Y O U W O U L D N ’ T S E N D Y O U R P L AY E R S O U T I N L E AT H E R H E L M E T S . B U T Y O U S T I L L H Y D R AT E T H E M W I T H WAT E R ?

Of all the things you can do to protect your players from dehydration, upgrading from water to Gatorade is the most important. When athletes sweat they lose more than water. They lose electrolytes, which are critical to rehydrating young athletes. Unlike water,
Revolution is a registered trademark of Riddell, Inc. ©2005 S-VC, Inc.

Gatorade is scientifically formulated to replace electrolytes, helping players retain fluids and stay safely hydrated. Learn why every coach should upgrade his or her hydration plan from water to Gatorade at gatorade.com/coaches




On the Prowl
Marvin Lewis has taken the lessons learned from his youth coaches in a small Pennsylvania town to the NFL sidelines in Cincinnati. By Tim Polzer


Ball Hawk
Rod Woodson used to jump in front of passes every Sunday. Now the future Hall of Famer jump-starts Play Football Month. By Hilary Strahota


Why I Coach: Gary Patterson
What’s a Horned Frog, you ask? Texas Christian University’s Gary Patterson introduced that rare species to the Oklahoma Sooners last season en route to an 11-1 record and Top 10 finish in the polls.




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USA Football Playbook: Offensive Run Series: 34 Slant By Coach Tom Bass Blueprints for Coaching Success By Coach Tom Bass Coaching Spotlight: Todd Casey By Tim Polzer


Worst Case Scenario Playbook By Ed Passino
Bonus: Emergency Action Plan checklist

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Kickoff Audibles USA Football Pigskin Portraits USA Football Resources Gear Up



When In Doubt By Bill LeMonnier


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Beware: Heat Illness By Cynthia Hobgood To Serve and Protect

The Sky’s the Limit
At least that’s what we think of the premiere issue of USA Football magazine. Palm trees, green grass and a brilliant sunset provided a warm welcome to the Pop Warner Championships at the Wide World of Sports Disney Complex in Florida.

Front Cover




Beware: Heat Illness

USA Football’s Prevention Guide for coaches and parents

can have an immediate impact on the safety of young football players. While adequate hydration is essential year-round, during hot weather, dehydration occurs more frequently and has more severe consequences, including an increased risk of heat illness. Now for the good news: Dehydration and heat illness are preventable if coaches and parents remain vigilant.
The key to prevention is proper hydration. According to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a good starting point for coaches is to have children drink 5 ounces of water or sports drink every 15 minutes during hot and humid conditions.



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“In the late summer when football starts you have youth that are going to be playing in a very hot, humid environment,” says Dr. David Joyner, sports medicine physician and USA Football Health & Safety Committee Chairman. “Coaches and parents need to know that young athletes need to have free access to water; they need to be able to drink whenever they want to.” Children do not adapt well to extreme temperature and do not sweat as much as adults, making them especially vulnerable.
Do not rely on children to tell you if they need fluid; most children don’t realize they are dehydrated until they are already thirsty.


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Be aware of temperature and humidity levels. Change practice length, intensity, and equipment use as levels rise. Remind players to drink regularly. Fluid breaks should be scheduled for all practices and become more frequent as the heat/humidity levels rise. Have parent contact information at all games and practices. Have an emergency action plan.

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Before your child starts a sport, have a physical exam done that includes questions about history of heat illness Tell your child’s coach about any history or heat illness. Make sure your child is hydrated before going to practice or a game. Give children their own water bottles. Make sure your child’s coach has your contact information. Make sure your child’s league or team has an emergency action plan.


“You need to be forward thinking,” says Joyner. “An athlete has to continue to be hydrated so that they don’t get thirsty because at that point they’re already 20 minutes behind on being able to hydrate, and that’s getting into a potentially problematic situation.” Research conducted by the Gatorade Institute of Sports Science and published by the Internal Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that young football players begin practice measurably dehydrated.



USA Football Magazine

“Recent research from our lab shows that 60 to almost 80 percent of high-school football players are likely to be dehydrated before practice even starts,” says Craig Horswill, Ph.D., Gatorade Sports Science Institute “By asking players to drink a bottle of sports drink or water after dinner and the morning on their way to practice, we were able to improve their hydration.”
Generally, 7 to 9 cups, or 56 to 72 ounces, of fluid are required for children every 24 hours to be hydrated. An additional 12-16 ounces should be consumed approximately two hours prior to activity.

> To help prevent dehydration, track fluid loss of players during practice. > Have players weigh in before and after practice. The pounds lost per practice is an estimate of sweat rate and how much fluid they need to drink during training. Example: 3 pounds weight loss/1.5 hour practice = 2 pounds per hour. > To stay hydrated during training and games, players should drink 16 ounces per pound of fluid they expect to lose. • To help rehydration after practice: > Players should drink 20 to 24 ounces for every 1 pound (16 ounces) of weight they lost (and didn’t replace) during the actual practice. > Use sports drinks that contain sodium and

Zone A: Children should receive a 5-10 minute rest and fluid break after every 25 to 30 minutes of activity. Zone B: Children should receive a 5-10 minute rest and fluid break after every 20 to 25 minutes of activity. Children should be in shorts and t-shirts (with helmet and shoulder pads only, not full equipment). Zone C: Children should receive a 5-10 minute
rest and fluid break after every 15 to 20 minutes of activity. Children should be in shorts and t-shirts only (with all protective equipment removed).

