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TABLE OF CONTENTS
COACH OF THE YEAR CLINIC FOOTBALL MANUAL
AHERN, JIM -- ITHACA HIGH SCHOOL, MICHIGAN
The No Talent Offense 5
BILLIARD, PAUL - BROOKE HIGH SCHOOL, WEST VIRGINIA
A Modified Off Season Program 15
BOWDEN, BOBBY - FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
A Pass First Offense 19
BUCCI, DON - CARDINAL MOONEY HIGH SCHOOL, OHIO
Practice Organization 27
COOPER, JOHN -- OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Power And Deception And Misdirection 32
CROWE, JACK - UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
Offensive Strategy And Tactics 39
DAVIS, DARREL "MOUSE" -- DETROIT LIONS
The Run And Shoot Attack 45
DONLEY, KEVIN - GEORGETOWN COLLEGE
New Run And Shoot Trends 52
FREDENBURG, PETE -- BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Adjusting Multiple Fronts 59
FULMER, PHIL -- UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
An Overview Of The U- T Offense 65
GANSZ, FRANK - DETROIT LIONS
Motivating The Special Teams 71
GIBBS, GARY - UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
Developing Linebacker Keys 80
GLASER, BILL -- UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Defensive Line Techniques 85
GUY, JOHN -- UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Linebacker .. And End Techniques 91
HANLON, JERRY -- UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Line Blocking Techniques 97
HETRICK, AL -- VERSAILLES HIGH SCHOOL, OHIO
The Basic 4-4 Defense 102
HOLLINGSHEAD, TAM - PERMIAN HIGH SCHOOL, TEXAS
Eyes On Mojo Magic 1 06
LACEWELL, LARRY -- UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
Tennessee Basic Linebacker Drills 111
LAMPLEY, DENNIS -- TRINITY HIGH SCHOOL, KENTUCKY
Building A Winning Tradition 115
MAJORS, JOHN - UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
You Are Only As Good As Your Help 123
MARKOS, ART -- UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Teaching Defensive Techniques '" 133
MILLO\', BOB - SPRINGBROOK HIGH SCHOOL, MARYLAND
The Belly Series.......................................................................... 138
MORROW, JEFF - UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
Individual Kicking Techniques 141
NEW, LARRY - UNIVERSITY OFKENTUCKY
An Overview Of The U-K Defense 143
PEFlLES, GEORGE -- MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
The Pro Style 4-3 Defense 152
RANKIN, JIM- NORTH ALLEGHENY HIGH SCHOOL, PENNSYLVANIA
Defending A Passing Quarterback 157
ROSS, BOBBY -- GJ;ORGIA TECH
Win With The Special Teams 161
SANDUSKY, JERRY -- PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
Planning The Practice Schedule 170
SCHNELLENBERGER, HOWARD -- UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE
Building The Game Plan 177
SHEA, TERRY -- SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
Individual Quarterback Techniques 187
SMITH, RICK -- UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Defensive Secondary Techniques 195
SNYDER, BRUCE -- UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Golden Bears Running Game 204
SPECKMAN, MARK -- MERCED HIGH SCHOOL, CALIFORNIA
Starting From Scratch 207
SPURRIER, STEVE -- UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
The Sprint Draw Passing Package 213
TRANQUILL, GARY - UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Developing Key Plays On Offense 223
WACKER, JIM - TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
The One Back Running Attack 231
WATTS, MORRIS - MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Bootleg And Play Action Passes 239
WELSH, GEORGE -- UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Establishing A Balanced Offense 243
YOUNG, BILL - OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
An Overview Of The OSU Defense 249
A special thanks to PANASONIC for use of equipment to produce the 1991 Clinic Manual. We thank them for their support of our Clinics. The following PANASONIC products were used to produce the 1991 CLINIC MANUAL. PANASONIC Business Partner FX-1925S Computer. PANASONIC KX-P4455 Laser Post Script Printer. PANASONIC High Resolution 16 Gray Level FX-RS506 Image Scanner. Panasonic KX-P1124 24 Pin Multi-Mode Printer.
Computer Software used included Ventura Publisher Windows Edition; Word Perfect 5.1 Edition; PC Paintbrush Plus For Scanner and Laser Printer Support; Logitech Mouse; and ReadRight 2.01 OCR Software for PANASONIC Scanners, Model FX-RR20.
Chapters were produced in three ways. First, chapters were produced by transcribinQ tapes of a lecture. Diagrams were reconstructed from the overhead acetates used at the Climcs and reproduced on the computer. Second, tapes were transcribed by the author and then typed into the computer. Diagrams were reproduced with the use of the computer. Third, entire lecture and diagrams were produced by the author and then scanned into the computer and reproduced on the laser printer. The following Chapters were scanned into the computer and reproduced. We draw special attention to these Chapters to indicate the quality of the PANASONIC Equipment. Jim Ahern, Ithaca High School, Michigan; Jeff Morrow - University of Louisville; Bill Young - Ohio State University.
THE MORE WE TELL
THE MORE WE SELL
COACH OF THE YEAR CLINICS
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA FEB. 14, 15, 16 DONSWANSON
4222 CHOWEN AVENUE N. ROBBINSDALE, MN 55422 (612)349-2773 (W) (612)533-9083 (H)
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DENVER, COLORADO FEB. 21, 22, 23 EDWARD KINTZ
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LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY FEB. 21, 22, 23
P. O. BOX 22185 LOUISVILLE, KY 40252 (502)425-2937
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN FEB. 28, 29
2903 RIVERSIDE TRENTON, MI 48183 (313)285-7361 (S) (313)671-6072 (H)
FEB. 28, 29, MARCH 1 JOHN ADCOCK
107 E. FOWLER AVE STE 103 TAMPA, FL 33612 (813)932-1385
JAN. 24, 25, 26 CHARLIE DYER
P. O. BOX 180012 DALLAS,TEXAS 75218 (214)321-5031
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA JAN. 31, FEB. 1,2
PETE DIMPERIO, JR.
1876 GRAHAM BLVD. PITISBURGH, PA15235 (412)731-0362 (S) (412)828-6416 (H)
FEB. 7, 8, 9
LORAN SMITH P.O.BOX469
ATHENS, GA 30601
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA FEB. 7, 8, 9
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CLINIC MANUALS PUBLISHED BY
EARL BROWNING, PRES.
P. O. BOX 22185 LOUISVILLE, KY 40252- 0185 (502425-2937
THE NO TALENT OFFENSE
ITHACA HIGH SCHOOL, MICHIGAN
Thank you AI. It is a real honor and privilege to be able to speak to you tonight. I know for
a lot of you, like myself, that started coaching in the 60' s , this was the first clinic we attended that had nationally known coaches speaking. I know that is true for me. I know a lot of my early coaching was influenced by Bill Yeoman, Darryl Royal, and later by Lou Holtz. They talked a lot about option football and really had a lot to do with forming my offensive philosophy.
When I was asked to speak this year, I was a little surprised. I always thought if I ever spoke at a clinic it would be after a great season where we won our league, had gone to the play-offs, or done something outstanding. That wasn't the case this year. We had a losing season for the first time in a long time as we went 4-5. One thing this year did show was why we originally went to this system. At the end of the year we. were using our third tailback, our third fullback, and had to convert a tackle to tight end. However, our system allowed us to finish the season still competitive.
What this system did for us is it allowed us to survive. I think you have to have that sometimes. I know at our level, we are a class C school, with an enrollment of a little under 500. We know that there· are going to be times when you don't have the people. When I first started coaching I never thought that where was such a thing as cycles of material. Now I guarantee you there is a cycle of material that comes and goes with time. When we first got into this system, which I'm going to get into in just a minute, we were in one of those cycles. We didn't have an athlete in the entire school.
I do want to recognize some of my assistants that are here. Mike Doran. This is one of few times Mike gets to come to this clinic. He's one of the top wrestling coaches in the State and
he usually has a lot of kids in the State Finals. He's been working with me for 17 years. He runs our defense and he's really been a great help to me. I have two former players who are also on our staff here with me tonight, Al Gulick and Russ Pierce. It helps to have some people who have gone through the system come back. They're both just about ready to graduate from college and they have been helping us for the past few years.
I've got to tell you a story before we get started about the three men who run this clinic. They are probably three of the top coaches in the State of Michigan today. You've got Joe D' Angelo, Don Lessner, and Al Fracassa. Before they got into coaching they used to be salesmen. They sold toothbrushes. I will be real honest with you guys, they weren't very good at it. One day they all three got called in by their boss. Al came in after about three weeks and he had sold seven toothbrushes. Don came in and he had sold about 7. Joe wasn't any better; he had sold 4. The boss said, "You guys need to come up with some kind of gimmick where you can sell more toothbrushes or I'm going to have to let you guys go. We're not making any money off you, and you are just liability to our company. I'm going to get rid of you."
So these three guys get together and they talk things over. Being the great minds they are, they came up with a gimmick. They all lived down by the Detroit area. The place to sell the toothbrushes was where you had a big flow of traffic. They went to the Metropolitan Airport. Al and Joe, with that Italian descent, had come up with this tremendous DIP. When the people came down the ramp to get their baggage they had to pass Al and Joe. They had this table set up with different types of crackers and potato chips and their special DIP. As people .came by they would take one of the crackers with the dip. Then they would make a terrible race. Finally,
one passerby said "This DIP tastes just like horse manure. Al said "That is exactly what it is!" About fifty feet down the way sat Don selling toothbrushes. It wasn't long until they started to sell a lot of toothbrushes.
They had a gimmick and that is pretty much what we got into. We were in a situation in 1980 where we only had three football players and a lot of nice kids that were going to come out for football. We were in a situation where we had gone from a Wishbone team to a Twin Veer Set team. We did not have the people that we could have run either of those offenses with. I think there are two things that we really learned in 1980.
One point does not have anything to do with this talk, but I still want to mention it. It is the fact that we went to platoon football. We are a Class C school and we usually had 30 to 35 kids on our Varsity. On down the line we did have more players involved. We met as coaches and figured that year that we were not going to win many of our games anyway so lets keep everyone happy and to put some of these guys on defense, some on offense, and let them go at it. We learned from that year, that those kids whom we thought weren't going to be that good, by doing the same thing over and over again, they became much better. Ever since then, we have platooned. We aren't 100 percent platooning with the kids, we usually had three or four kids that are going both ways. We can't completely do it because we don't have enough bodies. Primarily for the kids who are going only one way, it is really helping them.
The other thing we learned that year was this. It is similar to what Jack Crowe talked about. We felt we had to do something a little different. Everyone always asks what kind of offense you are in. When we were in the Wishbone we would say "We run the Wishbone; or we run the Twin Veer." Now when they ask me what we run, I'll tell them we run the NTO; NO TALENT OFFENSE. We didn't know what to call it, so we called it the NTO: No Talent Offense. When we went to this Offense, we didn't have a kid on the team that could play. Most of the people that I talked to said we should have called it the NTC, meaning No Talent Coach.
We went to this Offense in 1980. I want to show you some of the background of this. This is the base set that we had run primarily from.
I've been at Ithaca since 1972. From 1972 - 74 we ran the Wishbone. Then we went to this set because we didn't have enough backs to run the Wishbone. It took fewer backs to run this offense. We had one play that we just called Red or Blue. We ran to the wide side of the field and made this adjustment. We moved to an unbalanced line. The power guard moved over to our quick side which turned us into an unbalanced line and split our backfield. We moved our Fullback and put him behind the Quarterback, and the Four back behind the Quick Tackle.
Most of the teams, because we were running veer, were still lined up the same on the center. It didn't matter what defense it was, they never adjusted. All we did was pitch the ball out to our four back. Over the years that we ran that play we averaged about six yards a carry. Primarily it was because they didn't adjust to it, not that it was a great football play. If they knew we were going to do it and recognized it, they could have stopped it. That is the background of how we got into this thing. We decided since we didn't have a great personnel, that this was going to be the basis of what we ran. This is the base formation that we run today.
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We have a lot of other different sets than this, but if we were only going to take one formation into a game this would be the one. You can see that the only thing that we have done different from what we did before is that we are more in an I Set than when we were in the Split Back, or the Overload Set. We have a lot of motion with our Tailback, and Slot Back, but basically this is it. We started in the I.
Today I'm going to try to show you what we did with this in the first few years that we ran this offense. I can show you basically on the film later. The film is strictly from this year. We were not a very good team. We went in the season hoping God might curse some of our opponents and we might be 6-3. After the injures we were not sure what was going to happen. As I said before, we did end up with a 4-5 record, which, by our standards, was really a disappointment, but it was a survival situation.
Let me go over, real quickly, personnel, and what you need to have to run this offense. I think line splits are very important.
Our line split s are determined by the people that we have. The widest we are going to be is about a foot, and we haven't been that wide very often; however the better our people are, that is about as wide as we are going to be. This year we were foot to foot. We were touching. If they had much space between them, then we would get on them. The reason was, as you'll see in our videos, we just were not big enough to do anything else. Personnel wise, the size is just not important. This is very important in our size school because very seldom do we get those big studs. The biggest kid we had this year was 195 pounds. In 1982 the second year that we were running this offense we were undefeated and there was one kid on the team that was 200 pounds. To give you an example, our tight end was 145 pounds. The size is not a big factor
because of the type of blocking schemes which I will get into in a minute with you. We felt when we went into 1980 that we had one line man. In Our offense, it has to be the power guard. You will see who when we go through the blocking schemes. He has g@t to be your best line man. Size is not that important but, he has got to be a tough, hard-nosed kid that will stick his nose in there. He has to be able to do a lot of trapping and he's got to have quickness. Everybody, hopefully, will have at least one line man. Size doesn't matter but that's where you have got to stick that kid. We have found, going back over the years, that we have had two other important line positions and that's the tight-end and power tackle. If you have to have only one, then have the power tackle. Our best teams have had good tight-ends and we've thrown the ball a little bit more with them then we have otherwise. The blocking scheme does not demand that your tight-end be a great blocker, but if he is one of your better players that's a plus, Your power tackle should be your biggest kid that your going to play on offense. His main blocking scheme is primarily a down block. Once in awhile he will have a double team block where he is going head on with somebody, but basically he has got to be big enough to block down on a big defensive tackle. The quick guard, center, and quick tackle have to be breathing! If they are you have a chance. Honest to Goodness men, we've played guys in those positions that have been only 140 pounds, and they can get the job done if they are just tough kids. They don't have to be physical or big. They are not asked to take anyone on one on one. Most of the blocks that these kids are going to have are either a double team or a down block, where they're just going to seal down. It doesn't have to be a tremendous seal because of our line split. The split end has got to be just like these kids. They've got to be breathing and just hopefully he can catch the football. And like before, this is not important, .buf if he can catch, it's going to give you a big play threat on some passes that I'm not going to get into tonight. The best athlete on your team has got to be the quarterback, We made a mistake a couple of years ago by not playing our
best athlete as quarterback. We put him at our four back and I'll go over what his requirements are. It cost us some games. I don't think that it's a mistake that I'll make again. I will always make sure that our best athlete is going to be at quarterback, Not necessarily the best passer, not necessarily the best runner, not necessarily any of that, but our best athlete. We found that out when the kid that we had as quarterback got injured. We switched the kid that was at 4 Back to quarterback and we won some games that we would not have won had he not been there. That was a mistake that we won't make again. The fullback the first year we ran this offense was a converted lineman. Our fullback is our two back and basically he's got to be a tough inside runner. Speed is not that important, but he's going to set up a lot of the offense. You've got to have somebody that can be honored as an inside runner. In the first year we ran it. he wasn't vary big. about 160 lbs., but he was a tough kid. He had been a guard or tackle the year before, I can't remember which. This kid is key. The four back has got to have one quality. He's got to be fast, the fastest kid on your team. If that's not real fast, it still has to be that kid there. He runs very few plays inside. Naturally, you can add some, but basically when we first started he ran no plays inside. All he had to do was be the pitchman on the option, and on our pitch play to the wide side. The three back is very similar to a tight end in our offense and probably the closest backfield person would be a four back type person that would be willing to block. This year, our three back weighed 145 pounds. He was one of the better blockers we had. It doesn't take somebody that can take on a man on one on one. All he has to do is just get in the way. Usually he will block a LB'er. It helps a great deal if he can catch the football, and also if he's got some speed. The primary thing, he has to be able to block some body. Probably, for a three back, if you were going to rate important traits, I'd say being a blocker would be more important than a receiver, or than a runner. The better your personnel, the more you can have at that position. You need to have a power guard, a quarterback who is an athlete, and a
power tackle. That's what you need to run this offense. The rest of it will fall into place.
What I'm going to do is show you what I Show to the kids. We see a lot of different defensive looks. The basic look is what we call a 5-2 Shifted, and a 5-2 Not Shifted.
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A non shifted 50 is usually when we have somebody that's lined up on our center. Really what it is, is a 60 of some sort, when they bring the strong safety up. I'm going to draw them all up that way. I'll be real honest with you, we've had very few teams that play a non shifted 50 like that. Usually we see the nose Slant. If he doesn't Slant he'll be in the center power guard gap. The tackle will be down either head up or on the outside shoulder of the quick guard. The end will come down, and the strong safety will usually be up a little more.
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We don't see the shifted 5-0 very much. We did when we first started running the system. People would down shift. We don't see that much anymore, but you'll see some of the adjustments that people will make as we go on. I'm going to set up all the plays that I'm going to show you against those two different defenses. What I really would like you to do is to hold up your hand if you have a question as we go through this. I want you to yell out, stop me, and if you want to see that particular play against something different than that defense, or a different look, yell
out. If I don't see your hand, yell because that is why you are here. I hate sitting in the audience and having a question not answered. If you've got a question, ask it.
On any offense, you have to have a play that when people are going to play you they know they have to stop. That's what I'm going to show you first. All the other plays and complementary plays will come off that play. I'll tell you, we don't usually have great help in our press box, but the one thing that I have to know from the people in our press box when we are on Offense is, not so much the alignment, because it's basically Shifted or Non Shifted. The thing I have to know is WHO IS making the tackle on our base play. When we run our 41, I have to know who's making the tackle. If they can give me that from upstairs then we're going to exploit what they are doing. The first play, I will put it up against a non-shifted look because this is what we come up against the most.
Blocking assignments on this are really simple. When people play us, they know they have to stop this play. You can always hear the coach on the other side saying "Watch the pitch, watch the pitch". I think the key to this play are the two blocks which are not a physical type block. All they have to do is get in the way. In this case, the split end is sometimes going to have the strong safety by himself, depending on how this end is playing. There is communication between these two people. If our power tackle, our second best man, can turn that end by himself, then the split end is going to leave that man and we will double out here. Now most of the teams that we play will have a pretty good kid here and a lot of the time, you'll see it on film a little bit later, he'll
fly right out there. They are going to take away that play, they don't want us to run it. So we have to double him, that's why I have the three backs going here sometimes and here sometimes. Their blocks are key. The power guards blocking technique is we just tell him to run over the corner. He will not be wrong if he runs into the corner. Our guys have got to the point where they take a lot of pride in that. We try to tell our guys to attack the outside shoulder, it is up to our four back to set up the block. We tell our power guard, you just run over the corner. He has to get the block to get the running lane. The four back has to set up the block.
The next important thing is the fill by the two back. We ride him inside. He has to be able to fill. Basically that is the blocking scheme. This is what it looks like against a shifted 5-2. It is a little tougher to run it against this because it is mostly one on one blocking. But, we don't see this look very much, because they will bet hurt backside.
Any questions? That is the base play. We have to be able to run this play to run anything else. It is a very simple play. The four back has got to have speed.
QUESTION: "How do you make the pitch?"
It is like a softball throw. It is a long pitch. When we pitch it is probably ten yards. It is just an underhand pitch with a spin. It is not a dead pitch because it's too far.
QUESTION: "Do you have trouble with the mesh, because of the nose playing over your center?" No. There is a collision on the line of scrimmage between the 2 back and the nose. The quarterback just steps back and pitches the ball. The nose won't get to him if the 2 back does his job. There is going to be one hell of a collision between those two players. You can simulate that at practice by using a shield, and rotate
your other 2 backs. Have them try to get to the quarterback, and have the 2 backs block him. You can get very good at it with practice.
QUESTION: "How deep is your 2 back?" We start ours at 5 yards, but will adjust the depth depending on his speed. We had one fullback we had to start at 3 yards. The 4 back is always at 7 yards. The 2 back has.got to be able to block the nose, and we adjust his depth accordingly, but we like him at about 5 yards. Any other questions? M:en that is our base play. You must be able to run that play in our Offense.
The next play we run is off that same action. I will show it first against a non-shifted 5-2.
This is our fullback play that hits inside. The Quick Tackle's rule is to block the first lineman to the inside. Some people ask what if that linebacker blitzes? That has not been a problem, due too our line splits. He is not going to get there. There will be a collision between the Quick Tackle and the linebacker on the LOS. However, if the nose slants toward the play, the linebacker won't be blitzing and our Quick Tackle must block the nose because our center won't get him. I don't know about your centers, but if you put a nose on my center and slant him toward the play, my center can't block him alone. He'll need some help. As I said earlier, our centers .aren't real good. We have to help them out. If your .center is good enough to block the nose by himself, you may want to change the blocking schemes, but we are going to double the nose because he is usually a pretty good football player. The Power Tackle's block is the first man to his inside. The defensive man playing in the position is usually one of their biggest players. That is why you have to have you biggest player at Power Tackle to at least neutralize the
defender. You don' t have to drive him down, but you do have to at least get a stalemate. Your power guard has to be able to drive out the end. As I was showed you earlier, the end will take himself out of the play because he is trying to stop 41. So it isn't a tough block. So, if we are running play 41, and the pressbox tells me the defensive end is making the tackle, it is pretty obvious what we are going to run. We don't see the Over Shifted 50 very much, and this play is the reason.
