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0873228693.Football Coaching Strategies

0873228693.Football Coaching Strategies

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Llbrary of CoDBres Cslalo8ing-in-PnbliotidDatr Footbdl co&hing strateSies A@rican FootballCoaches / As@iation. ISBN0-67322-E69-3 L Footblll--Coehing. I. Ame.ican F@Dall Coaches Associarion. GV954.4.F66 1995 796.332'07'1-4c2O 95-8140 CIP ISBN:0'87322'869-3 Copyright O I 995 by the AmricD Foolball Coaches dssociation All righh resened.Exceptfor useir a review'thereproduction utilizarionofthis work in sy iomor by anyelectmnic,mehmicol, or or othermem, now kDom or hereafter invented, including xemgraphy, photocopfnS.andrecording, in anyinforDation storage and dd etrieval systen. is forbiddenwithout the wntten p€mhsion of the publishe.. All aniclesusedandadapt.dwith permission the leadauthoB.The irticle by wmdy tlayes usednd adapted of with p€rmission of Expe( ConsulbDts: Jim ButErlield, JerryClaibome,Jo€Restic,and Vic RoweniManaglng rilror: Dawn Ros€lund; Assisl4nt fdilo.: Herry Woolsey;Fiitorial Assistanc$ Andiew StarrandWendy Gossen; Copy€ditor: Bob ReplingenPmof.€aden Jim Bums; Typ*tler FrancineHarn€nki; Text DesiSnand Lryoot: RobeftM. Reu(her; Cover D€.lgner: Ja.k Davili nl|tst'atolI: Cnig Ronto,JenniferDelmorc, Taia Wels.h, and Deniselrwry; Pfint€r: United Graphics HumanKineticsboots are nvailableat sp€cialdiscountsfor bulk purchN. Sp€cialeditionsor book€xerpts cln dso b€ createdto spe{ificrlion. For details,contactthe SFcial SalesManagerat HunDn Kinetics. PrintedintheunitedstatesofAmeri@ H|tmn KiDeti6 Web site: htrp://*l!.hunankinetics.com,/ (.Irir?dSrarerrHunranKinetics. P.o- Box 50?6,Chupaign. IL 61825-5076 t -8u)-147-4451 e'mail:humant@hkusa-com Caradar Hunta Kinetics. Box 24040.Wirdsr. ON N8Y 4Y9 (in 1-800-465-7301 Cuda o.ly) e-nuil: huDa*@hkcmada.com E/rcp"i HumanKin€lics, P.O.Box IW14, keds LSl6 6T& United Kingdon (44) I 132781708 e'nailr hunank@bkeumpe.con ,4{ruliar HrEan Kinedcs, 57A Price Avenue.lrwer Mitchdm. Soulh Australia5062 (08)277 r 555 e-nail: humank@hkaustrali!.com NewZ.alad: Hnldm Knerics. P.O.Box 105-231. Auckland I (09\ 523 3462 e-nail hunDk@hkneM.con 10 9 8 7 6 5 4



; .

Foreword Inhoduction Key to Diagrams ix

Run Offense
Brcad-and-Butt€r Running Plays Big PlayBFrom the I-Formation Running Options From the I-Forrnation The Freeze Option Series The Wishbone-TTriple Option Wishbone Trap and Trap Option Package The Flexbone Offense The Double Wing-T Package John McKaJ Tom hborne Roy Kidd Dich MacPherson Daftell RoJal Charlb Taaffe Fisher DeBerry Har old "Tubbr' Raymond.

3 6 8 10 13 15 17 20

Pass Offense
Conbolling the Ball With the PaBs A Simple and Flexible Passing Game Making Pass Pattern Adjustments The Three-StepPassing Game Airball Spreading'Em Around and Airing It Out Passing First and Passing Deep Identifying Fronts and Coverages Key Indicators for Quaderbacks kotecting the Passer Blocking the Blitz BiLl Walsh Herb Meyer Lavell Ed.uads SteueSpurrier Jim Sweeney Ra! Dorr Latal Little Jach Bichnell

29 33 35 37 40 46 51 57

Run and Pass Ollonse
Mixing the Run and the Pass Keeping the Defense Honest The Air Option Otrense Attacking the 46 Defense DaL)id Rdder Gary MoeLler Homer Rice Homer Smith

60 62 65 69

Situational Offense
Passing on Third Down Passingin the Frigid Zone Hang Loose,One ofUs IB Fixin'to Scorc Fast-Break, 2-Minute Offense Pass Plays for the Final Drive Pohex Allen Ti Murph! Bobby Bowden Phillip Fulmer Jach EIUaJ

74 76 80 83

iv CONTENTS Defense Team Defense Defense Setting Up a Successful A Fundamental Approach to Defense Switching From the 50 to the 43 Defense Using a Multiple Attack Defense The Wrecking Crew Defense The Eagl€ Defense Adjusting the Eagle Defense Dich Tomey Barry AlLtarez Grunt Tealf PauI TidwetL R.C.s Chuch Atuato and Jim Gladden . Slocum BiLLDooler Rochy Hager 87 90 91 95 98 101 104 Emphasis on Defense Stopping the Run Witb a 7:6 Advantage Stopping the wishbone Getting Linebacke4 lo the Point ofAttack Getting Run Support From the Secondary The Stunting 4-3 Front Slanting Def€nse for an Advantage Coachingthe Front Sevenin the 50 Defense Defending Again8t the Pass Making the SecondaryPrimary Defending Against the Run and-Shoot Applyins Pressurc Without the Risk Veruus Complex Passing Simple Coverages Games Dar)eWanBtedt Dennis Green Hayden Fry Georse Pertes Chuch Broyles Ron Schipper Jerry Sandusky BiUr Joe DeLWiEht 106 107 109 t12 114 119 121 124 \24 131 133 135 Dich Sheridan III -PARI Special Teams Spike fuhes BilU Sexton bm Cou€hlin Kicking for the Winning Edse Developing a Complete KickoffRetum Package Protecting and Covering From a Spread Punt Formation Making a Commitment to SpecialTeams Kickins Game Gimmicks That Work Pressudns the Punter Blocking Kicks and Punts 139 143 146 150 154 161 Sparky lYood.

on Woodt Hayes Bo Sctumbechler Ed. Motivation. and llanagement Bill Mccartnq BiU Cuny Gro.en l6a 114 179 181 184 188 190 195 197 199 200 20L 205 .ntTeaff Charlic Mcclznd.d.iz Robinson lPe Corco I(en Eatfizln Glen Mdson The Value ofFootball Prioriti$ of Coachrng The Gameand Coaching Taking Care ofthe Game Iffights Into coaching Putting Togethera Winning Program Things I've Leamed From Coaching Fifty-Plus Years of CoachingFootball Motivation-The Difference-Makerin Coaching Getting Your Team R€adyto Play Tlming a Progtam Around CoachingDuties and Opportunities CoachingPhilGophy and Objectives A$ociatron Ihe Amedcan Football Coaches Bill Snydzr Don Nehl.CONTENIS ! --TPARI IU Pfrilosophy.

Football coaches the most sharing group ofprofessionalsI know. a loyal dedicat€dcoachingstaff. But through the yearu. listen to lectures. are The/re willing to divulge how they achieved successand the fundamentals they've used to improve the skills of their players and the teaching of leadership and motivational t€chniques. I wholeheartedly recommendthis collectionofoutstanding articles that have appearedin AFCA publications over the years. watch videos.and spendenillesshours talking by Coaches phone and in confidential conversationswith fi:iends in the coaching profession.FOREWOBD In 36 years of coaching football I relied heavily on frnding the right kind of players. In readingthese articles anew' I have found the information to bejust as pertinent and timely today as it was the day it was written.the one constant in disseminating information on the gameoffootball has been articles and books. and goodinformation about the game of football. ei4' Grant Teaff Executive Director American Football Coaches Association .

No other sport is so high-tech and yet so de€ply root€d in the lessonsof the past. conditioning prcgrams.but to emphasizemore period recent works. dirtribura arjrclFs rhe tha across 25 \ aar r ima (1970 1994). and coachessomehowmake the modem gam€ more meanjngful and more enjoyable.like noother sport.upstaft teams breaking irto the top 25. we had to omit many very $ orth) articles presentedby bun&eds ofcreat coaches. and Darrell Royal told us a quarter century ago is as important as what Dick Tomey. players. and philosophy. Innovarion and Iradi(ionr )uung.egr"spresentsmuch of Footbary Coachitug the most important tactical thinking in footballFrom the Wishbone to the Eagle.pl ayels' equipment. and entertarning. What now works on the gridiron doesso becaue olthe many lessons Bharedby coachesand playen from practices.thebook's blend ofthe best lessonsofthe past with the most current thinking in today's game should make next footbal season andtheseasonsthat follow all the . so rcady to chanee with the times and yet so set in its ways. Dennis Green. and it's 4th-and-goalwith littl€ time remaining. And together with Human Kinetics we had to make several of them during the cou$e ofthe book'sdcvelopment. Bui all of you undemtand that whcn you're tied. and management are equally importani. and perennial powels that seem to never leave it. more than 300 detailed djagrams of formations and plays are shown. and prolessionallevels. We get this chanceonlybecausesomanysuccessful coacheshave taken the time to share their t€aching and practice methods. Our fondest memories of plays. and sacrifice. given the book'spage allosance: and r make the book highly readable.spocialteams.each NCAA divtston. wise veteran coaches. Among the pdmary consid€rationsin our selection pmcess werc to . In all. all addrcssing topi€s in shich they hav€ special expeftise or interest. Rarely do we have the opportunity to present.ith the most recent innovations. for th€ playef who is looking to improve hrs unde$tanding and pedomance. the book describes and illustmtes a wide selectionof popu' lar offensiveand defensivefonnatiom. insights from football's pasi and prosent as we do in .and seasonsgone by Today's sophisticated yideo and mmput€r technology.motivation.brighl aspiring coachesa]ld old.l1{TB00uGTt01{ Football.To do that. we had to ablidge and revise the original adicles-in some cases.'ootbaryCoachinsStrateeies. and sports medicine services are valuable only when they co€xist{. and philosophies duing the pasi 25 The proceedingsftom the American Football Association'sannual conventionand arCoaches ticles for the AFCA Summer Manual sinc€ 1970 capture both the crcative genius and the €nduring principles that have shaped the mod€r'n same. And you']I be able to read passagesfrom all six of these fine coaches and many olhcrs in this book. schemes. and managementi .t€achin g. t€amwork. games.Proper philosophy. combinesa rich history $. so ready to hail todals stam as the gr€at€st of all time and yet so appreciative of the legends who preceded them.ith the oldest football principles of all----organization. . tive attacks for th€ all-important kjcking game. Stru.Also inelud"d ar" Limeresrad. for the studont of the game who wants an inside look at the spo 'g nuances.considerably without eliminating the substanceof the coaches' messages. training tables. you have to make the tough call. But success football isn't achievedthrough in Xs and Os alone. fit as much infonnation in as $e possibly could. John McKay. and these subjectsare addressed atlength in Part IV The book includes 67 articles contributcd by many of the greatest football coachestbe game has ever known. What Woody Hayes. Re$ettably.Ln"" cdgcoas. blocking. present a variety oftopics within each of lbur cat€gories:otrense:defense.and for the fan who wants to be a more informed spectatox For all ofyou.junior college. feature coachespresenting on their area oi . games. motivation. tackline. and Steve Spurrier have to say today. We wanted and the most strat€to include th€ most coaches gjes possible. tactical ap proaches. include at least one coach from the high school. etroft. for the less experiencedcoachwho is srill leamine many facets of football and hos to coach ii.useful. is FootbaLlCodchine Straregi€s for the teteran c^ach whoconLinues roaddrohi.. Fllecand plays. in one book. .

. WB. SC players: Defensive teams: Special = Kicker K = Punter P = Holder H = Kickreturner KR = Puntreturner PR = and ball-carrier receiver O Primary =O and as options ball-carriers receivers Primary = Handotf + Pitch= + Block= ---l / pathsto run= Optional -..O Quarrerback = FutlbackFB.. LB.WR. > pathafterbtoct = 1l continued = or beforesnap.| Quarterback = pointor set-uppointfor readby defender ' release Quarterback = player asslgnmenl coverage Defensive E\d Q'" w .SS.Sl G. backpedal u.O A.O T ig h t e n d = Y T E . Quarterback = or to set-up passor pointof release L^. En l= E .\-^]. thanfull speedrunning. O = and Tackles guards O = Center n = QB. 18.TO KEY DIAGBAMS players: Offensive = Wide receiverX.B.V lnside = linebackerS. V Outside = Safeties S.-.V = 136l{s N. FS.HB.lessthanfull speedrunning' backpedal -.F.O = FlankerZ. W B.R.SE. V = Tackle T.. V WC. V = Cornerbacks C.O back Running = RB.or ^^$ Motion = or or less dropback.'.8. V N]qse = linebackerM.l. B.

Rader Gary Moeller Homer Rice Homer Snith 60 62 65 69 Situational Oflense Passing on Third Down Passingin the Frigid Zone Hang Loose. 2-Minute OfTense Pass Plays for the Final Drive Pokey Allen TinL Murphy Bobby Bowden Phillip Futmer Jach Elway 74 1-6 78 80 83 . "Tubby' Ray mond 3 6 8 10 13 1'.e e aPABT I Offense Run Offense Bread"and-Butter Running Plays Bie Plays From the l-Formation Running Options From the I-Formation The FreezeOption Series The Wishbone-T Triple Option Wishbone Trup and TIap Option Package The Flexbone Offense The Double Wing-T Package John McKay Tom Osborne Roy Kidd Dich MacPherson Danell Royal Charliz Taaffe Fisher DeBerry H arold.7 20 Pass Offense Controlling the Ball With the Pass A Simple and Flexible Passing Game Maling Pass Patt€m Adjustments The Three-Step Passing Game Airball Spreading 'Em Around and Airing It Out Passing First and Passing Deep Identirying FrontE and Coverages Key Indicato$ for Quarterbacks Protecting the Paseer Blocking the Blitz Bill Wdlsh Herb Meyer LaVeII Edwads Stew Spurrier Jim wacker Jim Sweeney Ray Dorr Inrry Little Jach Bicknell 29 33 31 40 43 46 51 Run and Pass Offense Mixing the Run and the Pass Keeping the DefeneeHonest The Air Option Ofense Attacking the 46 Defense Dauid.One ofUB Is Fixin'to Score Fast-Break.

" The laBt couple of yeals it's be€n the Wishbone.blockingassignmsnls The Pitch . :!i tackle. If the !*-:. We don't want him to body block him o. i. we went to our pitch play.:: :nd keep him on the line.but just to get in the s$. we ask the tight end to block the outside man on the line. FIGUBE I Pitch. Foryeam.and then take that man.. We don't carc where you line him up.unless he is covered.. We asL him to fall at th€ feet of t}le dcfende.Ifthe defensiveman slants iNide.r many people outside that we can make our . we've found out that play€rs win. If we ask him to lead.ier fights to the outside fast. not plays. and out of it come oul two basic plays.!ide offensego.We stad everf offensive set to run the ball outside. The offerse rs the same.he will be behind the play.but to stay t1pon -. we wanted to run fight at you with the blast play and find out wherc you werc. physithe cally.Our quarterbacks make a lot ofgood bJocksthat way. we feel we can block him. andjust the name is changed. when a coach wift anghing.ins of things.but ifs simple to us. and then reveme pivot. We ask rim to block the delensive man high up in his ir. So it's imperative that the guard keeps his eyes on the linebacker all the time (see Figue 1). to stay up.:. everybody comes and take8 the diagrams he puts up and says. keep puEhingon him. he just leads arcund the end and lookE inside. g€t tough with other people. r: r r $ ] }i i rt * Bread-and-Butter Running Plays JOHNMcKAY i*llt t q$$ {$ $e fr* i. the pitch and the blast.ifhe does. Over the years. using motion and shiiting. we changed the name of our offense ftom the I to the I-Bone. ii::'e are our blmking assjgnments between the \r'e tell our tackle to hook the defenBive Our quaft€rback.hook th€ man. aB it's also called. our tackle just goes on to the linebacker. and back to the pitch. "Thats it. The offsidetackle'sassignmentis the sam€as the guardt. We start out \ .lntil you put . He should stay up and block him as high as he can..'\-e start by running the pitch play. It's pretty complicatedfor the oppon€nt.teen different sets. ]nd.. Our attack is based on multiple sets.ith si.the guad just stops and takes him.Afler we establiEhed blast."This year.as you were. we can add greatly to the number ofthings we do. We tell the offside guard to pull andgo through the firstopeninghe can find. *$ tr $ 1 } | ! f ]}{ i x8 t }g * * t i 6 a. and th€n we'd go to the blast. to never go to his knees. "student body lef! or right. If the linebacker shoots. If we go outside to the tight end side. He shouldn't reverse pivot first.t:. or. he should step right with his risht foot. we started \ . if possible.rdrivehim to the sideline. We tell our fullback to take a slight step forward.:= :nd his main job is to keep the defenderon .. at tines. assuming we're going to ihe right. and establish the fact that we were as strong.i. We tell the guard to block the onside linebackexWe ask him to pull amund the tight end for the linebacker.ith the pitch and ran it until you stoppedit.:. and by usins motion and shifting. We don't use the Wishbone.Qll$$ $l{ 1 In all the clinics that I've attended over the years. The center'sjob is to reach to the onside. Ieads this play. and then go parallel tr the line and annihilate . then we ask :c: .Then. We run the pitch awhil€. then go to the blast. We really are pretty simple.

Whereyou line up is as impo ant as where you wind up. for example. and r. So we put our Z-back in motion through tbe backfield. The fullback should be at least 4 1/2 to 5 yards deep. then Z leads straight up for the safety man. usually the shong safety. and helps him with th€ defensiveend. we laced a rover defense. Our Z-back's (flankers) job changes. ever gets upfield or outside too fast. Ifhe can get all the way outside. and ran thc pirch a$ay frnm the rorer.lr .we will shift. If you want to crowd up.un as fast as he can for the oulside. One poinr on lhis play is pxlremelyimpor coaching tant: We want our backs to stay deep.then he leadEoutside the tight end.4 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES the com€rback. our Z-back to balance up or take advantage of the defense. so that they can option r-unvemus all th€ potential siuntd $c ma) see. catch the pit h from the quarte$ack.as shown in Figue 5. then we want him to run off the tullbacks block on the corner: If there's a fttnnel there.which put two m€n on the line outside our tight end or Z-back (seeFigure 4). This year. or motion. If he is sei in th€ Power-I position. We don't want him to body block just run right over him. FIGUHE 3 Pitch. it m€ans you're too slow to play in the backfield.l ln \ \@ r r ll.lr . Our taitback'sjob is to open step toward the sideline. we tell him t" tul'rr upfield and go (see Figur€ 2).Ifourtight end has his man. always keeping hie eyes up the field. assignments backs lor I \r -\_-/ \/ . we ask him to crack back on the first man inside.depending on where he is set.tailbackcurs inside The Blast C No\ we get to the blast play (seeFiCue 6). If he is set wide./ L c c fIOUBE 5 C C Pirchversusroverdelense wirh VV> If the defensive end. FIGUBE 4 B ll VV Foverdet€nse versls pltch vv VV V V \-/ V fIOUBE 2 C Pirch. then our tailback will cut up inside and pick up the blocks of our backside pullers (seeFigure 3). .l \_/ \_. If p€ople are overylaying this play with an unbalanceddefense. or rover (R in the diagrams).and the tailback should be 6 to 6 1/2 yards de€p.

and that's the best thing that can happen to you. The quarterback gives the tailback the ball as deep as pos8ible. . 1973 P@eedinss. we haven't changed much. "I must have the ball. and our tulback will "kick out" the linebacker the way he is going." People ask. Noq if we block well. The things we do best are those things we know best and have taught for years.As they approach the hole. there's an alley between those blocks that he can hit. The frrst thing any back thinks of is possession. he muBt line up deep to have time to secwe the ball and then get up in the air He takes off about a yard back and a good diver can go about 5 or 6 yardB. Our iackle will ju3t block the defensive tackle the way he wants to go. I said. and thatk the worst thing that can happen to you." !lt'e want him back where he can see. 37 time3 we had short-yardage or goal-line situations. In the first six games this year and the last two ga]nes. we ask our quarterback to reverse pivot and get the ball deep. If the tail- back stays back away {iom the fullback. that's Fhat w€ want when the defense stunts on us.'then I can think about the oth€r things. Coach McKay uas htud c@ch at tha UniDersity of Southern Cdli. b€cause you're going to hit approximately right on your head. it's ob\ious the linebacker is coming to the outside. Ifwe face a goal-line or gap set. 'Yep. Again. Now. This play can be a great goal-line play. we tell oul tailback to be ready to dive over the line. "They'Il probably catrh you. they lvill run away from the direction the lineman slants. 'how do you practice thiB play?" We dont.' he says. I don't think th€ories win. plovided th€ back is willing to go "over the top" versus the gap defenses. But I'11give you a little stat. lhen certain stunts will wipe this play out.fomia.RUN OFFENSE 5 It'6 impossible for an offensive tackl€ or guard to keep a defender. If you're stubborn enough to say ) oule going to run the ball though any one hole. If the defensive lineman slants in. what you hav€ got to do is convince the divei We tell the diver this. if he's lined up head-on. you'lt hit the ground. playe$ win. Someone made the comment to me the other day that he was amazed that we kept our tailback at 7 yards during the entire game against Ohio Stat€ in the Rose Bowl. Proper execution and the threat ofthe blast play was a big rcason why." So. The rest of the blocking is pretty simple. I don't b€lieve you can run as hard when you get the ball close to the line of scrimmage.poss€$ion first. We ask our backs to key the first defensive lineman to the onBide. from going imide. and we either made it or scored on all but one. Down through the years.

tight end sclape8to LB Ifoffensive tackle is uncovercd. with inside foot and Right tackle-Steps blocks inside hau of defensive tackle. a and b. If DT slants inside. Tight end-Blocks outside hip of defensive tackle. It's important that you consider both the run and the pass together."".TE blocksfirst LB inside. * *" s c c ET J A- tro T 1. We run the counter sweep with a variety of runnem from a vadety of formations. as separately they won't be nearb as effectiv€. tackle blocks inside. tackle releasesfor outside LB and then on tobackside LB ifonside LB flows-If uncovered. illustrates the basic counter sweep run Iiom the I-Pm folrnation versus 50 and 43 defenses. If tackle slants inside and clo8sesoffensive tackle's face. tackle locks on DT. Assignments for each olTensive player are as follows: .|% rBl-i11rr*""Yj Fi-cnRE Flanker-Blocks fiIst deep defender.d I tordd like to present the most consistent big play we've had for many yeaN. And the counter sweep bootleg has don€just as well as a companion play. IfDT doesn't slant.6 FOOTBALL COACHING STRITTEGIES * g 8 g' * i 6t 1} t * B t I' i i l t ]1c e .the basic blocking is always la FIGURE1 c". *". however. TOMOSBORNE Big Plays From the l-Formation i $ !1 * $ i $ i i ! : i i r g { * Q ac * *$ a $ t r* $B$ $ * . We've had several seasons wherc the counter sweep haB averaged 7 to 11 yards per carry. and its companion pass play. Gounter Sweep Figure 1.. i 1 '* E !] * * g :!& $.



FIGURE 1 c.,"", 2 *"," E"r" ".*p







Counter6w€€Pbootleg versus 50


If uncovered, blocks noseFight quard to guad.lf NG slants away,guad scmpeE LB If covered,blocks rDanon. covercd,pops middle guard and Center-If turns back for plugging LB or slant tackle lf uncovered, blocks back to cover pulling suad PuIs right and blocks defensrve Left guad end. Losq DE inside if DE remainson linc line ofscrimmage Kicks DE out if DE crosses Pulls right, getting a little more Left tackle depth than left guard, and reads left guard's block. Ifle1t guard logs DE, tackle rcads around DE and blocks strong Eafety.Ifleft guad blocks DE out. tackle tums inside DE and finds strcng safety. Split end-Blocks first deep defendex Fullback-Blocks flrst man to show behind pulling lefl tackle. l.Back-Takes thrce quick steps toward left e" right as he rPcci\ I acklearea,I hen couniers handoff. I-back reads block of left euad (not lefttackle). Both the lelt tackle and I-back rcact to the block of the left guard.

Opens left, handB ball to IOuarterback back and fakes bootleg around left end We run the countet sweep from a variety of In usinga \ arietj ofbdll-carriers. Figformation6 ure 2 you can seehowwe might run the play ver sus an Eagle defense.

Counter Sweep Bootleg
The counter sweep bootleg puts a ereat d€al of stress on linebackers and slows down pu$uit ol th€ counter sweep. S€e Fig:ure 3 for how we run tbiB play v€rsus a 50 defense. Blocking is the same as the counter sweepexcept for the center who, after popping the noseguard, releasesto the weakside flat and acts as perBonal intederer for the quarterback. The quarterback s fimt option is to run; his second option is to throw to the cmssing tight end; and his third option is to hit the split end running a deep comebackpatt€In.

CoachOsbornei s head coachat the Uni,e.sitl of Nehrusha -1s87 Prccee.linps.






Running Options Ftom the l-Formation

O1lIofibnsehasbeenvar] productiveboth in yardase gained and points scorcd. Much of the suc c€sshas been due to th€ athletes we\e been able to rccruit and becausethese young men are sold on th€ I-formation and our offensivophilosophy. We are an option-odented football t€am. In recent years we've utilized our fullback more to enhance productivity but have not gone away from our basic I-formation principles. We believe the I-fonnation gives us a mirrored oflense where $re can run all our plays to either side. It cuts down on our teaching time because our fullback is always the dive back or blocking back, and our tailback is always ihe pitch back on option plays, allowing both to g€t many more repetitions in a given pe od of time. We like the option coume that we get from the I and feel that we can get on the corner easier than Split Back or Wishbone teams. The I also allows us to run the isolaiion and sprint draw series,which hav€ the b€en extrcmely important in our success last Th€ past seven yearu we've l€d the Ohio Valiey yeam in Conference scoing and six ofthose Eeven in we've also led the conference rushing.

'rr : rr t! i*l li flcuRE I l ,".r",i*r,on, 50 """""



FIGUBE b.r",b" *,",*hin 2l """k



One ofthe first plays we put jn our offenseeach fall is the isolation. With it, we're trying to play football and give our tailback the opone-on-one porlunity to run to daylight. Figwes 1 and 2 show the ways we block ihe isolation shong versus a 50 defenseand weak versus an overshift. The quarterback drop sets to the call side, rcverse pivots, and hands the ball as deep as possible to tbetailback. H€ then fakes a quick scrcen pass oppositethe play. The fullback lead st€ps to th€ play-call side and blocks the linebacker at the point of attack. His keyjsth€ first downlineman pastthe center,and he blockBoppositehis charge. The tailback drop steps with the foot opposita the call side, keys the first down lineman past the center, and runs to daylight opposjte his charge after rcceiving the ball.

Sprint Draw
play for us The sprint dlaw is a change-of-pace and is the basic backfield action for most ofour passingattack. ll hai beena big play for us in passing situations, and becausc of the success w€'ve had running the play, it helps us hold the when re throq nffihrs aclion.Figlinebackprs ure 3 shows our basic manner of blocking this play versus a 50 def€nse.




The fullback steps with the near foot to the outside hip of th€ Cuard to the play-call side. He receivestheball dudng his third step (ifthe dive is called), reads the guad's block, and runs to daylight. There is a possibility versus a 50 defensethat the tuIback may break behind an angling middlpgxard.On the oplionhe remainson jersey that tlack and blocks the first off"colored The tailback lead st€ps and turns hie shoulderBto theplay-call side. He sprints to a pointon the line of scrimmage 10 yads outside ofthe tight end'B alignment.

T-nequarterback open steps at six o'clock and :::nts, g€tting width and depth at a 4s-deeree :i-ile. He hands o1t to the tailback on his third .:rp and drops straight back faking a pass. the fullbacklead st€psto the tail ofthetackl€ :: '-heplay-call side and blocks inside out on the The tailback lead steps to the play-call side, gaining gmund until the third step. On ---:dually _-: third step he plants hh foot, squares his shoul, :.rs !o the line ofscdmmage, receivesth€ ball, ::l ruft to daylight opposite the block on the ::.! dolYnlineman paBt the center.



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DiYe Options
;. run basicallythrce t)?es ofoptions.Two have ::r e plays to the tullback that complement them a third is our speed or shaight-down-the-line --d Figures 4 and 5 show our dive and dive-option and the blocking schemeswe use strons : "ns ..sus a 50 defense. Our backsuse the sam€ step€on the dive and --:1€ dive option, giving us added rcpetition and the plays look the same to people who -aking T}le quarterback open steps at three o'clockto ::e play-call side and reach$ the ball as deep as :,rssib1e to the tuIback. He takeB an adjuEtment -_ppwilh lhe fool nearestto t-heline of scrim. :.age and gives or keeps the ball according to the :ial called. He st€ps around the tullback with ::re foot away fiom the line of scrinmase and at:acks the inside shoulder of the defensive end, reeping or pitching offthe defensiveendh rcac:r)n ifth€ option has been called.



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Tlap Option
The trap and trap option has been on€ ofthe major sericsin our o{Tense la€r felr years.Ir gives rhe us a misdirection play that helps hold our oppon€nt's linebackeft and enable8 us to get outside. We block the hap several wayB depending on the fronl and lhe rypeofsrunis we re Eeeing.


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Figur€ 6 shows how we would block tmp mnning strong versus a 50 defense.Figure 7 shows how we r-unit to the weak side versus an overshift. The steps for th€ backs are the same for the tlap se es as they are for the dive and dive-option Beries.The quarterback open steps deep to six o'clocktuming his back to the bole called. H€
-1981 Proc@dings. C@ch nd.l

takes an adjustment step with his pivot foot to allow the guard to clear and the fullback to cut back. He hands theballtothe fullback (ifthe dive is called), reverse pivots, and attacks the imide shoulder of tbe defensive end, keeping or pitching offhis reaction if the option is called.

is h.dd c@.lt a! Eastern Kentu<:h! Uniuersit!.

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The Freeze Option Series

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When we need€d to improve our ofiensive pro ductivity, we choseoption football. We did so for these fbur reasons: . It's the best w@r for us to get the fimtball outside the perimeter of the defewe. hl today's football, it has bocomeincrcasinsly diffrcult to establish a sweepor toss play as an oulsrdcpla). Ho$erer. t\e upliun gi\es us a chancc gerour.k:ll peuple rurning Io ul back and quarte$ark loosein the open field. . You d.on't need donin@nt offeasite linemen to hate success in an option and deceptionof option defence, The frnesse



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footbal allow you the luxury of not hanng to knock people off the ball on every snap. rather thar You can read some defender,q block them.Also,the angleblocksand double teams ofoption football help your linemen. . It makes the d.efense pl&r &$ignrnent foot6@rr. In delending the option on €very play, the defensewill assign a man each to rhe dire, QB, and pirchphaspofour lprion on both sides of our formation. This makes them play assignment football mther than reaction football. . The optioo uill help rour p(,ss offense dram.rticallst because of the delensioe

FIGURE 2 FS Setting Up the Freeze Option The heart and soul of our option attack has been the "freezeoption" seriesthatwas establishedat WichitaState andreallyrefined and popularized at East Camlina. Otfside guatd-Pull and read the tackle area. The secondway we'd run the fullback ls the FB trap ofthe tight dive action. It's a base-blocking conceptup front. Freeze Option Bu!e9 lnside for LB. Cenier-Slamnose and blockA gap back side. Ouarterback-Step back offthe midline and stretch the ball back to the fullback. on the snap of the bau.RUN OFFENSE 11 structures th&t !ou'L. Offside tackle-Gap seal hinge. Run otr the block oI tho centex Once cut is made. The defenses we see to stop our oplion include 8-man blitzes. :IF .cellent option game complementingit. spdnt into pitch rclationship./B . Gather your second step and hand the ball off to the fullback.The l-formatjon allows the speedbackat tailback to catch rhe pitch and run outside. foce.di.. . The Frceze Option The fteeze option is one of oul favoite option se ries.optjon awayrBlock jnside number on near hallback.option away: Gap seal hinge.option away: Block inside numberofnear hallback.. On3ide tackle (tnside guard-Down on nose. Tight end-Option t": Block primary run support. Fullback-Run through the midline of ihe center. and tight end rotated Our option offense us€s multiple folrnations and motions to run the same options. so w€ try to establish the fullback game inside.I back olfthe midline and Quarterback--Step stretch the ball back to the fullback. 2-de€p zones. This series gave us the inside fullback game we were looking fo! with an er. we would immediately go to the other complementaryoptions in our package that were now available One of the firBt ways we'd attack is up th€ mjddle with the tullback. / '9. €xcept the FB must now get in phase inside the happing guard (seeFigure 2). and the fullback to be rhe inside runn€r We want to make the defense constrict on the fulback. Split end Option to: Block primary run support. Gather ooc / C'. tailback-Freeze Once the QB's second step hits the ground. then attack downhill.G€t a great mesh and drive to backside Iinebacker. b). Fight to get to LB. As defenEes adjust€d to take away our freeze option. get your shouldem square. We have a play-action pasBoff all our options \\'e also employ the dropback game to prevent defenses fiom ganging up on the option game Fullbeck-Take a lead step and ruD the midline. Flanket Option to: Block nonpdmary run support. The tight fullback dive is a quick-hitting play in which the fr lback can r-un off the block of the offensive center veNus the 5-2 delense(seeFigure l). Continue the option fake oflthe football until you get to the outside l€g ofthe guard. It becamethe heart and soul of our offense It's a play that can be run both to the TE side and the SE side (seeFigures 3a.Realizethebackfield mechanics are the same as the tight dive. I FIGURE l F"rrb""r.

-{. It's crucial that the defensivesupport peoplebe placedin a pass-r'un bind in order to slow down their option support. then drive downhill and option the No.i. Keep a 4-yard by 4 yard .When the QB's s€condstep hits the ground. The use of multiple formations and motions can provide you with definite advantageE in attacking the perimeter with the fre€ze option series. a and b.Drl ET cC q o.elationship with the quafterback.j19 rrGUnE -1986 Summer ManuaL Coach MacPherson was head coach aI SJra. without changes {br your peopleup front. Figurc 4. The mles for your linemen and backs arc consistent.regardlessofthe folrnation used-The motion can changethe defensivesuppod syst€m 4-tL9:ry:. Iiiilback-Fr€eze on the snap. respectively. o^ o I T -ll your second st€p and ride the tullback to your front hip. P|ay-Action off of Freeze Option The imporlanc€ of th€ play-action pass off the option action must be noted. shows how we run play-action offthe option to the tight end and split end sides.use Uniueftit! ." "rd" bu: . ! c ." r"rE 4A p"..STRATEGIES COACHING 12 FOOTBALL 3r FIGUBE Freeze oplionto TE sido FS of cedain covemges that can give you an advantage in the perimeter. Stayoffthebail until the outside leg of the guard. 3 man. sprint to pitchrelationshjp. FS J llljljlljlt tlGUnETBl FIGUBE l op.

il1 rtti:it * The Wishbone-T fonnation is not an original idea $'ith the University ofTexas.will flip-flop) Fullback directly behind centea heels 13' from ball (four-point stance) Halfbacks 18" ght and left of fullback and 15" deep to fulback (thrce-point stance) Choosing the Wishbone There are three reaBonswhy we use this formation. We also wanted to establish a basic ofense that was mirrored (which poseda constant thrcat to both sides) and balanced so that the abilities of all our backs could complement one another. We dont call it anything.i36'. The play that was decidedon was the triple option. 36 30' 30' 36' @@@n@@ @ q9 @ GD R9 Guards-2 constant split (four-point smncel Teckles-2' to 4' vadable split (four-point Tighi end 2'to 4'variable split (four-point stance.It's the shape of a wishbone. The next thing we had to decide was how to d€velop a sound running game toward the split end side. "Well. and a little bit there." And I said.Thus.will flip-flop) Split end S to 14 yards variable split (threepoint stance. we wanted to maintain at least one We u anteda player in split recei! at all times. but I don't know what to call it. "Why don't you call it a Y Your backfield is like that. Our pemonnelwas such that we wanted to utilize the runnins abilities of the backsthat we had." Then someoneelse said. we aligned the backs in the positions we thousht would be the most conduciv€ to consistent execution ofthe triple option. I guess it is a good idea to call it something. Then the University ofHouston had lantastic success with the t ple option. Variations To supplementoul basicfor:nation we decidedon what we call the "counter" formation (see Figure 2). It's a combination of ofensive concepts we pulled together. So we took a little bit here. Since the option was to be our basic play.noneofwhich were wingback types. we came up with the forrnation that is commonly refened to as the Wishbone-T (seeFigurc 1). Fi$t. The line splits are very impodant for the triple option to be successful. Homer Rice fooled around with somethins similaryears back. And we noriced Te\as A&Ms success running a form of tdple option with a tight fullback. flGUBE I r wbhb.."Theysaid.RUN OFFENSE 13 r l l $ $ $ * $ * i + * 3! * i i t I i 3 e * &i i . DARRELLROYAL * . We know there are times when we'd want more than one deployedreceiver Our backs were se- FIGURE 2 Counl€rrlghl lorm€llon @COTCC GD@@ GD @ .ith an ofTense that worked well foi our Somewdters have asked uB what we called it and we said. ! s : !t l The Wishbone-T Tiiple Option :]lEt{it&:?*at:11 rrQcrrit. our line of scrimmage was to be abalancedline with one endsplit and the other end in tight alignment." So that's th€ way the Wishbone-T got its name. Thus. er the olfense r'ho was a threat to r-un pass routes and catch the football. actually we don't have a name for jt. "Why don't you call it a Wishbone. don't you think you ought to call it something?" "Well. and came up $." They said. The th d thing we needed to decide was the alignment of th€ backs. "That's good enoush."Well.""rf"-".

oach at ttu Uniwrcit| ofTeaag . we call the fullback handoff play with blockins. We also decided on a third forrnation a pro fbrmation. I (the man coveringthe de€p third).rnnersand blockers. If quafterback leaves ball.Ct6ch Rolal uas head. Ifhe takes balt out of pocket. shown in Figure 3. run with it. These assignments hold true in most situations. without our having to teach them ro run a lot of mutes or be dependent on them as primary receivers.not as recervers. for the play to be successful our linemen must create a lane between guard and tackle. Tackle3-Inside. Against certain defensesthis formation allowed us to get our sptit end on a 3-deep haltoack one-on-oneand still keep our running attack aBa constant threat. Fullback-Break at maximum speed on direct path for euard-tacklegap.ride the outside hip of the lead halfback. @C OTCC @@ @ @ Our Baaic fiipte Option @ FIGUBE 4 Wishbone tripleoption Here are the basic assignmentson our triple option play: Ends-Force. we cail it and go to the outside. If we're having trouble reading keys for the option. Pick up fullback with split vision.2.take a soft hold on the balt and continue on veer courBe. Guards-No. The lullback knows that he will not g€t the ball.ith near foot on 45-degee angle. and cut off his block. Filst option takes place on ride w. No. Takes as aggressivean angJeas possible. but this alignment forced defenses to honor [nem as r€ceivers. FIGURE 3 Ouartertack-Open step $.14 FOOTBAI.L COACHING STRATEGIES lected as rr. and (b) key tahe6 the fullback-pull ball out and go to outside option. From this formation we could still maintain the tdple option to both sides. 2 from outside (the man who must take the pitch).t arc for the outside leg ofNo. so he should be a key blocker on the linebackex 1970Prc. if we want the outside optior. Br€ak straight lat€rally for the tust thee steps and star.rorce. and pitch the ball (see Figure 4) or take the obYiouske€p. Key the first man inside the defensive end and rcact as follows: (a) key doesn't take the fullback-leave ball with the fullback. Stay down and work with ext€nded arrn. Always responsible for No. faking first to the tullback.As ball is placed in your stomach. continue on course and becone a blocker on inside pursuit. Whatever we call. We'll make catls and adjust at the line ofscrimmage.ith the tullback from right to teft (decision area). Center-Bas€. and place ball in fullback's pocket at eartiest point. Lead halfback-Arc at I or 9.eedinss. and react as follows: freeze. then optioning the outside man with the keep or pitch. Or. The outside option key is the defenBiveend. Path must always be outside the block of the OT. 1 LOS inside tackle. Diff€rent defenses will force us to block different ways. liailing halfback Break shaight parallel at ma-ximumspeed.

we have had to devis€ ways for o11Itullback to be a factor in the offense-the triple option is not enough! The tlap and tnp-option series has given us a consistent method of keeping the fullback in- *.e 2 FS sc B c6 E.. a and b).*t"df * lg6[. The tdple option is where our offense begim." le1 """* FS \ The Fullback Tlap The FB trap is a consistentplay that can be executed against most defenses. we will trap the first delensivelin€man past the center and have the ability to change the direction ol the play at the LOS based on the alignment of the defensiveliont (see Figu. relop a packagethat complem€ntsour base 01It's imperative to prevent the defense from scheming methods to r€move our fullback as a running threat. l l l q g**3s$g:llQ \\te're a Wishbone team on offense.e 1. \ c . If we elect to tlap an A gap defender. Generally. r. we add the term "goal line" to or]I trap play (see Figure 2). Tbe fullback aligns with his heels 5 1/2 yards fiom the front tip of the ball. Over the years. oo /t. In the Wishbone.RUN OFFENSE 15 I i { t g 6g 1} ! 1i$ & t i 3 i } i i g t * I t I } i Ai . but we've also lelt the need to de. -'Q FIGUBE .. a Wishbone Tlap and Tlap Option Package CHARLIE TAAFFE . We don't prefer to tlap a four-defender side. and appmximately 60 to 657.r. ofour mshing attack is based on the triple option. This could vary TIOURE h SE sldelrap versus50 FIGUBEr c*r{h. This play allows us to tlap most goat-lin€ defenses and to asBist th€ tullback in knowing where the tlap will occur. which means $ e primarily run the football.p"*". the fullback nrust run with the ball.

This is particularly helpful to the open end side! The pitch back can also assist the QB by recognizing hard pressure and making a call to the Tte line blocking QB as the stunt is recognized. On the snap. we "log" the 6ame defender who is happed on the trap pla). a and b. It's important that the firllback doesnot step outside the otrside foot. This serieshas beena supplementto ourwishbone triple option attack. is identical to the tlap-on the tlap option. sinl the mesh. . putting the play8ide foot in front of the offside foot (oossover).When this occus. When we throw offthe hap-option sedes. We prefer this action because of the holding eff€ct it has on the linebackersand FS. dous freeze potential on the LB and FS.16 FOOTBAI. T$o routeB that accomplish these objectives arc shown in Figurc 4. We'd like the FB to stay tight to any down block-stay imide out ofthe tlap block and break oflthe block on the playside LB.The thid step is a ride and follow the fullback-tum to the inside. depending on the speed of the fullback. It's imperative to establish the FB trap in order for th€ trap option to k) E 6 r1j4lrriIt Frcunt3Bl The Tlap.L COACHING STRATEGIES Blightly. The trap option giv€s us a misdirection type of option play that has an excellent "Iie€ze" effect on the LBs and free safety. the defen€e makes itBefvulnemble to the trap option. This has the potential to oeat€ conflict for the defensivelineman. The backfield action is ideniical to the trap everything must look the same (seeFigure 3.His second step (balance step) must insure that his Bhoulders will be perpendicular to the LOS. based on the defensive alignments.Option Pas6 This is an excell€ni seriesbecausethe pass look is identical to the trap and trap option. it s time to run the option off the trap fake. On the snap. and carry out the option fake. The whirlybtud action allows the QB to accomplish this. A good coaching point for the QB is to sneak a peak at the pitch key on the fiIst step. The quarterback executesa full turn (360 degrees). the fullback will run an S course. we have specific ideas in mind-w€ want to control the pitch support on the option and take advantage of a fast flow LB. The QB action and subsequent mesh with the FB has the pot€ntial t lieeze the LBs and FS. the trap option pmvides a misdirection option with hemen. FIGUBE 3A FS - FS sc \ The Trap Option Once the trap has been established and LBs begin to step up on play remgnition. the QB will reverse pivot slightly past six o'clock. a and b). or "whirlybird" action. The tlap haB kept our fullback as a threat in the offense. and the trap-option pass has taken advantage of a secondary which aggressively supports against the option phasesofthe series. I'he tullback should know prior to the snap where the trap will occur. since he doesn't have his back to the pitch key on the fi"st step.

at Appalachian State University. Jim Brakefield. I've always felt that play-actior passing was the toughest to defend. and give us more opportunities on third-and-long (hopefullt running the Wishbone you won't be in this situation too often) and in our hurry-up offense. . For whatever we'vehad. when we started to toy with this formation at the Academy. it makes no differcnce what offensive folrnation you line up in. ceive$ on the line of scrimmage and it tended to spread the defense out a little more and diverted their concentration liom the run game to the pass game.7 ': o c| 1993 Summer ManuaL. Actually. r E i g g * * * 1 1 E & e i { $$ g*E x $ $ { |] 8! t a it } $ ? The Flexbone Offense FISHERDnBERRY 4 t:* $ & $ * * 3 B X g$ g * Q !i t A BE $ $ C t& X { s $ * * Wjthout good players. unique in a pass-orientedleague. we used this set for our long-yardage and 2becauseit gave us four quick reminute ofTense. particularly in longr-ardage situations. but aliows you to leaaf the defense'scommitment. success their execution.RUN OFFENSE 17 FIGUBE 4r TraFopiionp'33 slrnt lo SE Trapoption Pas throwbackto TE 4s FIGUBE ae . The offeme could also make our pass offense look exactly like our lunning plays. difficult for our opponents to gain familiarity with in a week's prepamtion time." The origin of this term came {iom our Sports Information Departm€nt two years ago when Coach Ken Hatfield remarked at a prcseason press conference that we would try to be more "flexible" in our attack from the Wishbone.cooah at me Citddel. Being an old secondary coach. an offense that doesn't require you to knock everybody off the lin€ of scrimmage.and theit belief in our offense. Tterefore. C@ch Taaffe is head. Reasons for Option Offense because it's: We believe in the option oITenBe . we're indebted to our players. hopefully. we felt we could incorporate oul mn offens€ ftom itjust aB well as our pass offense. Therefore. with the halfback positioned one yard behind and one yard outside of our tackThe Wishbone has been criticized for not being a good pass formation. . There's no magic in the term "Flexbone. make the defense a little softer for the run. and . Under my forrner head coach. the Flexbone iB nothing but the 3-back. the concept was to use this attack to run our base offense and. 2-split end wishbone o{fense.

he rum it. must dependon We speedand quickness. and we feel this crcatesa lot of one-on-one coverage. you have a deep pass with blocking support in liont of the paBser The down-theline frontside hook route in Fig.and we don't have a lot of meeting time with our players. If you don't "read" the offense almost every qnap. Against a 4-3 defense.ill rcally put the rover or corn€rbackin no-manh-land (seeFigure 2).fhen youre defearing purpo"eofuqing rhc it. and this type ofpassingis the toughest to defend if you'rc having to defend the run so hard.You can designatewho to thlow the ball to by adding the term HB or X to the call. whichis all you ever want in any passing game. ure 3 is one of our favorites.because nolrnally we don't measurc up to the physical standards ofour opponents. shown in Figure 1.the offense suits our limited pmctice time becausewe don't have to make alotofchanges from weekto week. is our base pla)r We read the fiIst man outside our guad. The rcal key to the ex€cution of this play is the timing of the slotbacksgetting into the same relationship as they would be from the regular Wishbone. due to their heara academicdemands.Therefore. oul QB witl be alert to run away from your shength.ifthe suppod comes. The triple option. FIGUBE r. thus rcducing oul practicetime on pass proThe slotback run-or-passoption complements the base option and $. and we might al6o employ one of our eight-man front blocking schemes and carry the second option into the secondary. There are several ways you can block the front and we adjust game to game. becausc re goinBlo bc primarwe ily arushingteam. Vercus a 50. Repetition isthekeyto beingsuccessful the in €xecution ofony offense."k 3 Play-Action Pass We want to establish play-action passes from all our baseplays. we d read the defensive end for the handoff key to our FB.h.6-1. or otrset defense. If the support hangs.We want the pass from the base op- .*id. and that way if the deep coverageis rcleasing fast on the potential run.he merely abops it ov€r his head. This attack also auo{'s us to use only one pass protection.18 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES For these reasonsthe olTense gives our players an excellent chanceto be srccessful. You're almost assured ofhaving one-on-one coverageon the split FIGUBE I Fl€xbone tripleoption If you ovemhift you. tion play to look €ractlJ like the run. The slotsimply reads the covemgeand its reaction to FIGUBE 2 Slolback run-orpassoprion /"*i the suppoit of the option. defense. we'd read the defensiv€ tackle.

1984 Sunmer Manual. Also. there are many ftontside and backsideroutes1ou can build off ol The main coachingpoint is that it all must look like the FIGURE 4 option running play. Coich DeBe.RUN OFFENSE 19 end if the defense is supporting the run aB it should and ifyour ILn game is effective. This gives you some misdircction to your offense and Bhould slow the defensedown so you can get more mileage out ol Theseare the Bequences ofpassesoflthe base option. you will probably want to consider misdircction running plays. Of courBe. because the defense will prcbably show the tendency to run with your motion ftom this set. You should end up with one-on-onecoverageon the backBidealso. and the playels must add a lot of"acting" and deceptionto their maneuvers.and the QB must make itlookjustlike the option. Therefore. . The backside hook is t}le next progression when the defense is overplaying the r-un and reacting very quickly (see Figurc 4). The defensemust also be ready to cont€nd with and defend the pull-up and sprint-out pass game from this alignment. you have the d€fense off-balance in normal situaiions and still have a good thid-and-long and 2-minute offeNe formation. The key to the playis a 13 comebackto 11-yardhook. You can see that this is a complete package of the triple option liom a double-slot or Flexbone set.r! is head coach at the Air Fot@ Aedem!. He reads the rover for his release. and the QB will read the drop ofl LB whether to go to the SE on a 15 comebackto 13-yard post hook or to the flarc back.

i* @ @ @tr@@@ C C o C ers who have dual responsjbjljties or conflictins defensiveassignments.". : ill : The Double Wing. every formation has two flanks.20 FOOTBAI.". FIGUBE l. l*tllii'. This style of oflense creates defensive conflictB and involves packag€sof plays. and those with a slot (s€eFigurc 2). Player 3 TIGURE I Wing-T forfirtion with iighl end @ o@tr@o@ OC CO FI0UnE ffi*r.. Now let's examine the flank d€fense to the wing against a twical s€ven-manfront (seeFig:rue4).. We will attack from this folrnation in thrce ways: with short motion attacking either flank.i.t]i I t ll] i: IIAROLD t } : : iit ir : $lll RAIMOND lilr .a flank that is suppoded by a defensiv€man who must also cover the flat..l:1 The Delaware Wing-T has always been senes or Bequence football. : lr it lr : * l: l ri .. Short-listed plays that are related and flow toward a pafticular flank are called "play packages. Our game plan is to direct attack flow toward a selectedflank orflanks. thrcat€ning several points of attack as itflows toward a particular flank. This formation gives us a 4-back running attack from a 1-back fonnation. or with no motion at all. In the formulation ofa plan.Plays that have a reasonabl€chanceofmaking 4 yards are called primary plays and may become 'shortlisted" on our game plan. It has a wing at one flank and a wide slot at the other giving us th€ advantagesoloul other two most effectiveformations. i: : : . Formations create blocking angles as well as tactically place eligible receivers and.. ofcourse.. 3.game potential yet encouragesthe use of the pass (se€ Figure 3).L COACHING STRATEGIES t .T Package (TUBBY' ill t* ll ilir:tr '." At one flank we have the traditional tight-end wing that proyides excellent blocking angles on No. or an end who must seal and contain.h "d @o @I@@ @ CO oo Double-Wing Formation An effective addition for us was the double-wing formation that bas a strong running.. with extend€d motion to either flank. may be padicularly r.p""br"*r"s 3 r. For example. t Q t t : t : . 4 !u create a hard comer to the wing.. Traditionally. while the two receivemat the wide slot on the oth€I flank make it difficult for No. our lormations fell into two categodes: those with tight end and wing(se€ Figure 1)." 2 "i. we selectplays that have a good chanceof driving the ball in areas that are defended by play- TIGURE 4 Flank dotense lhedouble-wing lo 5 3 3 @ o @t r @@ @ CCC o .uln€rabl€.

The quarterback hands the ball off to the fullback slanting over the right tackle's outBide foot (see Figure 7). the end will move up to block the backer). protect hims€ll from ceing blocked down by the wing. The presswe ofthe sweepto the ning makes the defensiveend (3) vutn€rable for :his quick fullbacL tlap with blocLing related to The next play in this package is the "down option. Player 4 is offthe line. 6 TIGURE FIGUREl-p"". The tackle blocks down again and the onside guard logs 3.beginningrothewing. moving into position to block the defensive tackle ifhe stunts down. and still conlain the quarterback.." here is a twical se-^sofpla]6toeach nank.' The tackle and end start to block down as blocking the trap. The tackle blocks down./ \_. The next play in this wing package is the quick rrap on the end. FIoURE o"i"k". he wili move toward the defensive tackle and if he is closing down with his tackle'B down movement. $p ll run (he two lradiLionalplays lo Lhcwing: i h€ power sweep and the buck Bwe€P. picked up with the tackle and guard "over blockof rng'and the end's consciousness the scraping linebacker (seeFigue 5).P 7l 5 FIGURE Blocking for the buck sweep lorces both the defensive end and tackle to be aware of a block lown on them while being threatened by companion tlap plays (seeFigure 6). The power sweep forces the end to meet :rrength while pulsuit from the defensive liont !. The guard pulls and traps the end inside out.RL\ OFFE\SE ]I rs outflanked by our wing. the linebacLer if he plugs. ooubte Wing-T Package L'sing our "package theory./ L l j-'r/ V . the buck sweep. but the tisht end quickly moves up to block the backer.. who will carry this fake and block the defensive tackle. or the noseman if he charges. yet he must be ready ro seal the end's shoulder.Rem€mber. The quarterback again reverse pivots and fakes the ball to the fullback.e. The tight end "leads down'(i. The quarterback executes the option on 4 of keeping upfield or pithing to the left half(see FiEure 8).pr* 8 VV n \-/ - r1n Tt \. the end is threatened by the block down from the wingback.

then releasesinto ihe deep flat at a 4s-desreeansle (seeFisurc 9). FIGUBEl0 l wid*"id.After the seconddeliberate step away from the center. If not. and will either get a pitch or continue in the patteln as wide as the freld will allow. and keeps his hands over ar imaginary ball. executing pitch-keep option. This passwill be thrown from behind the rieht tackle at a d€pth of3 to 6 yards. fakes the trap aspect ofthe trap option. The wing's assignment begins with checking 4. being carefui not to move into the coverase ofthe ftee Eafet)'. the wing $. The pmt€ction is simple and ihe options work risht off the basic play. the spread end's assignmentis to crack on .22 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES The pass{iom this option play has beenequalb effectiveas the run. and allows his head and shoulders to complete the pivot so he can determine as quickly as possible what 4 is doing. and ifnot.1if he is inveded. The quaft€rback rcverse pivots with two st€ps exactly as when €xecuting the tlap option. The trap-option passisth€ next play in th€ packase.".If th€ cornerbacksuspech a pass TIGURE II . the spr€ad end should be open and the quaderback will hit him quickly (seeFisure 11). When running the trap option to this spread flank. developsa pitch relationship with the quarte$ack. as opposedto power sweep or blocked sweep. releaseoutside and stalk No. 5. delaysiwo counts. anticipat€shis support action against the option.te-Side Flank Now let's look at the wide-sideflank and a package of plays that flows to that flank.. dependingupon how long the quarterback is able to threaten the fl ank ex€crting the run-pass option aspectof the plav. the wing mr13t block 4. We like the option to this flank.i. with little depth.The endmovestoblockdown.ss fiap-Option Pass Wi. then turns up field. The left half leaves in motion. The spread end besins his crack path on 4. The right halfrcleases with width and looks over his outside shoulder.i11 flare and stalk 5 (seeFigue 10). The fullback bends his paih around the quarterback. the quarterback complet€Ehis pivot and runs directly at 3."ii* Bellykeepoptionp.becausewe don't iike the idea of our wingback having to block a tackle. If 4 rotates quickly and leaves the area that would allow the spreadend to crack on him. If4 rea& th€ trap-option threat and begiN to support.The slotback flarcs and immediately looks ov€r hi! inside shoulder.

nd doesn't closedown v.RUN OFFENSE 23 :nd cove6 the spread end. Against €ven spacing.th€ :. the tackl€ \i.vmondis hedd coa(h at the Uniue\itr of Detauare . and the quarterback will move acrossthe midline as he hards the balt off (seeFicurc 12). backer in case he blitzes.ithout tackie's movement rr stunts outside. avoiding contact with the defen.e. he becomesvulnenble to the :rap. the flaring right half be open.:ccess. If both 4 and 5 dmp with the re-at the quarte*ack may executethe option of :€a.th€n moveup to block the backer Th€ ='uardwilJ post even spacing or lead venus odd :pacing. the passmay b€rDmean attack all by itself. {'ith a great deal of .rher pitching the ball or keeping it.ne tackle.ill lead down rn the defensivetackle then move up to bJockthe sackex AgainBt odd spacing.he will take a latoral step inside. ol course. fhe fiap Ptay The final play in this packageis..ap itself. The guard traps and the offside tackl€ pulls down to seal the front befbre blocking back on th€ defensive tackle The fullback now ha! position pdority as the quart€rback rcverse pivots. lVe've probably used the trap-option pass as ruch as the option itself. When the defensive tackle becomes :n\ious to puBue the option or rush the passer . When posting the noseman. Once we are able to predict the defen!:!e reaction to the tlap option. The tullback dives for the right foot olthe center. .the center must be aware olthe offside FIGURE 12 1982Summer ManuaL CoachRa. The center will block the area against !\en or post against odd.

il ]} 3 !] i i 1 i I My philosophy has been to control the ball with the forward pass. For play-actionpassing. Frcm therewego to aseven-stepdrcp..He runs that pattern the same way eve4. Th€ five-step &op pattern for the quarterback calls for a disciplined pattern by the receiver. i * ri . we will use a three-step &op pattem when we are thrcwing a quickout or hitch or Elant which.i t e Q : 1 i a. ).' iiq l t Gontrolling the Ball With the Pass BILL WALSH : : . the defenseis allowins you to completeby their alignm€nt or by their cover ag€. th€ defensive back can adjust to the rcceiver Any time the quafterback holds the ball waiting for the rcceiver to break. prcach. These are the biggest flaws you will see in the lorward pass.You have to be able to keep the defensefrom zeroing in on your ap. the play-action pass will score the touchdown. the defensiv€back seesit and breaks on the receiver. satility verBatility in the action and types of passesthrown by the quarterback. either the quarrerbacl rs . or the receiver has broken before the quarterback can thow the ball.So the time pattern rs vl- Action Pass The third category ofpass that most peopleuEe is what we call the action pass. Too oft€n in college football.We will show different backfield actions with basically the same 24 .We use a tbree-step dmp pattern. One certainly is to avoid the inside pass msh. The other advantage is to bring yourself closerto the potential receivex Play. Therefore. By and larga. but more often we will use a fivestep drop pattem oftimed pattems dolvn the field. heh allowing the rcceivem time to maneuver down the field. offensive line blocking.tandingthere$ aiting for lhc recFivFr.where your quarterback movesoutside. That's why lhe play pass is vital. Drgpback Passes W€ lik€ the dropback pa33.we have certain blocking fundamentals that we use.Todo that we have to have ver. We will go to the play pass as often as we can. time. For a dropback passing team we'll sprint or "waggle"as we call it outside to avoidblitzers who appmach stmight up the field on us. Wlen our quarlerback takes a seven-st€pdrop. by and large.Action Passes You can't just &opback pass. especially aB we get to the opponent's2s-yard line.' . He doesn'tmaneuver to beat the defensiveback. i : I li i .There are a coupleofreasons for moving outside. l: t. Th€ dmpback pass will contrcl ihe ball. Now when the rcceiver breaks before the ball can be thrown.

satility.and suddenlythe basic offensegoesall to pieces. wo will vary tbe splii ofthe receiv€rsaccord:_. to get into the end zone.€ceiver wiih the same spacing on two or three :lavs in a mw If we want to throw theball to th€ $e Lrrjidp. Bur rhF p^in1i" $e wenr l2 plals in . you begin to throw the same .cided on in ordex Ofcoune. :.€ first thing on their mind is how to releaseout :j the backfield.In an evenly matchedgame. The pass coverage.We are quite willing to move the :ran to get the release and sometimesteleeraph 'i hat we are doing.because know what the play we is. :r many t€ams knoq will cheat to get wherc they . say. We are quite willing to do that .ption has to be qualified with how much you . .We know that if they don't blitz one down. will reducethe split of the receiver. but risht around the 15-yad line. Why? First. and large. we'r€ going for the end zone. That might have been the differencein the By the time we have complet€d 8 to 10 plays. Th€ effect is that he feels he has to adjust. If we want to :hrow inside. we readily seewhat their adjustments are. and spread the defense. Sowe are looking. In a . Unless you are sup€rior Of couNe. We continued that at Stanford. herc comes the safety blitz on the third down.eiver 'sidth and spacing.. In our last game. and we pretty much establishedin a given serieswhat we would come That's a good approachto offensivefootball. tsut from the 25 to the 10.Our backs. witl be man-to-man by coverage. em over and over. the inside. The biggest problem you will r:re in the forward pass is when you have to ::row the ball a numberoftimes and. they are already warrning up their placekicker. we will kick a field goal. our opponent :rnbled five times. matically. We know that if we throw to backs. but we keep going.PASSOFFENSE 25 We'll get outside to throw the ball and get ours€lves closer to the man we want to thruw Lo. We've kept him off balance with the t''pe of thing we were doing. The a4ument that yon will throw the inter:.Werun the bau dght at him. ofcourse. We throw the ball over his head. for instance.irotr about the forward passinggame versu€the :rnning game. you won't make it. My contentionis thar if we arF on their 25. \\'hen you can get outside. Youger rnlo troublc. the trajectory of the ball can be flatter becausenormally there isn't a :]lan betweenyou and the receiver The venatility also includes changing your ' rmarions.n scoring lefiitory I have seen many teams march the ball beauti fully.We went eight shaight ::mes scoring the fir8t time we had the ball. we'I] have somebody to get the ball to a little bit late-just as an outl€t to get 4 or 5 yards.You know where you're going rather than having to say. against Southem l-ilifornia.It fo(es you to go into that game with a certain calmness. with a very :nited inventory.41blitz ererl orhpr down. we will e). We try to create an effect on our opponent. We present different looks and dilemmas.because right at that point defenses cbange.Failing at that. we ran the fiIst 12 playB we had r.der.tend the Eplit of our re :!r!ers.Meanwhile. I don't want to try to take the ball from th€ir 25 to the goal line by trying to smash it thmugh people. right downtheline.We try to get a line on their firBt down defenses. w€'re going for the end Play Selection )re ofthe facto$ involvedwith our srccesB years :io with the Cincinnati Bengals was that we r ruldbecinto set agame plan for the openingof :ae game.We continuousl) changc rF. we\e forc€d the opponentto adjust to a number of thinss. we simpiy line them up there and run ! mething else. We don't change.because three out offourtimes. if you are vastly superior it makes very little differencehow you do it. to try to keep it. Auto. If ue go a "eries where there haven't b€en blitzes on the first two downs. we don't worry about it.:ren game.g th€ pattem and the coverage to and. They'llseldom blitz twice in a row. we ran out ollists lcause the first 12 worked and none worked -q thal. :. so that there is more maneuve ng room :.We seldom will line up our .are to be. they're going to blitz the next down. at that point. We don't r ant the ball in the air very long. every defensive coach in the country is going to his blitzes about right there. . \\'e need running room to the outside. rl^IheideaIhal $hen$cwanl robrFakagiven udency. By the style of our football. the freld they can op€ratein changes. add ve. and we threw no intercep::rns. but lhe. nvlat in the hell do we do now?"Occasionally planned plays don't work. but we take it from there.

that we can eet 4 or 5 dropping the ball offto a back.we wilt usethe five stepdrop pattcrn on first down. . you must be willins to tbro"' on first down. wa throueh the drilling ofour quarterback. He bouncesoff it and gocs to the lar guard position. hau the rrme we are goine to thrcw the ball. he loohs for the ball early. So we are quite willingto throw a ball-control passonfirstdown. not a token pass hoping for the best.Ifwe can make 30 first downs agame.It's ono of the most effectiv€ fo. Wc can drop the ball off to a back late and still make. So we have a series of thos€. H€ doesn't havc any pickup.because know. we operateourfield offense.hat the situation. ilwe don't s€csonreDouy standjng deep down th€ rl]iddle. The quarterback takes five big stcps and a hitch step and throws on time. Now. most often right at the lina of scrimmase. he'tl throw Ball. ard watches his eyos because he's the last outlet.Control Passing Donr isolare hruwingI h^ f^r$ard pds-r.dunping to a back.! > WE B short Yardage $'e have standardpassesto throw against a goalline defens€. and w€'re mak.slow do\. know that on We fiIst down our ball control passjngis vital.ward passeswe'vc TIGUBE I s s. The fullback runs what we cali a scat patt€m. we're probably going to go for thc six points. By and large.!ho is an outlet.and make contact. or to a tight cnd. We never call them any$'hcre else on the field."n.Thenhe'lltum in about thrce stepsand catch the pass 12 yards deep.l to 5 vards. ine it. The rccciver splits 12 to 14 yards.Ifyou are going to throw the ball. As you can sce. on first and-10 you']] get a 2-decp zone zone-typedefense. If the backer blitzes.3 is the toughest ofall to make.Too often people try to go in there and buttheads withgood lineba€keN onthe goal line.He nover cafthes the ball more urar 2 yards past the line of sc mmage.. we arc right back with a ball controi pass.rnd-and-10. In ourball-conlmi passins. becausewe lrant 5 yards.you can get vour 5. a gi\en I down and distance.L COACIITN"G STR{TEGIES Midfield Betweenouro\!n 10-yardline and the opponeni's 25. The flanker releascsinside for 5 to 6 yards and then busts hald to the outside foot ofthe comerback. whpn w" afp arourd 35Jdro lrntsin d 'herr shod-yardagesituation. Figure l showsvou a ball-controlpassthatSid Gilman may have developodsome time ago. OuI tight end picks off the near end back€r He'ilput hjs head past that man's shouldor. most ol our offense is based on ball-control passes.no matter $. you can just close your eyesand hand the ball om Butwhenit's very competitivej that goal-line pass is vital. if you're marching through somebody. but a pdss that is designedio eet vou a certain amount of yardage. We have a cerlain list of runs and a certainlist ofpasses.26 FOOTBAI. At third-and 5. \. Wlrat he wants to do is to get that comerback on his heels. To nake it on third-and 1 we will often urow to a back out ofthe backfield. Ifyou run a basic running pla]. If \l'e got inside that s-yard line. Too often they don't mak€ it.Ifthe safety gives ground.We go to it- OCT CC 22 Z-tn This is afi1'e-stepdrop pattem. and he releasesto the outside.Whon we ha1'e a third-and-S. we'll and then go to our seven step drop man€uveriDg patterr on third down. The quarterback throws theball r€latedtothe sky safety. Those4 or 5 yards are as impodant to us as somaother team making the same on an optioD pla): You often will see us run $'ith the batt ox sec. we don't grope. turns and faces thc quarterback. Third-and.

