PAT-FG Block (Period 1)
Pride Coverage & Return (Period 12)
Dawgs (Period 23-24)
Thursday Meeting
3:00
Head Coach With Seniors
3:15
Dawgs
3:30
Kickoff Return
3:45
Pride
4:00
Bandits
4:15
Position/Individual Meetings
4:45
Stretch
Thursday Practice
PAT-FG & PAT-FG Block/Punt Safe
(Period 1)

Dawgs (Period 2-3)
Kickoff Return (Period 4-5)
Pride Script (Period 6-7)
Bandits (Period 8-9)

Red Dawgs & Hands (Period 10)
*Substitutions Post-practice
Saturday
Sunstitutions (Pre-game)

We feel that this schedule allows us to adequately cover all phases of the kick- ing game and give our players the best opportunity to be successful.

A second area of teaching the kicking game that must be addressed is proper delegation of coaching responsibilities. Our golden rule at Middle Tennessee is that when we are practicing a phase of the kicking game, offensive and defen- sive preparation stops and each coach teaches his assigned area.

Every coach on the staff is involved in the kicking game and each coach has a certain responsibility to the team. We feel that every detail of the kicking game needs to be covered and in order for this to be accomplished, each coach must help. The involvement by every coach in the kicking game allows each player to receive specific feedback as well as the individualized attention they deserve. Diagrams 1-7 illustrate our special teams coaching responsibilities.

\u2022
P r o c e e d in g s
\u2022
79th AFCA Convention
\u2022
2 0 0 2
\u2022
Special Teams:
The Middle Tennessee Way
Andy McCollum
Head Coach
Middle Tennessee
State University
Mur fr eesbor o,
Tenn.
Floyd Walker
Tight Ends Coach
Diagr am 1
RW
P
LS
LW
LT LG
RGRT
PP
RS
MCCOLLUM
MCMAHAN
FOUQUIER &
MCMANUS
DAVIS (COVER LANES)
WALKER

Finally, I have established an account- ability system for each coach that ensures quality preparation for his phase of the kicking game. I require each coach to for- mulate a scouting checklist that focuses on game-situations, personnel, and game- breakers. We refer to game-breakers as plays that give us the opportunity to change the momentum of the game. Every Wednesday, I meet individually with each coach and talk about his phase of the kick- ing game. During this meeting, we talk about the scouting checklist for his phase and formulate a scouting report for the upcoming game. Also, the meeting allows the position coach and myself to exchange ideas and implement the overall game plan. The scouting checklist for the Blue Raider special teams is as follows:

Punt Return (Bandits)

1.Who are the best cover guys?
2.Where punter places the ball?
3.How he handles pressure?
4.Any fakes or special plays?
5.Weak areas in the box?
6.Are the sprinters good, do we need to

double or can we handle them?
7.Does punt team sprint on field or quick
snap?
8.Rhythm of center.
9.Unusual formations.
Punt (Pride)
1.Types of returns.
2.Types of blocks.

3.How good is the returner?
4.Any special returns or reverses?
5.Who is the best blocker?
6.Do they rush a sprinter?
7.Who has the personal protector?

Kickoff Return

1.\u00c5lignment of the ball.
2.Alignment of the kicker.
3.Alignment of the coverage team.
4.Placement of ball after kick.
5.Coverage lanes.
6.Twist by cover people.
7.Safety.

PAT/FG

1.Type of rush used.
2.Who we must block.
3.Any special blocks.
4.Alignment of kicker (buckle to point).
5.Leave when holder moves hand. Nice

slow takeoff.

6.Be alert for \u201cRED\u201d call situations. 7.Be alert for \u201cFIRE\u201d call situations. 8. Be alert for substitution problems.

A.) Take time out
B.) Take penalty
9 .Be alert to excute and C O V E R Tall fakes.
10.How they adjust to \u201cSPREAD\u201d PAT/FG.
A.) Alignment/Cover down
B.) Tempo
11. Blocks vs. \u201cTIGHT\u201d PAT/FG.
A.) Block right/left (Overload)
B.) Middle block/Jump
Kickoff Coverage (Dawgs)
1.Formationa-Alignment.
2 .Types of returns (sideline-middle-wedge).
3.Who not to kick to.
4. Best type of kick and coverage.
5 .Does front line leave early (turn their
b a c k s ) ?
6.Do TE\u2019s leave early?
7 .Can the T E \u2019s handle the ball, who are they?
8.Depth of the ball on kick for the returner
to bring it out?
Extra Point/FG Block

1.Can we block it?
2.What type of block?
3.Where are the weaknesses?
4. Adjustment to unbalanced.
5. Practice the muddle huddle.
6.Any fakes?
7. Adjustment to \u201cSPREAD.\u201d
8.Middle block-overload right and left.
9.Edge block to and away from the kickers

foot.

We firmly believe in this scouting check- list and credit Middle Tennessee\u2019s success to our players and coaches believing in the importance of the kicking game.

\u2022
P r o c e e d in g s
\u2022
7 9 th AFCA Convention
\u2022
2 0 0 2
\u2022
Diagr am 2
Diagr am 3
Diagr am 4
Diagr am 5
DAVIS
RODGERS
MCMAHAN
FOUQUIER
WALKER
MCMANUS
R1 R2 RE R4 R5 K L5 L4 L3 L2 L1
FEDORA
R
R
HINSHAW & CAMP
WALKER
LFB
RFB
LT
LG
C
RG
RT
LE
RE
L1
L2 L3 L4 L5 R5 R4 R3 R2
R1
MCCOLLUM
R
FEDORA
P
DAVIS
RW
LT E
LW
LT LG
RGRTRT E
H
FEDORA
WICKLINE & CAMP
HINSHAW
K
MCMANUS
Diagr am 6
Diagr am 7
C B P ETTM
E FS B C
RODGERS
MCMAHANFOUQUIER
H
K
DAVIS
DAVIS
R
FEDORA
MCMAHAN
FOUQUIER
RODGERS
P
PP
DAVIS
E
T
E
B
M
B
C
P
P
C

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