It doesn't take real good people to get those blocks because of the angles, and our line splits. It doesn't look like there is much there . and all of a sudden the hole opens up. You will be able to see it on the film later. It is a real easy play against this defensive look; but as I said we don't see it very much anymore.
I don't like statistics; but at the end of the year Play 41, with our first tailbacks, was averaging 6.5 yards per carry. This play. with our third fullback averaged 4.24 a carry. Those are pretty goad averages for not having any backs.
QUESTION: "Jim, does the 3 back move around a lot in his alignment?" Yes he can. We will line him up in a Wing or Flanker Set and bring him in motion to his base set.
QUESTION: "Will. he be in the same place on this playas he was on the first play?" Yes he would be. We can run both of these plays with motion to get better angles. Let me show you.
I didn't want to use too many formations tonight so we could keep it as simple as possible. We may line up in a flanker set, bring him back in motion and run either play. The motion will sometimes give you a better angle or outside advantage on the defender. The 3 Back's block on the linebacker is just like a basketball pick. He doesn't have to come in very far, the linebacker will come to him. Like I said, the kid we had there this year was 145 pounds. He wasn't going to knock anyone down anyway. He just has to get in the linebackers way. I'll go over formations with you later Jim if you have any other questions.
The next play we run from that same motion is what we call our 37.
We will run this play when the backside linebacker and the plays ide linebacker are just selling out right away. If the people that are making the tackle; for example they tell me upstairs that let's say the backside linebacker is 42, then they say 42 is the one making the tackle; we run 37. If we run 41, it's going in the alley, right here; just like you have in the sweep. That guy can get there, but he's got to take off right now if he's going to get there. So if that's what happens then we come back with 37. This play was our best play this year. We averaged 9.8 a carry. That's almost 10 yards a carry. Our 3 Back was our fastest back after our starting 4 Back got hurt.
The blocking is really simple. It is pretty much down blocking and it's just like the Counter-Trey. We do have another play that we run off of it, but with a thin blocking scheme. This is the only time that a quick tackle has to pull. Everybody else just seals inside. You can see against a team that rally over shifts there is a huge hole there. One of the things that we did this year as a blocking adjustment was simple. Instead of just down blocking here, after we lost our tight end, we started to just double teamed. Before he had
blocked down. Our quick tackle instead of just going to the corner, he would seal on the linebacker.
That was more successful. It is particularly good if you're a little weaker at tight end and they put a big kid at tackle. Just double-team him and then have your quick tackle come around and seal the linebacker.
QUESTION: "How does the timing work on both your guard and tackl.e when yoUr pulling across the ball, and, #2 dives into the line?" You've got to remember this point. Let's say this chair is the Power Guard and I'm the fullback. I'm going to be about 5 yards deep, so if this is my center and this is my quick tackle, he's going to beat me. Because I've taken enough of an angle right here so he's going to go about right there. You have to have tight splits, unless you are good. The better you are, the wider your split. We've been tight this year. We have really been tight.
QUESTION: "Can I see that against a shifted defense?" Sure!
Always be ready to double the nose.
Our centers haven't been very good. They've been able to snap the football. They're nonathletic. And in running this offense, we've been able to get away with non-athletes at that position. But you may have to help them, because if you don't help them, you will get killed. The reason we are running this play is because we got the information from the box upstairs that the LB' er was selling out.
This mans block doesn't take place there. The LB'er is going to be over here. We are running this play until the backside LB'er has taken himself out of the play. It is not a real tough block. The reason that it has averaged so much for us is because no one is there.
QUESTION: "Does the shifted nose cause probJ.ems for the puJ.J.ing guards?" No! It is possible, but what happens is you have the same collision on this play that you do on # 41. The power guard will get out. The Quick Tackle's step is a little bit deeper because he's got to get an angle up through the hole. We haven't had a problem with that. But again, you have to work the collision between your fullback and nose in practice. It's real easy to simulate with a shield. That has not been a problem for us in the ten years we've run this play. Again this was been our best running play this year.
QUESTION: "If the pJ.ays averaged so much, did you have a bad defense?" This year that was an understatement. We were a very poor defensive team. We were inconsistent offensively, also. We probably ran more plays than we should have with some of the injuries we had. Statistics are kind of misleading, this is the first time since I've been coaching, and I've coached about 21 years, we had about half as many turnovers as our opponents yet still had a losing record. That's the first time that's ever happened to us. We did not stop many People this year. Usually we've been really strong defensively and we were not this year. We scored points, but our opponents scored more points.
QUESTION: "Did the 3 Back deJ.ay at aJ.J.?"
NO! What we have done with these kids sometimes, coach, is move him a little wider, depending on his speed. Some kids we have to almost put them in motion to get them so they are there quick enough. This year what we did, because he was a quick kid, we took him about a step wider. His normal alignment is about a yard outside the power tackle.
The other way that they are stopping 41 is that they are blitzing their strong safety, outside linebacker, or whatever you want to call him, right now. People will sellout, and again like I've said before, our split end and three backers have not been very
big and not very physical. They will bring the strong safety in a non shifted on the snap. If they see the tailback coming they will fly at the strong safety so quick that this guy can't get a block on him. He will just run over our three back. That is when we run this play. This play averaged almost 9 yards. It is just a quick Pop Pass. Because Shepherd used to beat the hell out of our quarterback, we started doing this. We brought our power guard back to pick up this end. At one time we did not have to do it like that. But because Ron Patrick at Shepherd, didn't like our quarterback one year, they started beating on him so we did that just to slow it down. That helped our blocking on it and everything is almost exactly the same if you look at the blocking as if we were running our pitch play.
A couple of keys on this. This is a little different than how Jack Crowe does it. It is just a Pop Pass. We some times call it our Pop Square and we'll run a Fade Route with our split end. The quarterback has to be ready to pass right away. The key we have with our. kids is that we just tell them they have to squat and read the strong safety. So when he takes the snap, all he is doing is watching the strong safety. The fullback is coming through and he has to create the fake. On the film you'll see that.
The other thing that is a key is that the three back and tight end have got to take an outside release. The people that will stop this play are the inside linebackers because when they see 41 action they are on their way out there. If they don't take an outside release, you'll see a couple on the film, one where he got knocked down, and one where they made a great catch. If they don't take an outside release, then it's not there. His read on it is the three back first and then he comes back to the tight end. If we run the Pop Square his first read will be the tight end or the split end, depending on how they are covered.
It's not a very long pass. And it's not a hard pass to throw. I mean he's just coming up and dumping it over the line. You'll see it on the film. It's not very pretty. I just took all the plays off this years tapes. Against the shifted 5-2, we'll come back to the tight end more than we will the 3 back. Again the reason we're running this is because that strong safety is selling out. This is a good play on the goal line.
QUBST:ION: "When he reads the strong safety, what's he l.ooking for?" If the strong safety is just setting there we're going to throw to the tight end. If he comes up then we're going to hit the 3 back right away.
QOBST:ION: "Does the 3 back bl.ock before the rel.eases?" No, he is just going right away. Again, the reason we're running this play is because the strong safety is just coming like hell bent for leather to stop 41. And it hits too quick for him to fake a block on it. We have a pass 23 that comes off our dive action where he's going to fake his block, like they were talking about earlier on a slam release, where he does that and releases, but not on this one because it hits too quick.
When we first went into this, I did not want to go away from the Veer. I've been running the Veer for quite a few years, and we ran it for a couple of years still when we went to this. And the reason is, if you look at this if you are a veer team then you wouldn't want a much better set us than what they're giving you right there.
It was pretty successful for us but to be honest with you, what teams started to do is on the backside we
saw so much garbage, all kinds of twists and stunts, and the linebackers would do loops with the ends. It got where, again our people back there aren't very good, and our quick guards were pretty small and we had trouble blocking it. What the main scheme, let me show you against the nonshifted was a little tougher. But again, against the non-shifted they didn't stop 41 all that well. Against a non-shifted team, we didn't run the veer. Here is what we were seeing.
This is why we went away from that.
I will just draw the backside here.
From here, these guys were coming real hard. He's coming on the quarterback. He reads for the pull. We read it. It is like the true triple option because we always read. He will pull it, and this guy was getting the quarterback. We were not getting the block in on this man. That is why we went away from this. It's still a good play. But we haven't run it for probably about three years now. This is what we run instead to the back side, against a non shifted defense. It is a little tougher to run but you can still run it. All this is, is freeze option plays. Dick McPherson of Syracuse runs this. I talked with him a little and got some stuff from him. And, up at Central, they run this and they were kind enough to spend some time with me. We went over some of this. What this did was it held that linebacker that was causing all the problems on the outside Veer. This is just a quick trap. It's not too tough to block. We have close to the
same type of block as we had with 37. On this it hits fairly quick. The QB has to get out of the way. This is why we have our fullback at 5 yards. If he gets much closer he gets there before the power guard can get a good trap. If you want to talk to somebody who really knows how to run a Quick Trap you can talk to Gene Hackney at Shepherd. He makes a living off this play. Against an overshifted 52, it is like taking candy from a baby. And again, 'we don't see this look that much primarily for this reason. You don't have to hardly block anybody if you are going to get some yards. This play averaged 4. 89 per carry this year, and that is with the third string fullback. With our starter it would have averaged a lot more. It's important to have some plays besides 37, that is quick coming back to the backside. This play hits "right" now.
QUESTJ:ON: "Could you go over the steps of the Quarterback?" If we are going to our left, the first step is going to be with my right foot. As the quarterback takes the snap, he brings that right foot back, and pivots on it, as he brings his left foot back. This gets his shoulders parallel to he sideline. Then he rides the 2 back into the line.
The main thing the quarterback is doing is getting out of the way of the 2 back. The steps are just the opposite if the play is going to he right. It is easy for the Quarterback to do. Any other questions on this play? It is a real simple play that will keep people honest.
The last play I want to show you is the option off that action.
We call it our 18 play. We run it two different ways. It depends somewhat on who you want to get the ball to. If we want the 4 back to get it, we just run 18, and option the end. Our tight end will come down and seal on the linebacker that we had all the problems wi thwhen we ran the Veer. That linebacker will sit in there, because if he doesn't, we'll just run 26, our fullback trap. To be real honest with you, we didn't run 18 that much this year. We were able to block 26 well enough that we didn't have to run 18, even though our quarterback was a good option quarterback ~ The 26 action will hold that LB in there. He has to honor the dive. The way we were most successful running the option was running what we called 18 Load.
On this play we blocked the end with our tight end, and the power guard came around and sealed either the end or the linebacker instead of blocking the corners as he did on regular 18. We went to this because of the injuries to our tailbacks. Our quarterback was probably our best runner after they got hurt. The quarterback would turn the corner and we had a 2 on 1 situation on their corner. It was easier to run it this way. Next year 'We will probably run it like this. This play was our worst play from our base Offense this year. It averaged 3.75 yards. If we had run it earlier in the season, with the Load Concept, it would have been a better play. The regular 18 is a tough block for the power guard because it hits so quick. Usually, his block took place on or behind the LOS because the corners were coming up right now. Wi th the Load Scheme, the blocking on the end allowed the power guard to get his seal on the end or LB and the play worked much better. That is our base Offense. Everything is based on our 41 Play, and how the Defense adjusts to stop that play. I want to show you the film of these plays. Remember, we weren't that great, but from what these kids did, I think you can see the potential o£ this offense.
A MODIFIED OFF SEASON PROGRAM
BROOKE HIGH SCHOOL, WEST VIRGINIA
We Looked a leng time fer a Cenditiening Pregram that weuld fit eur needs at Breeke
High Scheel. Our Off Seasen Pregram is net semething where we try to. make Muscle Bound Athletes. If you talk to. seme feetball ceaches all they want to. talk abeut is their Off Seas en Pregram. To. us, the Off Seasen Pregram is semething that we feel we must have to. help prevent an injury. If we de have an injury, we feel we can bring them back areund in the Off Seasen Pregram. Hepefully, we can develep some Cenditiening and try to. teach them semething about; Bedy Mevement during this peried of time. And, last but net least, we have an Off Seas en Pregram because we have to. keep up with the Jenes' in eur league. If we did net have a Cenditiening Pregram and the scheel next to. us in eur district had ene, and eur players and parents feund eut abeut it, they weuld let us knew abeut it real fast. So. we feel we must have a pregram to. keep pace with what eur eppenents are deing.
Our Off Seas en Pregram is very simple. We have medified it to. the Cere Cencept. I will give you a sample ef what we mean by the Cere Principle. It will net take me that leng. We de this with alIef the phases ef eur pregram. CORE to. us means that we must have semething to. Start Frem. We must have a starting peint. Cere means semething that is cempulsery, er the backbene fer what yeu want to. de. It is just like lee king at the muscles ef the bedy. If we decide to. develep the muscles, we weuld have to. develep the biggest and mest impertant muscles ef the bedy. We must decide what is needed to. run the pregram. It can serve to. erganize and prieritize yeur pregram, o r any phase of yeur pregram, and when and hew to. teach it. You can set aside these things that are net impertant to. the Cere Cencept er Fermat.
We have applied the Cere Cencept to. eur Offense, Defense, and eur Cenditiening Pregram. I am net geing to.
dwell very leng en this, but this is hew the Cere Cencept werks .. · On Offense we find the Backbene ef the 20 Series. We select the essential plays in the 20, 30, and 40 Series and teach them. We take the auxiliary plays and teach them. If we have any gadget er trick plays we take these and t each them. It is a geed way to. threw away a let o f unnecessary e;ffense. In August this is what we hope to. get done , We de this fer ouz Offense, Defense, Kicking Game, and Off Seasen P regram. We take the Cere of the Pregram, then decide en. the Cempulsery Part o f the Pregram, Add the 1\uxiliary Parts, and Select the Trick er Gadget Plays o r Aspects o f each aspect o f ouz pregram. You can take this idea or cencept and apply it to. yeur pregram if you want. I will be glad to. discuss it with yeu later.
Frem this peint en I weuld like to. fecus en eur Medified Off Seas en aspects ef the lecture. Let me cever the Calendar related to. eur program. The length ef eur Werkeuts is fer 3 Days Per Week. We werk Menday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We use to. go. feur days per week, but new we feel we can get the jeb dene in three days. We werk frem 45 minutes to. 2 heurs and 30 minutes. We have three phases to. ou r pregram; Strength, Aerebic, and Quick Sessiens. Our Strength Phase is two. times per week fer a maximum ef 1 houz and 30 minutes. We lift en Menday and Wednesday. We have a Cere Pregram ef Sets and Reps. Yeu can use what yeu like. I have leeked at a let ef ether pregrams. We also. have our Cempulsery, Auxiliary, and Self Lifts. We have to. be careful with the Self, where we allew the kids to. lift what they want to. lift. Yeu must structure what they sheuld be deing in this peried. We are in greups and we go. frem there.
This is hew we structure ou r Strength Pregram. We are divided into. two. greups. Our Scheel Celers are Green and Geld. If we have 40 players werking eut, we have 20 Green and 20
Gold. Our Activities are divided into two workouts. We try to pair them up the best we can. We want them to be with someone that will help them and make them work. We get the kids out of the program that do not want to work in our program. I came from a family that had good work ethics and I want to maintain them. I want our kids to be the same way as I am on this aspect of working out.
After we are divided into two groups we have our CORE, Auxiliary, and Compulsory programs. In our Core Program we have the Bench Press, Dead Lift, Power Clean, and Squat. I do not like the Bench Press, but everyone want s to know how much each athlete can Bench Press. The Sets and Reps Change Weekly. In our Auxiliary Program we include A and B for one group, and C and D for the second group. Our Compulsory Lifts are Included. Our work out menu is constructed on a four week basic.
As you can see on the chart we work on A and C one week, and Band D the next week. They switch off each week to a different Phase. The menu is constructed on a four week basis. The first week they can do a Core of 1 x 10. The next week they do 1 x 5, and that is it. Then they can do 1 x 3 reps. We can add a 4th week that will allow you to do what you want. Variety is a good thing to have in the Weight Room. It will maintain their attention over a long period of time. If you will go down to the bottom of the page you will see that where we have I it is Monday, and II is for Wednesday. That is in essence our Strength Phase.
Our next phase is our Aerobics. We do this one day a week and it last for 1 hour. I have hired an Aerobics Instructor. He is very good. We use to have females, and they were very good. Why don't we hire girls for our Aerobics any more? Because we can't find them. We can't find the girls I want, because I helped put together the Aerobics that I want in our program. I tell the Instructor what I want accomplished and I am allover the floor helping the players. I do not do them, but I see that they are done and done right. I think it has to be taught first, and then it has to be coached, which I do. We do it every Wednesday for one hour. I see that we do them the way they should be done.
I will show you a tape of our Quick Phase. We do those on Tuesday and they last about 45 minutes. The day that we are in the Quick Period or activity, I try to make every thing we do related to quickness as possible. If you ever get a chance to hear Chuck Noll you will learn a great deal. He talks about relative position of body position. He talks about the Ready Position in Football. You know about that Football Position. We work on the Ready Position.
Every time we have our Quick Phase it means each kid will have 12 minutes of activity that day. We allow them to work on those Quicks in three ways. He can take the 24 Stations and work all of them for 30 seconds each which equals 12 minutes. He can work 45 seconds each on 16 Stations. He may want to work 1 minute each on 12 Stations. He is going to work for 12 minutes on any of the three selections that he makes. The way we set it up is like this. We will take the first set of 24 Stations for 30 Seconds for four weeks. Then we will take 16 Stations for 45 Seconds for three weeks. Then we go 1 minute for 12 Stations for one week. Then we recycle back to the 30 Seconds for four weeks. It is a mind game.
We have four kids to a group. Two kids are working and two kids are getting ready. I give them the command of Break - Go - Stop - and Change. When the other two kids do their Quicks I callout Switch, and they move to the next Station. We are on a Circuit basis. You do not have to have a rich budget to run this program. You will see in the tape the things we have in our Quick Program. We have a couple of bags on the floor, some boxes, a couple of two by fours, and a couple of ropes. If you have these items that is all you need. It covers everything you need to develop movement of the body. You will build some strength, but you want Quickness.
If you want your kids to be quick you have to work on it. Our kids are slow. We work to make them Quick. We have a few quick kids but we feel we need to improve our team quickness. We think quickness is very important and we work on it.
We use what we call an Aerobic Count.
Everything we do in Aerobics is done on an EIGHT COUNT. We use this for our Quick Drills. On Monday we lift
weights. On Tuesday we lift wights and have Quick Drills. On Wednesday we lift weights and go to Aerobics. Then they are off until the next Monday. That is it.
This is a Tape on our Quick Program.
We will be selling a Copy of our Quick Program. If you are interested write to me at our school address. Paul S. Billiard - Brooke High School - Bruin Drive - Wellsburg, WV 26070.
*01. Bounding Front
*02. Bounding Side
*03. Low Bags Front
*04. Low Bags Side
*05. Jump Rope Speed
*06. Jump Rope Heavy *07. Box REP Foot
*08. Box Step Up Tap
09. Vest Thrusts
*10. Wall Jumps 11. Wall Taps
12. Wall Running
13. High Out Steps
*14. 2 x 4 Foot Work
15. 2 x 4 Balance
16. Low Plates
*17. Towel Running/Comb.
18. Shuttle Run
19. Wall Bounce
21. Mirror Out Steps
*22. Lateral Movement Bags/Air-Out Steps
23. Lateral Movement Stance-Open/Crossover/360
24. Lateral Movement Stance Carry
Tappy Crab/Hip Spin
* = CORE - Intensified Quicks
Auxiliary - Sprint - Sit Ups - 6 Count - Group Work
Follow the outline to see what we do. I want to comment as we see the Tape. We use three boxes for our Bounding Drills. We have three levels of Aerobic Boxes. We run our program in a Hall in our School. It is highly structured and very intense.
We go over our Bags Right and Left Lateral, and to the Front and Back. We use two ropes; a regular or Speed rope, and a Heavy rope. The heavy rope weighs 4 pounds. One of our Box Drills is called Replace the Foot. We have a 5 pound weight in each hand as they replace the foot. They bring the weights up from the hips to the chest. They are springing off the balls of their feet. The box is 18 inches high. On the Step Up Tap-Tap we want two steps on the box and then two steps on the floor. We stress quick feet in this drill. We are set up on a 24 stations, and we are in pairs. We have 4 in each group.
For our Vest Thrusts we have the players wear a 30 weighted vest. He has a pad down. He comes off the balls of his feet and comes up and get his body under control. We want him to get the eyes up as he comes up. He stays on the pad as he comes up.
On the Wall Jumps we use a Medicine Ball. We want the feet to move on this drill. We want him to get the ball up. On our High Out Steps we want to get our knees up like Roger Craig of the 49'ers does.
The 2 x 4 is 8 foot long. We have cut it into two foot sections and notched it. We work out steps, front and back steps on it. We want the kids to keep their eyes up and their arms moving as they take that tap-tap step up on the 2 x 4. You can see that we want our exercises to be intense and quick.
My time is up. If you want to see the rest of the Tape I will be around later. If you want to know more about our Quick List I will be around, or you can write me at the school address above. Thank You.