FIGURE 4 1 s I lE N E B I S> ^ ]C \COT o C \? U{ d_) .What w€ are after on 22 Z in :i a ?'to g-yard gain to the fullback. :: trying to beat the come. .:::.-:in to the flanker.re wilt be a good throwing lane with the : . \\'c have seversl other options off our 22 ac:i r. He doesnt care wh€fe the delensne baLk i" lo cated. The receivergoesstraight up the field as close to tull speed as he can.other than if they roll up.We hav€ a Z-in motion. The key to the : rss is the fullback. If the safety flattens out. in this caseto the flanker .tlLen we throw to the fultback (see Figue 2) -: rall should adve to him a foot in front ofhis : .--an-to-man. At 10 yads he crosses over and breaks out. r. He should average 7 to 8 . :.:=r If thefullbackhas to rcach. our : :ancrback will come back and took at the tieht .op.and he doesnt chansehis angle ofrclease. "You want the sideline. H€ catches the ball at 12 (seeFigure 4). -i. '.nd. we' r: . oiTlhe ball.REUBE 2 s Y7': Out Pattern The out pattem is a timed pattem thrown from a five-st€pd.PASSOFFENSE 2? :: :xe fullback.. :he safety will often chasethe tight end. :el] our backs.That's what we mean by ball-con:: . Ifit's man-to:.: : tullback !: i a llout with the tight end. he goes up the sideline. a quarterback doesnot take a hitch step. *.I :'-en he catches it.::. ".: ::. and he often und€restimatesa ball-carner :i.The SP doesn'tcare about the coverage. Ia the two primary receivers are covered.he slid€slat€raly for the pass < Figure 3). Hejust runs the patt€m. On atimed pattem.r in behind him."The ::rson is that only one man can tackle you at a ::ne. The fullback gets it about two ::r ofthree timeB.theflankerr'unsaman-to-man :. a circle-out with our flanl(er. slow dowr or break stride.!: !-:: comin g out on the fulback. depending on the defense.he will take ::.rng the side]ine. As soon as the tight end sees the :rarterback's eyes. he runs a seam.ds a catch. FIGUBE 3 22 z-in ro iighl end \: \lvl WE .: -: bably g€t nothing out ofit.:-. passrng. or a 12-yad .r.

the defensiv€back doesn'thave any way to get to it. When he is 61ard. deepand 3 yardsout. we hold the ball. The tight end tak€s an imide release. They check the backers on a blitz. The quart€rback takes five quick steps. and runs a fuU speedcmssing pattern. he's looking for the tight end to beat a man-under linebacker. thiB isolatesour tight end on a backex He has a goodchanceofbeating the backer. FIGURE 5 /\ \.id.andblitz one man. a team is If oneyou go to on man-under running rnan-under.Ilyou throw into his body.After reading for the blitz. What we are trying to get here rs the defensiveback giving ground this way and then losine lateral gound thh way. a right.Notice I said five big steps in the Z' in. the back moves 1 1/2 to 2 yards back from his blocking position. $ eakflo$ pasq to run a pattem on the weak side (see Figure 7). but I would say most often the flanker gets it. he turns upfield looking lor th€ M patOn the M pattem. So ifour quaderback seesinside-out coverreceivers. WE \oc T \ N t) "" b Hook Patten 1c-- Now let's look at the seven-step drop patteln. the back r-uns what we call an M pattern . This is one play that we've almoBt worn out. the weak linebacker some callhim a defensiveend-takes away the square out. Throw dgbt at the man's hip.'rde now goes right to the tight end. That'E on single On this pafticular pattern both receivers do the same thing. As you can s€e in Figurc 6. N I s )^ cc l \'. In the M pattern. Now that we're thmwing out.reasonablyclose. The tight end on his basic crossingpattern is the dcfense. There's also a tight end option off the double lqLare-out patt€m.that kind of an out rs surcide. the offen"ite tackle. I FIGUHE 6 d nght end oplion versus M Pattem The backs play a key rcle. and pop it fisht off to the hauback (seeFigue 5). .goes straight up the field.his drop age on v. NowX rs going whichr.He can't lead the receiver with any time you lead a receiverwho the passbecause is mnning parallel to the ball. wh€n both middle lineback€rucoverbacks to the outside. he'lI never catch up to the ball .STRATEGIES 28 FOOTBAIL COACHING The quarterback decid€spriorto the snap and just after the snap whether h€'s soing to thrcw him the ball or not. the QB takes frve qaicA steps. protFction. which is motion. but never crossesthe ball. and we'rc going to r"un a 79. On a seven-stepdrop patterl our receivers will maneuver Werc going to run a blue left for us.

the San Frcnaisco 49ers.Coach WdLshis offensiue consultant fo. gets past the man who has short coverage.:re the ball consistently. I:l cl be able to tbrow the ball. depending on which linebacker we are trying to beat.rsing it. i 0 IIGUBE lr slor dghl i. and turns in.4.i'e line communication.. and power sets -. because we can'i have a hook develop at 12 when our quarte$ack takes sevensteps..PASSOFFENSE 29 Blu6. a dt.ii:ti:::t u .ings. but rather being preparcd to ilo so it best complementsyour running at-:-enever C O CNCC o C C C C flGUnE fr. On this pattern we tell our receiver thst he must go at l€ast 12 yards and never more than 18 yads on the hook.)1 . He m^y be l yard split or he may be 12 yards split. lG fl8Unt OOIC C O ooonoo o o o o o . -1979 Prcceed.r".rh. ts€1ng sble to thow the ball doesn'tmeanjuBt '-:. : ii .utilizingthe pro. but because the quarterback can't wait that long to thow.we must: (a) have ofi+:-.ight rc X-hook OC T C C You vary the width ofthe receiver. Philosophically. twins. Not because h€ can't get op€n. We say never less thalr 12.we are pria running team but feel thst in order to :=rll :.c Frgure 1.ill: t l ] ' :1 1 ::::!. slot.. A lot ofit is predicated on pa6s rush. X works up the fretd.l i A Simple and Flexible Passing Game HERBMEYER Ei. We tell him to get past the W and beat the M.. !e b€en an l-formation team since the midil.1 l . (b) be able to trap.

It also meansbeing able to thro* \'!hen you have to in the 2 minure -"iruations and when you'rc trying to pla) catch up. \/ Spread Formation Paul showedus the virtue ofutilizinsthe sprcad set (see Figurc 2) in the obvious passins situatjon and how it could facilitate both the quick passinggameand th e sprint out pass.br" q.As dcfonses becamemore sophisticatedand put grcat€r pressurc on the running gamc. FIOURE 3 tack.with a pre-snap read. -t I \/ flouBE 4 T o. who lvas recruiling our area. On both plays the outside receiversmake their brcak on the fifth step. lo thai.i"k "* 1\. we spcnt lwo off-seasons contacting collegesthat lan the I and had successfulpassinc offcnscs..Sincethen.and bootless but ill a haphazardfashion. sprint out. it became apparent that we'd havc to do a betierjob ofcoordinating and integrating our passing attack.d. Our outside rcceivers always line up with their outside TIOURE 5 Sprintoui right flGUBE Tsp". To pick up some ideas. The quarterback must decide.) o \ oorcoo d The spread also allowed us to audibilize our spdnt out at thc linc to takc advantagc ofdcfensive rotaiion lEeeFisure 5). Our emphasison the passinggameva ed from year to year $'ith the abilitr ofour quarterback. which side he l\'ill throw to. he's had the greatest inlluence on our thinking as i1 applies lo passing the football. quick passes. with the quarterbackusing a three-stepdrop.qide.. he then has a key to throw off of. play actjon.3i] FOOTBAIL COACHING STRATEGIES FIGUBE ln oor o o o The double look in (see !'jsure 3) and the double quick out (see Fig:ure 4) are just two or the patterns we use.ith Paul Hackctt. \1'eused all phases of the passing game dropback.We adopted tbe quick-passseriesfrom the spread bothsidcs runningthe samepattems offive-step cuts.rsn 2 @ OOT C C @ @ o @ o OOTCO I @ . It was during this timc that $'e flrst bccamc acquainted $.

""I I }{- FIGURET sp"" *.le il1 When the quarterback determines the side we are going to throw to.PASSOFFENSE 31 The USC passing attack philosophy is to bal:lce powerrunning \ rith "read passing. we can get an extra blocker wrth a -Max" call and pull the uncovered G or C to protect the backside(seeFigurc 9). . we jrdn't feel we could spend the necessarytime to :. just as when he is in the wing position on the spread(seeFisure 7).Our prilt]a0 patt€rniq qhownin : "opback a." The Tro_ins zerer ask the quart€rback to nrn with the rall.rfect a pure leadingJ'pass garne. Against an overshift or four-man rush on the frontside. alwayBtringto protect the quarterback's backside. gamp.gure 6. with ::e balance of the spread formation. Since we'd incor?orat€d various option plays nrth our baBic I-for'rnation running attack. the insi& receiver to the orher side staF in to block. The tailback's assignment is the safte (block or run his rcute) (hen he is in the l-formation.*I ". This atlows us to sprint either way and still prorect the quarte$ack's bachide. . we could .step.However. -\ny of the receivels can be called into an indi\idual route of the basic pattem to take advantage ofan individual defender or defemive weakWe also refined ourbasic sprint-out pattern to the liontside with an 8-yard out and seam and incoryorat€dthe "comeopenlate" receiver on the backside with a 14-yard post-curl (see Figure 8).\pand the quick-pass theory with a frve. FIGURE 7 All hook(dghl)lrom r-lormatlon TIGUBE 6 FIOUBE 8 Sprinto0t righl wirh backsi.

't (' FIGUBE I_A"..J t \o c ."* 12 r I 3 l"_') o ootroc 1982 Pfr@e."'.."- 1)ootrccc o '\ . fIGUBE l0 FIGUBE l srd"I""e". Our basic patterns that can be used with all actions are the sideline pattern (BeeFigurc 10). the curl (seeFiglrre 11).32 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES By applying the same principle to dropback and play-action pas6es.''\ CO C '-'.ler is tuad coach at EI Cdmino (CA) Eish School .lines. and the across(seeFigure 12). we can detennine tbe side of the play in advance (pre-snap read) so that the quanerback has only Lorcad hi6 key ro deLermine which receiver to throw to. Coach M. I J . III.

and attack the inherent weaknesses in anv defensive scheme. We show the defensive team as many different looks aB we possibly can while still running the same routes and plays over and over again. Figure 1 shows our halfback read option from our basic for. We rub to eet up the pa. My focus here is on t}le specific adjustments we make on particular pass pattems. He must also be smart and verJ alert. We guard against being greedy and going for the long ball if ith not there. let me define two terms for you. but we also emphasize the Bhort and intermediate passinggame. We nrn t}Je draw to slow dom the hard upfield pass rush and mn wide to take advantage olthe soft corners. as we do with our wide receivers. We trr to protect the pa$er at aU ttmes.ss. We try to execut€. Apdss mlrre iB the route mn by an individual. The halfback in our offense must b€ a versatile athlete who can block. xrx*$gxttttx$ttt . We war. A poss patrern is the total packageof passroutes run by the various rcceivers. and catch the football.efense gioes us.rnation. OURE TB I I d \ \ccn \a1 o . Note that he aligns as wide as posBible. His width allows him to release better into the pass pattem and his stance allows him to seethe linebackers and coveraEesa little better.AVELLEDWARDS :$ *. For the sake of clarity. . We also have him in a two-point stance. For example. run. We looh to tdhe ad. leaving little to chance.uantage of uhet the d. Our passins attack is basically fivefold: .t to control the football with the foruard pass. often directly behind the oflensive tackle or at least splitting the inside leg of the tackle. Our eforts are to devise schemes that will prot€ct the passer. as we give him a number of pattern adjustments. who are more concemed about pass coveragethan about nn! suDDort. .PASSOFFENSE 33 &g& * I $ $ $ c : & & * &g ! * * * a $ & p € e $ & $ $ g $ & Making Pass Pattern Adjustments I. be patient. or for€ing the ball into coverage. ** * r ger r Err Q W€ are committed to the forward pass as our means ofoffensive football. We emphasize thrcwing the ball downfield. and pass to set up the run. We heep it simple.

utilizing the "hot" p nciple. there is a lot offield to work with versus mancoverage.*. hopetully. Ifthe defense is in a 3-./ rv' .then the halfback releaseshard. then he finds an open area approximately 6 yards deep.The quarterbacks progression is to the halfback.". the halfback breaks hard on a shallow flat.then plants and aims for a point 15 to 17 yards downfield in an area that. as flGURE r M""bri.^ .as everyonehas clcared out ofthe area. As the figure illustrates. Figure 3 shows the route ol the halfback versus a man with a free safety coverase. one or two safeties free (2-deep. right along tbe line of scrimmage and. to the crossingrout€. Splitting the two linebackers.eith an outside releas€. Thefullback runs an armw to facilitate the 2o-yard in to the outside rcceiver. should bo good for a 20yard advantagein man-to-mancoverage.. Ifhe misses. Being the primaryreceivea the hahbackmust be able to make the appropriate rcads. and then to the clearing route. o Man blitz coverage presents the problem of pass protection ifthe defense decides to rush both weak outside and inside lin€backeru at the snap and chooses cover the hauback with the free to safety (se€Figure 4). This same adjustment applies in regardlessif there are anyman-to-man coverage. Ifthe inside C \ccJFoco ?.s-under man).There is a larse void area becaw€ most of the coveragcis weak. if run properly. dependingon the position olthe defender.The outside rec€iver on the two-receiversidc runs a 2o-yard in.34 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES Figure 1 ihshates how we att€mpt to vertically sl retch a dpfense.a big play will unfold. th€ only thinsthat chansesis that the halfback mtrst now run his mute versus the weak outside lineback€r. with the weak outside linebacker on a blitz. the free safety has a long way to go to tackle him. ss' . has beenvacatedby the sinsle rcceiver. and this rout€. Thp single$ ide receirer turns a fly r.1 alignment and both weak outqidFand insidelincbackcrs drop in a srronsinvert coverase. he turns and readies himselfto catch the football (seeFisure 2). lineback€r rtlshes.""" 4 c FS SS If the defenseis in some type of man-to-man coverage. The inside of the two receiversrrns 6 to 8 yards upfeld from an insi de release. a route that's crucial for us aeainst man-to-man coveras€. C . TIGURE 3 HB sdjushenl ro mancoverage 5 t ? T Cc lvl FIGUBE 2 HB adjush€nt ro 34 with wLBs t c coo t.rather than the inside linebacker. and utilizes pressure to get as closeas he can to the defender. We will throw the ball immediately.He is allowed to go eiiher inside or outside. hopefully. In this situation.

:( positions.as t€ams look for down-and-distance t€ndencies in certain formations.]i $ ti * { t 3$$t 8: Q 1l] 1i $ $ ? $ i r r complete passing attack has the ability to thow ::e ball long and Bhort.-. @ch at Briehon Young Un. on any given day we may thron the 90 Series from aB many as four or frve formahons or different looks than what a defense may have been prcpared to see. who should find a hole in his intermediate rcute (seeFigure 5). The defense may chooseto take away the halfback by 'squeezing" him on his route with both rf€aklinebackeN. . We want to disguise our intentiom as much as po8sible. and to use the dropback. 9O Sedes Protection The 90 Series is basically a three-st€p drcp series with quick routes and aggressive protectron (seeFieure 1).We'll also use it a limited amount of time in the 2minute offense when we feel that we can take a quick completion to the outside and kill th€ clock.Therefore.we also .pjdrnEs Co6h E.luanls B hpod . FIGURE 5 HB squ€ezed WLBS by l.:rether the offense ft primarily for dropback or ::rint-out passing. These passesare used exclusivelyin run situations where the delenses are committed to playing both run and pass. The ::ree step alropi6 part ofa completepa8soffeme. -L three-steppassing game is used most effec: . The backs are re8ponsiblefor the end man on the line of scrimmage and must block aegressively b€fore releasing into pattern .but that may be qrlnemble to the Tle three-steppassing game is predicated on .es are for using it.PASSOFFENSE 35 lhe quarterback knows that therc will be a def€nder unblockedand that the halfback will look immediately. We bave presenled 6e\eralcoverages gi\e lo 'iou a feel for our adjustment philoBophtaThis pasB lattern has been a goodone for us and allows us tr goodpattem. on ffBt aBwell as third ::\rn. We use a variety of fomations over the length ofthe season. Ifyou can't run effectively. l l i i i r i r $ i i rl The 9O Series We use the 90 Series to attack defenses by creat Ing one-on-one 6iluationsbe($eenwide receiv eru and defensivebacks. In that case. forcing all the :.the :=inse will very likely roll its €overaeesand ::trble cover the wide receivers.-h on first and second dorns when defenses ::E keyed to play the run as well as the pass. This forc€sour opponentto that put them in better run sup: :\ cov€rages :. read then goes the to tho inside double receiver.He must deliver the ball beforethe defenderreachesthe halfback. and :r€n an occasional sprint or roll-type action. Al--:rugh we're known as a passingoflense. tIt FS t ta8s Pro. regardlessofthe type of defense 're anticipate or encounter. lri}l{i$$. In thiB article I'll present some a rhe fundamentals of how we teach the threer:ep passinggame and what some ofour stlate:.tpRttr : ] i l l l l l !11| ll:*ti il ]]l$ll {:' JOHNMACKOVIC The Three-Step Passing Game .play-action.lnt to be able to run the bau etrectively and keep ::f€nses of-balanc€.Ns to come back to the inside to tight €nds ::i backs for less yardage and less success.:: !r ng receivers against defensive backs in a one_ -rne situation.

fender. keeping body weisht forward over the left foot.Lmby the two outside receivers.9to 1. In slot formation. Now let's look at a good first down and secondand-short play. Use backs as outlets after checking outside receivers(seeFigure 2). Ball must be thrown on time and with velocity.Keep the ball down and in front ofthe receiver.. Try to select formations m create a safety zone. He should shorten the secondand third steps. I \- 5 e d0 elj rMres l l. and be pr€parcd to pivot and thow as the third step hils rhPground.. Do not fone the ball. key the defender over the inside rcceiver (Y). Be alert on pre-snap read for single covemge. A Quick Out c FS c 0 T J Sample 90 Series Plays We have a few plays in the 90 Series that have beenespeciallysuccessful. FIGUBEI_. our purposeswe. This is a no-lead pass. Y-Release inside. key the defender over Y This is a no-leadpass. thrown away from de. and his ]€ft shoulder pointed downfield or slighdy open. you can always throw it away (see Figtre S).I"K. The ball must be thmwn on tim€ and with velocity and accuracy. Select a formation that predicts a safety zone. The elapsed time fromrhc snapro pivor is normally0.il ! 36 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES GURE LE I c FS WE I SO sories veBus 43 Hitch This play works best when the corner is lined up deep or gives ground quickly on snap.f o 6 o ? F FIGUBE 2 Hllch Thnee-Step Quarterback Drop The QB should get separationfrom the cenrer on his first st€p with the dght foot. XandZ Hitch at 5. and the QB is 4tosyards from the LOS when he throws. QB-Pick a side and verify on snap. A and B Aggressiveprotection.ll For distinguish them by the primary pattern being r. due to a slower rcad by the ght comer. 3 FS c rn \ llwc rt \ . 1 t \ -i>v v U \6 0 --rt >(A ) t 60 T lz) - I . Five-yard drop. Hook over balt at b/6. In a slot formation. It's more often open to the left.especiallyto the sho{ side.0second.

.They plant the . Backs are outlets (shoot)when . )90 ProceedinEs. :. the outside receiveN make a fast '..Five-yard drop.. the more shallowthe : a:i. r.]RRIER . A and B Aggressive protection. A\ \:_/ \ \..2 running..t for pop pass.1 i: e\eryone's. We also release our wide receiverson an inside angle when running the post and middle rcute.'ams.a controltheba[. : $ * i $ $ * { E f & $ {& l: x { B4 $*ggl-|{ t $ €t i Airball STEVE SPI. Fake versus kick.:'ur opponents while throwing over 45 times :-. This is a no-lead pa8s as corner will close : -:ilt to the ball. Srant : this play.Recejver splits are imr:::ant: Th€ vrider the split. Aler. the deeper the heak.. r .on our two-back sprint ::r. which is different from most teams. We FIGUBE I B Sgrint. : : much success that we thow to the tailis ' r:r rore olien than other teams.i. .C@ch Ma. Y ln"ide release. So in . and arc alert for the -: .seasons where we had the ball longer ' : i . Our preference for throwing against a 3-d€ep zon€ would be the wide-field curl (see Fieurc 1). ' { B ]}C * { g g x * Q €t { gt t } | i i x$ i ic. i I --::hree most important factom forjudging the . Y Releaseinside. The ball must be thmwn between the seam rn -i:racker &ops.am Young has been proving that theory '-::: ior manyyeaft.:iide foot on the third or fifth step.-/ AA-A \_. :nd one-backdropback passing games. X and Z-Slant at 5. at times I think we :!: j too much time on the r-unninggane.but I thinl one ' . (b) ma]e first downs. Seven-yard drop versus press.:ackers drop inside.l coach at the UniDersitJ of T4tus. HookovFrball ar 5 6. A and B-Aggressive protection. Accuacy is the key. -::::s of a pass-orientedteam are whether it . XandZ Out at 5. at a 4o"degreeangle. ./ 160 \< @t QB-Five-yard drop in +20 and verBusmanto-man cov€rage.i:me.houic is hea. in any good passing attack.you cant win. break in.We believethat p o cE I E N . The clGer the split. prac ce rime involves about75i passing . ArId still.ricle I'll focus 1007.:nnt draw passing probably looks like just . We didn't buy the old theory that says j rhrow over 35 times a game. F IG U4 I.-.DrawPassing Game . BE FS "/*. all the way (seeFigurc 4).and :::v on the field.: l./ Lr \..PASS O!'FENSE 3? OB Pick a side and verify on snap.. the backBshould catfh aBmany passesas the wide receiveG.-. We've had successfulpass-j :. iase driving at their defend€r. not veloc:.

we zone and a 2-depp7one.. We'll hit X or Z at 20 to 25 ya.r" III c Our protection scheme. want to throw curls against 3-deepand corners against 2-deep. . All four receiversare in Yiew ofthe QB. Figures 5 and 6 show pattems agaimt a 3-deep Again."""r c BE T FIGURE sh. expecting the ball to already be thmwn.*. we like to get into a twin formation and throw Z a post or comer route (3€e Figure 4). When expecting a blitz.". It is the sane as sprint-draw protection to th€ oftensive line.&.Our slide protectionis desigrcd for only four rushers but can protect three from eachside.reqppcri!ell.the offpnsi!F line blocks the insidc gap arca.and the rcsults. we try to immediately frnd the TB and get rid ofthe ball.fbrd* 2l Eea T nta) / A C o One. We look for Z if no safety is deep. Th€ one-back has a double read from rhc injidp LB ro the oulqideLB. thenY orTB. We allow the wide lushers to come free.Back Passing Game In our one-backpassing game. Ifthe coverage takes away the WRs. andY also blocks inside (seeFigue 7). 41 flouBE 2".".38 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES try to hit Z or Y' then back to TB. Our preferenc€for a 2-deepzone would be the shorl'freld corner (se€Figurc 2). This protection gives us a chance to block eight rushers. Ifw€ get eightrusherE when in aone-backfor' marion. the back goes weak.thenX. Z wil} catch the ball at about 16 yards. FIGURE Middb-. Thrs protection is desjgned to get four receivers out quickly with no blocking r$pomibilities. zone Curl rout€sversus3-deep We also have a "middle" rout€ againsta 3-deep zone (see Figure 3). have b€er so goodover th e years that we continuewith the basic tuln-back protection principles.we go Io rhe 3-decppass. we use two protections.

and easy for the playem to learn.)// r \ OYC'i CQJ \Y ' -r B ss! These are just a few of oul pass protections and formations. CodchSputier is head coachat the Uniwrsity of Floridd . iB r 7 FIGUBE Pickingupeight-man rush in a s eP )\.itmust appeartob€ verycom' plicated. But it mrct also be simple for the coaches to t€ach.We believe that to have a hishly successtul offense.PASSOFFENSE 39 FICUBE 6 \ "l @ 1 CO /. b 1989Pro@dinEs.

Both ofthese routes are axcollenl against the blitz becausethe quarterback can unload the ball in a huny. you\e got a good chanceofmaking the scoreboad explode. We ihen run five-step mutes for a quick horizontal stretch and the quarterback throws to the guy that he thinks iB going to be the most open. As Jongas you have a good t ggeman. rAcpi\er" un th€ line olscrimmage. The first. ifhe is feeling pressure. and you can now reallybum the defenscwith a de€p corner as longas the quarie$ack has time.l l:.. The simplest patter.is that it is easierto read blitz when you ar€ in a one-backor no-back formation. It is excellent asainst cover 2 or ona free. easiest throw in toot. 2 rcceiver to one sid€ ard Ihp No. Ifour quarterback does a sood job of recoenizing a blitz. son.. we should minimize the number ofsacks. and throw to the guy that looks open. and maybe the most important rea..40 FOOTBAI. .the casi€r it is to throw the ball.. The secondrcason we like to spread the defenseis because opensup routes fo} youl short.no-back. and thi. I i i! i:1:: i I Spreading 'Em Around and Airing lt Out JIMWACKER . obviously.he will take il to one of the shoft stops underneath.. or thrce and two. and we have a chancc of rcaliy putting a lot of points up on the board.You spreadthem out in the t ps formation onthehash.and w€ motjon toget to the no-back olTense lot of times in oder to a tahe advantageof mistakesby the defense. which puts ourB-backin motiontowards the tight end.Beating Routes Figure 1 shows a pm-risht formation with fly motion. Ifthey blitz. ball. that maans the maxjmum that they can bring is either s€ven or six. now prts a vedical stretcb on the defenseas well. quickest.If th€y makpc misraleand uc geran uncovered receiver.he can go into any one ofthe five recejved becauseit is a thre€-step route. 3 rccerrerLothe oLher. Why go to the "one-back.' r tB]ltt Blitz. stop th€m all at 7 yads.:::: t...hrl o7 f ? @ Figure 2 puts three rcceivers on stop routes and the two inside receiverson corner mutes. with three wide receiversto the field and two into the short side. We wi ll run this same rout€ with corner routes by the No..nin the world is to run four or fiv€ receivem.ofcoufte. they tum th€ game into high stakes poker. it horizontal pattems. i: ! a a:). . F]GUHE I NGback-quick horizontal stetch L@. In the middle ofthe field you can go two and two.L COACHING STRA. it's the sholtest. The fbllowing are some examplesof the short passing gamo ftom the one-back and no-backformations. back' passingattack? no The fiIst reason is simply that it is a formatjon nade for the passing game. but the defensemust go out and cover them... W])en they blilz you in the one-back. The more you can spread out the defense. It's impodant that you thmw any time you have anuncoveredreceiver. There are several reasonsfor this. We'vehad someofthose turn into really big plays for us.'). Ifthey hav€ lo covcr lour or fiv.'ITGIES i 1l ! 1'''.:.

Ifhe plays in the deep middle. and :J especiallyeffectivewhen you are tryine to at:trck zone coverage.rnning a lump route" down near the hash nark ree Fielrie a).!\. Ifhe doesn't open.. we will take a shot at our Z.PASS OFFENSE 41 FIOURE 2 FIGURE 4I . If they ar€ playing a lot of man-to-man. and take the top ofTthe coverage. trl M CCTOC -t/tY-_l ^f l v. high. or a B delay. If either corner overlaps. Another very effective complementary route is to run the B-back on either a B flat.we will thmw to one ofthe wide receivers on the outside.depending on linebacker undercov€rage. 5 .ill again try to hit the A-back against "on€ fte€. as he is . the X js iunning the hash marl and the slotback is running the In spreading the defenBe you can put rec€ivers lo\ bigh. FIOUBE 3 \s \ = ). we throw him the ball. who is mnnine the far hash." We itructure a lot of oul passing game around this particular pdnciple. and basically key the free itrfety.rwn the sideline. and take the top ofTthe cover-rgeprinciple can be incorporat€dinto a number : differcnt formations and ditrercnt patt€ms. we can either thow to the flanker in the side pocket on the strong side or we can look for throwback. On our 334 palern we wi]l run rwo receivers l. An example would be 84 Stretch.wn the hash marks and two receivers deep l. we should _€ able to hit the A-back underneath. b 6ccf c c ? FIGURE [ $4"*i. to check out this pattern ifth€y blitz. Ifthe playsidetight end opens early."r. a B option. Ifwe look for throwback. Another version of the v€rtical stretch would be 334 Switch (seeFigure 5). We again are runningfourverticals. = l lvl CC!CO loq Highnand lhke the Top Ofr If the free safety jumps the A-back. shown in Figue 3./ . The low."but we will t4. we .

If he cushions the curl. r'unning hard up the sidelin€. -1992 PNceedings. The quarterback then slmply reads the coverage and tries to find the open rcceiver. TheA-backalso runs an option. We will also sometimes motion the B-back iowards the tight end and then r-unhim on a quicL spear to uncover th€ strong side curl pattern. Ifthe free safety tries to rob the curl to X. The tight end will run a post pattern adoss the face of the lree safety in order to keep him out ofthe curl area. and take the top offth€ covemg€ is with our curl anatspear route (see Figure 6). Coath Wa. The B4-J5playaction really ties in weli becauseit looks exac y like o11r base running play. he will s€t the route down at about 15 to L8yardsand lonkfor a r hrouing Mndow inside ofthe WiU linebacker.42 FOOTtsAILCOA'HING STRATEGIES whe€l down the sideline. high. .hiswould FIGURE 6 "'\ "[ b{ ccrci @o/ 1 l c G) I put us in a no-back formation and the quarterback can read the same pattem to either side. the receivers always work to find a thrcwing lane inside ofthe linebackers. Another way that we work low. high. which is a zone div€. the receivers rurn the pattem into a runaway. This is a frve-steppattern and the quarterback will now rcad the Will linebacker.Both ofthese are option Ifit b cover 3. T. Thishas been an easymle ior our receivers to rcmember. which means they simply run thei patt€rns across the freld.\'eenthe ilee safety and the corner Ifit is cover 2.or he will "set it down' on his wheelpattem. and tak€ the top off the cover age conceptcan be developedthroughout the en_ tir€ passing game. The low. we wil thrcw rc th€ slotbackon the Bpear.Ifitis man-rcman coverage. If you are using this concept agaimt zone coverage. If it is n1an-to-man coverage. will either take the top offthe he coverage. we will thow the post to the tisht end. Runningaqay from thcnparcstdefender who s covering them is the easiest pattern to hit againEt man coverage. the X-rcceiver wiU mn deep down the hash and look for the ball and try to catch it in th€ seam betr.karuas head coachat ttu Universitt of Minwmtl. he works through to If cover th€ Bpea! we will throw to X on the curl.

g game films in college and pro football and --:rking the same obseNations in watching TV. but almost always we are going to be able to ihrow the ball on two levels according to the dmps of the backers and defensive backs. -. our opinion that teams scorc with alanning :iaularity when the offensemakes a big play (20.ertical seamsin a veer offenseversus a pass . we arc also goingto put alateml as well as avertical stretch on . now base our offenseon getting the ball into :.or 8-yard pass completion I first down and then make a successful r-un call : ic ause everl' defensive coachnow treats seconal::d-short as a long-yardagesituation. . in Our coacheB the pressbox are programmed :.-. r.=:1se(seeFiglres 1 and 2).ill :{ better if the defense is thinldng pass.) crR v crF Pass on First Down . Pass Deep Our off€nse is predicated on the deep pass. and itbe::nes almost a gimme to run the ball.\rjp' do you rhro$ on firsr doun? P)ayrngde:enseagainst a t€amthat thows th€ ball onehalf rrtwothirds ofthe time on firct down makes foot3all an entirely difibrent game. ihe vertical (un€overed) ..11.: rhink passon fimt down and to anticipate their :-\t call as being second-and-10. Note the companson : .::lli JIM SWEENEY : iiit..PASS OFFENSE 43 t l i i l q it!l. :: ri i 1 : * | 1 l ] i ln FIGUBE c SS BE verticalseamswlih oprion inverl oltnse vorsus3-deep FS I is always int€resting for me to talk with coaches rvho are mn-oriented in their thinking but. Teams that try to gdnd it out on the . nevertheless. CO ". make statements leading you and '-emsclvFsro belipveIhal the) are coaching a -balance"between the run and the pass. o ENES c SS C OI C C O o C CC tB n-0iiFE l jtr:i15j111 Vertical seamswlth pass We still are going to packagetbe play against the defense-and we are going to spend as mu€h practic€ time in picking up blitzing and dogging defensesas we used to spend in pefectine our veer tracks and ballhandlins.i lertical seams upfreld.! re always thinking about thrc\ 'ing the ball : i easyto throw a 7. In study:. :. with no big plays. we packagethe play and "check with me" . wt v N I E S C C OTC OC VEER DIVE INSIDE OPTION DIVE crB oPTIoN DIVE . We believe that our run \. Passing First and Passing DeeP I ii : !i t n !: i i ! 1 Q ri I I iil . DIVE ourslDE vEERv ..-:rund.i!11f I .lur game-planphilosophyis that we'rc going to :ass on frret down.1 . I aBk them a question which separates "run_ :rers' from "passers"r "How often (percentage. rl line. seem to scoreless ofour off€nsive philosophy as veer coachesfbr years was basedon th€ objectiveof attack' : :. There::re..n1' seans in the defense . Ther€fore.:fd gain or more) somewherein its ddv€ to tbe . :n as much velocity and quicknessas possible. trsus defenseswhich are stdctly pass stmc:rred.

FS c RE *' l N ES C CCICOC verlical s€ams with pass off€nse FIGUBE 2e the defensive coverage (without backs). We usually keep on€ of the backs in and prefer working th€ rout€ weak versus reduced defenses and strong versu. We expect the tight end to get tackled and pmbably be short ofthe first down. thereby lorcing them to zone the field..44 FOOTBAI. but it is hard to gain 8 yads consistenttyon a run play./L ] coo C tr C C I c--'-' ss c pattern is high. thercfore dispersing your "cover" people over as $eat a field The fiIst pass we'd like to p€rfect is one which we work weakside more olten than not.TEGIES FIGUBE 2n Verlical s€afi s with option oflena€ versu6 2{eep hatves FIGURE 3 Oeep insidodropback pa6! ptay lss lt cl IR EN lvl I ES OPTION DrvE/-) DIVE INSIDE VEER C T B \-/ CTR CTR OUTSIDE VEEB OPTION DIVE DIVE r)/-\a t \J\. Our tight end (y) runs a deep dorvn-the-middle rcute versus the 2-deep and a deep (17 yards) pull-up in liont of the Bdeep Bafety or safety rotation.A. then the quarterback thrcws the ball to the tight end. and go slightly downfield. This last is ofutmost importanceas it keeps hirD from a direct coliision point with the ftee safety whose attention has been athacted by the flarkea but who is now "clueing"the quade$ack and breaking the ball. the quarterback throwE the ball to X. If the tight end absorbs the backer coverage. A wide mute is a s-yard upfietd st€m and a lateral break outward. he progmms himself to throw the ball in the seam to the flanker at the 12-yard breaLing point on the fifth step of his drop. accelerate out ofthe vertical route. Our weakside setbackruns a 6yard-deep hook pattern in the vertical tlack of th€ split end. he works the pattem weak on a seven. He keys the weak inside backer to determine bis depth. We shol d also look at a pass play desi$red to go deep outside (seeFigure 4). The quarterback takes his pre-snap reaatand d€tennines ifthe pmbability ofthe strongside posr I t .L COACHING STR. Our Z-back mns a "clearing" post mute 12 yar& deep and continues through the free safety ar€a. Our X-end mns a post-corner pattern.l]ns what we calt a wide rcute. Our flanker runs a post-corner patterr. Il the inside backels drop has eliminated the crossing route by X. Our split end (X) runs a deep crossing route (16 to 18 yards). keeping off the strong post side of the midfield. Our tight end makes an outside head-and-shoulderbobble. Ifnot. releases inside. Our back r. step drop progaession. The split should get to a depth ofat least 1b yards. balanceddefense. bur we always havethe "z-aled" phaseofthepass active ifthe pre-snap read indicates a high probabitity ofcompl€tion (seeFigure 3). and hooks up 7 yards deep in front of th€ weakside tackl€. Thesestems (out6ide route6) look alike on release brt break outside to keep the defensefrom zoning the formation. Il so.

The best r'un play a dropbackpas6team can have is the draw play. I would rather have a quarterback who can do a 'little of We begin our passing attack by being positive about our methods of protection. We want to run the sweep play reason:bly w€ll sothat we can run our "roll pass"action +om it (seeFigure 5). We have.r"!d.PASSOFFENSE 45 p6$ Play Ds€poulsidodropback We also want to r'un two types ofbootlegs from it. aBdo all other dropbackpass teams. We feel that we need different types in order to handle differ€nt problems. We've discussed only the main concepts and .. We feel that our tlap and weak side "under sweep" are two ofour best running threats. We play pass also from our sprint-draw run play. many patternB which we favor in ceriain situations. one ofwhich is shown in Figue 6.rate that "Your quaterback doesn't have to be has to do one thing able to do ever. We believe the opposite now.".""* 7 FIOURE 5 C C TC O The best pattffn we run ftom dropback pass action is this one which makes the "Mike" backer shorten his pass drop and allows uB to hit the flanler with a high percentage ofcompletions and for larye gains (see Fisure 8). We buil d our running attack $/ith that thought rn mind.'thing-hejust $ell." He waBtalking about the quarterback being a sprint-out or dropback or play-pass type rhrower.One of the beEt ways to keep the defense off-balance iE to change the spot ftom which :he passerthrows. g frcunE FB_il"sp* Versatility at Quartelback $-hen I was very young. -l d) FIGURE l s". I heard a great coach . Figure 7 shows one of two pattems we run off this action. so we want to be able to throw ftom that action also.

gap control.3-deep. nickel. option.i rQ:Cit. and gap contrcl fronts. Fronts and coverages are almost always rclated. As a result. ag€. coverages. is He's sometimesov€rwhelmedby all the coachis askinghimto learn: 2-deep. an understanding of the inter-relation offronts to coverages and coveragesto ftonts can help produce what are fairly reliable indicatom in the €ffort to attack defenses with run.L COACHING STRA. and pass packages.ckplay-action pass shat€gies of our passing attack.This switch can stimulate your creativity and heighten the interest ofplayers and fans. drop end. -1983 Prcceed. c t : g$ $ i t 1 it i : : } : STEYEAXMAN g r ] ]i I ldentifying Fronts and Goverages : ] ] j1 ]. undemeath cover. complementingone another to help producea coordinateddefensi packageof deepcovve emge. of sorts.r. penmeter support.combo. j :l :l :i h . rush end. I il I I : {r i ! I ! t il i i ..X!iittll ]i .a coach must find the deht starting pointftomwhich to help a quarterback develop a basis of understanding of fronts.46 FOOTBAI.blitz. brackets.the increasedusageof ni€kel and €ven dime pemonnelhas allbut shattered those basic t€aching constructs. With the name of today's defensivegame being multiplicity and disguise of both front and coverage. Therc was a time rvhen a coachcould simply start with the concept ofodd sc!Fn-and eighl-manFronrs and lhFir rplat€d covelages. to undergo the chang€ of run coach to pass coach. However.il .liiir . I've fornd it exciting and a rebirth.Coach Su@ney wN head @aoh at nas'! stata Univeftitr. man-under.inSs. curl{lat zonecoverage.TEGIES FIGURE 8 Oropb. Wherc does one start? One starts by understanding that rarely does a front and a coverage design exist without an interrelation to ole arother. and thei subsequent interrelati on. and on and on.dl A young quarte$ack's inhoduction to the wortd olaIlacking defensp" uften a rude awakcning.

or 4-deep) Three-deep zone.Struc: :rally.tl -r E Y o lcvcBvcclc With few exceptions. (Field and/or formation strength is.) There are two coners aligned deep.il] rccogriz:: le There is a free safety aligned in the middle :he formation as shown in Figure 2. wJ).how€ver.r one side or the other.s-under zone ' 2-deep. reduced front 5-2 :. the oveNhifted. may initially align he . relative to the ofTense's forn ation. In its most basic form. Such a cheated alienment may happen late.er. r(s fbr one front defender iusually an outsrde . I skt'. of course. LOS.url/flat zone. herc are some other helpful indicators that the coverageis 3-deepzone (skyr: Weak Corner arll 7. the fiont should also work (angl€/slant)weak to pmvide a contain defend€r ro allowfor a dropour"idclinebacker I hi. The most distinguishing 3-deepsky r-l€nder alignment is usually the invefted shong .r:uds plus. define frve basic families ol we rerage: .man-under .PASS OFFENSE 47 Defensive Flonts and Goverages To understand the designsofthe wide vadety of fronts.Prus fardsr The weak corner is usually in more ofan isolated. perimet€r support defender to the field/formation side in the form of the strong safety. blitz man (3.is a strong-oriented fcrage (1 1/2 deep defendersstrong and 1 1/2 ''1dprs seskj lhdr is usuallJea.. . pedmeter .4-under zone . rhe previTn :xs diagram. the ftont must provide a flat zone/supporr defender to th€ weakside of the fonnation To accomplishthis." Weak Outside Linebacket Atigns Ot.lety to th€ formation/field side. usually . the 3-deep. lenders to the sevengaps of a lelt and rjght pro ollbnsive fbmation (seeFigurc 1). gap control defcnse rclates to the assigning of s€ven front de.gap conhol defense al. (When the : Iis on the hash.rnebacker) b€ a flat or curyflat zone defender to :.) Thereforc.trpport d€fender There ar€ many vadetie! ofcoverages.As a result.)N _r-E r cJiL--'!4 r-\ l (rv L .eak (the weak DT). ..Wr l WS c ss/'> N {uLx TIOURE I w s . it's impoftant to know the conceptE ofgap control. Thre e-Deep Zone Cov erag e tndicators B$ides the middle attitude alignrnent olthe free safety and the oft€n obvjous inverted strong safety alignment.and . 2-deep.will work weakto the weakA gap as in Figure 2. the front will work weak in its gap controt efforts to provide a contain defender *.p look. 3-deep. the hash in a 2-deep aUgnment to give a 2::. the rush outside linebacker (E) will cone from the formatiodfield side. The 3-deepshong-o ented coverageprovides : . how€\.strong oriented coler age allows us to reliably predict that . Thereforc. one onone attitude because he is away frorn the formation side. the weaksid€ outside linebacker is the drop outside linebackerj . ln the coverageand pe met€r support €an be balancedto both sides. FIGURE 2 c 3-deep zone(sky)covelage C ".is the most common. The weak outside linebacker "cheats"his alisnment to enable a b€tter/quicker drop in his flat (c11rl) zone pass responsibilities (seeFigue 3).ignment allows for the tight end side outside :nebacker to be that curyflat zone.. just prior to the snap of th€ ball. there is usually less effor1 by him to "disguise.ofwhich strong saf€tyinveft. the defensiveline's A gap defendeaifthere is one (th€ nosesuard). This is in addition to his nmctpr supporl rebpon"ibilirics.

but the s'under coverage defend€rs arc all mannedto specificreceiversas shown in Figure 6. Less than a reduced (Eagle)look . man-under coverage requires a coverage structure designation ofits own even thoueh it so thoroughly derived from what may look like 2-deepzone.Tlo-deep zone is pur€ zone with a structure of 2-deep/halves coverag€safeties and s-under. the emphasis ofthe coverage sh'ucture i6 that the nain perimeter support defender is weak.E crb fwo.Iteep Zone Coverage tndicatorc Two-deep zone. here arc some other indicators that the covemgeis a 2-deepzone: . is treated as a weak-oriented coverage. M an. or on. the defensive line's A gap defender. ev€n though there are two balanced secondary defenders to each side.by the snap ofthe ball. its a lFfr tilted umbrella coverage structure in that there are two short zone defende$ covering tbe curl and flat zones under a half-field safety aligning near. the front must also work strong to provide a contain def€nder to allow for such a drcp Wpe ouhide line- fwo-Oee p. The weaksideOkie DT is in a heavy contain alienment (see Fieure 4).48 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES FIOUHE 3 c q . To accomplish this. e . man-under plays normal z-deep/halves zone coverage safeiies. short zone covemge defenders."i""ri**""h * .)r.man-under is still trcaied as a weak thai is lilled slrong.W Weak OLB cheats on droplo cu /tlat zonecoverage FIGUBE 5 FS 2ieep zone coverage SS T N C T C C (CCtrOC)C w s.And yel. .formation . if there iB one (the noseguard).The main oriented coverage perimeter supporl defender is weak away ftom the fieldfonnation side. backer so that the covemge and the perimeter support can be balancedto both sides. Field and formation considerationsforce 2-deepcovemgesto get additional crrll zone coverageliom the strensth.4ormation side. B€sidesthe squattedweak comer and the safb ties alisned on the hashes. Therefore. they'll usually be aligned on the hashes. o b./fi€ld side ol the ftoni. Reduced(Easle) alignment weak . Two-deep.q c y *o c Detensive Linemen Shade Weak! An Okie noseguard aligns/shades weak to best conhol the weakA gap.f. The two safeties may do their best to disguise the 2-deeplook. It is the squatted weak corner defender that allows us to reliably predict that . the hash to the fonnation/field side (seeFisue 5).Two-deep. the stroncsid€ outside linebacker (O) is the drop linebacker.The strongsideOkie DT aliFs head up or on an jnside shade to best control the B gap.U nde r Covetage Two-deep. the rush outside linebacker will come from tbe weak shor't side.r I tl t t ll t.will work strong to the strong A gap. In 2-de€p. Drop outsidelinebacker walks out on sprcad 41 FIGURE o.. away lrom field. The ftont must plovide a man coverage defender to the field. and . t€st there be definite coverase weaknesscs opcn ro exploir. th€ front must provide a curl zone defender to the strcne/ field side of the formation. the front will probably work strong in its gap conhol efforts to provide a contain defender strong (the BameDT). However. .

Man-ftee usually brings both outside linebacken to crcate the five' man ftont rush. In addition. or in a tough. 2-deep. The following are some of the indicatoG that the coverage is man-free (all illustrated in Figure 9): . also relate to the similarities of2-d€ep zone and 2-deepman-under and their rclated front struc:ures. and (b) the rush outside linebacker will come from the weal/ :hort sid€. the ftont will bring the two outside linebackers and man th€ inside linebackers on the backE(seeFigue 8).man-under: . In itg most common usage."e fonts and &op outside . we are thinking two rush outside linebackers. c &r C I n r-r I i s N T c CC C o Versus man-liee. on the snap ofthe ball. The ftont must work strong to provide luch a dmp.out corner alignmenb-Showing man rather than head up to outside zone look. Man-free certainly has a much morc varied use than what waB mentioned above.fety midliold-The free safety will usually try to play c€nteffi€ld to back up all man coverage play. . FEo.man-und€r reliably allows us to prcdict ihat: (a) The liont will probably work shong in its gap contlol efforts to provide a conrain defender stlone (the strong DT). the defensiveline'sAgap (the diagram'sright). varied formations will show that linebackers other than the omide linebackers are the rushing fmnt defenders. Multiple fronts and motions will often tip the hand of man-free and expose itB structule due to the main aspect ofthe coverage.Sometimes.s. weakside rush ofthe weal outside linebacker and weaksidedefensivetackle.PASS OFFENSE 49 FIGURE 6 Man-Free Covarage Man-free iB a coverage that hae many and varied uBes. The following are some of the indicators :hat ihe coverageis 2-deep. He may not initially align in the center of the field. However. This may take the forrn of a tight man or bump €overuge alignment (see Figurc ?). man outside linebacker Bothat the coverage can man up on all 6ve potential receive$ and so that th€ perimeter support can be balancedto both sides. Reduced(Easle) t. he will usually work there quickly <BUI\4P CCTCCC .we must analyze the front as well as the coverageto determine such conceptsas who is the A gap defender and to what side the A gap defender and the front are working. Inside. due to th€ need for contain rush assigrmenh since both comers are in a man cov" erage mode.lebackersalisnedoul on spreadscl recei!€r. The defender might align head up (seeFigtue 7). The A gap defender will probably work to shength away from the short €or' ner. For this reason.inside out. with a free safety left to play centerfield. Strongside outside llnebacke? alignt on TE-Showing man rather than a more normal zone alignment. FIOURE 8 FS c side (usually the strong side outside linebacker) to cover the tight end tme receiver man. bump type alignment.By d$ign. it allows for the rueh offive fmnt delenders while manningon up ro five receivers.

50 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES .*. The corerage drsgrise can 3-deep sky very well. . the following arp someof rhF indicator"that the . or even a strongcorner blitz. cerns arc no longer which way the front will work. Cheaied alignments of the cotners or the safeties-To put them in blitz position. With Thrce.to 8-yard deep man alienment by the snap of the ball.* C O C C IC C C o Btitz Coverages Blitz coverage is man-up coverage to cover fbr a blitz. lhlee. shown in FiEure 10.h dt the Uniuercit\ af Narthen Arizona. this is often man-free'g biggcslgivea$a). With. as do€sthe subsequentdesignofthe Ourbic conblir/ r'ushofihp fron r and secondary. a free safety blitz. Free safety aligned to cover first rcceiver out ot backtield (the second r€ceiver to the weak sidel Evenwith disguise.brir. We break down blitz coverage into two categories: four-acrossand S-across blitz man in relation to the number of defensivebacks bejng used to cover and.. FouF. The following are some of the indicators that the coverageis 4-acrossblitz man: flGUBEl0 l. However.ID addition to some of the norrnal man look indicators. -1989 Sunmet ManudL C@ch Alman is hed./outside linebackers are. it's hard to diseuis€ an invefted sky strong safety look when hi" assicrmpntis 'in"ide. Blitz Man coverege. On a blitz. or who th€ &op and rush end.r* I *r" C FS i"db". The major concern is a fourth potential rusher to one side ofthe formation or the other ftom the secondary. the def€nse is gambling-relying on surprise.the safety usually works to a 7.ovaraqeic blitz: 8-acros8 ..l. . FlcuRE T M"". Four-Across Btitz nan Coverage.This might entail a weak corner blitz. The cheating over of the lrce salety man cover for tbe ot strcng 3afely-To aq blitzingcorneror srrongsafery. Blitz coveragehas its own set ofrules. Herc comespr€ssure!The quafterback and receivers must recognize the blitz if it is to be handled and beaten. 4'acrcssblitz man. a front and irs relaredcoveragc lated or cud."s"".across man look Of the two cor:n€rs and strong salety The inside-out 7to 8-yard deep configuration is olten a grveaway._rhft* <Fc rs ^ --r 449!9!9I- C This is only a beginning. a strong safety blitz. Thtee./or blitz. Such an understanding is a must ifa quarterback is to attack a specificcoverage and its resuccessfully frr-rnr. It's a start-a foundation for the quarterback's undeGtanding ofthe int€nelation oflront and covemge structur€.and pressurcto disrupt the offensive design it is facing.acaoss man alignment look Of the non-blitzing defensivebacks.Actgss 3-acloss blitz man. . Strong salety aligns on TE-Alongwith the FS in cente ield. .cross man alignment look-Of the two corners and the two safeties. disorder.out)man. Inside-outside corner alignments Showins man rather than a head-up to outside zone look. . we're expectingupto a 7-man blitz rush liom the defensivefront. .. . we're expecting up to an 8-man blitz rush. who and where th€Agap defenderis.

a through c. * e discussthesebasicdefensive front alignments: seven-man. then the four gaps to the left and right of the center are assigned a letter name. By the very nature of the position./-\-/ l \-/ L----] a r-) \J r-) \-/ FIOURE h Once those tbree basic frontal alignments are undemtood. contain principles.PASS OEFENSE 51 :tli:. 123 45 689 . and no-deepdefenders. 4-.) fl. ity to recognizevarious d€fensiveftonts and sec.: {. Examples ofthese alignments are shown in Figurc 1. or any organization. ): rt A football team. can be successful only with proper leadelship and direction.eight-man.using 1-. 3-.ifM. iit llli RAYDORR ! 11: : lt i. Then different defendersare given numbem based on where they align against our ofensive lincmen. Durinequa11€rback session6. ondaryal ignmen(s. We rcly on his abil.and wbich member ofrhe defensivefront might be involved in undernoath TIGUBE 2 986 54 321 Unde6tandinE contfol gap 0 FIGUBE h T oo"cuoo oouo"co C Recoenizingand b€ing able to anticipate the responsibility of a particular delensive player's area is a major lactor in our success. the quarterback is thust into a positionofrcsponsibilityThe coachhas a tremendous rcsponsibility and opportunity to educatethis pupil. also find many We secondaries playing fonns of combination coverases. 1IIGUBE !!l FS combinarron-m'ntronr c E ssc T NiT L \.: :. and combination Fonts. These numbers are refefted to as techniques. Secondary coverages are generally broken down into 1-.2-. C r . 2-. r ii * $* i Key Indicators for Quarterbacks : : t r it ilr. We place a premium on a quarterback understanding defensivefootball.. and 3 deepzoneprinciples and assrgningman conceptsto their undemeath defenders.In Figure 2 are th€ letters and technique numbers which help our quafierbacks unde$tand gap contrcl.i ::{ : Q lt : t t ! 1&ii: .

either borizontally or vertically.a quarterback might eliminate some coverages or narrow them down to a couple of possibilities. the quarterback would think strong safety 6litz and simultaneously check for movcment from the free safety. 4r FI0UBE . The shong safety could be positionedin any oftheBethree alignrnents. we look for an early indicator in alignment that could identi[ flat rcsponsibilities.52 FOOltsAIL COACHING STRATEGIES Oncea secondaryalignment indjcateBhow the ir's to deepzoneis defended. Figure 3 shows a field balanc€ horizontalvertical stretch chart and rcceiver distribution conceptthat helps identify defensiveindicators. Principles of ldentitying Goverages Early keys are possiblewhen th€ defemive personnel are d€ployedinto their areas ofresponsr a bility pior to the snap. essential recognize being employed: the type ofunder:n€athcoverage zone. This is rcfened to as a Aey.G zoNr . a very completeunderstanding ofthe route. 4-deep secondart scheme.". These early indica toIS €an be affected by formations and the use 01 ofiensivemotions. This can be done with a high degr€e of accuracy only after hours offilm study.In many cases. = vrDDL.the strong and free safetiesshould give you both early keys and reads on movement. A quaft€rback will oftentimes be able to determine a defender's area ofresponsibility before tbe snap by initial alignment. Borizontal-verlical 6tretchcharl Our primary key is generally the shong saf€r! positioning in the defensivesecondaryWe have also found it h€lpful to identify differcnt free Bafetyalignments irlretationship to the freld distibution balance chart. quart€rbacks must read-meaning to evaluate or discover-the nature of defensive responsibilities through close observations of a particular delender on movem€nt after the snap. i"ur". Finally. It's also beneficial to understand receiver distribution and how it affects the defense.zoNE _ zoNE zoNE 8 ==3 DEEP1/2 1i3 DEEP I 1/3 DEEP UNDER NEATH ZONES DEEP112 1/3 DEEP Strong Salety tndicatorc Figure 4. Even when he's not cer-tain of the total coverage. Early keys are difficult be€auseof the constant poBitioning of secondary personnel before the snap. or a combination of both. Another area of the defense we study is flat coverageresponsibiliiy. By the very nature ofthe 4-deepscbeme.man.ndicators Many of thes€ early indicatoN have been in dL rcct relationship to strong flat responsibilities The folowing sefiesofdiagrams will demonshate free safety attitudes in rclationshjp to fleld distribution balance. When this occurs. and how releasesaffect defenders when they are playing man or zone principles. Free Salely . a through c.lf therc is a rign indicator look (seeFigure 4c). Ehowsstrong safety indi cators in the 7-man front. the quafterback should then look closelyat the field distribution balance fiom their free safet) CCT CCC Keys and Reads The starting point for identifying defenEivesecondaries begiN with safety alignments.Figurc 4a is referrcd to as a low saf€t! In Figure 4b. NL/rvBrRS 3l'ot SruDTr z-o-. defender the possibility of moving to virtually eliminates another area after the snap.

ones. L T Dele naive F rcnt rndic atorc In Figure 6 is a llormal defensive front.ir. Now.inebackershave chang€dtheir attitude. ET NTL E) O C Ci f I C F FlOuRE 5gl ""j"dl"""'j'@1"" s C LT N CC IC C C C o T c E C FIGURE 7l-. Adjacent to the outside zones are number .PASSOFFENSE 53 FIGUBE 4r FIGUBE 5r Fr€esat€ly/niddle zone allgnn|ent 'A" Y N C CC I o C C C FS. C CC C uco C C T o . it r€comesimportant to deternine flat adjustments.f scrimmage to the opponent's end zone. Our :riddle zone is between the hash marks. Normal :s the starting point. If he positions rimself high on either /los. occupiedat diffeent depths. Through closer obseruation. The rutside zonesext€nd from a sideline to the lunF ]€rs. you'll Bee that th€ front has :hanged to a stocAedweakside flat alignment. as in Figure 5b..df.eFS s TiE C It_ li| FS S c co OCEC C C FIGURT 6 The free saf€ty will position himBelf in one of :he five zones. This name generully indicates how the iefense iB aligned in that area of the field. \\-€ak flat reBponsibilities are given a descriptive rame.. which continue to the hash marks.*.one. In Fieure 7. you will see all the .These zonesextend firm the line . the tuarterback must ask himself in what zone the iee safetypositionedhimBelfand at what depth. In Figu:r€5a you'lI seethe fiee safety in the mrddle .

ith enough information to Bt€p out onto the playing field on Saturday and er€cute the master plan. is ossistant codch at ftw ."1" I FIGURE l-. ..s*rrh ""*rr. FS ss r-\ a r-\ TOC /-l \-/ NT s i iL & ? A & M UniDcrsi. Figurc 9 showEall three difierent indicators at \{ork. FIGUBE l R"d. Wherc doesthis pattern place the greatest amount of pressure on any indicator? 2. -1990 SunMr Ma^uoL Coaah Dor. These indicators will paint a mental imag€ in the quarte$ack's mind belbre the Bnap. l0 FIGUBE l..-. this would be our quart€rback s declsronure making process: 1."id" zoneswith middleoplion p". Putting lt All Together The quarterback is now arrned \. The great quarterbacks can mind-set an image and react to its changequickly. you seethe reducedEogrr look. "n""r. .r".tr- no o c C Teaching and coaching quarterbacke in an orderly fashion allows them to develop a rht'thm and eoodjudement in the decision-makingpro cess..""dE"sb.."sr.r 8 If the play called was a coln€r pattem by the with middleprebsure outsidereceivers 'sceFjg10). Is the early key holding true as I retreat into the pocket? S ET C CC TCC C NT i o C o In this case the quarterback reads the alignment of either high safety to solidify attacking the outside zones."".54 FOOTBAIL COACHING STRATEGIES In Figue 8. Wlat indicator verifies the defensive image? 3.

2. Monte Clark. lpes of Pass Protection Key Coaching Points in Pass Protection These arc the basic instructions I gjve to line. Fire aggressivelyinto the middle ofthe defensive rushel look eyes in. If th€ defensive player makes contact while you're still leaning back to set rp. ' :. body under control and in sood balance. Ifyou can't get away. .Keep your head upyou're susceptibleto beinggabbed. ) :1 . . wherc the oflensiv€ lin€man takes on the defensiverusher on the line of scrimmage. mostly for quick out passeswhere the qualterback takes very shoit drops.only in k€eping him off rhe quarterback.use your hands to control the defender and prevent turning. Set quickly into a good fundamental position with both fe€t in contact $.stepdmp.to seven. with the offemive lineman run blocking. and resular protection. + t I :''' ::. Protecting the Passer I. Teams prot€ct the quarterback differently ac cording to the kind of offense they run.Ifyou'rc ovemnxious and ov€ryou'll get into trouble.ible detail about their opponenr.I've had Ihree outstanding quaderbacks and some excellent receivers. pulled.:: " ..Thesearc the blocking techniqueswe teach for it: 1.. po". Someteams use only thrce-step drops by the quarterback. as ifit's a running play. a well-coodinated as To anticipate and adjust to any type of defen. :t. and Jon Sandusky with the Miami Dolphins. 3.:lll i. Ilnow whjch side to favor as w€ll as how deep you can retreat without intede ng with the quaft€rback. Some t€ams run all play-actionpasses. but colJectively. Never crossover. During my 14 yeals in the pros.ive charge or maneuver to do this with any t)"e ofefficiency requires that linemen know eve4. hit up and throueh the defender using the hands to control him. . : lj a t :'. trying to get the quarterback to roll right orleftto break containment in order to have the option to mn or pass. Fite Protection Or1rfire protectionis used for play-actionpasses. 1 a'i.ARRYLITTLE . Hit and maintain contact and keep him occupied with the hands to regain position and balance quickly to accepthis new cbarge. Unlessit's an aggressive pass. i 1 1 :. and thrown off by the defensive rushcr. trying to hook or wall the delensivelineman away from the direction the quarterback is mlling. . We leach spveralpass proleclionh: firc. Make an initial stand on or near the line of scrimmage. t . firrn.:::::.but th€ir successcould not have been accompliEhedwithout the fine protection Ihat our offensive linemen pro\. where the offensivelinem€n sot a pock€t for the quarl€rback who takes a five.ided. .sinc€it is very easy to lose balance or b€ thown off-balance. Offensivp linemen should not be interested in physically punishine an opponent. and the next 12 yeals for Emie Hefferle. In the yeals that Ite beenhead coach.::i 1 tl . Beat th€ defender to the punch. Other teams use rcgular dropback prot€ction.ith the srcund. Slide your feet to stay in front of the defensiveplayer just as a basketball player plays defense.. . the defensive player has the advantage. t : j1 Q ll rr : . strike out quickly.letthe rush€r comnit fimt. Don't overeJ{tend.PASSOFFENSE 55 ll li i i t f l i &*!. Know wbere the quarterbackison eachplay. aggressiv€. not indi ridually. We try to instill a tremendous amount ofpersonal pdde in ourlinemen to protect the quafte$ack. mon for passblocking. 4. I had the opportunity to play for some outstanding offensive line coaches: Joe Madro for 2 years with the San Diego Chargers. . fi"" cul.