“Young athletes are coming to practice dehydrated, they’re getting more dehydrated as practice continues, and they’re progressively even more dehydrated on each succeeding day of practice,” says Michael F. Bergeron, Ph.D., American College of Sports Medicine. “Athletes need to pay more attention to hydration in earnest, and make a stronger effort to be more hydrated at the start of practice, to drink regularly during practice, and to recover sufficiently from each practice so they can start the next day adequately hydrated.”
Coaches and parents should also be mindful of the temperature and humidity levels and adjust practices accordingly. Keep in mind that moderate temperatures with high humidity can still create a dangerous situation for young players.

Zone D: Cancel or postpone all outdoor practices
and games. Practice may be held in an air-conditioned space.

Cynthia Hobgood manages USA Football’s Health & Safety programs. To contact Cynthia, e-mail chobgood@usafootball.com.

sprinkle extra salt on food. The sodium helps replace that lost in sweat and promotes better rehydration. > During early training when it is hot outside, coaches should reduce intensity to allow for heat adaptation. > Start the first few practices without pads and contact, to allow players to adapt to the heat.

• • • • • • •

> When pads go on, again reduce the intensity for a few days to allow for further heat adaptations. > Between plays, during timeouts or at the breaks between quarters, remove helmets and padding to improve cooling and heat release from body.

Thirst Irritability Headache and dizziness Muscle cramping and unusual fatigue Nausea and/or vomiting Hyperventilation Confusion and change in personality





To Serve and Protect

A head-to-toe guide to equipping your players for the ultimate in protection
BEFORE YOUR TEAM OR CHILD SUITS UP, take a few minutes to learn how each piece of equipment serves to protect your players. And always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure proper fit, use and maintenance of all equipment.

These pads tend to take the most abuse during the course of the game, especially when used to block or tackle. Shoulder pads protect the shoulders, chest and back.

Pants may be of one-piece or shell construction. One-piece pants feature removable (snap-out) hip and kidney pads; knit (cotton/nylon) material is suggested with tunnel belts, loops or attached web belt. Shell pants typically feature knee guard and waist-suspended thigh guard pockets.


Some quarterbacks wear rib pads, designed to protect their ribs and lower back from blind hits.

A player’s thighs often are the targets of hard tackles and blocks. Thigh pads protect the quadriceps muscles and femur bone. Sizes vary for players at different positions. Kickers and punters generally wear the smallest size pads because those positions receive the least amount of contact.

Worn by receivers, running backs and defensive backs, these gloves can provide an improved grip for catching and holding the football. They also help provide warmth when playing in cold weather.


Designed to protect the hands, knuckles and fingers of both offensive and defensive linemen. They provide more padding than the receiver gloves.

Worn primarily by linebackers and defensive linemen, the neck roll is used to protect the head from whiplash during straight-on contact.


USA Football Magazine


Shields the face from contact and collisions. Most importantly, it protects the nose. Various styles of face masks provide safety and vision options for different positions.

Protects various parts of the head, neck and jaw from collisions with other players and the ground. A variety of internal padding systems allow the fit to be adjusted to each player’s head.

Standard equipment for all helmets, the chin strap not only protects the chin and jaw, but also works in tandem with the helmet to provide maximum protection. Always remind your players to snap their chin straps.

Fitted to each individual’s mouth and teeth, the mouth piece also protects against concussions resulting from blows to the head. This small but essential piece of equipment always should be inserted into the mouth prior to every live play in practice or a game.

The smallest pads required for competition play a big role in protecting important bones and internal organs. They guard the exposed edge of the hip bone, the base of the spine and the kidney area. Pads must be worn ingirdle or attached to a belt or pants.

Tucked inside the lower part of the pants, these pads help absorb contact with opponents and the ground. Make sure they cover the player’s knee caps when the knee is flexed.

Cleats or turf-soled shoes provide better traction and help to protect the foot during play. Leagues usually regulate the length of a shoe’s cleat.





Worst Case Scenario Playbook
Drawing up a comprehensive Emergency Action Plan enables coaches and leagues to prepare for the unexpected BY ED PASSINO
FOOTBALL IS WITHOUT DOUBT one of the most physically
demanding games on the planet. Yet, the sport consistently ranks as one of the safest youth recreational activities in the country. The reason? It boils down to one simple word: Prevention. When the inevitable injuries occur, readiness and emergency planning can reduce the severity of most injuries. But being ready means more than just understanding how to treat on-field injuries. A youth coach or administrator must be prepared for any type of situation. That’s why it is strongly recommended that every league, club, team and facility draw up an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). “Having an Emergency Action Plan is the right thing to do if you’re a league administrator or coach,” says Dr. David Joyner, orthopedic surgeon and USA Football Health & Safety Committee Chairman. “You want to make the sport as safe as possible. Injuries do occur, but you should have them occur at the lowest level. If they do occur, you should be very efficient in be being able to protect the athlete.” Emergencies ranging from natural disasters to the serious injuries of players, coaches and spectators can occur anywhere and at any time. To limit confusion, a league’s EAP should be the same for every game, every practice, every team and every situation. Your plan should include information and medical releases from all players and coaches, emergency contact numbers for parents and/or guardians, methodology for contacting emergency services, and names and availability of medical technicians (EMTs) at practice and game fields. It also should include designated shelters and strategies for player protection from severe weather or other significant events. Developing an EAP is the responsibility of the each coach and league administrator. It is important that each person – coach and league administrator – know what to do in the event of an emergency and practice, putting the EAP in motion. “You should have a plan,” Dr. Joyner says. “You should write down who is in charge of calling 911, who should have a cell phone at every practices and games. And at least one member of the always present staff, should be trained in first aid, ideally in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). An action plan is important because those kind of seconds can make a difference in life- and limb-saving.” Additionally, USA Football recommends that each team keep a first aid kit on hand at all games, practices and team functions. Coaches and league administrators should maintain effective communication tools to contact emergency services should the need arise. Ed Passino manages USA Football’s League Enhancement resources. To contact him, e-mail epassino@usafootball.com.