· NECK FLEX A FLEX B EXT. A EXT. B
· SHOULDER~ UPRIGHT BENT OVER MACHINE LATS SHRUGS
ROWS CRUNCH (DUMB)
· CHEST PUSH-UPS INCLINE (ST. ) PEC. DECK INDIVIDUA
4. BACK T-BAR PU!,LOVER (mac) DUMBELL RUNS HYPERS
5. ARMS PALM UP E-Z CURL HAMMER, DBI PALMS DO
A bi STRGHT.BAR DUMBELL SIR BAR R.
B tri CLOSE GRIP EYE BALLS KICKBACKS E-Z CURL
BENCH CAMEL BAR FR PRESS
6. HIP LUNGES STEP-UP HIPSLED SPRINTER
7. LEGS LEG LEG CURLS CHANGE JEFFERSON
A UPPER EXTENSIONS BOX SQUAT SQUAT
BLOWER FREE WT STRAIGHT BAR DUMB RAISES CALF
RAISES PLT RAISES (TIMED) MACHINES
8. OTHERS L
CORE 1 X 10/ 1 X 5/ 1 X 3 / SPECIAL 3 X 3/5 X 5/5-4 3-2-1
1. TEAM DIVIDED INTO TWO GROUPS = GREEN/GOLD
2. ACTIVITIES DIVIDED INTO TWO WORKOUTS
I Bench/Dead Lift II Power Clean/Squat
C/D Weekly - 1 Set
COMPULSORY Included Included x 10 Reps.
3. Work out menu constructed on a four week basis.
A PASS FIRST OFFENSE
FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
Men, it is good to be back in this part of Pennsylvania. I spent a lot of time in this
area when I was coaching at WVU. The biggest thing we have going down in Florida now is a lottery. Florida started having a lottery about three years ago. I am not a lottery man. The State voted it in because they said they could make a lot of money on the lottery. Now a lot of people. in Florida are getting rich on the Florida Lottery. If you go through some of those small towns in Florida you will find people lined up a block long to buy those lottery tickets.
They tell this story about the lottery in Florida. It was about II on Saturday night and this man and woman were getting ready to go to bed. The telephone rang and the man got up to answer it. His wife was listening to every word trying to figure out what was going on in the phone conversation. The husband hung up and said, "You are not going to believe what happened. " The wife said, "Tell me the good news." He said, "You will net believe it, I just won 5 million dollars in the Florida Lottery. GO GET YOUR CLOTHS PACKED." The wife jumped up out of bed and started packing. She couldn't decide what to pack so she said, "Do you want me to pack my winter cloths or my summer cloths?" The husband said, "It doesn't matter to me just as long as You Are Gone From Here By 6 A.M. Tomorrow Morning" That could have been a coaches wife the way it sounded.
As I talk about our offense at Florida State I will go fast. If you have any questions as I go along just raise your hand and I will try to answer it. I say this because I could talk all day on just one play. There is so much to be said on each play. I do not want to stand up here and talk about things that you are not interested in. This will make it easy for both of us.
The first thing I want to say about our offense is this. We are committed
to the Pass. We are not going to go out in a game and throw and throw just because we have to throw. Some teams will not throw the ball unless they have to throw it. When it is 3rd Down and Long, then they are always going to throw. That is not a good time to throw the football. The odds of completion are not very good when they know you have to throw the ball. We are committed to the pass, regardless of the team we are playing. If we were playing against a Junior High School team we would still throw the ball at Florida State. We are committed to the Pass. That is our offense.
Men, there is not much! can tell you that you do not already know, but you invited me here to talk, so I will tell you how we do things. You build your offense one or two ways. First, you go out and build a great passing game and add your running game from those passing plays. The second way is to establish a great running game and then add your passing game from the running plays. If I were going to describe Brigham Young I would say they have established the pass and they run off the pass. They are predominately a passing team, but they do run the ball off the passing attack. Then you look at other teams like Florida State. We are going to establish the run first, and then we are going to throw off the pass. Most teams will do it that way. Those are the two .ways to build your offense.
The thing about our offense is this.
We are going to recruit a QB that can throw the football. Our QB must be able to throw the football first. If we can not get a QB who can throw the ball, we will have to change our offense. I feel if you try to do something your QB can not do, you will get in trouble. We recruit a QB that can throw the ball.
If someone asked me to tell them what I look fer in a QB this is what I would tell them. Before passing ability I look for a Quarter back that is a winner and one that has leadership
ability. If he is a good passer, but he is not a winner, then we can't win. If he is a winner, I will build around what he can do best. The fact we can go out and recruit, I am going to look for a passing QB that can win. This is the way we think at Florida State.
Our QB and Receivers throw the ball and time their routes all day in practice. I find this to be the difference in FSU and some other teams that throw the ball as much as we do. I do not think some of the other teams that like to say they throw the football work on the passing game as much as we do. If we have a two hour practice at FSU, our QB is going to throw the ball the entire practice. We are not tied up with the running game 90 percent of the time, and then throw the ball 10 percent of the time. You can't time up a passing game by only working on it 10 percent of the time; you can't do that. I do not think you can time up your passing game if you work on it 30 percent of the time. That QB has to go out and throw the ball. I will show you how we do all of this as we go along.
Let me explain the way we can have our QB throwing the ball all day long in our practice. We will work with a minimum of three QB's at FSU. You may be in a situation where you only have one QB. You may have the luxury of having two QB's. That does not mean the two QB's have the same ability; one may be coming along. We are going to work with three QB's; you may be able to relate this to your situation by working with two QB's.
I am trying to show you how our QB's get good at throwing, and our receivers get good at catching the football. We start off our practice with the QB throwing. We may start off with one QB throwing the ball in a 7 on 7 Drill against a Scout Team Defense. He may be throwing against the Strong Safety in our Inside Drill. We may work on the Inside Drill for 20 or 30 minutes. But this is what we do with our different QB's and Receivers. We will work with 6 Receivers each day. We send the rest of them to the Scout Team. We have two QB's with the Receivers, and one QB with the Inside Drill. We will have the receivers in one line running patterns. We work with six receivers. You may not have six receivers. You may say you only have four receivers. Put them in one
line. If you only have three receivers, put them in one line. I went to Coach in the Hula Bowl this year. I told the other coaches that I wanted to start working on our passing game. We only had three receivers. How long can you throw Bombs in Practice with three College All-Americans? They do not want to practice much anyway. You can tire them out very fast running deep routes.
If you have six receivers you can wOrk three of them at the Split End, or as we call it, X End. The other three work at the Z Back position, or flanker position. Our Tight End is our Y receiver. We just call them X-Y-z.
When we start practice we go to our flexibilities first. Then we go to our Inside Drill. We send our QB Coach to the QB's throwing the ball on the sideline. Our Receiver coach goes with the Receivers and runs the drills. He is teaching Cuts and working on Timing. The Third group will be will be at another location working on nothing but the running game.
Area "A" .7 on 7 Passi ng Drill
Area "B" IndMduai Pattems
o Wide Out Coach
Area "C" Running Drills
When we are working on our three-inone drill, our QB's will rotate from the three areas every 10 minutes if we are working for a 30 minute period.
Our QB's are going to throw all day long. This is where we get the timing for our passing game.
Let me tell you what a typical practice day would be for ourQB' s. The first 15 minutes the QB's go out and warm-up. Now, this is before practice starts. They are working on their passes to get their arm ready for practice. They are not working on hand offs, or traps, or anything except throwing the football. After they have done their flexibilities they go to a 10 minute period of individual throwing with just the QB's.
The next period for the QBis a 10 minute period with the Receivers. They line up in a Skeleton Offense and work on individual patterns. We will start off with a play and use that play to warm up with. We have our offense set up and they go ONE AT A TIME. Let's start off with a short route and work it to each position. Say we take our 82 play. Our QB will throw the Slant to the Z Back. The next QB calls out 82 Slant, and the X End runs the Slant to his side. The third QB calls out 82 Flat, and the Y End runs his Flat pattern. The first QB steps up and calls 82 Flat, and the Tailback runs his 82 Flat route. We just go one at a time and work on individual techniques. Then the Fullback will run his route on the 82 play. After I am satisfied with play 82 we go to the next play. After we run 82 we go to our 84 Pattern. Again, we run each man on his individual pattern. We get rep after rep throwing the ball to one receiver with out a defender covering him.
After that we go to a 15 minute period One On One Passing Drill. Now our receivers go against our defensive backs One on One. Next, we go to a 15 minute Team Drop Back Pocket Pass Drill. After that we have a 15 minute Team Play Action Pass Drill. Next, we go to 20 minutes of the Running Game. There is no PaSSing during the Running Period. Then we go down on the Goal Line and work on our offense. We make that period ninety percent run on the Goal Line. Then we go to full speed 11 on 11 Offense vs. Defense with 50 percent Run and 50 percent Pass.
What is so significant about what I am telling you. I am trying to show you how much time we work on throwing the football. You can not have a great
passing attack if you do not practice passing. You can not get the timing necessary on the passing game if you do not work on it a high percentage of the practice time. I want as much confidence in throwing a pass as I have in handing the ball off to a back. We are just as good at passing and catching the ball as we are at handing off to a back. We lose the ball on fumbles more than we do on interceptions. You may say, "You should, because you just said. you spent 90 percent of your time working on the passing game. You never work on handing the ball off." The key to our success is this. YOU MUST HAVE A SIMPLE RUNNING GAME IF YOU ARE GOING TO THROW THE FOOTBALL. You can not have a Complicated Running Game and a Complicated Passing Game; You can't have both. Our Running Game is so simple you would not believe it. We have no running plays that requires great timing. We do not run the Option. If you can run the Option and still have a good Passing Game, it is the best thing in the world, because the defense can't cover all of that offense. But the BAD THING about it is this: You Can't Execute It~ If your QB is working on the Option, he is not going to get the practice he needs on throwing the football. If he is practicing throwing the ball, then he should have been working on the Option. He just can't do both and become very good at either one of them.
I wish I could run both the Passing Game and the Option Game. If we get a QB that is about halfway between a runner and a passer, we will run that offense. If the QB is not a good passer, we will run the option. We do not run any dangerous plays as far as ball handling is concerned. Let me explain what I mean.
If you run the Option, your QB is down the LOS and he is handling the ball on the LOS. That is dangerous. This type of offense takes great timing and you have to work on it. If you can run the plays correctly, and execute it, you can win. Now, all of our ball handling is way back away from the LOS. This is our offense. We are going to run the Sprint Draw to both sides. We bring the ball back deep to the Tailback to hand the ball off on the Sprint Draw. We run the Power Sweep to both sides. We can pitch the ball deep to the Tailback,
or we can hand it to him deep. The closest play to a dangerous play is our Fullback Belly. The reason it is dangerous is because there is a quick handoff, and it requires timing for the Tailback and QB. On the Sprint Draw or Sweep, you could start in the wrong direction, and still recover. We just do not have a complicated hand off system, that requires a lot of work to get the timing down. If you run a lot of plays that requires the QB to do a lot faking, and counter action movement, then you will not have much time to work on the Passing Game. That timing will cut down on your you need to spend working on your passing game. Our Running Game is not very complicated.
When we get into our Passing Formation we are thinking PASS. When we line up in the Split Back Set we are thinking PASS first. From the I-Formation we are 75 percent run, and 25 percent pass. It may be 70-30, but the I Formation is a Running Formation for us. When we line up in Split Backs were are only going to run one of our four running plays. If we are going to run from the Split Backs you can bet you last dollar, if we run the ball, it will be one of those 4 plays. We are going to run those four plays very well. We have only run those four plays the last seven years. We do not have to spend a lot of time with our QB on these four plays because they do not take a lot of timing. That is one of our keys. It allows us to work on the Passing Game a lot more than otherwise. If you have a Passing Game QB, and a couple of good Receivers, I am trying to tell you how to develop a good Passing Game. This is how we do things at FSU. If you have a Compl~cated Passing Game, you must have a Simple Running Game.
Let me give you an example of what our Running Game looks like. We have cut our Running Game down a great deal, but still it is too complicated for me. From the Split Back Set we run a sweep to both sides, and a draw to each back. That is about all we run from that set. From the I Formation and a Pro Set Right we run the Sweep Right, Sprint Draw Right, Fullback Belly, and a Fullback Trap. The Trap does not fit in with anything that we do, but we feel we must have the trap. On the other side we can run Sprint Draw Weak, and the Counter Weak. That is the
trickiest play that we run. We pull the off guard and tackle. Then we run our Z Reverse. This is all of our Running Game. We run our 46, 44, 34, 51. 45, 7 Counter, andZReverse. That is all we are going to run. The ball handling is back deep off the line of scrimmage.
7Counter 45 2Reve~e
Another thing that we do that helps on timing is this. We flip flop our line. This helps us a great deal. If you are basically a running team you may not need to flip flop the line. We have a Strong Side and a Weak, or Quick Side. We see a 50-50 split on this at the College level. Why do most High Schools flip flop their line? How many of you flip flop? I am interested in seeing what the high schools do on this. If I were you and I got into the Passing Game, I would very definitely flip flop the line. If you are going to throw the ball very much you must flip flop the line in College. This is why we flip flop at FSU. The problem starts with the Quick Side Tackle. He must be the best tackle that we have. This is the position that we need to pass protect the most from. This is where the great outside LB'ers in the Pros kill the QB' s. Why do they always play over on the Quick side? This is what is happening in College and Pro football. If the Quick Tackle is not a great athlete, they will get by him. If you do not throw the ball very much it does not make much difference. Now, the reason we flip flop is because we only have ONE of those good athletes to play that tackle position. We can't find but one of those each year, if we are lucky. If we could get three of them a year we would not flip flop.
The second player that be a good athlete for us is the Strong Guard. He must be able to pull on the Sweep. That is our number two problem. We do not have that many good pulling guards at FSU. If we flip flop we only have to have a Strong Side Guard that can pull. If we flip flop him we can work on his technique more as a pulling
guard. That is why we flip flop. It is built around the fact that we like to throw the football.
I have talked long enough on the philosophy game. I want to tell you how we teach our Passing Game. When we are putting in our passing game this is how we put it in our system. The first thing we do is to put the offense in on our blackboard. This is where we put in our passing attack on the blackboard and .explain to the players how many steps they take , how deep they should go, and other related coaching points. We call that phase the Blackboard Drill. The second phase is to go out on the field. Each Position Coach takes his players and instructs them in the Passing Plays. That is the Individual Drill. Our next phase is to go to our Passing Drill that we talked about earlier where we have three QB's working in three groups. Group One is the 7 On 7, Group Two is the Individual Pass Cuts, and Group Three is One On One against our defense. Now we have taught the pass play in our Blackboard Drill, in our Individual Drill, and in our Group Drill.
The reason I like these drills is because I can watch all three of the Group Drills and see what everyone is doing. We like to teach the pass plays against AIR, or without a defense at first. We want to learn our plays with out the defense. Then when we do get the defense lined up against us we will know what to do.
I want to let you know how much time we spend on the Passing Game at FSU. I covered our practice schedule so you could see how much of our time is involved with the passing game. If you are going to be a great passing team you will have to work on that phase of the game a great deal of time.
When I came to WVU in 1966 I tried to put in the Pro Style Passing Game. I was the Offensive Coordinator at Florida State in 1965. When we played on a good day weather wise, we were pretty dang good. However, when we played Syracuse in November in the SNOW we were not very good on offense. When you play Penn State at College Park in late October, and the wind is blowing in your face, the Passing Game is not very good. So I went away from the Passing Game Attack. We had to go to the Option Attack. We tried to run the ball more and threw when we could.
Where you live and where you play has a lot to do with the type of offense you run. Also, the type of players you have determines the type of offense you should run. I know there have been a lot of good Quarterbacks come out of the State of Pennsylvania. If you get a good QB you better make the best of him because they are hard to come by.
Let me open up the session for questions. "How did you get the ball to the wide receiver coming underneath in the Bowl Game against Penn State." Good question. Let me show you that play against a 3 Deep Secondary. That pass made our Split Receiver an AIIAmerican this past year. Lawrence Dawsey made All-American on this one play; not that it was the only pass he ever caught. It just seemed that he made his big plays on this play. He made a Big Play against Penn State, and he made 3 or 4 Big Plays against Miami. He made the big plays against good people.
You can run the play in almost any formation you want. We like to run the play out of Split Backs because we can disperse the defense quicker. The thing about this play is that it is very simple. The QB does not need to have a great arm. This is the best pass to use if you have a poor passing QB. Put this play in and that QB will love it. And, you will not have to scream at him as much. I went to the Hula Bowl to Coach in the All-Star Game and was in charge of the Offense for the East. We had four days to practice. We could only practice .for 1 hour .and 15 minutes. I put in a simple Running Game and a simple Passing Game for the Hula Bowl. I watched them practice for two days and decided we would not make much yardage in the game. The day before the game I decided to put in the Dawsey Play in. I decided if everything went bad w~ could throw that pass play. Sure enough, we scored a TD on the play, and gained a couple of key first downs on the play. This is what it looks like.
When the ball is snapped we send the Tight End inside to get the Strong LB' er to pick him up. We want to wall off the man inside. We run the Fullback on a Sprinting Flare Pattern. It is a full speed Flare Route. We take our Tailback and release him up field to take the Weak LB'er up field
with him. We take our X End and take him up field to force the Corner deep with him. We never call this in a Blitz situation. Now we did run it when Penn State ran a Blitz against us, and we did complete the play. It is tough to get the playoff; we got the ball off. When the ball is snapped we take the Z Back and sprint him 5 yards deep down the line and across the formation. If we face a Zone Defense we want him to Curl over the Center. If there is a big hole we want him to sit down over the Center. We want to get him the ball over the middle in the area behind the LB'ers. He is only going to be about 5 yards deep on the play. If there is a big opening over the center, we want him to sit down and look for the pass.
Let me cover our Split Rules for our Wide Receivers. Our Z Back is split about 17 yards from the football. This is what we tell our X and Z receivers. If the ball is in the middle of the field, the Flanker goes to the middle of the other one third of the field; the Split End goes within 6 yards of the sideline. If the ball is on the Left Hash Mark the Z Back comes inside to one yard outside the other hash mark; the X End does not want to get closer than 6 yards of the sideline. If the ball is anywhere else, they move relative to those alignments. We say the receiver is about 17 yards from the football. We can cut the split down if we want to bring him in some. You can put the formation into the sideline and still run this play. It is a different look. The receiver comes inside real quick.
Our QB takes a 5 step drop and waits for everyone to clear out. He will hold the ball until he sees an open man. The QB can throw the ball to anyone he sees open. If we send the Z Back inside and the Corner is chasing the him, we tell him to keep going. We do not want to stop when the defense is in Man Coverage. We want the other receivers to take their man out of the
Zone so we can get the Z Back in the hole over the center. That is the play we used effective against Penn State to set up our 1st TD; or was it our 2nd TD; or was it our 10th TD? HA! HA! No! No! That would be impossible. They are too good for that.
We want our Tailback 5 yards deep from the tip of the football. We cheat the fullback back about one step because we want him to be able to get back to the other side on some plays. We can take the Tailback and put him in the slot, but that is a different play.
If we want to run the same play to the Split End we call it Sam. The play to the Z Back is called Samuel. On Sam we send the Z Back on a Take Off Route and run the Tailback deep on the Split End side. Now we take the Split End and bring him inside over the middle. It is the same play; Sam is to the Split End, and Samuel is to the Z Back.
Our Pass Protection is numbered by 100's. If we run Play 44, which is the Sprint Draw for us, and we want to add our Pass Protection Blocking on the play we call it 344. If we drop straight back in the pocket and send the Fullback out in the pattern, our pattern is called a 400 number. If we want to use Drop Back Blocking and send the Tailback out in the pattern, then we call it a 200 number. If we want to send everyone out in the pattern we would call it a 700 number. Any 100 number to us tells us it is a pass and the type of protection we are going to use. So we call them 400 Sam or 400 Samuel. You can call them anything you want to call them. When I was in the Hula Bowl I called them 400 X Under; or 400 Z Under. If there is anything I am talking about that you would like to know more about I would like to hear from you. If I do not have time to answer the question, I will take it to one of my assistants that can answer it. If you do not get
an answer back in a few weeks you let me know. I do not like for my mail to go unanswered. Just Write: Bobby Bowden - F10rida State University - Footba11 Office - Ta11ahassee, FL 32316. I use to try to answer all of my mail myself. However, I am on the road so much now, I have some help with it. We start our Spring Practice March 26th. We will practice for three weeks. You are welcome to come visit with us. I do have a lot of coaches from Ohio and Pennsylvania that come to visit with us at FSU.
The other question I was asked was about our pass to the Fullback in the flat. It is a delay route for us. This is what it looks like.
Let me cover something we do at FSU.
If we are going to run the Sprint Draw we call it 44. If we are going to pass on the Sprint Draw we call it 344. Let me tell you what I tell our coaches at FSU. I tell our Offensive Coordinator "this is the play that we must make go." I was talking about our Sprint Draw 44. We study Statistics. I told him if we do not average at least 5 yards per carryon Sprint Draw 44, I will have to hire me a new Offensive Coordinator. I hate to change Offensive Coordinators, because he is my son. Now, I have done cleared this with his mother. What I am saying is this. Our offensive coaches had better not be thinking about another play until play 44 goes. This is what we tell our players. "Men, if you can make play 44 go, we are going to get after them today, because we know we can make 344 go." If we can force you to stop 44, then how are you going to stop the pass on 344? I will have the QB cover the ball up so the LB'ers do not see it. If you bring up the LB' ers to stop us on the run, we will throw the 344 pass behind the LB' ers. If you bring up the Safety, then we will throw behind him. That is the way we think. That is our basic attack.