Center and guards-Hands in the middl€.never stay parallel to th€ line of scrimmage. 3.By position. . Responsible form afor Centerandguatds tion of the pocket. Anticipate slant charye €ither way. but must n€v€r retreat too deep into th€ qualterback's face. ?ocAles Favor outside slight\ never lose head inside. otrensive linemen should remember that their feet are just as impodant as their hands.6re into gT"in to force the defender to keep his hands down. Regular Protection Techniques Regular protection is used to form a pocket for the quarterback when he tates a seven'step dmp. Tackles-Take slight angles. stay squared (don't get turned). Throw block high €noush and with €nough force so def€ndercan'tjump over you. Force th€ defensive iusher outside or upfield. Stay in front of rusher. This allows offensivelinemen to retreat a little deeper. Instructions are to take the defensiverusher on at the line of scrimmage. Here the blocker is looking to cut down the opponent. 1989Sunmer ManuaL Cotuh Little it head coachat North Carclina Central Unireftit\. and don't retreat more than a yad becauseof the quarterback s short drop. Use hands to keep the defensive rusher from grabbing or pulling and to keep from being tumed. Must slay paIallel to the LOS while reheating. fight to keep them there. use hands to driv€ him into the pile without retreatjng too de€p. Look into the middle ofthe man. E . In conclusion. 2. use hands to conhol. Tackles Take one or two steps back on a slight angle to force th€ defender outside or upfield. keep head up.r COACHING STRATEGIES 56 FOOTBALL . Firc Cut Protection This is a variation of firc protection. set quickly with hands in ftont. They must keep their feet moving.but not to firc out. L Sray lo$ right from stanc". 4. Don't get beat inside. The quarte$ack must have room to thlow the football and st€p up into the pocket- Firm Protection Finn protection is used for quick dropback passes witb the quaderback taking a thrce-step drop.NeDer just falt down in front ofthe defender. and stay after him while keeping the feet moving. If the defender slants inside. By position: Center and guards Keep head up. and b€ able to adjust and stay under conhol. and slide feet to maintain balance.

and an alert call is made to the quarterback. p.$ . Figures 1 and 2 show this protection versus seven. We want to take on the defender as far away from the quarterback as so Dossible he doesn't"feel" the pressure. wlen we sit down as a staffto talk protectron :chemes.that'swhy we settle on our . i./ t__. wp 1r) lo have experiinced play€rBon either side ofhim.otection schemeinvolves :he fiontside tackle. The Iher people have man attack points. either before or after the snap.1 \_-/ Secondarystunts are the responsibility ofthe backs. then a 4s-degreedrop to rhe backside is now taken. but zone irinciplestake over ifthe defensechansesits gap responsibilities. and only B E rl 5b passversus Play-acrion FIGUBE 2 E. i . We have never had a practice. $rithout a 1O-minuteblitz pick:tp pedod. The alert call does not chanse the protection up front in any way. i. to al€rt him that a secondary stunt is comins and the fake wiU be disrcsarded.As protectionschemes. Blocking the Blitz JACK BICIC\TELL wrrn MIKE MASER ltvo VINCE MARTINO r ii i r \ 19t I !i Ii 0 i\ ti i x . play-action and straight dropback. The backsideprinciple is €mphalized fiom the ftontside suard.We emphagizethis phase of our rnen8iveBcheme with time allotment in pmctice :nd with the as8ignmentofour coachingstaff.We believe in teaching the prot€c: ion tboroughly and modifying it slightly. Thc kcy to succcss passprote.and eight man fironts. ! :. and tailback.lion is assignin :rent communication. want rn all maximum pasB we :o solidify the back side of the formation at all : imes. fullback. Play.Action Pass Protection (Jur play-action pass prctection is derived iiom rur sp nt-draw action. which means trying to get at least lour men . We have two basic maximum paBsprotection ichemes.PASS OFFENSE 57 ri i i t : : ! i ll ! : I I I t : illit i. FIGUBE I B i : . If th€ sap that is rssigned is not fill€d. The key here is con' : rol and the angl e of drop. ^ \-/ r-\ fl a-) \.This is built into the schemeitself :iom day one.ss versus Play-acrion The key to a succ$sful pa8singgame is protectrne th€ passer. The man part ofthe pr. first thingwe talk about is blitz pickthe :p.) communicatewith one another.Iaftels as soon as posEibleand don't change very 1uch.Ifwe havc a! expFrrenced linpman. whether it be rn spring or fall. By working togethe! your linemen learn :.cheme with zone principles built in. * ..-. I :.| .oncentrating on the sid€ away from the pattem roncentration. It is based on a man . .

TIGUHE 4 F '. For example. Two tights would give us the ability to so erther direction.58 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES Dropback Pass Protection Our dropback pass prot€ction is a man sch€me. it's hot. direr:t. This schcmcis sho\'!nagainstseven-and eight-man fronts in Figures 3 and 4. One of our linemen is doublechecking.dfrom a call in thp huddlnand intur pomtes the same three ftontside principles and fourbacksideprinciplesthatourplay actionpass employs.: flGURE Gr"ky"". The quarterback must read the defendeN to the frontside for hot.Ilboth delendels rush. whcn rhey could get out and be a salety valve receivcr We help out the center with either suard after his double check sives him no onc to block.". the tailbackis tied up to the c€nlerin the samerelationship."40 5 BBBB passversus Dropback . we would use Ricky prctection (seeFisurc 5). We don't double-teamthe nosebecausewe don't want our tailback or fullback blockingan end-oqine rusher in a normal situation. The backsmust be aware that when we use these protections.they are blockels first and pass receiversonlywhen their rules and check are fulty FICUBE 3 Hot Protection Our philosophy is to spread them out ol detefte and not to squoeze and maximum pmtect. We in do notwant the. E. The big sinilarity betweenthe play-actionand dropback protectionsis that it takes both backs and the tine to pmtect in a maximum scheme. they are tied up with thc guard on checking linebackers to ends.Against the s€ven-manftont. while the fullback has a true double chcck sequenceto the frontside ol the play. It .7 T7. FIGUBE 6 F t . -d Versus both the saven-man or eight man fionts. respectively. if our tight end is to the l€ft. Here is one of our most used hot protections.Asainst the eight-nan look. This hot protection is a directional rcad to the open end called Lucy/Ricky. !'!etry to incorporatc the check releaseprinciple lbr our backs..ooE "''L/O BB bbn6d r o\ o We would use Lucy if the tight end is to the rjght (seeFigure 6).l"-iraseto drrlale to us where we need to audible a lot.

PASSOT'FENSE 59 $'e also need to have some line calls in case -:: inside linebackels alignment causesthe back I Droblem-T1^. 'i.r6us TF44 rF 7 qE0d T TJItr Shifting the back up closerto the LOS or shifting to the shotgun arc oth€r options for the tough linebacker alignment./ \.CoachMaser is assittant coachfor the JachsonDille .*l*iJ.. i::\oll. )-" : !t7 ProceedinAs. This is an excellent pmtection lor the quarterback and allows us to run our oflense without a lot of audibles.J tr )/ ) ) r ) r )L. Ipaeue ofAmerican . l \__/ \_-/ \__.Coach Bi.o such casesare diagrammed in ar:rres 7 and 8._/ J. FIGUBE 8 Fickyvorsus44 0 6lack .FIOURE Rickyv.kull is tuad c@ch of the Barcelona (Spain) Dtusons in theworld. CoachMartino uds his assistdntat Boston Collepe.

The use ofa delay or draw play can be an ef lective way to slow the pass rush. Dropback Pass and Draw Tbe dropbackpassinggamehas been goodlor us.. brt we always are looking for ways to improve our dropback game. th€ draw piay complementsth€ d. we will try to make every aspect of the two identical up to the point ofball fake or handoll As shown in Figure 1.t ofthe dropbackoffense.)1 lt i .i tr : : i i ll !'t i. : \ : .left and rjght. the blockermust apply presBureand continue at least until the ball canier passes through. the flanker with the deep post. would like to have a good and elTecri!p mL\. : . split end. ard fullback. we want th€ pass and run to seemidentical.I'i r : : t it Q : : i. On ihe run. remain that way with the play-action. . and the tight end with an 8-yad stop. pressuring air game.The interior will show pass and. The quarterback will set up at his seven-step drop depth alter making the play fake. With the draw being pa. which was and still is so very good for Florida State. l ! i i l l: Mixing the Run and the Pass DAVIDRADER i. One of the ways is to slow the rush." andkeep th€ tight end on the same path whether we're facing a 50 or an Eagle defense.opback game by attacking along the iine of scrim/I)age. i.Action To combine a running play with a pass ofthe sa]ne action. Follourngare a lew rdeasfor mixing the run and pass.We try to stay"big onbig.y-aclion pass off ol running FIGUBE h 60 . Our most successful rout€ is the Cadillac pat' tem (shown in Figure 1b). . The split end stayswith ihe 16-yardin cut. th€y will try to influence the defender to continue with his pass rush. ofcourse. be completed. Play and Play.. tight end. 1 i: ] 1it lr $ * ll i1*11 .The dropbackpass can attack shod and tong. .lhe €ntire field can b€ threat€ned. The draw Pl. The fullback willmn a 6-yard hook as a dump. like most teams.Even with the liberalized blocking rule". Giving the quarterback as much roonr and time as possibleshould allow mor€ passest. FIGURE la B B \. The individual routes stay consistent ve$us 2-deep or 3 deep zones. Wh€n the def€nder lets up. In addition. His progression is flanker. The quarte$ack will seethe safety and lineback' em for k€ys. pa"s proLection a mosr dimcult as"jgr i.a{. ' : ' : .We. o'ctbto 6 \. We repeatedlystressthat th€ run and passplays must be identical. V @< We want the tight end and interior lin€men to take the sam€ steps fbr run and play-action. iI li iiu We've attempted to combinea good solid ground game with a polished. a and b.

artd '.002).ops back with his eyes on a ir'.RUN AND PASSOFFEIiSE 61 r r :ilack right at the line of scrimmag€-One of draw plays has been thelead -:::dst successful :-:i The assignments are the same as for a r::..If the paBsis to the quarterback's fmntside. the quarterback must have confidencethat the split end .the split endis to hisback side. On the pass.in side.r:ll or too late on coming out for the linebacker : :runt of about 1.both backs will run to (or weak side 2 if no -:.d can "help" on the nose. -ft o\ q/ FIGUHE 3 Ihe intedor line and tight end pasEset.Th€ initial 6et can be similar to the dmw but not as W€ want to throw the ball to the weaksidejust The planis as w€ tdedtorunthe dmrv weakEide.i\ or linebacfter for hi6 fir8t two steps away cenrerOn thc third stcp. then the linebackers could have houble in distinguishing th€ difference. So before the ball is handed off.€ seakside linebacke/s outer thigh.the haffback needs . halfback.-r and position themselves to carry out their lle quarterback d. He adjusts to a fad€ veru]ds2-deep zone. He makes a draw fake on his third step. but that's not often the case. the quarterback. If the draw and pass look identical. The two backs set in a pass block-i.fashion with their €yes upfreld and on th€ir :::r read.They shuflle slighily to build momen'.they \. and ! :'.: ::.:: :ands and makes the handotr with the full' r&'r On }is fourth step. . he must see th€ block of the --:Llback. Again. He must be quicl. me hahback sprints for the near hash and aims for a point at aboul l5 yards l.hp drcp.h€ musr quicklylurn hia eyesro lhe $cakside. The first read : ::. The split end runs a l2-yard out back to 10. By mak- Pas3olf ot drawplay-aciion BA b-b66 C}\ iu / v v . The quarterback takes the same steps aB the draw.r stlow pass.J' The routes and quarterback r€ad are simple.! the rushers to charge in th€il rush lanes r::!out iosing contact or control.jde isolation play (seeFieure 2). The halfback sholtld "throw" through :.. The offEide :::. A pattem that we have used with the dras action is shown in Figure 3. the halfback allows the fullback to break outsidcand awaj from Ihp defendcr. Sometimes. \ coachinspoint: R€memberthis is a &aw.::! is beingfaked.ourside linebacker.. of scdmmage. :€ a little quicker in reaching his assignrnent i :. :re backshave the same read.ill have to be more aggressive since this is a frve-step drop pasB. tus eyes -: r.ues to his seventh (setup) step. We stresB that a . Ite is loolrin g ta receive the ball behind the Iinebackers and in front ofthe safeti$. th€ backs must be good actors.Ifon the hash mark. nose.:. so ::: r get in a hurry However. I4 versus 3-deep.but mu8t notbe too . The ba should be delivered away from the outsidelinebackerand ju+ beforethp rpceircr goesout ofbounds. his eyes go back upfield : : rs lrands ia pass catrying position.ocrossthe hash or to comein ftont of the safety. all thrce :.iame side of the nose r. hemustmake sure he looks upfield on his first two steps and not at the rcceiver. and the defensemust be sold .Timing is critical to the h the backfield. and he ' rr::.lsack must be good actols. The interiorlinemen will have the same assignmenh as they do on the dla]r.rle the tullback breaks past the nose and the r.FIGUBE 2 ing the block. to influence the inside and ouhide linebackersto the weakside.

er plays or belter defemes. They can b€ kind ofa "crossover"typ€ play. In the passing same.The play-actionpassand the draw are nico complomanh l. in order to run the bau. . CoachRader is head cad.. lu lt . and it's also important to have the playem in their best positions.and decoys.. We base block. t l Keeping the Defense Honest GARYMOELLER : t i l t t . We always want to be able to run the football. If they don't defendthe whole lbrmation. Althoush ihis is a base-blockingschemeplat we use some lead principles. have a mismatch with our tackle blocking a smaller defender(i f he can stay with him). We employ thrce types ofrunning schemes and three twes of passing schemes. the ball is picked. What I'd like to show you is how we use thepassin order to make our running game more productive.Take advantage of all the oppoduniti€s that are given the offense.Use the whole fleld.okeep a defenseof. ::t: il ll i9 : l: I ll i In oder io have a Coodoffense. the number one stat in predicting victory is the turnovdmargin. .. The ball must be well thrown. and pocket pass. than we must use the pass to keep them honest b€cause we no longer employ the option. we must make the defenseplay honest. The second most important stal is rushing the football. if throrvn long. In this s€tup we.passfiIst orrunfirst.a goodmix would also include mixingpersonnel as trnners. and sap block.. use every down as well as every player in the formation. and it's been said ihat variety is th€ spiceof life. If thDwn short.62 IOOTBALL COACHING STRATEOIES will come open from behind thc outside lineThe quarte$ack has the same stcps veftus 2deep. you'll see one of oul base otr-tackle plays against an Easle defense.Va ety in s€lectionh€lpsus i. Ilike to attack and not allow the defensetoset the tempo and dictate the natwe of the game. : '. ) : .erp€r3onnel makes beli.But.Someofthose areasare fieldposition. It is impoftantthatwe have feeling for how a defense Therefbre. . you must find a way to ru8h the football. Both ofthese sayingshold lrue in play selection. an ofiense must use their bestplayers to executeorto decoySo. hopefully. down and distance. 1990 Sunner Manual. Duringthe season.we must often run when we should passandvice versa.balance. In mixing the run and pass. lead block. Thc ball must be deliv er€d on the fifth step and over or between the inside linebackers. bu1 ar thc samc rime w€ don't want a defcnsc tobe real familiar with our offense. ' . Base Blocking Plays In Figure 1. The first tbing we'd like to do .' ::) r Q r .Set the t€mpo ofthe game and play at your pace.Needless to Fay.you must make the defense play hon€st. becausetbe team who can rush the ball has a gaeater chance of success. ::. ) : : . We must stay away fmm the negottueplay and not turn the ball over because. I don't care how you approachthe game.blockers. Wo {'ant to usc plays that are continuously good for us. il !::' . The thmw to the halfback roquires more torch than the out cui. : . .We want lo control the ball and the clock by using both tbe run and the pass.': ri ri i i :. PIay Selection It's been said that lamiliarity bree& contempt.as w€ all know. game totals.it's important to have the best posi' tion playem. and personnel.othat thinkine. receivers.use turn-back pmtection with our fake draw se es.h at the UnircNit! of'lLlsa. the halfback is laid out.we make a conscious effort to keep up with our run/pass ration in several ar€as. we like hard play-actionwher€ we block the running play. Each year we "rediscover"that beti.

. and sprint direcUy to the outsido.king the :ose to the backside LB.r ge' hookedso we incr.ike the tackle. should take an alignm€nt offthe ball. sincethe delendercan use i rfhis fome. setUesback three steps offthe fake. Our quarte$ack mak€s a goodfake.outes in football and is easy to executeif we can isolate on€ d€fender The strong saf€ty will be on an island as long as we can control the linebackem wrrn the fale. As the linebacker attacks our fullback.and that's to "get tackled. The fullback will search 1or rlre linebecker in the same areas as the running play and will encourage the linebacker to meet him in the LOS.artempting to sirnulate th€ run as much as possible.(€ of our backBto assist them with their blockrg.asprhe running . The FB must find the LB thrcush either A-Bjaps. and like the guard and tackle. and therefore our tackle muBt get a great . The runuing back haBone assignm€nt.::!tch to the play. you will see what appeaft to b€ :he sarne basic olf-tackle play. looking for the ball over his outside shoulder In our scheme. The linemen should allow the ':.t at s()me of his strength. Our quarterback opens at . The inside rcceiver. . he should !:l his man to the outside.Lght into this man.You must eliminate :he pur"uir wirh your blocking. usually get stuffed if he attempts to driv€ -:. dgainsimLlrri'lg (\e running play He'll actuaily break down into a blockins position (quicklyl. our backsmust do a greatjob irnitatils ure off-tackl€ play. Matre X and Z look tike twins. be 2 yards outside the other hash mark) and run a curl route at 15 yards deep and bring it back to 12 yards. The flat curl is one of th€ oldest.. tre shou\d. avoid contact.We'v€ now eliminated the strong safety's . but it's not. ' ou r g!ard might be al a disadvantage size. The ball-carrier xrust option run the block ofthe tackle first and ihe guad secondand hit the creasequickly Our $ ide receivermust be able to block the pedm€ter rlayers (every player on every play) eflectively )r he wont play.you force rr = defender to move laterally so you can take : . we want our guard to reach -.RIJNAND PASSOFFENSE 63 FIGUBE Ofl-lackle." TIGUBE 2 : . he is rcady to chop the lineba€ker to the ground.r\€ our tackle lead his man andforce ]un uo . He should attack th€ defender over him as though he will blocl him. He should continue to movetowards the quarterback. . Along with the fire. Backsideblockers will start for their cutotr :locks and then tum back somewhat as they passoptionofiplay I Play-action E6 E T 6- T' 6 s/s I r .--> A Our rcceiverb must run pxcellcnrroutes.We seal o1Ithe back side with : re backside guard and center combobloc. it's a :ass.:. By reachinghis outside.h€ is the first chojce ofthe quarte$ack. and throws the ball to the open r€ceiver. Th€ tackle and the TE r-e nofmalcul-off Thc cur-offis ihe mostimpor:ant part of all the blocking.out blocking by the lineman. The guard . Th€ split end (X) will take a proper split (if the ba\l is on the hash rnark.. The line must simuiat€ the samekind ofbiock:g as it did in the runningplay rvith a little less :igressiveness. which will also add . splitting the distance between our offensive tackle and X.1:30 rr 7130(lionts out) and gets the ball to oul runring back as deep as possible.our flanker (Z). outside ofthe defender ov€I him. In Figure 2.un vercusEagle I S J I S/S would in tum-back protection (sprint draw senesl.

forcine the ball-carier to the outside. He'll now look outside for the strong safety If the SS isn't coming. The keJ to lhis play. when the fullback comeBto block him. Many teams have taken this play away by bouncwilh rheirend.y 2 Play-aclion Gap Blocking Plays We've always run gap blocking scheme plays. T. The flat curl has always been a good route. and.I.relinemen will elecute the running blocking techniques with two exceptions: They must be a little morc under control. indicating the QB is runnins the ball. T'he inside linebacker scrapes wide and it becomes very difficult to get a blocker on him (seeFigure 3).is that it Bimulates the nrnning play as much as possible. will tale himself out of the play The pulling guard should take his run coulse until he reaches the playsid€ B Gap.The defensive ball outeide ing t-he end.Jl -t A defensiveerld Ehouldn't be allowed to play like this. TIGURE G.like any goodplay pass. Many times the block won't be necessary b€causethe €nd. I refer to this as cheating.r His block may be the most important block in the play. . The guard mustn't go downfield unl$s he sets a "so" call from the QB. then he'll . We want to force the defense to commit more than ju8t two defenderu to our two receiv€rs. Figure 4 sho s how to force the defensive end to be honest.p blockingrunningd€fenss 3 forcasrunnorro oulsid. ofcourse. c 3' T start for depth to clear the tullback's block. pa&roprionofi pl. and not go upfreld and tip the pla. Make your opponent play hon6t and force him to keep the end outside to contain the QB. The fullback should take the 6ame (kick-out) coulse at the end. but it becomes an excellent route versw one-onon€ coverase ifyou €an control the linebackers. then the guad should look back to the inside for the linebacker or anv other inside pursuit. using a bounce technique. they can't go downfield.64 !'OOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES help. crosses the fiilback's face.

Sell r:n on getting tackled. This ties into our timins for both the running and passing game.The ba8icelem€ntsmust adhered to before we can add any flail.oss the QB is going to run.The depth dependson the6peed :rd timing ofyour players. the flat delender (strong safety)is in a bind.C@. basic formation is the tv/in Bet with a split '-=eiver (seeFieure 1). he must the deep defender The urderneath cover'ar ::! \r ill be contrclled by the fake and the QB.becomto successful with his offensive unit. :. the :'rnker must set a block. Our wid€ r€ceiveft set one thid of the fleld from the ball. pl e option as our running game and the pocket ::rs as our passinggame.} B x * $ Q $${a* SPLITEND E$t $*&*s$.ide receiver in the twin align- . the air option. t TWlnset wllh spfir r€c€iv. then -i liill dissectdefenses his advantage. is an assktant ce. -1992 Prcceed. If ith a run. the QB should throw over his head. On the pass. but are rcstricted by a boundary r'ule never align any closer than 8 yards from ihe sid€line.RUN AND PASSOFFENSN 65 The tailback must get tackled. defens€ and can contml the ball wh€n needed. MNIbr The QB should make a gt€at fake. Most people do not adhere to this principle. The spacing is highly impoltant. We achieve this blend with the : . Our -€:al thinhing is simplicitywith soundbasictech:. someonecalled :.to z5-yard r m€-backmute.Since we keep the ball 'hp air via lhc optionpitch and/orrhe passing ::r ne with a variety of option keys. and then continue to roll to the outside.. We want our offensive lineften off the ball as much as the rule allows. if he doesn't.d a passing game that exploits a wide-open . not on being a recelver. This is impodant in our passing game. make it look like the run.r IV WIDE RECE EB 'rr offensive football philosophy is to develop the gamethat attacks '.: back for the ball until he catches it or until he .he :. If the QB gets to the outside.it ofbothworlds a running :. the quarterback must be an i-.. if he staF back. It also aids in picking up stunts and allows the offensive linemen to block an inside gap charge without difficulty. The inside receiver or wingback sets 5 yards inside the \. rld dlag in the flat late as an outlet man." If a coach can perfect this combination. talent is needed to execute any off€nse. :. we strive to make the asi:gnments as simple as possiblein ord€r to work : nma ly on technique.h with th2 Detrcit Li'B x The Air Option Offense HOMERRICE ir {r ? !i 1 } .:. the QB should run the ball. offeme the "air option..in€s. then the QB should run the ball.::ack that can also b€ utilized in catch-up tac:::: if needed.d. He should keep com:. covercd.lookingfor his fianker ll thc flankeri. -< highly \ aturally. Between th€ offensivelinemen we split one yard or wider Be certain you understand what a yard is-measure it. erag€ runner with above-average ability as a In teaching football.. The fianker (Z) should run a 20. FIGURE I o OCICC o *'"Qo"* Basic Formation 'i. The two running backs align directly behind the euards 4 yards deep. Ifhe comesup.

Oncewe determine direction. Should th€ dircction indicate forxation side./ a \_/ \ _/ C \_-/ \. we direct our attack toward the formation side. we favor going io the formation.aoencFiniriatF rhe bcginning of an exciting offense. triple or a designated pass to compl€ment our intentions. coing down. Ifthe numbers are live. we th€n snap the ball on the first. . o o LJ C o Complementarypasa v€rsus two C The nature ofour wide-spacedlormation permita our quarterbaclr to easily identjfl the alignm€nt ofthe free safetJaShould the safety set up on the opposit€ side. FIGURE 3 F. When th€ ball moves toward the Diddle ofthe field. then we direct our plan away from formation toward the split end. numbering. If he tines up as shown in Figure 2. spacmg. or fourth sound. BB C OCTOC CC C C E T N TE C The Run We never Fxeculptha rriple unril we gpr il practly as we want it. we then ask otrl quafterback to decide upon calling either the E. When the liee safety set^sin the middle as shown in Figure S-we can go either wala Ifthe ball i6 on the hash mark. that representu our audible calls. we then call and executea complementary pass (seeFieure 5). it is necessaryto use our "check-with-me' audible system. By varying the sounds and rhythm. second./:\ !n. we must count the defenders in the area. When only two defenders deploy into the twin arca. The formation. FIGURE 4 FIGUBE 2 c Fressaletyaligned sptitend on o B tvl v\=-r L l \_. This is det€rmined by the alignment of the ftee safety.and. you can keeprhF defensive charge from ever overpoweringyou. We number all our plays into double digits to simplily our audible andplaycalting. When the defens€ aligns three people in the twin area.thid.66 FOOTBA].e sat€tyaligned the middte in . we will call the triple (see Figurc 4). We musr fiIst determine direction. tant phase of your operation.L COACHING STR{TEGIES Our team rcpolts to the line of s€rimmagein a prcstance (the receivers ar€ down ready to sprint offth€ line) becausew€ snap the ball on a quick sound for or]I pocket passing game on many ocAft€r the quick sound we use a numbering system (26 to 29). we favor tJresp)it ead side. Therefore.I believ€ the cad€nceshould be an rrDpor.

. Lns'de or keep (seeFigure 6).: tackle comesdown on the linebacker'The lr.erback handles the nerrt defender with his :r'ruld the "read" take the handoff. . . :ne alefender coversour end. *ith our strong tackle driv. we will immer ... Thev do not have ' r: until he calls it on the line ofsc mmage !. nins back 'SioLrld rh.""d* """ to runningback """r CS 6 6C.rouehthe defcnder's . ro tt'" "u"n rri".f a"*' 'rn" *nter and quick guard lead ".': .-: 'nto leg ourside and the .pproach the handoffarca witb our cen_.our Lackle ilin" i"t?'.i. cor-f niquc 8nd excculion Bv readingcoverages manv$ a) s ro recrly and addinenpxibrlilvon the we crcate an aweeet the ball to the receivers' somepasslng game dppcnd"on pa""lng game "ucccss it'" "nriri quarrerbacl Hn mu"{ li.FIGURE 6 Tripl€versusevenfronl o tl\_..i ieeps everyoneconcentratingon the defenShould the dircction take us to .. **"" ."Ling v...-.a'legofthe defensi\e will stepsou1.L .: tr]snment. -*""p..rnerback tr :akes the team to the line.:-.we can teachrechi"l.:lLt end side..i f'" . lt stafls wirh Ihe . call and executea Pass . t"* pa.we don\ add manv supplementary lesscomnine Dlivs to our offen'e Ttrs keep"u" diversifiedvou are Wlen you become plic-ar.i* **t" guard then picks up the lio"f.1 / / r ""1 -l .::: 7 flGUBE F"e.d. .RIIN AND PASS OFFENSE 6? The "check-with-me" is a gimple opemtion The calls only the forrnation in the huddl€ . spreading the offense too thln' The Pass or The pessingplan unfoldsfrom lhe drophs'k Bv eg"tt *e w'rk for simplicitv oo"f.."* lor ball ourside oFion trontoBtake3 odd c B B N .g""ta guard prvotstnward n" ' '.the strong guard picks The r.. the quaderback witl call the * two defendersplav our split end lf .*. hen --. :.rs l he stronggap ourstrongglard . ll & 4 J 5 4 fIGURE I l-r'ieb "".i" Isckle' rrethroughlhe ours. . rti. then the n--./ J is The blocking schemeversus an odd-front exceptlhal our rackledoes .* "*ne olT The ball will be handed to the runlinebacker (seeFielrre ?). tackle close.s routes. "tmng ' a"f"""i"* t""t l".ing.rimup wirn our tackle on lhe linebackcr' qill take rhe ball oulside for read ""rti"'ttr"t rseeFigue 8) the option Establishing the triple necessitates our spen'lg3me icp ine 75" ofour precr I imc on lhe runnrng ani all rlr" iniricaciesinvol'"d We diride our and s0" in rime 50-s0:s0'' in passing oractice runrunnine.itu.. -.rback stepsaround the collisionand sprinie shoulderoflheoutsiderush forthe .Ung schem"for rhe Iriple allowqus lo i'rr-\ :i:as rather than people Versus an even 'ra: . .-r^.

This takes a lot ofdedicated work by your quarterback. and reading the coverage.7 seconds. t}trowing to the rcceiver before tbe r€ceiver tur.thecontrolledarea (thrce steps).3 stees \ \. or circle (seeFigurc 9). 1. Once you're able to establish the basic plan withits techniques. Your players willbe excited about playing it.r '):se" /.By tuopping his risht foot back on the snap. We work on the vulnerable areas(shownin Figure 12) versus 2-deep coverageswith five or Bix defenders The coachingof the triple-pocket combination is a stimulating experience. The receivers learn three basic routes. invert. We asain utilize the alignm€nt of the free saf€ty. Shouldthis occur.f \ RI o aaE do 'o 'r . although we becomemore sopbisticatedwith several combinationslater on.i. put it under his arm. The two wide receiverB run the same mute called in th€ huddle.youcan lockin on one side or the other with a variety ofcombinations. then it's a simple matter to drop back and hit our split rcceive( T'his will change only in the event that the outside linebacker drops deep enough into the Shouldthe free safety align in spot No. It js imp€rativ€ that they leam the step counts to perfolrn the basic The three basic routes stem ftom the release (four steps). Should the $ "trongsafetj stay $ ith oui"insidei"eceiver. to deteranine direction.w IEB =---b I FIOURE 9 ./+sr"o" d the keyto the passinggame is timing. The quarterback starts his release on the seventh step. FIGUBE rP"""t"""rr""d"rd" l0 ?r \ 6 cqF . we will go to th€ wide rec€iver (because this indicates man coverage)unless the outside linebacker drops deep into the throwing lane. and turn and iun beforc the defendercan hit. he is able to spdnt back the required sevensteps on time.and the stick (three steps).""1. as indicated in Figures 2 and 3. If he doesso. When the strcng safety pelfoms any other action-roll. drop-we stay with th€ inBide receiver (wingback) becausethis rcsist€rs zone coverases. Th€ harback can rclease since tbe linebacker is his blockins assisnment ifhe rushes (s€eFisure 10). then we directourpassto the formationsid€.ns his head. and it's a lot of fun to . Should our direction be the split €nd side.. This enablesthe rcceiver to catch the ball. We'rc better off if we allow the winsback to work on the iruide linebacker into open ar€a8(seeFisure 11). bend. protection. Now the quarterback must r€ad the strong Bafety on the way back in the pocket to set becausew€ have two receiverson the formation side and we cannot ahvays detennine the coveraee. either tbe post. thowing lan€. ingback). accomplishes He this by sprintine back in sevensteps.the quafte$ack dumps the ball out to tho halfback.68 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES leam to s€t upjusi short ol10 yads deep in 1.-------n I I I r E B\ .. we can dump the ball to the halfback on that sid€. / Circle Circle \ \ M \- .

invite him to the outBide.as shown in Figure 1. A c€nter cannot deny a noseguard one route in the same way. When both backs in a 2-back offense Btart to one side.and then ride him to the outside knowing that the quarterback can st€p forward. . Itt alnost as difficult for the backside guard and backside tackle to execute a scoop block on the defenders playing over them {see Figure 2b). of dthletics at Georsia Tech. it's difficult for the backside tackle to block the backside linebacker (see Figurc 2a). it is exhemely difficult for a center to block a nos€guard who car ruBh on either side of him. ll E * t : ! xx $ $ I 1 1 $ g &$ t g I * g fi * g * 3 Attacking the 46 Defense HOMER SMITH ra&&*&&&**aa $ € Q * * i gx * * g gc x * {& $ g \lany teams have had trouble with Buddy Ryanh Double Eagle defenee. A pass-protectionblock is made relatively easy when a blocker can deny a delender a route to the inside. In protecting a passe! it's difficult for the offensive guards not to take the man over them and for the cent€r not to be left to block a noseeuard by himself. and a dropback passer cannot step folward to h€lp the c€nter when FIOURE I COOtrCC . ri c e E] l ] . Furthermore.Offensive coacheseveryx here have tried to develop gam€ plans that will We use a lettedng system to identify each player in the defense.RUN AND PASSOFFENSE 69 FIGUBE II FIGUBE | ."bb 12 *""*""" r{*" t oo tro Q E 1979 Prc@edinEs Coach Rice b directo.v"r". A itrons safety twe athlete often plays in the K The defeNe has three prominent featuresl .

4- COT r /N. Working together. E. The standard coz'rr?/sueep. The W K.aked the outside split end side d€fenderupfield with a nakedfake andgeta cut back play outside olthe backside tackle and euard. / I N.with a guard and tackle leading a tailback away from the dircction ofan initial fake. The sprizt-drau play works well when tbe full back can block to tbe side of the initial fale.<'-''.---\ /. t * . this is dilficult to do when thr€e defenders are taking tulns being rushers and droppers. while the center and onside guard and tackle executethe backwards scoopblock to get the tailback a running lane over the center.It's diffrcult to assign on€ blocker to this group when any one ofthe thre€ may be the rusher It's also diffrcult to double-read wben three rushers are working together.hallback (b) run run r-) . A dorble-read by an offenbivc lincman and a back on a defensive lineman and a lin€backer normally tells both offensive playem to watch the lin€back€r. t\. there is no outsid€ rush rout€ to invite a rusher into ifyou are a center andyour passeris dropping back.. Running Versus the 46 As mentioned._. The blocking lor both fullback and tailback plaS with bootleg t h rpar rs sho$n in Figs 6 ure 3. a<r-. it misht b€ possibleto pull ':.?O FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES TIGURE 2 problems Elocking assignmenl By leaturing a constant bootleg threat. Obviously. lvl-. This is "uphill" football. becausemost of the time just on€ of them rushes. Figure 4 shows the backsid€tackle and guard attempting ro entic€ defend€ft upfield to the outside. but there doesnot seemto be another good way to execut€a sprint draw againstthe defense. M.Scoopblocks are required to get full-flow plays started. axu the tailback can run all th€ way back to the other side on a backwards s€oop block. plays that have both backs go[rg to the sameside usually encounteran unblocked bachid€ linebacker. and S can make it difficult for pass blockers. E. Scoopsare possible when defendersare playing into gaps. and S are all linebackeriype athletes. In oth€r words. CY V .' -'' the defender do€s get past him. the lineman can block the defensivelineman wh€n the linebacker&ops into the passdef€nse. . aYt '. is not a good play b€causeit is diflicultto get a block on the backsidelinebacker.l \JUL] f Bootleglhreatversus46: rulrbsck (a).-. FIGUBE 3 a.' x-. the M.

r. th€ play could work.however(seeFigure 7). as shown in Figure 6. The idea is ihat the initial action of the play would make it possiblefor ihe backsideoffensivelackle ro block the backside lineba€ker. The :dea is that the couter action should give the It should be possiblelor the backsidetackle to set the bachide linebacker who has two backs faking in his direction. The problem."".k"idc linebacker e\erJrhingin running 3gainst the Double Eagle. though. A backward trap playis a possibility.. 5 TIGUBE Conventionaltrop plays have the tmpper movingin the dircction ofthe fake.". then curling back to the other side.b"""". The presenceofthe strong safety on theline of scrimmagemakes thc basic option very di{ficult.Ifthe onsidelin€backer would take the fake of a trap option. Flgure 5 shows the tailback and fullback starting to one side.Inagine the outside lineman on the split end side going unblocked with a trap play away liom the fake by the quarte$ack and tailback."46 6 L The play that would get everyone blocked would be an ot:racAle uith counter action.oprion coaches wouldsaythatthe counter dile and counter option should work well. is to get a viable option play to go wilh the fullback . but it should -nail" the defense. FIGUBE 7 Trapoptionvarialion versus46 This is an unconventional play.RUN AND PASSOFPE\SE '] bachide tackle a chance to get th€ lin€backcr The pmblem is in running the basic veer oplion to set up the counter option. ye. flGURE [. Getting enoughcount€raction to give the backsidetackle a "downhill" block on i6 r rn ba.". The problem is that the trap option is not practical becauseofthe presenceof the shong safety on the LOS.

Although it's not easy. the offense makes it difrcult for the defenseto tie up one ofthe receiverswithjust on€ of two lin€backers (€.five defendersrush a dropback passer.heceiver ratio is not good.The fullback can block M but adjust to block E ifM doesn. and he can btock the outside defender if the linebacker doesn. W dropping. E. Although this protection do€s nothing to get five receivers into a pattem.the tackie can blockthe linebackerifhe rushes. and the tailback to the linebackex One of the backs will almost always have to take a rusher The only way to get five rcceiverc out against this defense is to do what the run-and-shoot .Iftbe cent€r is gorng tohave help on themiddleguard. one ofthe tackles has to be assjgnedto a linebacker or to the inside. A back is left on the two outside defend€rson the tight end side. The pass defende. FIGURE 9 NI SETN Tackle double-read Pass in o o oE (ri ^? I FIGUHE 8 Passblocking versus46. By double-r€ading. and the ball must be thftwn "hot" ifboth ofth€n rush. K or W). / / \/ l" \" Nr E r N If Khad droppedandWhad rushed. and the tight end who must be the "hot'receiver can be coveredby the rcmaining linebackex Double-readingmust be employedif possibte. The lullback is assisned to the end.the tackte would have blocked \it At best.9. The problern is that it's dilficuit to get the five linemenon the five rushers. it does get blocking angles on T. This meansthat one ofthercceivers musr bp ossigned uneol I hF out$ide ro rushers. Fieurc 11 all eight of In the pot€ntial rushe$ are accounted for The tight end releasesil€ith€r E or S drops. and the backfield receiver rcl€asing.trush. how€ver. and Seven though the passermoves.Ifthe tight end spljts so that one defender has to go with him. The problern is to do it with two pass btock€rs against three defenders. and P ol FIGUBE IO Stronglormationbacks l You can nevor have great successwith the forward pass using this protection. a doubleread can be executed. teaving the def€nsewith six pass defendersagainst four One of thc ways to protect a dropback passer rs to assign one tackle to a linebacker and tell him to help to the inside if the linebacker does not come (seeFigure 8). This gets four tinemen on thr€€ most of the time. The principle in this protection can be used with play-action passes. Either back can proceed into the patt€rn if bis secondarf target doesn't rush. Fisur€ 9 shows K rushing. l 'r ' o A{_QOF EQ '\t. The tailback can block E but adjust to S if M doesn't rush.. Figur€ 10 shows a strong formation in which both backs can participate in a double read on th€ three potential rushers the M.dropback passing has prov€d to be very difficult agajnst this defense. N.t msh.?2 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES Pass Protecting Versus the 46 Basically.

Agure 12 shows a dropback pass from a formation with a tight end split. at the Univercity ofAriz w" . th€ leading advocateofthe mnand-shoot. the defem€ mu. Maling the liable threat puts five receivers into six defensive backs and makeBthe advantage of pass defendersjust over 17%.J!v/ 9.has perfect€d a way to get a blocker on any defender cov€ring a screen rcceiver manfor-man. Most offensivecoachescan defeat defenseB long as as they have the chalk.{:/v r1. CocchSnith b offewive coordinato. advocates. The creatorofthe defense usesthe basiclook as a basefmm which to iaurco all kinds of forays into other designs.stdefend against five rcceivers. The screen is very important in getting lhe ratio between pass defendem and recervers back to where it favors the offense. but this defense Beems to hold its own on the chalkboard without a defensive coach in the rcom. and that is to throw an onside screen pass to the back. and ifthe tullback is a viable screen threat on the leli. -1988 SummerManual.RUN AND PASSOFFENSE ?iI TIGURE II FIGURE E""b""k"""""rrhr|"" l2 R i e M r \. I TN c1 )/ QA c/\ Gonclusion A bigger problem than finding plays for the basic forrn olthis Double Eagle defense is frnding plays for the vadations ofii. ff the tailback is in a double-read on the right side.\nAt_r)r)n ru p. who must always block one of the flve mshers. MouseDavis.] \ w \.tat blocking is more difficult than sheddingblockers. Throughout football hiBtory defemive coacheg have tried to poBitiontheir playe$ so l.The 46 defense has shut down offenses that had comparable talent and plenty oftime to practice.

On Monday nrgl. so in many caseswe. The quarte$ack will lake a five-stcp drop and will "sisht adjust'.. The tishi end has an inside hoi. hopefully. Ifh€ feels tho lane is squeezed anv two deby fend€rlt (i.lusrpass orJust run in theso or any other situatjons. on ihe pre-snaprcad. and w€ believe ir can be implemented in this situation ifnecessary.Short This is a 70 to 807.. stmng safety and free safetyl he will dump the ball to the fullback...mnning situationforus so it. $'€ evaluate what ptays we. alleviatine delay of garne penalties.. Thc bo^rl"gofTc. The splitond runs a 10-yard speedout and will run a lade versus any roll coverage. The clossingsuard action can often distortLB reads and impede their abilily to retreat effi- Third-and-Medium This situation can also be a "pressure. the quarl€rback seesthe 71 .This. As a serrerul r-ule. it should be off someform ofplay-action.Our hot rcceiver packageis a large part ofour I.t.r t:l rl p . i1(onsistent with our game plan. Mike and Sam..e.l we oegin ru cors dp" our pretiminan game plan.ready..nrnqho$ $. This planningprocesshelps etiminate thespur o^ the momnnr dcci"ion"I \dr .but notethat we don.down for many defenses. is very difiicult for lhe LBs to deal with in man-ro- Third-and.' ' ' :' ::' ::" t" '. It also enlances our abiiitv to get the play in quickly.. release and will option to drop the first LB inside... This arlicle describes somcofthe thinkjns thar sucs inlo dptcrm.s natural thal when wo decideto throw the balt. If our mentality is to protect and throw quickly. If.rion is. ciently from thoil respectiveresponsibility.crion The week before each game wc devise a '. FIGURE I Boollegoft counter.ussing gaine.. and alows the quarterback an opportunity to break contain (seeFigurc 1).t .defenses more pressurc-orientedin are this situalion. an oncn b.re sorng to mn in each situation and what formarnns \\e'm going to use on each play. with the tight end.and allowing the quarterback to audible if necossary Decisions pertaining to play-calling arc made more rationalJy duringthe week mther than on game day under wnai can often be emotional circumstances.JnlFr r..!arious third down situations in a siven game.Q. couplodwith tha crossingaction ofthe backs. we're goine to dropback pass. sheet to doal with evary situalion that will confront us during the courseofthe game. .handl. allows ctearancetbr the fullback's path to the nat. :: . By Wednesday nighi we finalizo ourgame planandputthe plays in the order in which they sill be calied.. ::: Passing on Third Down POKEYALLEN .rc looking to mo1'eour quaft€rback from his conventional dropback Doi1r. This. We'vahad success with the tighl end choicoroute (seeFienrc 2). but our objectiveis to gct the Willie LB to fteeze or chase the pullins tackle.. Th€ fullback has a fr€ereleaseinto theflat.n" W€ have several variations ofthis ptay fto]n a multitud€ of formations and situations.We]l focus onpass plays.

the quarterback reads the best located safet)aBy this. If both lan€s are squeezed. he will read the the thrcwing lane thmugh the Willie Backer. Both wide receiv€rsrun 1o-yard square outs. safety cheating toward the tight end.:=ed out is a 1o-yard. Coach Nlen uas hzad a@h at Bobe State UniDercitv. we mean the safety in the worst position to help on the square out. Iime to closeon the tbrow The quaft€rback will take fivequick Btepsand :. COIC C FIGUBE 3 -i-. It is the responsibility ofthe halfback to beat the inside LB. . Th€ ." We want to eliminate plant' i rhe in"ide footand lhus slowingthe r"ceivor r s n.. again. . should be dumped to -1988 Summer Manual. A goodspeedcut will belp the quarterback ::1e the throw and give the defender vidually . IIGURE 2 Tightend choiceroule receiverwon't have gathercd enoughspeedto iun and get it. ho should look to the halfback. prcferably on an outside cut.Its the tisht end'sresponsibilityto beat the first insidc LB. he .i:le covemseon the split end and can go to him Third-and-Long i: have a multitude of things we do in this situ:::. but the pemonalityofthe defensewill gen:::i]! dictate which plays we pdoritize. If this defender is in the thowinslane. The tieht end runs a choice route at 8 to 10 yards.stmng saiety or Sam linebacker). The hallback checks and runs an option route oppositethe drop offthefiIst LB inside.is with their corn€rbacks.out-breaking cut designed ' be thrown on time. If tbe Willie Backer is in the throwing lane.SITUATIONAL OFFENSE . Against :::isur€ teams orteamE who don't like to roll or we'lIrun the doubl€ : -. As he drops. Double meansboth th€ -: :r end and flankor run mirmred routes. he should rcad the thmwjng lane throush the flat defender(i.row on time with the target area beingthe hip i the receiver.. the quarterback reads the side he has chosen. the ball the fullback.Ilhe chooses X-side. W€ use what we i::m a . It s criticai that the receiver maintains his ::ted coming out of his break. Ifhe chooses the Z-side. don't want him to lead the reWe ::rer becauseif the ballis thrown on time the -l .:rare out (seeFigwe 3).speed cut.'T'5f L On apre-snapread.e. The fullback checksand runs a medium rout€.: rs therc's a strcng possibility that he has .n. the quarterback should look to the tisht end. preferably on the out side cut.

i.t. peoplemusthonor th€ action andit has been succeBsful us (seeFieure 2).il.butbecause we will consistenUy throw the ball in this area of the field. W€ made a point to practice in all types of weather and field conditions(rain.'i! :.::iigill Passing in the Frigid Zone TIM MI. we needed to have lour lypes of passesin our game plan to be successfulinside the 1o-yard line: . Sprint-out pass Since these were all common elements ofour upfield off€ns€.the two Ys should €asily climb over top of th€ LB6 and attempt to stretch the strongcolner. We did use motion and movement to a grea@r deereeinside the 10 to cr€ate indecision and advantagesversus man coverage. We call this the Zip Pro RightTight L€e Throwback (se€ Fisure 1). FIGURE I Play-action passoll sprinr-draw CCTCO This play is drawn up versus a 3-4 front with cover 3 behind it. "Turf' teams have a little harder time acchmatizing to grass and changing conditions man the other way around.:. climatization to inclement w€ather h€lps develop a $eater degreeofmental toughness.?6 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES ::. The Z will stay on the run veNus man covelase and settle down versuszone. Our ac. our climate gave us morc dive$ified opportunities to practice in . .. And the specific aspect that I'11 focus on is our pass game phitosophyinside the 10-yard line. dent with changing playing conditions. lor Tin Pm Right Up Swing Screen Left is a screen pass to the FB that is good against cover S and Play-Action Pass The first play we will discussis a play. who rcl€asesoverthetop oftheFSLB.actionpass olf a sprjnt-dmw action. Though personnel and climate contribute to an offensive or delensive philosophy.JRPIIY I The general topjc I'm going to add.mugh.! iF.ess is how to mal<p thF mosr uut ol ynur passinggama in an extreme nofthern climale.we did not need to deviate rrom our overall philosophy in this area of the field.. lar screenis a glorified running play. The frontsid€ Y blocks "softly" down on the S technique for one count and releases to the frontside flat. We start with "zip" motion by ourZ. This particu.The play-actior fake and the crossingaction puts the defenseirabind in terrns ofptay recognition and getting bumped off This is an excell€nt first-and-goal play from the 7-yard line.W}Iite this is not a novel approach.Basedon the playaction.:::.. lll: iliilill irt .mud)so that our kids would feel comfortabte and confi. Play-action pass .' We felt that. which is a fairlv cour mon play for us around the 1o-yard line. snow. Screen Pass Category 2 is a screenpass option. Dropback pass .a philosophy must have deep enoughrcots so that talent level and the elements will not dictate a change m something you don't feel comfortablewith. The backside Y releases over th€ top of the BSLB andaims for the corner.

Th€ Z witl run a curl route at 13 yards looking for the open area.Out Pass Our last category is our spdnt/mll category.curling in or out verVersus man. eliminating him from pursuit The playside guad wil show pass for one count and kick-out the first defender. Th€ playside tackle will chop the 5 technique at 5 yards.If used as an up-the-field route' QB's read wju be X toA versus man coverage. The Y will block outside backer and curl over original position. The QB will read H to Z to X. This soeen grvesus a finesse run from many formations in an arca of the field where it can be tough to run the ball Sprint.TheA-back will run a flat route at 5 yards looking for the ball right away versus man coverage. Our goal is to get our H-back uncoveredinto tb€ frontside flat. -1989 Sunmer Manudl.i". The X will start inside to create congestionand indecision in the zone arcas and will break sharyly to the comer ofthe end zone to stlet{h the frontside defender The Z will run a choice route in the frontside hook area turning inside or outside The H-backwill motion acrossformation to a position to sive him a clean release to the flat. The cent€r will funnel the nose backside and lead the fullback up the natuml seam between the kickout and pinned LB. the acroBs field on the run. tion 4l FIGURE sp. Tbe QB will look A to Z to X venus cover 3 and A to X in man coverage. and we will utilize extensive motion and movement posilo pur ^ur.. we will show one of our basic trips routes that we like to use in this area of the field. We will motion inside with our A-back to put him in the best possibleposition to pin the inside LB. T\'ins Rrghl Up Flood241 Choiceis a five-step route where the QB will attempt to find the open man by reading the strong safetv and strongsideinside LB area (seeFiglre 3) The X will run a choiceroute pushing upfield to the strongsidehook area. expectingthe H to be open versus man and the Xto be open versus zone.CoachMu. Explode Over ftips Risht Spring Right 221 utilizes an unbalancedformation risht disguised by motion and movement. where vertical shetch is not Z available.3 FIGURE geat against any weakside coveragewith the lveak end coming. he will continue sus zone coverage.elvesin lhe mosl advantageous (s€eFigure 4).ph! is head c@ch at Hsrudrd Unioersit! ."te"* Dropback Pass From our drcpback category. The X will run a fade and break' oown and block lhe comer when he recognize' the dump.

our opponentwill pmbably get some easy points out of it.vous syBiem wont allow it. J€rry's cousin called down to Jerry. Clower tells when he and his cousin were out hunting. For instance.ll rnrow passesthat have low risk of interception. B ! :c $ ]f]ti :* $ * i { c $ g $ 1 1 l t i i t $* & Hang Loose. and it is. first-and-lO on our minus 1-yard line. make you shank it. One of Us ls Fixin'to Score BOBBYBOWDEN i { r f ! ii! : lt 6:. and we don't want to punt. or. tYour rec€i!er should be able to tackle the defensive back at the spot ofthe interception. Their chanceoftaking overinside the 40yard line is high.]l ti i t ]]] I'm not on€ of those head coacheswho can sit back and wait for my team to win with great defense and kicking. so heres our slrar€g]. We1l throw from our 1-yard line. Jenf. if one is int€rcepted. Ifit backfrres. dead. Instead. or huny your punler into hitting a quick line drive that can be retumed. we. and toss a screen pass lrom our end zone. On first down.?8 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES r1: r } 1] 1i?$. post. Jerry said he was afraid to shoot because he thought he might hit his cousininstead of the cat. Therefore.) Comparethat with havingto puntbackedup inside the 1o-yardline. the opponent may rush 10 players and block it. on offense we're coming after you ftom every possible angle. . knowing we want to get oflthe goalline.thing to keep from punting. and his cousin climbed a big oak hee to get a wildcat they had treed? Jerry's cousin and the wildcat got wrapped around each other high up in the hee.way 'causeone ol us needs some relief" That's the way our offense workseith€r our team or the opponent is fixing to score and get some reliefl Strategy From the Minus I Every week of the season we go to our minus 1-yardline and practice coming out ofthere. First Down Tb€ Eituation is this: our ball.will ser-ve a long punt and as give our opponent possessiondeep down the field. even ifyou have a goodkicking Do you rem€mber the sto4. I hat€ to punt! This philosophy sounds€xciting. On a punt.} 6 $ . Therefore. We're going to do anlthing and eve4." becausehe was getting €aten up. mn a rev€rse an). His cousm shouted. but my ner. I'm going to thmw. Some ofthe great coachesofthe pasr have done it that way. But we doni want to punt. To throw is not a gambl€ ifit's calculatedand pedect€d. the defenBewill be looking for a run.time from any yard line. I'm not going to throw across the middle or into the flats. "Shoot the wildcat .but there's a catch. The wolst possibleresult from any one ofthese route$shouldbe an incomplclcpassor deepinlerceplion 40 yards do$nfield. ard it was hard to tell who was who. The worst we must do by the time it'B fourth down is to have the ball on our minus 5-yard line so our punter can stand back 14 yards to punt. Tlds reduces our choiceB to three primary deep routes: take off. "Shoot an). or comer (seeFigur€ 1).Q:e ' -F trr* $ g * g . The odds of a deflection are too great.

and that's when I plan to set the ball out to at least the minus s-yard wiih my best bread-and-butt€r running plaj.n you know the altematives? Ifyoucomplete ii passor get an interference call.if we don't make it.t? Should I blitz him? Double him? Play normal?"As offensivecoach. . Throw to the deep receiver only. He must hit the deep receiver or throw the ball away. Therefore.o@dinss. No scrambling or dumpine olTto secondary receive$ by the quarterback.: r zoneon first down really a high-percentrisk . what'll he try ner. Ifit's third-and-5 or -6 yads to so ftom th€ minus 5 or 6 and we need to mov€ the ball downfield. Use both tight ends and running backs to block for maximum pass protection.OF F .is throwing the bomb from your .SITUATIONAL OFFENSE ?9 . Second Down If you didn't complete the pass and it wasn't picked otr. and my next call is basedon how badwe needto set outofthere. you're offthe Now ith third-and-S or -6. Therefore.FIGURE I Fouteslor No. if we're ahead by four or more points.. The defensive coordinator is safng. )Iak€ a good fake to the running back to freeze the opponent's rush and Becondary . I'd use any play that would eet the fimt down and worylittle about coftequencesof Whatever play we choose. Thitd Down i ::re. :986 P. it'llbe ore we've reheaBed over and over specifically for this situation.h at Florilo Stdte Uni&rsitr. For example. hit him. and jf he's open. Coach Boud.Idexpect that defensive coordinator to loosen up some. . "That fool just passedftom his end zone. A good example would be a trap or draw. I'd call a conseNative play that has a chance to get the fiIst down but little chanc€ of a turnover or negative yards. i. it's second down and you're still on your minus 1'yard line.I don't hav€ a guilty conscience becauseI know we'veprepared eutes lor Throwina Frcm the Minus 7 .n is head coa. . Line up with two tight ends to gile high run capability.t receivor atthe POST A coFNEB -T AK E.

. It may be a touchdown or a field goal that you need or want. . We stalt with a safe call such as a abaw or screen.Break.Minute Offense PHILLIP FULMER $i i 9 r . We put our offense in the following situations: Penalty on the offenseor defense Before halfand must have TD End ofgame and must have a TD Various number oftime-outs Injury to oflense or defense QB sack Long gain that doesnot get out ofbounds Last play ofsame Big B€n Play Last play ofgame ftom plus 2s-yard tine to the plus 4-yard line .minute offense. The various situatiors we faced during the course ol a season d€mandeil dilYerent reactions from our offensive personnel and coaches.It's somethingthat you hopeyou never have to 1lse. dictating the down and distance..if they have rch€arsed the siruaror many times in practice.and if we make a good gain. . but a scoreis needed. and it may be before the haifor at the end olthe game. Two. such as getting out of bounds whenever possible and the quarte$ack laying the ball towards the boundary ifthe throw down the field isnl available. There are other times that you may go into the "hurly-up" offense.I'd like to share the various situationE we try to cover during our playcrmeetings. . lhe pafl of rhe game where a score is needed and little time remains. To prepare for it.minute. you need a clear set ofguidelines that have be€n planned out far in advance. but when you oo. 2. and that's the rcason w€ spend so much time and effort studying and placticinethis aspectofthe same. In this offense. When we get into this tempo offense. marking the ball as ready lor play.'ed situation huddte. I i l ]. We gave the various situations narnes so that there would be no problems with One of those t€mpos we cal]ledout hurry hustle offense. not on the sid€line as the final secondstick away. but th€y'rc not the same as th€ possessionwhere you must scoreto win with the clock winding down.it ts very often "do-or-die" time. tl . we go into our 2-minute offense. Tbe secondtempo is n an. . scrimmagFs.€ * . Playins to set up a FG.Minute Situations Nothing breedspoiseand confrdence a team or in a stafflike quality practicetime. . The third tenpo we na]|rrcd sirriply 2. but we move as quickty as possibleto lhe huddle and rhen back ro rhp tine of s(rimmage alter the play is called. we continue to huddle after every play. . practiceq.Ifthe screel or draw is unsuccessful.* t!l r f il Q llt r! t ! t st i. .This is u6ed primaril) whpn rhere is plenty oftime to score given our field posjtion and/ or the number oftime. This i. It's under this kind of prcssure that both the coachingEtaffand the players developa senseof confidence. . then we can elect to let the clock r-un and go to the locker room with the scorc as it stands. etc. Intentionally gounding the ball to stop the clock .peror I sonally run the drill by creating various situatiom. This is used mainly beforethe hafwhenwehave poor field position. football coaches natumtly feel a sense of anxiety or urgency. $ i i t. .outs. Differcnt Versions of the 2-llinute Offense One of the fimt and most useful id€as we came up with was to have three differcnt tempos for oul 2-minute offense. F . Fast.We utilize the same basic principles as we would in a despention situation. ri Whenever you speak of2. you'd better b€ able to execute. D€sperationFG with no way to stop the clock . or i n a situation where we're down by more than one score and time is g€ttiirg short. t g . * i I ir $e I i 1 } ::l i 1 } . eetting the batt to the middle ofthe field . .becausemany games arc won and lost with this aspect of the game.80 FOOTMLL COACHING STRATEGTES i .

s€cond. We try to use time-outs very discriminatingly. everyone must know it's time tD hurry r .tain rules and principles are essentialto suc::. and .r. We've found that we have much more success getting the compl€tion and lhen eettingout ofboundsand "topping the clock wh€n the throw is to the short side of the field. ' ! needy. Number on€. If they catch the '| 'n or outside the numbere.This may sound elementary. usually taking them only after sacks or short .. The QB must also decide when to take the short gain and when to just throw the ball out ofbounds to stop the clock.an inter- ception or turnov€r usually m€ans you lose the game. €veryone . "rling :. Conversely. not gteedy.sing hou ofien you seeplaycrsrun immp: ::." and this has to be the thought olthe quarterback.urth principle is to never take a sack. When we lay the ball off. : as rve can. :.line to oul entire offense:whether we need a l .i: the boundary . it rcquires more time for the il.iit know the situation.'inything.but the time that .SITUATIONALOFI'ENSE 81 Two. OtrI motto in these situation8 . We can't run amund trying to get -::xized.andnotworry i. not juBt the quarter':.' is left. : i: :aking a time-out immediately. at least temporarily. r: :r ofthe thrce tempos we are going to execute. ri. A gain of only a few yards is not wodh the time we lose off the clock.::. At this point in the game. rlock. when you're going backwards in. Also.i in a 2-minute ddll.Minute Rules :. . but if a sack doesoccur.' .':::al. they -. we teach L . then we eiiher need to get the ball out ofbounds or make a fimt down so the clock stops.: :onnal. {e call the numbels . they should eei if . then the lay-offs should be even more open and becomebetter gains.:he frmt play.: io things quickly For this reason.. hird.. :1e Qts shorld try to get rid ofthe ball ifat all r rle.:rn making processmust remain the same .. r.. W€ must execute. .:k.es rvhile the team gets lined up and ready ' ::e next play is usually much $eater than .rld getupfieldandmakeyards.We also want to get in and out of the ' -:.]v out ofboundB.riher key principle is to takejust what the r. Sacks ' alt costyou valuableyards.but it's ' . so the time-out gives you time to get your . After a sack. To help our playeN know !: :l! *'hen to try to get out ofbounds and when . '.r get north and Bouthup the fi€ld. how many time-outs we have. The coachesshould communicate on the . :.i the QB vrill remind everyoneof the situa: : again on the field before rre heak the huddle .&le.le and up to the new line of scrimmage as . .w€ always con-r .:r of forwards. ::. becomeeven mor€ comeruative . be as efficient as :' i:rble. and waste no plays or tim€ onthe clock. In a norrnal 2-minute situation. catch the ball inside the numbers.-'i:je gives up.rr if we will settle for a FG. but we don t want to force it and increaseour chanceofa tumover: Ifwe're going to gain only 2 or 3 yards. . i. our goal is to gain 7 yards on eachplay.-. receivers should get all the yads they of r: :fter making a catch but still be conscious ': :ideline.The QBh :-.:i snap count to try and saveevery secondon '.Ofcoume.:hts together and decide on the next play.:e usually faced with a bad down-snd-dis. we go on a : . :o get back and aligned colrectly.et can and get out ofbounds. we prefer for the QB to work into the short side of the field. exactly how much ::. we always want the bigger gain. If the defensehas dropped deep to take away our primary receivers.

Field Procedures Now. efibctive ptays for us the last few y€arc.82 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES gains when we don't make a frrst down orget out of bounds. In addition. and the QB stafts relaying the play to the rest of the ofense as the ball is being spotted and the oflense is g€tting alJgned for the nexr play. Success the on {irst play is criticat not onlyjust for the yardE gained. 2. ex_ ecute well. otrbalance and slo\^ down the passrush 1994 Pro@edinqs Coach Futmer is head coach at rhe Uni\ersitr ofTennessee.We atso jn_ torn everyoneexac y what our goat for the series may be.or r his ptal and er erl une QB callsr he code knowsto gersor.aw. there is no real reason for us to call two plays in the huddle at one time. w€ arc into our 2-minute offense.We don. and we arent going to expeci him to do so when the game is on the line.it shodd bc ure that your players know €xtremely well. the word .11need. a screen.t let oul eB call his own plays dudng the regutar couse of the game.the. but for the psychological boost it $ves ine @am. draws. soon " as everyoneis set and the official marks the ball as ready for pla)r The line merely steps insjde while everyoneelse stays in his stanceuntil the whisue blows the play dead. The QB will immediately look to tbe sidelin€ once the prcvious play is completed. We remind him what the Desr plays should be for that week. we rcview that week's2-minute plan and confirmwith him how many time-outs we have ard how nmy plays we should be abl€ to run in the time . Becauseofthis.n. we hav€ an excellent chance to at least pick uD the first do$n.. We identify which of the three tempos we want or need to employ. aDd the FB trap have beel very -. and what to expect liom our opponent.or a d.Screens. Beforc the QB takes the field.and the coach€s continueto call the plays frorn the sideline.emaining. . When ue do this. 3.By calt_ ing theseplays during tbe last 2 minutes. This has beenbeneficiatfor us becausewe can go fuom four WRs to two RBs and back to five WRs without the de. Whatever play you select.which for us may be a curl route. W€ try to start a 2-minute drill \.and then we ale1t €veryone on the offensive team that we are going into that mode of offense.let's Iook at a few ofthe procedureswe use and how we executeour 2-minute offense: 1. we have found that we can change the pelsonnel that we have in the same by having them right up there besid€ us and sending them in as soon as the pre_ vious playends. then the protectionsare directed for the line and running backs. The"e plaJ" atjo kFep ino a"r. especially on secondand short down and distances. On. Routes aie usually communicatedto the receiversfrrst. The signals are short and quick. Wed rather stop the clock with the eB intentionaly tluowing the ball into the ground. Rarely wju we take a time-out after makins a fiIst down unless we have more available than the situation dictates w€. and one that has answers ior whatever look you may get. whether we need a TD or if we can setUefor a FG. Aft€r th€ first play. fense having time to adjust its personnel. sac ficing the down to save the time-out.Thp QB ca tbr r he ba a. usuatly only one or two movements of a hand.ith a ptay that's good ver_ sus a wide variety of coverages.