• An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) should define the responsibilities of everyone who may be involved. • An EAP should include the layout of the building and the equipment that can be used in an emergency, support personnel and staff responsibilities, communication methods and follow-up methods. • The coaching staff should practice the EAP so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.



USA Football Magazine


Staff Responsibilities
Identify and assign the following EAP responsibilities and duties to team and league staff: • Person to provide care • Person to control bystanders and supervise other athletes • Person to meet EMS personnel • Person to transport injured athlete

Field Layout
Plan and locate the following: • EMS personnel access and entry/exit routes • Location of rescue and first aid equipment • Location of telephones with emergency telephone numbers posted • Location of keys to reach telephones or equipment • Exits and evacuation routes

External Support
Identify and list phone numbers and contact information for each of the following: • EMS personnel • Police • Fire • Hazardous materials team • Poison Control Center • Hospitals • Power and gas companies • Health department

Make sure the following equipment is on hand at every game and practice: • Rescue equipment • First Aid supplies • Emergency equipment (flashlights, fire extinguishers, etc.)

Support Personnel Within Facility
Identify and assign EAP responsibilities and duties to each of the following personnel: • Coaches • Athletic trainers • Athletic officials and referees • Facility administrators • Management personnel • Teachers and/or team parents • School nurse/physician • Athletic director • Clerical personnel • Maintenance personnel




When In Doubt
PLAYERS, COACHES AND FANS WOULD CRINGE if they knew every official sometimes doubts a call made during a game. Few non-officials realize the situation happens more than we’d like to admit. That’s precisely why the “Axioms of Football Officiating” have been developed through the years. These are the principles designed to aid officials in getting the call right more times than not. But the Axioms cannot live on paper alone. At their heart lies their mechanics. First, let’s look at the difference between having a call and having doubt. In most calls, you’re in good position, you’ve seen the whole play and you simply make the call. Here, the Axioms do not apply. When you have primary responsibility and you didn’t see the whole play – good mechanics or not – you need to use the Axioms to have a better shot at a correct call. Remember when you are not the primary official covering a play, the Axioms do not apply! They are strictly for the covering official who has primary responsibility. It’s the difference between making a call and having an opinion. Stay out of it unless the covering official needs your help, and even then, understand the difference between having a call and an opinion. Let’s look at a few of the key Axioms:

Axioms help officials make the right call BY BILL LEMONNIER
Any action by the quarterback’s arm moving forward and the ball coming out should be ruled a forward pass. Even if the arm is going forward, untouched and the QB loses the ball as he tries to pull it back. The human eye is good enough to see the full aspect of this motion. Again, ruling these fumbles will result in more cheap turnovers than correct calls.


Replays show nearly 90 percent of the fumble/down situations are fumbles. Any chance of getting help from your crew is taken away when you blow the whistle without seeing the ball dead by rule. Let the play continue and get help from a crewmate. Here’s one Axiom that needs more discussion: “When in doubt, it is an incomplete pass/trap rather than a completed pass.” If we haven’t seen the ball touch the ground, why would we call it incomplete? If you see it touch the ground, make the call: incomplete pass. If you aren’t sure, look for help from another covering official, maybe even the umpire. Don’t take a good athletic play away from a receiver. Axioms can be game savers but they don’t excuse officials from their responsibilities. Put yourself in position to make the call by using sound officiating mechanics, rule knowledge and good common sense. But never give up your responsibility to make the call! Bill LeMonnier is a Big Ten Conference and Arena Football referee and USA Football Officiating Consultant.


Too often we see officials not in a position to sell a safety call when the ball never came out of the end zone. This is a fundamental Axiom that should be followed: Don’t put cheap points on the board and have the team giving up the ball on the ensuing free kick.

More times than not, the receiver never controlled the ball long enough to do something common to the game — run, pass or kick. Make sure a receiver has tucked the ball away with control before ruling a fumble. Often the receiver is outnumbered by the defense and has no chance to recover the ball. Make these plays incomplete!

Make the bat or kick obvious and intentional for everyone to see, not some little swipe and nick of the ball.