Now, let's say we have 44 Sprint Draw and 344 Sprint Draw Pass going good. We have been throwing the ball behind you on 344. NOw, you have your Safety back where he should be. However, you have your LB'ers stopping us on our medium cuts. This is when we throw our 344 pass to the Fullback in the flat.
Let show the plays in the sequence that we like to use them. First is 344 Zebra. You know the play is going to go to the Z Back. If we are going to throw to our X End we call it 344 Exxon. This is X and Z on a Square In Route. We start off with our 344 play. We want it to look just like a Sprint Draw. On a Sprint Draw Pass what is the first give away indicated? WHO? THE FULLBACK. The Fullback gives away the pass. When you run the Sprint Draw Run the Fullback sprints over to block the end. On the Sprint Draw Pass he loafs over to block for the play. The LB'ers can read that Fullback. So we tell the Fullback to sprint out to our tackle so the LB'ers can't tell it is a pass play. We release the Tight End and send him underneath the LB' ers, but not over 6 yards deep. He wants to get under the LB'ers.
The only difference in a Zebra and our Exxon is this. If we run a Zebra, we know Z is going to run a Square In. What is X going to do? He has to go to the Post to get the Safety out of that area. On the Exxon the X End runs the Square In. Now the Z Back has to clear the Safety and run the Post.
We Drag the Y End across, but not more than 6 yards deep. We want him to come across to the numbers. The Tailback fakes the Sprint Draw. The QB fakes to the Tailback, and comes back 7 steps. That is about 10 yards deep for us. He sets in the gap between the Tackle and End. Our Tailback fakes and releases outside the Tackles block. This is very important. If he releases inside the tackles block he will get caught in the trash inside and he will not be able to get outside. It is important for the Tailback to get outside because he opens up the Hole for the Square in by the Z Back. We tell him to release outside the tackles block, go two yards deep and then hang a right. Then we tell him to go all the way to the sideline. We want him to make it look like a Draw, and then to run flat to the sideline. He wants to
get width, not depth. We want him outside.
Our QB will come back, make his fake, and come on back until he hits his seventh step. He is looking for the open hole inside for the Z Back. We hope the Hole will open up and we can get the ball inside to the Z Back. If the Hole is not open, he looks for the back out in the flat. If we can get that ball to our Tailback in the flat 2 yards deep, they may take it 17 yards before they get him down. He is a good runner and he can cut. If they take the Tailback, the Z Back should be open.
Our Offensive Coordinator knows that we have two plays that we must make go in our offense. First is our 44 Sprint Draw. Second, is our Square In Pass Route. We want the Defense to work to take those two plays away from us. Once the Defense starts taking those two plays away from us we make our adjustments. NOw, the play I was asked about is the Fullback Delay that we ran against Penn State. It is the same playas we discussed before on Zebra. However, we add one step to the play. Now we tell our Fullback to run a Delay Route. We run 344 Zebra - Fullback Delay. Now we want the Tailback to go Vertical and take the LB'er with him. We tell our Fullback to go block the End. He must not absorb the rusher. He can't let the defender come down and make contact and knock him back into the QB. He wants a slow Vertical Delay on the play. The QB must let the play
develop. It is a simple play.
The key to being a successful coach is this. The great players are just great players. You may get a great player once every ten years. You may get one every two years, The key is
this. The key is to make the average players think they are great. That is the key. I learned a great deal from Joe Paterno. I am sure he is really worried about us now. Ha Ha! He has only beaten us 10 times before we finally won a game against him. I know that has really got him concerned. But his players always seem to demonstrate what lam talking about. He always got the most out of his players. That is the key to coaching.
Men, I have enjoyed this visit. If we can be of help to you at Florida State let us know. Thank you.
CARDINAL MOONEY HIGH SCHOOL, OHIO
Before I get into my lecture today I want to tell you a few fact s about our school. I came
to Cardinal Mooney High School in 1961 as an Assistant Coach. I became the Head Coach in 1966. At that time we were a school with about 2000 students. We were a large division I School at that time. Enrollment has dropped drastically now to the point where we only have 600 CO-ED Student. Now we are a Division III School with 630 students. The League we play in is split between Division I and III Schools. We joined the Steel. Valley Conference that involves mostly Division I and III Schools of the Youngstown area. We had some success, and were forced to play a Division I Schedule, even though our School Enrollment kept dropping. Fortunately, we have had some good athletes that have enabled us to have some success. We are a Division III School playing a lot of Division I Schools. This really makes it tough to compete year in and year out.
Before I go over our Day To Day Practice Schedule I want to tell you what we do as far as the year goes. This is what we have been doing. We have taken this attitude about our program. If is isn't broke, and as long as it is not broken, we are not going to fix it. I have been in the Coaching Profession long enough to know some of the things it takes to win. I know if you have athletes, you can win your share of games in high school. Today, the game is so sophisticated and the coaching profession has become so involved that you have to work at the game to stay up with the modern trends. I do not know of another profession that has attacked their problems as the coaching profession has done. Coaches do a great job of learning what their profession is all about. They do a great job in dealing with the X's and O's.
We break our Total Program down into four Sessions. We have the four basic sessions that most of you have. We
call our Sessions the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall Programs. We like to wait until the First Semester Exams are over to start our Winter Program. We like to start our Winter Program at the start of the Second Semester. In this period of time we are mainly concerned about Strength and Bulk, and nothing else. We have tried a lot of different things in the Winter Program. Finally we decided that we would concentrate on building Strength and Bulk. This phase has worked out very well for us. We run our Winter Session from January 15 to Easter Break.
After the Easter Break we go into our Spring Session. Most of our athletes are involved in Spring Sports. The only thing we add to the Weights in our Spring Program is Agilities. There are a zillion agilities you can get involved in. We call an agility anything you can do with your feet. That is the only thing we add to our Spring Session. This session lasts until school is out for the Summer. Then we give them a two week break for the summer.
In the third week of June we get into our Summer Program. We run this program at night, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. We still work with our Weights, and Abilities, and now we add our Running Program. One of the things I have learned with my staff is this. I do not require all of my staff members to be at our Summer workouts each night. I do not want them burned out when the season starts. I want them fresh when we start in the Fall Program. One or two coaches can handle the Summer Programs. We only take one week out of their summer vacation. This program takes us to our Fall Season. In Ohio we can not start until about the first week of August. Next year I . understand we start August 9th.
In our Fall Practice Session we have our Two A Day Practice Sessions. This is how we have done it in our program for twenty five years. We have two
sessions; one in the morning and one at night. It is a tremendous drain on the Coaching Staff. We ask our coaches to report at 8:00 a.m. for our morning session. Our players come in for practice at 9: 00 a.m. We practice from 9:00 to 12:00. At 12:00 I ask our coaches to meet with the players for about 30 minutes. Then our coaches meet from 12: 30 until 2: 00 p.m. The kids have gone home after the coaches meet with them at 12 :30. I have talk~d to a lot of successful coaches that keep their kids at school between practice sessions during the Two-A-Day Sessions. They go back on the field soon after they get through the coaches meetings. That is great for those programs, but I do not like to run it that way. We have our players go home after the first session.
We have our coaches report back at 5:00 p.m. for our evening session. We practice from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Our Coaches meet from 9 to 10 after the practice session that night. I want our players to recoup after each practice session. That is the reason I do not want to keep them at school after the morning workouts. We want them to eat and rest at home so they will be ready to go for the next session. We really get a lot out of our kids in the evening session. We do have lights on our practice field, and if we go over we can turn on the lights to practice. At night we may have a crowd turn out for our night sessions. We do not let them on the field, but they do come and watch us workout. Our coaches spend a lot of time during the Two-A-Day Sessions. It is tough on the Coaches, but I feel it is best for the kids this way.
On the day before a Scrimmage we will change our schedule some. We do not like to practice in the afternoon, but the day before a scrimmage we may go at 3:00 in the afternoon.
In all of the programs except the Fall Session we only work four days a week. We do not ask them to workout on Friday. We like for the players and their parents to have those long weekends. We feel this helps us with the program during the week. Our kids do not want to be away from our program for more than a week.
During the four days of our Summer Session we lift Two Days and have Aerobics Two Days. We have been doing
the Aerobics for seven years now. The kids respond to this very well. It is something different. Plus, we have a gorgeous Aerobics Teacher. She has added to our program, at least psychologically. I do not know for sure how much it has really helped, but let me tell you our experience with the Aerobic Program.
The first year we used the Aerobics Program was in the Summer of 1982. Later that fall we won the State Championship. We were very fortunate that we won. However, there was no way we were not going to have another Aerobics Program the next season. We have been running the Aerobics Program ever since that 1982 experience.
I want to go over our Daily Practice Schedule. This is basically what we have been doing at Mooney High School for the last 25 years. I have been in coaching for 35 years, and I really mean this. I wish I had spent more time finding out what other High School Coaches were doing in their Practice Sessions. I feel that is a mistake I made in my Coaching Career. I spent too much time with the College Coaches, not about X's and O's, but in putting a practice schedule together. I do not think the High School Coaches can run their practice as the Colleges run their practice sessions. It is a different situation. I have enjoyed spending time with the College Coaches, but we can learn a great deal from each other in the High School Coaching Ranks.
We try to break our Practice Sessions up like this. We have spent one hour planning this practice session the night before. I feel very strongly about this pOint. If we work· on offense in our morning session, then we come back in the evening and work on offense again. I am a firm believer in going over the things we covered in the morning session again in the evening practice. I feel it reinforces what you have taught them earlier. If we are going to work on offense the next day, we will spend that hour in our Coaching Staff Meeting that night getting things organized. We set up our schedule with both morning and evening practice times listed on the side of our Practice Schedule Card.
This is what our practice schedule looks like. We list Time and Position across the top of the card.
Time/Positions - C/G/T/E/QB/OB/FB-TB
8:00 8:45 - Tape and Dress 5:00 - 5:45 -
8:45 - 9:00 - Team Meeting 5:45 - 6:00 -
9:00 - 9:20 - Flexibilities - Cals - Plyometrics
6:00 - 6:20 -
9:20 - 9:40 - Sled - Cage - Pass - Run Drills
6:20 - 9:40 -
9:40 - 10:00 - INDIVIDUAL DRILLS 6:40 - 7:00-
10:00 - 11:00 - TEAM 8:00 9:00
We do not allow our kids to just walk out to the practice field when they get dressed. I have visited a lot of schools that allow the players to come on the field as soon as they get dressed, and I am sure there are some real benefits to this. But we do not do this because of our situation. We are dealing with kids. I want to say we are dealing with 18 year old kids, but they are not 18; some are 15, 16, and 17 years old. When we use to let them go on the field individually, they would play around because we did not have enough coaches to be on the field with them.
You can see by our schedule we have a team meeting before we go on the practice field. I try to motivate them for that practice session, .and I go over what we want to accomplish for that session. I may bring up a few things that are coming up that week. We get a lot done in this short team meeting. After the team meeting we all come out on the field at the same time. I know a lot of you do it different. That is fine; what ever suits you best.
After we come out on the field we take one lap. After the lap I blow the whistle and we go into our Pre-Game Warm-up line up. We have 10 lines set up for our Flex Drill. We go through the Cals, Flexibilities, and the Plyometrics. One of our assistant coaches runs this section of our
practice. I will let him explain what we do; "Rob". Thanks Don. It is very difficult to organize this session because everyone uses different terms to describe the stretches. We find this part of practice has been good to us for two reasons. We have had medical people run test on our players and have been satisfied with the results. They say as long as we hit the major muscle groups we should be fine in our warm-up. That is what we try to do in our stretches. Like everything we do in our program, we stress REPETITION. We even do our Flexes twice. Each stretch is held for a 12 count and then repeated again. We are only interested in a nice pull, and not a hard pull. We do the same Flex exercises that most or you do to stretch and get warmed up. I will let Don explain the Cals part of our practice.
On our Cals we are doing the same type of exercises we do on our Flex session. I want the TEAM CONCEPT included in the session so we keep the term CALS for this session. Then we go into our Plyometrics in our practice. We use these two days a week. Most of you know that Plyometrics are based on repulsion, that is getting up off the ground as fast as possible. We have used this in our Indoor Running Program. We have included some basic running drills into our Plyometrics. We keep the players in their groups. We try to get in as many reps as possible in this section. We run for 20 yards, not as fast as we can, but as slow as we can, stressing running technique. On the High ~nee Drill we stress forward lean, high knees, keeping the elbows in. On the Backward Walk Drill we try to get them to drop their hips and get as much extension as possible. We do a Double Leg Hop, trying to get 6 to 8 hops in a 20 yard area. Then we do Single Leg Hops, driving the knees up high. Then we do a Bounce Drill, which is combining the Single and Double Leg Hop Drills together. These drills are the basic drills that you see in most running drills and Plyometrics. I feel this has helped us a great deal, and the kids like it.
Thank you Rob. On defensive days we work on Plyometrics. On Offensive days we work on the Agility Drills. We do not do both on the same day. That has worked well for us. This has
moved us. down in our practice schedule t:oabout9:40 a.m. I am not one that will insist that the drill will have to stop at 9: 40. I have never insisted that we stay precisely on a set time schedule. I . have seen college and some high schools that could sound a ~orn ·orblow a whistle at.the end of each period and they change drills on that horn or whistle. I am not that organized to do that in my situation. God bless those that can be that organized.
This practice schedule is for one of our early practice sessions. This schedule was for August 13, 1990. We were only 13 days into our practice sessions. On offensive days our kids love the sled drills. We go to our Individual Drills before we go to Group Work. We may work our Varsity Line on the Sled, and our JV's on the Cage. Then we will switch them around. They go for about 10 minutes each session. We like to FIT the players into the Sled. Then we work them back to their stance. We progress from the stance to the Hit, and the drive phase of the block. In our cage drills, we run the same drills that most of you use.
Our Backs work on their individual skills during this period. They have a detailed practice schedule they work on at the same time the line is working on the Sled and Cage Drills. We may have the Centers with the QB's on some of their drills.
After we have finished our Individual Drills we bring our Centers and Guards together, and our Tackles and Ends together. Our Backs are still separate at another end of the field. They come together to work on certain plays. After the Groups work for a session we bring the Whole Line Together. We work on particular plays against the different defenses. Our Backs are working at the other end of the field working on timing.
Next we go to our Three Block Drill.
The Three Block is a type of block we use on our Double Team blocking scheme. We bring the 1st Team Backs down to work with the line on blocking assignments and timing. The other backs stay down at the other end an continue to work on their techniques. We will change backs sometime during the drill. We only have enough time to work with two groups. We will run the Three Block Drill Live.
After this drill we move to Pass Protection Drill. The Backs and Ends will work on their Patterns during this period. We will work on our basic Passing Game. We will go to our Kicking Game prior to our TEAM OFFENSE. We use to do our Team Kicking Game at the end of practice, but we never had enough time to work on the Kicking Game as we felt we should. That is why we moved it up to the session before the TEAM OFFENSIVE SESSION.
Now we are ready for our TEAM OFFENSE. All we are doing here is to review all that we have taught during the previous part of practice. We are going to put the pieces together now. We take what we have taught in the Individual and Group Sessions and put them together in the Team Sessions. We have talked about our Team Offense, we have covered it in the Individual Periods, and in the Group Periods. Hopefully, they will know what we are talking about when we get to our Team Period. It has been Repetition, Repetition, and Repetition. We are very simple of offense. If we are going to get complicated it will be on defense; not offense. We want our kids to be able to execute our offense. We stress Repetitions in each session of our practice. We spend at least 20 minutes on our Team Session. We like to set each session for 20 minutes, but I do not believe in blowing the whistle if we are not finished in a drill. A lot of people will ask me how we get away with spending so much time on the field in practice. The reason is this. We have had some success, and the kids know what hard work will do for you. If we had a practice session that only lasted for 1 hour and 30 minutes, our kids would be totally disappointed. All of the great teams that we have had, have spent a lot of time on the practice field.
At the end of practice we work on our Conditioning. This is nothing more than Sprints. We may have them run a lap to end practice. Earlier in the year, we do time our kids on a mile run. They have a set time that they have to run the mile in or they have to run it over. Our kids feel great about that aspect once they have accomplished their goal.
At our Staff Meeting we put our Practice Schedule together. We do
fellew it as far as what we are deing. If we spend ene heur to. put the practice schedule tegether, then we sheuld fellew it. Hewever, the time schedule is semething else fer us. We are net exact en that phase o f ouz practice schedule. We knew we can net neglect any ene phase ef practice fer anether phase. Hewever, we de fellew the practice schedule clesely.
Our Defensive Practice Schedule is very similar to. the Offensive Drills in that we fellew the same type ef set up en ouz schedule. We start ou r with eur Flexibilities, Agilities, and Plyemetrics Exercises. Then we go. to. eur Sled Drills. We de several Defensive Drills en the sled. Hewever, we have cut back en the sled drills recently. When we are deing ouz Sled, FermTackling, and Fumble Drills, we are deing them in greups. We switch after a set peried ef time. We meve frem statien to. statien with the players. It takes abeut 20 minutes to. get threugh all three drills. Our Backs de net de the sled drills.
Again, we go. frem Individual, to.
Greup, to. Whele Line, to. TEAM Drills, to. TEAM DEFENSE. We try to. bring everyene together and review what we have been teaching in practice. We are stressing Repetitien, Repetitien, ever and ever. We are putting together alIef the small parts to. make Our Defense. We run a 40 Defense so. we divide eur squad to. fit that particular part ef eur defense. Our Guards and Tackles werk tegether, and ou r LB' ers and Ends werk tegether, and eur Deep Backs werk as a unit. That is the way we set up ou r practice schedule. We get mo st; of ouz 40 Defensive Package frem Ceach Jehn Ray when he was at Netre Dame, and later at the University of Kentucky. I spent seme time with Jehn Ray at Kentucky and we have been running this defense ever since. Hewever, we de net turn ouz tackles inside as we once did.
Basically, this is hew we erganize eur Practice Schedule. I knew it is only a basic schedule, but it is what we de. De we have any questiens? "WHERE IS THE WATER BREAK?" That is a geed questien. De yeu want me to. stand up and tell yeu that I am eld fashien and that we de net believe in giving the a water break? We have the Big Faucets with 18 speuts where the water cernes eut, and they can get a
drink anytime they want.. All we ask them to. de is to. tell us they are going to. go. get a drink ef water. "Coach, I need to. get a drink of water." That is all we ask of them. I will net prevent them frem getting water, if they need it o r net. I see the signal fer us to. take eur WATER BREAK. That means my time is up for this sessien. Thank Yeu.
POWER - DECEPTION - MISDIRECTION
OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Thank you. It is good to be with you today. We are going through the winter Conditioning Program
now. We have our Spring Practice during the month of April at OSU. You are welcome to come to our practice anytime. I look at the situation like this. If we are going to come to recruit your players, why shouldn't high school coaches be able to come visit with us.
I think there are three things you need in your offense. One is the Power Plays. I am not kidding about this statement. If we could line up at Ohio State and run that old fashioned Woody Hayes Offense, and get 3 yards, 3 yards, 3 yards, etc, we would do it. If we could do that and win all of our football games I would do it." But obviously there are a lot of football teams that we play and that you play, that will not allow us to do that because we are not physical enough to do that with them. If you can't block and dominate the line of scrimmage like we used to do, then we will have to fake a few defenders out of the play. In addition to POWER Play, I think you need DECEPTION, and MISDIRECTION. You have to make the defense play honest. With Power, Deception, and Misdirection you can keep the defense honest,
Let me gi ve you a run down on my background. I have always been a Southeastern Conference football man. I was raised right outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. After high school I went away to the service. After service I went to Iowa State. Then I bounced around the country as an assistant football coach. I spent two years at Oregon State, two years at UCLA, six years at Kansas, and four years at the University of Kentucky. I was an assistant coach for a long time. Being an assistant coach is a lot like the symbolism of a sled dog. IF YOU ARE NOT THE LEAD DOG, THE SCENERY DON'T CHANGE. I got tired of the scenery, and decided to try to get a head coaching job. I applied for the
job at Tulsa and was lucky enough to become the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director there for eight years. Then I went to Arizona State as Head Coach for three years. Then the opportunity to move to a great school like Ohio State came I was very honored to go there.
For those of you that do not know much about Columbus, Ohio, it is a lot like Athens, Georgia, or Auburn, Alabama. It is a football town. There is nothir.g like it. We sellout every home game and we sell 90,000 tickets for every game. They have a lottery system for the tickets. They let me know at my first Buckeye Meeting that they would be with us WIN or TIE. They make this very plain. They expect you to win at Ohio State.
I.do a live TV show on Saturday night after our Saturday afternoon games. To get me back from a game we played in Bloomington, Indiana the TV station flew a helicopter over to Bloomington to pick my wife and I up to make sure I got back for the live show that night. We played terrible that afternoon against Indiana. The game was on Regional TV and we played bad. As I was making a few notes for the TV show on the way back, I told my wife that this can't be as bad as they may seem. I said to my wife, "I am going to throw a $20 bill out the window of the helicopter." She asked me why I wanted to do that. I said, "I just want to make SOMEONE feel good." She said, "That is a good idea; but why not throw two $10 bills out the window and make TWO people happy." The pilot of the helicopter overhead our conversation and said, "John, why don't you jump out of the helicopter and make ALL of the OSU Alumni happy." After that first year I thought of jumping out, believe me. It was tough. We turned things around the next year.