Our cludes the following plan: identifi€ation of our 'clutch" series. We will give oul QB two plays to call rn the huddle with respective Enapcounts for each. 4 i i I t i 6 | i ! !. His tunction is to attmct two defendem. and we've experiencedgreat victories as rell as gut-wrenching d€feats.ant to establish a tempo for 2^t minute situations. practice time devoted to such situations. We'v€ all been in such sitta:ions.These situations always heighten the victory and s€em to inteniify the emptiness of a ]oss. We {." These are plays we :hat. QB) are in.OuI playeN are inehucted to get to the line of scrimmage as quickly as posOur. This play is dmwn up veNus a 3-4 front with cover 3 behind it (seeFigurc 1). and we will have a successful play. .and executionofthetask hand. purpose. The QB's recosnition ofa "no chance"play alows our offenseto remain in control by avoiding a sack. regardlessofthe defense.We'll placeour tullback (FB) at one yard deepinto the end zoneand as wide as the strong safety's (SS) original alignmeni.i ! I { . S and SS.ne rhing: preoadng to capitalize on the situation is the task preparationfor this 6rtuationin" hand. on€ tim€-out. Our flanker will rrm his comeback route by driving the corner 17 yards into the end zone and coming back to 15 yards. One chang€ ire have Beenin defensive football in these situathan rions basbeentheuse ofmorezone covemge we rhe heretoforeman or blitz coverage.We also prepare for $ hat we expecta defenseto present. The practice tim€ allows oul offetse to developa senseofpoise. Let's get startedl 84 Y Delay The fimt play attempted will be an 84 Y delay.TE. Our QBs $ill hear constantly from us that their best decijion may be thrcwing to row 17. RB. FB read. we need a rouchdownto win-no probleml? Gcrring inro thiq "iluarion is. executeto the highest d€greeofproficiency.a turnover. The offensive staffwil s€lect three or four plays ihat we can "hang our hat on. iIF JACKELWAY *. and executionof our clutch series. The situation we'vebeen presentedwithlooks iike this: 30 secondsremaining. we will take the liberty ofplacing it in the middle ofthe field.. I HGUBE GYd"t"v CtrC N O L I The fullback is given a "ftee release"thmugh the inside leg of the strong safety.Y must be aseressivewhile slow-blocking and he canDot get held by the ST Our tailback (TB) will check release offthe weakside linebacker (W) and milTor the drop ofthe middle linebacker (M). : Pass Plays for the Final Drive 0 is The final offensive poss€ssion an opportunity :o win the game. will not discount the possibility of the combination defensesthat will be used to make us eam a touchThe last 30 minutes ofThursday's practice is always set aside for specific2-minute situations.iting the shongside defensive tackle (ST) upfield. He has an opportunity to occupyorblockM. Y will key tbe dmp of S and occupy the area S has vacat€d. :tructed onmethods to conseNetime and to stop the clock without the use oftime-outs. irst'and-goal from the g-yard line. He'll force the defensive covemge and specifrcally expand the stronssidelinebacker (S) bywidening him to the top ofhis zonedrop.rhle. The tight end (Y) will "slow-block by inl. Since rhere was no mention of where the ball has been marked.WR.kill plarers. run from a doubl€s right formation.

and we can get back to the line ofscrimmage for play No.The aligr]ment olw will change his fbcusto makingw wrong. Our QB iB reminded not to lorce the issue. We also anticipate a defensive change so our third Eelectionis a play we feel has a chance versus any defensewhere w€ need 2 yards. but that has been the result ofa gr€at effort by our tdggerman. We'll bring X to a tight position weak.84 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES OuI QB will take his five-step drcp and key S. 1987Sunner Manual. Be composed and be the frrst to let your booster club know that you practice this amazing f€at every Thursday. we dump to the FB.We anticipate tbe de. to get rid ofit so we'll have another opportunitJr. Our TB will sprint to the front cone. We have crcat€d a two-on'one situation with our FB and Y Our objective js to make S wrong and look to ourTE.Our FB must pin the delender respon. He then slips into the flat.left hash mark. trynotto look stunned. subsr ure. and somehow completes the pass to the flanker. ThiB rEa ro technique that enables him to prevent a potential passrush ftom an area outsid€ ofour tackle. There have been instanceswhere we have fbund our flanker.He must gain enough li"idth and depth that a simultaneous hit and reception would break the plane of th€ end zone. to Ienseto run the same front and cover as tbe fimt due ro I heir inrbrlir) to huddle. he will oc' cupy the area S h as vacatedat a depth of 8 yards. sible for'contain. Ifhe widens and hangs with TB. This is our most successful play and we want our TE to gain a minimum of5. This play requires our flanker to motion pre-snap to an area 5 yards ouhide the alignment ofY On snap. By accomplishingthis we have kept the football in the middle ofthe field. ConchEluat is a scoutfor the DenaerBrcncos. FS CCNCO / S CCo T ST Doubles right 93 X is a fade by our sptit €nd (X). keying the block of our FB. Our QB willfirstcheck the corner.OUrQB must lorce the issu€by getting outside. then he will k€ep him from gaining gound upfreld.OurTB will release thmugh the inside leg of{ and his roul€ muar widenW By accomplishing rhis." If that defender widens to a point where a pin tu not feasible. . 338 Flood Pass Our sideline conversation will include our next two plays. leaning out of bounds. We want thls block as close to the line of scrimmage as possible. Our final time-out is used with 12 secondsremaining on the 2-yad line. ourTB is prime. He now looks to the TB and thrcws or runs to the front cune ur In th€ event h€ throws off-balance. Our FB will slip release the flat. Oui backs align in a near set.orsig i1 nal in a defens€(seeFigure 2). and ifit's not going to happen. re place the burden on M to get to the TB. FIGURE 3 F I G URE 2I . 2. 93X The situation is second-and-goal the 4-yard on line with 22 s€conds go.Th€ play chosen is a 338 flood pass (seeFisurc 3). We completeto our FB who is unable togetoutofbounds. IfW widens to the flat. He will drive throryh the outside shoulder and fade tothebackconeofthe endzone. Ywill outsjdereleaseand occupya space5 yards ouhide hiB original alignment and get to a depth of 7 yards into the end zone.

gc x i! gi i 3 $ xps s *$ s* x x xt Q & x s fi c * x $ g E $ t. * 6i t Team Defense Setting Up a Successful Defense A Fundamental Approach to Defense Switching Frcm the 50 to the 43 Defense Using a Multiple Attack Defense The Wrecking Crew Defense The Eagle Defense Adjusting the Eagle Defense Dich Tomey Barry Aluarez Grant TelrlF Paut hdwell R.C.t Dennis Green Hayd.usky BiIIy Joe DelWight Frank Beamer Dich Sheridan 106 107 109 172 It4 119 121 124 124 131 133 135 85 . Slocum BiIl Doole! Rockr Hager Defense 87 90 91 95 98 101 104 Emphasis on Defense Stopping ihe Run With a 7:6 Advantage Stopping the Whhbone Getting Linebackeff to the Point ofAttack Getting Run Suppod From the Secondary The Stunting 4"3 Front Slanting DefenEe for an Advantage Coachingthe Front Sevenin the 50 Defense Defending AgainBt the Pass Making the Secondary Primary DefendingAgainst the Run-and-Shoot Applying Pressrue Without the Risk Simple Coverages Versus Complex Passins cameB Dare Wannsted.en Fry GeorgePerles Chuch Broylzs Ron Schipper Jerry Sand.i* PARI II ti g x i € 6 $ I n $* g a &.

Have a stmng running game orashortpassing gamethat $ill allow you to consume tim€ when necessaryto help the defense. .ir:::. Rush the edge versus the pass. . The height ol a player isn't nec$saily as impodant as his ability to run and his desire to get to the ba1l. Defend the C gap versus th€ run as dcrrnedby the hip of the tackle. Have a defensive plan and schemethat is sound.. OuI defenseuses one front that takes away cutbacks.There's somebuilt in margin for error at this position.win the LOS.Setting Up a Successful Defense DICK TOMEY wrrn LARRY MACDUF$ RICH ELLERSON. and a sjle linemen . ! : !r'lr . must do the fbllowing: .' nip linebackprGan. Cross '. W]]at follows is a summary of alignments and responsibilities for our front five.rall) rhpccposi "pFakint.we balance this with the understanding that a position'sjob description.holding them to a minimum number ofpoints and yards. who may be involv€d in :he coveraseifpass shows (seeFieure 1). Crossthe LOS on the snrp ofthe ball. However. Attackl Make your mistakes on their sideofthe LOS andmake them full speed.Aeain. and opportunities will change dramaticallv depending on which way we s€t the front.regard' less otholv iight the splits arc.. inside ruIrning lanes. Stud or Cattside End Align one yard outside iackle or hcad up to TE. Establish pride in defense-Create oxpectations of stopping people. . . Defend th€ B sap versus the run. as defined bv the hip ofthe guard. there's sotnemargin for error at this position. Recruit players that can run and ha1'e ihe physical capabilities that fit your system. Our coverage packageis a 3-deepcoverage and a man-free cov- o oo r l\ T T to maximize the numberofrepsin a glven stance.forcesthe ball to the perimeter.and has enough coyemge vadety to both pressure th e quad€rback and stop the undemeath throws on ea.l t i . attack the middlc ofthc center. Catt-Side lackte Align with fcct outsidc thc guard'ssiance. Spill th€ ball-carder deep and $'ide.and has r ery simple coverdown responsibilities agaimt rhe variety of formations we see.with the posiible exc€ptionofwhip.: ir QfI:.*E'ii.As the front is often Betto the wide side. on€ \ir.ith his body and one with you$.ly downs. FIGURE I Defensive tronralignmenr We believe in playing defensewith grcat efort and enthusiasm. deny th€ QB the use of the field. 87 .W€ want a group ofathletes that exceljn the areasofhitting and effort.he LOS on the snap of the ball. Defensive Line \\'e consh'uct our defensive front fbur defen "'ith (two tackles and two ends). Rush the passer! Make your mistakes on their sid€ ofthe LOS and make thern full sp€ed.Steppingwiththe inside foot. you In order to developan outstandjng defense. and cancel both A saps. W€ play with our inside foot back and p]ace a ]eat deal of emphasis on our initial footwork. and rush the passer.is basedon stoppingthe r-un.physical requirements. Be willins to h€lp your defense with the stmtegiesyou employ on offenseand in the kicking game. \\-e play oul peoplelelt-right whenever possible Nose or Backside tackle Alisn on the ccnter $'ith a slisht shadeaway from thc callside.r r: . C :ions will cancel all the .:ap to C gap. em JOHNNIE LYNN .

Our rnver. with our near foot on th€ ball. counting outside in. I herefoj"c. accoding to strength call that typically indicatesthe \. but we witl sacri{icesome ag$essivenessto insure conect. note that we assumea position (4 x 4) that allows us to force the run (seeFigue 3). or if whip is in the flex. they are expected to n]n the alley which our front five has forced the ba]l to bounc€ into.8E FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES A great deal has been made ofour flex atignment. From this alignment. The linebackers align. ru6h opposite the callside and expectto be double-teamed. Fe x This position can be played by the whip or end. and is consistentwith ourru! responsibility. Linebackers Our inside iinebackersarc normaltynottied to a gap in the tackle box. We allow our callside people to play "on the edge"every snap and expect our backsidepeople to give us the maigin for enor that kind of play rpquires beingeractly correcr. challengi by By ng the gaps. The question thus becamewho to move up. Our tinebackers(along w'th thc slrongsafpryI will. nther. This fteedom ofalignment facilitat€s man coverage. we deepento 6 yards. keeps us in proximity to changing refercnce points for zone coverage. rheprinbe cjpal adjustem to any shifts or motion.ll react according to the coveragecalled.ide set ofthe field. depending on the threat posed by any given for.or strong inside linebacker. cetting up on the ball helps our pass rush and creat€s the thrcat of quick penetmtion. This requires them to atign with a $eat deal of variety.Versus pass. along with the second. ary. we can use our rormal ag$essive footwork and still expect a gTeat run reaction. using consistentfootwork. Versus a balanced 2-back set. Keep the cent€r from getting to tbe LB levet at all cost. . Align with a slight inside shadeon the def€nsive tackle and flex24" to 36' o1Ithe LOS_Detend th€ B gap versus the run. ness.rnation. as defin€dby the hip ofthe guard. Vemus pass. we tr-uly achieve the attack mentality our defense is known for @ o oo - C C tr C C R M O If we arc align€d versus a single ba€k behind the QB. Playing off the ball helps us rcact appropriately to a wider range of blocking combinations and facititates change-upin assignments liom a single atignment.ill align relative to the third eligible while Mike. our weak inside linebacker will align with the second eligible on the weak side. our base alignment is 5 yar& deep outside shade ofthe guard (seeFigure 2).our end wiU fight for contain.r. Ifpass shows. he. this system ofgap cancellation has its roots in the Canadian Footbatl L€ague where everybody must align a yard otr the ball. Int€restingly. wlren aligned on a TE. Align and defend the run exactly like stud. TIGURE 2 Linebacker alignment versus Backside Seven Can be play€d by either the whip or end.the end will rush contain and whip will react accordingto coverage. and rcmoving some fear of the mistake.

. much as the Mike does on the weakside' CornerB align with number one. back ftom the tight end."". snap. can man cover people. and we can plav them teft-right or fi€ld and boundarv The ftee -figa ^*iiti Prn""dir(" Co*|"Tbrnzr is h^on coaghat the Universftv of A'itu&' is en assistantcoo'h for th2 Neu vo'k Giobts dii-u*o"f . The field corner and cornerline up on No l strongand No boundarl. On the snap..d receiveron halfofnumbers and tuln and run with him Punch his frame 3o he can't get his shoulders upfield. 2 strong. The shong safetv makes the direction call that determines what we'llheat as shensth and then aligns relative to the second receiver. rcgardlesB of the coverage call€d. the field comer maintainB his inside attitude on the receiver by using a weave technique to stay squarc on the inside Bhoulder' The boundary corner aliglle 8 vards ofT the ball with an outside attitude on his teceiver' On the snap.aligns4 vards outsideand 4 vad. knowing that he has help over the top. of $hen we feel that we re capablp pressing rcceivers. ire effective blitzeN. 2. or ifthe No 2rcceiver is a slot. rpspectively yards off the ball with an inside attitude on his On the Bnap."r"" C b""K|"b "rir". Key receiver's chest with hands up and readv hoPuncb (quick hands) top 3.esult. knowing that he has deep middle help. and is responsible for deep middle help.i.cc Ioc{. The net r€sult is that we have more people on the field who r-un exceptionallv well. it's very difficult to get a pre-snap read on our intentions.:'::'. anal can make plays in the open fi€ld. 3 TIGURE safety will genemlly cheat his alignme:1l11: ::E strongB gap whcn the bal) is on the ha'h or F split the difference between the widest eligibles when the ball is in the middle (see Fisurc 5)' flGURE5 l . In our man-to-man cov€raEe. A key feature of our svstem is that because our linebacke$ aren't expected to step up and olus inside running laneB versus offensive linemen.. atd lann drc hig E Coachas erEon Secondary Our secondary aligns along the same guidelines as tlle linebackers. the strong safetv maintains hie inside rclationship. we can sacrificephysical stature for speed when rccnriting. o When aligned on a TE to the weak side. This minimizes the opportunities an ollenB€ nonnallv has a qhen thpy get a linebacker opposire running A major part of otll secordary package is our man-to-man coverage. F c ss' Our alignment ruleB are the same. 2. The field corner aligns 8 I weak.. the boundary comer weaves with the outside shoulder. we have the option of exchanging gaps with thc end helping deny the QB the field (see Figure ai allgnnenlveBu6 Linebacker righl end on widesido o C c @ t..we use our basic press bump-andthe 1 Cro$d the line ofscrimmagewith e)es inside to check alignment.1. he aligns in a levemge position between the €nd man on the lin€ of scdmmage and No. and often our blitzes will adjuet dght along with changing forrnatiom As a . Pou.The erins No. The free safety is aligned t0 to 12 vards off the ball in the strcng B gap.we sbow the same look as we do on every for beingresponsible covstmngsafely.

Again. Out-hustle the opponent and b€ stronger each snap as the game wears on. Stretch the ball east and west."ant th€ ball thm$'n behind us. Don'tuse lackofphysical skills as anexcuse.TE(irES A Fundamental Approach to Defense wrrn DAN McCARNEY I have avery strong beliefin lundamentals.oa. don't crossover. Use '$n-^1c. Refuse to stay blocked. Tahe all the b. . obviously. .pl^yr pr. Pla! consert'dtilr€b. . injury'. Use proper pursuit angles. pmotion and enthu. . Believe in yourselfand your buddy lined up . Stay simple and . . Eliminate the big plar. . Staying in a football positi0n. oliminatine the cutback. That is an area that is too often overlooked. Pla) si. Cad. Deliver .lrnt".have more than one way to defeat a block.r i6 hen.A.90 FOOTBAIL COACI NG S'.fr. . B€lievcthat you and your teammatesare the toughest $oup on the held. th" r'un' . . Giue pktyers a three-way go. Eliminate mental erors. 1991Procce.particularlyonce the scasonstarts ardcoachcs are lnole conc€medwith game planning-Alter €nch gane.We'll give up complctions.dd. even though you'lI get blocked from many angles. Developa variety of techniques.l <:oach at krtd Sktte tlhileBil!. . The fnllo$Ing i. nur phrl.'asm €ach time j-ou step on the field.we don't \. . Play down-anddistance percentages and tendencies.h Erpa. howcvcr. Overcomeadversity. Stem the front (pre-snap) and rock tbe flont (on the snapl. Play together . . Disrupt the offensiue rhythm.efti6 olw!<nnNn1. .h at thp Uni. . A Dozen Thinas to Stress on Derense . Squaring their shoulders.and heartache to win..Don't crossov€r Usinc crossfaccs. u. our defensive coachcsratc our players on these . Be ph$icdl. . but we shess not allowing the receiver to run after he catchesthe ball and. KeFpinC plalside drm and lFg lrc. . Kcepine thcir pads ovcr the toes. Zon^ rnd man-lrFe in secondaryEmploy prcssure as surp s€.1 . ncvcr cxposing the flcshy part oftheir bod.wc must stopthe run andmust commit as many peoploas possibleto do so. Show great character.h Allarcz is h. Ilelieve that you are soing to make the tackle on every play.rll to reduce blockine . Hittingwith their hands and shoulder pads. Believe you can rvin and cxpect to wir . Play multiple fronrs.Take all the ball to reduce blocking angles. Developbis play pelsonalitjr.. . We have established a philosophy of controlling the passinggame. .:1ines.(ha(h Mccam<. Finrt. rhp Maintaininc a base.

Mike has both B gaps either on quick flow or count€r flow (dive iheat)' Both Ts must control respectiveA gap."*"* FTGUBE C -wB Culback F .Ball away. : r i Switching From the 50 to the 43 Defense GRANTTEAFF 1 1 i 1 .. Ends contml tight end from head-upposition and contain QB (on option or pass) ball awav hail for bootlegs and 2 l-.€lation to the ofTensive set. Drop end is responsiblefor pitch on option and pass defenseversus pass. and then work toward a rhe gamcand defendrng with our passing '.1-=__A o uon€ln o"Q Etttr ^^ \ c. that is balanced in .TIIAM DEFEI-SE 9r r: i: r 1! lit t 1 i i t I i: ] l l: i i.crespon"ibi)itieh Ihp 43 . rl ll ai:.ook with multiple schemes to an Even or 43 look. challengeeachteam mem :!.-.. 1i):. flouREI l sod"r""* ^.i .We believein a base defensethat :i suitable to our peGonnel. although they occasional)y slide down over the off€nsive tackles and play like a defensive tac}le in an odd tuont. Backside LB must protect his B gap on counter flow and onsideLB must help Nose withA gaps Oulside Unit (Ts and Esl-Tackles must control rcspective C gaps outside in veNus base block. reverse. and thai is flenible and we irmple to execute. )ur defensiv€ philosophycomplemenh o11I offento mn the :Lre approach.iia'.cmss face ofoffensive tackle to control B gap on cutback. When :reakdowns occlq they're rccognized quickty and idjustnents are made. c wB s-]rait \- -n in Our bas.. our base defense evolved ftom an odd or 50 .e Defensively.o). On op' tions. The de{ensive endswere linebacker tlpeB who stoodupin front of tight ends.We'veput our defensiveends down in front of the tight end now. \W\en \1'efirst went to ihe 43 1ook. stressteachingresponsibilities we :nd principles.1itll lir*Q i. sceFigure 2l are as follows: iddle Unit (Mike and Tsl Must control four gaps (A and B). Basic Responsibilities in 5O and 43 Defenses In the 50 or Odd defens€(see Fisure 1) our rcsponsibititieswere broken down in the folowing Middle Unit {Nose and LBsl Must control four gaps (A and B) Nosehas bothAgaps' OnsideLB has B gap BacksideLB hetps Nose with A gaps when ball is awav. the one not responsible for contain should support alley (inside-out pursuit) to the ball.r $rith basic responsibilities on every play..We frrst must be able rall and defendthe run.we pi ayed only the two defensive tackles down.lan. that is based upon lap control up front.

The QB reads the defensive tackle. or tie up the defensivenose. Linebachers Read QB and pitchback lor option.Force-Widest man in d€fenseby alignment. closedown and play ball-carrier outside in. he will fake the dive back and option offthe next offensive man to sho\r The play is designedto create a running tane for the dive back. The wide align.lpport versus pitch. Cutbach Responsiblefor cutback when ball stads away {on't oven-un.thus closing down by the running lane ofthe dive back. Contain QB on option and spdnt-out or roll-out pass. When ball is away. and tackle on the dive so the QB can option oflthe end. Secondary suppod outsidein. Giv€ alley s.LB. Prirr. . ?rtir-Responsible for bootlegs.Keep position ar1d don't stepupfield.92 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES Outside Unit lEs and CBl Must control C gap and contain QB. Keep pads square and get a piece oloffensrve blocker Ifyou are aligned head-uporinside of ofTeffive blocker. The end or LB responsiblefor C gap must squeezeB gap outside in when ball is inside. end generally has tlail responsibility. and the pitch back or QB.carricr oulside of you. 3. Secondory The basic rule is we wanr one more defender on the pedmet€r than the offensehas blockprs.immage punuit.IfQB thinks he can beat the defensive tackle to the outside. 5. The alisnment of defensrve . will have a one-on-one situation on the comex The offensiveline is zone. Option responsibilitr Zinemen-If ball is faked or given inside of you. Gap rcsponsibility and pursuit-Front seven given gap rcsponsibility and down the line of sc. the following principles apply. and wide cutbacks when ball starts away. RespoNible for the one out pass. 2. Squeezefrom outside rn rne off-tackle hole on play inside. 43 Versus Zone Option The college 43 has some advantages over the odd alignment ve$us the split-veer attack and the blocking schemesthat are popular. or tie tackle up on dive back and get a one-on-one situation on the comer (seeFieure 3). 1. Seven Principles of Defense Regadl€ss of whether we are basic odd (50) or €ven (a3). dependingupon what the defensive end does. Baseblock. but don't lose your outside position on bsse block. 4.read nesh or shulfle out ifeverfthing in front ofyor clogsup. On option. If off€nsiveblocker oppositeyou blocks down. It puts a great deal ofpressue on the nose and delensivetackle in the odd alignment. don't let blocker offLOS on inside release. One of the trends in the veer attack is the zoneoption. ment ofdefensive €nd and the off-the-line play of the outside LB makes it hard on the QB and pitch back to get a one-on-one situation on perimet€x The dive back'Eangle gives Mike a quick read to the ofl-tackle hole. ar€a blocking to the side olplay to cut offinsideout squeeze the defense. QB will give to dive back hitting inside legofoffensive tackle.as well as widen the by defensive tackle to create an inside running lan€. outside-in squeeze. 7. or down out block. If tackle stays ouhide. squeeze from outside in. Nercr lct ball. The tight end and flanker are Iead blockers.ar! support-Outside-in suppoft on wide pl ay Take on lead blocker on sweepsand options. InBide-out support on wire play. 6. Norrnaly responsible for the pit{h. Thiq iq our premise regardless of the alignment of the ftont FIGURE 3 43 vef6uszoneoption ? I c l SS FS c The 43 makes it more difiicult for the offensive linemanto area block and cutoffthe insideout Bqueeze the defense.Always be in position to pursue inside out if ball goeswid€.reverses. the one not responsiblefor contain should insideout pu$uit (alley) to the ball. Don't overrun QB. This playhas tused th€ inBideand outside veer plays.

becauseby alignment the tlap play must hit further insid€ than it does in the odd alignment.llQc -rl SB fr <M E o c ss c FS WB 43 Vercus Trap Option Another popular play is the tlap option from split backs. this play putB a great deal ofpressure on the onside LB and tackles. the outside LB ofT the LOS has a better opportunity to read the inside fake and play otr the pullins euard. The tlap play.TEAM DEFENSE 93 tackles makes it difficult for the center and onside guard to execute the zone block (seeFigue 4). This allows guard to seal oflinside-out puruuit. . 43 Versus tfte Pass It's always been our philosophythat a good pass r'ush is the foundation of effectivepass defense. W€ feel that covering the ofensive guards and penetlating with our defensive tackles makes it difficult to pull the guards on the loaded play and cut off our delensivetackles with the center or offensrve tackles on reach or down block (seeFieure 7). a companion to the option. 43 Versus Outside Veer Another play that the veer teams like is the outside veer or load option. Again.P. FIGURE 6 4 TIGURE (.we believe that a four-man rush rrith four men covering under neath and 3-deepcoverageis the optimum ratio and distribution.\ I .i7 The trap option does not put the same pressure on the defensive€nd and LB in the 43. In the odd alignments. with the onside guad pulling to lead and block alley support.cDO. making it hard for QB and pitch back to get the desired one-on-one situation on the comer (seeFigure 6). forcesthe defensivetackle to closeinside hard to the omsidp offensive "lnp the lmp. and gives the situation on the QB and pitch back a one-on-on€ corner (s€eFigure 5).*""r"d"d. In our basic defensivesch€me. FIGURE l-.

s.hebacks. We have atso found it easier to organizc and coodinate our unit drills for both run and pass using the.! defenFe is. ary backs.to 1g-yard) intelrnediate zones.co!By erage 857.ctar of the A"CA. of couNa.By moving the €nds down and the OLBS outside. t€ach three basicgamesto our front We fbur rusherc (seeFigure 8). screens. basi.delays.This has given our def€nsivecorneft a gleat deal of confid€ncein cover-ins oreon-one. This is a good change-upin lons-yardage situations to tak€ away deep (17. 19E0Sutnmer Manual C@ch Tr. It's alwaysbeenour philosophythat we must pre.de rercivpr unle"s rhc spcondrecen€r onhis sidethreatens the deepoutside.of the time. Thmugh the yea. we can use games with the rourman rush that are very efectivevemus the drop back pass. Wp wFrc nut as FffFcrive pu ing prH. Our basic underneath coveragewith LBs is man or combination man.94 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGINS lI i In our basic43 alignment we have the tackt€s and€nds always rushinsand the threeLBs ptaying pass defensc. Duo to the amount ofman coverage play. We havc evolved into a nonrotating li€e safety with man-to man coverage on singt€ On the two-receiverside. our comer witl play man in a zone. vent the long or touchdownpass.Our free safety has been primarily a c€nterfield€r bmakingon the batl.the basicbalancedfour we man r-ushfrom the 43 alignment has apptied pres sure on the QB to rcduce the timc he has to hold FIOUBEI 8 Fronr4 passrushrechniques o I t" " Y B rt /a)a r-) Ai\ TE MB lc o -Qc) OIC Cb r 0/c a\ a----E ttt tt or. we spend a good deal of workout time on one-on-onecoveragewith the wido receivels. The r hird phasp n ofr pa.surc on the QB with the follr-rnan rush in the odd alignment. "flpcriv. we often beatoflensivetackl€son th e passrush with speed andquickness. we usually zone3-de€protating with four second. we believe in using a base defense concept that is most adaptable tn your personnel.l clo E :l c 1o ilc c) I / I (\) I -\ \4 [ \ ETTE .13 instead ofthe 50. and dumps to i.We are aligred in a balanced rush and these four get a great deal ofrepetition in pass rushine techniques.e.. i Ihe bali. the secondary.Becauseofthe type ofathlete we recruit lor defensiveend.tff is .Becauseofthis.We also play somecombinationmanand zon€as well as zonedropswith our LBs. Regadless ofthe alignment. In other words he will play nar on rhF u. we have useda number ofcovemges and chanse-ups. This is easy to teach and very effectiveveNus draws. stajang in th .:utiu di^. and that is basedupon teachingrcsponsibitities and sound p nciples. .Our strong safetywillwork undemeath the wide recervero! the lwu rc.Fi\pr hidp.

I .. and blitz€s. . This can tunction as part of their conditioning. Perform adef€nsiveteam pursuitdrill daily . and man/ zone combinations and also a va ety of twists. work each position on sometype oftackling drill daily. qiii: . Eagte Defense In our Eagle front. and we do coacha sound fundamental package. we try to take away the bread and butter ofour opponent. momentum. t€ach.stress. huddJe. lve want to cash in. Third. Following arc a few practice proceduresused by our staffto str€ss our aggressiveplay. have the defense pursue (sprint) to wherc the ball endsup. attacking as we read. emotional defensethat has all 11 playels makjng an effolt to get to the ball.we want to disrupt their flow. and emotion that rdll workto oul advantage. fi'ustrat€ them. if done properly. liii i. We want them to have a defensivementality to go find the football. Using a Multiple Attack Defense PAULTIDWELL t : : : \ it* :IiIi{} t. r .s. Our defensivegarne plan is simple. During our pass skelly and team periods. ii i r : Eagle lront gap responsibilitios We have an aggressive"go-get-'em. we want an offensethat can put points on the board. breal! and thenjoeback to LOS. FIGUBE I o o J=wi c *c l"c'cc9bic" r o ' ce ( E r N + E Wp sr\.TEAMDEFE}-SE 9. Wlat are their frve best running plays? What are their five best passing plays?What do we ne€d to do to stop these? Second. If our defenseis creating turnovers and establishing good field position for the offensa. it ii{ : ! B* . Include a five-minute block called our "tum. We and coach this attitud€ to our players. turnovers. but more than that we want a swalrning.::* 1it. Q . and the 4-6. madman."attacking philosophyon defense. FIOUBE 2 c c FS Defensive Packages We basically have thrce fronts with reductions andadjustments offeach one:an Eagle front. .X's and O's are very important. the 50 ftont. stunts. we're able to line up and run a var'iety of coverages:zone. Our defenseis gap control. : !iilrr l: i. By coachingan aggressiveattack defense Ne'll create confusion. Fimt. 7 '"\-" \FS ^1 /" f. . I . Figure l showsanexampte of our gap responsibilities versus a run to tbe sbongside. Figurc 2 shows an example of attacking type coverage.

With both backs out the weakEide.96 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES An adjustment otr this is to dmp the Wilie backer in undemeath coverage (dog the circle) as a free def€nder He rcads TE.t I /. With a few personnel changes and adjuBtm€nts to our safety position. Sam backer is fre€. backs out. In Figure Bb you se€ how this defense reacts to an I-formation or brown fonnation where both backs rclease out the same sid€.-. \ o r.sus run ol C . In our 50 front.-. O" \+^tiitr+. Figure 5 showB Ul. We're still gap conhol and our defense is on the offensive. man/man. FIOUBE 4 Atlacklng defen€€ve. and put a nickel back in. taKen Willie out. FIGURE 6 Doubro wing/singte back c ' [ \--l . we've reduced down. N I E wpr \r r \\.\ / C\ 1! V V lN sa ' F5 El w Wi FIGUBE 3A FIOUBE 5 Man coverag€of 50 delens€ O O_ l I O c c /Ht.l ]\Y wPi N O c FS . and looks to take away the intemediate routes (see Figule 3a). quick slants.4 N \E.. Figure 4 shows a more aggressive scheme that can be called for short-yadage situations or for a passing down where presBureis desircd.we'rc still able togetpressure up front. We stilt have the capabitity to reduce. mar/zone combo. We catr rur this with a man free or shaight mar/man (as rn Figure 6) fteeing the Sam backer to btitz by putting the liee safety on the fuuback. We'll double read this with our inside backels and switch responsibilities. Teams that run t ps./ \L/ i I Wi .'l FS J' c c c '--FREE c c !rnee FIGUBE Lyl" 3s d"r"o"ln* s"'tlr"t'"" an example ofour 50 defense and a lllan/mm coverage./ Sa i- 50 Delenae Our 50 front also allows us a wide variety of different oplionb and coverages $irh ontJ minor adjustments.)l r rl\\-. and spread for mations with single back or no-back offenses will try to get mismatches(LBs on receivers).and use our up-front games. doubles.Willie backer now becomesa man defender./l fl1 {/-\l \-. zone. Figure 6 shows a double-wing with a single back.

inas. showblitz again. 4-6 Delense Our third front is a simplified4-6 rhar is primarily used against a predominantly passing team orin passingsituations (seeFigure 8). bring different playels..-. 1990 Prteed. The two corners will also cheat up and slightly in to sive them a greater advantage. .uell is hedd codch at Snow Collzee (UT).) tU v\_llv\rl I r N/r wp Sir Y I i cNi ssc FS ? A secondary blitz that's used again8t certain teams and in certain situations is a corner blitz (seeFigue 7).TEAMDEFENSE 97 FIGURE ColnerbliE in 50 deiense 7 IIGUBE 8 Deferue in man-io<nancoverag€ C O c C s. Our rules and adjustments on defense arc simpie and allow u3 to ke€p th€ per€onnel we want in the game without a lot of Bubstitution. but then &op back in a 3-deepor 2-deep zone. but still not give away the blitz.lv . CMh nd. attack one play out ofa 4-6. This blitz has been successful every time we've used it. looking for delays and screens. These defenses also allow us to run nickel and dime packages as well as our zone coverag€.We'll close up to the RBs with our Btrong safety ifthey stay in to block. Our purpose on defense is to creat€ diferent looke. We want to contuse the pre-snap reads as much as possibl€ and make blocking schem€s aE difficult as possible. The two safeties will cheat over and cover the X and Z man-toman.thenline up in an Eagle. /-\ -. It is run out ofa CV-2 man under look or a CV-2 zone look. ^ lr AlrYtA.

By working against each other your offense becomes accustomed to pre"sure. .and challengethem to adjust to our various types ofpressures. minimvm technique. can really affect your offense. We wo[ld like to present the oflensea number ofdifferent looks but. 2. . is it reasonableto expect the defenseto show up week after week and play steady comistent defense. weather conditions. we'd rather dictate to them. Beforc you can be good. phy is not one of "bend but don't break.ith a pressure pa. make inem limittheir offense. Instead. A prcssure pachage on d. Timing. you must have high standards for youl defense and notbe satisfieduntil you r€ach them. i fi B i f + { :. Every offensive coach has different blocking schemes. 5. on the chalkboard. and motions that ofens€a ca! rur. keep our teaching to a 6.You always have to coach yo(rl defensive t€am that they ure the onesthat win ballgames. and blitz adjust type routes which they can. Belieoe that big defense uins big gom€s. so they reducethe number of plays lor th€ game plan.ard. formations. 7. t etc.efense helps Jour of{:nse." but rather "seek out and destmy. Set high stand. Know what good defense is.s.e. SLOCUMwru BOB DAVIE $ l l l .98 FOOTBALLCOACHING STRATEGIES i * . ev€ry player that you put on the field can give all-out effort and chasethe football. Deoelop an unselfish attitud. ighr man covprages. It limits opponents' offezse." We never want to line up and try to rcact to all ofthe difrerent plays. Dictate offense u.Aage. ll l1i1} $r : s$. Your coverageis only as good as your pass r-ush. 4. 3."That's becauseour philoso. hot receivers. We want to see if they can do those things on the field.etc. We do thiB for several reasons: . Get all plarers to proy tdrd.You're o y as good as your weakest link. No matrer what his ability level.t:ii rriii ii litQallii:$i+ *19*1|r i l ! OuI playem have nicknamed oul defensiveunit the "Wrecking Crew.\ot car\'t have stars on your defense and be successful.arrd your pass rllsh is only as good as your coverage. at the same time. Use multiple fTonts and. . i $ b$ 1 111 ? f t ! The Wrecking Grew Defense R..C. Offensrve coachesget concernedthat they can't block all ofyour fronts or pick up ati of your blitzes. but if you havc a sound defensive philosophy. A Dozen Keys to Defense Here arc 12 things that lead to succ€sson the defensiv€side ofthe ball.use ro counter anlthing yorl can do as a defensive coach.

we'd simply change the seconddigit putting the €nd in a 3 technique (see Figur€ 3). your game plan is a preliminary game plan. It's fun for the pLayerc. "It's not the bad things that happen to you that arc important. . Doa't oaerload pldyeft mentally.ts""situ&tion prate. coverages. but try to keep terminology simpte and easy to undeBtand. the defense has the best opportunity to prove theit character. Maitutain poise. The OLB would know automatically to squeeze down to a 5 ifthe end is kicked down. IICURE C CCCTCC B E NE s Ifwe wanted to play a rcduced defens€to the split end side. . The front will atign to the strength ofoffense's |unning formation (TE side). At this time. The baseis to playhim heads or in a 0 technique (seeFig:ure2). manv people think of our blitz and shaight man cover' age package. It allows plav€rs to have Bomeperconality andto us€ the abilities rhal they have ro makp big plays.but he might be able to go in and play man-toman coverage. 12. we apply pressurc through OLB stunts. with both ends playing a 4 technique. I tFIGURE . the more your playem should look forward to it. and ILB stunts. but how you react to tbose things. Be surc that all of your adjustments and checks are simple enough that Your players can execut€ them on the field g.s lookingfor wa)s to prpssure taking the pressureoffour s€condary.TL!\l DEF1\-. It s important to take the talent in you hav€ and to try to use it efTectiv€ly gam€ situation."s. the bigger the challenge. . The bigger the game. ilneeded and yet drop eight in coverage.We feel comfortable using all-out but blitzes and blitz coverage. We like our fourth rusher to be a speedrush€r (OLB). In our four-man pressurc package with zone coverage.rters as indiniduala and with 10' Haae fun. 1 1. a corner a may not know tbe entfue defense.:: J: . The first digit of the call tells end to the stiong call where to align.ln realrtv. Setting the Frcnt We like to be multiple. Be flerible in the g. We're able to play all 4-3 ftonts.t trz pl&tu. Treat pl. Pressure Defensive Packages In talking about our pressure defens€. It's easier to find four quality LB t}?e players as opposed to four alown linemen. th€ second digit te1ls end away from call where to alien. Look folward to the big game. We think ifs critical that the front gets aligned quickly and properry. based on a shong calt by the inside LB. but keeping it on opposingollenses using a tourWe attempt to pressure ofTenses man rush and playing zone covemgeb€hind it. Itis basedupon what your opponent has done in the gamesprior to your game."r*s C COCTCC B E N "- EB s In 44. It's flexible. there are several things we can do with the nose. Utilize indiaidual t&lzr. Be rcady during the coufte ofyour game to evaluate their plan and adjust yotus if Our base defensive package is a 3-4-l ah:n' ment for three reasons: . We often say." S. Bad things will happenl You must prcpare your defensive team that in the coumeofthe ballgame it is not unusual for an offense to tum the ball over. probably don't use it as much as peopte might think We're alwavs and mir our offens. Our noseguard will slide automatically and shadeto the 5 technique (seeFigue 1). For example. line stunts. 2 r.. We always tell the front where to align fiIst. pitting a smalle4 quicker rusher versus a big offensivetackle. 7.

Il we choose to have the fourth rusher weak.L COACHING STRATEGIES FIGURI 3 $-srronq left C COO!CC BENEB S Setting the Coveage Now that we have the front set. The end wiu run inside on snap using a dip technique. it's simple to incorporat€pressule out ofour base zone coverage concepts. To assurc us ofgetting a fourth rusher and lockinghim into the op€n end side.-B /sw E a) a) a nr /-) r-\\\ \_-/ \-/ \__/ L \_. One of our favorites is called Wk Xit (see Figure 7).ith N. by double-digiting our coverageit s simpl€ to rncorporat€ line stunts that are good for run and pass. it's t€lling the nose to go frrst in the weak A and the end ro now . The change-up of 53 Twisi is 53 Nest. TIGUHE 4 C . Any motion creating change offormation will be handled by the secondary and will change the coverage.8". The nose will read the centels block and will twist unless he gets reach blocked. the OLB is free to come uJlder all blockers and the defensive end is responsible lor all contain situations. In tbis prcssure stunt.' we're telling our end (tackle in man fiont) to go fiIst (see Figure 8). We'll play cover 1 to a pro set (see Figure 4).well call two coverage calls in the huddle. well play the fiIst digit vemus a pro formation and second digit versus slot or twins. C c CO 1 Btw Ns E a Applying Pressure Once we have our four-nan rush in place and know where our fourth rusher is coming uon. the Becondary gets aligned basedon the covemges called.the numb€red coveragesare zone and the coloredare rnan. The front and rusher will stay locked in (seeFigurc 6). we will play a zone to the twins allowing the OLB on that side to rush (seeFigure 5)- FIGUBE 5 C C c 1t3 CO BENEB\ WS \ FS / CCT C C O SS . g F IGURE l L i. By caling "53 Twist.3 r "Rr e1 "l. B€causenest begins{./ L/ N EB -a) () ^\--l ti C c 1t 4 c SS FIGURE 7 1t4 FS Ifwe get a twin or slot set. A base coveragefor us would be cover 1/3. We\e had a lot ofsuccesswith a twist stunt involving the nose and end..In our package.lC c 113 1t3 Since we're in our four-man lush package.1OO FOOTBAI.



53 Twist{over-1l3-sirong |etr


53 will-coveFl/3-si.ong left




::e next four-man presBurewe uBeout of our 'i.: packageis to plug one of our ILBS. If we - .:.e ro plugwill,we'll simpty call out his name, : ;3 Will"cover 1/3, shown in Fisue 9. The -


OLB to Will's side replaceshim on his pass drop (unless sprint-out pass). We put a premirm on keeping it simple and having all of our terrninology and packages tied togeth€r. But also realize that .r/lo, you play is not as important as lro.u you play it. That's what makes the difference between winning or losing.

: ..) Pr@eed.inss.Coach Slocun is head c@ch at Tetus A&M Uniue.sitr. C@ch DaDie is defensiLJe c@rd.inator at ' ,tLercit\ of Notre Dame.

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The Eagle Defense
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i - :e a 50 shade defense,but there are some - --:le differencesin bow we play the 50 shade : r:iage as comparedto most progmms. Fi$t, we , . trls play our strcng safety on the Eagle side. >:rnd, we align the Eagle look where we want .\'e feel that with these two concepts integrated - :: ou. sc}lem€,we can better deploy our per. :1e1 and achieve the defemive look we want and =Jnst oul opponenh. With these conceptE .. .re very good athletes, our defeme has been :.:e to accomplishits objectives.Our defemive ,. .ct;ves atcn't much al;fferentfrofi most prcare: -.-::.. Those objectiveB . . . . . Conhol the opponent'srunning game. Forcethe opponentinto pass situations. Prevent the long run or pass. Scoreor set up a score. Keep the opponentfrom scodng. long-yardagepass situations. ThiB is ahigh-risk, low-percentage situation for the olfense the t]?e of situation wh€re the defenseis in control. We believ€ in the "gap contrcl theory" of defense. We warlt each man in our defensive ftont to be responsiblefor €onholling one gap. Each gap and the correspondingtechniques that our front peopleplay are numbered accordingto the numbering system made lamous at Alabama by CoachBear Bryant (s€eFieure 1).

967 54 321

Gap nu'',be ng systen


123 45 769

$'e emphasize the first objective-to contml : :. opponents rundng game. If we control the -:.nlng attack, w€ can force the oppon€nt into

We want simplicity and repetition in everything we do. If we're goine to ask our ftont people to contuol a gap, then we want to teach them the simplest and most effective way to control that gap. We do this bJ asking our fiont people to piay


with their hands in order to defeat one side of a blocker. It'.seasier to conbol one side ofthe blocker rather than to play head-up and work to the playsid€ gap. By leaching the use ofhands to deleat a block, we can play on either the inside oroutside balfof the blocker. This allows us to switch pemonnel from right to left or vice v€rsa.Also, by teaching the same technique, we can improve our fundamental techniques and increase our repetitions at recognizingblocking schem€s. Besideskeeping our fundamental technitues to a minimum, we align in one basic front-the Eagle defense.We do this in ord€r to eliminate miEtakesand the chanceolthe long n]n or pass (objective#3). Teaching from one basic ftont al iows us to spend more time in practice def€nding thos€ plays we must stop, plus it afords us morc time to work on adjustments, special plays, stunts, gam€ situations, etc.

The Eagle linebacker aligns in the ofiensive tacki€-guad area with one set of key reads and He eap responsibilitieE. never has to take on the tackle's block. He's the alley player with flow to him, or he runs to the 1 gap with flow away from him. The stmng safety is a I gap player with contain responsibility versus the iun to him and flat responsibility versus pass. The T-N-TShave their respectiv€gaps to contml. Thetackles piay a 5,3, and4 techniquewhite th€ nosetackleplays a shade 0 technique on the Our drop end iE another stlong safety cxcep! he must leam to play 9 technique v€$us a tight end to his side. The drop end will playiust like a SS when he is aligTled a splitend side. He has on contain responsibilityversus run and flat respon, sibitity versus pass.

Setting Up the Eagle Defense
Our method ofplayins the Easlc or 50 shade delense is technically the sam€ as most proglams, but we differ in our alignment ofthe Eagie-side personneland how we deploy our defensiv€front. We always align our shong safety,Eagle end, and Eagle-sidelinebacker togethex We then de clare where we want the Eagle side of our de fense by making a directional call 6uch as,,Field or Sholt Eagl€,""StrongorWeah Eagle,,, or,,Tight or Split Eagle."Wealien our Eagle front ve$us a tight end side and a split end side (s€eFigwe 2).

The Eagle Front
Every offensehas tendencies.It is our defensile staf's responsibility to find those iendenciesand dcqienour gamc plan ac(ordingly. dete|-lnrn. We which defensivelook will present our opponerrL with the most difficultt either th€ 50 shade look or the Eagle look. We then attempt to deploy the parrrcular lookthar'.besrsuiredroour opponcnr'. tendencies.Those tendenciescould be to run er, ther to the field or the boundary,to the tight eno or split end side, or to the fomation's strortssror


Fietd or Short Eagte
Eagle aligdmenrs versussptit €nd side (a),versusrjghtend side (b)


If wa find that our opponent has a strong terl d€ncy to run to the fietd orto run into the bounc ary, we simply call "Field Eagle"or"Short Eagi€' dependingon which look we want to the field. In Figure 3 we have declared Field Eagt: Therefor€,we expect our opponentto attack oL. Eagle look. Ifwe want our opponentsto run at our 50looi we ihen call Shorl Eagle as diagramm€d in Frg.



C Otr OC C

Strong or Weak Eagte
W}len the ball is in the middle ofthe frelo u, : the hash mark, and we find that the offonseh!. a tendencyto run to the formation side, w€ rhf: call either "Strong Eagle" or "Weak Easle,' C.. pending whrchlookw. wcnt on thF strnnq-c on (2'receiver side; seeFisure 5).

Our Eagle end will leam to play basically rwo t€chniques-a 7 techniquevcrsus atightend and a 5 technique on an off€nsive tackle on the split end side.


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fight or Sp,it Eagte
v€rsuslight end side FieldEagle (a),versusspritendsitt€(b)



Ifwe find that a team lik€s to run the tight end side, we can call "Tisht Eagle" or "Spiit Easle," onceagain dependingon which look we want (see Figure 6). Just as with the ShongEagl€ or Weak Eagle cals, we can align the Eagle look or the 50 look to the split end side by making the same fight Eagle or Split Eagle calls. In today's game of defensiv€football, everyone is concemedwith adjustments to motion and to shilts. We ask only our front peopleto adjust to a tight end or split €nd alignment, while our secondary handles all changesof strength.
TightEagle(a), SplitEaqle(b)

versusrightend side Siorl Eagle (a),vsrsussplirendside (b)




c ooo rcc
(b) StronsE.sle (a),W€akEagle



Eagle Advantages
Let me reyiew with you why we deploy our delensive front as we do: . Wecall ral{aadvanlaCF ofotrensire r€ndencjps. . We deterrnine where we want our front to align;the offensecannot dictat€ to us where to align. . We can get the personnelmatchup we want. . We can adjust to changing game-situations. We don't add fronts or stunts to stop an opponent'sattack. We simply frnd out where our opponentis tryingto attackus, and then we make the appropriate directional calls, thus getting the 50 or Eagle look where we Overall, w€'ve derived rnany benefits from playing the 50 shade d€fenseth e way we do. These benefitsinclud€ nexibility to make proper adjustments in personnel, alignments, and coverages. and the simplicity oflearningthe overall scbeme and particular techniques.

OC C tr C C

CC O tr OC
Obviously, if the offense has a tendency to run w€akside,we can make the sarnecalls to get the 50 or th€ Eagle look on the weakside.

Coach Doolc] bas head coach at viryinia Tbch. 1985 Pr@eed.ingN.


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Adjusting the Eagle Defense
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Our defensivephilosophyemphasizesthe importance of hustle and pumuit. We grade our players'pursuit with the objectiveol reaching a 907r grade as a def€nsive unit. W€ want 11 players to the ball on ev€ry play. When we talk about our defensiveteam s performance,we do not talk about points the upponent scored-we talk about our pursuit erade. We str$s great pusuit on every play of €very prac_ tice, and we expect results. Now, we're not foolish enough to think pumuit is the onty thing a defense has to do welt to be a success. also drill the tundamentals,the same We as every other pmgram in the country. We are very particular about our technical play, and our players have devetoped goodtechnique. We're constantly referring to SAKRA f with the defensiveteam. This acronj.m stands for stance, alignment, key read,assignment,technique Our Eagle package begins with the most basic, the Stlons Eagle, shown in Fisures 1 and 2 versus lhe pi"o and lwins lormarions. respc.rr! ely

.) (_)

StrongEagle versusrwins


ocroo o





StrongEagle vorsuspro

c ccc9co



Although we do this for only short periods, it has proven to be most beneficial. To keep this important part oloul package from becoming predictable, we always employ movement in our defensiveline. This is a rcsidue of our old Okie defensesand has its roots ir the "thrce-way-go" principle. Thcsemovemcnts helpro solidifyrhe otTFnsive line schemesand usually keep them honest in tbeir design. Our one-man movementsare used most ft€quently, and obyiously are the foundation for any multiple movements.Each position player has several movements to learn and ex, ecute. Knife, tag, and frrc in are examples lsee Fisure 3).



Knile(a),1a9 Q),lire ln (c)


n/1r\--l t- r /-\ L \




We work this base front ftequently and drili on a daily basis the techniques for success. We belreve thar rhp dFvelopmenl lhe techniques of will progr€ssat a late relative to th€ level ofprac, t1ce comp€tition. Therefore, early in spring and fall practice periods, we oft€n work our fiIst defense against the first offense in group sessrons.

However, movement on our defensive ftoni was not enough to keep offensesliom locking us into a desirable look. Opporents understood our d€sign and found ways to attack us. So, we've moved the noseguard from his usual alignment over the center to a shade look over the offensive guard.

The addition of the check sFtem to our package has been very beneficial.' 4 FIGURE 4 J( CO -r}-----. FIGUBE5l ch. We alBoincorporate this same concept when we're working or pumuit drills.d (-.. This co'r bination of packages has been effective.r_ 6 B CC With this basic adjustment.]CCC E T B N>N T>T ? C C T B C C N cFS'FSc FIGUREl ch*k"". which have be€n effective for us from tim€ to time._". . :-a I . but ot' fensive motions and shift.*"""*". Our coaches work exceptionallyhard at teaching our athletes our package."k . Our check system has kept us from being predictable by alignment and it combats tight end flip and zeemotion (seeFigures 5 and 6).. and great puruuit within our team 1989 Prcceed. and puts us into a 40 defense.which is a completely difTercnt part ofour package (see Figure 4). high efrciency. and their tecbniques. We'll change the coverage checks sithin this part ofour game plan and underutand $e mustbe sharpwilh our recognition oflhe various formations and adjustments. When we first started this part of our package.This has allowed our defensive playeD to perform with much confdence.we felt we neededto find a way to keep the chalk in orr hands. To inBure ermr- O C C IC C C E T N>N T>TE.\ SSBBE C FS--+ C+ free play.C@ch Hager is hea<l coach at North Ddkota State Uniursit!. we nol{ drill the €ntire delense for 25 to 30 minutes per week on formation recognition only.ihgs.the fundamentals.CCCL-. It has enabled our secondary t play nearly any coveragevenus any formation. we have the flexibility to use pro-style lin€ stunts." Irht .ip ""r ".we made frequent mistakes.TEAMDEFENSE 105 This is a common adjuBtment made by Eagle teams.s can still lock us into one look or anothex To comp€te against sophisticated audibl€ syst€ms..

-manprinciple encompasse: (veer.. protecting the hit man rs a priority. they wantad isolation on the come! where the quafterback could rcad pitch or keep. the.. In 1973. When applied successfutly..For )pars. ).e our get 7:6 ratio and hit-man principle. Stopping the Run With a 7:6 Advantage . I was fortunate enoughto work with somoourstanding athletes at the University ofOktahoma during 1970to 1973. we ppi a 7 6 rario vprsusrhe rLn nrnBgam. with the exceptionofthe defensiveend and the secondary run support."ix defende$. This type ofpdn- .: :r:'. and Roderick Shoate. and onehit man.We had players such as the Selmon brothers. they had the advantage.':.. 106 We feelthat the hil.as shown in Figurc 2.ned ro. $herhpr il be the 5-2. Sugar Bear Hamilton.and in most conferences. They felt that any timc they got the 3:2 ratio.1\.l-3.. our designatedhit man is the weakside lin€- Seven-on-Six Advantage We'relookingfora sjmilar advantag€with our hit-man principle.ive coaches talk about how th€y wanted to eet a 3:2 ratio with their option offense. the first thing vou n€ed to stop is the mnning 8a!re.. Sometimes.4. Our defenseis set up to stop the running tsane and force the opposingoffenseto throw the football. or the 6-1. FIOURE I In dll oluur "chemFs.hap aI the various blocking schemes and equalizesthe offensiveoption ratio back to 3:3. JIMMYJOHNSON I t I t I In setting up a defbnsivoscheme. so we could be highly successfu) by being very basic and takingfull advantage ofthe talent w€ had. I had l"r.. The hit man's only rule is that he operatesup and do"'n the line ofscdmmage. Therefore.. I'd like to give you a litUe background on how we go about it. We do this with wbat we call the "hit-man pdnciple. He must be aware that ro ole will blockhimbecause he'sprotectedandhe is to make the tackle. Ir atso gives th€ defensean cxtra man ver sus the basic running attack. He must not be committed toward the lin€ of scrimmage until h€ seesthe football. Against most t€ams... wheie we didn't have the same type oftalont and we hadtocome tlp with somethingto support our defen"e.I wenl to the Univcrsity ofArkansas."Wedeveloped this type of delensefrom coaching at various univ€rsities through the years.you first need to analyze what you need to stop offensively. Various blocking sch€meswere set up to veer evertthine to the inside.zone.in other words.t:. ln FiB ure 1 you can seethat in oor 50 defensowe tre arp r situdrion qrt\ si\ olTan"i\pblockpr. depending on the reaction ofthe defensiveend and secondary lun support. In ord€r to do this we must play basically head-up alignments and must avoid stunting or running around blocks.ffen.

Prctect your hit man. . The 3 technique must never get reached by the guard and must always force the futlback to cut back inside him (seeFigure 1). there is a need to stunt and force something to happen. --. must be prcparcd to never g€t cut offinside and to help on the lullback winding back.::: alerstand his rcsponsibility and how the offense can attack him. '{hich gives us the flexibility to slide into difier. he ent blocking schemes. It's very important when playing a Wishbone r€am to understand the importance of the full' back play in correlation to the success of the o{fense-The fullback is the wishbone's starting point.youll force the ollense to use blockthat will hetp ftee up your linebackers ing schemes We'll usually play a 3 technique to the tight end and a 1 technique weaksid€.0 Praceedinss. not nodh and .*" FB r""rd. flcuBE I l-. Yr E SM ) a * )z- C .s F ' !n. We play with four down defensive linemen.r.entage for negative plays and tumovers to the idvantage ofthe def€nsiveside.each must un- r' FIGURI l'. Against a Charlie block (see Figure 2). . When efending the Wishbone out of an even front.* ""*""ch". Our philosophy against the \fishbone is to slow it down and force the oppo:ren! to drive as long and as far as possible on forcing the offenseto executeas :ach possession.The 4-3 even front gives us the best ad\ antage in taking away the fulback and slowing down the Wishbone.EMPHASIS DEFENSE 107 ON :::. nuch of the triple option as possible.and ir also must be yours as a defensive ::."h"h". where the center Linemen Responsibilities Our tackles cover the guards and play 6 incheg ofl the batl. put somepoints on the board. . it puts the per_ ...r' F ... By forcing total elecution.-a- €l C C OINC r.: :oo many coaches unalerestimate the Wishbone :nack s complexity becausethe ball is not throv'n l0 times a game.-* The 1 technique can expect one of two differAgainst man blocking.. !. but this scheme gives you a sound defense to work from.Io'" 2 b. This allows us to crowd the football as much as possible and get penetration in the backfieldto disr-uptthe mesh point between the quarterback and tullback handofl By getting this penetration.We try to :rake them run east snd west. CNch Jahnson is head coach for the Miani Dolphins Stopping the Wishbone DAVE WANNSTEDT l.At times. we start by covering the guards and use our 4-3 rcheme.nt fronts without changing personnel.e can be used in whatever d€lensive scheme : : play as long as the front six read and control _..outh.TI h==-r'l ---''C CCOtr\PC . and you'll comeout on top.: on-oneblocks and you protect your hit man :a=nsivelyyou have to be patient and disciplined : i ler rhe offcnsemake the mistake." + ^=-Y-. t .

CoachWannsterltis head coach for the Chicaso Beaft. slop rhe Wishro bone dive effectjv€ly. the defens€suf_ fers. ti onal r-unning ofense. FIGUIE 6 LB versus weak ftow t9u8 Sumtner Manud. AI_ thouCh rhiqschpmp rougher rhe I rechniquc. FIGUBE 3 <-^=*4\) ( ) MLB fofcs al LOS -p" 9 cp ^tr? Q c -t sM<-w Iftheyhandthe balt offstronssjde. rj on its an easier rcad for the middle linebacker and should put him in a better position to make the play on the luilback.The minute he gets too concerned about the other phases of the optron game. The middle linebacker's only reEponsibility. V€Nus the Wishbone.rniqreto foo cover (se€Figure 4). bu1 also rechnrquc-wrse. Zuery play. If he'stoo soft or aligned too d€€p. the quarterback or pjtch. we have his toes at 5 yards. he mustbe in position with his outsid€ alm fr€e to make the tackle.must b€ withgelung the fullback. FIGURE 4 r---.kpeping rs oulsidcann fre€.rhp middlplinebrckcrmust bearLhe cenrer and make i\U th€ tackle in the B gap. If flo$ gnes wpak or 10 rhe 1 rp. t)lockrl. up ing I he-( enter. musr sr_ep a r rack h.not only 6cheme_ $ise. especially if he gets tied up with defeating the cFnrer's block. .He musr kcyIhefu back.108 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIXS blocks back and the guard pul16for the middte linebacker.he must not be jn too big ofa hurry m cross the face of th€ centex We want to squ€eze thp centerinru rhc huleas much a" possibte.Ifflowgocssrrong ur to rhc 3 technique. again forcing the cutback by not get_ ting st.hnique. and histotal concentration.This is somewhattougher. we'Il tighten him up to 3 yards from the ball.. Nonnally.t}le cut_ back lane becomes big for the 1 t€cl.c -c) C Linebacker Responsibilities We play our middle linebackera litde tishter versus the Wishbon€ than we do against a corven.Its imponanl thaLthe tkchnique gets lenetration (see Figure 6) and doesn't get knocked back into the scraping path ofthe middle linebacker The two tackles and middte linebacker n an €ven front must work togeth€r. he muot sL^ep and atrack the guard in up tbe same manner as he would the center or a base block.etched (seeFisure 5).and rry h to lbrce the fullback to commit behind him (see Fieurc 3). IfnowgucsrorheSlechniqueand IheyCharlie .

and determine what technique to to rjc accorahng his assjgnment and play confron:. To me it ap-: .I'he wide split forces the tackle to jump to the outside. I like to ref€r to a tinebacker'spass rush as a blitz becausethen everyoneknows that his responsibility js to make a maximum effort to get to the quaterback. Thus.HrFpassblil z responsibitiry ayscal-rics a contain assigllment. it Getting Linebackers to the Point of Attack DENNIS GREEN . Ifwhen rushine. The advantage that the weak outside linebacker has when rushing against an offenstve tackle is that he can get as much $ridth as he wants. Before the outside linebacker €an ef€ctively forcethe quarterback. A/-_\ n hnF ah\ M l( ) | r. i i i : i : . toward the quarteftack (seeFigu€ 3) and squeeze This can be a probl€m because3(l often thes€ days delensive players are taught to play vith their hands only. 'there the Let's stad with the linebacker responsibilities. t Q li. EW W -Y"t '" Y \ N B E I don't feel that enough emphasisis placed on the linebacker's ability to get to the quarte$ack Remember. drop to an area ofresponsibility.y to beat the offensivetackle up the freld with quicknessotrthe Jineofscrimmage. ! :i F ::!1 1 9 is -l-:ting to the point of attac-E.be m1lsttryto get to a spot up the freld. the outside linebacker has to blitz.EMPIIASIS ON DEFENSE 109 : t X : I . and then to attack. t i! . the weak outside linebacker is conlionted by a back.i. The inside linebacker has to rcad his key. I i: : "1 . Too many times the outside linebacker does not aim for a point that is deep enough to force the quarterback to step up into the pocket. The backer and go incrn now rr) b use a swim technique or use the inside arm to throw him to the side outside. Linebackers Versus the Pass \orr I want to deal frlst with the ml€ that a linenackercan play against the pass. One approach :s to attack from the perim€ter and rush the quarte$ack on his drop. \n outside linebacker has to get out ofhis stance. t ! .i i c!t i6ir a. if the defense is facing a pass play.ad his key. The width allows him the opportunity to t. The backer must make sule that an]'time he goes inside of the tackle... .:: to every defensive player once the ball is :::pped. or cover a man. i .a phms€ we all in discussingdefensivefootball. strike a blow with the inside shoulder. . :ragnosethe play.tion. he has to get his width al$ back. which many times will offset his balance. he has to keep the quade$ack on his inside shoulder as he appliee pressurc. Figurc 1 shows a basic 3-4 defenBewith a weak outsid€ linebacker pass rush The outside linebacker to the tight end side hag the pass rush versus a dropback and sprint-out HGUBE2 l w"*oLBb."r.". and get to the point ofattack.s o1 t A) ( \ f| /-\ \_-/ lr l\ /-\ \_/ r-} \ \ flGURE ll t w""koLB.and never learn io strike a blow . the best technique to use is to fone. as you seein Figure 2. The quarte$ack cannot be altowedto break containment. In this article I'11show how we try to ::: the outsideand inside linebackersto the point ball will be).