USA Football Magazine

Youth Sled: 1-man, 2-man, 3-man, 5-man & 7-man sleds • Youth Gauntlet • Youth Pop-up Youth Chute: 1-stall, 2-stall, 3-stall & 5-stall chutes • Youth Shield • Youth Dummy • Youth Step-over


Rod Woodson named honorary chairman of Play Football Month



the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Fort Wayne, Ind. As an NFL player, Woodson was on the receiving end of 71 interceptions. But after 17 pro seasons of stellar secondary play both as a corner and safety, Rod is now delivering some targeted passes of his own – in the form of inspirational and informative messages to youth football coaches, league personnel and officials around the country. Woodson has volunteered his time and experience to serve as honorary chairman for this year’s Play Football Month. USA Football, in conjunction with the NFL and NFL Players Association, kicked off the 2006 football season with “The World’s Largest Youth Football Celebration.” Play Football Month showcases how different communities celebrate the start of their seasons and 2006 marks the third year of the initiative. Woodson is the perfect spokesperson to lead the best month of the year. He believes in – and has experienced firsthand – the importance youth football can have in a young person’s life. “I began playing just to spend time with my older brother. By the time I finished, I had been exposed to so many new and different things through my teammates and coaches. Different backgrounds. Different races. Different religions,” Woodson says. “PALs introduced me to the structure of teamwork and the discipline needed

to be successful in football and in life. Considering that I went on to a career in the NFL, youth football obviously played a very important part of my life.” Woodson remains active in youth football through his two sons. Thirteenyear-old Demitrius is in his fourth year of tackle and 8-year-old Jairus is enjoying his second season of flag football. “My sons enjoy athletics, and they love playing football,” Woodson says. “It’s been a great experience for them.”

Play Football Month officially kicked off August 25 with the presentation of The Governor’s Cup to Mississippi, selected as the nation’s top football state. The project, conducted by The Wharton Sports Business Initiative, compiled a variety of criteria including each state’s per capita percentages of collegiate and professional football fans, number of NFL players from each state, percentage of high school football players and percentage of high school players who have letters-of-intent to play for NCAA Division I-A colleges and universities. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour,

USA Football Chairman and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Kemp, and other former Mississippi football greats attended the Governor’s press conference on the steps of the capitol building. An awards presentation during the New Orleans Saints-Indianapolis Colts preseason game topped off the weekend. As the initiative continues throughout the month of September, USA Football plans to award more than $500,000 in equipment grants to eligible youth football organizations and provide Play Football Month Celebration Kits to youth football teams at no cost. Grant applications, eligibility requirements and kit registration information is available at usafootball.com. During the NFL preseason, all 32 teams invited local youth football teams to be part of in-stadium celebrations through ticket donations, pre-game activities, halftime festivities and off-site events. During Play Football Month and throughout the duration of the season, USA Football is hosting a weekly photo and video contest on usafootball.com, where youth and high school football players, coaches and parents are encouraged to send in creative pictures and videos from the season to win weekly prizes. Hilary Strahota, marketing & events coordinator, organizes USA Football events including Play Football Month. To learn more about getting involved in USA Football events, contact Hilary at hstrahota@usafootball.com.


USA Football Magazine

“Youth football obviously played a very important part of my life.”
Rod Woodson



Dear youth football volunteers, We are delighted to debut USA Football Magazine for youth football coaches, administrators, officials, volunteers and parents. Our goal is to offer you reliable information you can use during this fall season. USA Football is a non-profit organization created by the NFL and NFL Players Association to lead the development and growth of youth football. USA Football helps youth football organizations keep the sport fun, safe and accessible by offering resources focused on coaching education, league enhancement, officiating development, and health and safety awareness. In addition to our existing resources, such as our online Coaching Guide and Youth Football Directory, in the coming months we will release more innovative tools. These include: youth football online coaches course, practice planner, rule interpretations and animations for officials, and a league enhancement guide. Please visit www.usafootball.com to learn more. In the magazine, we will highlight the tremendous efforts of those involved in the sport at every level of football. Most importantly, we will feature people just like you – youth coaches, administrators, and officials working to create a positive experience for the millions of youths that are playing our great sport. On page 8 of this issue, you will find a profile of Todd Casey, a dedicated youth football coach in Vienna, Va. We selected Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis for our cover feature not only due to his coaching success, but also because of his involvement in the community in Cincinnati. The Marvin Lewis Community Fund supports numerous community programs in the Greater Cincinnati region including Inner-City Youth Football Collaborative, helping purchase safe equipment and providing on-site supervision for 102 youth football teams. We urge you to share your experiences, questions and photos with us so we can learn from you and inform others in the process through best practices and innovative resources. USA Football wishes you the best of luck this season and hope you enjoy the first issue of our magazine. Tell us what you think about the magazine, and what you’d like to see in the future, by writing to Cynthia Hobgood at chobgood@usafootball.com. Sincerely,

Chairman JACK KEMP Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK


Publisher RUDY J. KLANCNIK Editorial Director TIM POLZER Designer WILLIAM BRIDGEFORTH Traction Media Editorial Offices 9435 Waterview Road Dallas, TX 75218 Tractionmedia@aol.com Editorial Department Phone (972) 896-8006 Custom Publishing (972) 898-8585
USA Football Magazine is published by Traction Media, LLC©. All rights reserved. Traction Media does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts or art. No part of this magazine may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the written permission of the editor.

Scott Hallenbeck Executive Director, USA Football


USA Football Magazine


Durham Fighting Eagles vs Capital City Steelers
Raleigh, N.C.

AYF Billings Broncos

Grimes County Rattlers Junior Team
Navosta, Texas

AYF El Segundo Eagles

AYF Torrance Panthers

European Youth Services Football
Hohenfels, Germany (U.S. Military families)

European Youth Services Football
Hohenfels, Germany (U.S. Military families)

Flag Football
South Arlington (Texas) Eagles


USA Football Magazine

7th-8th grade Eminence Redskins
Kentucky Lake Oswego (N.Y.)