When we came to Ohio State they had a rich tradition of being able to run up an down the field with the football. They had a tradition or running the ball North and South, and being able
to control the football. We came in from Arizona State with a sophisticated passing game, and we were going to wheel and deal, and run the Shotgun Offense. That first year we won 4 and lost 6. The next year we started out slow and were only 2 and 2 after 4 games. Now the noose was beginning to get tight around my neck as the alumni was beginning to stir. We knew we were short on talent as compared to some of the other years at Ohio State, but still we were not winning as many games as the Alumni felt we should be winning. We had a staff meeting and started analyzing our personnel. We decided to go back to the old fashion style of football. It was what our players and fans were accustomed to doing. We went back and started running the football more. We won our next six games.
To win in football you must have a good defense, have a sound kicking game, and you have to be able to control the line of scrimmage and to control the football. That is what we started doing. If you take things in that order you can have a successful program. Basically, we would like to have a 60 - 40 Run - Pass ratio. I think you have to be able to throw the football, don't misunderstand me. We know we are going to line up against some teams like USC and Michigan that will not allow us to pound and pound on them. If you can line up and hammer and hammer on teams and win, that is what you should do. But if you expect to win 10 or 11 games a year, like we are expected to do, you had better be able to throw the football. Some teams on our schedule will force us to throw the football.
I said earlier you have to win, but today you have to look good in doing it. Today, we have so many people that are watching us, we know we must look good on the field. We believe in running on and off the field, and keeping the chin strap buckled up, and keeping our jersey in our pants. We want to do the little things well. We want to make a good impression on our fans. If you come to see us practice you will not be very impressed. We are going to work on the fundamentals most of the time. We are not very fancy.
If someone asked me the best thing about Ohio State football I would say this. It is the attitude we take about football. It has been that way every-
where I have coached. We take the attitude the first day of practice that we are going to win. Nothing is going to stop us from winning. It does not make any difference what it is. I do not want to hear any excuses from our staff or players about not having a chance to win. Some of you may say we should win at Ohio State. We are going to win. We tell our players we are not going to give them an easy way out and let them make excuses when we lose. I am a great believer if you give yourself a way out you will not win. We tell our players, "Don't complain about the pain, just show me the baby." Don't worry about the horse going blind, just load the wagon and pull the line." We tell them to get the JOB done. Don't give the players excuses why you lost the ball game. You establish this in the first meeting you have with the players. They do not need to make excuses about the officiating, the bus trip, or anything like that.
At Ohio State we are talking about winning the National Championship. I do not mind telling you this. Some coaches will tell you that you should not talk about winning the National Championship. Hell, at Ohio State we are going to get fired anyway. We want to win the National Championship. That is our goal. I think you are better off aiming at the sky and hitting an eagle, than to aim at the eagle and hit the ground. There is nothing wrong with having a goal to win a Conference Championship, or to win a Bowl Game. Don' t worry about those things that you do not have any control over.
I am a great believer that 95 percent of your players must be good enough so that they will not get you beat. They may not win, but they must not get you beat. There is a very small percentage of your players that are going to be good enough to win a game for you. Those are the players you must build your team around. We can recruit those Blue Chippers. But on any great team, you must have 95 percent of your team that will not get you beat. Then you have to get the ball to the athletes that can win the game for you.
If you do not get anything out of this talk today but this next point, it will be worthwhile. I learned this lesson from Erk Russell when he was the Defensive Coordinator at Georgia.
I was coaching at Kansas at the time. We took our defensive staff and went down to Georgia to see Erk and the JUNKYARD DOGS DEFENSE. We went to the Georgia defensive staff meeting in the morning and watched Erk go over the Stunts and the alignments they were going to run that afternoon in their scrimmage. They ran a wide tackle six on one side and a split six on the other side. Our staff was impressed with what was covered on that chalkboard that morning. We were looking forward to the scrimmage that afternoon.
We went to practice that afternoon and watched the scrimmage. Time after time the Georgia backs ripped big chunks of yards out of the Junkyard Dogs Defense. It was a track meet. The offense went up and down the field as they pleased. That night our staff from Kansas went back to our hotel and talked about what had happened. We were shocked. We did not know what to think. We had heard that Georgia was a good defensive team, but we did not know what to think about that Junkyard Defense.
The next morning we went back over to the football office at Georgia. We went in the defensive office and Erk Russell had written on the Chalkboard in Big Letters. "YOU DON'T JUST PUT IT IN, YOU WORK IT IN." Erk went on to tell our staff that they would work and work on the defense to get it right. It was not long until the Georgia team became a great team. You do not just put something in on offense or defense and just expect it to be good. I believe that. You have to work in into your game plan.
We have four basic running plays that we run 60 % of the time. Our two backs, our fullback and our tailback, run the ball about 600 times per year. Over the years we have averaged over 5 yards per play on these four basic plays. We work on these plays every day. We work on them the first day of practice and we work on them the last day of practice. We are just as guilty as anyone else of going out to practice and getting away from our basic plays. Next year we are going to go back to those four basic plays and stay with them. We are going to play vanilla football next year. We are going to stay with our basic plays. "Don't beat yourself." That is how we are going to attack the situation.
Joe Paterno told me about this next point. Joe does not believe in putting signs up in the locker room. He said if he ever put a sign in the Coaches locker room it would be something like this. "DON'T BITCH ABOUT YOUR PLAYERS, MEN: THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WE HAVE." How many of us are guilty of coming in after practice and telling the other coaches that we can't win with these players. In College Coaching we can't trade, and we can't draft. We better take the players that we have and make the most of them. We better take what we have and work hard and treat them right because they are going to be our bread and butter for a few years. This the way we approach our situation. We do not bitch about our players. We are going to work on the fundamentals. When things go bad we are not going to add new plays. We are going to add more fundamentals.
Today in College Football, most of the time we are facing some type of overshifted defense. Most of the teams we are facing play some type of Eagle Package where they have an over shifted nose man to the strong side. When they do that we do not try to run to the strong side all of the time. The best thing we do is to go to the weakside running game. We like to run the Sprint Draw Weak. We Man up on the defense, and we run the Bounce play to the Weakside. If you have us outnumbered to one side, we are going to have our QB check off and run away from your strength.
The play that we feel we must be able to run against the overshifted defense is our Sprint Draw Weak. It is our 25 Play. We work on this play everyday. The secret on the play is the block on the nose man and backside LB'er. If we can seal the nose man and backside LB'er, our tailback is going to find a crease and go North and South and make things happen. If we get a defense with a nose shaded to the strong side we try to establish our Sprint Draw to the weakside.
We have good offensive linemen at Ohio State. We flip flop our line. We have a Strong side and a Quick side. We feel it cuts down on our teaching time by flipping the linemen. Our Center and St.rong side Guard have the nose and backside LB'er. The Center uses a Bounce Block on the nose man. He tries to get some movement on the nose. The strong side guard comes
over and picks up on the nose. Then one of the two, will come off the nose man and pick up the backside LB'er. If the nose starts fighting to the weakside, or if the LB'er starts playing the play to the weakside, we tell our tailback to cut it back over the center and go on the other side of the block. We tell the tailback to get the ball as deep as he can and then to run to daylight. The first thing we try to do is to run the play over the weakside. He cuts it back if they overplay it.
Our guard and tackle on the Quick side have the LB'er and Tackle. The Fullback has the outside end or LB' er, depending on what you call the outside man on the line. One of our best passes comes off this Sprint Draw action. I will cover that play later.
We spend a lot of time in the bent knee position. We spend a lot of time on the two man Crowther sled. We think that this is the best machine you can have on the field. We probably hit the Crowther Sled more than any other team in the United States. Everyone on our team except the QB hits the Crowther Sled everyday. This comes from the head coach. I learned this from Tommy Prothro of UCLA a long time ago.
The bent knee position is important.
We tell our players to bend the knees. To me this is not coaching. To me I think it is important to tell your players how to bend their knees. How do you bend your knees? How do you get under someone? I drop my pen on the floor here. Now watch how I pick it up. Notice I will not bend my knees. The bent knee position is not natural. We have to work on this position. We use the Two-Man Crowther to teach the bent knee position. We put them in a Quarter Eagle Position. The head is up and the tail is down, and the weight is on the heels. We put them in that position everyday
until the season starts. It takes a lot out of the legs to get into that position everyday. The weight is all on the thighs. If you get your butt up in the air then the weight is not on the thighs and you lose the effect of doing the drill.
We talk to our squad about not having turnovers. The minute our Backs come on the field they have a football under their arm. We want them to squeeze the football. We want them to squeeze the football. They go through drills and they have a football under their arms. Anyone that is going to carry the ball in a game has a football under their arm. Throughout practice the coaches will go up to the backs and try to knock the ball our of the backs hands. We want them to squeeze the football. If the coach knocks the baIlout of the backs hand he will do some up-downs after practice. Now this has not eliminated all of our fumbles in the games but it has helped cut down on the number of our turn overs.
At this time of the year we .. check out a football to each back and receiver. We do not give them the ball, we just check it out to them. We want them to carry that football around with them and get use to it. At night when they are watching TV they can keep the all in their hands. It is the same thing a lot of basketball coaches do. They make their kids take a basketball to bed with them. If that is what it takes, we are going to get them a football to carry around with them. If they wear the football out we will get them another one.
There are times when I think we should take our Tight End and release him down field on the Safety Man. We have the Tight End base up and cut the outside man off. We have seen the back cut it back to the strong side between the tackle and end. So we want the end to base block on the outside. The running back will bend it back and turn it up in the open area. We do not get many long runs on the play, but we do get consistent yardage. There are times when I feel we could break more long runs if we could get that Tight End down field to block the Safety Man.
If we find the defense is moving the Will LB'er outside we will run a basic Isolation play inside to the Weakside. The Fullback leads on the LB'er and we hit it up inside. The play looks like
our 25 Sprint Draw but with a little different blocking.
On our strong side we like to run the Fullback Belly. It is one of the best plays we have. . Our fullback lines up 4 and 1/2 yards deep. The coaching point is to get the fullback to take a short jab step with his lead foot. It is a six inch jab step on that first step. Then he takes a crossover step. He wants to get his shoulders square at about 3 yards in the backfield. We want him as deep in the backfield as possible, but we want his shoulders square. We want to get him the ball in the backfield as deep as possible. We tell him his aiming point is off the inside hip of the offensive tackle. We are going to run off the tackle, but he can cut it back. We run the play so much, if the nose is running to the play, our fullback will cut it back over the center.
Our QB comes out on a Naked Bootleg.
We bring him out to the backside and run a pass playoff this action. We do not throw enough off this action. We will look at it more next year. We use a scoop block on the play. I do not like to use the scoop block low. I wish they would outlaw the scoop block low. A lot of linemen get hurt on the scoop block. That is why we try to stay up on the scoop block. Our Center tries to get in front of the nose man to slow him up. Then the Center slips off on the LB'er. Our
Guard tries to get over on the scoop on the nose. If the center can not get off the nose, the guard gets over and picks up the LB'er. The secret is to hug the nose guard. The Fullback wants to get as close to the nose man as possible before he makes his cut.
I do not know how to stop this next play. It is a good play because it looks so much like our 34 Fullback Belly. We are going to run the Bootleg off the play. If that tackle on the Split End side is in a 5 Technique and does not close down, we run the Fullback on the cutback in that hole. You will be able to see this in the film later. That Tackle can not let the Fullback go on the play. So we run the Bootleg Pass to that side. We run the Split End on the Streak, and the Tight End on a Drag. He will be wide open if the hard corner is staying with the Split End. We can run the Fullback Belly with two Tight Ends. It is a good play to have. You can run the Bootleg with the play.
We run the Tailback Sweep just like everyone else does. It is not a great play for us, but it is a good play. It is hard for us to find an end that can block that outside LB'er. If you can get an end that can block the end, or outside LB'er, it is a good play. In the past we have had the Fullback go block on the LB'er. If we bring our end down on the tackle it will allow our tackle to come off the ball. A lot of teams will play us with a 5 technique and Slant him down inside. If that tackle comes inside, we let our fullback block the slant tackle, and our strong side tackle blocks the LB'er. Our offensive tackle does not have to sit in there and worry about that slant tackle coming down inside. He takes a short step and drives through the breast of the tackle. If the slant tackle comes inside he lets him go. He knows the fullback will pick him up.
If the 5 Technique locks up with our tackle, then the fullback is responsible for the LB' er. We tell the fullback to chop the outside leg of the LB' er . He can go through any opening he sees to get the LB'er.
Out of Split Backs we will use a TED Block on the Tailback Sweep. If we find a 4 Technique tackle that plays us inside, we will base block that play. If the 5 technique tackle is giving us a hard time and we can't handle him, we will change the blocking. We TED BLOCK the play by bringing the TIGHT END DOWN on the tackle. Our tackle will come outside and block on the end. We can do this out of Split Backs. We put the near back on the support. We pull the backside guard and let him turn up to block the LB' er. The Tailback gets the ball at the deepest point possible. His aiming point is a yard outside the defensive end. He will turn up at the first 4 yard crack he can see.
The TED BLOCK is an easy block for the Tight End. When we Ted Block we block low. I do not like the block, but we use it. He can use a reverse Hip Block on the play if he wants.
Off the 48 Play, or Tailback Sweep, we come back with a Naked Bootleg. We assign a person in the Press Box to check out the Trail Man on every play. If the defense does not have a trail man we will run the Bootleg. If we want to throw off the play, we can.
Another play we can run off the Tailback Sweep is the Reverse. Florida State does a great job on this play. We do not run that play enough. One year I was with Bobby Bowden in Japan in an All-Star Game and he wanted to run the Bootleg on the 2 yard line going in for a score. Bobby loves that Bootleg Play.
If the defense lines up and plays us straight we feel we can run our basic offense against them. If the defense starts to gamble and run a lot of stunts then we are going to run more reverses and bootleg type plays. I do not like to call them gadget plays, but we will run those plays to make the defense stay at horne. If we find teams that over pursue the football we are going to run the reverse and the bootleg to slow them down.
I firmly believe in three things you need in your offense to be successful. You need the Power Play, Deception Plays, and some Misdirection Plays. We do run a Counter Sweep Play. It is the same play that the Washington Redskins made a living running. We can run it from the Split Backs Set or from the I Set.
We tell our tackle not to get in a hurry to block the LB'er. He can help the tight end if he stops the tackles charge before he goes to the LB' er. We can change the block of the Fullback to give the playa different look. We can bring the Fullback across the play and get him in front of the play. We call that play 26 Bluff. Now we have an extra blocker on the play. It is the same for everyone else, but now the fullback is to the play side.
There are a lot of different pass patterns you can use off the Counter Sweep Action. The 4gers and the Redskins make a living with these same plays. When the defense starts seeing the fullback coming up in the hole to
block the Strong Safety, the Free Safety comes up to try to make the tackle.
There are a few things you can do to keep the defense off balance. If a defense is playing you with an over shift, you can use two tight ends to force them to balance the defense. If they do not balance up, you can run back to the weaks ide of the defense.
Another thing you can do is to put two tackles on the same side. If you play a team that always sends the strong safety to the strength of the formation, try this. Let the safety go with the tight end a few plays to make sure he is going to the strength of the formation. Then move that tight end on the weakside, and put two tackles on the strong side. NOW, run the Sweep. The defense will not have a strong safety over there. Put two tackles on the same side and put the tight end on the short side and see what happens on the Sweep. You only have to do this one or two times a game. You will have them thinking and the safety will not playas aggressi ve . Now that safety is not only looking at the tight end, he has to look at the strength of the formation. It will slow him down a great deal. Break the huddle and get up to the line and run the play without hesitation. This play is good against teams that run the Outside Veer. It is a good way to keep the defense off balance.
Get into a Wing Set to the Short Side of the field if the defense always puts the Strong Safety to the Wide Side of the field. This will give you a Double Team Block on the Short Side. We use a lot of MOTION to make the secondary adjust. We move the Tight End to make the defense adjust. We must make sure the tight end is set for one full second before the ball is snapped. We control the TEMPO of the game. We can run a Freeze Play to draw the defense off sides. TEMPO is very important to us.
In our Philosophy weare going to have a Pass off each of our Running Plays. We are going to run POWER, DECEPTION, and MISDIRECTION.
OFFENSIVE STRATEGY AND TACTICS
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
Back a few years ago when Lou Holtz was coaching at the University of Arkansas, he ap-
peared on the Johnny Carson Show one night. Lou said, "Fayetteville, Arkansas was not the end of the earth, but you sure could see the end of the earth from there." The next year Lou left Arkansas. I am not going to make any statements about Fayetteville, Arkansas, but I do want to tell you about my encounter today. I left Fayetteville at 6:00 a.m. I got in to Grand Rapids about 5:00 p.m. I have found out that there are no short cuts between Grand Rapids and Fayetteville. When I first got my airplane ticket it first said Fayetteville, North Carolina on it. Not many people can associate the University of Arkansas with where we are located.
I am glad to be here. My experiences with Michigan is limited. This is the first time I have been in the State of Michigan. I have had some associations with Michigan football. In 1975 I coached at Livingston University in Alabama, a Division II school. We played Northern Michigan in the Pioneer Bowl. That was the game before the Division II National Championship. In 1983 when I was coaching at Auburn we played the University of Michigan in the Sugar Bowl. I was impressed with Michigan football with those two teams.
I have spoken less at coaching clinics in the last two years than what I use to speak. I have always had mixed emotions about doing something such as this. I came up through the high school coaching ranks. I feel the best coaches are the high school coaches. I do not like to hire a coach on my staff that has not been a high school coach. I do have one on my staff, but he is there for a special reason. I feel honored to be speaking to you today because most of you here today are high school coaches. How many of you here are college coaches? This is where paranoia comes into effect. One year when I was coaching
at Auburn I was invited to speak at a clinic in Texas. I was very honored and excited about that trip. When I got up to speak I looked down and saw the University Of Texas Staff sitting on the front row. Then I knew why I was invited to speak at that clinic. I assume I am talking to high school coaches today.
I am having to struggle with this lecture because I want to cover the things that you want to hear about. I could stand up here and lecture about the Running Game, Passing Game, or anything that I have had experiences with in my career. If we had a small group I could cover more detail and get into the fine points of football. I have chosen to speak in very general terms in relationship to my topic. I am not sure how some people will respond to my topic, Strategy and Tactics. I am not here to sell you a play, or formation. I want to talk with you about organization. If you are interested in football, then I want to address some issues related to organization. The place to start is to list some objectives for Offensive Football.
2. CONTROL THE OPPONENTS SCORING (A lot of people lose sight of this
3. YOU WANT AN ACCEPTABLE SCORING MARGIN WHEN THE GAME ENDS.
This is real general. All you want to do is have more points than your opponents when the game is over with. Let me tell you a story about the game with Michigan in that 1983 Bowl Game. We had won 11 Games at Auburn that year. We had never won that many games in one season at Auburn. We lost our opening game to Texas. We went on to win the rest of our games and won the SEC Championship. We won the Sugar Bowl game by the skin of our teeth. The day after we got back to Auburn after the Bowl Game I went walking down
town. I was feeling great about the win over Michigan. A car pulled up along the curb and a man in the car started calling me all kind of names. He was very upset with me. I could see that it was an Auburn fan, but could not figure out why he was so upset until I realized we had not beaten the spot on the Bowl Game. That is why he was upset.
It has become a factor for offensive coaches to expect to score a certain number of points in a given game. Offensively you have to deal with this issue. "How many points do you feel you need to score on offense?" You must decided if you are going to try to outscore the opponents by a certain number of points, or if you going to say, "We must score a certain number of points on offense to win. 11 When I was coaching in High School I felt if we could score 17 points we would win 80 percent of the games. When I first started coaching in college 17 points
.would win most games 80 percent of the time. How many of you think 17 points will win the games today? Today it will take 24 points to win 80 percent of the college games. The scoring has gone up for both high schools and college games. At any rate, I think you have to have some objectives on offense as to what you hope to accomplish.
In putting a plan together, you have to know where you are going to arrive. When we played Florida State our Defensive Staff would tell us that they felt we would have to score 40 points or more to win that game. You have to be flexible in your plan that will allow you to score more points. You actually need a play that will allow you to score more points for a given game.
Success over the past years on offense has been the result of two things. One, is use of personnel. This is where I feel the High School Coaches do a better job than the College Coaches do. College coaches can go out and recruit the type of players to meet their needs. High School Coaches must take what they have and work with it. If a 4.9 back is the fastest man you have, then you have to come up with an offense that features a 4.9 running back. The other thing you must do on offense is to attack the defense. You must be able to do these two things and still maintain your philosophy on
offense. Can all of you tell me what your philosophy is on offense? When I interview coaches I always ask them this question. It is so general, it is a BS term. Most coaches will BS about their philosophy. However, somewhere along the line, you have to stand for something. The kids must know what you stand for. Philosophy is your plan to be successful.
Philosophy applied to offensive football comes down to two terms. Those two terms are STRATEGY AND TACTICS. I will define these two terms. Strategy is the design and distribution of your offense to gain advantage of the defense to reach your objectives. Tactics is the implementation of your strategy in a game situation. Let me put it to you this way. What you do on the Chalk Board, and what you talk about with your players and coaches, primarily is the teaching aspects of the puzzle. This would include the things you are going to do against the defense and the plays you plan to run against that defense. Tactics is taking the plan and going on the field with it.