Howeve! I believethat the best way for a tinebacker to attack a pass blockff is to let the situation dictat€ htu technique. Film study should tell him whether he is seeing sprint drau or sprint-drawpa6". the quarterback at least has to cut back inside where the inside linebacker shoutd get help ftom purudt (see Figure 5). If the outside linebackers donl apply the pressure in ar Okie defense. fl0uBt 4 r rrB i"""r""dbri' r" Ifthe outside linebacker is not able to contain the quarterback. and he must force the quarrerbackwirh in6idF laverage rhe batt. nose the play.unless the defense is playing some form ofstraight man coverage with the free safety covering one of the .His fusr ke) i. get to his point. The inside linebacker now becomes the contain man. The angle ofthe ball can atso be a facmx . There should be a mismatch with the weak outsidelinebacker rushing againBta halfback. becauBe the fake to the halfback affects both linebackers (see Figure 4). When the quarterback is mmmg a designed pass play to break the contain and challenge the d€fense at the perimete! the inside linebacker must now support. and his second key is rhe ball. whereas a forearm blow can be mor€ explosive and is definitely morc aggressive.and that. Don. For example. then he has to get help from the inside linebackex The inside linebacke.tfhc misses on him.t get me wrors_ Defensive players have to be very proficient at usingtheirhands in this ela offootball. The sprint-draw passplay is the most efective way to do this. Lhegudrd.s the way it should be introduced to the backex The inside linebacker is rarely involved in a pass blitz against the dropback pass. he must precisely read his key and diag. and attack.110 FOOTBAIL COACHING STRATEGIES FIGUBE 3 weak oLB beatingFB btock I ob tr with the forearm shiver. has to make up his mind to support and then attack the quarterback. th€ quarterbacks are going to have too much time to throw. using th€ hands to strike a blow requires a lot ofupper body shength.emaining backs. For the inside linebacker to get to the point of attack.

they have to have at least one defender movirg forward to fiIl th€ area. But t€ams that can consistently win have an effective running attack.At least one linebacker has to be assignedto contain the play and feel that it's his rcsponsibility io attack with leveraee.. For defenseto win ihis battle...By g€tting def€nders to the area wherc the of€nse wants to attack. and contain principles. hp Mtna.EMPHASIS ON DEFENSE 111 FIGUBE 5 FlcuRE r." 6 h o ro Linebackers Versus the Run So far.. fo o o o o r A otrore\ -r I / rl PW / \ ".d ". I view the point of attack as that area where the defensehas to apply pressure with defend198:) Pturppdinp. On r-un plays. This ar€a is where the play is design€d to go. In Figure 6. support. .attacking with his insid€ shoulder and keepinghjs outside arm free.1. cooth Gppn is J. you have a much bett€r chanceofstopping them. and (c) the middle linebacker must -hum. I have talked on)y about pass rush. R( I E: N lvl----> FI0UBE7 l r. you can't be passive and wait and seehow you are going to be blocked. It does not matter if it is a quarl€rback thrcwing from the pocketor sprinting out and challenging the perimeter.rLBoLB ". The team that gets to that arca with the nost peoplehas the best chancefor success. the pointofattackis the otr-tackle (a) area. both th€ middle and outside lineback€rs have to attack in order to turn the play back inside. b)the outside lineback€r has to go meet the fullback as far in the backfield as possible.'. not q art lor him. In Fieure 7.. and alrackthe gxard. and all of the oflensive blocking schemes are designed to get the ball carier thmugh that area.t"d T.soto vibtFL."r. For a defenseto have success the nose guard cannot be hook blocked or scoopblocked.i".pod "oo. For every r-un play there is a d€termined point ofattack.* A RW +|VFi+IJ els.

Keep-inside posir. the better offyou are.e 2)...Atrhough oft \ ere rocusrng the positionof rhe defensive on backs. it's important to understand that the fmnt peoplemusr remain on their feel and oursue wirh goodangles to allo\a rhe delensivebacksr. .*$& It is our belief that the most important thing ar.g. . .t. Be the last man io make play. T. AJI eecond_ ary coverages will be designed to funnet the ball into areas where the defense wants the ball. ! $! 8{{ | rNt t ttt.ppon. FIOURE O€t€ftive secondary run I supporl wlde ptay defeme Run Support Positioning In primary run sL. . Secondary run support responsibilities ofthe defensive backs are to: . Getting Run Support From the Secondary IIAYDEN FRY TTTT BILL BRASHIER $$*&c$f*xii$$s**xQrtct&.the ptayer responsiblc lbr lal{jngrhe pirchor trorcing wideplay back any to the inside is a defensive back or a delensrve €nd.ion rhe ball as you on approachthe stoveDiD€. the chances for a long nrn are greatlv minimizeal.he quicker you can forc€ the balt into t}le desired areas. If thev understand posirion lhe lhat rheymusr haveanl then-do everything they can do at that position.I 112 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATDGIES r $ ! t. Keep the ball from going inside the plrnary support and back to the outside.f & tfi Et {t f i $. deep in siovepipe or on the boundary (see Figu.oset ro lheir desired position. All defensive secoridarv supporl dependson properpursuit from r.t.out run support is the position that the defen_ Bivebacks assume and keep on the ball. and prevent the ball from getting into NO areas (see Figure 1)..hefronr Wide Play Run Support Obiectives The two main objectives are to funnel the ball into the YES areas. The following diagrams anal comments illus_ t€te the basic principles we try to adhere lo r€_ garilJe63 he covemgewe are using.

. Run Support Example \ow let's look athow the objectivesand position. you have pitch. Play sweep aggr$sively.. You must make play deep in stovepipeor on the boundarv Th€ desired results of primary and secondary . Ifthe TE block down.ng for run suppod apply to an acrual play. Freo safety-Secondary run support. Always keep inside position onba[. you want to keep the bal rn the lTS area andnever allow it in theNO areas (see Figure 4). Weak comer-You're the last man.* 4 c NO ocQtrQQ o YY YES r NO ?a lc Defenden must maintain their initial outBide position to the ball.. Positions move as the stovepipe moves (the . Inside PIay Run Support Obiectives The run support strategy veruus irEide runs ls much the 6ame.support outside on or near LOS. play frrst threat in your area (dive or QB). but the positions obviously change. Strcng sal6ty-For veer call-TE release. If ball bounc€s.against the veer run to th€ shongside seeFigure 3). Play accordingto block you're facing. forcing it iNide or bouncing outside deep. You should be able ro rake a QB kecpingand be in stovepipe on all wide playB..in rhis case. play dump passfirsr. and (b) force ihe ball to bounceoutside deep.r""rd". Again. FIGUREl.. Make approachto ball as you pass the center. Don't let ball inside the primary run support (SS or SE) and back to the outside. The stov€pipe must be squeezed down as much as possible and defenders must still maintain the proper position on the ball.r.rn support are to (a) forc€ the ball inside with eosition on both sides of the stovepipeto make :he ball go perpendicular to LOS. sky according to block you're facing: if the TE blocks down."""". you have pitch.EMP}IASIS DEFENSE I13 ON Delemive €€condary run The defensive run support responsibilitiesand poBition are as follows: Strcng end For veer call-TE release. Stiong coiner-Secondary run support.thensupporlinsidedefcnqive end for first theat.allowing the secrndary run support to make th€ play on or near :he LOS.

hnique.3 Alignment We take our shongside tackle and put him in the gap betweenthe center and guard.The w€akside tackle plays on the outside eye ofthe Btlard. with the weaksidelineba€ker on the outsideIn defense. d . :l ::.we can't coverthe inside gapswith our tackles.3 Front GEORGE PERLES ! ll !li Iit 1 lrill lir lQ * iir . The $ eaksidp js in rhes rcchnjqup. People try to run the inside isolation to our strcng side. . ' . i * I . Good run support is essential for a successfnl defense. . : We run the same type of defensethat I Ian as defensive coordinator of the great Pittsburgh Steeler t€ams-the 4-3 stunting def€nse. ir : .114 FOOTBAI.Normally.W}tat we try to do is give our down tackles a gap and a half each. you greatly reducethe chancesfor a long run or a big play.r is his assistant.{-3. and I don't know many peoplewho use it.We go into an automatic stunt called our "Tom game.L COACHING STR{TEGIES Xs in Figue 5 show how positions move as the ball moves)."In this stunt. What can hurt this theory is the of fense continually running the fullback in th€ in side gap. difIt's Ierent." -i ' F c< 1991Prcceedings.By keeping the ball in the arcas where you want it. 11 g : . The middl€ linebacker is also behind our tackle. li :1 : 11 . He g€tBinto a stancethat allows him to hug the ball. depending on the suppod responsibility. W}len that happ€ns. th€ offense usua]ly doesn't have the personnelor the patienceto do it Stunts WhFn pFopl..we can hug th€ ball as much as we wani. the middle linebacker has two saps.STOVEPIPE] Q^e I L' >x \t xl i iv.they give ur big splitE between the center and guard.ti . so he can't do much about it. The tackt€ gets into an angle charge r. i i . The strong €nd plays a 5 technique on the outside shoulder of ihe ofensive tackle. In the . CoachBrdshi. FIGUBE 5 Insiderun supporlmovement C C C QTQC Sfs . : : .sep$ha' ue are doing. the noseguardhas two gaps. single out on the defensiveend. r $ I i r : l The Stunting 4. They double down on the tackle. bui the defense stitl 4. However. and jsolate the lin€backer Ourcoaching pojnt for the linebacker . we slant ourweakside tackleintoth€ center-guardgap and loop our strongside tackle into the face of the weakside offensiveguard (seeFieure 1). Some people will tell you that you can't play the stunt 4-3 without a Joe crcene. In the odd front. which we call a 2-gap cnd r. 1 ..someonehas to have two gaps. The c€nter can't back off the ball. He keeps his inside leg back to a point wherewe don t worry aboutliningup offside. The strong linebacker eith€r plays head-upor outside the shoulder of the iight end.''.\'ith his rear end in the way of the oflensive guard. We s€idom have those type of people.. Codch Frr is head c@ch dr he Uai])ersitr af loud. i l r I 9 ! i i : : : .

exceptthe outside linebacker comeson the inside slant (seeFigwe 4). There is only one pmblem with penetration. He's stunting into men so that he csn rcad the down block and play the trap (seeFieue 3). In the colleeegame."That simplymeantthat we stacked and shifted to the op€n side of the lbrmation. This gives us great penetmtion becauseof the reach blocking schemerun by the offensiveteam. Il they try to reach the gap tackle and lead the guard up on ihe lineback€r.We call it the three game becauseit is to the weakside. do it on an inside Blant sith peoplecoming to the outside (seeFieure 2).If you are going to pen€trate.We had our three game. he forcesthe back to run into the rcach block of the center or our tackle-an extremely hard block for th€ center. All these stunts are used for fl GU R E 5l.What tha! does is to bring four men into the strong side on a stunt. To the open side we r-un e "ram.ei" ex cellent against the I-forrnation.ith the ball on th€ hash mark. rso' latron. We use the "me" call between th€ weakside end and linebacker. except the defensive end also mns an inside slant. oootrooy \ E-h M-'- O\\l' . flcuRE 41 ".we run the thre" game_ agarnsr isolation game. The stunt tackle jsn't stunting upfield.It is run like the Tom game. andthatis the hap. with the middle lin€back€r on a scrape olYto the outside (seeFigurc 5)." It involves the weakside end and linebacker Th€ end and lin€backer stunt to the inside. and making the running back run into our single-blocked lineman. his technique is differcnt.* FIGURE 2 o oolbbr > '--ft ! :. but now it was called "four game. we defrnitely have a short side as well as an open side of the field. r oo 1 M Another game we run is called"storm.and curbacl running. we developedthe "open scheme. We still had the Tom game. takins on the lullback witb the outside shoulder. By doing this. the ball was in the middle of the field all the time.EMPII{SIS ON DE|E\SE lIi I IIGURE run into the €ven side ofthe def€nse. He takes on the fullback with his outsid€ Ehoulder on a down block.whjch now was run into the strong side of the defense. For this type ofgame. You hav€ to have penetration. FIGURE 3 is to frll the hole. Even \.This delen." This is like the four game. it was always within a few yards ofthe middle. This schemeeliminates tlap blocking./ When we were in the pros. Ihe Alsn." o We have a number of combination stunts that can be run.

open his hips. We drill these thr€e blocks time and time again unlil our tacklesleam how to. W}Ien the cenrer has to snap the ball and block the tackle straight.. \-l ro VLIU.keris readingrh^ triangte ol lhp cen srard. The Iam can b€ run with th€ Tom.To do this. so it b€comes danaerous to splir too much.This isn. The middle line_ backer in this schemestays liee. an abnormal splittoblockthe middle lin€backer We have stunts wh€re both the tackte and line_ back€r comeon a stunt.you give up rhe srrongllal zone.t something that I FtouBE 6l-. The middlc lineba.It hetpsus when we findt€ams thatlike to run the playpass to the strongside(seeFigure 7). FIGURE 7 /-\ r'-\\r1\. Coaches donl like fullbackspickrnsup racklcq. we have the advantage. The ram stunt can be run with a number of other stunts.p. th€ guard blocked dorrn and the fullback picked up th€ stunting tackle.The center can do only thrce things. try to We set away with that to the short side..U t'"--I The "open storm" is good against the play_aclron pass into rh€ strong sid€."One goodthing aboutit was it allowed us to play the I-fomation play pass.t Angled lackle in g.116 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES pen etration. FIGURE S o oooT oo i1 M .technique is on€ of the keys in play_ ing tbis defense.epsto the offense and then loopsto the outsjde while the lineback€r comeson a dowIl slant (seeFigure 6). Itwe catl the "open m€. do In this block. mtddte rineback6rswitches sr.When the glard cur" hib sptil clown prot€ctrhe gap. then one or yourshort pass zonesis Ieft uncovered. and we get big _ plays in the backfi€td. he has to step.ck .eact to them. ThiE confuses the oflensive line. analmove down the line. In the Btunt. we put both tacktesinto Ure saps and let the middle linebacker move ju6t b€fore the snap from one sta€k to the other so that it contusesthe offense as to who's involv€d in the stunt (seeFisure 9).It is difficutt be_ 'rsually (hF causp I acldeis huger the balt in alignmenr.Al times.rhe burr ofthe deten"ivc io tackle is in the euardh way and he can.t get the shop on the linebacker. and the open me. The suard cani rakp ier. however. e"_ 'heir pccrarryrr the rackte is qomeonelike Ernie Holmes. This screwsup the btock_ rng assrgnment. the center slips past the tackle and blocks the middle linebackex Th€ last thing the centercan do is try to r€ach the tackle.And anltime youinvoJveone ofyour outside linebackem in a run stunt." that involves the stronEsideend and tackle. and qB.Thath why we angle the tackle. you cannot penetrate with_ out being coveredfrom th€ back side.The tackles crowd tire ball as close as possible. ng AnolherI hing rheccntercoutd is I hestipblock. fo1lr game.bul we get the presqure and ler the shong salety play both zonesinto the bound_ ary (seeFigule 8). he si. we caled "open. or vou will get bapped. He can block stlaight. When we ran the Tom game. opgrpv t "O L M If w€ wanted to run strongside. FIGUBE 8 ddd troo Remember.

we don't like to run the three game.3 Versus Offensive Sets \\hen we face the hallback set.r. If we face the halfback in the strong set. Therc isn't a coach in this room who will coach his offensive center to disregard the tackle in the playside gap and block back. and any combination of these stunts..'br""tb. The middle linebacker moves into the stack behind the shong end. t^O 13 FIGURE l-oF".It doe€n'tmake any differ€nceifthe offenBe runs away from the stunt. we adjust differently (see Figure 11). The fa€t that the running back is so deep gives us that flexibility When the center tries to reach. The reason is that the halfback can get to the outside too easily and too quickly. The tackl€ loops into an offensive tackle. we're still in good shape. Tom" iB a combination stunt shown in Figur€ 13. We either play the rcgular 4-3 and move the weak safety FIGURE llj. loosensup and the weaksidelin€backer movesto a stack behind the tackle. the morc penetration we will get ftom the back side (see Figure 10). and the end crosses behind and to the inside (see Figure 12)."*". 12 flGUBE rY""*"" IO FIGUBE a9nooo E---T From this defense we have an open Tom. On the weak side. The your call involveg the weakside tackle and weakside end. The adjustment to the split formation involves some automatic stunts. The weakside end fuY^A yyq{--plul We can run the Tom game on formation. This schem€ has been have had an optested. Earl Campbell was a cutback runner. It is the reverse ol the me call. Coaches will not change th€ir blocking scheme to block a stunt.. and the only play we look for to that Bide is the sprint drsw. we use a "youf call. and he avemged 42 yads ru6hing." B oo ^o oo o oortr ET M TE B . The shong tackle lines up in the gap and comes upfreld. before the stunt tackle. If w€ run the Tom game and the offense runs away from the stunt. storm. Our scheme could ppnclral. The weakside tackle comes to head-on the offensive suard. me. We played him ten tim€s while I was with Pittsburyh.'. open four game.. and very great coache6 portunity to beat this defense and came up light.ram. we nake our adjustment with our secondary people.eand keephim fiom culling bacl. 4. The weakEide doesn't have a stiong running attack. this opens the center of the line lor the slant stunts and eliminates the bubble in the middl€ which running backs look for in the cutback.. The turther he reaches. O\ dreamed up last night. Iam. The "open..EMPHASIS OEFE\SL . We don't need to adjust toward the tight end because we are already Btrong that wa)'. The centels rules have him rcaching on that type ofplaj'. If a team plays two tight ends.

the coachingpointsare the same for tbe middle linebacker. FIGURE 15 TIGURE 14 o ooo T( o o B E }T E B M FS A big play peopleare running out ofthe l-formation is the counter sweep with the backside guard and tackle pulling (see Figure 16). FIGUBE l €. The otrensiv€ tackle and tigbt end lun a blocking scheme on our defensiveend that allows the sht end to comeoff and seal our middle linebacker. o Problem Plays for the Stunting 4.*.Caach Perles uas hedd. we go io a reeular 4-3 and run all kinds of stunts with our tackles and ends..IT8 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES into alinebacker position or go to the"open"with the strong safety in the lin€backer position (see Fisure 14).odch d! Mi. With the one back backfield and ihe double tight ends. If the otre back is in the middle.. we aren't going to play the I-formaiion shaieht too oft€n.higdn Stdte UnircBity- .""*" 16 '[ o o\o "r o no =] ] '+M o\ O 191t8 Prcceedings.This is tough on the middle linebackerThe offenseblocks back and pulls the offside guard through the ofl tackl€ hole. we run the stunt 4-3 and play normal.Ifthe tight end is waiting for the linebacker in the offtackle hole.""..". we run the lineba€ker thmugh the euard-tackle gap (seeFigure 15). However.3 The play that gives u3 some trouble is what we call 36 power. If we play itstraight.We have a coachingpoint for the middle linebacker.

somcto avoid mismatches. Slanting Defenses Mostofthe time when we call a slanting defens€. .but the biggest reason we slant is to gain an advantage. a 2. w€ are talking only to our tackles. our call would be Tite/ Field 2 Slant or Tite. W1]enwe are on theboundary.and a 5. we make a freld call (Field Eagle) and when Ne are in the middle ol the freld we make a TE call (Tite Eagle.A variation in our Easle defenseis to play Tit€r'Field2 (seeFigure 3). There are a nunber ofreasons to slant. seeFigue 1). and our weakside linebacker is Rambo (Fifty backer). a 3. ofth€ time. we baseout ofan Eagle defense. We play a hearT He 6 technique. unless we would give him a fire call. i i i r 1 t. so v€rsus two TEs we would be in a 6. Base Defense When we arenotslanting. Tbere js one exception:W}Ien we Blant strong. i. a 5.We hav€ convinced our defensivelinemen that in our Eagle d€fense.r t : i Slanting Defense for an Advantage CHUCKBROYLES .Theirjob is t r keep the LBs free to m ake rackles.We probably slant for those reasonsalso. We play with four down linemen two ends and two tackles. shade.". we put a lot of time and effort into determining the directions we arc going to slant versus padicular offensrve backer). or Tite/field Slant Weak. we may call a s)anting defense almost 507. ib a C gap plaler.. Fmm ihis alienment. We slant only the two tackles. The advantage we wish io gain is slanting our is delensirelin"men rhe dirccrionthc offense 'n running the football.. we will slant our DE wben he is a 5 technique to the shength call. our strongside linebacker its Sam (Eagle oo G OC C qC TJ]^CC IT -T E E B SR .:tti i--8 arq*:r :ri iii We like to move our defensivelinemen. Our call is either Tite/Tield Slant (see Figure 2).:r i.1l f.8. iit i ! i t i i .1 7. FIGURE 2 I TIGURE Ve$us twoTEs. The 2 call noves our shade to a 2 technique..f'ield 2 Slant Weak. ? t .. and a 9. they are role players. our Banditwould be forc€dto play a loose9 technique.othem to get penetration.We usually make only two callg in our Eagle defens€.EMPHASIS ON DEFENSE 119 . Some teams slant to conlirseblocking schemes. Th€refore. We play with foul lin€back€n in our scbeme.Our wideside of the field player is named Gorill a (strong safety). our shortside of the field player is Bandit (dmp end). FIGUBE r!"/Fr. a 3.not the 6 technique. and he i" qo conscious ofthe C gap that we usually do not slant him. In running situations.rd 3l r sr""r Ourbasic alignments for our down linemen in Tite Eagle are a 6.

and r\e widen ctur RamboLb to a q eye. basicalignmcntin Stanrdefenhpisarr.seeFrgurcFr.. F F AJso fromStanrSrack. shown in Fj8ure6.Fh of rhe de|cnsFis arua1" c :".wF wi run a 5n ^. or nose. C rnolesour Ehadc ro a z rcch_ nrque and atso dlcrls our DEq versuh r$o TEs ro p.omcsB ro gap a Stack and Slanr Std.-teet lrkc Rambuonly loops iffio$ iFwpak. sranr $rrh_severai change_ups.L namDoLoop g:r us rwo goodchange up" r.It jq 6imply a change_up ofassiqnmenls oer$een thc 5 tcchnique and thc Ramb. In Slani Slack.urlea" hard.) n /-) z-rF. ib lo rpad rhe grard Hc on rhc morc and adJLr6t his block.tite r jct(iU StantWeak.. weaksrde the 50 start rn up ro prorecr our srronssrd.weg . .. . regardtesq direcrinn of oi flow il .Jon.gap player. a and Rambo Decomes L.. to Our 0 tackh. The r. calt.-81 Slanr caltrn.ln r h."r Rambo becomes he overrap lg*s:-": "yl{ Slanr r-lj. 6s. w.wewouldha\e m grve them a firo call We^do acc?pr excusp. ro I th"n th. rr.n nlqup ro d gap. curoff. not the "Coach.. maApa"Lr"*: Nosecalt. stanted I a^\aay trom theptay.We expectI heqpr.f|e is to rcad rhp cenrer un lh. We rcfpr r..u_^ru c DH o C _ In Slanr defensc. a BF6ide6 TiLeT. ca thiq de_ We lcnsebjmply.see Figurc4.\ playerq o ro sranr.I hrsctelense calledonlJon I he is hashiInere_ . ue pinchour .9"1 prayer..1-lil:1. Ou. q.:.-'.15L 9r.r qe are refernngonlyro rhc rack_ res.i.h FIOUSE 5 50Sranl (Strnr derense) o. mov. b) Bandjt i. wi run StanrSracl \ac _ riamoo Loop /see FigrjrF 7.a .T -lll /se p i su i "5 .andqurckty crord his block with a slanring mooun. Stanl dcfpnse usedontt as iq a boundary defense.Hcbp.-=.TheeBs(unr .rega rdtesq he dirccrion the oft oj sranr we $erc In slant theDEs.. ca .\ould o: nt€r'treldG.120 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES Tf we do nor wanr rwo TEs forcing our Bandrr . our cau $outd bpTite FietdcStant.erhnrquc bccomes B gap pta)er.rdpfFnsa. :r-rDF^::le 9r bpabre pranr ptay ro and ::. q E r-t_-E g ^ vv..praya toose rechnrqLre. l l l 1 " stant wncn.w]lcn c is lh.ard Rambobecon"E eB to pit... C I^O 1 . stant slack helps ub prorecr ihe Rambo oackcr.Slanr.'t.anr Srack4amoo Loop bnngs the Bandil on a eB stunr.Fcnruquc. S.or.. $ant him to WF crowdrlr" cen_ @r. rhiq lcchniqlrFas a snave|. s rF.echnrque. f."{::"91.8.as from I he srrenerh calt. nac( acrossthc taceor usp r-Lr j"ou n_a nd technique Slant Stack A \ ariarion of our Stanr defense rs SIanr Srack.:...i". ir impej-dtive rr rhar our 4 A :i:l* ?y.doasnur har" r6 s16r.iptd our sjanrs.wa "tanr only our iaclles.. Frorn rhis atisnmenr.

. 34. Therc is a lot oftime and preparationthat goes into our slanting defense.un the 50. He still must be an inside-out player If an off€nse gives a wide slot or twift to the freld.ho have added difTerent stunts. New secondary cov€rages have idded to its flexibility.""50 lJ €P T L C\gC qelE N T E ] BB C . W€ must be able to run this defense against anlthing the offense shows us. alignments. FIGUBE 8. The defense has gone through many mod€l rhanges. our call would be Slant NoseiFire/SamLoop (see Figur€ 9). CO C \/t\-) .' : We begin with the Base 50 (seeFisure 1) W€ wanl our player" 1o understand this defen"einside out."*/Fi. Sam would loop and become QB to pitch.rs many other special nam€s given to it by coaches . :. In order t be a succesEtulslanting team. If we want to insule a quick force by our DE.' :' ) : Goaching the Front Seven in the 50 Defense RONSCHIPPER ii$ r r i r t$ . but must slant for an advantage.\gR -r Et ol Slant Nose. and our nosebecomes callsideAgap a the B player. i I ve been a head coachfor 30 years. l :. Sam muBt read flow of the football lf it flows his way.our 4 eye tackle is more conscious gap. 1gg1 Pr@eeding9 Coach Brolles i8 head @ach at Pittsburg State Uniuersit! (Kg) . we crash up our DE and bring him on an automatic fire call. as well . Ifsam flow his way C sibility becomes reads flow away."is..We work prc-practic€ lour days a week in our stunt and slant period.1 ::. he must check for the counter and then become an overlap player. and I've attended spring practices at many ofthe majorcollegesin the country that .i 0 i 9 }: t ! . to D gap.It'sbeen calledthe 54. I've gone ro clinics acrossthe country to hearpeople speak rn the defense. 9 k *X l t *t i 1 X tt ri . ! $ i i r i t 1 * l ' . he becom€s a scrape LB very similar to Sam'srespon_ rhe old ArkanBasmonst€r defenBe..EMPIIASIS ON DEF!]NSE 121 FIGUBE 8 FIGURE l sr. I've tried to rcad every word written about the 50 defense. During these 30 yeam.50. you cannot just slant to be slanting. 52."t I L-e 1.\/'e^qF c c-Q <-/l G\ r . and :djustmentB. and the 50 dcfensehas been our defensefor each ofthose 30 rears.

2 Q C-9 TJO C) ET N f / . E T\ B .c E\ WIDE l') f N.t E Front 7 Techniques For us to accomplish th€ multiple-penetratingag$essive style of defense. and know our sap rcsponsibilitjes. For example. ienses:Rover-slant away from stmng safety(see Figure 3a). so we'rc going to use multiple alignments. rcad keys.+M""c.sru ru"h rhFpasserrh Rorcr SqreezeBdnc Srrnns 6-Man Go seeFigure 5). we place emphdsis on attacking.\t .We move on the s.have pedect alignment.) tlOUBE 3e FIGURE 4l-R"*. would run this defense I most ofthe time. We still want to have the correctstance.Just as all seven of them must learn the "read technique.----> " B- -l. . we've stoppedth€ option by using a combination ofdefenses. ..r' / | o\ \ \ I J i\ -a)\ FIGUBE 5 Fove. With the simple addition of go to any of our defensivecalls. a variety ot techniques by our front seven. We alsohave a number of defenses thal. and rcad on the run. hit.Using the "choke" on the tight end side . FIGUHE l B*50brir. In each of these combinations.-/ I BBE Y \ C OrE Q T ] Q QC E lNlr E B B Any onememberofthe front sevencanbo sent ona go by a simple call.i. penetrate. r .--. \_{-\-rl \-r |t r \-^\_-/ \L-. elc.--. Figure 4 illustrates Rovor 4-Man Go.i r cJ E BB -fcro 'N t r.122 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATIGIES This is a rcad dof€nse. and getting to the fooLball. get to the football as quickly as possible.Squeeze BangStrong (-' 6cdlElcd\c E . but arc in d Cor-chrique.. FIGUBE1 3n WIDE """* \. A k\ T\N T { /U\BE We've also had successby moving our slant raclle and nospguard thpir ne$ gap re"ponsiro bilityinthe Rover and Angle defenses and stacking the linebackers behind them.--'.s. andAngle slant to the strong safety (seeFisure 3b). One. For example. ll I lelr wo uere phSsically supArilr to all ofoul oppononi. Obviously different offensespresent different problems to the defense. ard go to it. .foLr rFal favorir.It means attack.find tho football.W€ have avadetyofcombinations that involve two or three members of the front seven.a r-(| z--. pmtect our gaps. in which our player" showa base50lnut. r€ading on the move.." all sevenmustlearnto "go. But that is not the case..This is demonstratedby our Basic Blitz (seeFigure 2).right or left.t +^+ I \ \.rap.. and vafious covemgesin the secondary.rii . involve all seven men beginning \{ith oul two slant de.we must teach our front seven a variety of technjques. we run Rover Stack 5-Man Go (seeFieure 6). th e call is desisnated by strong or quick side: tight end or spiit end."Go isveryimportant to our defensivephilosophy.We're not going to have the big physical playerin Division III.

We don't claim to be original. or of front seven alignment allows th€ defense to overload the offense inside and fbrce some changesin blocking pattems. w€ believe in what e arc doing and Coaah Schipper waa hzon cech at CentroJ Co zge Q1^). playThis type ing fo11l five menin under coverage. $ hrlp in t he blitr they wrll go immedialell Some of our tackles ar€ very eff€ctive in the gap becauseof their quickness.So we put them in the B gap. the linebackerswill read.EMPIIASISON DEFENSE 123 6 FIGUBE . /./ Like so many other 50 teams. we also use the overshift with a hard comer.ideend side allows us to Figu€ 7) put quick pr€ssureon the quaft€$ack (Bee Another schemeused to attsck an inside Iun ning game and give uE a diferent pass blitz look is the Double Pinch. -.t Rovd Stacks-Man Go flGUBE I r 8""i"p.ea F TE ET B / . The number of different combinationswe can use isjust about unlimited. . shown in Figure 8. -1985 PMdinAs.. We also like to use an inside stack alignment in our overshift scheme and blitz from this alienment. In the Double Pinch s-Man Go./rot t B \ \ 7 FIGUBE Ouick ChokoTE-Zap FIGUBE l sr""kc"e I Brir.aC7^ ^l colr ctr /occ -N = E BB and the "zap" on the \a. but most important. 2-deep zone. allow our noseguard to play soft and control the cente! and run a Stack Gap 4-Man Go or tuln them aI loose in Stack Gap Blitz (seeFigurc 9)."bbPr""h 5 C C C IIC OQ tA \rA \\ '\ \\ c/OON O.

justinents in the huddle Personnel The fust priority has to be pass rush.the third priority i! to have tinebackem who arc capableofplaying man to-max pdss Our defensive schemeis a multiple on€ that involves predominantly a seven-man front with a four-deepsecondary(seeFigur€ 1). And because ofall the spreadformations with one or no backs.ner (WCI A good cover player who is a little bettd at r-unsupport than the strong Hero (Hl The strong safety both an underneath and deep defender. active player who is strong enough to play on an offensive tackle. $r r!. Beforeyou put tog€ther a defensiveschemem defend the paEs. Tackle (Tl-Same explosiveness the Dose. Ith vital to be ableto apply pressue on the quaderback without blitzing linebackers. Liberalized blocking rules. yet agile and quick enoughto playthe option.ir t ii i $t ! l | : Defending Against the Pass JERRYSANDUSKY H:f * l!*illi*:]l . outstanding skilled athletes. contain a sp nt out. ! li .a goodtackler and instinctive playerwho has exc€llentjudg- FIGURE I Slruclural delensive alignmenl C 5t O COT CC WT N E W C B H C F S Down Linemen l{oseguard (N} Exptosiveness. The ncxr prior ity is to have at least one excell€nt cover corner. i : g T. usually a little bigg€r and strong€r than Sam (a combination outside and inside linebacker) Backer (Bl-Solid. and a greater em phasis on the throwing game have created this situation for delensiv€coaches.Speedand quicknessare especiallyimportant on tbe outside. aleft player who is the qrarterback of the defense.124 FOOTBAI.you must addrcss somep€rsonnel factors that are vital to the development of any defensivepackage.L COACHING STR4TEGIES r i * . probably a little more compact than the other down people. as possibly a little bigger and more pass rushing skills End (El-Bie.a very goodmn support player Salety (Sl The centerfielder.1 d !]i t ! t t t. Power and force are morevitalon r hc in"ide.8. 6t*+ig Defending the pass has becomeincreasingly diffi cult in recent yeam.an outstanding op€n-fieldplayer and pass defender (a combination of a linebacker and a shong satety) Fritz (Fl-The second-most active linebacker. but therc are some general coaching points that we have Jearned through trial and ellor that can help: . quick enough to handle the scoop btocking Pass Rush Principles The ability to rush the passer is predominantly innate.We look for pe$onnel with specific qualities to play this Secondary Strcng corner (SCI-Th€ best on€-on-one pass covereron our team Weak co. and rush the pasEer Linebackerc Willy (Wl Usually the strongest linebacker v€rsus a tight end and an excellent pass rusher Sam ($l-The most active linebacker. handles front ad.

Outside people establiBha speedmsb. With that in mind.* o cocfco FLA I "*-"g" 2 flouBE T. Two defenderc change lanesonthe snap (seeFieure 2). Do not get hooked up with th€ blocker.b"*i"i Coverages Becauseol the sophistication and the inhrcate timing of today's passing games.g. Get the offensive player into an awk{'ard body position. They assume a press atignment slightly outside lhe wide receiverb. Ttnist on the snap. U. then head upfield.etc.Anticipate. and when to accelerat€ by the defender. . maintain constant pressure on the quarterback. Ke€p heading upfield. Inside rusher should sensewhen the outside rusher has made an inside move. Be offensive.i"".e arm and undFror over when appropriate. Keep position relative to one another.{*p.club offof arrn under). flouBE4l-. . Get a great jump on the football. Develop a counter offofyour best move (e. . The other defender reads to determine run or pass. if possible. attack. . depending on your height. Keep his hands offofyou with slaps. Taoist on hey. know the situation. Get on a corner. then exchangesruBh lanes versus a drcpback paEs (seeFigure 4). flOuBE 5 l st""d"d . Carce hm to move eitber laterally or forward. This is more effective versus man-to-man protection. Their feet arc paralJel and shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. Develop a feel for one another verEusdropback pass. . Get your hands up when the quarte$ack is ready to thow the ball.when to push or pull. .vists T$istB are used to take advantageof passprotection schemesand to keep the offensive block€r olf-balance.EMPHASIS DEFENSE 125 ON . Two defenders exchange pa33 rarsh lanes on key (see Figurc 3). As a . Use quick fales. closelo rhe line of scrimas mage as possible. . T and W. we begin our teaching with a 2-deep zone (seeFisure 5). . I(now when opponent is ofT-balance.and your hands inside the opponent'shands. the two most sienificant factors in a coverage scheme are diBruption of receiv€rs and disguise. Pass Eush ti. One defender drives into a gap on th€ snap. Get th€ blocker turned or overcxtended. and inside peopledevelopa ball rush. .br""""4 rv CURL FI S /I P F\ CU WC o MID C\C.lC F1 . AA S i li Both corners are responsiblefor th€ flat zone. N and E align next to each other tn order to develop familiarity with each other FIGURE 3 aq\ . pushes. . Develop a sense oftiming. study the stances of the opponents.. Keep your elbows closeto your body. Use only ve$us a alropback PaBs.. Combination fwist.

they try to jam tbe receiver (clrs_ rupt his releasel.Ifthe ballis in themiddle ofthefietd. FIGUBE 7 Forcingrec€ivers widelo the C FIGURE 6 Cor. The location ofthe middle zone is 15 yards deep in the middle ofihe field. rhp fpcci\er If takes a flat outside releas€. He should con_ centmte on the receiver. dependingon the situation. They shuuldtorccrhe"Fr. When his hands go up.When the balt is on the hash mark. FIGURE 8 C c H.. COACHING STRATEGIES first pdo ty. td ier ric it r h" sngt" h"y h. reading the inside receivers. fwo-Deep Man Coverage As a complementto the 2-d€epzone. miroring him ftom underneath.r Slandard 2-deep mancoverage We want to disrupt orcause a very flat rct€ase in any direction. and the boundary curl is 3 yards outside the hash. If the ball is thrown over the defender. the curls ar€ 1 yard insjde the hash. The backeris responsibtefor the middte zone.ceivers wide to the cnrl zonesas shown in Figure 7.This is accomptjshed sliding by lateraUy and st king the receiver with Lnerr hands.. The hem and safety alien on rne hashesand retrcat shajght down the hash.sFe Fig_ ure 6).". CC #28#2#1 #3 OCOICO $FC o C i+ S Trying to disguise the coverage as much as possible.ierc dedyeasyreceiver . Agajn he re. then nurnber three. then pivot back to the inside."J. the corner slides.they must not lFl rhc numbFr r$o rpcervprs alraight down go ihe fieldeasily. he should turn his shouldeG and sprint at an angle tu make rhe inrercFplion. the defenders should r-un larFrallyand gldncafor rhe widesrrecorrer Thp.They must not overeact to any outside fakes. especialty his hands.the comers move to insjd€ alignments on th€ wide recoivem. Euoute to th€ curl. he shodd be readvlo &ive off his back foot and attack anv receiver tnar. 12 yards d€ep. $ ' els.126 FOOTBALI. the defendershould b ng his hand up through th€ receivels hands and tur:n . thc open fi€ld curl is 3 yards inside the hash. then opens to the inside and reheats laterally to a depth of about 12 yards.'..we incu(po_ rale the 2-de€pman coverage(seeFigure 8). they can widen and play over top the wideout.eat. Ifnecessary. When the receiver has gotten b€yond the defender's outside shoulder. Now th€ corners set and take away the inside releaseof the rccejver.s head.the cor_ n€r should be rcadyto sinkto the outside and be ready for a corner route. They must notget overcxtendedorlerrne rFcaivcr he!e an easy oursidereledse. The only peoplF ho ( urt are he $ idc r€(ei\ . shows in front of him. Wlen the defenderhas gott€n enoughdepth.)- fr rccr"-'€ v* \ -ft -==> t P I o\ o\ a Y .the defender should slid€. Before they go to the curl zone.. If the receiver inside releases.re sure mar there isn't a deep middle th. he tulns and runs with him. 5 yards insid€ the hash ifthe ball is on the hash_The fiIst threat to the middle zone is the number two rec€iver Attention should be focusedon numb€r two first.W}Ien they. "hou stopping approximately 3 'yards in front ofand to the inside ofthe receiver threatening the curl.. treat! lat€rally and sjnks slighdy outside ro pro tect the hole betweenhim and the safety The Sam andFritz are responsiblefor tle cull pass zones.

If a roll call i3 mad€. H Roll to deep middle one-third zone.rilers in the sam€manner Th€ backertu respon. The imide linebackels play the same as in 2-deep man. If number two blocks or goesstrong.Start to the curl. In order to get to an 8-man ftont.. $ Staft for the wide curl. striving to maintain inside pGition and keepinsa cushionof2 to 3 yards. reading number two. hash mark ifthe ball is on the hash. G\ CC A \ .d€€p coverago 3ieep. our next prosres:ionis to have the shons correr finess€outofhis rress alignment. go to the middle. Read numbei two. Safety moves out to a position slightly outside the widest receiver on the weakside. If number two go€sflat. B. latch on to him in the hook area. the coverage that is played is 3-deep man-to-man (see Figure 11). staying undemeath and : r his inside (seeFigue 9). the corner p.rble for handling the number three receiver If .esses . Hang in the wide curl and play up to an)'thing that shows flat.EMPI{ASIS DEFENSE 127 ON :o look for the ball. man'lo-man coverage C C C tr OO o i SC Back out and play outside one-third zone. top of the numberu in the middle ofthefield. They start to backpedal. S Roll to weak number one recklessly.latch on io him in the hook area. The safeties should shout -ba1l.we rotate to a strong 3-deep(seeFieure 12)The hero and strons com€r can either roll or invert./\ C \--> B fhree-Deep \-> Deep Man Coverage Havingeight peoplearound the ball providesthe opportunity fbr quick pedmeter pressure. If number two come8straight down. then play up to numF-Start to curl zone readins number two." The Sam and Friiz play the number two re:.The hem moves closerto his middle on€-third zone. fhree. If number two blocks.ing a receiverwho is aligned in the backfield.Obvioush the diseuiseis very limit€d. By rushing both Sam and the weah corner. c $wc #2 /cccroc\ B H /\ c - In this coverage. continue to get width to the curl. hang in the middle. Ifhe comesshaishi down. FIOURE IO FIGUBE II Foll w€akto 3. unless number two shows flat. continue to th€ curl. Ro Weak Coverage Dissuising ftom a 2-deeplook.Deep Coverage Botate Stnong In addition to the roll weak to 3-deep.the strons comer and ihe salety play more cautiously wh€n covering the receiver. :he defenderattacks the back through his insid€ :alf. then run laterally. then mirrors him.la]. If number two goes flat. the weak corner can move into an alignment 3 yards outside the nearest defender at a depth of 3 yards. and we roll weak to 3-deep(see Fisxre 10).

3. t $ $ i 3 A &66A96 * $ g $ ** { i] g e $A f !]d ]i il $ { g g i Making the Secondary Primary BILLYJOE &* t$ $$13$r i$8. V- J t.\ . linebacker play.lzfensiDecoordinator at penn StateLhiue\itt. is \er) ir impodant to have a sound system. The pro 4-3 maLes our defemive line play. while the herc plays th€ outside one third. By applyine int€nse presBure. If an invert call is made. Rega rdless t he defensive of schemF. Don't trf' to do any more tban is necessary Successcom€swith good playem. which gives us balance with the flexibility to show diffprenr looksand makeadJuqt mcnts$ irh minrmal coachjngpoints."+3 I is not certain of their assignmentsand re€ponsibilities.However. ] i' e t Q r. A succ€ssfulmember of our defensive team must have t}le knowledge to perform tus techniques and duties with ma-timum accuracy and perstutence. and aggreBsiveplay. They must be great cover men and hitters. and blitzins requirc a secondary that must enjoy the role of the 'lone ranger" They must possessthat uncanny ability of having great range and must enjoy o11Ipressure concept. Our stunting. Our defensivepressure conceptolten places secondary personnel on an island. dogging.obtain possession of the ball.128 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGMS FIGURE 12 strong.' : $ i r] l l r* i i : Our base defenseis a variety of the 40 defense. In most cases. discipline.deep cov€rage C sf o ccf]o c c$BFWC \\l y< : c " . The Sam and backer handle hook to curl.and unnec€ssarythinking by our opponents.our dogs (seeFigurcs 2-5) require some fonn ofman coverage. 1992Sunmer ManuaL Coach Sanduskr it. our def€nse will prevent the easy touchdown. Proficiencyin the executionoftechnique and fundamentals is especiallyimportant C H CC CC C OTCCC ET T ES Defensive Back Responsibilities Our defensivebacks must be excellent athletes. The safety has the middle one third while the weak correr rctr€ats and plays the outBideone third. dealing. the hero plays curl to flat and the Etrong corner has the outside on€ thtud. Hc \ l--H s H-c i and plays curl to flat. there arc times when we will "zone-up"behind atr up front dog. alld secondary play very easy to incoryoratE ilrto the total concept of our defensive philosophJr Figure 1 shows our basic alignment. Fl0uRE l P. . Fritz plays curl to flat. cient and elfici€nt without requiring a lot of help. They must be profi. B M lvlr H JK We present many different fronts within our sy8tem to cause distraction.lt's extremely diflicult to handle presBure ilthe offense . l ]' . misconception. concenhation. and score.

"l€p .the d€fensive back aligns in a 1 alignment facing th€ inside eye of receivexWe ask him to set up 4 yards deep on th€ inside shoulder of the receiver. Whenever possibl€. regardless of how fast or slow the receiver is moving.d".the defensiveback should use the sideline as a 12th defender. When the rpcp. he can ignorc the firut fake.lpp.. the defendershould get in stride with him lbr. squaraup b) keeping the shoulders square to the LOS and begin the backpedal. As a g€neral rule. Keep in mind that most receivers will make their cuts early from the LOS and anticipate the pattern tree. After the receiver has mad€ his drjve. always consciousof the sidelines. The defensive back must keep his leet moving.which is detemined by the rcceivels speed. the defemive back should rcact by st€pping quickly with his break. ofman co!cragp ronis centration." When this happens. making sur€ to tun to the receivels downfield shor ders.and in doing so.EMPIIASISON DEFENSE 129 FIGURE B. he will usually enter what we call a "faking stage. apply the 7-yard ILle: When a receiver splits to withir 7 yards of the Bidelineor closer l€t him gain the outside position and lorce the fade route. The body shol d be bent and balanced.ver"how" a sign ol slouing down or when he straightens up. He should ddve off hard with the receiver.keeping the weight on the balls ofthe feeu do not mck back on the heels.B blllz C o E B H Ac /T M Our secondary deseryes special mention becauseofthe impact and conhibution we askitto ( )l ^\ C C tr ocd T E \ el Q\ t\4 Mr r1 Man Coveraga and 7echniques In our basic man coverage. Tr's becnsaidthat 75". with the arrns hanging loosely and the feet approximately shoulderwidth during the initial backpedal stage.. As the receiver makes his final break.l 4l \l \-/ \-/ I C t t I' oo o H C D C Mr H JK Al l d o g TIOUBE 5 K.look for the ball through rhe receiver. We coachour players to maintain position by keeping a slight cuBhion. A defensiveback must concenhat€on the receiverby focusingthe eye on a chosenspot just at the base ofihejersey number Defenders must leam to discipline th€mselvesto the point rhal rhe) can ignoreevFW hing bul rhe receiver Ar thc sndp of lhe ball.maintair inside leverage on him so that he has to makc contacl with the delender in order to cut back. the defender should stay low and be rcady to sprint once the 6nal cut is mad€.

tfr hc re(erver catchFs ball €nd rhe defenqive the backr" .terback'sreleaseof the ball.:t#T-s$*t*lri+i.rhA delensive backshouldbrcak down and make the sure tackl€. The greater the distance. f'o".ff p As tha defensi\ ba. the keys show pass.. . in this order: 1.nt ll i n u 'l h r q ' 4Fido r h. the deeper you must play.the free safetymovesquickty to the middle of the zone. ard ?read fbr a tip that may give away his intent'ions preTell your piayers that when the ball i6 released.*i .st.the initial key is usually th€ receiver's rcute. nds r aalu . " .lhe defcnbive back must gsin s hcads-uppo"i(ion.ne receivcr ure align. rh have him locusin on the quarterbackand the ball. u' . Then..t.ll". "*"i "t i"a1" o*. They should drop the hips by bending slightly at the knees and waist. cut the cusbion about 4 yards and keep the outside Dosition on him.. sral ht .r " . Thc tuflhe. I I D o i h " . and thint in terms of interception ff. the r"4 he r nore tnana I alignment. hrm. andknockthF b€ll awd) lrom him.providesa true 3-deepwith no rotatror! rcgardlessof play-action. " B -' oro' (ed but dn..130 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES and prepare to turn toward the receiver. The distancebetweenthe passerandthe rec€iver will also be an influencing factor.towardr. As a generalrule.rl to rccognize th€ fonnation and th€ passing potential of each in order to pick up quickly. Tell your DBs to work to the receivels' .toser. while the corners adjustto the receivers'mutes. -ream p'inciptes of pellgnae -. The corne. t hpd: You t . i. in whichever stance they feel comfortable.:.backs align anil locate their key quickbz They should set up in a position 7 yards deep and on the outside shoutder ofdle outside recci\er. th€re arc exceptions to this rule. we do not play a h'ue zone. cut and run."h".:tl . You must make sure your players are at a point in th€ir assignedzone that will enable them to cover all route variations in that zone equally.orstay zone.r"r r "lJ.**ai"e"."'+.downfield" shoulders. 4.and be prepared to turn. br is nF Lu \ hc * r d e d r d e o t .. He shoald tty to rcad his eyes. How€ver. we allow th€ defenders to favor the receiveN who enter their zones." -. ieceiv€r releases across the LOS. the defend€r shorld do the following. Tackle the receivex As a last resod. They must leal. _ " ta n L o t o 4 J t9 9 J p. ^ c.. while the secondarykey is the qua. t0 t ' . theirkeys We use two basic keys in our zone coverase: an initial key to determine the route-when and where the ball will be thrown-and the quaderback's release of the ball.L'r ncrd / yardstiom the sideline. Knock the ball away liom the receiver. he should rcact to the ball. Strip the rcceiver. The 3-deep. uur a.-.nd""y". do not let him close the gap to more than 3 yads. anticipating the ball or the ship. tton t ^ot ball. 2...sirip him of the ball.coming straight atyou. 4eC. p . bur rrerer . ff rhey cannot make the rheyshould turn bward the recciver 'nterception.-. If this is impossible. Defensivebacks should always locate the deep €st route intheirzones. to sprint to a point where they canjump and intercept the ball at its highest point.ffi *i$:i$i1t. while adjusting to the mute and strength ofthe r.. Therefore. ih" J"f. U". and as quickly as possible. with rhc oulsidp foor ba.. take a penalty Zone Coverages and Techniquea Zone covemge is also a v€ry important cooponent of our defensiv€package.. _ -. : ^. . 3. arms.^. if a touchdown is rnavoidabl€. This helps eliminate the gaps between the undemeath and d€ep rout€s. .the 6idel.k or up. ifareceiveris entering your zone. or break at the BP (breakins point) of the mutc.: t gg r s u n n * M --. tf r he reccivor has rae oarr. L h F ^ ll:h.) We ask our DBs to maintain a slisht cushion and skate as fast as the receiver moves downfield.. In zone coverage. Also.keying specificreceiversand then the ball.=." "" " ..oc." i" n".k movps roughhis zone. The first thought should be to Dt€rcept ihe ball. they shouid skate when th.-. ^. We prefer to expand as ne€ded. (Attimes. the secondary personnel muBt align at a specifieddepth in their assigned areas." . .. Ifthe rccelver rs running a route parallel to the LOS.


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Defending Against the Run-and-Shoot

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The run-and-shoot off€nse is difficult to defend. Each team that u6es this offense has difercnt characteristicsand phitosophies. On€ constantis that the quaft€$ack is the key. If he's a sood passerand has the ability to run and attack the containment, this puts add€d pr€ssure on the defense. ff the option and counter option have been included in the run-and-shoot package, that gives defenses still another dimension to defend. In order to win against the run-and-shoot,a defensemust stop the aceback draw play. It also must successfully defend against th€ ace back screen, another major feature of the run-andshoot. The ability ofthe aceback determines how we deploy our front seven alignment. Because nm-and-shootutilizes four recervthe ers with rnotion of a rcceiver on almost every play the secondaryis rcquired to move and adjust. This can causedefens€s many problems. Our approach to stopping this offenseis that we will 'shoot' the run-and-shoot. other words, In we'll pressure the passing game and defend the option, draw, and screen with our front seven. We'll play good man-to-man coverage and folce the quick pass, but at the same time defend against the option, draw, anal screen.


Detensive alignmenr and movem€nl ver6us hall-roll pe6s

7-8 yds 7-8 yds

Setting the Defense
The alignment we d€ploy tu shown in Figure 1 man coveragewith pressure concept, The key to pressuring the half'roll pass is for the frontside linebacker to reco$ize pass and to allow him a free rush. We don't want him to contain the quaiterback;he has fieedom to force the passerin anylane possible.The responsibility ol containing the quart€rback is lelt to the defensive end aliened over the otrensive tackle. The linebacker and defensive end must put quick pressrLreon the quart€rbackAdditional pressure on the quaderback can come from the defensiv€ tackle aligned over the

offensive guard. In addition, the outside linebacker away fiom the half-roll must chasehard in a llar angle he also has no containresponsibility The defensive end away ftom the half-roll has contain on the quarterback. The tilt tackle has spy respoffibility for ihe draw and delayed pass rush. As indicated in Figure 1, the def€nsivebacks align 7 io 8 yards deepand straight acrossin the invert position. This alows us to move and adjust to receiver motion- It also gives us the mat{hup or]I secondary coach desires versus the man-to-man concept. rry nor ro ha\ p ant misWp match on fast \.ide receivers;thereforc, we can adjust easily to the motion from this alignment and match o11I cover men against the opponent's The run-and-shoot passing attack can €asily rcad man-to-man cover,and they also can run rcut€s designed to attack the man covex However, with tight man cover and pressure on the quaderback you have at least an equal chanceto siop rr, The middle linebacker has the ace back manto-man. He's also responsiblefor the draw play and ace back scre€n. ThiB allows the delensive


ta€kles to be more aggeEsive on the pasBruBh. We needthe bonuspressurefrom the defensi.e tackle positions.

31 flouBE o","""k""nr".".r *

Versus the lrap and Trap Option
In Figure 2 you see man responsibilities v€rsuE the trap and trap-option rcads.We have one man on the pitch back and two men rcspoNible for the quarterback, so he can't run the football. ff the uursidelinebackerkFys run ro hrm, his rei" Ihe pirchla ne and mainsponsibiJiy ro get 'nto iain pitch responsibility. The defenBive ends cannot allow the ofiensive tackle to block the middle linebacker. The delensive end must play the trap and try to help on the quarterback keep. The middle linebacker must then "skate" and make the quart€rback pitch the ball.





Oslensive alignmenl and movemsntv€rsuslrap or trap opllon

In Fisure 4 you1l see a change-up in the backside pressue by the outside linebacker When he reads pass,he'll drop and help the colner.Therefore, if slot motion goes away and ball rolls away, he can drop and help thp corneron lhe cros"ing or short routes, or look for crGsing rcceivers. This helps pmtect against the half-mll thmw back pass and play-action paes.

FIGURE 1 i,"""".,","g"""*,"h"r*il 4
(slow FoLD) (aB)

Defensivetackles play a major role in concealing the aceback runs ofTtackle. In addition, the outside linebacker away llom the run action must read run or pass, and slow fold to help on any inside run. This t€chnique is a disciplined and slow fold assignment; the linebacker must read the differences between run and pass.


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Vercus Ace Back Draw
The defensive tackle away from the ace flow aDd the middle linebacker have major roles in stopping the aceback draw(see Fieure 3). They have the spy rcsponsibility. This isn't dilficult for the middle linebackeasincehe has the aceback.The defensive tackle must spy if the back flow goes away from him, and will give LBs assistance on

Yersus Ace Back Scteen
To defend against the ace back screen, a common and diftrcult play, we double cover the ace back with outside linebackers and middle linebacker (seeFigure 5). Th e outside lineback€r on the side of the half-roll starts his pressure move upfield and then reads the FB setting for scleen.On this upfield move, he's in position to be behind the screen blocking. In addition, th€ middle linebacker who is still spying the ace back allows for


double cover. This i3 much more successful than relying on the middle linebacker to play the ace screen,because can be easily blockedwh€n he he has sole responsibility. The run-and-shoot offense is designed to tbrow on tbe move.To defend it, we give our ftont people a very simple and aggressive plan to pressure the quarte$ack into a huried pasB. However, you must have a quick and active llont four to make the man-pressure concept work. By employing outuide LB preBsure, you can create one-on-one blocking situations. And always be prepared to use zone coverageifnecessary,


Detuns€againsl ace back scre€n



<---.-.'* s

1984 Summer Manual. C@ch Wieht aas offensiue c@ indtot at gan Diego State Uniuercit! and. the Iasvesas Posse(CFL).

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Applying Pressure Without the Risk

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Pfessurell On the defensiveside ofthe ball, you can't be afraid to ma]<ethis call. In our basic eightman ftont, we will base a game plan on prcssure and then react to the ofTense's responseto it. With pressurecomesrisk, particularly ifprcssur€ is always matched with man"to-man coverage.Much ofour attack will entail this risk, but we try ro keepa mix ofpressure our delensive in package to keep the offense ofT-balance. To pressure the quarte$ack with four people requireB a great commitment and a sellingjob on the parl ofthe coach.Four-man pressurc involves a reliance in your people,not in your plan. Putting trust in your people will always pay dividends,and here is how we help them. We maximize our matchups and get out good people going one-on-one. Winning the indiyidual matchup is the key. Our playen who we get isolated know their importance to the total defense, and are extremely motivated and individually coached to win their fight. We also help our linemen pressureby aligning pmperly and allowing them to focus on the quarterback. We have them crowd the LOS and adjust their Btance as n€eded to get off the ball quickly. When we jet stunt upfield with our line, we assign screen and dlaw €hecks to one of our LBs on the second level, not a lineman. Although good playen will always react to or feel out these lotrg-yardage change'ups, they'Il be more aggressive ifthey know it is not their primary responsi bility. In the "80 Look" shown in Fieure 1, t}te W-end is using an under move which he setB up by




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selling a hadjetrush. Whetberhe spins or clubs under is his call, but taking contain away from a wide DE can compressa pocket and keep an OT off-balance.W€ shade the weak DT and, hopefullx dictat€ the double team look by our alignOn the snap, th€ shadedDT must drive to the inside shoulder of the OG. Staying square, he must dlaw two oflensive linemen to him ro prevent them from picking out on the DE,s stunt. Onc€ th€ double team is drawn and he feels the DE clear,he'li loop out on a lat€ contain. On the shongsid€,we give the DT shadedin a 3 technique the option to beat his guard ov€r or under. A change call by our outside LB gives our strone DE a widejet rush. This forcesthe OT to fan out andblockhimin space, aRBmust pick or hjm up in ihe backfield. Any lime $c can den) or makc rhF oflensive line work to keep the "big on big" matchup or tie RBs or TEs into the protection quickly, we then gain a covemgeadvantage.Also, ftom a technical point, the DE is No.4 stlong mshing or shong saf€ty blitz. This read in itself can cause pmblems for an offense.Using the 1-Free coverage, we use theweahILB toslide andch€ck draw and scrcen beforc dropping off. In Figur€ 2, we use the same 80 pre-snaplook but add a defensivelin€ twist to pressure.Much as an offense will mn th€ same play from diIfer-

dropping out. By drawing th€ guard's block, we insure that the inside twist has our DTs going 2on-2 imtead of3-on-2. Th€ stunt has the shong tackle on the snap driving under the ofensive euard. His rush lan€ is through th€ backside 2 area. It is important to sell the fimt man that he also is going to go fiee. The intensity of his rush will increase when he realizes that be is not a sacrificial lamb. The twist tackle steps hard and upfield to the weakside.We don't huny X-stunts; we like to X on the offensiveside ofthe ball. The twist tackle comes tight olY of his partner's tail and gets upfield oncehe clears behind the pick. The strongOLB r ill ride r he TE betore spying off for screen, dra\ or delay. Coverage can be matched with a standad 2-deeplook. In Figure 3 we show a four-nan rush where we try to use speedpersonnelto pressure a QB. Ironically, although we are an even front defense,


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€nt fblrnations aDd motions to cause conlusron, on defense we will try to base rush, twist, and max blitz from the same look. In this simple X-stunt adjustment, the W-end has a true jet contain rush which earli€I had set up htu under move. Th€ weak ILB walks to the LOS and will draw the O-enard's block beforc

we get some of our best pressure from odd front looks. In our 55 front, we remove a DT and re, place him v,ith a "Jack-Back€r," who is a strongsafety type player, to add speedoffofthe corner and causehavoc. The Jack-Backercan comefrom the tight or split side, and for a nice two-man change-up, tells the D-erd wheiher he is comhe ing on a contain or free rush. In our game plan, we will prcdetermine the Jack-Backer's rush sid€ and responsibility to ma-'.imize our matchup, baEedon their protecti on scheme. Abalanced 55 rush can be matched with any low risk coverage. We hope these simple ideas on defensivepressure are of some h€lp to you. Remember,good playem who play hard win football games.

1990 Sunner Manual Coach Beomer is hea.l coach dt Vitsinia Tech. Cooch CLarh is detunsne coor(rinator



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On€ of the most important attributes in a defenour To siveunitistobe aggressive. be aggressive, defensiveplayers must be confident and sure of their alignment, technique, and responsibi]ities. To achieve that confidenceand aggressiveness and robesoundasaun ri, it s crr|ical rhar $csim plily and reduce to a minimum what we teach each position.And it's impemtive that we elimi yer ratc confusion and indecrsion, includcin our packdgc toolsLhatwe needIobe effFctive. Ihc W€'ve tried to simplify our teaching process, particularly with our defensive package. For many years, our packagehas included . a weakside shad€ 50 defense with 3-deep . a strongsideshade50 defensewith eith€r 2 deep coverageor a weakside roll; and . a nickel package witb an easily adjusted even front with 2-deep zone, 2-deep man/robber Six years ago,we added a stack alignment for our linebackeruwithout changingth€ alignment and responsibilities of o1ll defensive line. Our stack defense,which we call Slide, has been effective vemus the running game.Vercus the pass ing game it was OK as far as angles,alignment, and lev€rage, but certain s€ts-especially on€' base coverages. back sets took us out of o11I In stack alignment or Slid€ defense,our down linemen slide (shade) away from the call lstrength), and our three stack linebackers slide lshade)tothe call. We played two base coverages had a doublecall. with this ftont. Both cov€rages The first call was our base call, and the second number gave our perimeter people their automatic check ve$us shifts, one-back sets, and motjon. Figue 1 shows our alignm€nt in cov€r 21, which is a 2-de€pcoveragewith ihe flexibility to checkto 3-deep. Figure 2 shows our alignment in cover 91, rvhich is a man/robber on one side and zore or the back side.Again, the flexibility to checkto 3'


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deep is built into the call. All adjustments arc the sameas 21. Certain pressurccalls $'ith man coveragcwerc built into this package. Formation recognition In order to stay with a 2 deepperimeter (cover 2)or a man/robberperimeter(cover 9), w€ would useour Split (nickel)ftont. Our Split packagewas called 5, which signaled five under with 2 deep (e.g.,Figure 3). We also had a pressurepackagewith man cov' erage from tbis front. Gaps and alignments var ied from our slide front. When we €valuated this

W€ could communicate our Slide. but gave us the flexibility to adjust to one-back s€ts. at . whilestill keeping he rulessimplcfor our r pedmeter people. coach Green is head coach at the Uniersit! of T. and our players really like it.de€p C C N T C C CC CCt]CCC T M FS DU _*"Q___*-E) o C C IC OC T N< . FIGUHE 4 FIOUBE 6 ComboEagleversus2-back sel Ch4kwith me: Eagle veFus l-b. and many times a huddle was not needed. but improve our effectivenessv€rsus certain one-back sets and motion. and Split calls and coverages thmugh just one call: "checkwith me" (s€eFigrle 6). and all adjustments werc automatic. tain sets that we may see.s alignment.We wanted to keep the effectivenessof c€rtain ftonts. What we devetopedis o11r Combo-Eaglebase front.This packaeeis game ptanned to match our fronts and coverages rdth fornations of our opponents. andmotion(EeeFigure S)while staying in our 2deep coverage. to FS The changes we made in our defensive package have allowed our younger players to get comfoltable with technique and responsibitity W€.nnessee Chattanooea. Dich sheridan bas hea. We called it our "checkwith me'package. We wanted to keep each play. and t€chnique as much the s:tlre as possible..coach at North camrina state uniDercity. The huddle call was quick.e also better able to defend comptex passing offenses.I must admit that we stole thiE terminology from our olfense. Thj6 front is a combination ofSlide principles with a Spiit adjustment. adiustment. shown in Figure 4. automatic 2.136 FOOTBALL COACHING STR{TEGIES TIGURE 3 C C C CO TOCC TN T M S o FIOURE 5 ComboEagl€ versusl-backser C R RT NT o C C C TC C c <__ s <_M<_W C C WC FS system and had a change to pemonnel lacking experience. One phase ofreorganizing our packagewas to have simple rules in the pedmeter so that we could packag€ morc than two fronts ano more than two coverages game plan our calls m cer.r.shifts.T M<-S o C R C <-W< T *\ Its key feature was that it alowed us [o remain in our stack alignment venus two backs. Combo-Eagle.ck." We gave th€ initial coveragewe wanted with the fronts. decidedto rcstructure our calls to we simplify oul adjustments. Our huddle call was "check with me. And we wanted to combine both Fonts to maximize oul effectivenessin certain situations in the running and passing game. -t 992 Proceedinss.

l l l !l .ttl III PABT .l | | Special Teams r r r r r r r r r !tttttQ tlltltlll.l l l .!tttl Spike Dxhes BiIIr Serton Tom Coughlin Kicking for the Winning Edge Developing a Complet€ Kickoff Return Package Protecting and Covering From a Spread Punt Formation Making a Commitment to Special Teams Kicking Game GimmickE That Work Pressuiing the Punt€r BlocLirre KickB and Puntg 139 ua Jim Wdlden Spdrhr Wood.s Chuch Amato and Jin Gtadden 16l 146 150 154 157 137 ]E . t I ttt I l l .

iplesdimerfrom somprhpnries in that we kick otr from the exact middle ofthe field.. Onc€ tho ball is fi€lded and starts in a direcri. are the two keys to the coverage. even iftheballis run up the hasb mark.(ayin our lanes. i : I l ] : i r l l: . andbustins our tails downfield. extra point.and defensiveends.We use the watedall approachin alienmcnt so w€ can all hit the line runnins tull spe€d.n rlefi. This.:: !:ll :::1 :: .6 (tbe kicker). so w€ involve o very best p1aye6 in the kicking game.onverging on the footbal (seeFisure 2)...a SPIKE DYXES ]ii ii lllr lr :1:r l. and 9.The Lickprlaccs $ ilh r he ballat a depr ofapproKiup h mately 8 to 10 yads behind the coverase t€aln. If the ball comesup the middle (seeFigure 3). 5 and 7 maintain the leverageontheball.Our alisnment is shown in Fisure 1.. On the kickoffand punt'cov€rageteams. The closer the ball gets to our coverage.linebackers. we usually enploy defensive backs. the kick€r is th€ middle safety.SPECL{LTEAMS 139 r: : 1lt r l i i i 1 r . In the event that we get forced out ofour hne. In otll coverage. The out side two coverage men fiD the hole createdby the saf€ty pulljng out.ck the rpcords. Kicking for the Winning Edge . u e uork hard to get back in our lane Play crs should be aware of who is blocking them and then beat or escapethe block.wF stafl .h. The safety (3) oppositethe retum pulls out and ke€ps outside leverage on the football.and boih safeties pull out olcov€rage after the ball has committed to the middlo and maintain ouhide leverage on the football. the more we convergeto the ba]l.dghrJ.We begin coveringthe fieid with each player maintaining his relative distancebetweenhis teammat€s. : : : l: : : : The old adage that three to five games per season arc deterrninad in the kicking gaJnehoids true Jsr . undprstand imporWp Iha tance and the value of a good kicking game. and field goal block teams we use defensive players. We want a high. i. On punt return.. t : . straight kick to the goal line.lhc longer we . The safety to the side of the retum no longer is a safety he is a lane runner that is totally involved in coverage. :a ) . maintaining the normal cov erage lanes one gap inside. Kickoff Coverage Our kickoffprin. We a]l squeeze . middle.The farther and oeeperthe ball goes.) ::. We have thrce potential safetieB each kickon off:3. r Q : * : : : : : : 1 : : : : : a.