Matteson Bears

South Arlington Eagles vs Grand Prairie Cardinals

Tiny Mite at 2005 Pop Warner Super Bowl
Lake Mary Rams (Fla.)

Pee Wee Tarheels
Ft. Wayne, Ind.

USA Football attn: Cynthia Hobgood, 8300 Boone Blvd., Suite 625 Vienna, VA 22182 E-mail: chobgood@usafootball.com

Jr Midget 2005 Pop Warner Super Bowl
Lee’s Summit (Mo.) Tigers


USA Football’s newly designed Web site now offers even more valuable youth football resources. Visit www.usafootball.com for up-to-date youth football information, playbooks, coaching and league aids and directories.

Coaching Guide
Click “Coaching” for instructional content for youth football coaches focused on coaching philosophy, offense, defense and special teams including drills, tips and techniques.

Coaches Practice Planner
Click “Coaching” to find a comprehensive, start-to-finish online guide designed to aid coaches in planning a season. The Practice Planner includes instruction, drills and techniques from USA Football’s youth coaching curriculum.

League Enhancement Center
Click “League” to read tips for starting and managing a league, fundraising, equipment purchasing and maintenance guidelines, background checks, operating concessions, field set-up and emergency action plans.

Youth Football Directory
Click “Youth Football Directory” to promote your league on the USA Football website. The Youth Football Directory lets you submit information about your league and search for leagues/organizations in your area. This directory is open to all youth football organizations.

Officiating Center
Click “Officiating” to discover a state-of-the-art resource for officials at all levels. Our nationwide network of respected and welltrained football officials delivers tools and resources. The content pertains to football officiating with the core elements being rules, mechanics and philosophy. Officials can ask questions of a credible source about rules, play situations, career success, etc. Recruiting and mentoring information is provided, along with a listing of recommended clinics and seminars. Features, news and tips will be added weekly during the season.

Health & Safety Center
Click “Health & Safety” to read recommended information on topics such as injury prevention, emergency care guidelines, hydration, nutrition, conditioning, equipment fitting, the danger of performance enhancing drugs and current research. An interactive tool allows users to send questions to sports medicine and research professionals.

The following resources are available at www.nflyouthfootball.com NFL FLAG is the premier youth football league for boys and girls ages 5-17. The program provides young players a fun and exciting opportunity to engage in noncontact, continuous action while learning lessons in teamwork. Launched in 1996, the FLAG Football program is designed to educate young people about football while emphasizing participation and sportsmanship. Players learn skills and lessons that help them succeed both on and off the field. A national skills competition in which girls and boys in four separate age divisions (89, 10-11, 12-13, and 14-15) compete against each other in punting, passing and placekicking in a fun and engaging forum. The program is free – both to organizers who host a local competition and to every youngster who wants to participate! With more than four million boys and girls from around the country taking part in the competition every year from July through January, it is one of the world’s largest youth sports participation programs.

NFL RUSH is the official kids site for everything NFL. This new site features fun games, contests and exclusive NFL player content, as well as information on youth football and community programs. Visit www.nflrush.com to learn more.


USA Football Magazine

The latest, coolest, must-have, must-see youth football equipment, tools and clinics A VERY TACKY GLOVE
Whether rain or snow or sweaty palms, no other receiver glove performs like the Cutter Original C-Tack. Other gloves may look alike, but Cutter’s C-Tack material provides maximum grip and durability. It also is ideal for running backs, defensive backs and returners. Visit www.cuttergloves.com for additional colors.

Built for stable, durable performance throughout the season. Breathable synthetic leather upper with HeatGear liner locks in moisture transport. Performance cushioning in the insole keeps you ready as the action heats up. Outsole cleat design is designed for efficient cuts and maximum speed. Visit www.underarmour.com to learn more.

Wilson’s exclusive Grip Stripes and ACL Lacing System make the K2 Pee Wee Game Ball perfect for smaller hands. Wilson’s 864 Full Grain Leather features a deep pebble pattern designed for serious beginners under 10 years of age. The K2 is used as the game ball of more intermediate youth leagues and junior high school leagues than any other football. Visit www.wilson.com for K2 Game Ball specifications and an inside tour of the making of a football.

The 2006 Nike Coach of the Year clinics feature the nation’s top college football coaches speaking at 20 sites across the country. Founded by a pair of legendary college coaches, Oklahoma’s Bud Wilkinson and Michigan State’s Duffy Daugherty, these state-of-the-art clinics feature 70 Division IA college head coaches on the staff. Many clinics include lectures designed specially for youth league coaches covering techniques, drills and 1-on-1 sessions. Hammer Strength also provides a session covering strength and conditioning. Visit www.nikecoyfootball.com for locations and dates.

Kids require the best in head protection, too. Schutt’s award-winning DNA Helmet is available for youth players. Schutt’s DNA helmet technology features a thinner, lighter military-proven protective cushioning material, SKYDEX cushioning components that are smarter and foam and the two-part SUREFIT air liner system that provides a better fit for the back, sides and top of the helmet. Visit schuttsports.com for more information on the DNA Helmet.