Over the years I have studied a lot of offensive coaches. Some of them are very good on the chalkboard, they always have an answer. Some coaches very seldom try to gain the advantage in the meeting room or when they go to the field. But they are hard to beat because they do the right things at the right time. They do not try to out smart you. They do the right things at the right time. I categorize coaches as to being a Strategist or a Tactician. I would prefer to be considered a Tactician than a Strategist. That is why I do not come up here and draw up a lot of plays. It is simply, I1Who Has The Chalk Last.11 We could have one speaker get up and sell his offensive package to most of you in this room. The next speaker could get up here and beat everyone of you with his defense. We could give the chalk back to the offensive coach and let him make a few adjustments and he could tear the defense up again. I think you must have a Strategy. However, I feel you must work your Strategy through a Tactical application of that Strategy in a game. This is where I think a lot of coaches make mistakes. Those coaches that make these mistakes lose a lot of games. The coaches that win consistently are
those coaches that are able to apply t.hat; strategy and get their points across.
I want to talk about Strategy first.
Let's take the word Advantage. Let me give you some ideas about gaining an advantage. When you have a team meeting, or a discussion on the field with your team or squad members, you need to let them know what their advantage is. You need to give them a reason why they have the advantage. Nothing can motivate a team more than going to play, or going to the line of scrimmage, and they know what their advantage is. It is not because "if the coach calls the right plays we will win." You will have a problem if they think you are going to win just by the plays the coach calls. If they know what their advantage is, and because they know the game plan and the advantages of the plan, you can make adjustments. You can talk with them at half time and tell them why the plan is working or why it is not working.
The first point on advantage is NUMBERS. Talk to them about having the Numbers Advantage. Create a system that is understandable that will give you a numbers advantage. When you put your offense together you can find a lot of offenses that will give you an advantage numbers wise. I am sure you have looked at the 6 man side and the 5 man side against a balanced front. There are a lot of number situations that you can come up with that will give you an advantage on offense.
The next advantage we look for relates to ANGLES. If you can build your offense around a blocking scheme that gives your blockers an angle, it will give them an advantage. If they have to block the man head up all of the time, it will be hard to gain an advantage. If you have a wide receiver where the defense is playing Man to Man on him, and they line up two yards inside the receiver, the angles to the outside are to our advantage. We like to go back and check to see if we have the advantage with our angles. We look for the advantage on blocking angles.
Next we talk about GRASS. Let me tell you how I found out this is important. Every year that I have been coaching I have been a part of those famous four hour fights that go on in the meeting room about the splits between the cones when we run the
OKLAHOMA DRILL or the 3 ON 3 DRILL. Every coach knows how important it is to have as much, or as little, spacing between the cones. We are conscious about the splits. Sometimes, when we put an offensive plan together we forget how important Grass is, or how important the spacing is for our offense .. If the ball gets in an area with a lot of room, you do not have to block everyone in that area. Some teams may not agree with this, but let me tell you this. You take an inside LB' er and let him line up with the Tailback. Give that Tailback a 6 yard head start on the Toss Sweep and let him turn up on the outside and see if .you have to block that LB' er. Now, it does not have to make sense on the board if it makes sense on the field. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of plays that have a chance, because it does not make sense on the board.
The last point is DECEPTION. Now, this is something you can not draw up on the chalkboard either. Deception does not always work against the average teams, or the inferior teams. But against the good football teams or teams that are equal to you, and the team that reads the keys, you can use deception. Now you can run the Screens, and Draws, and the Reverses. There is one thing you can do on the sideline to cause your players to respond to what you do, and that is deception. Most of the things you do to help your football team win a game, happens way before you get to the game. "What Can You Do At The Game To Help Them Win?" You want them to be able to say, "Coach Did His Part To. Get Us Ready To Win!" This is what you can do for them. Always keep them where they have an advantage. Gi ve them Numbers, Angles, and Grass Advantages, and a few Deceptions that let them know you are keeping up with the game and that you are going to make the right call for them. The momentum plays pick teams up. Certain Plays will give teams momentum. We had Florida State beat a few years ago until he ran that fake punt play on us. It gave them momentum. We beat them every way but in the score that day, but he had a play that gave his team the momentum. He is the best there is when it comes to deception.
Those are the areas that we talk about when we start telling our players that we have an advantage. We have
some different tools we can use in applying these advantages. One is Formation. Other points to consider include Blocking Schemes, Backfield Action, and Pass Protection and Pass Routes. You can get the general idea what I mean here. These are all the things that you can put together and you can change, to form an offensive plan. The best way to be successful is two fold. It comes from one of two things. Teams that are successful on Offense are better for one of two reasons. They do things better I or they do things different. At this time it look's like the Run and Shoot Offense has the upper hand. It will not last long. The cycle will catch back up, and something else will be popular. As soon as we can start recruiting some LB'ers that can keep up with their 135 pound, 4.4 Fly Backs they have over there we will be ok. It was like the Wishbone. Those small defensive backs could not handle those big Wishbone backs. Now they can't handle the fast, split receivers and backs in the Run and Shoot.
If you are going to do something better than someone it is going to be because you have better tal.ent, or you execute better. If you execute better, it is because you get repetitions. To get repetitions you have to be simple. You have to do things over and over. You have to keep the enthusiasm of tne kids going at the same time.
Then you have to create a different look. On the College scene at the time, the best thing is to have a lot of Format;ions , and a few plays" We have a .. l.ot of formations and a few pl.ays. You can work plays over and over and over. You do not have to work Formations over and over. Once you assign an alignment they can remember that alignment. If you install a package with a lot of formations, you must teach the players the different alignments and they will be able to figure out your formation.
It is interesting to me to watch two kinds of coaches. We have one coach that always wants to be in .the same formation. Coach Bobby Bowden is that way. Some coaches like to have a simple formation where they can stand on the sideline and know where everyone should be on each play. When I coached the Wishbone and called the offense I was that way. If we moved around on offense it forced the de-
fense to move and then I had a hard time of trying to figure out what they were doing on defense. NOw, whb have you made it simple for? YOU? Is that a good reason? I do not think so.
When we went to Multiple Formations it caused us to use more coaches in press box during the game. We had more things to keep up witn in the game with all of our formations. We had to drill our coaches on what to look for on each play. We would script 11 plays for each' game. Then we had four people in the press box that were accountable for" knowing what happened on those plays. We had to gather the information during tnegame. It did not create a burden fort;he players, but our coaches had to know what we were looking for. But we feel this is the way to develop strategy and ways to gain an advantage.
I will leave you one more idea about being different. If you can run on the secondary and pass over the LB'ers, it will make it a lot easier to move the ball on the other plays. If you can get the runners through to the secondary, and you can get the ball over the LB'ers, you are creating an advantage on offense. This is easy to say, and hard to do. This is where the Vertical. Passing Game, and the Play Action Passes with Crossing Routes comes into play. Those prin..,.. ciples have worked for a long time and they will continue to work.
I want to stop and give you a chance to ask some questions. I had a person that promised me he would ask me a question when we started ou.t, but I see he has left now. I know you have some questions after I have covered a lot of material. It makes sense if we can have some examples of what I am talking about. I would rather use your examples tnan my examples.
Let's talk about TACTICS, which is the implementation of that Strategy. We start with Formations. Lets look at the advantages of a Wide Forrnation. This formation has three indicators that the defense w~llrespond to. One is the Run Streak which is to t.he Tight End side. Two is the Pass Streak. which is to the Two Receiver side. Three, is the Set' To .The Field. You have everything you can have to control the defense with. How successful you are going to be will depend on you ability to run the football to their A and B Gaps to the Short side. You do not
really have to run the Option, but you must be able to run some plays successful to the Weak Side.
What do we have with Two Tight Ends?
We have four gaps that the defense has to be responsible for on both sides of the ball. For the defense to stop the I Formation from this look it has to get into an 8 Man Front. You have to make them get into the 8 Man Front. If they stay in a 7 Man Front they will have 4 to one side and 3 men to the other side. You have to attack the 3 Man Side. You may have to. take 4, 5, or 6 people and go get those 3 defenders. They will do something to move the Secondary up on the line, or make other adjustments with the secondary to help on the short side.
Tactics! Let me cover some points here. The first point I wrote down was try to Score. If you had a close game in the first three games of the season last year where you could have won or lost the game in the last minute of the game, raise your hand. I expected a lot more hands. I expected to see a large number of hands. How many of you, in the first half of the season, were in that situation, offense or defense? Now we are getting most of you involved. How many of you did not have any games like that? The point I am trying to make is this. In my experiences in coaching I have found at least 3 games a year where the outcome of the game is not decided until the last minute of the game. I tell our QB that I will buy him a malt if we don't have at least 3 of those close games. Then I start telling him about the things to expect in those three games. I tell him what it means to our team to win one of those games. Then I ask him if he knows what it would do to us if we lost one of those close games.
You need to know what plays you are going to run in those close si tuations. That is where coaches make a big mistake. They do not spend enough time on those situations where they must have a play that they know will work. How many passes do you have that are good inside the 10 yard line? You have the ball on the 18 yard line and it is the last play of the game; what do you run? How many of you know what you would run? There comes a time when you have several choices on play selection. Any choices that you have made in the past can help you in making
a choice in that situation. It can get you closer to winning. However, it must be decided on before the situation develops.
Field Position. Do you run the same play on 3rd and 8 on the Minus 10 yard line as you do on the Plus 10 yard line? GOOD! One year I had a young coach calling the plays for our team. We were on the Minus 20 yard line and he called a Tight End Delay Pass Play over the middle. How many of you in this room would have said something to that coach about that call?
A lot of my ideas came from Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. I am from Alabama. Most of the ideas that came from Coach Bryant came from General Neyland. There are a lot of general rules that have to do with football related to the Field Position that just make things work better for you. Daryl Royal of Texas came to our High School Clinic last year to speak. I like to do that with our clinic. I bring in one of the old coaches that have been through all of the ups and downs. I asked Coach Royal to tell us the number one thing that he would change that he sees from the game today. This is what he said. "Coaches have forgotten Field Position Football. They give in to the need to do something else in their game plan or their strategy and they forget Field Position Football."
Every place I have ever been I have approached the game from a Field Position relationship. When I was old enough to remember about Field Position I was at Alabama. I went into Coach Bryant's Staff Meeting Room and saw an old chart on Field Position. Now we were in a new meeting room, but this picture was stained it was so old. It looked as if the chart was made in 1920. This told me something. The chart must be important if it has been moved around from building to building. It was a diagram of a football field that came from General Neyland.
The Chart had a Line at each of the 35 yard lines. It had a line at each 10 yard line. It had a line at the Minus 5 yard line. It had the Zone listed by the type of plays to run in each zone. It had a 4 Down Zone, a Free Wheeling Zone, and a 3.Down Zone. The players knew that this chart stood for something very important because it had withstood the test of time. That was the way Coach Neyland coached football! That was the way Coach
Bryant coached football! That was the way Coach Royal coached football! That was the way Frank Broyles coached football! THAT IS THE WAY JACK CROWE COACHES FOOTBALL! Where we are on the field makes the decision as far as play selection goes. Now, that young coach that called the play over the middle on the Minus 20 yard line knows you do not throw the ball in the middle of the field from the Minus 20 yard line.
Earlier we talked about Controlling The Score. If you throw the ball over the middle down there you are controlling the scoring of your opponent. Down there our objective is to get two first downs and get the bailout of there. When we get outside of the 35 yard line we will open up. If you do not do things right backed up behind the 30 yard line it will take you out of the games. Don't do anything in that area that will take you out of the game.
How many QB's know how to throw the ball into the End Zone? Some QB's can not throw the ball when they get into that restricted area. If you work on the situations down at the goal line it will help a lot more when they get into the game. You need to give the QB's some time to develop some skills on their own on the goal line. Throwing the ball on the goal line is an art in itself. They can work on this alone. They can take some trash cans and set them up in the end zone and throw the pass routes to those trash cans. They can set up a trash can and run the Fade Route and drop the ball into the trash can. It takes some skill to work on this drill. He can move the trash can to the four areas of the field and practice his throws. Then he can turn the trash can down on its side where it is looking at you. You can have him Sprint out and throw the ball in the trash can. Once you start throwing in the end zone, the passing game changes. You have to develop a package of pass routes for the 8 to 10 yard line going into the end zone. Most passes in the end zone will be to a spot in the end zone. The location the pass is thrown is very important in this area. You teach the players to know what they are going to do in the end zone. Your situation may come down to the last play of the game where you are on the 6 yard line. YOU ARE GOING TO THROW THE BALL, AREN'T YOU? Is everyone in here going to
throw the ball in this situation? If you don't throw the ball in that situation you will get a lot of BOO's from the stands. What is that going to do for your team in that situation? It can make a difference in winning and losing.
Let me talk about psychological factors. You control, more than anyone else at that ball game, the psychological factors of your players. I guess basketball teaches this more than any other sport. If you will watch our basketball team you can see what I am talking about. All that our basketball staff want to do is to make sure the game is at a 1 point difference at the last shot, and they want to have control of the ball for that last shot. Sometimes I think they would prefer to be one point behind than to be one point ahead as they come down for that last shot. I say this just because of the psychological factor involved. He has to be planning what his next move will be if he makes or misses the basket.
I have heard Bobby Knight say the most important time in a game is the first 5 minutes of each half, and the last 2 minutes at the end of the game. You have to plan those time periods. What are you trying to do in those three time frames? One team is trying to gain MOMENTUM. How do you do this in a football game? Do you come out and run a reverse on the first play of the game? Do you come out and try to get a first down on the first series? You must tell your players what your plan is to gain Momentum. What is your plan in the second half?
What are we trying to do in those three time frames? We are trying one of three things. One is trying to GAIN MOMENTUM. The second thing is to KEEP MOMENTUM. The third thing would be to CHANGE MOMENTUM. In your strategy plan a play that will change Momentum in each of those situations. Talk to your players about these situations and work on them in practice.
I want to open up this last part of the lecture to any questions. If you will get me a football up here I will show you how we pitch the ball on the option. Thank you very much.
THE RUN AND SHOOT ATTACK
DARREL "MOUSE" DAVIS
Thank you gentlemen. It is good to be here to share some football with you. When you go into
a program there are a couple of different ways a coach can handle building the program. The coach can get together with his staff and organize the program as a Staff, or the Head Coach can decide how to organize the program. He makes all the decisions. The assistant coaches get the knowledge on a "need to know" basis. In which case the assistant coach is no longer a coach. He is a mechanic. He takes the wide receiver and works on his techniques. But he doesn't make any decisions on personnel or what routes to run. I think the higher the level the more mechanics you have and the fewer coaches. I think there are more coaches in the High School level than there is at the Pro level.
I am going to get into an overview of what we have used over the years in our program. I will go fast and not spend much time on one area. Over the years we have tried to sell our program this way. We include all of our coaches in this thinking process. We feel there are three areas to concentrate on. Those three areas are Rapport, Realistic Evaluations, and Selling The Team On What We Are Doing. This is where we start from as a staff.
Let's take an item and discuss it in these terms. How do you build mora1e? You do that with your coaching staff. One way to build pride is to continually talk to your team about pride. We have a variety of things we talk about that instills pride. Pride in past winners is one way. If you are not past winners, then you talk about developing winners. We develop things so that on a particular day we are going out as a staff and talking to our players about one single idea everywhere on that practice field. We talk about pride in individual group chalk talks. We take the first 2 to 10 minutes of the chalk talk to talk about nothing but pride. We talk in our individual groups, our offensive
and defensive groups and our team periods. Everywhere that player goes he is getting the same message.
We have 12 areas each spring that we try to develop in our players. One of those areas we work on is quickness. How do you sell that to your players? There are key areas to be sold which starts with the coaches solidified on psychological thinking. Let' sta.ke quickness. That is an attitude. There are quick guys, but quickness. is an individual attitude. There are two ways to think. If you think you had too many sausages last night, which I did, you will be slow and sluggish. But if you think about being fired up and get all excited, you can change your entire mental attitude about quickness. That is what you must do in coaching. We take a key word and stress that key word in practice each day. If it is important for you to work on it, you must stress the area you want to improve. You have to be quick putting on your helmet or tying your shoes. You have to stay on them and make them think it is important to do everything Quick.
Whatever you try to sell to your kids, you have to solidify your staff on as well. Everything you sell your players on, is what they do. It better be important to you. Your kids can learn anything and develop any kind of attitude that you want them to develop. The things they can't do are the things you can't teach them. They can do anything that you know and believe in.
The chalk talk is important. Take kids into the locker room and get on an individual basis with them. Solidify what you believe in. Don't just fly by the seat of your pants. Have a plan for the psychological thinking that you plan to transfer to your players. Develop your program from a good, sound plan for everything.
Included in our second level of building a program is our Goal Setting, Mental Concentration, Execution, and Believing in Success.
Mental Concentration is a thing you get from simply talking about it. In our whole offensive approach we are obsessed with Execution. Our players hear that so much during the course of a season because it is important for us. We are not going to be smarter than the defense. We tell our players that the defensive coaches are smarter than we are. They are better prepared and really understand the defense. However, we are going to execute our offense and take advantage of the weakness of the defense. We are not going to take advantage of the players, but the defensive scheme. We tell our players the defensive coaches are better coaches than we are and it is up to them to execute. They are told if they execute there is no defense that can keep us out of the end zone. We will be producti ve . This is what you are supposed to do on offense. We know that every defense has a weakness. We take advantage of that defense. You can not execute if you only think football on the field. We sell a kid on how important it is to think football off the field. On an on going basis you must have a plan. You must have a plan for visualization and study. The higher the level of play the more you have to do it. Players become pros because they are extremely talented. Their asses will be on the street because they don't think about football off the field enough. Everyone at the pro level is good. It is the people who can execute who stay. Everything is relative. The game is not any different at any level. At some levels it can become more sophisticated because of the amount of time you have to Spend with the players.
We think coaching principles are important. We want to make sure every coach is doing his level best to have good rapport with his players. When the coach has great rapport with his players he can sell them better. Every coach does it his own way, but he has to keep the ultimate purpose in mind. That is to win football games. This is a crappy profession if you don't win. The coach has to be himself but he has to keep the ultimate goal in mind at all times.
We run the absolute best offense in America. I believe on the high school and college level it is unstoppable. With a very average football team we
were the 3rd best in the NFL in scoring average. That is not very good if you are a losing team. But as far as offensive production we were good. We are going to sell to our players our past results on offense, and how our plan is going to be a great offense. I believe the number one guy on a football team is the Quarterback. After that we want to load up the defense. You win games with defense. If I were coaching high school football, the first person I would get would be a Quarterback, a Single Back, and a Receiver. After that I would fill out the defense with the best players left on.the team. To do that you have to have a realistic evaluation of your personnel. Make it a total staff effort and get all of your coaches involved. Get the position coaches to play an important part in the selection and evaluation of your team. That is all I wanted to talk about in the overview of some of our thoughts as to building a program.
Now let me get to "The Run And Shoot Offense. " To run this offense you have to be in a position to understand what some people think about you. To run this offense you have to be extremely flexible. A lot of defensive coaches think we are screwed up. There are a lot of things they don't know. I do not give a crap if anyone runs this offense or not. I think it is best that they don't run it. However, if you want to run the best offense in America, I will show you what we do. I want to gi ve you something that will be of value to you. I will go over a couple of plays and go through them so you can get something out of them even if you are running the outdated Two Back Offense.
What I normally do is to go over what the QB does with the football first. Today I will take that more into the confines of the play. I think the QB techniques are the most important aspect of this offense. You can't run the Run and Shoot without spending time with the QB. You have to make the QB the MAN. You have the QB in your school. He may not be out for football. You may have to go get him out of the halls of your school, but he is there. You don't need a fast kid to play QB in the Run and Shoot. That is a myth. You do not need a fast QB to run this offense. You need a QB that can throw the football. Mobility
is not important. They told us we couldn't run this offense with Jim Kelly because he was not mobile. We ran it and he was great at it. Kelly had a great arm, a super touch, and was a hell of a kid, with the mentality of a linebacker. If anything we want the QB to slow down. We don't want him sprinting to the corner. We are a controlled roll team. We don't want our QB thinking Pass-Run. We want him thinking Pass-Pass-Pass-Pass. We only run the QB after all the options have broken down.
The first play I want to cover is the Screen. We can run this play against any de f en s i.ve+Look . Some line coaches have a tough time running this play because they are so locked in to the Drop Back Game. This is a Quick Screen where the offensive line does not have to hang up the defensive linemen. If they hang on the line we block them. We prefer to run this play away from corner support or force. That is why we like to run it away from motion. This is a better play in both high school and college because of the rules for offensive linemen on a pass thrown behind the line. The offensive linemen can go up field.
The offensive tackle sets up like he does on a Sprint Right. However, he sets up in a position to get beat by the defensive end. If the end is inside he sets outside. If the end is outside he sets inside to get beat quickly by the end. The tackle lets the end go and gets 4 yards up the field. He blocks from level 2 back to level 1. We are looking for the LB' er. If the LB' er is locked on the fullback, the tackle cuts him down if he can. If the LB'er drops across the tackles face or dogs, the tackle looks to the Nose guard in a spy technique or the backside LB' er. If there is an all out blitz and there is not a one on one block, the tackle works up field always looking inside. The guard is going to do the same thing the tackle did. If the LB'er comes on a blitz he bumps him. His job is to block the first outside force. He does the same thing the tackle does except he blocks outside instead of inside. The center wants the nose guard to take the gap away from the play. We want the center to set hard to the front side. If the nose guard is coming hard to the front side, the center jams him and comes off his butt. When we coach what we
call butt-to-butt we are talking about a technique for our linemen. We want the center and guard to go off the butt of the defensive end and outside the butt of the offensive tackle. It they can remember butt to butt they will never take a defensive man to the ball. As the center gets to the outside his first responsibility is to the inside. If there is nothing coming he looks outside. But we want him working up the chute. We want to work inside out building a wall on the inside.