This is the frrst point of em_ phasisro the kicker We 6rrivero ger Lhebig hop out of the ball. Again. we work hard to get the balt kicked straisht down the field. this coverage team has a hemenalous amount of pride. firsr musr havea perfecrtl we executed kick. The quickeslwa) Lolosea football game 13to get a punt blocked or a punt rcrurned tor a touchdown.Our atignmenrand sptjrsare il. Onside Kick Anoth€r option for the kickoffteam is the onside kick. This i6 I he responsibjliry ]. Nolapses. lushated in Fieure 5. Our atisnmenr I he oDside on kick is 6hown in Fieurc 4. We use the sprcad punt with zone prot€cnon. Punt Protection and Coverage The laBrphaseofcoverage our pLrnr is prorec|lon and co\erage. This is something that you us€ only when your 'back is to the wall".jou have no chance. This phase ofthe kicking same must be executedproperly every time. the success failure or of an unsidekick can be the determiningfacror rn a rootDa| game. a safctv $ho can_ c36'c36 cz'Qr4'036' c36'c . In ordFrto havea shot ar gaininADossession offan onside kicir'. maintaining proper leverage on the ball. The kick shoutdnevej" kicked tesb be than 10 to 12 yards.140 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES not allow a linemarl to catch a clean kick and rc_ turn it for a big gain. He ptays of JU6rrke a shorlstopcovering rhe bounda4rAn_ other verJ rmporlanrrole is 3. It s a higbly competitive situ_ ation. Agam.W'rhoutrhe properkick. down. the ball should be kicked high and straight. We attempt to kick each kickoff io it will be re_ turned. and that's h€althy for the whote t€am. The remainder ofthe cover_ age attacks! We want to force a mistake bv the rcceiving Leam. Atl of our defensive starteru want to be on the kickoffteam. this onside kick has been highlv successtul for us.Down through the 1ears. Another key is to not let the kick qo out_ot_ bounds.

The upbacks have the responsibility of the gap betweenthe center and guard. concenhate. After his snap. Our basrcpunr . nover laking a backwardsl€p. Aller the ball is kicked. We stdve to get the punt off in 2.The end hinges the sameasthetackle.He coveredthis with our team each Saturday moming of the season. keepins his inside foot planted as long as possible. with a blocking assignment from his inside foot to the inside foot of the tackle. This is a carryover from coach Darell Royal at Texas.overagF shown in Figure 6. The hardest job lor the euard is keeping his butt in the hole between himselfand the center The tackle'sjob is tbe sarneas th€ guard's except his butt in the hole js not as strongly emphasizedas the guard's.He mustkeep his inside foot planted as long as possible.witb the Bame principl€ as the guard with two threats in the gap. he pops up with a good base then he starts thinking about covelage.Each euard hinges 45 deg:rees.we will use a two-step punter We align the punt€r 15 yads deepand work hard on stepping and fieldingthe ball simdtaneously. Specialteams are an jnte$al part ofa football t€am.He tale8 on any immediate theats to the kicker. The searchlight must be aware of overloads and must use eood judgment. The kicker's job is to field the snap. . the searchlight is a safety to our right. The end must rc-route the rush of the outside !rux.3 seconds less. the euard shouldblock though the fimt man to tbe secondone.The guards' split is 2 feet from the center. theends arc ourcon' iq tainmenl.His job is to make a pefect snap that arrives in th€ punt€r's hands in 0. Ifw€ have a choice. Accompanying this article i s a kicking gam€ ch€cklist that we cover with our team at least onc€ a week. the kicker is a safety to o left.9 or better or is what we want. After the ball is kicked." lines up 6 yards deep behind the euard (left or ght dep€nding on left-footed or righifooted kicker).and kick the football.8 seconds.SPECIALTEAMSIrI The protection starts with the center. but doesnt go anywherc unl€ss th€re is a reason to. know wheth€r or not there is a rush. We changeour contain cov€rage Usuallt and as abasicrllle. the upback must make hirnselfbig and get his headbetween The pe$onal protector. who we call the "searchlight.7 to 0. weekto week.Iftwo peoplecomein thatgap. If two peoplepenetrate the gap.Two major points ofemphasis: Make sure the upbackers are lined up one yard deep and stop any threat (charye)in the gap.Ahans tim€ of3.

Releasewhen you hear balt kicked: (1) Fan out.t coach. We cover as a team. Trcat 6eldgoslqameaq punr on btocked kickr. Know situation. Be onsides. (2)Sprint. be sure ball is kicked before rouingback for the return. C. (2) Sho. Go for "blocking" zoni. E." Upbacks and €nds releas€ outside. Versus Field Goall A. Extra Point (Protectionl! A. Move on center's snap. and hold€r or kicker scramble and find reField Goal Pfotectiont A.kicker cove6leti. Upbackskeepoutsidefoot in placeand block E.int. BalLrn piay on center'lrsnap. Play defensecalled: (1) Nomal 40. Knowblocking assignmentsandblock above the waist. Field ball in air. On bad snaps or mishandt€d ba]l ho]ler "lire. (4) Treat as punt. (1)veEus exha pointformation (call blocked direction).t-short defense. Field ball int€lligently. (3) clip. Fan out. C. B. F. (Your man . Sp. Place kickins tee 7 yards ftom balt. 15. Lincmpnkcppout"idefoorplantpd andbtock D. Know depth ofball. (tnside Kick Coveragel A. B. First man downtake an uncontmUedshot if you have shot. B. Stay on lane. Locate ball.. Ends mustcontain. Fullback coversright. D.) Kickoff Return! A. set back in lane. Be onsides. Two factors that make unsure kicking srru(1) field position. Don't rough kicker or holder. Reninders are same a$ extra point. Punt Protection and Coverage: A. (2) charge on snap. 8. Stay in lanes. B. Sprint.vilt not block the kick with your head in the middle. Conv€rgoon ball and break down. kicker risht. We want them to kick. C. B. If"block" is caUed (1) b€ r€ady when cent€r touchesball. Blockedfield goal attemtt may be advanced bv either team.sTechUniuersit!.and (4) go for "blocking" zone F. H. Ter. Be onsides. G. 1986Summer Mdhual. Locate the ball. C. E. C.) H. but aor ends. C. Remember ball is live after it travels 10 yards. F. CodchDfies is hea. J.or (3) Long-long defense. Call a "block" if opponentsare going into a E. (2) mugh kicker.142 FOOTBAIL COACHING STRqTEGIES Key Points on the Kicking Game Kickoff Coveragel A. Versus Extia Point: A. and (2) scoreofgame. "Unsur€" is bench catl. Punt B€turnt A.l E. G. and (2)versusrun formation (automaticdef€nse). Attack! (We want poss€ssion. (Aled your tackte when held up. D. Advanceball on fourth down btockedpunts. Converyeon the ball. When we have a retum. Be onsides. C. work back to sideline. (3) dont be offside. Recover ball on third down blocked punts.) D. l(. Don't (1) be offside. You can fair catch. (3) Locate ball. Blocked punts that crossline ofscrrmmage play as any normal punt. ot . F. On center's snap aftor command ofdown. We must protect. E. Anticipate fi€ld goal.t-onverge ball and breakpoinr on (61Endsmushcontain (7) Holder left. D. D. (Same as extra point. l. or (4) block below waist. Be ready when center touchesball.) B. F. B. We cover as a team. l. Btockedpmts that do not crossline ofscrimmage can be advancedby either team.j C. (Rememberbalt is live after it tuavels 10 yads. (Ifblocker forcesvou oul or a lane. B.

dependjngon the strength of the kicker's leg. l 9[ i! ] ll i i We consider the kickoffreturn an offensive playa play that iBintended to scorea touchdown. Ifhis leg is . The fullbacks align on the 2o-yard line on the hash.The centerwill slide 2 to 3 yards towads the hash being kicked from. and the safetiesalign on thehash at th€ goalline.SPECIAITEAMS 143 :. Kick Return Alignment Under normal conditions.The two safetieson our retum are tailbacks. and two outBid€ linebackers.As a rule. won't change. moving them from the 3s-yard line to midfield to back up the five liont line players. The tackle and guard on the hash being kicked ftom will both move outside the hash on alignment. not catching it going backwards or going sideE)(trcm€ly wet conditionswill advemelyaffect tho flisht of the ball. If he's an e(ellent kicker or has the wind at his back.:: j j i : . we may brins I hc dcepsalclicqup as far a$rhc I 5-)a rd linF. lt t t ir . along with FBs'. attack is basedon the simplest schemes We break the field down into thrce areas (right. We will adjust our ends'alisnment if we anticipat€ a suryrise onside kick. then the front 6ve should align 10 yards and 3 inches from the line. 13 yards from the ball.left) and incoryorate a misdirection play (r€verseor throwback). and the tackle 6 to 7 yads from the sideline. as do the far guard and tackle. Q lr r ' : t lit r r i .rt :. ll t t lr i. you want your returner to catch the kick heading toward the opponenfs goal line. we want peopletbat can run and hit.they must maintain position to field the bloop kick that is kicked ftom the hash. If an onside kick attempt is indi cated by the kicking team's alisnm€nt or the position of the ball on the t€e. .Adjust your safeties and back wedgepeopleaccordingly. makine it heavy and less likely to travel as far or as high. middl€. 5 yards outside the hash. The guard rdll align 2 to 3 yards outside the hash. we may drop the saleties as deep as the goalline. 1li 1:ifit.The fullback positions are a fullback and a corner.Our possibl€. Tbe play€rs we use on the tront lin€ are a wide out. a corner. I FIGURE Slandard kickofi relurn Alignment on Kick Frcm Hash 4 PA If the ball js kicked ofTfrom the left hash (see Figure 2) orrighthash. : 9: i. t : . we adjustour alignment.on th€ hashes.You may have to adjustthe safeticsifyouface a t€am that kicks Fom the hash and has a kicker that is especially accurate in placing the kickolT 2 to 3 yards ! G $ This alignment can change. The flont I ine people should be aligned 13 yads from the ball.::i1. our kick return team will align as shown in Fisurc 1. Developing a Gomplete Kickoff Return Package BILLY SEXTON . Ifthe ball is kicked offfrom the middle ofthe freld.. a fullback. The en& will line up on the 35-yad line. . The ends' alignment. and the tackles to align 8 yads outside the hash. On our kick rctum team. i:l i * ! rl l. 1r r ::r . The end positions are mannedbytight ends. weak orhe's kicking into the wind. our center wants to offset 2 to 3 yads.

"tg" hash Si."*" 35 v T ffi""" 35 45 45 V v v v kvvvv\/ GT c v . Forming the back wedge.rllbackE.144 FOOTBAI.middle inan to left (seeFigu€ 3).4 /i' ">z</ -Y--a B?* Y. We've found that this is better than alignirg on the hash and ruBhing to the sideline. If \\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\ . Ifthe ball is kicked to the middle ofthe field on this call. worying about going out-of-bounds.A/ -.r--. never outside the hash. the ftont wedgehas the same assignment.\r{r \rY ip 5 ie\ FA FB \\\\ -y \t/ i-'-'. ll!IEUE!il-F"*u*. we moved the safety to the side ofthe kick.L COACHING STRATEGIES from the sideline. Next to them.The cent€r sers the wedgeon the 3o-yard line in ftont ofthe ball. On all three of these rcturns. field. \ ri. Theirjob tu to always s€t the back wedge 10 yards in fmnt ofthe retumer.- Tq c G /(- T ". unlike the front wedge assignment.Ietine and Field Beturn The back wedge assignm€nt differs depending on the call. We do this so the Eafety can freld the kick from th€ sideline to the middle of field. then the return is predetermined by the scouting report. Again. The cent$ takes the fir6t man head-up or fimt man t his ight. \\\\\\\\\\\\ I5 5 s \\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\ s- >s Ilrpes of Returns We have three base returns: sideline. then the back wedge will again set 10 yards in front ofthe receiver and attack the far hash mark as their aiming point (see Figure 4). This liont wedge attacks Btlaight veftically upfield wherever they set. the end to his side. their rule is to take the frr8t man head-up to outside. Theil spacingiB also 2 vards. then the back wedge heads towards the numh€rs to the side ofthe kic\ blocking head-upto outside. 5 \-\i- \ vwf -/ \ . I to 2 yards alignment liom the sideline. along with the end on the far side.\ \ c GT t. The ftont wedge has 2yard spacing between each player in the ilont wedge. The back wedge is s€t by the two fi. you have the salety not receiving the kick. Since we are in twin deep safeties. ifthe ball is kicked ofT down the middle. it's a sideline returar.'. i v v v k u v vvu T G 45 r. 4f fIgUEE . baBed on the lane di€bulsement and personnel. and vertical. well rcturn down a predetermined side. Alter setting the wedse on the 30."-.r'. If the call is field retum. you have the tvro tullbacks as the focal point.

setting the wall for the throw back man. blocking head-up to ouhide.SPEC1ALIEAMS 145 Vertical Retum On the vertical r€turn. The safetv that is to receive the throwback on th€ kick should go to a point 5 yards ouhide the hash and maintain l0-yard depth behind the thrower The safety that is your thmwer want8 to rcturn the kick no matter how deep it is kicked into the end zone.h Setton is assistant c@ch dt Florida Stdte Uniuerci - . Here the back wedse sets 10 yards in liont ofkick rctumer and heads shaight to the oppon€nt's goal line. As you can see. beginning about the 1s-yard line. we are simply trying to retum the ball north-south. he w6nts to run right to the numbem. There should be a man every 5 yards in the wall. The pass is backwards: therefore. MdnuaL Coa. it's a lateral. When h€ receives the kick. The ends and fullbacks set the back wedge and attack lhe righl numberslike a right rerurn.our fmnt people attack the coverage people and wheel to 5 yards outside the hash. so the ball can hit the eround and be advanced. 1988 Sunme. Misdircction Betum Our main misdirection return fu oul throwback. wherever it is kicked. shown in Figure 5. trying to Cet to the 15-yardline or until pressureforceshim to throw back to the other safety.

* * l t$ g itt I g€$ !s $ E 1}i i ! i ${il t{ ii6 $ r ! Protecting and Govering From a Spread Punt Formation TOM COUGHLIN rlrrnALAN pAeUET'TE sli iiiri i. keepurg the inside foot anchored while extending their arms to pmtect the out€ide gap.There are no free rushers.i rjll igl*]ii{i$ W€ place more emphasis on punt pmtection and covemgethan we do on any other special team unit.146 FOOTBAI. The protection calledforbigpenonnel who could drop step wrm the outside foot and lunge to the outside.When the opponentis aliened like this. Whenever the punt team is on the practice fielal. we utilize eight coaches (includjng the head coach). early in the week.We film punt practic€ from b€hind the punt team. consrsr€nrty punr rhe foorball well iq a t remendous advantagc the barile in lbr field position. Convercely.L COACHING STRATEGIES I i! .tqtvl IIGURE I Spread punl formation The two upbacks. Our strcng .Ir'q for (his purposerhar we decidedto changpfrom a basp punt formation wilh a. rFsuhingin a blockedpunt. they couldn't adequatety cover the punt. each punt team member would releas€into coverage. The punt team has two big r€_ sponsibilities. This aggreBsiveman pmtection technique is much bet ter suited to our cunent personnel herc at Bos_ ton College. W€ devot€ at leaBt S0 minuteB a week in seasonto our punt team prepamtion. Our zonpprolecrionqcheme wa6 run from d base punt fomation (Figure 2).da]lows us ro aggrcssively raKeon rushersand retease into co!erage. Aft€r securing their gap responsibility. The capabilityt. The primary responEibility is to protect the punter The secondresponsibitity is to cov€r downfield and deDy the rctum man any posili!e yardagF. These S0 minutes include meetingsand placticetime. This formation also gives us many punt fake opporru_ \ \ \ +l ^ | | | \e\g\e#q. FIOUBE 2 Zoneprotection and coverage Punt Team Formations The spread formation (seeFigure 1) has allowed us to maintain our protection and at the sane tirDe improve our coverag€_ Spreaaling the formation forces the opponent to cover each end with at least one man.would Bt€pup into their rcspectivegap anil aggre$ively protect the arca. a rusher may enter a gray area between two zones and create indeci_ sion amongthe pi-olection people. and our ends are often double covercd. The simplicity of our protection scheme etiminalcs indeciston an.lQil*i. In our man prnt pmtection scheme. This enables us to closely evaluate protection (behind) and cov_ erase distribution (6ide).zoneproteclion schemF a spreadpunr 1() Iormatron wrLb man protection. with a zone punt protection.everyore from upback to upback is accormtable for blocking a man. we can clearly and quickly identify the rush. The fuubackB will meet {'ith the special team6 coach individually at least twice. @ o @tr @@ @ @ @ €9 Punt Team Personnel Although we had big personnel who were capable of protecting the punt€r in this fashion. aligned in the center-guard gaps. as well as from the side.i? grl cl.

By switching to the spread punt fomlation and a man protection scheme. Cuards ThF sxard posirions call lor play."Your b€st tackler on defensemay not be your best coveraseplayer. Flying down the field to make a tackle is a dilYerentskill than breakingup to make a tackle on d€fense.Oncethey ar€ ofithebal1. Lining Up lor the Punl FB will look amund to seethat the team is rcady and will count 11. They must be able to r€lease offthe ball with a defender or two attempting to ke€p each on the line ofscrimmage. He must be capabloofnot only snappine the ball accurately.ss and bc vFryaggr.r" u ho are big than the upbacksand tackles to help the censer ter in pmtection whenever possibl€.) FIGURE 3 r r'@ @r'@r'Er'@ r+ya" @r+va" 2 yds@ @ zvos 15yds P The line should assume a two-point hitting stance with hands on thish pads. Punt Procedule The puntteam assembles the sideline pdor to on eachthird down.SPECLAL TE. they muql bFal Ihe opponcnlto rhF rFrurn man. Feet should be slishuy stagsered(to€. He will then make the pmtection call. he must also be abl€ to step quickly to block left or risht. Unless otheNrse instructed. A tullback must be an inteme hitt€r. The punt team will sprint onto th€ field and alisn quickly in punt fornaiion..They need not be as disciplined as the upback and tackles. the FB rcchech the taam's aligrm€nt and calls lbr the ball to be snapped(seeFigur€ 3). Upbacks and facktes Our upbacksand tacklesmustbe capableofbrinsing rhc rushcr ro d complcre "rop and rclcaqing to contain the retum man or maintain lane leverase.He will call the ftont and aleft the team ifth€re is an overload.After the line calls are made. As th€ team runs onto tha field. .iUgive \ specialinstructions or plays b€forcsendingthem on the field. be able to tak€ on rush€ft. but they must be hitters to solidify ihe middle of Center Our center is often involved in protection.ssiv. the line $r'i]Imakoany necessary line calls and communicateiheir blocking assisnments. Our punt coverageimpmved tremendouslyl We searchlong andhard to find the be3l play€r for eachposition on our puntleam. They must be able to secth€ ball. with €lbows bent. Shoulders should be panllel to the line ofscrimmage. and b€ athlelic enough to er€cute our various punt fakes.The specialt€ams coach ./heel rclationship) with the outside foot back. dopendins on the protcction call€d.All ofourcoverage drills ar€ laped to find the player who can consistontly spring downfi€ld under control and maintain proper dislribution on the field in rclation to other membels ofthe coverageteam. we were getting the most out of our personnel. they communicate special insh'uctions to members ofthc punt team who are presenUyon the field as members ofrhe offensiveunit. ther€ will be no huddle. They will line up with theirbelmets breaking the plane of the center's belt.peoplewho couldb ngtheirassigned rusher to a stop and cover the punt with good speed. (Th€ upbach and tackles may switch coverago responsibilities. Ends Our ends must be our best cover peopl€-They greal speed musrposs.This calls for a more disciplined player. specialteams coachfor the Dehoit Lions: "Open field football is difYerent. To quote Frank Ganz. Futlback The fullbackpositionmusr be asqignFd an inro teuigent and asgressive leadexHeruns the show! He must be capableof recognizingthe opponent's rush set and making the protection calls accordingly.Ourends are able to releaseonthe snap of the ball with no protection r€sponsibility.d\{S 117 aeeressivep€oplewho could covcr war€ too compact to provid€ zon€ pmtection. Alter tho fullback's call.

. Sit back and block area solid. Right upback---Contain the rctun. Fullback Line up 5 yards from tbe ball. Punter-Anticipata r11shFituation. Guards muBt be sule that their helmets ar€ even with the centels belt.This protecriuninvolves assigning a man to the center. Figure 7 shows cover responsibiliti€e outside the right hash. Tackles Block 2. (. Should be approximatelJ Jards ourside ball. Go to the baU! Upbacks-Ignorc anyone on the split end.tag' c. Ifthebatl is caught in the middle ofthe field. but don't outkick coverage. Centet Make a perfect snap. Centet Make a perfect snap.and in all casesof a ten-man ftont.e are more lhan six potenlial rushcrs. Ends Sarne split and alignment. . Assume a two-point stance.{TEGIES Guards Tak€ a one-foot split from the center: ?h€y are responsiblefor the alignment of tbe line. point stance. dircctly behind center Eagle protection is called when the.\ Ends-Rslease quickljr. dem and parauel to the line ofscrimmage. Fullback-Give th€ center directional call and block man not picked up by the center. with the inside shoulder on the ball (seeFisure 6).Go to the ball! Upbacks-Ignore anyone on th€ sptit end.l e9 q. Eagleproleclion. Counting from the outside.ighi v/ y' vv tz v v 3 4 4 v 3 v v v 21\ vl v (9 . ag. block 1.see F'e!re 4. TIGURE 4 Punt Coverage Examptes . P I i J \" . Guardr-Block 3.being able to block their assign. Blockingassi€nments will always be deterrnined by counting the potential rusherB from outside in.tefe9 €. the tackles will be 12 yards outside ofthe ball.in. €9 Punt Prctection Rock Fot€ction is ca[€d when our opponeniishave sir porcntialru<her<.e. Punter-Line up 15 yards from the ball. cocked slighily to the outuide. They align on the guard so their Bhouldem are exactly even with the guard'Bshoul. Tackles-Tak€ a one-foot split from the guard. Block 1. the center. di. Get the punt offl Maximize hang time. The tackleE and ends wilt take their alisnment on the euard. r€ctly behind the right guard.I48 FOOTBALL COACHING STR. Fullback-Scan the formation and block the most dangerous r'usher. The guads will be 6 yardB outside of th€ ball.rd-. Guads Block 3.i11go directly to the ball. Similar coverage responsibilities apply when ball is caught outside the hash area. €9 u e9 tr. and tullback $. Shoulders must be parallel to the line of scrjmmag€. ends.l (9 i i ?. the FB js assigned a man to pick up (see Ficure 5). Ends-Tak€ a split aiignment (14 yards lrom the ball). and the upbacks wilt be approximately 18 yads outside ofthe ball. Assume a two.tl by FB s€nds center to .with hands on thigh pads. use twostep punt. Block 4 to the side as dircct€d by the fullback. Tackles-Block 2. Qg (D 6D 'I. convergtne frcm outsid. "ir Right tackle and right gu.-Line up 2 yards ofl the balt with their inside foot directly behind the outside foot ofthe tackle. Upback. The coveragewill then squeeze to the ball.Co diectly to the ball when itis kicked to their side ofthe field (outside the hash).

kickedin ball lhe middlsof lhe field Punt cov. Ru-Maintain leverage on the ball. LG.cial teams c.with inside shoulder on ball. R€sponsible Ends--Co to the ball.ckh at Boston College. LT. side the Adjust cov€rage to be 12 yards Left guard outsid€ the ball. Adjusl coverage tobe approxiLelt upback mately 24 yards outside the ball. LU. C@ch Coushlin is hedd coach for the Jdchsonlille Jdguars (NFL) Cod(h Pdquette sp. Punter-Keep th€ ball in ftont at aU times.sh coverage to be 6 yards outCentgr-Adjust ball. converging ftom outside"in.age.. coverage to be 18 yards Lott tackle-Adjust outside the ball. Play safety role. C.SPECIAL TEA. 1992 Sumher Manual.\IS 1]! Puntcoverago. . Maintain lev€rage on the bafl wiih near shou]der Fullback Go directly to the ball. b6ll kicked oulsid€rhe righrh. Squeeze to the ball.

Fig. staying aware of th€ Zb_ sccond . The center's prime job is to s€t the ball to the punter accurately in 0. Coverage: Work to get in the middle ofthe field.. load" call from upbacks. They don. The onty player we won't ltse is our No. i Q i } rt M i .@. Retain wide bas€ and shufie back one yard (two step6). attack with a high tackle. Responsiblefor the man or men in the oursidz gap from his insid€ shoulder(from noseto nose). Force him to commit siatewavs. . lf an opponcnr jumping around. i ! Every coachbeJieves the importance ofthe kick_ in ing game. @ @@ @ oy os @ rsyo" Center The most important thing about the punt is the center's snap. Guards Two-point stance with the outside foot slighUy back. especiallythose coach rng wmnmg programs. .i t i. is be 6hould snap quicklJ Assignmentr Quick setup. : l tl iir . .after prac_ tice" activity. snaps at teast ore sec_ He ond after the fullback says .Ifthere are two nen Punt Team Our defensive staff handles the punting same usmg the very b€st athletes on our team. FIGUBE I @. li i i i 9 .. : ... It must be pefect.ready" He should vary the delay of his snap..i. . closeto the ball fffirst man to the receiver. Hands onknees. Linedup on the heelsofthecen_ lssign nent: Block outside-the outside edge of protaction responsibility. ! ili i! i i:i $ Making a Commitment to Special Teams JOHN COOPER wnn I-ARRy COYER I I . Feet sliehtly narrower than shoulders. I . Some coaches. Be alert to. @'u'I'u'@.lock. .150 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES i : f t I .. i { I I .'@.7 seconds. ure 1 showEour standard punt alignm€nt. t ii i. Sp nt in lane.t con_ sider the work of special teams an .over. are committel to thekrck_ inggame.They are willingto putth€irbesr pray_ els on these teams and spendthe necessarypra€_ trce time on the kicking game..Foot-to-foot with upbacks after thi6 shufile back. When the ba is caught. 1 quarl€rback.

we will snap quick. Break down and shuffle in.and commuaicalcl\Vlren everyone is set calt "ready. and co!er Dnn r be ovprlyaggr. Get distance and height. Hands on knees. Sprint in lane until 7 yads from ball-callier. Fill the one-footsplit by C-G gap Ext€nd arns like OL in passprotection. Ifopen fbr a run. Covereger Fan out with rcleaseto coverlane. stop the fimt. Upbacks T\vo-pointstance.ar:.Watch for twist stunis over the upback. Tbrust to outside of p.4 yards outside hash.Know down. time.Popthem g^od.sive. Fe€t slightly na ower than shoulders.At 10 yards be in lane until T yards from ball-carrier.aqc im mediately. take the second. . Ends Two-point stance with the outside foot slightly back. and go to lane Coverager Fan outwithreleas€ to coverlane.betweencenter and guard. Fan out on release to cover lane. your 6ide first (especiallyin stack situation). Sprint in lane until 7 yads ftom ball-carrier.€ction. Hands on knees. keeping outside Futtback Man in charge. Nothing gets outside. Punler Line up at least 15 yards deep. 6 yads from sideline.suring prolecliun.otection. cover between the wall and tbe sideline. Aim_ ing point is the goal post on youl side. Third down offers another chance ifbad snap. Drag the inside foot as late as posBible.3 s€conds rcceivins snap). ball at his leis11le. bloch the uirrest mon going through the nearest gap.Ifbvo men are in the gap. Fullback \.rplpaqe. still set. Break down and shulfle in. keeping outside leg free.can't affold to be pulled or thmwn.rel.Ilno man in area.ill take the frrst. Feet slightly narrcwer than shoulders. Ask punt€r if he is r€ady. and go to lan€. CovetegerARpr a. Covetaget Releasedownfield. Make o!prloadcall ro canrerifnece". Ascr'gnnrent: Block outside -outside edge ofour fbr protection rcsponsibility.At 10 yards be at coverpointlane.feet balanced. Thrr-rst to outside of protection. get a shoulder orhip on the man. Ifit's a middle rctum. Sprint in lane until 7 yards from ball carrier.Responsible man or (from nose out).Al al. Acsignt''ent: Block outside-outside edge of protectionresponsibility.SPECIALTIAMS 151 irrthe eap. Coverage. Dmg inside foot as lat€ as possible.Always be awar€ ofdown."B)ock the first man to showthe most dangerous r-usher Ne|er srep 6acA to 6locA. Be contain man. thrust.idth (shutrle). Tacktes Ti'o-point stanc€ with the outside foot sliehUy back. Cover lane point is at least 10 yards. early in the eame. If first man to the ball. Brcak down and shumo in. If it's a sideline r€turn. keeping outside leg free. Respomiblefor the man gap ofhis insid€ shoulder or men in the otllside to the next man's inside should€I (from nose to nose). center \till snap Ifdefense is jumping around. Then call "ready. Evade all blockers. Then break down and Bhuffle in. Responsibility is to block fion tbe AssigDrtenti noseoftbe center to the nose of the guard. Cover lane point is at 10 yards. Dragthe inside foot as late as possible."After call. thrust to outside ofprol. scor€.freld position.hands on knees Align 1 1/2yards deep. attack the receiver with a high tackle. Fan out on rclease to cover lane. still set.lu the dircction of punt thrce times. If rnan is lined up men outside as much as 5 yards outside.Tfttro men in gap. thrust. set step to a cuto{T spot andblock the widestman going through the neaest gap. get wjdth (shuffle). Also responsiblefor audible.s expectthe bad snap.If no man in area.3 yards inside hash.s c. Assignmenlr Let the fullback know when rcady Aluq. Assignmettr Count teammates four to the right and four to the left. or a man in the gap and a man over the end. keeping outside leg fiee. Covetagee Saf€ty man. get $.Pmtcct first. cover second. set st€p and 6lock the widest man going though the nearest gap. fullback in dicatesthe directionI "Ringo" lor right and "Lucky" for left.and field position. GeL after the punt olTin2secondsorless (1. distance. cov€r shaight to ball.Fourth down is must punt. distance. Front up the ball at 15 yards.

""dbb"kd.s peNonnel on punt cov_ erage structure (seeFigure 4). 5 and e Attack #1 uBing pop technique and retum position.A S Punt Block and Return Teams Th€ personnelfbr ourpunt block(score) t€am will bp the bcsrsrhlpleson our rpam. C C O tI .to6edown foot and releaseafter makine goodhit. We operate from one type offront in our punt _ defense. 3 and 8-Attack #3 using pop technique and return position. Unc" \. The pmctice ofthis unittakes pre. qptrlsro I LrnemFn wilt. r.Our philosophyis to use the block tn. l-Force or block kick.ntro orercmphasizp prcrpcrion. we have a great chance to set up our retum. You are a 'personal protector.for retum rrar.Our firsr prior_ ity is speed.ne punter witl never get closerthan 2 feer from the back of the end zone.. We try to dis_ cover this knack with a simple kick block d tl that we do thmughout spring and fall pmctice (se€Figure2). If ball is purted.6\/\ A.A .1\.l t l Our punt btock and punt rctunr t€ams look ex_ actly the same. Dllring the courseofthe s€ason.pl up L.Jesse James. cedenc€ over all other ddlls. I rgxreJ shoss ho$ wc align in our lo-man.A.t kick him. but neyer closerthan 4 yads from the puntingspur. w€ searchfor play_ eft with a knack for btockins kicks.ronr.. to-Make sure ball is kicked.A o CCC S Punt Beturn leam Alignment and Issr'gnrrents We call our punt rcturn team . Returner-Go nortlvsouth right away. R€leasehim outside. then tuln and sprint back to the ball and block firct thrcar. to emphasizcrhe need lo -hold Lrp rhe co\Hrage. TIGURE 3 1o-man froni punt btock/return C C CC OCC tr OCC ArA^ .i. Wedo e!eM hingwp cando b ror bluck a h-ickfmm anywhcre nn LhFdctd.In order to simplify our comrnunication we refer to ou. peel around to block punter or FB.152 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES Punting Frcm Deep in Own lenitory When punting inside ofour own 3-yard tirre.we wilt have variations ofthe JesseJames retum to take ait_ vantage ofouroppon€nt. FIOURT 4 rosse Jamespunt return flounE 2 l-..l ff T .ur um. Ger ar least 10 yards...but beyond that. 2 and g-Attack #4 using pop technique and rctuln position. 4 and 7-Attack #2 using pop tecbnique and retum po8ition. . .. The tullback will move up 2 feet closer and then move up on the punt so that the punt€r do€sn. Releas€him ortside.A .e Cetour oppon. Releasehim outside. Releasehim out6ide. positions as nun1beru1 10.

Make screammgno1se. . and be in rocker pGition when fieldins the baI. then go to the wall. Ifable to knock a man down. . call "Pe ter" and get away from the ball. As ball goes by. get on lO-yard line and don't back up to field the bali. Field all punts in the air unless late in game and own team has lead and freld position.stay Bquar€on man. Slice. -1993 Pmceedinss. Punt Block leam Atignment and Assig renls The alienment and position rcsponsibilities ofour 10-man rush team are as follows (seeFigure 5).r rechnique. Don't wait for ball to be in air. Then let punt hit eround to consume time.er him. ger Sal€ty-41 yards dFep.9. Key the ball and get a goodjump on snap.2. FIGURE . Get up quickly whenever knocked down. Don't allow any penetration from self to next man in front of wall. to lhc wall. block punt. fake catch by sprinting up middle or either sideline in pmximity to the ball.it's an automatic retuln right. and Io Drive outside of#4 forblock point. Must br€ak tackle or beat fimt cover€rl Punt Bush Principles . This enables blocker to control and releasehim to the side away ftom wall. .dd . block punt. Don't go to someoneeke. Attack coverer pad under pad on proper aimins point. . Don. 6-Finesse center risht for block point. block punt. Align as closeto the neutral zoneas possible. o PunI Betumer Pfincipies . scan. Keep eyes open. Take the ball otr the kicker'E foot. Key punter start moving in dircction he steps. CaI will be made ftom sideline. . Ifball is blocked and crossesLOS. pick it up and Bcore. Instead. . . Don't leave your feet to block a kick.h and Coach Corer is defensiw se. block punt."". . Ifpicked up on charge.t handle puntu insid€ 10-yad line. . $-Finesse center left for block point. block punt. . .sprirttoreturnman. Don't block unless able to get your head in front. . . use prcp. .oa. Stay low on your charge make yours€lf small. Make decision to fair catch €arly and give the Bignal clearly. Block point will be one yard in front of the kicker's foot. The return pGition iB on inside shoulder of . Don't fake fair catch on kill or kill pooch punts. 3 and a Drive inside of #3 for block point. Ger undelnearh ball. Stay on feet. Don't turn head.SPE{JIALTEAMS 153 Punt Betum Btocking Principles ."" 51 C H. stay aft. . tum and run with the ball. . Get at least 10 yards on ev€ry punt that doesn'tgo out ofbounds or insid€ the 10. If abouttolose ablock. . Ifball is blockedand do€E notcrossLOS.xq"trpP S l. 4 and 7 Drive inside of #2 for block point.ondar! coach at Ohio State . . If punt isn't blocked. If in a wall. . On kill or pooch punts.G. Coach Cooper is h.. . .

ard make our tight end €ligible It becomFs trips fonnation sceFisure Ir. . A mistake most coaches make is with the perconnel on their punt coverage t€ams. i r r ii ii i . The third point is where we differ fron most teams.som€one will forget to cover the split end in a game. somecoaches r€act with skepticism. we want to put peopleon our punt team that will be covering a pass interception. unbalanced.t get the punt of? Play the peoptethat will a[ow you ro ger thc punr ofl Wc aran r goingro ptaj d those defen.Certain gimmicks can help a punt team. either end.and a PAT teanbe more successful. Il we pur a man in motion. } ! I g * e ! r . Punting We put our best players on the punt team_We have on€ punt where we only use our first offensive team. cover effe(tively. One is on a punt and the oth€r is on an interception. we have him nD his rcgutar coverage. and .. putting those playem in situations they donl se€in the other part ofthe same_ What doescoveragemean ifyou do. 1 i. c t $ t 1 1 ? $ .omostrerffn ttsdrnb. you can have the punter mal{e the pass.u ptay us. They tend to play six or seven defensivebacks on the punt teams. 2 eB in the upback position. This year well play our starting QB be€ausehe has played that position for l oqi \n l\ R A\J E B -/ \-/] . We use three formations. The upback can thmw the ball to the punter.154 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATECIES i ! r 1i: Kicking Game Gimmicks That Work JIMWALDEN i ! i i] 1{ 1 . If the defense tells the rushers not to go until they see the ball go by the upback. That is. We use a no.mal. Some coaches don't work on changeofpossessionon the inter_ ception. When I talk about tricks in the kickins same. a kickofYt€am. because m goins ro throw the ba ro hin-. a ' Thib iq a frighrening sight l.and motion fonnation.The punter can thmw the ball to the upback.rr baekshecause e rhcy ofrend^n r wanr to block the opponent'slinemen and linebackers. The fakes we use are as fotlows.* t Q :l t i i s i i l l i I i l l $ t+ i g th€ past two years. or either slotback. avoid getting kicks btocked. or either slotback.However. We move the running back up on the line. we line up the ends wide to the outside. Ifthe wing goesin motion. and the play will be uper We tell the punter to always look at the ends. I Very seldom do we ever throw the ball to the split ends.because they arc aftaid they'll get 6ome_ one hurt on the plav FIGURE I T. ODe other thing we do is move our players to change the formation.When is the last time you told one ofyour defensive playels that they had the punter ifthe ball is snapped ro lha upback? know. i $ { . and he knows what to do at that spot. Youd bettcr be rhinkrng abour ir ify. un_ til they seeth€m work and rcatize these gimmicks arc based on fundamentals and the el€ment of surprise. I you np! er I houshrof rhar. So.We typically play our No. the eB wiu take his responsibility on the contain. either end. Any good punt team will . There arc two situations when the ball can changepossession during a live ptay.ips left flare ro punter Punt Team AIignmen[ and Strategy In our punt alienment. move the Bplit end back one yard on the oppositeside. maintain possession ofthe ball.

we When run the screen pass \t ith the punter throwing the ball. becausew€ have it in our attack..Any state west of the Mississippi River means we are going to our left.tll think t$dce before they run it again. The punter would call "Montana-Miami-Montana. If we face a 10-manrush. han and oprional unblocked """""k"b. Ifwe call "Iowa-Miami'Iowa" instead. or color at the hau or l. lf"e rp goingIo ru n our Iake punr lo t he righl. You may ask."". That leavesthem with sixmen. We pick a state that is our live statc lf we call a live state. On oul covemgeth€ SEs go to we catl the ball.4 /ccro c c {'. Dnn r loqc)ourjob ovFrfak. they have only five men to rush the punt.SPI]CIAITEAMS 155 We never want to get the punt blocked Our rrJeB for our punt blocking are simple." we would r-un the fake punt to the lelt.If we call "Mon tana-Las Vegas-Montana. city. Ifyou completeone ofthose scrcen passes. w€'re going to punt th€ ball. We block Ifwe fac€t{'o men in our gap. we can caUthe fake punt and run one of our trick plays. That takes carc of five defenders. on a coach.. We can run the option ftom this set Who has the pitch man on the fake punt? If you play us. East cities are to the ght and West cities arc to the left This is how it would work. But it's been fun and successtul for us. Make the CaIt I cannot tell you what we use as our keys Forgive me for that. we call a city. This tells the upback which way to go. Don't put youmelfin a bind. Let me tell you how we get a fake punt called. We can find five people to block those frve rushem. C .they'tl coverthe two wingmen. for help. I can assureyou the!41cover tbe two $'ide men. The Rs have contain. regardlessoftheir set. you better assign someoneto take the pitch. 3 FIGURE -. inside-over-outside. We can call liv€ states or dead states. We can make the defense rcspect our kicking game. we tell them to pick any state east ofthe Mississippi River (That's our geosaphy lessonfor the day!)We tell them to visualizea map ofthe Unit€d States. Miami m€ans we are going to our dght sid€. the. to uDback """"*" e. "What do you do against teams that get in a 10man front and th€n back out just before the ball We run a pure fak€ punt on th€rn."Montana means w€ are going to run the fake punt.We can use cotors instead of states or cities W€ can chaDge th€ live state. We can letthe punter throw the ball to the upback to stop that crap (seeFigure 3.* " o r p ap ro.q lR I YVY R B' Rl o 2 FIGURE l-.*'o.. It's hard to watch. and it's worked.*-.. We can run the ball on the fake punt (see Fieure 2). ''a 'e' e R becauseit may not work.As soonas the QB looks at the defenseand calls the fake punt."P. They will putone man back to field the punt.they have to assign someoneto cover the upback on the pass or run. You can comeup with your own plan. You need to have a fake punt. Wben you are going to run a true fake punt without reading the d€fense. And our players believe in what we're doing. make sure you are out around midfield . you may want to cover your eyes. for example) They'll no longer fake tbe 10-man lush if we burr them a time or two. Now. is snapped?" they turn their back as they back out.We use a city or state as a key word Montana was our hot caU last year.ns punrs Letme tell you the truth: This approachto the kicking gam€ is rorgi. The rest ofthe team have lanes to cover the punt retum. It is the same setup."".

ball your face.Youcan make up the combinatior I hrt you wani. IfwF Mant 10 run rhp onErcle kick. We had to do something to change that attitude.k . and a hot city.Our playem know we arc going to hesitat€ on the ki. get Jnto it becauselI is fun.WFki. receiving the team slarts thinhing what in the hetl is the prob_ lem.We want our our_ side plugger. They. ir Kickoff Team Three yearB ago we asked oul team this question: "How many ofyou want to eo down on the kickoffl" No one raised their hand.who is oul t1 or S. a dead state. to so for the balt (seeFisure 6). We kick it to the goal line. we ha\ e six ryppsof kickoffatignmenrs.We scrrlp on a couptcof li\ e ca q lorea. Une is d normalkick. They want to get on that punt t€am.wFcanchanserhecall to something else. Ne\r $FFk. We give them a hot state.L COACHING STRATEGIES for eachgame.you need to have a system that will tell your upback which side h€ $ going 10take it to. which is wh€re our kick€r tikes to ki ck from. I can assurc you that yoru play_ ers will get excited. We like to build the suspense. We We likc ro burlda tirrieanxieryon I he kickoffs _. They los€ their concentration. We pop the ball over the top and aim for the l€ft sidetine.YoL' out the lhrngerhat arc bes{ tbr your situation.If our kicker witt hold af_ ter lhe $histle t5 ro 20 qeconds. FIGUBE 6 -\ We also have a running cluster sprcaal. On the popovel we want to get the ball on rne onside kick. we ca ir our cluErerWe havp I I men thar c6n push th. We come outand sprint down the fietdin oultan€6 and go to rhp ball lfanlrhing ge(s in our $at. lhF ruleb slaie we have 25 se(ondsto pur Ine kick in play after the whistle_What happers on most kickoffs?As soonas that whisde biows.itch lourmen oneach side of the ball.k his frum rhc riehl hash ' mark. Wc wanr t hF kickcr ro qet r he hell out of the wav k:ck the ball in the right comex This scrcws up the blockers.156 FOOTBAI.mosr kickers start forwad and kick the ball. On switch normal.we sx. shown in Figure 5. We change the 1-2_3_4 men on the right with th€ 11-10-9-8 men on the teft. $c run through rhem: we don r run around rtre btocker Th€ plzgg?rs go direcfly to the balt.ee Figxre4'.. We pop the batt over to the sideline and go for the ball.h gamF. Tm going ro give you everyrhingon the -norcan r\ork bplup. jus' bump rhc bait and go We aller'n Thc loui"insrdcmen btockour the fronr il I ino Io allu$ our two outsidcmen to go aller rne ball.

e' kicking game. EverJ year someonewill ask me why we huddl€ on the hash mark on PAT8. we will always take a pressur€ approach. our punt return sums up our philosophy towar& the whole game. A rush-return co[bination has ivork€d b€tter for us than a hold-up return approach. C@ch Wal<len uas head codch at loud Stat UniDe6iI!. Our coach on the sidelin€ will tell oul kicker what we want. W€ have five on the sideline and five in the cluter Now we have 25 seconds decidewhat we want to to do. You force th€ opponents to spend time defending you while you'r€ being creative. 1991 Sumner Manual. we take the fiont five and leave them in a cluster. We feel that our punt retum-block teams are possibly the most important t€ams that take the field each Saturday. They want to know when we are going to r'un a trick play from that fonnation. Punt Return. it will take a lot oftim€ away from their regular practice time. whether we have called o11rreturn or our block.i ' :6 i 1 )i t t. We line up in a formation that has no beadng on what we'rc soins to run.. We huddle on the hash mark and then shift over to the cent€r ofthe field on our PATS. you're trying to keep from getting beat instead of winning in the kicking game. lf yot\te install€d the type of kicking game that will make the opponent prepare for your trick plays. and more critical than anything else-we believ€ that tough guys win.wewill bump theball onthe top and kick it to the sideline. back. that can average 40 yards. We put our fastest players on the outside because ofthe distance they have to cover ifthey are going to be a factor. c r l l ? : t ill B *]:il] irr :::. I tell them we'll never run a trick play fromthat lormation. i( consists of defensi'e . Ifyou do not get over to cover th€ areaonthe sideline. We po8ition playeN with the best knack for making the block in the offensive tackle area on the LOS.SPECIALTEAMS 157 The last thing we do is the split and cl$ter When the whistle blows.Block Team We block punts withp€ople. But theyknos that rhjs ma) be the year I come up with something newl When you spend all ofyozr time on tl. If you want to start having fun in the kicking game. In our alisnment.a .fenses or olTensive plays.W€ tell oul playe$ tbat the punt is the only plal in our playbook. and (b) it involves somenonstarters in a crucial part of the game. field position. The reasoninebehind this is that they are closeenough to get to the punter quickly and far enough away so that the p€rsonal protector is uBually drawn by players closer to the ball. Perhaps more than any other Bingle play.::q1}N. linebackers.Weplay trickB like that with the kicking game..: i .We beli€vein the importance ofturnove$. This is positive in two ways: (a) It sives us the speed and quickness need€d to get to the punter. you tahe control . we put our best athl€tes on the field and allow enough pmctice time to execute in rhe sampfashionas wc do any ofour d. a great plan with the wrong people won't do jt. These playeru are $ually defensive backs who can slip through a small seam. PAT Teams The last thing I want to cover is the extra point. When we send our punt block tcam onto the field. We placeour two quickest players on eachside of the center. and in our opponent's playbook. The back row will come over and line up to the right of the ball.ii. It's futile to ask a huge lineman to get himself into a positjon to block a punt. and defensive ends. B€cause of that.iirll SPARKYWOODS ri Pressuring the Punter 1 $ t $ i ! t gi r ii r : ]l i : Q .

The frrst.ish. the first thing that comesto mind is an alt-out 10man block. protecting their inside gap (seeFigure 3). but very seldomdo we send all10 men. we ask our blockers to take a tighter alignment and to take an inside angle or aiming point.In an inside zone protection. When people talk about blocking punts. On this particular twe of prot€ction. we ask our punt blockers to take a wider alignment and take an outside aiming point to create an inside-out stretch. The "look ofpressure" also requires the coverage team to block belorc theyrelease. I . the blocken step out. the reason for the inside angle is to run from where the block is coming and make people move their set foot. much like an extra point or field goal block. The fiISt man must draw the personal protector's block whit€ th€ other man mal{esthe block. protecting their outside gap (seeFieure 2). we rot only put pressure on the snapper to get the ball back to the punter quickly." meaning the 1s and Ss dmp off (see Figure l).If we do not want an all-otlt block.lL an outside zone protection.you would be runnins into the blocker instead of away liom him. but we also put pressure on the punter to get the ball off fast. and most conmon. we will simply call out the numben of the positions we want to fall off.Betum Team Alignment We lin€ up 10 men on th€ line of scrimmage.giving ourwall time to fol.it only tahes two men to block a punt. Punt Btock lechnique After we have taught our players to clear the blocker we then t11rn our attention to the punl block t€chnique. s Thi makes the punt team account for an all-out block. which can b€ utilized accordingto field position and time remaining in the game. It is extremetyimpoftant that the positions dropping out do so as the bary is sndpped. Once again. We break our t€aching into six different areas. Ifyou werc to take an inside rushine angle. and eachrequires different aiming points for the playem attempting to block the punt. we might call "13. so that they draw th€ blocker they are aligned over. For exampte. o C RETURNER v FIGURE I C o CC CL5R5R4R3 R2 ICO C L4 RETUBNER The secondtwe ofprotection includes both the man concept and the iDd& zone.not allowing thei opponentsto help out somewhereelse. to creat€ an outside-in shetch. OuI punt block team has two defenses. FIGURE 2 oursiderone prorectton punr by Punt Btock. It is critical to detennine which type of protection ]our opponent is using.rn and our punt rcturn€r time to catch the ball and get upfield. on both Bidesof the center.158 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES By putting a strong rusher on the punter.In actuatity. 1 through b. We calry a 10-man block.Versusth€setypes of prot€ctions.one base and one blitz. We can use any combination ol numberu we \. iE an outsidpzone. the blockers step down. It is very imporl€nt that we teach proper technique in blocking punts just as we teach technique in any oth€r phase of football. We number our positions. Adjustments Io Punt Prctection There are basically two types of punt protections.

including the fullback (personal protector). The most impodant thing in delending a fake punt is to believeyour oppon€ntwill not only fake it. r^ Thi. hold. and take an aiming point in fiont of the punter. . Another fake. Runnina ouer the legs of the blocken. block does it usually happens quickly and with one occur . or block belowthe waist. must be empha6i/ed avordgFlling up. away from the line of scrimmage and towad our opponents goal line. Players should communicate and not fight over the ball. punter.Thp brggpsr advantage the opLion ol punt forrnation is surprise. we also consider other "attacks" not usually considercdas simple fakes.o our aiming point is our nert step. The aiming point will vary depending on the depth of the punter and how many st€ps he takes. sevenl teams have punted the ball on third down with a puntins team inEefted-Iiom th€ shadow oftheir goal line. BETURNER V C C O^aC instead of out and to ext€nd their hands in front oftheir chest. Inside peopleare taught to jump up . ElimirLatinC the persob&l protector (fallbach). Everyone else should turn and find someoneto block. We teach our outside people to ext€nd thefu arDs over their head and to jump across the punter We teachthe outsideblock€rsto leap towards the foot (leap for distance and not height). On our fake punt checklist.and arc quite proficient in defending the fake. a regular wall return. Be"ides having peopledrop offrhe linp.SPECIALTEAMS 159 FIGURE 3 by Insldezoneprotection punl c/ob /ffi\b\\. This prevents the ball from going between their arrm and emphasizeskeeping their eyesopen. Leaaing lour feet is the nert point. We teach our outside players to clear the block. In oder to make sure we are ready for a thid down punt. . we also prepare our defense for quick kicks. The third down punt tops the list here. and interior slots. Tahing the proper anele . We practice running over tripped dummies to insur€ getting our legs up while keeping our feet moving for'wad. . it is likely that 6 or morc men are committed to defendine fakes and onty 3 or 4 to the block. less common. A. Someof the fakes to watch lor €ach week are quite common. Getting off on the baU. at Becausewe have had so much success block' ingpunts. Teamswill jump and shift in an attempt to draw us offBides. kick-out scheme. &op th€ir inside shoulder. Blarchine the punt. we assign an extra player or players to guard against the scle€n. W€ don't spend much time working ifa on blockingthe quick kick because. but will execute the fak€ wel}. such as the tullback run on a downWe attack this play ftom block. We have a checklist to prepare for fakes. Our play€rs put their hands tog€ther and look thrcugh th€m to the ball.so we must be disciplined. L1 L2 L3 L4L5B584R3R2 Rl Delending Against Fakes We anticipate fakes. ourrcgular defensealways has three retums. and a "safe" retuln.lvanciLe the bloched.and work very hard to make a fake a dangercus gamble for our opposition. making sure we do not clip. The first man calls for the ball and always scoopsthe ball in front of him. so when we work on jt we assign option r€sponsibilitiesand a secondary to rotate to it. . and they usually get as much or more practice time on them as our block team. We talk about hands. As well as having a block. punt. We tl'lI the first man who clears th€ line of scdmmage to attack the personal protector'sinsid€ number. both sides. we create a shorter angle for the people who clear latex .is the oplrom a t ron. we teach ov players to key the ball and concenhate only on the ball.not over their head. Out of the 10 men on th€ line of scnnmage at the snap. The firut it€m on our checklist is for our players to identify all €ligibl€s. In doing this. .

Second. Other elements we work on every week incluale shifting and substitution attacks. aflually pre_ for We lcr lo seespreadfonnaLions bpcause thinl they $c are susceptibleup th€ middle as well as affording short comers. the odds for making a block become much greater FIOUBE 4 5R4 R3 R2 R1 L\ RETURNER The rctuln and block must go hand in hand. An opponenldoesnot have much time l. pressr. Orga_ nizing and wo*ing against this attack ofour punr team is a priority lor us in practice. our use of personnel. Becauseof our success blocking punts.ithout the other. who awempr to dor n I he ball. One is not good \ .ti? _ lhe fake. We practice two €lements. The second possible substitution attack is sendinE ouD ine second offeNe with the puntea and then shifting into an offensiveformation. of and ou-r ovFrall foorball philosophl. In oder to confuse our substitutions.en holdrhpir coverage insurcgerrrng to ihp punl of.FirBt. we try to block the_"hickchaseru. whether it. We believe we can defcnd rhrough proper. We believe that the pressure will cause tne situation we want. No one has successfully faked a punt on us .ince $e ha\e changedlo our aggres"ive srylc. and our playerBare convincedofit. Mosr coacheq betiererhat holding up rhe coverage hatf rhe barrtein reluming i6 punts (Beeexample ofrcturn in Figure 4). rt lakcs praclicetime and people pressure ro rhe punt€r well. Teams oft.s the rctum or Lne block. The positive results we've achieved are the con sequence practice time. A"^pni..o tsera fake off because ol our rush.160 FOOTBAIL COACHING STXATEGINS Rather than spending time on blocking quick _ kicks. opponents sometim€shold their punt team to the last secondand then rush them onto the feld. When weget a good retum or two. prad icegerringour we ptayers to change from a defensivc to an offen_ sive poinl of vrew Wp reach our players lo lhink ofa quick kick as an inkrceplio. we teach our defense how to retum them.l" is the key.Wp also know rhar our opponent go_ is Ing ro rhrnk hardabouta lake $hpn thej seehow otten we msh the punt." usualty wide outs. -1987 Sunmer ManuaL C@ch W@ds is offensiue coordinatar at the Uniu_"ity "f . VerJ simp)). we in ^ feel thar our return has also becom"dangerous.cheme and prc. We are always ready to move out to spread punt formations wrrn our be6rpersonnel coverage. Wc betierewe are_capable ofreturning the quick kick for a scorc.

the entirc blocking procedure can be nullified. We attribute our success drill. In Figure 1.we attribute our success iord u. . . . This is important. we pressure all kicks. but not nearly as important as selling players on the value ofblocking kicks. .ns. whether its a zone or man. Don't rough the ldcker or holder on extra points and field goals. Don't block betowthe waist.we number them for alignment pur?oseB and flip-flop them with the call. Our system olpunt blocks and field goal blocks is not that different from other systems. Don. * I I Blocking Kicks and Punts CHUCK AMI$O ano JIM GLADDEN $*gH$?$$?sf&ct&xQax*t$i$*&$xt. Punt Block Our punt block schemeis a simple overload.very simply. Don't clip.t let the ball hit the gtound on retur. The "lay out" is a m&st irgrealient. We number our personnel 1 through 10. The team that can conBistently block kicks haB a big weapon in its arsenal. numbers 1 through 6 are sefling out to block the kick. We generally align with 10 men on the line of scrimmag€ and b ng €ither 1 or 2 men out to play the pass or run. Concentration and effort are essential. All punt blocks are automatic retums. we return opposite the block. practice time. We want our playe$ to have an ottitude and beliefthat pmper executron in the kicking game can produce "hidden" yardage as well as points on the scoreboard. to FIGURE l P""rbr*kbft I o 8-12yds Rutes lor kick btocwreturn team. and the attito tude olour players. the returneris designatedas R. Don't b€ offside.or&. We desigrate a visual landmark that we refer to as the "spot" for aU ofthem to aim for Our number 7 and L0 play the fake on the line of sffimmage. we like to disguise our atignment and move immediately after the ball iE snapped. The number system allows us to show sev" eral different looks. Coaching the technique is important. Don't fall on a blocked kick unless it is third . then we'll frnd a way to place thoBeplay€rBon the block units. As a rrle. There is no other phate of the game that gives a team a better opportunity for a big play Everf kick is a chance for a block or return. . A blocked kick can provide the edge needed to win a game. we try to identify who will "lay out" to block a kick.We try to have one more man on one side that the opponent cannot pick up in its prctection. Our base scheme for block left is shown m Figlle 1. and 8 and I will normally move before the srap to a depth of8 to 12 yards . For oul defensive punt unit. especially if the offense decides to fake or run pattems that an inexperienced player might not readily perceive. W€ want experienced starters in the game.t!t The kicking game haB become the diflerence rn more and more games. but the players always know where they hav€ to end up when the ball is snapped. without it.SPECIALTEAMS 161 r * * * * $ I &$ ss € * x * n&&&* I s &$ $ * x $ $ x. In the early fa[. we attempt to leave as many regulars as possible in the game.

seeFigure 2)_ FIGUBE 3 Coach B l ockangl edl l t/< BunThruSpot FlcuBE2jFG". The next drill in our progession requires the punter to "pooch" the ball. See the batl from the snap.Prbr"* K B< B B B 5yds> c V c The spot for the block is 2 feet in fronr ofthe holder.we don't have to substitut€. Block th€ punt with the hands. so get away from it. . Extla Point and Field Goal Blocks The extla point and field goal btocks are either right or left. When otr best blocker is on the basedefense.uns through the spot and bats the ball with 6ot.162 FOOTBAI. This also t€aches the blocker the proper angle he must take lrom his position to block a kick (seeFigure 3). Lay out for the ball. never leaving hiB feet.ith a coachstationed on the spot and a mattress next to him. cover the ball (do not try to advanceit). . . hands.regadless ofrisk. . aB there is always a danger of a high snap. and how to adjust to the ball as it leavesthe punter's foot. ftom the call with th€ end. pla€ing the body parallel to the gound acrossthe spot. a tumbled snap. This teaches the play€r to take the ball off the punter's foot. Have hjm go full speed .We will contain to the block side with either the linebacker or the noseguard and uway Our next d ll is similar. We usually hav€ onty one subsritution (most of the time our primary block nmr. We're finally ready to put the blocker in the exact position he will play. We usually begin our practice (fiIst 10 to 20 minutes)with kick-blocking drills so our players appreciatethe importance ofthe kicking game. . TheEeare c/zdal coachingpoints on punt blocking: . On fouth down blockedpunts. Th€ spot for blocks is 5 yards in ftont ofth€ punter and 2 feet to the right or left. We require a player to lay out on the mattress as he Blapsat the batl. Do not hit the kicker! . The player simply r. It is our ball. A partially blocked punt that closses the line ofscrimmage is a punt.He must draw (orpuldown) the block of the upback (wing) so that the distance to the spot is reducedfor our primaryblock man (comer.L COACHING STRATEGIES and play the fake. This creates a situation similar to an actual blocked kick and allows the playerc to pnctice a quick recovery and attempt to scorc (seeFigurc 4). On thid down blockedpunts. positionedoffthe line of scrxomage. Take it off the kicker's foot. w€ require him to get up and scoopthe ball toward the goal line.sideend is the key to the freld goal or exha point block. Alter th€ player hits the mattress. Through this &i11. Don't take your eyesoll the ball. Drills for Blocking Kicks Players need to be taught and drilled on how to block a kick. or the holder pulling the ball up and out. pick the ball up and tryto advance. The contain men musr be alert. The first drill is very elementary We tine lhe players up 5 yards from the spot in their respective blocking position \. The player takes offand the coachtossesihe balt up at dif {erent angles. Our block. the player becomes accustomed looking at the ball and redirccting to hb hand! to the ball.