Gary Patterson
Purple People Leader
College football is no kids’ game, but Gary Patterson still wants his TCU players to enjoy the game and think of him as a friend.
You’ll have to excuse Gary Patterson if he gets defensive on you. Prior to the 2005 season, his Texas Christian University Horned Frogs were picked to finish sixth in their conference as they hit the road to take on Top-10 Oklahoma. So much for preseason predictions. TCU’s defense shocked the Sooners and the nation in a 17-10 upset. The Horned Frogs went on to post an 11-1 record and earn a Top10 finish in the polls. In just five seasons, Patterson has compiled a 43-18 record and is the only TCU coach to record three 10-win seasons. He also has added to his reputation as a defensive general, twice finishing the season with the nation’s top-ranked defense. Coach Patterson took a few minutes after practicing this year’s Mountain West favorites and Top 25-ranked squad to discuss his thoughts on coaching with USA Football Magazine.
What made you want to be a football coach? Why do you enjoy coaching?


Patterson: I enjoy coaching because of the kids. As coaches, we enjoy trying to help others get where we can’t. I also love game days and being able to compete against others. It’s good and fulfilling to see what you were able to get accomplished.
What was your first coaching job?

Patterson: It was at my alma mater, Kansas State. I served as a graduate assistant.
Do you recall a game or instance in your career that you realized you could be a good football coach?

Patterson: When I think back to when I was at Sonoma State (Calif.), it was a challenge because we didn’t have all the frills, yet we ended up leading the nation in defense in a couple different categories. There were only maybe 200 people in the stands, but that’s the first time I remember that we may have something special defensively.
What is the greatest challenge any college football coach faces?

After players leave your program, how do you want them to remember you?

Do you remember a coach who impacted your youth?

Patterson: Remember that I was someone they respected but more importantly that I was tough on them and drove them to be the best they could be. I’d also want them to know that I was their friend and cared about them outside of football.
Did you play football at the youth level?

Patterson: Oh yes, my junior high coach, Mr. Price. He was always positive and wanted everyone to go out and work hard and live up to his potential. He encouraged us to be all that we could be.
Do you have any advice to offer youth coaches?

Patterson: My whole life, I grew up playing sports. My uncles and my dad played in the Canadian Football League, so it’s just been a way of life. I was raised in a small, little town so either you played sports or you worked. You ended up doing both, but if you had your choice you’d do the sports part.

Patterson: Just the way the world is changing.
What values and experiences does football offer to young men?

Patterson: I think if they’re coached right, it gives them an outlet to become physically better and learn to play as a team and not an individual.

Patterson: I played a little youth football but it was through the school system back in my hometown. When you come from a small town, you play as a youth but it all works through grade school, junior high and high school programs.

Patterson: Make sure to understand they are just little kids and to not yell at them. I’d want them to remember to be the kind of coach they’d want their children to be coached by. Understand that winning is important, but having fun is more essential because you want the players to continue to love the game as they get older.


USA Football Magazine

When Tempers Flare
How to Deal with Players Who Act Out
I’m an assistant coach on my son’s third-grade tackle team. We have several players on the team whose tempers flare up during the contact drills that we run and it has become very disruptive during practice. How can I teach my players to be positive and keep a good perspective? – Mack

Immediately take the players out of the drill and have them stand next to you, one on each side. Explain that they will not be allowed to practice until you are convinced they can take part in the drill without losing their tempers. Players play in games like they practice, and the team cannot afford a penalty during a game. When you are faced with repeated outbursts, sit the player down, limiting his playing time in the next game. – Coach Tom Bass, USA Football Advisor
If a loss of down penalty is committed on fourth down, can the defense accept the penalty, take the ball and receive the penalty yardage? – Gary

this happens on 4th down, the defense is given the ball 1st and 10 at the spot of the grounding. If the ball was grounded to conserve time instead of loss of yardage, then a five-yard penalty is enforced from the spot of the foul and loss of down applies. Declining the penalty normally is not a good option for the defense as the grounding spot foul is usually several yards behind the line of scrimmage. [7-3-2-d Penalty] Federation Rules: The yardage penalty in Federation play is five yards from the previous spot and loss of down. Federation interpretations say that declining this foul will result in the same location as the spot of the illegal pass is now the end of the run. [7-5-2 Penalty] – Bill LeMonnier, Big 10 Referee/USA Football consultant
Is crashing a defensive end the best way to stop an inside running game? And what is the best way to stop the option? Should your defense hit the fullback and QB every time no matter what? – Charles

inside against your base 4-3 defense that lines both defensive ends on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle, call a 4-3 PINCH that lets all four defensive linemen charge through their inside gap.

Can you explain the proper way to snap the football? – Evan

Playing the option out of the base 4-3 lets your middle linebacker and both tackles secure the fullback, while both ends play the line and force the pitch. Calling 4-3 CRASH sends both ends crashing outside of the offensive tackles, where they should immediately hit the quarterback. – Coach Tom Bass

For a good grip, have your center turn the laces of the ball to the outside and below the midline of the ball and grip the ball as if he was going to throw a pass; First finger off the laces near the front of the ball, next two fingers over the laces on the front half of the ball and the little finger resting on the laces at the center of the ball. The thumb should be on the top panel. On the snap count, bring the ball up between the legs, turning it sideways so that the QB can grip it with both hands. In making this motion, the snapping hand stays under the ball and helps ensure a good exchange while diminishing any chance for a fumble. – Coach Tom Bass

Ask and you shall receive. USA Football is here for you – the coach, the official and the league administrator. That’s why we’re so interested in continuous feedback from all of our members. And that’s why “Audibles” is so important to this magazine. We want to hear your thoughts, your experiences and your questions. So fire away and keep them coming. Just to make it even more worth your while to e-mail or snailmail us, we’re randomly selecting one out of every 10 letter writers for a special prize.