Our Fullback is called the S-Back.
He has the first outside rush man. He jams the rusher and turns the same way the rusher is coming to a spot about 1 to 1 and 1/2 yards outside of where the offensive tackle was aligned. When the S-Back catches the ball he turns and goes straight up the field. He wants to get into the chute where the tackle is blocking in, and the guard is blocking out. After he gets there he is on his own. If there is nothing there he just runs. That happens a lot. The first thing they do is get too far outside and out of the chute.
The QB comes out deep facing the onside. He has to sell the Out Cut first. He has to do that with his eyes. If the defensive end and LB'ers are reacting to the play too quickly, the culprit is the QB not selling the play. The QB has to surprise the defensive end or LB'er with the ball. That is the way we describe getting the ball to the S-Back. We want the ball dumped to the back without the defensive player being able to knock the ball down. We tell the QB that no matter how many ways we set up the play in practice, it is never the same in a game. He is playing QB because he is a good athlete. he has to get the ball to the S-BaCk some way.
0 00 0
X 0 Z
~ Let's talk about some things that can happen. If the defensive end lines up heads up on the tackle and doesn't rush, we lose the tackle block
down field. If the defensive end is working outside, the tackle takes him out. The same thing could happen with the nose guard. That is generally where this happens. If the nose guard doesn't come, the center blocks him on the line and doesn't pull. We had teams who full blitzed us and played the defensive end and nose guard on the line. We lose the tackle and center and run a One Man Screen with the Guard and S-Back. If the scheme is a full 7 man blitz, the Guard will probably be blocking the corner blitz man.
If the defense comes with a full blitz and the outside LB'er squats on the S-Back and tackles him, the QB has to bail us out. He should have the corner running on air. He has to make the playa run. He still has a play off the screen.
We run the same play to the X-End or Split End. The onside tackle takes a set step before going up field. That allows the guard to get flatter and quicker into his blocking responsibility. The X-End takes a drive step up field. The QB is rolling away from the X-End. The X-End has to find the passing lane for the QB. He can see the rush lanes of the defense. He has to adjust to give the QB somewhere to throw the ball. If the backside rushers are flat, the X End has to get deeper. If one man stays flat and the other comes up field, he has to get between them to create the lane. The QB has his back to the rushers and can't see them. He is taking three steps and turning back to find the lane of the X End. The line blocking stays the same for the guard and center. The tackles block is delayed for a count.
We can also run the same screen to the Wing Back or the Y Receiver. They are the Slot Backs in the Set. We run toward or away from them and throw the Screen. When we throw this Screen the action of the QB is like he is throwing to the S-Back.
Even against a Zone Defense you .are still OK with this play. You can even
be a straight drop back team and run this play. We played Minnesota twice last year. In the first game we ran this Screen very effectively against them. The second time around they ran our Screen Play against us for over 150 yards. They are a basic drop back team. When we run this play vs. a Zone Coverage, the receivers are taking the top off the coverage. That means they are running deep with no blocking assignments. If we ran motion into the set and the defense ran an extra zone man across the motion, we would go to the backside with the Screen. We would not run the play into people that we don't have men to block with. Our Wing, X, Y, and Z have no blocking responsibility until the top of the coverage breaks down and then comes back to attack the ball. Their job is to run off the defensive backs.
If the outside LB' er squats and doesn't rush the QB, we have a problem. The S-Back reads the No rush, he drives two steps to the outside and comes back inside. Hopefully the guard can kick the LB'er out. We have a bad play. If the outside LB'er squats like that all the time, we have what we want. We have no pressure on the QB and we can throw the ball. The play takes a great deal of heat off your QB. Teams that like to blitz against us are in trouble. Last year in the entire 16 game season we have 15 blitzes against us. The defenses were squatting on us. When they do that we are forced to pass. We were not real fast so we didn't get the big play because of the separation we got between backs and receivers.
Let me take you through a pass play that you can use regardless of the type of offense you are running. First, let me tell you some general information about our Sets. Our Receivers are X and Y for the two Split Ends. The Slot Backs are called Wing and Y Backs. The Wing Back lines up on the same side as X does. The Y Back lines
up with the Z Back. We call all of our formations with motion. If the wing is going in motion to the right or left we call a three letter word. To the Right is Rip and the Left is Liz. The Y receiver has a four letter word. To the right is Rose and to the Left is Load. We have other motion schemes but I do not have time to get into them.
The first call we make is the Motion Call. The next thing we call is the Direction of the QB. If we have a 60 Call the QB motion is to the right. A 61 call would go to the left. We also have to call the direction of the Single Back and the line.
In our blocking assignments we are very simple. If you are not simple, there will be a lot of mistakes made. We number the defensive alignments 0, 1, 2, and 3. The blocking assignment is simple. Block your numbers. The uncovered linemen sets onside and blocks backside if his man doesn't come. If you are going to block the Sprint game, start with the Man Principles for the blocking scheme. If you don't you will get your ass sacked a lot from the backside. Always start with Man Principles and go to Zone. You can not block either Man or Zone totally. If a team goes into an alignment where the guard and tackle is covered with aLB' erin the gap between the guard, we block big on big. If we applied the rules, the guard would block number 1, the tackle takes number 2, and the Single Back blocks number 3. That puts Barry Sanders on a Defensive End. That is a mismatch. We make a call and block Big on Big and let the back take the LB'er or the Nickel Back if he comes on the blitz.
B2 1 3 T E
Another situation we have to handle is the reach of the offensive tackle. We tell him how far he can widen before he comes back inside. The S-Back is told that the tackle is never wrong.
If the tackle is never wrong with his block the S-Back operates off the man the tackle blocks and reacts to the proper man. We coach the tackle on the outside reach but we don't give him a call to tell the S-Back what he is doing. If you give him a Call, you give him an excuse for a mistake. The S-Back has to pick up whoever the tackle doesn't pick up.
This offense keeps the offensive linemen in a simple blocking scheme where he is not prone to make mistakes. If anyone tried to play an 8-Man Front on us, we would want to try to block it. We block the ball before they get there. We block the front side and let the guys come off the backside. We are going to throw the ball before they get there. We block 7-Man Fronts but not 8-Man Fronts. We pray for the 8-Man Front.
The Passing Game has to be designed to run against 5 basic defenses. The 3 Deep Zone, 2 Deep Zone, 2 Deep with Man Under, Man-Free, and 4 Across Man Blitz are the schemes we have to attack.
Let's start with the 3 Deep Zone.
We tell our slot as he comes in motion he has to be 3-5 yards outside the onside slot back. We tell the motion man if the DB stays and doesn't follow him it is a 3 Deep Zone. When the ball is snapped the Motion Back is tight to the LOS and under control. We don't run Motion fast. He drives up the field and his point of departure is at the outside shoulder of the Strong Safety. If the Strong Safety continues to slide outside the Motion Man stays in the seam. An important thing here is a Coaching Point about our routes. Some of our routes are Field Routes which are run off the boundary numbers, or hash marks. Some of our routes are Covered Routes which are run off the coverage we are getting. This play is a coverage route. This route is almost impossible to stop on the high school or college field. On the pro field everyone is almost set in the position that he has to cover at the snap of the ball. The wide side in the college and high school game is where the holes are. The X and Z receivers run the 3-Deep Coverage up the field with Go Routes. The Onside Slot take a juke step to the inside for timing purposes. He runs a route that builds up to 5 yards in depth. He doesn't line up the field because
the inside LB'er can pick him up. He breaks into the flat area as he would if he were swept out with a broom. This gives a steady read for the QB. We want to read the Strong Safety. If the Strong Safety continues to the outside, the ball is thrown to the seam to the Motion Man. If the Strong Safety jams the Motion Man coming up field, the ball goes to the flat. If the Strong Safety hangs deep, the ball goes to the flat. If the Strong Safety jams the Motion Man and the LB' er runs to the flat and gets on top of the receiver we have to go to a secondary pattern. The key to this is the QB. If he comes out beyond 5 yards, shuffles or pumps the ball, the receivers go to their secondary routes. The motion route comes back across the Free Safety because he will over rotate in his coverage. The flat route turns up the field as his secondary route. Start teaching secondary routes no later than the first day of practice. The secondary route has to be part of the play. It has to be second nature for the receivers and QB. There has to be somewhere to go with the ball from the Get-Go when the primary routes break down. The seam route is usually thrown on the third step. Do not try to throw the ball up the seam after five steps by the QB. If you throw it up the seam after 5 steps, it will be intercepted or the receiver will get his jock knocked off. If the ball is thrown up the seam after 5 steps it has to be a Secondary Route.
Let's take the same route against the 2 Deep Zone. Our first key is the Nickel Back on the Onside Slot. If he doesn't bump over with the motion, we run the motion half way between the Z and Y receiver and get him uncovered 95 percent of the time. If you think they are going to bounce the coverage to the motion, it always doesn't
happen. Some times they want to rush the Nickel Back off the corner. If they don't bump over we take the completion that the defense gives us. When the Nickel bounces to the motion we go back to our original read against the 3 Deep. The motion is working on the 3 to 5 step. Drop of the QB. The Slot Back runs his pattern like the 3 Deep Pattern. This pattern will work against all coverages, but you have to run it again and again to get the proper reads from the QB and receivers.
When you run against a 2 Deep Zone there are two ways to read the defense. Most of the time in high school and college we read the play Outside-In. We read the corner first. The reason for that is the fact that we have more true "rolled corners". They will jam and hold in their area. What we see in the pros however, regardless of the coverage, is this. If the split receivers goes deep the corner goes with him. But if you are reading the corner, when he goes back, we throw the ball to the flat. If he rolls to the flat we throw the ball outside to the split receiver. The QB delivers the ball on the 3rd or 5th step. If the corner runs off with the split receiver and the nickel back jumps the flat after a bump on the motion, we have to go to the secondary route by the motion man. He is facing a Half-Field Safety. he has to know that. When the motion man doesn't get the ball on the 3rd step or the 5th step, he looks at the safety. If the Safety Man is right in his face, the receiver runs the post. He beats the Safety through the hole in the middle of the field. If the motion man runs his pattern and the safety is a damn mile on top, he breaks his pattern off into the middle short.
The majority of the time we read this defense from the Inside-Out. Don't
try to teach the QB both ways. He will never learn it. We read the Nickel Back. The read is closer to the QB and the only thing that can really hurt the play is the rolled up corner smashing the receiver as he is catching the ball.
Against Man-Free Coverage the defense can't stop this play. We bring the motion tighter and closer together with our receivers. We want the motion tighter because we may get a natural pick. We don't work on picks. We work on beating the coverage. If it is the coverage you are trying to defeat you can be successful. Picks are illegal and it gets the kids into bad habits. The people who end up being picked are the defensive back on one another. We don't work on receivers picking defensive backs. We run our patterns from tight alignments and let the defensive back pick one another off. The receiver doesn't know from the look whether it is Zone or Man Coverage until he runs his pattern. He has to drive at his man and get him out of the back peddle. The same principles hold true in every route we run. When we get a Man look from the defense there is no read for the QB. You give the QB the sequence you want him to throw to . We generally go flat, to man under, to up on top, to secondary route, and then run with the ball. Against Man-Under the QB will get a lot of Run Options. If you have a Z Receiver who can run 4.3 for the ~O yard dash, he becomes the 2nd option. There is no sequence that you have to stick to. You and the QB make that decision. The QB is ultimately going to make the decision, but there is something good about QB' s. They always do what you tell them to do. In Canada we had a great Flanker. That was the first choice when we got the Pressed Coverage.
The next defense I want to cover is Man 4 Across Blitz. The first thing we want to dO'is snap the ball so the receivers are in tight alignment. The QB knows the backside is coming free and he has to get rid of the ball. If no one comes open the QB has to do something. He can pump the ball. That gives him the secondary routes immediately. When the slot running the flat sees the pump he breaks his pattern off and goes up the field. The QB can try to wait for someone to uncover but he knows the backside seventh man is coming free. He has to get the ball off.
A coaching point about the S-Back is his blocking rule. When we get ManFree or 2-Deep Man Under, we want our S-Back to. secure the contain if no one comes for him to block. Most of the time in those defenses everyone is in coverage except the down rushers. We want the S-Back to secure the corner so the QB can get outside and run the ball. His general rule for. blocking is to turn back inside to the ball if no one comes from the outside. That gives the QB somewhere to go with the ball if he can't find a receiver.
In the game of football I believe the high school coaches do the best job of coaching QB's, and Receivers than anyone else. That is where they get all their habits. Also, they are the guys who read about attitudes and motivation. You develop those things in your athletes. When we get them they are either great players that are highly motivated, or they are players who are a pain in the ass, that have a great deal of ability. We would like to have the players with the great attitudes and with great ability. High School Coaches are the ones who are producing the players for us. That means you are doing all of the coaching. You are not the mechanics. You are the coaches. My hat is off to you. Coaching Football is a great profession. Enjoy the level that you are coaching at. I have enjoyed being with you. Thank you very much.
NEW RUN AND SHOOT TRENDS
GEORGETOWN COLLEGE, KENTUCKY
When you speak at a clinic such as this it is hard to decide what topics everyone wants to
hear about. We do not have any secrets. Most coaches want to see plays and you want ideas that will fit into your system. A lot of coaches want to see just what other teams do. I will try to share as much as possible in the time I am allotted. We do have a free clinic of our own in March. That clinic is strictly on our system. In the short time I am allotted today, I will only be able to scratch the surface. I will try to give you a brief overview of our Philosophy and Run And Shoot Offense. We are not the typical Run And Shoot Football Team. We are not the Detroit Lions, the Silver Streak, or the University of Houston type of offense. We have been a Wishbone team for a number of years. I came to Georgetown College in 1981. At that time it may have been the worse College Football Program in the USA. We brought in 92 freshmen and had a long way to go in our program.
In 1985 we went to West Point and spent some time with Coach Jim Young. We came back from West Point and installed a true Wishbone Triple Option Package into our Offensive System. We started getting the corner turned in our program. We started winning some games. We finally started moving the football. Before we had been known as a Defensive Football Team, and as a team with good Special Teams.
In 1987 we went to the Wishbone Triple Option and we won enough games to get our School into the Playoffs for the first time in history. Again, in 1989 we were in the Playoffs. During this period we were still a team that was very simple. Our approach to the game was to emphasize the defense and special teams and play conservative on offense. We did not want to make many mistakes on defense, and we tried to control the football with the Triple Option. In 1989 we only threw 62 passes. We did have a couple of TO
Passes. Now, that is on the verge of being a COWARD, but we just did not throw the ball very much. Today, the modern Run And Shoot Offense is to SCORE NOW, THROW IT QUICKLY, DON'T WASTE A DOWN, AND GET THE BALL IN THE END ZONE.
Let me tell you WHY we went to the Run And Shoot Offense. In 1989 we had a great Running Back and some good players from tackle to tackle on that 1989 team. Coming back on the next years team we only had two starters coming back on offense. We did not feel we were physically strong enough to go into our Wishbone Package and continue with any degree of success. We had some players that started for us in 1990 that probably could not start for a lot of good high school teams. Our fullback was only 5' 7" and 162 pounds. He made up for his size with his speed at 4.8. He was our only candidate at fullback last year. He was our leading rusher. This was the typical change in personnel that we faced in the 1990 season. We made the move to the Run And Shoot out of FRIGHT as much as anything else. We were afraid we could not run the Wishbone and be competitive in our league.
When you make such a move on offense you are talking about a tremendous transition in basic philosophy. NOW, I am not dumb. I went out and hired the best person I could find to coach our Run And Shoot Offense. I hired Red Faught, who was the head coach at Franklin College for 33 years. I coached against Red Faught when he was at Franklin College. He use to drive me crazy with that wide open type of offense. We had been friendly enemies for a number of years. He is a fine gentleman. I wanted to implement that wide open Run And Shoot Pass Attack with our Triple Option Scheme.
When the Preseason practice started our coaches cut out an article that appeared in our local newspaper and put it on our bulletin board. The article questioned why Georgetown College would change the offense that had been used to get into the Playoffs in
two of the last three years. WHY THE CHANGE?
We came in and installed the Run And Shoot Offense in two weeks of practice in the Preseason. We did not have Spring Practice to install the offense. We were very fortunate to be able to move the football very efficient in 1990. I am not going to stand up here and tell you that we came up with new ideas on this offense. We did pick up some trends that we felt would make us a better team. Most of the ideas I ended up using in our offense came from Red Faught.
Philosophically, we really had a matrimony of total offensive contrast. We took the wide open Run And Shoot and the conservative Wishbone and blended them together. We married the two systems. Before the season started we want to maintain the best play in our Wishbone Package which was our Triple Option. That was our Teddy Bear for a number of years. We wanted to maintain that play. What we found as we got into the New Offense was that we enhanced the Triple Option. It became more effective from the Run And Shoot Formations than we ever dreamed possible. The Run And Shoot Formation ~i th two wide receivers, two Wing Backs, and One Back Set really creates a Vertical Stretch of the defense. This formation spreads the defense and gives them a lot more territory to cover. We do not have to block as many people at the point of attack from this formation. Our Fullback is in a 3 or 4 point stance. The Wing Backs are in a 2 point stance.
RUN AND SHOOT FORMATION
16-19 Yds froJl baa
With the three phases of the Triple Option from this formation; the Dive, Keep, and the Pitch, and with the blend of the Pass and Screens, we have created a tremendous Horizonal Stretch in the defense as well. Now, we have the defense stretched Vertically with our formation, and we have them
stretched Horizontally with our Triple Option and Passing Game.
RUN - TRIPLE OPTION
Let me say a few words about our Passing Game. We were very adequate throwing the football. Our QB was only 5'8" and 180 pounds. He had a hard time throwing a 20 yard spiral. Coach Red Faught would tell the other coaches, "he had a paraplegic at QB and Coach Donley wants me to make a Passer our of him." He was a great kid, but he was not a passer. He may be President of the United States some day, and I would vote for him, but he was not a passer. He is a winner. With the offense we had installed we felt we could move the football with our Vertical and Horizontal Stretch that we had created with our personnel. We felt we could rupture the perimeter, control the football, and still have a lot of Big Play opportunities.
With both ends split we were concerned that the defense would gang up on us at the Wing Positions. That was not the case. By use of motion we were able to out number people quickly on the perimeter. We were able to get pitch relationship quickly, and we were able to isolate people very quickly, and we could out number people on the perimeter. When we get perimeter adjustment to motion we could get a lot of One on One situations.
We deve10ped a correct too1 approach.
If you need a hammer, you do not take a screwdriver to get the job done. If you need a hammer, use a hammer. If the Triple Option was not the play that we needed to be running, then we were not hung up on that play. We were flexible enough to change our .attack. Before, when I was a Wishbone Coach, I would get so hung up on running THAT PLAY. We would say, "We are going to make the Triple Option go REGARDLESS of the defense." We felt we had a
scheme that would handle any situation. Now, the correct tool approach allows us to take the right weapon to exploit whatever the defense will give us.
The Correct Tool Approach has given me a shot. in the arm. I feel uplifted wit.h this new approach. It is a lot like the a Doctors Prescription Sheet. If you go to see a Doctor and you tell him you have the flu, you do not want to be treated for the measles. You have to get the right prescription. You have to take the right approach. This is our Correct Tool Approach. It is not something we prepare game by game. This is something we have in our Package that we will use when we get certain defenses. When we get something that we know we have a set prescription for we go to that phase of our offense. Let me cover some basic situations. We have a remedy for every ailment.
ATTACKING VARIOUS DEFENSES
I. VS. LINEBACKER AND BLITZES (INSIDE
1. Go Wide - Option, Toss
2. Hot Receiver
3. Screen - Draw (Quick)
4. Maximum Protection
5. Formations - Trips, Goal Line
6. Change Starting Count
7. Don't Be Predictable
II. VS. FAST REACTING LINEBACKERS
1. Reverse and Counter
2. VS. Fast LB Drops - Quick Draw, Trap, Delay Passes
III. VS. DOUBLE COVERAGE ON WIDE
1. Send Motion Toward Coverage
2. Throw To HS's
IV. VS. WIDB END
1. Run Middle, Inside and Particularly Off Tackle (Triple Option)
2. Throw In Area Behind Them
V. VS. CRASHING BNDS (OUTSIDE PRESSURE)
1. Run Options and Toss Sweeps
2. Screens - FB, HB, SE
VI. VS. UMBRELLA
MAN UNDER - 2 DEEP OR ZONE UNDER
1. Corners will reveal the coverage when motion starts.
2. If it is Zone - Corners will support the Run and cover the flat on passes toward them.
3. If it is Man - Corner will stay with the End.
4. Use Long Motion Z, WB Out,
Gangster Hardnose. Use Popcorn pass and Mudcat Pass.
VII. VS. INVERTED SBCONDARY (OR
1. Safeties Are In Position For Quick Run Support.
2. Man On Wide Outs - Throw To Them.
VS. STUNT DEFBNSB (LOOPS AND
1. Usually A Gap Defense - Poor Pass Rush Unless Stunts Are Designed To Penetrate.
2. Use Traps, Counters, And Reverses.
We always try to make sure we are countering what we are seeing on defense. You can see that we have a long list of remedies to take advantage of every situation. A defense that prepares for us can only take away so much. They have to make a decision on what they want to take away from our offense. But they MUST CHOSE; there is no defense that can take all of our offense away. It goes back to our Correct. Tool Approach. "WE ARE GOING TO GO WHERE YOU AIN'T."