FIGUBE 5 Spot. We can now Bhow our punt blockers the different blocking our Bchemes upcoming opponentsuse. so thelre familiar with the players who will likely block them in the upcomine game (BeeFieure 6). and so the players automatically know where the spot In our last drill.scoredrill P Gel up and blockpunter eids We want to €mphasizethe importanceofworking the kicking game every day and doing these drills religiously. We use a trailer in the ddll to teach him to pick up the ball and rtln for a score(seeFigue 5).Ien iN outsid. .h and Coach Glad.ln Stdte Unire rcitr.hal Flori. Perhaps the primary ingredientthese drills teach our playeN is that they 6e' lieu€ they can go for blocked kicks without ever getting a roughing penalw X B 1985 Summer Manual. B< B B 5 Yds ---> FIGURE 6 P at the proper angle to the exact spot (indicate with play strip) to block a punt.oa<. you can (a) add a center and have playerc study the oppoBing center lor a hirchor bendofan opponenis kneeto gpt a jump (b) tak€ the spot indicator away on the Bnap. Coach Amdta is dzfensiue line cod. linebacher . we place all our people in their pmper position on one side ofthe center and have offensive people in &ont of them.block.SPECIAITEAMS 163 FIGURE 4 To modify this drill.

lt l PABI IU | | | | | | | | | I I tt I I | | tt I | | | P[rilosophy.Motivation. and Management rrrrrr r r r r r r r r r Q 1he Value of Football Priorities of Coaching I'he Gal3e and Coaching Thking Care of t}Ie Game Imights Into Coaching Puttitrg Togettrrer Winning Pmgram a I]lingB fve Leamed From CoechiDg Fifty-Plue Yearsof CoachingFootball Motivation-The Difference-Makerin Coachins G€tting Your Tban Readyto Play Turning a hogrdm Around CoschingDuti$ and Opportunitieg CoachiagPhilosophy and Objectives rl l tttrrttl tttl BiIl McCartney BiII Currl Grant Tbaff Charliz McClendan Woodry Hales Bo Schembechler Eddie Robinson Iae Corso Ken Hatfiew Glen Mason BiU Snfder Don Nehlen 167 168 tI4 179 181 184 188 190 195 197 199 200 20t 166 .

We ask him to give no quarter and take none. i i 6. Deuteronomy 20:8: nYho iB the man who is afraid and fainthearted? Let him depart and return to his houseso that he won't make other heartBmelt like his head. man l€ams to trust and dep€nd A Bill Cuny taught me the smartest definition ofleadership.older. Do you know why that doesn't happen? Redwoo& srow in clusters. Teamwo* is necessary in all group Epofts.i.smarter. The Value of Football BILL McCARTNEY ' ! ! u { rl i g$s *. Hecalls ita powedul positivepresence. AND I\trANAGEMENT 16? * i. Ma. and more talented? Yet.'s the onl. t i li t t i * t::! tt:. motivation." . -Paul "Beal' Bryant Is football the last outpost ofdiscipline? The grind of the gidiron separates it from other sports. Their mots int€rtwine and grab one another much like hands gripping on all sides. d€mandss€lflessn€ss. youl presencewill be powedul. Q l: rig: ii iiiri: : qi We're supposed to be lit)ing in uer! sophisticated times.ybe we'le alreadr Inst it euerywhere else..Ourbest lootball teams reflect the sdxre dependence. Thint about it-everyon€ can lead und€I this concept. 9 $ 4 r :r i :: .yplace left. Hou can the s(rnE of football still be inlportdnt in thdt conteit? I feel it's more important than er)er. desire. It's been said that the most competitive men play th€ most competitiv€ games. If you arc positive.What elsehauewegot to anchor to? Whereelsecan ue walh out there eren auerything the same tnd compare?Looh around. the unity necessarf to blend into one. Yet.Maybe the footbaU field.MOTIVATION. Have you noticed that a redNoodtree can matule to a tuIl300 fe€t (the length of a football field) when tully grown? Did you know that its roots do not sink deep?Actually. uith sophisti&ted rouns people. he is expect€dto compete int€nsely for 60 minutes. Where else in what sport or activity does a man line up directly across from another who couldverywell be bigger. football digs deepinto the tlue meaning ofteam. Vince Lombardi said the best definition of team is "on€ headbeat. AII uotldl! uise and knoulidseable. There is a verse in the Old Testament. demonstrated in a laboratorJ or clasBroom. These qualities are not inlerited and are rarely No.PHILOSOPHY. It would appear that any sood wind could knock over any redwood. You need only to bring a h€althy arrirudclo)oursquadFven day andyou arepositively influencins your team. and will to win.stmnger. football develops them through the gind. Coachesand players know the undersized men can win because nobody has a market on heaft. simplyb€cause 11men must coodinate their effods. the difficulty. they are very shallow. Football reveals these qualities in men and rewards them.:t : i." To gain this requires total commitment.

thith cledn. chances are sood that they will see (a) improvement in his self-esteem. I have a son whot 19 years old. and suggestions that are so horible that they can dominate your thoughts.caliuses.t$ir1 i1i l l lf t r l . To me. dnd U so eueryod. Fooibalt has not really changed. but we arcnt. a very high percentage ofwhich is negative. Repetition I haue a uery dimcult time learning. so will othels. ph)si. and (d) inclination to participate in ever'.you arc bombarded with information. the callused surface protects them. no coach in America clshs man to a mahe any sacrilice. He watches TV He loves to watch the National Footbal League.l the things that destror rou nentoll!.000beer commercials.Whatdoyou think that child's gonna do with that many suggestions? How many times can I say to him.(b) renewed respect for authority. an opportunity of a ljfetime. Whoa!" What do you thinl he'sgonna do?It scaresme to death. the priLtileee of plaring in the National F@tball Leaeue for 10 yearc. pichres.He loves to watch you guy8 coaching. ond noroltJ. Fielding Yost penned this qrote some 80 years ago. That means he has seen 100. I thinl we can look people in the eye and promise that iftheir Bonwants to play football.veak?Ifyour head is melting. uas head coa. peting against. images. but aft€r a while your feet are tough.168 FOOTBAIL COACHING STR{TEGIES Did you know that when you are weak. and I ptaJed in someof gamesthat uerc everpldyed. come clean. He's a freshman in college.cn Therc is no easy way to pmctic€ football. It is oft€n the most difiicult thins a man undertakes in his lifetime. And here'Bthe girl. It Feparcs him for the trials and shuggles oflife. mr bod! thinhs I'm supposed to plar. it's a distinct privilege.It is no sacrifice lo play football. They €an make you into som€thing that you never intended to be. others will draw on your shength.Qyed footbary until I was 32 years old. on some of the grcatest teams that elter played the game. It's like ifyou run aooss rough ground enough. Priorities of Goaching BILL CURRY i i rt i: . III. One hundrcd thousand times it has been said to Bill Curry. He is a norrnal American bo). more competent.I pl. I had. Every day you pick up the newspaperor listen to the radio or watch teleyision. It requiresnany manJ repetitions. He requests the opposite..I pLaJed. ond bpgin doing those things that mahe you heene4 finer. ! r ililirL :ll 1:$elit i1]l]Ciii. You get blisters the first few days. Look at her. (c) willingness to cooperatewith others.lo. In fact. numberedSuper BouI noo. Liue clean. "When you ddnk beer. you'r€ taking a risk. your body developsprotective devices. and.Here it is.The very nature ofour gamedep€ndsupon leadersto ernerge. And not just mildly nesative.all!. we think we're immunelo rheslr Trhat!flowingrnroourbrains.h dt the UniDersit! of Cotora. in Super Bouls I. Yost 1989 Sunmet ManuaL Coaclr Mccartne! Think about it. you'd better &ink this kind of beer. Ir the 6ame way.It is still appmp ate today.d. I the biggest plared. iu li$] i: . Football has a unique way olbuilding leadership.thing more wholeheartedly I beliere lootball devplops characl." Maybe 150times in his life? Look what we're com. Jr. I$ i t Q a s I i l l i E€ ]} } | ::11 ]1. Ifyou are strong. . statistics. but fach. and we change. you can make othem around you l. And they can do it to yotl without your rcalizing it. Stop doing at. Learning and. an honor. "If you want to get a good-looking girl. Fielding H.

rou neuer lkten.uaysbeenher own person and. "Youtell me rou loue me. up there. Our ancestors in their liferime did not absorb as much inforrnation as you and I absorb in one day. I didn't like that.yourjob is on the line in ftont of a national T\y' audience. and schoolthan we were at their age.I'm talking as a coach in football as well as in life.rean. to being angry. team.dle linebather I just could. "I loue you morc than mr oun litb. Personal Responsibility for Actions Becausewehave so many outside influencesand demands.000repetitions. every single day. you're onl! th.uho do you think is gonna uin? My mom grew up on a farm. AND MANAGEMENT 169 I couldn'tplay middle linebacheruhich uas my d. So I'm not complaining. He'U teII rou e&ctb hou it is.inhine about uhat you're gonna sa! wfi. all the stuff stupid da& do to beautiful Until one dar I said. and I could uin on repetitions.They're sittins there with those Walkmans on the team bus. make mr calls becauseI hneu uhere I uas gonna go." I wept. So. He's not one of us. What it did waB force me to do something that I find ve4'. I tried to hammer he."YouI coach iB not good enoughto coachyou.MOTIVATION.n't thinh fast enoueh. The same thing happens to the kids we work with.eblochwith 150.and I hnou you thinh you mean that.Theinstantyou accept the responsibility lor your life. The peopLe who uere naturcrllr quick mentdllr uere the ones uho plaJed QB and nid. And it's a lot toughex Players ar€ exposedto morc distractjons and influences outside of family. I'ue giten you eoerything haue. That's nobody's fault. He's not qualified. Until you do that.PEILOSOPHY. but I don't feel it uhen you sal it. I could play center lfJohnny Unitas or Ban Stc'i told ne what to do and told me what the go snap count was. to pLaing the aduLt roLethe pdrent role. you have the capacity to start to deal with the forces that are at work on your mind. is agur who uiLLtett.I did.andwas part of an agrarian society that we had not long ago. I could. lessthan a ueeh later.er about uhat's eoine on in Don's mind.ld.. WhenI try to talk to Jou. very diffi cult-listen. but the competitionboth from the opponenton the field andfromth€ distractions facing your team is awesome. you are helpless and you'll be pulled from pillar to post and you'l] wonder.to her. .uho has al.I'm the onewho has shaped that destiny Nobody else. Then. "What in the worid's going on? I wonder why I drink so much?" So many times you're not ev€n aware.has a brilliant nind she'sjust Lihe her mom-4ecided her dad uasn't uorth talhing to.and I cout l.it's easyto passthe buck when you fail. It's th€ subliminal influences. We uent thrcueh some heII tosetheL I went tom being terribLy o/fentled. You've prepared as b€st you can.. It is a lot more than it's ever been before. If somebodycould teach the driL. tried to loch her up. She walked along behind a plow and picked €otton. you don't halte to uond. Just think about what you're pumping into your hain and whath going into those playem' heads. lou could teach hou to delbat the driue block with 150 rcpetitions. This chi." A1l those things. I'xe lecLrrcd the DaLueof qualit! repetition. chanee her antl tell her who she wouLd and uould not see. Let's not kid ourselvesabout what coachingis today. Bill Curry has deterrnined what ever it is that I'mgoingtobe today. But excusesdon't get you anywhere.I askedour coaching staff's opinion on a uer! important matter Ooe of the brightest Iootball coachesI'ue euer knoun.n't speakto me for 6 months. you'r€ wondering what in the world isgoinginto their brains.and that talent uas equat. Listening and Ledrning I learned hou to Listenfrom my daughte\ uho was then 17 years old.And I almost fell out of the chai. Don Lindser. Understand this: You ar€ today preciselywhat you had planned to be up to this point. He shouldr't be here. I come from an environment where my players have been told. That goeswith the territory You may be going through something similar.youhou he feels about things. She did. I'm just telling yol1 about the €nvironment in which I've lived.I I tried to shut off the telephone.hike the ball.Whatis it that'surone?" l She said.and.I could. because she uas sht.

Losmphy. not the press who $'rote an ugly article abotit you. to deat with that situation."I said.Don. Thoy. and I'm giving eve4'thing I've got to be that for the first time in my lif€.li.And they're gonnaknow what you arc. there's no set8e in me cont. Don to fuin me in mJ office. There's nobody in this room who. "Don't drink beer and don't set drunk"when you so out and dr-ink 14 beers every othcr nighr." D. ifyou'rc spondingyour time pointing fin. what€ver ir is.s because I have the capacity. not soma bjg boosterwho taiks to your presidentand keepsyou from having firll suppoft. You'Il be out the window. gers and complaining and trying to decid€ who. .s t.ll die for you.s pure as the drivon snow. We've all cheated ftom time to time. Viktor Fmnkl is a Jewish man who spent six yeals in a cerman concentration camp.:on\ersotion. That's all balon€y. which is to choosehow I will respond. Maybeyou ought to spend your time not fbeling sorry for yourself. They'll know it.I tbticed it. hut ue uent an about our meeting.tl be discounted. those children who go overther€ andgo through those oflensrve iine drjlls.t the rou stopped.!. dignified ligurcs movedthrough rhe helt ofthe Hotocaust. And then they'Il be victims on the t€levision-You've eot an awesomc responsib. When rou stop rau listeninE.my life was never the same.lity.t $in becausethev arc cheating and buying players_. "Hey.the cod. So please don't stand therc and tell them.jid. and they draggedus throush it with theirpowerThey showedus how to live and how to die. I. no nothine can rcmove from me the lundamental obligation I have as a human being.cod bless 'em.and help you understand that you have determined wherc you are today-not the alunni who don't like you.ying to keep you from succeedingr maybe you ought to spend thai time getting your body in shape. He lived thmugh that nightmarc-the most brutal physical. You.ne<nd af . and spiritual conditons rn the history ofmankind. tough as nails by being honest when it's not fashionabl€to be honesr. emotional. And you wilt instantty be $por- ted for the phony that you are.And they're more interestedin whal Jou re doins than some ofthe sarbase. They'll feel it.anLl.I s. Dr.n.Hou are you gonna k:orn anrthing if rau can. Just bo.ln't knau hou b listen ta anotherhuman being.1ndlou got about haltual thrcugh rour thoueht an. "Ber:ause (:an tell uhen I stop listen.And I'm not what I'm supposed to to be now.ho ar€ bombad€dby beer commercialsand poj. He describedth€ actions ol someofthe victims: "Thes€towe ng. I've frnally figured this out:The cheatersdon't want to find out how th€ game will come out if . Frankl concluded. but feeting solry for that youngster who lives down the str€et and doesn'thave a mom and a dad. they're eonna be tika you.shetl your opinion. responsibilitywhat It's you are.We can. it Noi only will you win a lot ofgames but you.. It's Bill Cunf.m ashamed oftheyears tbat I lived whenl wasn'twhatl was supposed be.You can chanse lives by being what you're suppos€d be to Those children who watch you. I a. condition."s rcsponsibility what€ver has happenedto me and my family and myrcam. no no negative idea.no gmup olpeopte.ll win.ant to encourage you to be enthusiastic abour our profession. becauso is in giving that you receive. Integrity Be honestevenwhan the other folks are not. no killing. They'll find out.." So. talhi. in that moment.nun| I ias11Jearc old.giv€n gift. "Yes. You see. giving iheir two-inch-square bread away to the weaker inmates.you'll win because they. who've got big old fat stomachs and are 5-4 and 13 years old. you beejn to grow and underWa can make a 6ig diff€r'ence because chiithe dren who watch our games ure the sum€ ones r. Theyll sIllelt it.g. The momenr you accept that.resorna be like youare.170 FOOTBAIL COACHING STRATI]CIES Don uas giting his thoughts on this subjett antl about halfuar through a sententehe Just stopped.least olalt Bilt Cun1. "Wh1 uoultJ yu clothat?" He saitl. Maybe you ough t to spend your time ieamjngsoma morcfbotball. God knows. It's absolutelymy doing and no one ctse.They'rogonnabe like you fol&.t be one to point the finger and say. 1oe." He s(rid. "Here's what I tearned: No circumstance. Afteruard I asked. You've changed some lives-and txaLs a privilege. Don.the rcal losers are the cheaters. but I know that I'm working toward being that. Maybe you need to spend your tim€ doing thoso things.t tl andli ng Proles si ona t Besponsibilities I \\.

They only care about that scoreboard. I think the worst Bin you commit today ifyou're a coach is to t€ach a youngster that ith OK to break a rule.He was poor The dad took me outside and said.He's a man." We broke for lunch. H€ didn't let somebody buy his soul.000horsepower. We'll have our integrity. eithe! but we'rc fir. He bought the idea that he wouldn't sell his soul for that automobile. and I said. I swear I'm walkins down the street. "I need to talk to you. I'm not talking about you never changngjobs or changing directions. and I pay today with glrilt and anguish." I said. I sat in a house with a great player one nieht.but I m gonnagive you a chance to start over. l m gonna reopcn this dibcusaion. What if we lose our jobs?" I said.So they don't.and you'll lose yourjob or gain youl jobI hired a coach one time. Nobody cares about your principles. "Every rule? We're gonna get killed." I was so shocked. "I want the car. men? Why is it such a big story when somebody's honest? Ne\er quit on your principles. and he would buy hiB own car. what do you want to do with your life? I'm here to help you. and the new coach came up to me and said.ith my mouth hanging op€n. his dad.PHTLOSOP}IY. and I'm proud of Pat Swilling. We'rc not gonna break any rules?" I said. "Men. and I hear this rumble. we'1l go get other jobB. . God was wat{hing." He said. I'm gonna go tel my young son that he's off the wall. we want to do this the right wa)aWe're not going to break a single rule. I don't think that makes me anlthing geat. and we had our meetings. I want the automobile.And that's tough and that's hard to swallow when you'rc getting your butt kicked in ihe football game and you know you re standingfor a principle. He wanted to drive a brand new car becausehe'd never had one. "You knoq nobody does that.He said. He bought his own car. "My coach taught me it was OK to cut I don't think I want that on my conscience." He said. I think that 3 the Ame can way. We haven't always done it. "Excuse me?" His mom was sitting therc." I said. 'That's right. "Son. He's a star in the National Football League. It Bcaredme. AND MANAGEMENT 171 they play by the samerules as everybodyelse. And they\e never won a game! And you know something? Ther€'ll be a day when they know it.ing to. Wlo's going to help that child 25 years from now when he's sitting across from the IRS and getting ready to go to jail and it crosses his mind. but we won't be swayed by a syst€m that destroys childr€n. I'm talking about rever quittine on whatt right. I know." He'd already had keys offered to hin by another coach. Hc mighr rake the car. BiI. You hear me? Read my lips. I finally found an honest kid who told me th€ truth about {hat he $anted to do with his life. Pat Si. I look back on every lie I've ever told and every deceptive act and every stupid thing I've done out of selfishness. and all I could see was teeth when I looked in there.000black car with about 5. "I'm gonna do you a favor. isn't it? Is that what we're suppoBedto stand for? Is that what Amenca was at one time? lghere in th€ hell did this happen. I said. 'I've never heard it put that way If we lose our jobs."CoachCuny. everybodjr He said." I don't think that's par-ticularly noble. MOTIVATION." I sold that kid-and I've lost a lot more than I've sold." He said.illing smiled at me.I'm trying to make you understand.I was sittins there $. God bless him. "I want the car. And four yeals later.and I lookedback and there's about a $40. and he has a diploma hom tbe Georgia Institute ofTecbnology. and I've paid many times. "Yeah.

he'd always take time for you." Why do you think I learned thosethings? I had no choice. and those childrcn are going to minor your priorilies. Our pLayers tahe the responsibilitr to foLlou thde us sui. you may scoff and say. "I'm not inruall thar prioril)-setling goal-Aell Yes. Don't embarrassyour fami.ly. "No way. We werc a family on the Green Bay Packers. Or maybeeren winning rhe nationalchampion6hip orthe SuperBowl. but it fircd me up. I'm gonna throw up" and a teammate would say. you're gonna understand this man nedristo go to mass every morning.Ihope not."Well.I'd say. disciplined proqram.Bi)l Curry can learn by repetition. Maybe money. You believe in Bomething. That's not true. Now. hat e d quality.ons where the. euen uhen we uent into situat. or any program. and ing. You do things fight all the time. personal &it4. He has r€deemed me and savedme fiom myself.ninq rules: ."lts not much.and so can that young offensi ve center or young quafterback or child whom you're rcsponsiblefor. Ii's not what it's cracked up to be. I leave that for them to decide. you're not. lvhen I went to see him in the bospital when he was dying. he grabbedmy hand. It's critical to me that our players and our staff undefttand the fundamental realities of human €xperience. Focus on Priorities When I was a child.It was his Perconat Faith Here are or1l priorities.'You can mean a lot to mine ifyou'Il pray." Coach talked family. "No.lelinesand i. But a peftonal faitb is the mck in a foundation. I don't impose that on my staff or my players." His language could really shockyou. ar our school. I got in a little trouble around the neighborhood. properly directed andfocused. Your goal may be to go out and chase women atter practice. Thse tuo rutes haL)e uortud for w. Famity The secondpriority is /antry and I leamed thai from Vinc€ Lombardi."If he makes that speechone more time. When you get there. That may b€ what you love to do. goal may be to go out and see how many be€I8 you can drink. Those Iays that emanated so far away that we can't even imagrne the distancocould be brought to a uselul purpose by focusingthat €nergy. We've all seenthat.He's my hero. You. As soon as you acceptresponsibility for focus." He wasn't about to give up to cancer.our teanL."C reatph)sicdlcondilioninC is absolut€ly tundamental to victory Winning is not a sometime thing. and that's fine. In our program.and I thank That's a personal matter. You don't win some of the time.I'm an atheist. is this it? Wlat do I do now? I've got to win another one. I said. It fascinated me."Coach is such a devout Christian h€ goes to mass every single moming. It took me a lot of years to learn that it is in Christ that I have an)'thing significant to contdbute to anybody. and we've aI known thai thai's suppGedto be associat€dwith our prcfession. you may scoffand say. there will be priodties.e had been a lot of problems. But you've got priodties. and he meant it. becausewhen you get to all those placesth€re ain'tmuch therc.thelped. "Coach.Maybe coach of the year honors. "Well. I used to lov€ to get those rnagnifying glasses out olCracker Jack boxes and go out in the woods on a cold day. So I went to Bart Star and said." .which is that €ach ofus has faith. but aft€r you\e been working for this man about three w€eks. You'rc gonna sit right where you are and you'r€ gonna listen one more When somebodytoldme that CoachLombardi went to church every day.then you can begin to make progress. "DoesCoach rcallygo to masseverymorning?"He said. Number ote. you look at the world championshipring and say. You don't do things right some ofthe tim€. The temperature would be 35 degreesbut I could take the sun 93 million miles away and get those Iays to wherc I corld cet a pile ofleaves on lire.you've meant a lot to my life-" He said. Again. but I want them to understand that they must make some kind of decision about that. Nobody who goesto church every day talks like that.I don't have faitb. Tredt other people the uo! lou uant tr) . I said. and that's how I always think Lomhardisaid. Ifyou came to him with a family problem.I don't believein God.I72 FOOTBALICOACHING STRATEGIES Rules and Discipline Wehaue two basic trai.

I had one teacher who tied me to my desk with a rope and tap€dmy mouth shut with Johnson and Johnson because I just had too much energy.Helen Kellea Thomas Jefierson. AND MANAGEMENT 173 faith in his family that mattercd.they calledit "problemchild. Summary ron. I decided I want€d to be like thos€ peopl€. . None of these ideas is original wiih me. and as football players. be in a tiaternjty. "You'll be better off whether you get a degreeor not. and I don't want your son ripped off Don't tell some minority youngster he can come to your schooland help fill up a stadium and end up without a diploma and go out in the NFL. to graduate every single player in a neaningful major Thosearc ourgoals. family.We will prosper or we will fall with those priorities. GeorgeWashington. If he wants to have fun.fami15. and football. I've never known of a ereat achiever without singleness of purpose." In those days. andyoubreathe it.It all goeshand in hand.and lootballare our prrFaith. and say. The Master bimself brought one fundamental principle ofbehavior. which means they know how to give when it hurts to give. Without an education he's gonna lose whatever money he makes and wind up in a bread line or When I was 8 or 9 yearBold.We can compet€\rith the pomography and the booze and all the ga$ag€ witb proper €ducation. Any guy who goes through a major proglam and does not get a diploma has be€n ripped off. We intend 10 win every single contest. For a guy who wants to be a great football player. and I want€d to learn what it took for th€m Characteristics o." That's garbage.do well in every single class. I stayed in trouble all th€ tim€. and you leam how to focus. It's a li€. Those are our purposes. and do the party route.ngleof Thatmeans youliveit. We want to win every single game. and we will live with those. Champions Why was Vinc€ Lombardi such a grcat coach? Becausehe had something that he talked about all the time.We m€anit. In the fourth gladethe teacherput me in the back ofthe classroom so I wouldn't disrupt things too much. and wo will shoot tor them while we brcathe. the hard feelings for getting rid ofme-all dissipatedwhen I rcalized the Do you want to know what a great football coach is and a great man? Vince Lombardi was a great man becauseof his punuit of what God wanted him to be.We don't car€ what the odds are.That's a lie. I thousht since my dad was a boxing coachthat I was supposedto box with any of the kids in ihe class especiallythe smaller ones. I don't want my son ripped off.And we don't apologizelor that at all. and anybody in our program has got to buy into that. in their spidtual lives. They'r€ not bett€r ofT."Th€ athletes ara Don't make excuses better o{Tthan they would have been becauseth€y spent four years with us and helped us win a national champiofthip. and they're on the rccks becausesom€ collegecoach abused them and told 'em. Tbat'Bwhat made him great.because hard. I didn't pay much att€ntion to what the teacher was saying. educat orities. Our purpose iE to teach our young men how to b€ winners.and you bum it into the brains ofthe peoplethat you reprcsent in as many ways as you possibly can. is that thelre an sefisfi. Back there was this incredible sh€lffull ofbiogmphies about some of the greatest people ever: Jackie Robinson. All of the re' henlmcnrI had for him the haired lor having made me run so hard. education.butl memorizedthose books-and it chang€d my life.PHILOSOPHY." That's baloney. a]ld that is loving p€opl€ when thelrc unloving. They know how to love when ifs unconditional. I was what today they would call "hyperactive.Winston Churchill. then h€ might not it's have a spotin our program.I've got too many goodbuddieswho playcd $ilh m" in the NFL who ended up without diplomas. in therr academic lives.lik€ a lot ofus herc. and you think it.Babe Ruth." They sent me home from school. Education Educdtion rs a bte part of the answer today. But I did comeup with these from studying ercat people. And singleness purposemeanss. Don't ever Bay it. Don't believe it. in th€ir famiiy lives. singleness of purpose. as I studi€d the biogaphies of tbese great people.We don't care what the oddsmakerssay. W€ don't care what the press says. The second characteristic of rcal champions. there's not going to be much time for an]'thing other than those four things faith.MOTIVATION. Footbatt The fouth and final priority is &ot6all.

t ask me why it's hcdidit. C@ch Currl was tuon cmch at the UniDerritr of Kentuchr. ife. the Corps. Atl-World." bepn.n a gdmc. your playem will spot it. i would sayro you as a coachwho tovesthe game that my last thoughts will be my familx my maker.n T am e prear 'uver likc ^fhi"ro. and tho game.our drcsms. . the game.n a kam with a black guy.:' .t intend to fade away.Don. The captain ofthe croen Bay packels. Th€ second statement he rnade has trecome very large to me in recent weeks. wharever your political pemuasion. I waqrhela5rd"dd . Speedy and MuIe I had known Tommy Beane as the hish school coach.sl and_ ine in lronr ofrou.' . the gamo. He changed mv life in a heartb€at because cared whentberewas nomhe ing in it for hjm. I would have naver had the opportunity to selve the playem in these nearty 40 yearc.andthe changethat occurred in my life was when two coaches came to rown.lharpwouldbc noprofe"sion. 196b. great player. where they shut all the dools on game dav? Ifwe were going to Roscoe Roby to ptay. my last vear in coaching.Remember. And Willie Davis embraced me. ihey just fade away. touchedme as lte edlre he and of hiq tife aa he madc rMu protound ro .Otd soidiers rever die.To this dav. If your teamis unsalfish. D:vis from Grambtinsstdte Univeftity _lffillic A1l-Pro. would hav€ I nover beena player had there not been a game.and he influenced me to a degree. ir i" impundrr ro know the rhrnUng uf thp realgenprals.I want to se e until I die.20rh pickq hen I thFy had 2u round"..all businesswork_ or eIS and all those who owned stores woutd shut the doors a. w"s rh.000. The game ^fiootball is $har Boots of Love for the Game There was a)ways a cloud of cotton gin srnoke hanging over Snyd€. " He a'^ud balorFrhp r-^rps rhar ho ioved. a p. and I think for you young coacheswho aspire to be fielo gener_ a'". Wil hour I h.howover. and he said to them r.174 FOOTBAI. decidedto adopt the 20th-round draft choice from Coliege park.' i Q : t 1 i i:: I t' I i ) I t t : I drivesthe machineofour profession.r . cen eral MacAfthur went to Wesr point Academy m addr.) I Dafl. as I have thought of this. Have you ever been in a town of2.d an inrerpsring bark_ ground and that you have to admire.cLtartJ rhp .: The Game and Coaching GRANT TEAFF :l:ri i. Georgia.I can t€il you that right now.when I smeli the cotton sin smoke.I think offootbau.Il win gamesthat you have no businesswinning and that."I don. OnFihar h.rF.Snyder was a place where a young heart and mind was rcadytobe ripened.It was cool and we would play the game. No game.si. Ifyou're unselfish.and lhe idpal. !am^. tor our protp.but I was too young andjust watch€d him a little bit.is DouglasMacArthux DouglasMacArthur accomptished awful lot an in his lifetime.I hrd nev. and th€re is noAmerican Footbatl CoachesAssocil]lion.s a promrsel 1990 Prcceedings.huicp. COACHIN(i STRATEGlES The reason I suNived the Nationat Footbalt Leagueis bacause Willie Davis and Bart Stala and Paul Hornung lovodme when I was unlovaable. the Corps. l $ould nor bc h.ofessionof which I am very proud. lo the con$ess of the United States. his last thouchts would be ofthe Corys.d get in a car caravan and lollow the yellow school bussesto tbe opposingtown.hF . .I. Nu wa) of gcthcring our thoughrs.rn rhe haliowed halis that he admired so grealt] as a young man. .'ivil \Iar and the Second WortdWlr.Buth€didn.rno rrsprrrrrundtsldtcmenls on.hat as his life would cometo an end.you. I "pcnd a lot of time studying genemts. Had there nol bc.tiusthetp aterrifr€drookie to mako it in the NFL.Texasin the fall."i I hc aorp" in rl-p$ dnrnsdar of hi" ..

Sit in that class and listen instead of day dreaming +rror Iiee. "What do you mean?" and he said. How amI going to get there jfl don't know where I am soing? Conhol ofyour own destiny it's mine. I know you are slow. and what he was going to do on the snap of the footbell.As long as I was going to be a part of that team. pmvoke you into a fight. no mistak€s otrthe footbatl field. "Look. Finally. "Be disciplined. I was going to be a disciplined member of that team.I rag-taggedno more. we're gonna find a place for you to play. be tough physicalbr You don't hav€ to tak€ a back s€at to anybody. two men cameto Snyder: SpeedyMofat and Mule Kizer. Grant.T nepd ro know wh. They began to tak€ me.'Well. plan.It cameliorn a high schoolfootball coach." I said. It's a simple thought and a simple prccess.I need lo set goals. and effort. Then they began to teach more. drcam. seizeyour opportunity. 'rwe but he pulled me asid€ again and he said.no mistakes on the football field. but you lose if you are not in contml. not only did they say effort. What a fantastic piece of advice.bein control and don't drink. dontsmoke. The secondguy always gets the penalty. but ifyou give u3 effort eve4. but be tough.I mg-taggedaround as a student. H€ said one day. Other guys with more talentwill make mistakes.MOTIVATION. Be toush mentally. down on eve4. not only on the field. toughness. You will stick your nose and face on ant'thing that mov€s. I can be wbat I want to be. 'You arc tough.Mule didnl m.furthermore. discuss. Don't let somebodyhit you in the back out on the lootbali freld. Be disciplined. becausethey taught me the fundamentals of success discipline. you ar€ real tough. and destmy what you have already gajned. Not only did they say discipline. be disciplined in everythins you do. Gmnt. He said. but off the freld. you got to be error free. be tough. in your approachto the game. B€ in conIt was a revelation that changed my life. He also said. Mule said. in every way." I Baid. I immediately began to idolr7ethem.I can . there is nothing wrong with that. but they knew what was important.be in control of your natural instincts-be in control ofyour mind.and I know you are little. one day." Artd they did. take advantage of the time that you have. day. otrthefield as well as on the field.enor free.nd had fish( in us.Ifyou don't wantto die ollungcancer. Care enough to be loyal to your teammates."Be in control ofyour rnind and your body That was pretty hard to ask ofa guy tobein control ofhis body when he had a had time running-but it was a point well made.be tough. "Grant. be in contml ofyour physical body." Be disciplined in your study ofth€ game.B€ in control I am the one in contlol.but be in contrcl. You are not afraid of an]'thing out there. and if you don't make mistakes you can win. ball field. The film wasn't v€ry good. The last day I played hooky. And then one day Mule Kizer pulled me aside and said.I would sit for hours and study the way my opponent moved. it's okay to be willing to fight. Speedyand I believe one ofthe most important parh ofwinningis effort. AND MANAGEMENT 175 Then. visualize.PHILOSOPHY. butwhen they came there. Approach it like yor are going to rob a banl: plan. it's not anybody €he's. care enough to b€ loyal to family and to yourseu. I conlml mJ owI destiny.IfI am going to control my destiny.just apprcach everything with the same aggressionthat you have on the freld. If you don't want to end up with an alcohol problem.I played both ways and was captain of €very team I waF ever on." Yeah. Dont be afraid of anlthing offthe field. When they came in. and I n€ver left th€ field fiom that day. to be in control ofeverything. but you need to be aggressive. I knew how to work.dream. they said toushness-mental and physical toughness combined with carins. wh€n it came time for me to be of age to want to play the game. He wore me out and taught me a lesson about the importance ofeducation."You can't make mistakes.fe I am going. and comI b€gan to use film like probably no other guy from Snyder Texas ever used it."W})at do you mean.but as they would g€l a film or two in on our opponent.Mulewhipped my rcar from one end of the dressing room to the other Pieces of paddle were flying everywhere. It allowed me to understand the game of football. as a child. to mold me in a way that would change my lif€ forcver. and that was to win. Be in contlol as a fathea be in control as a husband. Both had played at TexasTech. discuss. I got into a fight on the foot. erlor fr€e?" He Baid. how he lined up. because they talkedaboutwinning and the importance of winning. on or otr the fieid. and in th€ tundamentah ofthe game. "Ifyorreally wanttobe successful.

but I tell you. Lat€I my dad took me to see my first college same in Abilene.he had suys out ofthe military.that they are doing what you ask. and I was about 6 or 7 years old. Fotrl hour workouts were nothing.I learned also that it is important to tell your players that they are doins a goodjob. and everybody is squared up. They could holler at the referces and the guys on the field. Then I went to McMurry College where I played for Wilfred Moore. That's what I want€dto do.though he didn't play. When we st€pped on that football freld. Coach Moore didn't say much. be dn Fducaled hecauseI was gojng to coach. and I look around. I had to p€r"on. First tim€ I had ever seen it: Two guys line up and hit each othe! then go tackle the suy with the football. I was smitt€n. Grant. you listened to. I cameunder the influenceofsome oth€rcoacheE. Coach Moore said. but there arc m€n in this room tbat coach at some of the schoolBthat many of us never hear about. and he is draggingme along. "Good job. He wasjust out ofthe military. their rivalry is just as intense as that of Michigan and Ohio State. I played every down for him. you know. When thefinalwhistle bleweverybodyran tothe middle ofth€ field. and I remember vividly being on the sidelines. and h€ never said a word to me.He was a guy that had fun with coaching.I didn't know how I was going to do ityet. and it was CoachMoore. ptayrnghigh school football in Snyder. and a slap on my dbs. I wanted to b€ just like them. Texas. but Ihadtoplaythis gam€ to do it.. "Goodjob!" I'm telling you. They are all swinging away The playen fighting the players.I learned so much from that man that I couldn't eve. and so it was with McMurry andACC. head-on tackling at 20 yards apart was daily fare. I'm in the dressing mom trying to get my stuff offand I feel somebodybehind me. too. but .to coaching.He's got me by the hand. y€t wanted ro win and belipved winnins.and after the game we were on the side ofthe field. on the last gam€ that I played. They ivere bigger. He wouldjust look at me." Momma. so he was tougher than the back end of a shooting gallery. the men of the town always walked the sidelines. My dad liked high schoolfootball. Max Baumgartner was at San Angelo College(it was ajunior coll€ge). I also leamed a lot ofwhat not to do.ingto do. Momma. lor men whom I loved and admircd.that they are doinggood. we won. In 1947.and many were older than he was.McMuny andACC-what a rF valry We hear about aI the big rivalries. When I saw the game.I am going to teach my guys that. That was in ColoradoCity. so I decided on that day that's what I am g. Control-what a fanrasuc revelation. and all olthe other big rivalries that you hear about. I mean to tellyou. becarse it changedmy life.and did q in In I was with Coach Baumgartner for two seasons. Max loved life and was a good kind man. In those dayF. I rcmember &iving over there and going out on the field."o they could see what was going on. and I kind of Iiked it. they were faster The coachhad a strong influenc€ and impact. coachesfighting coaches. becauEeSnyder was ptaying Colomdo City. we were ready to hit somebody. I might have been to a game before then. and he said. I loved that college game. but I don't remember it. I think one ofth€ things you soonunderstand when you decideto go into coachingis to deter- Attracted to the Game I remember th€ first football game I ever saw. H€ hadjust this little smile on his face. I learned the impodance oft€lling peopl€ that they did a goodjob. These folks out of the Colomdo City stands frghting the guys from Snyder. expressit today. but what he said. so I made up my mind I waE going to coach. I m gornglo be a collegp coach. They evidently had a good garne. I thought he did not like me.ard I l€anled a lot from him.I had to ger a degrep. andl am hangrng on.He took me to Colorado City. and all the way across the field to the fellows walking down the other sideline. Then. Whar a runderfirl Fxpprience.Texas and TexasA&M. It was about thrce years before I realized that wasn't a part of the game offootball.I learned something. and there was a pretty good crowd. I would have run through a brick wall for him that day. This was in 1953 when I started playins for Willied Moore.176 FOOTBA]. I said when I g€t to be a coach. They didn't sit in the stands. I said this is good. My dad ran. The Goaching llail Leaving Snyder High Schooland going to college. We eet out to th€ middle ofthefield.We seldom put on a pad except on game day He beli€ved in havins fun. My life changed because I wanted to dedicatemy life to the game. I tumed around.L COACHING STRATEGIES do what I want to do. rhFywalked the "idclinp follosing the chain.

I tbink I have the backsround and the knowledge to be believed when I say that.I can say that I have done it my way. AND MANAGEMENT 17? mine what you want to do.but my fear. particularly ot young African A 5-year review showed about half lhe recruits at Baylor would not have qualified. There are hundreds thar happenon a dailybaqisin our ofgoodrhingE professionand with the young peoplewe coach that nobody ever hears of because the media choos€s not to publish it. and they may not know beans about ourj ob. ments.you no longer have a chance to becomean educatedman and to have a degree so that you can do something lor your family? I am deeply concernedabout that. the game. and football itself. a footbal player can be drus tesied eight times. and we will do everything in our power to motivate and to assist him to get that education. pafticularly. and I \. long tim€. to get a chance to coach.PHILOSOPHY.Any one year. and contml. and the players who play it.which is usually the hard way. Mike Singl€tary couldnot gel in school under thesener requiregaduat€d in four years.but I had a chanceand I earned it. but I am concerned that everywhere we t11fn a1l you rcad about rs the bad thingB that happen. It allowed me to reach a measure of success. etrort. The Knight Commi6sionhas pointed out football ae something that needs to be changed. Arc we the onesto say to those young people that because you have had a weak background.a trustee ofthe Fellowship of Chdstian Athletes. I think.I didnl coach lor Frank Broyles or Dar-rell Royal. on my football team. Another thing is that our radio and TV stalions arc filled llnh talk sho*s. aggre$iveness. and applied those v€ry simple principles that those high school coacheB taught me-discipline.has our game and our professionbeenunder gr€atff attack.i11 take a youngster that qualifies.We lead the Southwest Conference in graduation rates.They say there neealsto be refor'm in all areas of our athletic world and. and it is not by accident. workins $.has academics wirh a vigor. ro pliminate $a)k-ons. There is even a proposal.the game. I served on every lrles commit tee that has Bhapedolrr game. We I ir e in a society where everybody expresBeB their opinion. in tryine to do what is right for young people.ith the young people on campus.I have been chairman ofthe Ethics Committee for a long. under the ursins ol the Knight CommiREion. . being enor free. our profession. I am a trustee of the Am€rican Football Coaches Association. I never played for Bear Bryant or Bo Schembechler. A high percentaee of those have graduated ftom Baylor Univemity.H€ graduated in three and one-halfyears. It is becausew€ $. I . has been a part of those attacks.Can )ou imagine? I sur€ wouldn't be herc. Someofthose attacks are prcbablyjustified. and for all athletics. I am one ofthe on€s who has for a long tim€ pushedfor stronc academics. devisea way to do it. but we hav€ been under attack. dedicated my life to the coaching profession. Game Undel Attack Nev€r in the history ofthe game. tough caring. Football players are the most Bcrutinizedsegment of our society. and then do it. and you muBt recoglize it. work hard in the NCAA. as I w€nt to college as a walk-on. the peoplewho coachit. but there they arc. Academic Standards The NCAA in its infinite wisdorD. I see even our conferencecommissionersgettine in this. tutorialhelp. my concern fu for those young people with a poor backgornd who strive for an education. Mike Sineletary is a very good representative. I worked on legislative committees for our association. on the air spouting their opinion.I'm a freak in the coachingprofession by many people'sstandards. for the CFA. and lbr the NCAA. I now serve on a task force called th€ Gender Equity Task Force that $ril afiect every penon in this room.worked hard. even in the dark tim€s when they threatened to expel the game from th€ college scene. attackpd There is nothing in this wodd wrong with stressing academics. Max Baumsartner save me a scholalship. I came up thmugh small colleges. He I had a PIop 48 student-athlet€ that I let jn because fell concerned I abouLhim having an opportunity to get an education. MOTryATION. of oul progmm.i11continue to do it in whatever capacity I am in. gpr lhis. by setting up ways and means by which we can cut back. in footbal and in the coaching profession. ifhe falk into the right catesory to be selected.tedia The media in difiercnt areas and in difTerent ways to have choBen attack our game. The NCAA. Eisht times! I know of no other stud€nt in any university that has to be drug tested.

You musl be professional.Wc wanr our youngpcopte ro ha\e lhe chancA pla) pro luotba and male ro thos€ millions of dollars. We have the Ame can Foot_ ball Coach€s Associationthat is mad€ rp ofDen I hav€ served on the Ethics Committee for a long time.r wanr rhe Prcqidenrq Commio"ion tisranto ud. Great.Who? Nobody. us. your high school adminishators. notjwt as a gathe ng once a year.. We. ers arc there. becausew€ arc the ones that those players took tp to. that. and who we play it with.notjust as a social club.nor in the businessofprovidins tutorial help for the prolessional ranks. as atl mv friends have had it-you must be willing to fight for it. When we tell you that we need "x" amount of days for phone calls. and rhar's$har we a neFd to d. You ha\p gor ro use rhis associa_ tion as your association.Iget concemeal when peoplein high placesmake decisions\.you have to be professionaland consistent. and then tumB the next day and says somethinq else. and we have to do it i. Our play_ . but ifyou wanr it to be as I\e had it. eoing forward with those ideas and goals that are positive for the profession and the game. Som€didn. becausewe lorow hol. youl Boad. Nobody wi]l stand. But if vuu arc going to take a stand. We have bandedtogether as a professionthis year m make aloud statement to tbem.t ler some grorp of commissionersor somebody else dictate to us what our game is going to be.We can't be splintered. but the majo ty did. but I have been around tons enough to teli you that we are under attack. ball. Lrsrenro 1o us as an association. I can tell you that my case toad has gonefrom 15 .We all love to watrh the NFL. NobodyrFgoinClo listen to somebodythat is hatf-bakedand shoots their mouth otrone day saying one thing. Gender Equity The G€nder Equity Task Fofte that I serve on wrll allecrproloundly e\en man in rhis room in the uext few years. everyda)-have inregri().tstay rrith it. thoughrlA man of inrcgriryraughi mc Io haveinteCrir).178 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES If we start eliminating walk-ons from this op_ portunity to b€ successful that's not the Ameri_ can way. alld they heard us. Representing the Goaching Profession We are the only professionI know who has very little control ADd I say to alt of you.: Don. fhe NFL We are und€r attack by the National Footbalt League. have to fight the bat es and have I beggedthe Presidents. who will make a stand for us as coaches. on a daily basis. We have sone_ thing we have to do. and lor our profersion. be willing to take a stand. and we tak€ great p de in our play_ ers being there. There are proposals to cut scholarships to g€t everything €qualized.tsn$.ase" to I rhis year I was In_ ju"r tha orhFrday thar over t00 mcmbers lormcd ofthe coachingprofessionare no longer in it be_ causclhe) decidcd rhp\ didn r wanr to go I he $ay lhal we are all going. Now is the time to let th€m know we mean business.I say goodriddance. Commission otr Lwo you can trust occasionsto listen to the coaches. The kesidents' Conrmissionthat I.T hav. we n€ed "x" amount of days for recr-uiting. You are the one who has to stand.. how we are going to play it. I am scared.r 20 . fbr the players who play the game. We are men of inte$it). The only rray we can do that is to recognizewho will frght for us. cender Equity is above the law.ogether Thats what an association is-it is thegathenng togetherof men ofa like purposeand a tike cause.thp wdy wilh inrcgriry. excepi you. "This is the way it needs to be.Don r lel ir hap_ pen..That's not the way this country was buiit.I iu.that's who.we need to gain control. presidents have shorter term6 than most coaches. but by being activcly invnlved and caringabout $har hapl.ll tell you how to have a succesBful game and how to do it the mosr eco_ nomical way. What if Mute Kizer had been a cheater-what $ ould. you say you have only b€en in coachingfor 2 years. The sameis bpinsrakenawal from us by chip_ prng€way and $hi ting awa).We are in the education business. I must tell you wlat you have to do. I beg you to let us help make the decisions. You have got to frght-fight for rhe game.ith_ out communicating with those in the field who. Unfortunately. wher€ will ihey be when the heat gets hot? W}Io will stand tall and took them in the eye and say. that we r dll do this or we will do that.I am concemeal. you can count on us doing it. loudly and clearly. I hopeyou are in it for another40.without recognitior of the importance ofthe sport and the qame offoot. we need to band together. but th€y must become educatedmen with degees_ We need help in this area.ve had the privilege to speak to on two occasions has done some good things.

and lhe gamF. We ne€d to walk softly. and you have to be in contml in all areas 1993 Pweedinst. hoJd our heads up. MOTIVATION.you have to prepare yourself every day.::':'. : ' 1 : : ' .To emphasize to you my love for our game. If I were to advjse a coach and could give him only three areas of emphasis.and your attitude hav€ to be abovereproach. believe in it.I no longer seeany more of those old nylon shods and white socks that we all used to wear. We are professionals. Coach Teaff is executiNedircctor of the AFCA. You have to be disciplined. and we. and then I guessthere is that point when you have to take out that big ole stick and knock the hell out of somebody thafs trying to destroy our game.:. swer is yes.be in control of your own children.1F: Family and football have been my life.The hard-drinking. Know what you rcally believe in. can I handle the fans and media? If you can't handle them. we need to talk inteuigently.You have E or free meansyou can't be in your community doing things that are unethical towad our profession. be proud ol who we are. You. Contlol your own life. and that I . you have to b€ caring and tough. ] i ! l1iir 1t : l l Taking Gare of the Game 'i CHARLIE McCLENDON ii li ir t $ i i : t l. respect and enthusiasm. I said that Iny final thoughts wol d be ofmy maker. as a professional.Al1 of you aEsistantcoaches.yourconduct. th€n you can'twin. Can I manage coaches. :: '. L: )t S Q I ll '. €ven though someone might not know about it. PAilosoplry.!l'ill never be able to pay back what it has done for me and my family and wbat is has done for a million or more student-athletes. ii ! i: $ 1 li:. Yea$ ago. I shared with you Douglas MacArthur's words concerninghis last thoughts on this earth. My statement was not entirely accurate. somebodyi6 going to do it for us. We need to cally that big ole stick. Brt. perhaps the best thing we can do to ensure a bright future for football is to coachthe game in a way that promotes Basic Beminderc lo! Pl4!9!g I reminded my squad every year of some basic things they neededto know: . )) . i l:. my final thoughtu will also be ofyou.the Corps.ifyou want to be head coach. You have to be above and beyond rcpmach.Ihc game.nobody bothered our game offootball. and we have to recognize it and take a stand lor who we are. Teach techniques in an effort to set the proper er€culion. you have to be aggressive. of your life. Goaching Football Beyond administrative action. That's a mistake. I'd pick these: .the Corps. AND MANAGEMEI{T 1?9 Your appearanc€. and I might have put football in liont olmy family sometimes. as members of the association. You can bet on one thins-that I have tried to pay back and will continue to pay back to football for the rest ofmy life. and be sure your players can . That day is gone. and we won't like it. Tl we don I d. N l. At the outset.e il. the Corps.play€rs? The normal an. rhe right rhing" lor our game of football. .Who can do it? Only you. . We have to care for orr game of football or we $ ill lo.rhegame. I have always lelt that I owedthe same offootball something..t '. .. conhol your family Jife. it makes youriob harder to accomplish. : r r : i: q .ll yotr can't m anagethe people that suroundyou. need to apply those same pdnciples taught by Speedy and Mule.PHILOSOPIIY. Becauseofmy love for our prolessionand my love tbr those of you who serve in this pmfession. Management. my famrl). It's an outdat€d thing. . tobacco-chewing coachis outdated and is no long€r.

So. but the second unit was fresher and quicker I coached many all-star gamesa{ler the season. .but keep wondering out loud ifl should do what they said. I would stick with my regular discipline. Coach M. you have a prcb- Deva lop Sefi-Di scipl i ne Have you ever let your players grade themselves ftom a game film? I leamed that the playerB would grade themselvesdown. What some pro teams do is great. . I would call them in. "Are they getting what you are coaching?'It soundssimple. When we quit talking to you. You know what? They'll give themselves tougher discipline than you'd planned for th€m. He acceptshis punishment without a problem. It was a great morale builder. Therefore. they practi€ed really hard dudng the week. You will never los€ communication\.I asked mys€lf. You mustlearn to adjust your lifestyle fbr us Io cooperateas a team. 1991 Ptucee.what is th€ one thing you wanted to do? The playeB today are not any diferent.180 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES . It made better players out of each player. but it's a very big. but most of our tFams donl hare the ralcnlor lhe Fxperien. . so I used that information in dishing out disciptine. Attitude simpler . We realized the secondunit was not as good as the first unit. but we\e got to get the job done or we all go down th€ drain. It will catch up . becausethey knew they were going to get the opportunity to play.Clendon bds e{ecutioe dircctor of the AFCA froh 1982-7993. He feels lik€ he got a reprieve.e to do the things the pos ar€ doine. They got tired of facing fresh players. Keep t}le game simple and uncomp)icatedsoyou can get execution. especialty in the fourth quar. Ptay a Number ol Players When you went out for football in high school or college.h€'s not g pjng to the other players. The t€am concept. You can't beat the system. arld that was the one thing that players from opposing teams would talk about. and preseni ihem with the prcblem as if I were the player and they were the coach. and that should be okay. Each had to prove he belonged. have them sit behind my desk in my chair. important question. . It made the program more fun- Positive Attitu.ith your squad if you have fun as you work.uctivecriticism.Jinss. Preparc your8elf for constr.s Olten Belter I always wanted to make sure we weren't trying to teach too mucb. So when the player leaves. Our coaches may Iaise theirvoices at you to make corrections. At LSU we werc ore ofth€ first Bchools start playrng a to number of playeru. There were several reasons for this: .te ts a Ptus Oru attitude in football has been that we don't care who get6the credit.

When he is confronied with defeat. and his continual interest and help to those young men becomesimpodant and worthwhile. "Know thyself'. With little reflection. Criticism must be regardedas irnpersonal.Ifhe iB successtul. Quite often this tlT€ ofcriticism is hardest on the coachwho retulns to his own collegeor to his own community He must realize that the same pemon who patted him on the back as a player can change his aim and figuratively beat him over the head aE a coach. Second. 7 . There is a Roman expressro'J. In time of victory there are enough plaudits foreve4'one. the coach must have an intense and continuing interest in the welfare and in the allaround development of each player."but '\rhen they happen". not an "I" win attitude. The author* has eraciously given me perrnisBion read {iom it.Usuallythe critic is vocal only becausethe team lost. { {!1&t 1 * i? i : Qer r a$ $ }i * sr $ *{ { s I Bhall start with some insights into the coaching profession that are taken from a book published in 1969. In high school the coach is hired for one thing and fired for anothex On€ ofthe true anomalies in the high school coaching ' N4. the coach must have an exhemely shong desire to win. Therc is one luxury the coach cannot afford-it is the luxury of self-pity. which puryortedly means'Thinss refuse to be mismanagedlong. He must anticipate these pmblems. th€ coach wilt realize that htu own success depend€nt on the attitu tude a]ld the effortofthose players.as a good coach will. it muEt be a "we" win attitude. .ResnoLunt diu mak administrari. When the coach resorh to thi8 psychological mechanism. However. he certainly owes much to those players. The coach and hi€ family who are not prepared for this will have bad times.training probiems.but he does know that the coachis the leader ofth€ team that lost. MOTIVATION." Inthe coachinspmfessionth€re is no adequatesubstitute lor winning.he must never use the sick alibh. He is the l€ader of the team. but in time of defeat. It is excellent to emulate a former coach. 5 .PHILOSOPHY.The critic may not evenknow the coach.turr.Headaches-such aB morale problems. but he is also a member of the team. and the coach must recognize thern for what they are. 3 . 1.tbe responsibility must be taken by the most malure and moqr rcsponqible man involved-the head coach. The coachmust assumea positive attitude toward hisjob. O{ten a young coachwill imitate oneofhis forrner coaches. The coachmust win. It was Socrates who said. Hay eshi ms e l li s rh F ^ u rh o t o t H u t L i a r t u V i . his days in the professionare numbered. but do not imitate him. Ifhe enjoys coaching. 2. and then he must take all prccautions to keep them ftom happening. There are two qualities that a coachmust have to a far grcater degaeethan any other member of the teaching staff. Fimt. for ith an occupational hazard. but it is up to the coach to be himself.undue pressure*all of these are things tied in with the profession. and this cannot be rcgarded as a personal criticiBm."Such excuses are areflection on the individual player and will be conBtruedas an attempt by the coach to remove himself from the blame of losing. he must not say "if they happen. he must realize that he gets paid for the h€adacheBinvolved in tbe coaching profesBion. 4. The name of it is Aot to Liw to VictorJ . AND MANAGEMENT 181 i ii * * i t I g ] l lt : i s e l rq * * 3 3 $ & $ tq * t I t i E $ Insights Into Goaching WOODYHAYES $ i * ii. One ofthe most impodant characteristics of a successful coach is be yourself. "if that pass hadn't been intercepted" or "if our end had caught the ball in the end zone.

On the other hand.the college coachgets to spend more time on actual coaching and less time on oiher duties. Third.pmperly led. This conpFrarion wilh lhe adminisrrarion obviis a two-way street. Even though he works for "peanuts. the collegecoachgets more rccognition. for gaduate work.However.therieht people. for the young coach's first contact with the player is as an individual coach.he will rarely be dismissedforhis failure as a classjob 8.182 I. about 1 1 . hemust rely on his own abilities and Second.'OOTBALLCOACHING STRATEGIES profession is the fact that the coachreceives age d smallpercenl ^fhrchala? for tua(hinB and a larye pen€ntage ofit for his classroom teachjngand other duties." Considedng fiftl things flrst. for this rcason. s€cond. the football coach must cooperate with his administration. Most ofthese men are interested in spo s and want to portray spots in a positive sense. be must rec ognizein them and in himselfthe opporlu nity for team victory." it will be worth his while to be abie to work on a sood colege coachins staf for a year or two. hisher pay siandards are also a lac tor. coachingschoolsand coachingclinicsafter $ork in phy"iion. Cedainly bis most important qualification in this area is to live up to all the fine things for which football standsIn this area he must be like no one but him sell In dealing with the prcss he should tell the truth. 10. The head coacb's security lies in three First.Th€ high school coachhas seen his own playerc move into collegeranks.und€rgraduate athletic expedence. He goesfurther to say that a coachshould always have a lons-term contract.Although th€re are many reasons for this. and very often acoachcan grvethem information that will helpthem do this. and.or someother university.he must have a sound knowledg€ ofall the phasesoffootball. Moving into collegecoaching. the coachhas no igbt to . and practice teaching are regarded by coaches as havine relativoly little value in preparation for coaching.This doesnot mean that the discerning coach does not recog' nize the weaknessesof each player and coach. Fourth."Here's a man who really knows the game and knows how io pui it acmss. to move into coll€se is an advanc€ment.but at the same time. With this in mind. and he has the desire to follow th€m there and to work with more mature athlet€s. and he must prove himselfto be a goodtechnician with a goodknowledgeofintricate football. Thid. Fifth. In coachesfeel that the most important coaching prepamtion is fr$t. The haining of the coach must be an exhemelybroadening experience. He must realize that you win with people. When a coachbecomes a head coach. and third. or say nothing. this is only partly true. wouldsecondthis 1007. general.we find that almost always a successful high school coach has aspirations of moving into college coaching. pEycholosy. He must be able to captivate the player menially and to build withinthe player th€ desirc to comp€teandtoimprove. 9. although thtu is not alwaF the case. Althoush we often say that ih€re arc thinss morc important than dlaw ins circles and X's."How sood a coacham I?" Second. Coach Bear Bryant. To mislead the press is neither etbical nor sensible. The first impressionthe player must have is. Crddudr Undcrgrddudre cal education.Much has beenwritten and discussed the coach and public relations. actual coachingexperience after graduation. one of the truly great college coach€s ofall time. Most administraotrsly tors seein th€ coachand the athletic t€am a positive force for good attitude and sood discipline in the schoolsyst€m.he must b€lieve absolutely in th€ pl ayers and his coaches.. the young coach must be a good technician. education. th€ coachwants to find the answer to the question. he has the desire to excel and hc believeshe can achievethis better on th€ collegelevel. several seemto be the most First. For this r€ason a young coachmust be a fast and eag€r l€arner. it would appear that the coachupon graduation should make a strong effort to get on a good high school coaching staff or stay at his university.

On our squad therc are two rules. the development of s high respect for the ghts and privileges of othem on the squad. Fimt. he muBt also have an equal respect for the necessity of a r'ule change when a rule is outmoded or fails to tulfiI it6 int€nded pur?ose. T'he alumni. Th€ absolute should be orderly change. if the player feels he has a legltimate complaint. of all the phFical and mental resowces of the football squad and its coaches. Any college coach who is not capable or willing to do this should not be on a college staff. The football player must not only have great respect for rules. but perhaps at some time we hav€ done so. either white or black. As he studies lormer footballplayers in thei varied carcers. the desirc to win as hanslated into team conduct. At each of these moves his interview with the selection committee is a very important step in h success.but a pmcess that in comparison to all other methods of change. Second. and your own closefriends never win games. the longer a coachstays in college football. at So man5 youngsters lhis lime will be oeiproper\ guided nor motivated. because it is often implied that winning meang breaking some rules. It has never be€n our intention to overemphasize football. for the game offootball could not exist without rules. and since the ther coachhas the closestcontact with these playerc. to warrant membe$hip on a team. of necessity. Attitude includes many things: Fimt. the greater weight he gives to the educational value of the spofl.but a welltrained and minutely coached group of young men will win.bui lhey are abqolute necessities for group achievement. for hiB future depends on his selling himBelf at this crucial moment. there is no place on the football squad for hat€rs. Rules may nor be absolutes. the desire to improve individually. Coaching is not a prof€ssion that offels great security a coach almost always grveB up active coaching before he is ready to reiE tire. for the coach who is spending much of bis time associating with diferent groups is making a mistake. but this is certainly not tlae. s€cond.vary from those of other students. but it will suffice to say that the coach should go into this interview as well prepared as h€ can possiblybe. Thi6 phenomcnon equally true in high school and college and must be tak€n into consideration in the coachh life prcpa- Coach-Player Relationahip We feel that th€ single most importart consideration is that the football player must get an edui3 carionand Lharnolhing . The coachwho is intelligent enough to coachand t€ach in a university must be intelligent enough to sit down with a student and tutor and help the student over his rough spots. On the contlary winning means the bdnging together. To play footbau is to respect rules.PHILOSOPHY. and third. we leel that this is a necessarysafety valve. which in no way warants an apology. stands out as thebest. In our program we believe the only way that we can repay a player for his efforts is to make sule that w€ do everything within our college rule8 that we can to help this man get an education.IT T83 expect these men to wdte exactly as the one caution: The public relations image can be grossly exaggerat€d. In educational circles very often the word "win" is given an eril connotation.each player has a right to approach any coach off the field without fear of recrimination.Ifthis soundslike indoct nation. Standards for football players must.a processthat has rccently b€en flouted on many campuses.MOTIVATION. having anticipated every exigency that will probably afise. This is the basis ofthe coach-player relationship at Ohio State UniversitJi At Ohio State we arc aware of the enormous educational value of football. AND MANAGEMEI. ihe boosterc. This implies the demo$atic process. The help and ensidered couragement that the coacb can give the player is extremely important. 12. in a common efTort.However. particularly during th€ first year that the play€r is on campus. His . he will usua\ move up by changing poBitioff some five or six times during his career. Ifa football coach is successful. he realizes that a larye part of the useful education that they take from the campus is directly or indircctly tied in with footbaI. Only in this way can we make sure the college athlete is not being cheated. A good football squad iB controlled better by attitudes than by rules. that is exactly what it is meant to be.hort ofa degree cona complete education. he is in an ideal position to render real help. The job int€rview is rarely discussed.