Federation and NCAA rulebooks differ slightly when in this scenario. NCAA Rules: A yardage foul is not associated with intentional grounding [ING]. It is a spot foul and loss of down. If

Having a variety of defensive formations can take an offense out of its comfort zone and create indecision in your opponent’s blocking scheme. For example: If an offense is successful running

E-mail address: chobgood@usafootball.com

Mailing USA Football, attn: Cynthia Hobgood, address: 8300 Boone Blvd., Suite 625, Vienna, VA 22182


On the Prowl
Bengals head man Marvin Lewis’ NFL success links directly to his experiences from his earliest football moments BY TIM POLZER
away from roaming the sidelines as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. But Marvin Lewis has not forgotten the way home – or the youth coaches who helped him make the journey. “I remember those men’s names. Sam Edmonds was one of my first coaches. Joe Almatti, Vic Mazzucca, Bob Cook,” Lewis told a conference of youth and amateur football players and coaches. “I remember the impact they had on me and how they helped me learn the game of football.” With his football fundamentals firmly in place, Lewis went on to run the singlewing as a quarterback in high school in McDonald, Pa. It was there that his path crossed with another future AFC North division coach, one who brought home a Super Bowl ring last season. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher and Lewis played for conference rivals in high school. And their bond was strengthened at a youth football camp. After playing the odd combination of linebacker, quarterback and safety at Idaho State, Lewis decided to give coaching a try. He slowly but surely gained valuable experience in the college ranks. In 1992, his old high school rival, now head coach of the Steelers, offered him a shot at the NFL. He was to coach linebackers in the Steel City. Lewis immediately made an impact, cementing his reputation as one of pro football’s brightest defensive minds. As defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, a team that boasted one of the alltime best defensive units, he won his own Super Bowl ring. In just three seasons, Lewis guided the Bengals from 2-14 to the AFC North division title and their first playoff appearance in 15 years. Thanks to Lewis’ coaching prowess, the Bengals entered the 2006 NFL season capable of challenging for a Super Bowl. But don’t think that the key to this coach’s success is some sort of top secret formula. Lewis still relies on the fundamentals that he learned from the moment he pulled on his first football helmet. Lewis has taken the time to teach the lessons he’s learned by speaking to youth football organizations and coaches at all levels. The Marvin Lewis Community Fund strives to empower, educate and inspire individuals in the Greater Cincinnati area “One Play at a Time.” Lewis frequently contributes his time and resources to young people. The Marvin Lewis Community Fund supports numerous community programs in the Greater Cincinnati region including Inner-City Youth Football Collaborative, helping purchase safe equipment and offsetting costs of officials and on-site supervision for 102 youth football teams. “Football teaches lessons in sacrifice, hard work and team work,” Lewis says. “It teaches you about success and “I LOVE WATCHING disappointment, and handling the AND EXPERIENCING ups and downs.” Lewis makes it a point to mention A PLAYER THAT that his youth coaches never cursed MATURES INTO A or ranted and raved to make their MAN.” point. He tries to follow their examples when teaching some of the best football players in the world. “They taught me how to approach and speak to people, being corrective and not critical. Always be positive,” Lewis says. “You have to be a great teacher. You have to be able to have the patience to communicate with the guy who is extremely talented that can get everything the first time to the guy that has zero talent and it takes him 10 times.” Trophies and accolades represent competitive goals for coaches at the highest level. But when asked about why coaching football gets his engine revved every morning, Lewis’ answer has little to do with victory parades or champagne toasts. “I love the game of football and the experiences of seeing someone accomplish a goal or improve,” Lewis says. “I love watching and experiencing a player that matures into a man.” That’s one for the win column, no matter the final score.


USA Football Magazine


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Formation Deception
The diagram shows an inside running play from a “Left Far Wing” formation. The position of the tight end (TE) and wing back (WB) reveals your offense’s running strength to be on the left side of the formation, but your offense also is in position to run the fullback inside to the opposite side by using the HB to serve as a lead blocker on the weakside “Will” linebacker (W).


Assignment Breakdown
• The quarterback (QB) can use a reverse pivot to sell the misdirection or open to the path of the FB driving to the gap between the RG and RT • The HB leads through the 4 hole and blocks the W linebacker in whatever direction the defender is moving • The FB takes the handoff, follows the path of the HB and cuts opposite the block of the HB on the W linebacker • Offensive linemen drive block the defender lined up across from them, on or off the line of scrimmage • The WB and split end (SE) block downfield on defensive backs • After the handoff, the quarterback should drop straight back and set up to pass. This should set up a possible play-action pass later in the game and provide a third option off this formation. When practicing this offensive series, impress upon your players to fire out on the snap, execute their assignments and run the play correctly using the proper technique. Tom Bass coached in the NFL for 30 years as a defensive coordinator, offensive and defensive assistant with the Cincinnati Bengals, San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He serves on the USA Football technical advisory committee.


EARLY IN THE SEASON, it’s important to have a relatively simple offensive play system that can be enhanced as your team becomes more experienced and you find the need to add more plays. Many coaches believe it’s better to have fewer plays — and run them well – than to have a large number of plays that can leave your players uncertain in their execution. As your team’s offensive strengths become apparent, defenses often will load up against your best runner and most productive plays. By mixing in a weakside run counter play, your offense can gain crucial yardage and keep the defense honest. To get you started, here is an example of a counter play for your run series.

When the defense believes the halfback (HB) is the main player in your running game, opposing coaches will begin to overplay your formation by cheating their linebackers and safeties, or slanting the defensive linemen to the tight end side of the formation. You can vary your attack and counter the stacked alignment by using the HB as a lead blocker and handing off to the fullback (FB) or “3 back” who runs between the right guard (RG) and right tackle (RT) or “4 hole.”


USA Football Magazine

Blueprints For Coaching Success
Positive leadership, organization and clear communication can produce an enjoyable – and winning – experience for your team BY COACH TOM BASS
COACHING FOOTBALL AT THE YOUTH LEVEL offers an opportunity to introduce
young players to one of America’s greatest games and a tremendously rewarding experience. You strive to experience the pleasure of watching your players evolve from awkward, young athletes into a smooth, efficient team. To realize this goal, it is important to ask yourself what your role and philosophy is as a coach. Remember, as a coach you are first and foremost a teacher. Considering the many complex issues facing coaches today, being a teacher may seem to take a backseat at times, but it shouldn’t. All great coaches are great teachers. loitering around the field > Having one coach remain at the field until the last player has been picked up > Having a pre-arranged plan for any potential medical problem in a positive manner. Consider what you want your players to do and instruct them in a step-by-step manner. In addition, stay positive in your conversations with parents, regardless of the subject being discussed. One of the greatest lessons you can teach your players is how to communicate with officials during a game. Show the officials the respect they deserve and save any discussions or questions for a time-out or at halftime.

Practice Preparation
Preparing yourself – and your assistants – to accomplish your everyday goals may make it necessary to meet as a staff prior to each practice, each meeting and each game in order to outline the goals for that day. Coaches need to understand not only what they will teach, but also how it fits into the bigger team picture.

Your players are going to look to you for leadership during practice and at games, and their attitudes will reflect yours. Young players want and expect you to provide instruction, structure and discipline, so don’t let them down. Players come to the practice field wanting to learn and have fun. They hope you will understand that they will make errors and that they will need encouragement. Every player wants to play on a team in which everyone is coached with kindness rather than criticism. Remember, coaching is a tremendous responsibility. Parents entrust you with their most precious possession; their child. It is your responsibility to treat each child with respect and care.

Safety and Enjoyment
Your first responsibility is to provide a safe and enjoyable setting for learning. This involves: > Inspecting the field before the first player arrives for practice > Greeting each player by name > Making a quick check of each player’s equipment > Pre-planning the practice, so drills are conducted in a safe manner and the techniques that are taught emphasize proper and safe body movements > Being aware of any strangers who may be

Player Participation and Fun
Youth teams should be geared to allow even the least skilled players to enjoy participating in games and practices. During your practices try to: > Make sure every player participates > Use drills that teach only one skill, rather than running one drill that involves multiple skills, giving playing as many repetitions as possible > Keep lectures to a minimum > Keep it fun and always be upbeat

Positive Communication
Coaches always should communicate


Todd Casey, Vienna, Va.


Father and son dentist team drill at the office and on the field for the benefit of all involved BY TIM POLZER

All Smiles

THE ROOTS OF TODD CASEY’S CONTRIBUTIONS to youth football run deep. Casey, a
dentist in Vienna, Va., need only look to his father and dental practice partner, George, as the person who got him started in youth football and, eventually, coaching. Todd began playing youth football in the late ’70s with his father as his coach, and the pair has remained active ever since. After Todd’s playing days were over, he decided to continue his youth football experience through coaching. Casey coaches the Vienna Steelers in the 110-pound division of the Fairfax County Youth Football League, an organization serving more than 20 youth sports and recreation clubs in northern Virginia. Casey has coached or co-coached in 13 County Championships, six Metropolitan Super Bowls, the 95-pound American FCYFL Championship and a national championship game at last year’s USA Football Classic. While Casey’s father got him started as a youth player, it’s the joy of helping kids learn the game that energizes him as an adult coach. “It’s really fun watching the kids evolve. It’s amazing how much they learn and change from the first day of practice to the last game,” Casey says. “Their enthusiasm keeps me going.” Casey’s years of experience coaching seventh and eighth graders has taught him a

few things that rarely change. “You can never assume they know anything. You have to approach each aspect of the game as if they’re just starting out,” Casey says. “Games are easy. Games are fun. Practices are tougher. You have to go in with the idea that you’re teaching them and challenging them every day.” Casey has managed to coach successful teams without leaving any kids behind. He has found a way to make every player feel a part of every team. “Everybody wants to be a running back or quarterback. But by stressing the fundamentals, kids can enjoy playing every position,” Casey explains. “In fact, I think you’ll find that many of the larger kids who may start youth football as linemen eventually evolve into quarterbacks and running backs as they get older.” One of Casey’s most cherished youth football memories was taking his Steelers to Minnesota to play in last year’s USA Football Classic. The total experience, including fundraising efforts and reaching out to community sponsors, created a need for teamwork off the field. Along the way, Casey said the team enjoyed a unique bonding experience between coaches, players and parents. The Caseys’ family affair with youth football already spans more than 30 years and there looks to be no end in sight — Todd’s 5-year-old son, Patrick, already is running wind sprints in the backyard.


USA Football Magazine


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