I had the privilege ofcoaching for three ofthe geateBt football coacheswho ever lived: Do)'t Perr:y at Bowling Green. My etaffcame up with the sloganwe would give our players: Thosewho stay will be champions.punctuality. Most of them had never lmplementing the Plan The plan was a simple one. . and to beat.fundamental blocking in football----andthai you must b€ able to run the ball. I've been very. but we have found it quite eifective. because Lord knows our defensewa6 going to play against our ofense more than it would any opponent's. It was sometimein Nouembe. the most effective. And it was impoftant to communicate our approach to those involv€d in the Michigan program. I believein defensefiIst. It goeslike this. When mr feet began to stutte. the athletic director at Michigan. I don't think you can win championships. We are continually stressing the importance of Buchthings as appearanceand associat€s." And the pE eot up and slowly walhed -1970 Prcceedinss.In closing. we felt we must be able to stop the run. not utter.I don't think you can be suc ceBsful. unless you have a great defense. and livinghabih. Coach Hales was head c@ch dt Ohio State Uniuerci\. and I don't want to so to the soal line. very I waB an aBsistantcoachfor 10 yeals before I becamea head coach. but we know that the3e students do not lik€ to be harped at. and Woody Hayes at Ohio State. for my staq and for the guys who have played for me. for my family. I just don't want to come up on short yadase. ofTeredme the job at Ann A:rbor. I also believe very strongly that you must b€ able to block I mean the one-on-one.184 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES conduct mu8t always be considercdin light ofth€ effect it ha8 on other membem ol the football squad.In order for u3 to compete against that. I'll never forget when I told the staffwe were going to Ann Arbor. basic. and.I would lik€ to recite a little poem thoueh which we like to Btres8 the importanc€ of collegeassociat$. dnd d pig cclmeup and lay doun by my side. Putting Together a Winning Program BO SCHEMBECHLER $ l i g *$ t{t$}ri$: n Q."Yo. I fell doun in the gutter. I uas cdrrying home ajag uith maudlin pride. In 1969 Don Canham. thinking thoughts I dared. andforustobe able to 6top the run we must be able to run ourselves. &tt t ' } ! | I ir : i I 6 I ti t6 * . Ara Parseghian at Northwestem. and I don't want to get into circumstances where I need to My years in coaching have been unbelievably good for me. Another area in which the coach can be ofgeat help to the player is in the player'Bselection of his colege associates. * i { * } i ]} I I I g ]} I :. the football player leads a much more di sciplined life and must realiz€ that lor the t€am to succeed.We him when he starts tell to run amund with some new acquaintance he should always ask himself. A lodJ possing hJ uo! hpord tn $oJ. We felt his program waB so dominant that nobody in the league had been able to keep that team from running the football. I was excited. '1Mould this man (or woman) be welcome at my home for the weekend?" This may sound rather cornball. in a toun I can't remember. I am not opposedto passing. this is a necessity.l$$&irl ] 1 : We went into the season with the idea that we wanted to simulat€. dominant prosram in the leagu€. r$ !1 l : 1.I've been accusedof that on a couple of occasions. That pmgram was nrn by Woody Hayes at Ohio State. In matters of dress. As I lqt there in the gutter. can tell a man who boozesby the companyhe chooses.

this is what Id tell you. and suddenly. He's proved that. We w€re succeBsfuland happy. This may sound strange to you. .I can't block anybody and I can't l'un \. You can't take for g"anted that even that the problems the afler 10 yeals of success losing teams have you can't have just as quicklyin the wink olan eye. classic confrontations with Ohio State in the last game ofthe year. and you're not prepared.MOTIVATION. The man responsible for the kicking game at Michigan is me! And if I'm responsible for it.We were playing against the greatest football coach and one ofthe great€st schoolsparticularly the ereatest football coach-the Big Ten Conference has ever seen. . We d always placed such emphasis on the kicking game. you've got another thing coming-because the single most important factor is attitude. I have kept that responsibility. this is something special if the old man is going to take all the time to conduct all the drills and do all the talking in practice to make sure that kicking game iB done dght. on a play that doesn't change from year to year. we were playing d€fense.PHILOSOPHY. when we go otr the field we're either better or we're wome. Those games were something special. won our shareofchampionships and our program was quite successful. we it for 20 years.ever let that happen again. He was . Thelrc only competent when they know you have done a g"eat job of simulating what's going to happen to them in a game. We didn't coach rtith the same enthusiasm and with the same drive thai we should have. Avoiding Lapses We used the phmse "You get bett€r or you get worse. If you don't have organization. we had great.ycar we played for lhe championship in the last game. In rhe 19706. regardlessofthe oppositionor what we do.I gave ever:y singl€ coach on our staff a responsibility for a position on punt€.We wodd we simulate what Ohio State did because wanted to stop that Ohio State attack.you never stay the same. we couldn't punt. all of thoBe playem look at that and say. Once you take for ganted that you'rc gonna have a great team becauseyou\e got great talent. And then I learned very quickly that you can't become self€entered. and yet 11'e had punts rcturred on us. every day We coached punting the same we\e coached haal punts blocked. . I told them if there was a breakdown at that position on a punt that that coach was responsible and that we had no long-term conhacts at Michigan. We put in a delense that was based on speedand quickness so we'd be able to pursue and to tackle. and everybody knowing what they'rc gonna do. We spent 15 minutes a day on it.I promised to never."we used it constantly and talked to the playerc about it: "Every time you take the field to practice or play a gam€. we led the nation in net punting We werc th€ finest punting team in the United States of You've got to teach it every single day.in. We suddenly approached it with a lot more enthusiasm. Ohio State. and I will never relinquish it.when we had pmbably the worst kicking game in the history of college football. ln the 1980 Beason. your team will never be competent. We folded our arms. And you can't do that unl€ss you'r€ properly organized. I learned this great lesson in 1979. ard we averaged something like 36 yards a kick. I would have those practiceswell-organizedand the staffwellorganized. I took over th€ rcsponsibility of coaching the punt retum.ith th€ ball. And the only way you're gonna have a great attitude is to coach it every single day on and off the field! Keys to Winning Programs ' . So we went with an offense where we would use the baseblock and run the football. . I had Bill Walsh at my clinic last summer' Walsh is a great coach. AND MANAGEMENT 185 conhol the football. We were r-unning the football. We couldn't cover.because \ hat happenedlo us in 1979 and the renewed emphssis on the kicking game. 'Hey. we couldn't do an)'thing Wly did this happen?Becauseall ofus coaches stood there that 15 minutes. Be an organized guy. You're damned sure not gonna stay the w. We used an agil€ defense because we werc not a big defensive t€am. And we wanted to win the kicking game every time we played. Aimosl eveD. but we zeroed in on the best team in the league. Organization Masteryofbasics Work ethic Courage Loyalty Inteerity Organization If I were to tel you today how to \ ." of In 1980.

There's pressure in your place.." No! That isn't the way Woodyput it in. I coached with him lbr6years. . We might possibly hit this play becaus€we work on it.in-if the play's sound and you teach it that way. When he took that play to the players.t€ams that are able to play under great pressure. You must anticipaie and organize and practice every single thing that possibly could happen in a game. Even though you may have other responsibilitiesto your school." That's pressure. whether I was a graduate assiBtant. it's a great teaching aid lor these kids. It would have been easy for him to say. One ofmy pet peevesis the assistant coachwho is always looking for the big break or the n€xt job or the job. He had all kinds of blocking adjustments up there to do it.the balic fundarDentals ofblocking and tackling.Any t€arn that s not a goal-oriented team is not going to have much chanceat success.as I have to mine. Whenthe play- . ir There's no substitute for putting in the time. next head coaching Anybody who wants to become succ€ssful in football should become the greatest coach.That s important. that's important ilyou want to \a. or whatever it might be. There's no substitut€ for hard work. It's a special play where h€ puts three wide receivers out on one side and puts this euy (Jerry) Rice out on the oth€r by himself. We've got a shot.Football teaches that. ing the guads or tackles or center. the old man would go to the board and.186 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES telling those coaches in the audiencehow he'd out won a game. there wasnt a damned one of 'em and you can talk to any guy who play€d Ohio State football-who didn't feel they were gonna gain yardag€. they'rc gonna throw the ball to Rice. as if ir wab t hc greatpsr invpntion in fbotbau. we practrce thiB. at whatever rcsponsibility he has. It's not a pad-time job.' Motivation and Courage The next thing you've got to do to be successful is be willing to work. He f€lt he'd won it becauseof his organization." And damned il the guy didn't go back therc alld throw th€ ball to Rice on a sheak mute for a touchdown and they Now that isn't gonna happen all the time. I admire coacheswho are willing to put in the time. no one has ever compared-was Woody Hayes. as we put in the ofTenseon the first day. The greatest teacher I have ever been arcund in college football by far. and you teach 'em with great enthusiasm. we're gonna run 26. To me.000peopleand say. he taught it with great enthusiasm. Woody Hayes was the advocate of the old fullback off-tackle play A11old coachesknew Woody was gonna run 26. I never had a job I didn't lik€. Bccausp raught ir $irh such cnthusiasm. or coa€h. Maybe it wasjust a slight lateml step of the fullback. but it damned sure never would have happened had he not practiced that situation. or maybe you were really gonna change the play and hav€ a new blocking adjustment rp front. "Hell's fire.There's pressure in Michigan football. and you don't punch a time clock to do it.That takes coulage. If they cover these three receivers ov€r here and leave on€ guy on Rice. becauselater Mastery ol the Basica The secondthing to do is master the basics. he you sat there and watched every move and you learn€d something diferent----€very time. Th€y got into a game that year in which a very similar situation occurred. If you've ever taken a teenage kid and run him out in front of 105. I talked about discipline and the importance ofit.Theres no subst urF for carcfulplanning. and he told the guys to run that pals plal. Motivationl You must have your heart in your work so you can motivate others your coaching colleaguesand the players on youi team. You all know how to run it. For6 springs and 6 falls."OK. . andhe should be happy doing it! I can say to you in all sinceritt I never had a bad job. And when it's done properly. Walsh worked on that. he would describe to the staffthe 26 play."We want to win . becausehe cloBedevery offensive pmctice sessionwith a play that he'd rr]n if it were fourth down and 25 from his own 3o-yard line with 30 secondsleft on the clock. There's no substitute for hard work. In order to win. You must set goals. And all the guys said. everybodyon the staff must undemtand that hisjob is important.I want teams with great courage. "This is the greatest thing we could do. He prt it in so everyone would think. becausehe had sold those men that no one can stop 26. coachingfootball is afull-timejob. ers were in the huddle in a game and the play came in and it was 26. How many olyou coacheswork on that play? That is not a real goodsituation tobe in ifyou're trailing But he works on it.

"I'11 give you a call." He said. He wouldn'tjust walk out on hisjob. gentlemen.inningest coachin history in DiviBion I. and when you break those rules you must pay the price.He'd just b€cometh€ \. I grabbed the phone and said. "Well.I want to quit. Hewas sick. He was going to be the head coach. and soon afterward was dead.MOTIVATION. I don't feel sorry for those people who g€t caught and put on probation. as soon as we get back to the hotel. "Oh. He told stoies and rcminisced about all his backeround and his coaching. I got out to San Franciscoand met him at the Shrine Hospitalwe wercvisiting.'Yeah. What's gonna happen to them jfI quit?" You know the story: He went back and coached again. tntegfity I believe in honesty and int€gity As you d€al with your pl ayers and your coachesand everybody else connectedwith football. 1989Pro@dinss. to me. You've done everything yol1 could possi bly do.he said he'd do it if I'd come-because he kn€w he would have me do all the work. demonstrated loyalty.You'rc gonna find that out some day I've got 47 people back there thai I hircd at the Univedity ofAlabama. tbis was the greatest thing that ever hap pened to me. "Aren't you gonna offer me a d nk?" I got a bottle ofbourbon. Wh€n he finally did leave. You and I better sit down and have a litUe talk. I was going to help Bear Bryant coachin the East-West Shrine Game." He went on and on. then we'rc at fault. But I'm gonnatell'emone thing:We're only gonna do it if it's in the best interests ofthose guys who play That's important. I don't feel sorry for people who get the death penalty. and started to talk. AND I&NAGTMXNT 18? PHII." said. I don't want to go back to the office. no." I said.higan . Bo. But he said." He said. and if you can't win legitimately that way. maybe you shouldn't If) ou re In a sirualionwhereI great. We have rules and rcgulations we have to opemte under. I said. I don't mind making millions of dollaN. and when they asked him to be the head coach.He didn'twantto. Bryant couldn't do that. finally quit. I see gxys flyinc around.ad caach at the Uniuercit! ol Mi. I don't want to recluit one more kid. I don't want to call the ofFce. loyalty to yourseu and loyalty to those who depend on you. He and I had coachedin some all-star gamesbeforc. realize it. We must conductou$elves so that we are abovereproach.It wasn't that easy. leaving people sittins cold and not knowins what they're doins. Why dont you just go aheadand do it?" So I put on a little show. andhe was old and tired. we\e talked about you enough. That's yourjob." I said. when his career is ended.easoni" winning half your games.OSOPHY. "Bo. he looked ovff at me and said. "Wlat kind ofproblems do you have?"I thought he was gonna say something about his h€alth. There's enough criticism at everylevel across the country that we as coachescannot afford to operate any otherwaythan witb honesty and integrity. coach. The geatest example ofthat I\e ever been around was manyyears ago when Texas A&M was trying to hire me. "Texas A&M wants to hire you. and nake sure the people around you realize it." He called and carne down to my suite. Itt not that easy.Now. Its time lor you to quit.every single one ofour playeN must feel. jumping arnund. gentlemen. that it was one ofthe most meaninetul exp€riences he's ever had or ever will have. If they come back and say.I don't mind filling that stadium at Michigan. I call that loyalty. "Hey.You'vejust broken the rccord.I beenreading the pap€rs about yor.'l've got He to talk to you. He potred himselfa d nk and said. eh? I'll never forget when I was down therc. on they're going to have to make somedeosrons more important than wheth er theyre gonna block or tackle somebodtr Loyatty I believe in loyalty." then it was all worth it. That. Coach Schembechler uas h. "Great. and only one r€ason:what efect it bas on the guy we coach. he was the greatest of all time.I'm sure there were people who were out in the cold. He looked over and said. Now we're gonna talk about I said. "Here. And that last thine I believe is that when we coach. He coachedone morc year. Finally after about an hour and a half. Ifit is not.you must be honest and you must do it with integdty. All of us coach for on€ reason. Thats the only way to sall your progmm. sat down. lefs call your president ght now. "Bear. everybody in the world expects you to quit at your aee.

and I've asked a friend of mine who is an author to put together a book. Ifyou hav€ a player that can do something particularly well. 1 1 * X X Q e* * E{ $ $9 A g$'$$ i I'll never forget the frlst time I spoke at the Atlantic City coa€hesclinic way back in the old days. Harry Scott was running it.m SrateCollege Dallas. the second thing was the RBI-the guy that can mak€ the big play and $. The university gave us $50 each for expenses. I've been wat{hing you. and I want you to have thtu. the change-ups on coverages. Woody had just had ar undefeated season at Miami of Ohio and was in the proc$s of being int€rviewed for the Ohio State job. The minute you have to play a kid that can't learn quickly. and I was fascinated. Four of us got in the car and drove all night fr. don't forget it. running the clinic. that's what vou want to use. when I waE in my first year of coaching at Penn State. He set me up one night. but first and foremost. I can't tell you how important that is.in the same for you-and the third thing was the guy that makes the major er'ror. and there were 200 €mprl pages. 'Joe. . In the €lutch. Rip would never let us put in more than the kids could handle. I try to remember what players can do well. can't handle some things you want to do." I col d hadly wait to get at the book. We had a little dinner. We couldnt do some things we do in our secondary if we didn't have four bright kids back there who could handle sorn€ of the adjustments.ner About Players In evaluatirg pemonnel. all of a sudden your whole schemehas come down. He was constantly evaluating the assiBtant6 to determine how much new material they were putting in and how quickly the kids were comprehendingit. the way you have coached. That was Woody Hayes. what I have learned is that a coach must be a teacher. The first clinic I went to was back in 1950. I opened it up. About Teaching I know most ofyou may have heard this before. d t Things I've Learned From Goaching JOE PATERNO : 1* E U€ ]] * g3$]i. I've been reading everything you have had to say about football. and i C there was a whole crowd of people in the lobby There was this kind of heary guy holdins court. I was able to learn thft from a pe$on who I truly believ€ to be one of the best coachesand t€achem ever: Rip Engle. That was my introduction to the American Football Coaches Association clruc.We can only go as fast as the slowestlea. The title of the book h Whdt I Knoo About Foorball by Joe Patemo. when Dr.and ne werpgoing to to stay at the Baker Hotel. He was in there talking about how he blocked the off-tackle play. and Harry said. I've always believ€d that the frrst thing was consistency. the checks.You can't play him.188 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES rl * 3 A e l B ii g $ $ 1} :: !? r * c $ F $ i l { g g * * [ g € & *.I still have that book. We were there until four in the moming. We rented a room and shared the expenses of the cax We walked into the Baker Hotel about twelve or one at night.

I don't think any of us who\e been coaching very long ever gets up in the moring without thinking something about football. We struggled like dogs to beat him and sot lucky to score on a screen pass in a 7-0 football eame. I'm not in a hurry to play young ptayers.but his mom stuck the ifttrurnent in his hands.I'd mther be two weekslate in playins a kid than one day too soon.and you\e got to have self-discipiine. About Developing Young Players Onp of the greatcst misrakp.lin coachingwasmade oneyear when we had a gr-eat freshman kid from upstate New York who was a 6 4.Becaffe until a kid is comfortable. AND I{ANAGEMENT 189 About Goaches In evaluating coaches.h at Penn State Uhiueait\. in thai situation.goingback to the 1959Liberty Bo*'1. so w€ put him in there against Robinsonfor a dive drill.PHILOSOPHY.who C@ch Patemo is hedd con. I don't know ifthere bas been a dayin my life ofcoachingthat I haven't thought about football or my team.You'vegot to be willing to make any sacrifrce.ithout wanting to make music or hear music is not supposed be a musician.cnme$in- About Winning People often talk to me aboul deveJ ng individuopi als into winners. We played a couple of his teams."Starker becamea tru€ to prof€ssional not a dilettante.r be drsciplined yourself. brt a man wbo committed his life to music. until th€ whole "quad say. A lot oftimes kids think they're ready to play. and we couldhardlywait to see what he could do. and they keep thinking it's going to continue to tuln out well for thern. All we did was take a great prospectwho wasn't ready for that kind of challenge and destroyed him. Ifwe had led him along. .rhcn rhp) ran b. may have been able to develop we him into a good football player. The kidwas so ftustratod.-to themsel!Fs-Wlcn arc you g^ing to play that kid?' I'm notsure I'd like to playhim. They expect things to happenbccaus€ihey have had that success.We outmanned them.until he has had an opportunity to feel good about himseu.there arc cedain things that I've tried to look at when hiring them or k€€ping them. We can'twaitto seehow tough the young kid was. So du ng the following spdng practice. . Then all of a sudden.makrngmusic. Robinson couldn't pickup and throw on his back. The next time. lvc pvpr hpa. talhed to Bobby's group and explained how he didn't want to play a cello. And you knowwhat happened? That kid nevcr showedup to practice again. and he was forc€d to l€arn bow to play it. He camedowntoourplace. and I try to evaluate my coachesin the same way. MOTIVATION. He was a pretty good runner. playedwiththe Green Bay Packersfor years and was as good a football player as we ever had. until he really knows he's ready to go.!een*inncrs and losers is that the winners b€lieve in ihcmsolvos. and oncethey belicve in IhAm.el!e". then I don't know whether coaching is for The lr'C. Things have tumed out well for thcm up to a point. given him some success.doing. This world-renowned cellisi. except th€ir families. "Anyone who cango thrcush a day $. They haven't bcen knocked around. The point was we didn't have any suy on the football tearn there wasn't a football player on our team who.-1987 Prccee. but they werc The only djference bet\. The lirst time the kid comes. and you have to do the things you arc supposedto do becauseyou can't lbol kids. You can't talk to kids about being disciplined and n. My staffknows how I feel.21s-pound lullback that ran (in those days it was a good speed)a 100-yard dash in 10. can he liv€ without it? I'm only rcpeating what Coach Bryant and some olher people have said.when we had a great team and he $'as in his filst year at Alabama. we matched th€ kid up against Dave Robinson. First. named Janos Stark€r.lines. Robinsontakes and throws hirn on his back. I thinkcoaches have to be willingto make any sacrilice to win. he rcalized that he didn't want to go onFday wrrhourrhinking. He said. I alvays wanted to be amund Paul Bryant becauseI thought he did as good a job as anybody in creating a winning mentality around his players.4A Nerus had an afti cle once about this gr€at musician that Bobby Knight invited rn to talk to his team.You have to be in there wben you're supposedto be. Alter they have some success. same thing.Robinson was that good. They've had success.0. but ifyou can live without coaching. but not a great one.

I'11 have a pioceofthose who will taik today At Gramblins. to be serious. too. When someonegets up here to speak. to reach into the future. yet never neglect the past.I\e head them all. Football will teach them to be proud and unb€ndins in honest failure.We comehereand we get the plays. an unknown speakercame up after Frank Leahy had spoken. from (Dave)Nelson. and this suy will find out howsoodhe is. You've sot to look at both you don't have a record.butyouput him down there in a one-on-onesituation. that football builds chamcter inyouns men. when I firut wcnt to coachingschool.I picked theirbrains. At Gramblins. That's why I want you to leave here with a commitment about this game and the young men you coach.and I'm not running the football. yet never forget to weep. and I'm not catchineit.and this is what you need to tell th€ young coaches. we were tryins to change plays at the line. yet never take youmeif too seriously.just lik€ the Why Goaching? To paraphrasethe lateAlonzo Stagg:"Thecoaching professionis the most rewarding professron in the world. of We\e got som€$eat minds here.I see peoplewho are looking . I've had your plays.You can't comehere and walk in the halls and hang a.You can't work at one j ob.The players have sreat minds. you need to be in here to hear hjm. So.back in the '50s. From 1941. to be modest so that you will re member the simplicity of true greatness the open-mindedness tlue wisdom. Thesegreat men who I heard kind of shaped my philosophy about thinss like ihis.I've had th€ distinct pleasureofcoachingtwo players who are now colles€presidents. A boy can't come to my office and t€ll me. on to have a heaft that is clean. to the extent that at this point. and promotions will come. I'd gone all over the country trying to talk with peoplewho changed something at the line. too.theseathlet€s are the most impoftant peoplein the world to me. and no man is too good to coachin Amedca.our prcsident. at the young man inst€ad of the record.rl"aid ereryrhinBI wantcdro knos.I wouldn't have to take a second professi because it would slill be the coaching on. Football makes young men strone onough to know when th€y're weak and brave enough to face themseive! when they'rc afraid. Work hard. I don't want to waste your time-" He doesn'twastemy time.You'v€ got to have I a$ee with coachStagg wholeheartedly.I seepeop)ewho can make winners out oflosers. I see peoplewho can be a plus to our society.I don'tflunk anybody. It will teach them to laugh. and I beli€ve it. It's all right fora manto be a man. At one clinic. ifl had a decisionto mak€ about a guess vocation.Grcat minds. I got tbe Wing-T from (Forest)Evash€vski. we hav€ a man who's our leader.It's ourtime.and I have for some49 to 50 years. I know that football builds character in young When I look at you.you set flled-but you'rc d€alins with America's most prcciouspossession. and while the other coacheswere walkins out. butto face the streBsand spur of difficulty and challenge.Football teaches m€n not to substitule words for action."It's a ereat pmfession. we don't do a wholc lotofthings thatotherp€opl€ haven't done. nor to seek the path ofcomfort. gr. and I havc a pieceof cvcry one. You name them.I9O FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES Fifty-Plus Yeansof Goaching Football EDDIE ROBINSON One ofthe best things that's happenedto me in my liletime is that I've heard the best coaches who have eve|walked. you know that.And whan I lcave here today.ound Uke I see some of the guys. This is what it's all about. "Coach. but humble and g€rtle in success. thi. a goal that h high. looking to go to anotherj ob. Football Lessons Coaches inthe past have saidthis aboutfbotball. Football will teach them to stand up in the stor'rnbut to have compas8ion those who fall. For example.

and Doing I'm a crier. I could be wrong. He'd tell you in his own gentle way that one method of coaching doesn't go lor all ballplayers. and I'm asked. or will achi€ve.000 againstTemple in Tokyo. coaches with d€fen8es. On defense." but that didn t last lons. What Fritz Cdsler said was tme then and still is true. MOTIVATION.I didn't have a great deal. or that an assistant coachiost it. to lose without offering excuses. I don't have enough time at my age to pay them back. Back then. It's so important to ri w a c n m a r h i n d h q . They outplayed us. Stop and sign it. I leamed how to win from football. but I think fbotball and athletics in g€neral have made our nation the best fightins forc€ in the world I don't like people who substitute wor& for actions.I remember when they played the first Sugar Bowl same. The guys werc all mad. Most ofyou\e r€ad abourcoachCrisle. They have individual di{ferences. Eddie Robinsondoes. This is what you need to do.e Chicago Triblze all-star game. and he was a man that was respc. and Ll. "\ hat about the game?" I say.L I've never walked ollliom an auto$aph. and were about an hour late. He was a disciplinarian.And you can gjve a guy with more ability more things to do. Now.me early in my coaching carcea when I d get up in the morning. I cry over good things. after I'd been hired at Gramblins. The essenceof offense is blockins. boy. "We shottld have stay€d at home. I stil remember some ofthe things that were said durins that coaching clinic. and he told them. 1941. about tl. AND MANAGEMENT 191 other one will. We had a crcwd of55. youre coming on. "I don't make the rules. then the athletes and coacbesshould share. Dreaming. Coachmakes the rules. When I was a boy. Coaching School and the AFCA I went to my fiIst coachingschoolat Northwestern. and he said.I was sit- . The coacheswho werc there--you've probably read about them-were Fdtz Crisler. they held the game at Northwestern. they outus. the football playel8.'don'tcomeout ofthe dressing room if you'r€ not going to sign them. At one t. and the coaches. I don't ihink anybody's old €nough to know Crying. I walk in. CoachWaldorf was one ofthose guys you could get closeto. "Eddie. No assistant coach of mine can say Coach RobinBon said that a boy lost a game.it's tackling. where I think they bought glassesfor the underpnvrleg€d. When the game was over. I'd say.PHILOSOPIIY. He finally came about 10 minutes latea and he steppedon the bus. you're a hell of a coach. with adeep.Whatever we have achieved.At that time."' Ask anybody on our team.nn Waldorf. I don't want to see any kid mnning to somebody asking for an autograph and not get one. If anybody loses a game. The all-stars played the professional champions. The football players and the football coacbes have been good to me.red w}|en he ralked.I went to this coaching In school. and the boys are in the dressing room. getting ready to leave." blockedus. and they outcoached Taking Responsibility I learned so much from football. I was coachingit all. we were on the bus. you've got offensive coordinators. I've ridden on the shouldels of the athletes.l don't believethat I could bave done that by myself.I leamed how tolosefromfootball. commandins voice. I don't allow it.)nu c^uld hear a pin drop in the stadium. Carl Snavely.He\{. For all these years. saying Doug Williams was not here.astough. When a team whips us.

He uas he just about a football so(lto me." Developing a System When I was leaving the coaches'school. rl really nailed me down. AndI.000 peoplein the Srear BowJ. Coach Wald^rf. 'A system?"He said. and Iwent in the locker room where coach Waldorf was. you got to be goins to Grambling. And tell them this is yor1l system. to be tlLe kind. When we got the fimt chance to put 76. Like Maftin Luther Kins. and make them play it.olsur heuas.I believeEddie Robinsonis as soodan American as any other American. When I sot therc and walked through thal door and saw the people tbere and all tho famous names on theirbadges." Tho train couldn't gei to Grambling fast enough for me to get this systemhome. W]len I uas inrroducFd.dif he uoukl die.ybodyhad left.I cried again. tua noses.n(led my hand. he hadhisbackto me. uhat kind of nan h.I wenl to my fiISt AI'CA convention. From 1941 to 1955. Whenhe sqid "AlonzoStags. "Yes.how doesthis man know my name?Calling my name made me know right thercthat I necdedto knoN the fi rst name of my ballplayers. because I rcalizedthat only in Amedca €ould this happen lo mF. "Weli.and tak€ that back to Grambling. I uanted to eet (t sood laoh at ILim possiblr Lookins for tl&t thid. In 1956. Ray Eht. I had a dream. You can't so through Grambling to get to any other place. .T wenr In ru three coaching clrni(" a ^nc year since 1941.about aLLlhe chanEes had madL in thegame. I told them this js our system and this is what you have to play.And when Grambling played a game in Pasadenain th€ RoseBovrl. listening to it on a borrowedIadio. what do you want?' W}en Ihih gentlemsncdlled my namn. 'Well. adviceto a 'As a new coach. I wanted to coach. I walked on the fieid and I cried. and T don reallj have a system. But something thatwasn't said was thatnobodyin my family before me frnished elementary school.ent." I told him. and in tbc flrstmeeting I had with my players. "Eddie.rhrng.192 FOOTBAI. In ord€r to getto Grambling. whal rbJ our young coachon his firstjob?"He said.Tll rpll ). what is your offense?" and I told him it was doublewing and singlewing. I was just so excited about being there for the fiIst 1ime. So he said. I could. Meeting Coach Stagg At rny litst AFCA meeting. an lhou he Drote to his 11 month old son. I list€nedto the RoseBowl.tar introducinE somepeopLe.you need to get a system.'u n and ca)1. So. And when I walkedin.I b€camea badgefreak.L COACHING STRATEGIES ting on the steps of an Italian store.and. alarm. I had rea.tpd hin Lobe.le him superior The gux behind me finaryy sai<l. tbere's that guy. The line citcled.I didn'tknow anythine abouttheAm€rican Football Coachos As$oci ation.I uas soine to neet hjn.. Wlat do you play.you need to get a system. I live in Gmmbling.Eddi€. when a man com€sup to yotl in a strange t."Yes. I was looking at all the coachesthat I had read about. ea.eu)an. Etldie. hiss him antl mouc on. With all these people. your namc.l about coachStass. "I iust got through playins lborball. H€ took a quick glance and said. When your n ame i s called. Just lihe that. an.Idon't hnow ulnt he had. hou he uanted his son to treat his mother.Get it mineo$aphed and give it to your players.1 unething: I can sell Americanism. What you young coacheshave to undeNtand is that I wasn't as fortunate as you are. the presid.or among the best." it wasjust like puttitE on an. dfter readins about this Bur lbr so lone. And I'11 always want to be the best coach.y uanted to shahehis hand. Ther€'sa price you havo to pay.it means snm. wo can handle that.' ' He said.t'J the tine Igot to him.n'timaeine uhat he would Looh lihe up close fisured he had three ears. you can take the plays that youusedin college."Hell. But on the avpragc. Euerybod. all the uar around the room. and the defens€ was a 6-2." I said. had all thosc nice I things sajd about me.aid tohim. euetybodr bas comins up to shahehands uith codchStase. heard about thatt this guy. or somethinEthat ma.I read. b€causeI couldn't realize when I sat there list€ning rnany long years ago that I would ever coacba game therc. and et. andthen whateveryou heard here relatod to whatyou play. waited I until ove. It took ne about 30 minutes to uo* n! ua! up there.Final\.

illustration.that Jou coul. and Willie Bro$n ald Buck Buchanan in the'60s. hool and uos thp firtt d" t' sto. But with all the succesB Grambling has had over the yeals.our teams. James Harris steppedout ofs. the Yankees have played at Gramblinstwo times. but I don't udnt Jou ta ask me alL thosetaz! qu*tiorc.inequarterba&s. "I am re(ruiting lou to play quafterbach in the NFL. EJdp.there have be€n so manythings to be pleased about at Grambling. "Well.PHILOSOPHY." He said. imitation. in Buffalo. Leadership You young coacheshave to creat€ in the men you are coachins a real love for the same and a spirii for work. on the show: "Larlies ancl genrlenen. I went straight to James Harris'house. in mr tifetitk.You can't fool the kids ifyou are not sincere. sometimesyou still have to ask somebody help.ence that you haL)e and.in th€ confidence of the men you coach unless you are dead honest in what's soins on. All coachesmust be absolutely sincer€ to the work ethic. I bon't ash Jou anJ questions like that. We uere in New Yorh.great teams. explanation.After you teacb the fundamentals of blocking and tackling. I tol. MOTIVATION. Each pmctice should be carefully planned in advanc€. and great players. because that's the deciding factor in close ballgames. Since 1941. Grambling QBs Bach in the 1970s. because is ahout lou and tne. Coaching is repetition. the number of xecLrs coached.t. but GeorgeSt€inbrennerhelpedus keep our program soine. You cannot $.ered.ifyou're not doine the work. but uhatzuer the! 0II me.power. so I thought I mieht talk it orcr uith you. it I rcnember sometime ago. Hello.\. couection.dplax football in the NFL and direct the team?" What uas I supposed to say? I'm a c.I uasjust trying to hurry and eet olf. not what the coachesknow. and Houard Cosell (who helped us quite a bi. You have to have morale and create a goodfeeling among the teams.mch. At this time. and that is the way that you'll do it. me he anted me to be on his shou." He tnk the chalLenge. The same will be won or lost by what the playem know. I hat r Eddr R"htn!'n. and 46 kids graduated from collese on tho tunds that we rcceivedfrom those games. "Hoaa . I wond. I don't mind beingon your shoa.I saidJes.You probably won't agreewith for this. After that. Somethins has heenbothering me. We've had t€levision covelage. repetition. We have Willie Davis in the '50s. We have three peoplein th€ pm football Hall ofFame.peopk lined up on both sidesof the street to watch the .Vince Lombardi said Davis' quickness. and intelligence made him the besi dcfansiveend that he'd ever coached. Since he's been connected with this sroup. helped. that Jou haDe to answer" Now. AND MANAGEMENT I93 Cosell and.t in the NFL.l him. helped eet a lot of people drufted' helped us eet our game in Neu Yorh) told. He's 6-5.dprepare in four years a young man who coul. Remember lle? I'd like to leave you with something I always finish with when I speak somewherc: peopk caII me OLdGlat. You've eot to know exactly what is to be done on the field. do rou thinh. the questionwas uhether anJ bldch could euer plclr quarterbach for the NFL. with rcom for modification. you have to t€ach them to erecute. B€forc you so on the field. When the Urban League couldn't "ponsor Ihp game in New York anlmore. when I eot on the airplane and left New Yorh.Yor have to give them the will to win. I arn your flag of the United States ofAnerica. if uith mJ years runninq out. h" sieppedin and guaranteedthe guarantee. will I live to seea Gramblins QB in the Super BouL? So I'ue neuer been more satisfied than seeins Doue wiUiams set off the eround and uin the Super Boul for the WashingtonRe&kins.others ?all Some me b! the Star-Spangkd Banne. uith low Dast elper.210 and I told James Harris. e hdd seDeral outstand. you have to be ready.

rcnember? And you. one nation. Renember lit tle sisler'No1 1u be outdone.Eheuas salutinE the same as rou uith her right hand oDer her heart.there with lour hand.leading parade.ingtherc straight as a soldier. Keep making these young boys be good Americans. Remenlber? rm still the Bameold What happened? Oh.A lot morc blood has been shed since those parad. Is it a sin to be patriatic an! more? Haue rou forgotten uhat I stand for and uhere I've been?Anzio. proudly uauinE in the eL)ery breeze.\ in your pocheb.ther dan't seemto knou uho I am. under God.es of Ions dso.and I'li hnow that rou remembet You are the greatest people.Joujust stand.idn't haue a hdt. uhen you seeme. and this is the greatest pmfession. Guad. I haL)ea feu more stars flae. thzn looh arcund. stand straighL place Jour fight hand ouerrour hedrt.and.I ua.rou are saluting them. and then rou Loohaua!. I saw one man tahe his hat off. Stand. dnd I'LL salute lou by ualting bach. as I used to. WeIL it won't be long until rU be coming doun the streetagain. Whenrou salute me. Whenyour daddy saw me coming.194 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES paradc dnd. 1991 Prcceedings. Korea. shoutinE.alcanal.But nou I don't lbel as proud. of those uho neuer came back to heep this repubLic flee. I mar get a smdll elance. I rememberyou. He didn't see anybody else with theirs off. I sez the children running around. since you were a boy. so he quichly put his bach on. So. he immedidtelr rcmouedhis hat and placed it dgainst his left shouldErso that the hand uas directly ouer his heatt. Codch Robinson b head coach at Grumblins State UniLtersity . WhenI comedoun pur street. vou d. and Viet Nan. but Jou uere giuing the right salute. Tahe a looh at the memorial honor rotls sometimes. noturolU. Then.

"I don't know \lho that guy is. NIOTIVATION. And it changesevory week." This is because he moves.You sce a guy.Andthat's Fxrl1lj thp $dy I lpelabou coacuqu a prcti. why not let him play some othcr sport. "Whatever you do. They're not tho same. Responsibility Beforcyou can motivate anyonein this world. and to adjust every momenl in your lile when you're dealingwith men 15 to 20 yeals old. bocauseI don't havc tho time. You've got to motivate them in different ways.:: Motivation-The Difference. to impmvise.INNT 195 . nake th€m better men."I want you to do this. AND MANAGI]I. If not." that he bclieves it. they're not going to perform for you. they're not going to respect youl You know what we do the first two weeks of our spdng practice. becausethey'rc changingi They're changing from year to year. Ifyou don't believe in youlsel4 don't ever expect any man to bctieve in you.playins gou workins. Eve4' Sunday aftemoon we look at what w€'. I leamed to "I & A' iDprovise and adjust.We try to figurc oul what we can do to stimulate these young men.e going to do to motivate our guys this week.fbr exanple.That's exactlywh at it takes in tullegecoachrnp.hoolcoeching.s"ion Flexibility You'vegot to change. ter man.. Coaches shorld be ready at any moment to adjust their philosophy..1 :. or lcthim hang arorind tbe corner.Coaches have alormorc responsibili than tcachingkids to ramoff-tackle. ir n or life. and tcach them to be There are a lot offathers sittine at home. you must have thei r respecl. they're not going to play lor you. Self-Gonlidence and Optimism Tbe first thing is theymustbelieve in themselvos.Maker in Goaching LEE CORSO I \\hen you talk to football players.There's one thing I learned from the United States Naval AcademI if they taught me nothine else.And I belicve jn the basicright and dignity ofevery man to be different.and acts as ifhe bclicve!'in himself.You tell him he'sgot more pride than you've ever secn in anybodylThe player $'i1lend up saying.esponsibility of a football coach today-to take his football players and motivate them. l t :'. looks. You're putting in their minds. You've got to hav€ that inner bclieffirst. You better have r-uleswith alittle outlet. We have different young men every year. you'd better believ€ in what you're talking about.But a coach'smain rcsponsibil ity to a football piaycris to teach him tobe a bet. liom week to weok.and from houl io hour Evaluate whatever you did last year to motivato your people to sce if jt is feasible this y€a. the Xs nnd O's are important in winning games. They won't do it. Never downgrade a man. Holv? You keep tclling him he's got itthere. "I do have that pemonal pride. the masic of believing in themselves. But thcre are sone basic p nciples thai IA like to go over. I've seen guys try to motivateone football team exacrlythe way th€y did anotheaand that's dillicult.PHILOSOPHY.bothonthe field andin me€rings? We work on the mind.or lei hirn go to tho biology teacher?That is to m€ the most impodant r.il n€ceEsary."When you look at it lik€ that. but he must be a winner. fron day to day. You'vegot to havo a pelsonal inner p dc. They can senseit!They know lhat when the coachsays. You nust be ready to move quickly. hiAhs. Evcry rnan hastherighttobe himselfandtobe own rrdr. a little at a tim€. and most important. and l . If it isn't. You've got to get it ou1 ot him-it's inside.. mold them. walkinc into a rcom and pcople rvill say. or flyins all over. ty They've got one of th€ most responsiblejobs in the worldl Sure. his no matter what he believesin. it's a tremcndousrcsponsibility and privilege.who tum their sons over to the coach and say.

Discipline We bave two haining rules.do something respectlul toward a playe. they fclt lika they were bett€rl Aftcr you snap the ball. becausethat's what you want them to beljeveabout th€ coach. We run into a lot ofnesative thinking in football there's always something wrong."$Ihat does'act like a man' mean?" PlayeIS knowl Let them use some of their imagination. "Some day. but it will. You gei ihose iwo pdnciples acrossto them. The challenge coachesface is a tremendous one. We tell our players that we want them lo bc disciplrnedfrom r he in"ide out. Worry aboutwhat you've got. If you rcgiment players and t€ll them everythins to do.letting them do anyrhing they $anl ro: and don t go all the $ay in the oth€r dir€ction.berospectful lo rhe guy with less ability. you can do anything you want. thelll quit a lot oftimes. but jt won't be part oi them-inEid€ ofthem. Somedayit will come back to you. became you are usu ally judeed by the team on th€ way you treat your You nust believe that the most important peoplein the world besidesyour family are your players. When I eot the job at Louisville.on: Youre soins 'hp to play like a championl"You know wbat happened? They lookedat eachoth€r and said. but it's cloEe the to pmctice field. vn gor rhe finebruniforrns You in world You look lik. "Gentlemen. They'll sar "To hell with it! I dont believe in that guy anyhowl" Tra to avoid the extremesifyou can. .. pracUy the way you try to heal a wound. and it's fourth-and-1. CoachCarsais d footboll andlrst lor ESPN. you re not gaining anlthing thereyou're losing a possibility.I said to the players. The real danger is when you discipline by commands." So. Every day. The secondhaining rule ]s to act likt a man and. we do look b€tter! We're a lot bettd team than we were I ast yearl" In their minds. Tbey actually think it helps them win! They actually think it's worth a touchdownat the end!It du"inl malp an) difference hFrhor i. you can't promise any body anything. o1f. You might say. and no matter what anybody tells m€.h ro rho normal ngid discipline. and 907r of the coaches $untr too much aboul $har rhe mher g!) s gor Youcan't do anlthing about it. Self.rou'll be treated. There's nothing you can do about it. the first thing you've got to have in order to discipline a man is his respect of you as a person. We try to do that.lilrea /'?dn.and when it gets down to tha fourth quader. and make them the best. But on your side ofthe line.then he can motivat€ them. herrl.That's when the other guy's talents comeinio play.B€causewhen a guy starts to say qomerhing s^mabod) ro cl"e. We don't allow one negative phrase in our whole oryanizatjon. You cannot contml the other man's team.hamp. Respect I've head collegocoaches "Run the deadwood 6ay. and peoplewill trcat you like a bum. And you know what happens?You']l find a beautjful family stading to d€velop. in thrc€ days I spent morc money on football unifonns than my predecessor didin five yeals. as ifthe playe$ are robots. and they'l play."Ilyou do. !r isnl $ ir whai's important is that they think it is. a .You'r€losing a guy who could possibly help in some way. telling them they can't do anyihing! Try to hit. Don't go all tho way in one direction. And when the guy you run off is on the loudh team. they'lI do it.'You'rerightl You're damned righi.Act like a bum 1972Proceediaes.196 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES thc othcl guy doesn't. We've rflpd i di|rerpnt approd. guess who his best friend is? The star! And tho star says. and he raali/-. in your own way.W€can only succeedifwe continu€ togoover the rclationships and duties with oul playeft with the samo aggressive and progressive attitude that we have doing Xs and O's on the blackboard. A11 coaches are looking for disciplin€.I'm going to get you for running mybest friend out ofher€. go by the cemetery. We've got the world's worst dressing room. Wlen it gets down to the fourth quader. And they can't hjt you! Stop and thjnk about that sometimei How long bave you spent on your pregame wannupl Our guys take pdde in their pregam€ warmup."it comesas a rFa.rionbp.auseIhe) fcpl ir in rh. always something bad. a happy medium. And wh€n they get to respecting the coach. I'm going to winl" You may think that won't work. Anotber thing we've leamed is ihal therc's no use worrying about the other guy'stalent. you now look like what we're going to be champion". If you think thines are bad. That's positive thinking. The first one is to treat eueryman as Jou uant to bc treate(L \oursefi That's all we ask you to do. Always s€ll this positiveattitud€. coach. I wouldn't want him to say that to me.

short fullback lowered his shoulder and knocked the defensiv€ €nd down. But I said th€s€ kids need some fre€ time to themselves. Flodda-for something he taught me. o{Tside the ing across and hit oul fullback as hard as he could.they need some tima to make their decisions. The second lesson came while playing the Univeruity of Hawaii in a bis game. to go to church. . ill t Back in 1982 at the Air Force Acad€my. TheFB knockedhiin down too and went 44 yards for a touchdown.PHILOSOPIIY. we werc plalns ColoradoState with a chanceto win o11I very fiIstWesternAthletic Confercnce championship. andjust r€la-\ on Sunday if they want to. The second benefit we'vefound is that now the . who is eager and antici' pates the game on Satwday. come Saturday. no drills on Friday. The defense did an echo stunt and th€ end fold€d back inside to try to tackle the fullback. we As I iooked at the film after that game and saw that on many of the turnovers we just droppedIhe ball and reclll wprpnl erer hrr. Q rs il.to sleep. irying to get a little exha film work just to b€ sure we had the dght game plan. to watch pro football. because itmeant so much. Along with thosetwo l€ssons be fresh at kickoff and football players win games. and that'E to give players som€ time to themselv€s duringthFseason.he film beforethe players come in. and it has beenthe No. he handed the ball off to our fullback. MOTIVATION. as we won 18 olour next 21 games. We no lonser have to hurry and grade 1. not football plays w" try to makF sure our players anjoy playing the game. 39-38.. As the quarterback read the tackle. No drills on Monday. you can imasin€ the rebellion that bmught about. Obviously. what ever happens. And I renember say it ing after that ballgame that llom now on. and he is rcady to go on from there. Fisher DeBerrja I thought about how the d€fens€ had read the play conectly. It allows the player a chancenow to sleep. I said. to study. ri ii !.a week after w€U defeated Bdgham Young. or hurry to make corections or . and the th ll ofcompetition has to be enjoyable each and eve4' day. our t€am will be mentally and physically fresh at kickoff. I came back and told our coaches ftom then on we would not meet with our playeB on Sunday. "Footbal playeN win sames. that it's frm for them. and winds up being too tired before kickoff. Il they look forward to playing the ballsame.I started to question my own coachingabjlity and wh€ther I was overcoachingpeople. and then about 5 yards later met their free safety head-on in the open field. will play harder and make morc big things happen than if he works on a play 15 to 20 extra times. find that by Monday. | : i 2 i KEN HATFIELD Getting Your Team Ready to Play {F *{ti.I'dbeenup twice at 3:30in the morning.q '. didn't work. It was an excitins same--one in which we had 19 plays of10-plu3 yards on off€nse-but we lost becauBe turned it over six times. and that's all you can ask. but our fullback kept bis feet cbuming and knockedhim down. W€ instituted the program and have continu€d it. also in '82.not footbal plays. i .oachcs assisranr don t hav' ro rush rhroughFver)'thing they're doine on Sunday. As I stood on th€ sideline and looked at my assistant. i i I i i I g | : t t: ii 11 . but our tullback had just run over three people.to go to churcb. who happened to loop out. then they willplay their hearts out." A fr€sh football player. : ?.The week of thatgame. Free Day I am indebted to a high school coach-Tom Grani ofJa€ksonville Wolfson Hish Schoolin Jacksonville. cuttins back on plactice.] i. and no meetings on Sunday. Well. We ran our basic triple option play.or do really wbatever he wants to on a Sunday. and have one tull day where he doesn'tseeany ofhis coaches. It really paid offfor us. As soon linebackerwas comas that happened.he is really ea We ger and ready to learn everFhingthat he should have leamed in the game the previousweek. So we changed our philosophy. AND MANAGEMENT 19? | 1aC * i g $ I !. ar TtalkedloTomonpsprinC AJt during recruiting. Off tough. l best thing that we have dono. Football is a fun sport.

and w€ tried to prepare for each game to impmve from week to week.198 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES adjustments on new things they are going to do. with that clean uniform on. Everfbody has seen an emotional team. Goalward Bound A final Buggestjon to keep in mind when trying to play your best each week is to set a new goal each week. If you lose du ng the season.because if 1989 Sumtut ManuaL Coach Hdtfield is hea. our playersbe consistent weekinandweek out is to leam to play with enthusiasm versus emotion. If you play with enthusiasm each and every day. who itself is very high emo tionally. Every game doesn't bring out the high emotionsinyou.Thisway. codch at Ric. never really thought things out completely.l. We thinh that if you learn to play with entbu siasm. nobody or out there watching him. erade the film. becauseit is hard to sustain a high emotion at all times. Entht1siasmnever wears out. a player learns to do that every day in practice. He just ne€ds to lee the one or two mistakes he made. These have been some of the basic ideas that we feel arc importantin prepadng a team to play its best each and every week. and that's why we emphasizeplaying your best this play.lp. then I know what he'Il play like on Saturdat with his folks therc. we're able to take our time. becausewh€n the kids beLevern something. and go from thera. determine as a steff what corrections need to be made. . out on that field. We won the bowl bid. then you\e got to sell your kids on the importanc€ ofimprovjq for that next ballgame. I told our staff that a player doesn't need to seethemistake hemadeifhe mad€ the Banreone l0 rimes. how he is going to corrcct thcm. it never wears out. and that enablesyou to play yo1ll best each and every week also. when tbere's no band or cheerleaders.When kids have tun. The main thing is to keep the joy and enthusiasm in the eame of football.and they want to be the very best. We all were used to hunying ihough eve4rthing. and repeating plays 15 or 20 times. and they want to comp€te. Not Emotion Anolher thing thal h. UniDeBitr. and then mak€ th€ corrections with play€Is on Monday.Don\ keepharpingon the same mistake. A t€am that plays with high emotionsusually has ereat highs and gl€at lows. Last year our goal was to impmve each week so that we could win a bowl bid. and. and many times teams that play the ereat high emotional gamesare very suscep tible the next week to getting knocked offby an inlerior opponent. you\e got the tiger by the tail. sothe kids look foruard to coming out there each and every day.HeJubtneeds sceir oncA twicp. that enthl1siasm never weals out. week alter week thoughout the season. then you'lI play well €very Satuday Enthusiasm. representing all those fans in th€ stands that came to seehim play. and he is in that didy old uniform.The motto or the foundationto our pro$am iE to play our best this play in practice. as a result. We kept that as a goal.so ro or there's no real needfor him to seethe whole football game.

when asked the question.MO/TIVATION. Too often. Some coaches spend too much energy co\ering what has gone wmng in the past and secondguessing their predecessor. a situationof"catching and tuming TCs up things around. 2. Enthusiasm is contagious." Anyone who has venturcd into a turnaround situation will attest that you can feel overwhelmed by th€ job at hand. talent. winning will take care of itself. 'how do you win?" we have no consensus on the correct answer. . Don't k'€e faith in yozrself. all we talk about is winning. I already recomoended that the emphasis should be on improvement. Yes.You must believe thal if you do a greal job of improving. The?efore. Evaluate present stotrrs.fan6. Don't wont about things lou have ai tle control oaer. 3. Spend your time on the things you have a chance to contrcl-your coacheBand your players. Be enthusiastic and positiue. Set !ou/ sighte high.Qx x * s $ E tts s $ s * n a & p Like most coaches. everyone will be rcminded ofthe bad $ings-lhp media. um ing 'l things around and cat{hing up. and nothing gr€at can b€ accompliBhed witlout it.un with them. However. Here are some suidelines I'd suggest to get started. etc. 6. A formula for succeseis diagramed in Figure 1. and you still don't win.PHILOSOPHY. That's why a coaching change was made. there isn't an)'thing else you could 4. U you improve as much as you can.alumni. W}ren a program is down.AND MANAGEMENT 199 gg x f i $ $ E g x * & g I & $ *''8*6I GLENMASON B € g * a s f i $ N& ( $ * T[rning a Program Around * s* ss**g g € **$ $ $ . ltre road will be bumpy You will get knocked down many times floored a lew times. Objectively evaluate what condition your progtam rs m. Once you've done this. etc. forget about it and concentrate on where you'r€ going. 5. Stick to what you believe in. However. or more appropriatcl). and stay strong and confident. set your sights on impmving your team a6 fast as possible. don't los€ sight of where you want to end up. tunds. 1. Emphasize inproDernent. Get your hands on the good things and r. yo|u have the job now Dont become overwhelmed on what you don't have in the way of facilities. movedinto this job and was I offered an oppor'tunity because th€ situation was not great. Do not reinforce their negatives.

It will be just a matter of time-and it will be well wor. Set practice guidelines for pmctice. until they hav€ s€rr'edin both capacities. . and you are on your way.2OO FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES FIGURE I l-."r" @ . Undeistand that the bt pictu€ is lary€r and more significant than eachpart.itioninC: Be in the best possible condition. r g* $ i g$ *lt I i 'r My experience as a head coach has allowed me to r€alizerhal I wasnl nearl) as goodan assistant as I could have been. Make certain each player in the program knows what his most important rcsponsibilities are to th€ pmeram. *1992 Aummer Manual. l 1E * * Goaching Duties and Opportunities BILL SNYDER 4 $ $ *3 g $ $ i c 6* ]i * I X Q I l f About 80% of all college football coaches are assistants. . There are some B€riou misperceptions about both positions and their roles that I seriously doubt anyone can tmly appeciate. EstabliBh a style offootball. €valuate. . Technique: Teach. .. I didn't completelyundemtand the position of a head coach. Do the right thing. Be honest. Cond. I was a college assistant for 15 years. Wcll gain an edgeby usingour brain. &* E i * l t x r g ! t&t . Coach M@on ia haad..l TEAM IMPROVEIVENT (fioreEG#b @ I @ Key Part of the Plan There must be a basic plan or philosophy that ev€rlthing spinB off of. Do your best (academically. Any success have had ae a head coachis due to I the work ofassistant coaches. . they might be the following: .""". Knowledee: 'feach the whole picture so players know the why behind the system.coaah at thz Uniuercity of Miwzsot&.ith his assistants. Be totally committed and loyal to our pmgram. ri * $ s g * * i I B t t g * { $ 1. am grat€ful to all I ofyou who serve in that capacity and I want to sharc these quick thoughts with you. . These become very detailed. until I had the oppodunity to serv€ as a head coachfor a few years.however.athleticallt and socially). . The most impodant factor in "catching up and turning things around" is people. .th it. Clarify player expectations.here are someofthe moBtimpor. Sunound yoursell with the right people. Developyour players.. r Take great pride in your perforrnance and our team performance. Hire a quality staff . III werc to offer any suggestions to assistant coaches at any level.nor his true relationship \. and stress the fu ndamentals. These four areas of development and improvement are emphasized. . . practice. Arlirader Never b€ outhit or outhuBtled. . Decisions(even though not alwals to our liking) sholrld be accepted and supponed bascdon thar premise. . I think that the perception of the head coaching position often stands in the way of proper communication and interaction between a head coach and his assistants.

ticular.you can t€ach them to affect the decisions of others younger than themselves.ings. . instinctplays a key role in daily success and failltreB.:: : : i 1 al In every decisionI make as a head lootball coach with my team. prevent a rape. : . The No.. These two entiti€s can coexist. 1994 Pr@ee'l. In rnany cases. W}lo better to be that guiding lieht than the young men you coach? You can influ€nce them to becom€that gujding light:to save a life. C@ch Snld. at th€ same tim€. It's amazing what a positive impact we could have on this society by networking through our playem to the Yulner' able youth of our country. Realiz€that all problemscanbe solvediftwo people(orhowevermany are involved) truly want to solvethem.."Theycome to play becausethat's what I work on the most. the only thing that you'll find out is lhat folks normaly will say. . need leadem. Not only must we s€e it as an oppoftunity. Too often. We're all blessedwith the opportunity to impact young lives. Assistants must carry out the discipline of the prcgram and accept and want the responsibility for their players. and people who can inflrenc€ their decision-making processand guide them out ofdarknesB. i :.& r t a:i i ):i. and as detailed as we get. prevent an unlawful act. but the only thing that really matiem is the attitude ofthe guys who set that done for you. You can (if you will) teach them leadership. G€nuin€ concern and caring for €ach other. "They cometo play. These young people need you.When you're not teaching this. Trust the instinch ofthGe more experienced than yoffself. this is the most difflcult and complex tim€ in the history of our society. We do an awful lut ds far as moli\ ation is con.oach dt Kansas Stote UniueBitr. role modelB.. then you'rc going to take shortcuts and you're going to do some things you shouldn't be doing with those young guys.you and you alone have the power to teach them such a proc€ss. you arc capable(ifyou will) ofinfluencins these young men to positively influenc€ the lives of oth€rB in their communities. and for all parties and facets of a program needtobe combined(in a proper blend) with strict discipline. assistants sidestep dtucipline for the sake of "making ftiends" with their player8. | \ ff .er is head.peoplewho care. experrence means a gyeat deal. yot're teaching somethine else. the most important thing to me rs the morale olmy staff and our football play€rs. morc diffrcult deci- sions to make than you and I at the Bame age. pr€vent an additional addict.. Just like players.but susceptibleto the samepreBsures and choices.in par.In addition. our kids undemtand the mission olour football proflam. Establishing Priorities for the Program Right off. .PHILOSOPHY. but equally as a responsibility This is a most difficult time lor young people in the age goups with which you work.. MOTIVATION.t Q * I I :l:.prevent a killing. Youngpeop)e hare greateraccess informaro tion and. If any ofyou hav€ followed our football team. to each a d€greeand to all an education. 1 ihing that oul kids have to undersLandis that this is what we re m the business . ..Ilthath not yourp ority. I : L l i I l $ I *i : rq i ii $ I t i tqf ll I :11 t t f { : Goaching Plrilosophy and Obiectives DONNEHLEN i t rr i tr 4. AND MANAGEMENT 201 . For these age groups. First. and that something elseis wrong. Acceptthe responsibilityfor success and failure (winning and losing). Many young black people. They need to understand a processby which they can make good decisions about how they choose to conduct their lives and react to the daily choices laid out before them. I thinh therc are a lot ofways to throw the post or whatever you want to do.

We'regoing to do the bestjob we possiblycan do to help these kids graduate. very important that your kidts hans toseth€r Lots of lblks will try to get them to scattex Ourfamilyis the secondvalu€ that we work extrcm€ly hard to preEerve. We\e got to get a littl€ bette! but thatl our mission. W})ensomebody asks me about our graduation rate. and the graduate assjstants all have the same loyalty One thing I know about coaching football or about running an organization is that yor can'L have loyalty if your employee or youl football player lies to you. We dont have black guys. Our team will play on Saturday with whoever is left. then I think you'vegot a chanceto motivate your players.ight almost every time. "Every one of those glys who wants to.you'vegot to have the right kind of guys playing for you. the third-st ng quarterback. The values that we have arc character through discipline." And you know what? He was . There's a guy at the bottom of a we)I. I said. and be's a .You can't build a proglam without loyal coachesand players. Our play €rs kno\\' I'm going to frght. Don. gnr $)" jumping outside that framework." and right now.Inthe spring. But we're going to make surc they do what's rightwhen theyre supposed do it. We're going to discipline our kids. My coachesknow the same thing. Loyalty starts at the top. I can't support my guy if he's going to lie. Don't misunderstand me-we don't bat 1007. we're going to hit every day.I can't wait to get back to our football team. You all know wh en its fourth-and-1. uey have to do all the things all you guys expect your playeft to do in order to play. We Ieft the Sugar Bowl and you know I wasn't too happy about that-and I've been on the road since.Ifwe to have characte! guys.enc. Football is no longer a game thafs played in S€ptemb€r. we're soing to be p. and we're going to hit in the fall on Tuesdaysand Wednesdays.We don't hav€ sho tsuls. he'll be good enorgh on Satuday.hur uhen lou v. and we're coin g to hang tough.ious guys on youl team.e you ai suie we'rc doingwhat's ght?We'r€eoingto bave to play wjth the thid-strins suard. O1lIn€xtvalueis loJolry. then we've got a chanceto win. Ith important that they understand if they lack charaeterrhpyre nut going ro lasr in our program very lone. then you've got a problem. It's our footbali fainily. That's your basic problem.We'vegot a team.Football is aU year long. they had loyalty. I'm going to scrap. I coachedfor coach Schembechler Michigan. I'm the head olthe family. They have to understand that in order for us tu wxr. Thelre soing to hav€ to be physical ifthey're going to play in our procram. I can't wait to get back to school.'Coach a. th ey're going to have to lift. Our playels hale to undedtand the commitment that they have to make to play at our level. Loyatty is the most impodant in$edient that anybody can bdng to any organjzation. and our kids understand where we're coming from. because we've aheady started oul proSram ror nexr year. the student newspaper is after you and it's very. I have a little story I teli our team. This is our family.202 FOOTBAIL COACHING STR{TEGIES for.Octob€r.brl I think we do a pretty goodjob.I want them to undentand how we're going to be pbysical. andyou'vegot a Establishing a Style of Football I wantourplayers tornd€rstandour style of fbotball. I used to worry all the time about injuries. Next is our commirmert. and what I say in that team meeting stays in lhat team meetineThere'Eawesomepower in 100 guys all going in onc dirFir ron. we'rc not soing to ha ras8 them. I tell them. Number one. They understand that our fanrilyis the name ofthe game. You know and I know that when you lose a football game.ith that week ofrepetition. Il they un derstand that. We don't have white euys.4Jstcal.and November.We want character on our team. I'm going to scream for every one of them.They have to make a great commitment to that program.and {. I expect that the secrctaries. they have to rr!. We don't have a lot of players in Westviginia we've got a lot oftrees but the p]ayers we have are tough and the commitment they have to make is big leagne. The secondthing we talk about is our family. they got it done for us. if he can sunive this week.thejanitor.It works on do\rn and dsht back up through.."And he said. I want them to undeGtand how we're going to practic€. Ourki& understand that. They have to make sur€ that they have the commitment. We don't have fat guys. becauseof the way we played. Wloever playedin that gamewas ready to play becauseth€y had commitment.you've eot to hav€ . about 7 and 1/2 out of every 10 guys want to. You're soft. Second. "Don.

Th€ only timc the scoreboard matt€rs is atthe end ofthe game. Five years ago. Every decision I make is based on ho{' it is goingto afibct team morale. We have a dance.He climbs his way to the top ofthe wel]. We also work hard at bringing our team together. then Jou aren't going to win them all. everyonewears a coat and a tie. so play hard on €ve{r play until the end. I love theX's and O's. That's the first thing they ask me when we eet back tosether each season. Our biggest game is Pitt. gang.I want a team. Lastly. We won 11 lbotball games this year and we wcm picked lifth in our league. That's when the Mountaineer grabs him and chokes him to death.Wo have a ea sino night.One thingwe do is have a superstarscontest. When we eat. nobodysits down until th€ captain saysgrace. But the 50lst time. major problem.Thatmeans the flrst stringquafie$ack. but on Fridays they take them out and they don't put them in until after tha game.. ifyou are fundamentally sound and youl kids arc motivated and they have gr€at morale.So I know some ofthis stuff works if yolr work at it long onough and hard enotgh.He has got to do a goodjob making sure that all his kids belicve that they'rc special.I want a closs. with our style is confidence. nobodytells us we're very good.I don't think therc's any question they'rc important. and the Panther gets tired ofhittinghim. our unil'ersity.lesh. "Ooach. and that's fine. so the exy at the top who ke€ps pounding his hands and making him Elip back down is a Panther. We want our kids to believebeforethey ever take the field thatthelrc soins to win. things to have tun as a team. the startingtackle. fbotball team.'.You play as had as you can on every singl€ plav.That's what we'rc trying to teacb our kids. MOTIVATION.We'retrying to be a classylootball t€amA Lot of times whan we go away fron home. r hp enLeflainmFrr nor busi.Hanging on with great effort is the name ofthe game. Our goal this year was simple.just play and play had. We don't know which play is going to be the onc that wins it.tsit!_ . Our kids love it. I boli€ve that's th€ iob of the hoad coach. That sounds a little fadetched. everyonewaars a coat and a tie. C@ch Nehlen is hedd. the thid string quart€rback.We do something at th€ bo$4ingaUey.trch o t WestViryinid Uhir.when are we having the superstars con test?" It's fun. th€ foudh st nstackle. They have to understand their roles on the football team. If you've eot 100 guys on your team and they don't all feel like th€y're impodanl.Ifyou don't believethat.PHILOSOPHY.Today. but our kids start to understand about playing football and being tenacious. 1991Pra&\dings. you have a major.In the dining hall. ea1Tings a big fashare ion. and how importantthey arc to the success ofthat football team. Number three..but they always tell us how well behavedour kids are.I dont want a bunch ofbums. We'rc in the educdlionbusinpss. he climbs up. But. their family. They understand that we're not harassingan)on+bur Ihe) undFrsrand hdt $pretrl$ ing to do. we also won 11 games.The Mountajn eerclimbs up and gets poundedback down about 500 tim€s. you'vc gol a gleat OuI goals are not fancy.I want guys who un derstandthey reprcsenl themselves. and our coaching staf When we tmvel. AND MANAGEMENT 203 Mountaineer.

proper coaching methods. Aushalia.rleschangesand pmposals. the National Football Foundation and Hall ofFame.000 membeB. fiIst declared by founders such as Amos Alonzo Stagg and John Heisman. the AFCA is tte team for the football coaching profession. In addition. Pop Warner. the Association keeps members informed ofthe most current rr. including coaches from Canada. the Carrafian Football League. Indeed. The Association works closely with the National Collegiate Athl€tic A." Th$e objectives. have been inBtrumental in the AFCA's becoming the effective and highly respected organization it is today.L C|IACHES ASS0C|ATt0 Since it was founded in 1922. The A. and the business conducted by the Boad ofTrustees and AFCA committees.esociation of Intercolegiat€Athletics. Europe. i$ights in coaching philosophy. A convenLionheld each January gives members a special opportunity to exchange ideas and recognize outstanding achievement. the Arrtencan Football Coaches Association has strivetr ro 'provide a forum for the discussion and study ol all matters pertaining to footbal and coaching" and to "maintain the highest poesible standards in football and the coaching profeBsion. innovatioN in techniques.TX 76712 $1T 774-6900 205 . the AFCA is involved in numernus programs that ensure the integrity of the coaching profession and enhance the development of the game. Japan.ssociation.F(lllTBAI. The A-ssociation promotes safety in the sport.FCA who will speak out with a unified voice on issues that affect their sport and profession. the National AEsociation of Collegiate Directors ofAtl etics. the NationalA. and oLherorganizations involved in th€ same. and Russia. please write or call: AI'CA 6900 Old Mccregor Road Waco. A[ cur€nt and forrner football coaches or administrators who are connected with the gam€ are encouragedto join. Through three annual publications and several newsletteru. To becomea member ofthe American Football CoachesAssociation. and set€forth strong ethical and moral codeBthat govem all aspect€ of football coaching. the National Football League. one ofthe many goals ofthe Assosiation is to build a Btrong coalition offootbal coaches-TEAM A.FCA now has more than 7.

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