We were first in the Nation in Scoring in our Division with 45 points per game. We were 8th Nationally in Total Offense. We were 9th Nationally in Rushing Offense. Our version of this Run And Shoot is a little different than what you may see in other parts of the country. We were 10th in the Nation in Passing. We had five games in a row where we scored over 62 points. Again, we only had two weeks to put this offense in before our first game. In our first couple of games we sputtered. We were not very efficient with the pass at the start of the season. We had to hang our hat on our Running Game until our Passing Game came along. Then -- Boom; all hell broke loose. We had over 62 points in the 5 of our last 6 games. We played
in the mud in the last game or we would have scored more points than what we did. We completed over 60 percent of our passes thrown. We did not have many interceptions. We did not have many turnovers. we scored 59 TD's this season. We had 38 by ground and 21 by passing. We averaged over 200 yards per game by rushing and by passing.
Our Wing Back can widen his split from 1 to 5 yards. His rule is this. "If there is more than one man aligned on the Wing Back, he takes a yard split. If the man moves outside with the Wing, he takes another yard split." He can move outside up to 5 yards until someone moves down inside on the shoulder of our tackle.
One thing .about; this formation is the fact that you can place six defenders. You know where six defenders will line up against this formation. We know they must have someone to contain on each side of the formation. They may be on the tackle, wing, or outside the wing. They better helVe someone in the number 4 positions, or the invert position, on each side to play the Option. They better have someone on the two wide receivers. That will align 6 defenders. Now, we do not really care where the other 5 men line up. They may have 1 deep safety, or 2 safety men. They may have 3 or 4 men in the middle area. If they have 5 lined up in the second level they will play us Man across the field. You should be able to get outside in a hurry against them in that set.
We used Short Motion in our Triple Option Package. It is a Quick Step, Jump Motion. Our Snap Count is very simple. We call SET - then a number - GO. We do vary it some, but that is our base snap count. Our Deep Motion is when we vary our Snap Count. We run Long Motion with our Wing to get an unbalanced set. After we became more comfortable with the offense we expanded the sets and ran a lot more offense as the season developed. On the Goal Line we used some Unbalanced Sets and some Orange and Black Sets going in. Also, we could line up in Trips, or we could motion to Trips. We could line up in Trips and Motion back into our Run And Shoot Set. We do not try to run motion with every play. It is a TAG. You design a play and the motion is built into the play. Or, we could design the play, and add
the type of motion as we wanted it for each game and each situation.
When we hear the term RUN AND SHOOT we are not sure what we are going to see from different teams. To us, when we say we use the RUN AND SHOOT it meant this. "We RUN plays AND we SHOOT plays." OUr Triple Option was our RUN, and the Popcorn Pass was our SHOOT play.
The Toss was the best companion play that we ran with our Triple Option. Against teams that liked to gang up inside and take away our Triple we Came back with the Toss Sweep. We TOSS the baIlout wide. We want the ball outside behind the tackle. The QB has to dip to get some bend in his knees to get the ball outside.
The Wing Back blocks the number 4 man. The onside tackle pulls flat around the Wing and cleans up to the inside. We do not block the last man on the LOS. We toss the ball outside the last man. We have the Motion man past the fullback as the ball is snapped. The end man can not make the play if we execute the play. We have switched our guards and tackles to get them outside faster.
I just want to give you some ideas and stimulate your thinking. That is our Running Game. We can add a lot of offense to what I have covered. Those are only two plays that allow us to run a lot of other plays. I want to move on to the passing game.
The big question is this. How can we take a RUN AND SHOOT PACKAGE and spend time on the pass plays and make all the correct reads on the passes and still run the Triple Option. The SHOOT part of our offense is so simple. We did not throw pass patterns every day. We did go out and work on the Dive Read, the Pitch Read, and the Option. The thing we did on the Passing Game was this. We did go out
and play Pitch And Catch everyday. We wanted to gain confidence in throwing the pass and catching the pass. We would spend 20 to 30 minutes a day to work on passing game techniques. We do not work on the Pass Plays. WE WORK ON THE TECHNIQUES ON MONDAY, TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. WE DO WORK ON PASS PATTERNS ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY.
Keep in mind that our QB was only 5'7" and 180 pounds. We have to find some plays that would allow him to throw the football where he could be effective. We have only scratched the surface with this offense this past year. We may only have 50 percent of our potential offense in at this time. We did do some things very effective in the Passing Game with this system. The first Pass Play I want to cover is a great Possession Play. It is a great 3rd down and 7 or 8 yards to go type play. It is off Short Motion just like you were going to run the Triple Option. WE give our PASS PATTERNS WORDS or TERMS. Our RUNNING PLAYS are called by NUMBERS. We want the POPCORN PASS to look as if we were running the Triple Option. We go into Short Motion and bring the Wing Back around to block on the Front Side. The Fullback will block to the Back Side. The QB opens up to the Fullback. He takes two steps and fakes to the Fullback. Then the QB peels back around and sets his feet. Now it is a 4 Man read. It is very simple. The QS looks for the number 4 man on the Strong Side and reads his act~on.
SHOOT - POPCORN PASS
The Wide Out to the Play Side runs a Speed Out Cut. It is a Speed Out Cut where he pushes the defender off the ball as quick as he can. He comes down the field and turns his outside foot to the outside, and then snaps the head around. This forces the defender back off the man and does not
give him time to make the cut with the receiver.
The Inside Wing runs a fake to the Post and run a Corner Route. It is a 4 Man Read Pattern. If the 4 Man is playing the Out Cut we look for the Corner Pass. If the 4 Man is playing deep and has the Corner Route covered the Out Cut should be open. We like to throw this Pass into the boundary. A lot of teams will drop the 4 Man on the short side against this set. The will give us the Out Cut and defend deep against the Corner. On the backside we have the outside man run a Post. This was the most efficient pass in our Run And Shoot Attack.
The great thing about this offense is this. Before, we would really get up tight about play selection. We used to spend a lot of time trying to decide what we were going to do on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd downs. Then we had to decide what to do on 2nd and Short, 2nd and Medium, 3rd and Long, etc. Now, all we are concerned with is the 3rd down. We do not worry about play selection on 1st and 2nd downs. The only thing we try to do is this. We do not want to be predictable on 1st and 2nd down. We want to mix the plays up on those first two downs with the run and pass.
We ran 13 different Screens with this Offense. This sounds like a lot of Screens, but we only had One Blocking Rule on all of them. On our Popcorn Screen Pass to the Fullback, everything looks like the regular Popcorn Pass. The Fullback goes to the same area, and sets to block. Then he slips to the outside and turns to the QB. He catches the ball just like he would if he were a 1st Baseman on a Baseball Team. We assign the offensive line a certain man to block before the ball is snapped. We want the Onside Tackle to pick up the LB'er on the Popcorn Screen Pass. The Onside Guard will come outside and block the 4 Man on the Screen. The Center pulls and checks the backside for leakage.
A good possession down with no motion is the RED or BLUE PASS. It is a 5 Step Drop Pass for the QB. He fronts out to the field side. We keep the front side Wing in to give us maximum protection. We are going to work on the Backside 4 Man. We are going to throw the ball into the boundary. We look to the Field, and throw back to the Backside. The Wide Receiver
runs his Hook route at about 12 yards and work to the open hole. The Backside Wing runs his route up field 7 to 9 yards. He reads the 5 Man, or the Corner on top. If 5 comes up on the Hook by the Wide Receiver inside, then the Wing turns it on and gets up field. If the 5 Man sits back deep and waits for the Wing he will stop at 7 to 9 yards outside. The QB is reading the 4 Man, and the Wing is reading the 5 Man.
We have one more pass play to counter the Long Motion. We run Long Right, Choice - Left. Now we are going to run the Motion to the right, but we are going to attack back to the ONE RECEIVER side. The Wide Out has a Choice. He can run the Fade and try to beat the 5 Man, he can try to beat him on the Out Cut. It is a One On One. We have isolated the defender. We feel a One On One situation is as good as a One On None.
LONG MOTION RIGHT - CHOICE - LEFT
Next we look at our Long Motion. We find a defense that is not adjusting to our passing routes. They like to sit in the 4-4 defense and stay put. We run our Long Delay Pass. It is medium motion across the formation. As the Wing comes across the formation he looks at the 4 Man. He wants to get up the field 5 or 6 yards and read the 4 Man. As soon as the Motion man clears the Wing, he goes to the Flat. The Wide Receiver runs the 5 Man off. We want to clear the 5 Man out of the area. Now we have a 4 Man Read again. The QB comes out on his drop and reads the 4 Man on his third step. If the 4 Man flattens we go to the Motion Man. If the 4 Man goes with the Motion Man we go to the flat. Now we have a have a nice, easy, high percentage pass to a good running back.
We end up hitting the Motion Man a lot on the top. He reads the 6 Man, or Safety on top. If the Safety is out of the area, he goes for the Home Run Deep. If the Safety is still in the Deep Middle, he cuts in the open area. The Motion Man reads the 6 Man and stays under him. We look to the Split End first on the play. We feel we will have the Drag open or the Motion Halfback open if we can not get the ball to the Split End. We can run the Screen off this playas well as our other passes. It is the same type of blocking for the line.
After we started getting comfortable with what we were doing we started running Combination Routes. We started running more plays from Trips and did more with our Motion.
The way we build our Game Plan is to prepare for certain situations. When you are in the heat of battle you had better be prepared to make a decision. It is tough when you have to go for a Two Point Conversion to TIE THE GAME. We do not worry about the 1st and 2nd Down. We are more concerned about what we will run on 3rd down. We prepare for situations down on the Goal Line. We work on what we play to do when it is 3rd and inches, or 3rd and long. We prepare a run and a pass for each situation. We try to cover all situations on the Goal Line. We try to script our offensive plays by those situations. We want to plan
ahead on those situations. Now we feel we have the tools where we can convert on any situation. This offense gives us a PLAN TO WIN PHJ:LOSOPHY a~ opposed to a Playing To Keep From Losing attitude.
The attitude we want our kids to take about this offense is this. We want them to stay loose, go reckless, and make things happen. It is a whole different approach for our kids. It has really be a lot of fun for us. It was great in preparation in that we did not have to work on 1st and 2nd Down calls. It is great in knowing that you do not have 18 different bLocking rules to learn. I mean this, we used the same scouting report 6 straight weeks. Very little changed for us each week.
A lot of people say the RUN AND SHOOT is great until you get down close to the Goal Line. They ask how you can score down close in the 4 Down Zone. We have been fortunate to score down deep. We. have not had that problem.
I have not given you everything we do on our offense. Hopefully, I have give you enough to get you int.erested . in this approach to offense. We will be around for the rest of the clinic. If you want to come up to our room and continue with the X's and O's we would be glad to have you.
Again, I feel it is a real privilege to be on this clinic and represent our school. A lot of head coaches do not give credit where credit is due. Georgetown is a great College and we have some great kids. I am fortunate in that, I have an excellent coaching staff. I £eel that our staff is as good as any Division I School. Thank you very much.
ADJUSTING MULTIPLE FRONTS
Thank you very much. We will get started talking about football in a few minutes. I was talking
with Charlie Dyer earlier today. He was telling me about the fire alarm going off last night. It brought back some old memories for me when we were playing in the Liberty Bowl in 1986. We were staying on the 15th floor in a new hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. We were having a lot of fun and the kids were really enjoying themselves. The Bowl Game with LSU was on December 28 that year. The night I was thinking about was December 24th; Christmas Eve. The kids were in an adjoining room and my wife and I were getting Christmas ready for them. We had bused and trucked up all the Christmas trimmings. We had a Christmas Tree and everything to go with it. It was about 3 o'clock in the morning and my wife was still up decorating for Christmas when the Fire Alarm went off. That alarm was not a subtle thing. It was loud. Then came an announcement to EXIT by the stairways. It was a very loud voice that came into the rooms. It scared the crap out of me.
I went to get our kids first. Next door to us was one of our assistant coaches, John Goodner. His wife was very upset about the whole affair. John told her not to panic and that it was probably a false alarm. He was real calm. He told his wife to get a coat and some shoes because it was about 32 degrees outside. He went over to open the door to the hallway. As he opened he sawall these people running wild in the hallway. HE LOST IT. He turned to his wife and said, "God Almighty! Come On, It Is Real!"
I was alright until I saw the big hook and the ladder from the fire truck. I grabbed my wife and kids and we ran down those 15 flights of steps to the street. After we got down to the street we found out it was a False Alarm. Someone from our group had pulled the fire alarm. At the time we started talking about what could have
happened. Our first thought was that one of our little wide receivers. had pulled the alarm. He was on the second team. I told our other coaches that we should ship his ass back to Waco tonight. I went on to say, ."He probably came in drinking and pulled that damn alarm. We should send him back home now to teach him a lesson."
The next morning when I went to breakfast I asked Coach Grant Teaffif he sent that second string wide recei ver back home. Coach Teaff told me that he did not send anyone home. He said, "It wasn't John who pulled the alarm. It was Ray." NOW, Ray was an All-Conference LB' er. I told Coach Teaff if he would let Ray play I would be glad to Discipline him as soon as we got back to Waco.
I am thrilled to be here. I have been coming to these clinics for years. We have a recruiting weekend going on right now. We have a lot of kids visiting our campus. Also, this is a SAT weekend. A lot of my recruits are taking the SAT test so it gave me an opportunity to come to Dallas to make sure they get on the plane to Waco. I will be leaving as soon as this lecture is over. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them as we go along. Just raise your hand if you have a question.
I am going to talk about our Defensive Fronts and the things we believe in on Defense. I want to give you an overview of some of the things we think are important. We have been lucky to have had some pretty good defensive players and some good coaches. That is kind of where our priorities are.
We have a set of strong convictions that we want to live with in our defense. Number one is that we want to have good players. When push comes to shove, we want a player that can run rather than one who is big, strong, and physical. We believe we can teach a kid to play technique.
We want good coaches. Baylor has been blessed with good coaches. John Goodner coaches our LB' ers and has
been with us 8 years. Robert James coaches the defensive ends and has been with us for 7 years. Scott Smith coaches the secondary. This is his first year with us, and he does a great job of teaching. You do not become a good coach with how much football your coaches know. You become good when the players know what the coaches know. I believe in letting the players play and the coaches coach.
On defense we believe in letting our players go all out. Every rule change has gone to help the offense. In the passing game they have legalized holding on the offensive line. Offenses today can run and throw the ball with ease. They can beat you to death with the 5 to 8 yard passes. For them it is just like playing Pitch and Catch. At Baylor we like to play Man to Man on defense. When we can play Man to Man we have a chance to shut down the short passing game. To do this we must have players that can play Man to Man defense.
I learned an important coaching point about football, offense or defense, about five years ago. Our Quarterback Coach is Cotton Davis. One day I brought in a film of a QB to let Cotton take a look at. I thought this kid was a great QB prospect. He was 6'4", and could set in the pocket and really throw the football. Cotton watched the film and told me he did not like the QB prospect. Now, Cotton Davis has forgotten more football than I will ever know. Cotton told me to bring him a film of a QB that would sit in the pocket and throw the ball knowing he is going to get hit after he releases the ball. If the QB sees the defense coming and hangs in there and throws the ball anyway, he will play for us. What Cotton was saying to me was this. liThe player pulling the trigger better be your best competitor. This has evolved into my defensive philosophy. If you will think back to all of your better teams, I bet you will find out the QB was your best competitor.
On Defense, I want to know what kind of competitor your QB is. I want to check that out. We can get on the chalkboard and draw up passing games that can rip any defense. The thing you can't answer with the chalkboard setting is how competitive the QB is when he gets the crap knocked out of him. I want our defense to hit him.
If it effects him, we are going to keep getting after him. We start out sending one LB'er at him, and end up sending everyone we can to get him. We are going to challenge our opponent's QB. We want the QB to know that as soon as he delivers the ball he is going to get hit. Now, the good QB's will stay in there and throw the ball.
You have to adjust your defense.
When the QB will not stay in the pocket and throw the ball you take advantage of this. You need to play Man to Man in order to take this advantage. We have to attack the line of scrimmage up front. We must be able to whip a man One on One. This is true regardless of where you play. If you play defense for Baylor you have to do it in any position.
The last conviction we have is the ability to adjust. The question is this. What do you do when you have certain convictions but you do not have the people to do those things you want to do on defense? What if we do not have people that can line up and whip people or play Man to Man defense? We try to adjust our defense and give our players a chance to run to the ball. We will give up size for quickness. We try to stay as simple as we can. If you play simple defense, your players have a chance to be successful.
Let me give you an overview of our defense. As the passing game has evolved our defense has evolved. We want to play Man to Man Principles. But we could not defend the short Out pass into the boundary in Man to Man. People were just raising up and hitting the Short Out Route. We wanted to stay with Man to Man Principles but we had to do something to take away that Out Pass. We wanted to jam everyone releasing off the line of scrimmage. We went to a Half Field Concept. We played Half Field against a Pro Set, but we have to adjust it against a Twin Set. We wanted to get a Jam on all the wide receivers coming out on the pass routes. We have very big defensive LB'ers. We had typical 4-3 LB'ers. We had to get ready to play against Houston and the Run and Shoot Offense. We did not know what to do with our LB'ers. They could not match up with the Houston receivers. The answer was to take them off the field. But that was crazy. That would mean taking our best players off
the field. That is what the Run and Shoot Offense forces the Defense to think about. This is what we did.
We took our Safety and moved him to the Outside LB'er. We took the Outside LB'ers and moved them to defensi ve Ends. We took our defensive ends and moved them to tackle. We up graded our team speed tremendously. The big question was this. How were our small people going to stand in there and whip people defensively. We adjusted everyone from even techniques to odd techniques. Instead of the defensive end being in a 6 technique, head up with the offensive end, he moved to a 9 technique on the outside shoulder of the end. The inside tackles which were our defensive ends, played a 3 technique on the outside shoulder of one guard, and a backside shade on the shoulder of the center. The other defensive end played a 5 technique on the tackle.
This allowed us to do two things.
It allowed us to be on the edge where we had only had to whip half of a man. It allowed us to really Jam the wide receivers. Our Corners are in run support, but rarely other than the option game, does the ball get outside our defensive end. Our Corner support can be soft. They can jam the wide receivers and spy on the second recei ver and still run support effectively. Our starting Sam LB'er this year was a converted Free Safety. He is 6' 4" and 190 pounds. Our Will LB' er is 6'2" and 195 pounds. They can jam receivers and cover receivers coming out of the backfield. The only man we have to play that is real physical is the Middle LB' er. He will have to take on the Center from time to time. The other LB'ers are going to run to the ball. The Sam LB'er is responsible for the C Gap on Flow Toward, and the A Gap on Flow Away. The Mike LB' er is responsible for the A Gap on Flow Toward, and the B Gap on Flow Away. The Will LB'er is only responsible for the B Gap to his side when both backs are attacking the line of scrimmage.
The Corners are about 6 yards deep and aligned to the outside. If we get an extremely wide split, we go to Man to Man and let the Safety come to the late corner. The Corner forces the number One receiver inside and goes with him until he sees what the Second receiver is doing. If the Safety has to come to run support, the corner will
be in Man to Man Coverage. If a team goes to the Weak Slot Set the Will LB'er has to take the number Two receiver. He has to make an outside adjustment to match up. The Mike and Sam LB'er are responsible for the number Two and Three receivers to the Strong Side. If the player can count to Three he can play in our Coverage Scheme. If the Offense goes to a Twin Set, we check the defense and Double Call that.
That is the adjustments we have gone to. We have come from a real 4-3 Head Up Defense attacking the line of scrimmage, to an odd front with more pass coverage. That is what I want to talk about next. There are not too many original thoughts on our part. We have copied the Dallas Cowboys and Miami. We added our own philosophy and it has fit in like a glove. I told you at the beginning that we wanted to attack the line of scrimmage. Let me show yo how we teach it.
We start with our front and the idea that we have to line up and whip a man. We spend the first 15-20 minutes of every practice teaching the skills in progression of how to defeat a block. Here is the progression of how to teach them. We line them up in a right handed stance. The power leg is the up field leg. That is what is going to move them forward before they collision an offensive blocker. The degree of velocity that they go forward is dictated by what they see from the offense. The other side lines up in a left handed stance. We want to attack the line of scrimmage and read on the move. It is more difficult for the offense to block you. They have to block you in combinations and double team you. That frees up our other people. When you teach your people to attack, you must teach them to insure collision. The most impor-
tant thing you have to teach the defensive player is to have his feet under him in good balance. You have to have a good base to start with. >It doesn't matter what position you are playing, that is essential. These guys that are attacking the line of scrimmage must have their feet. If they are getting hit with one foot in the air, they are going to get their ass beat. They have to have both feet on the ground when they make contact with the offensive blocker. The defensive lineman has to make the decision when contact is going to occur. He does that by the way he lines up. Every offense changes the depth of the linemen depending on the type of play they want to run. They have backed their offensive linemen off the line of scrimmage when they face an attacking defense. If the defense comes running up the field when the offensivelinemen are backed off they are going to surround you. The rule book states that the guards's helmet must cross the plane of the center's numbers. That rule is~ never enforced. When we played Rice University I went to the Umpire and Referee and asked them if they were ever going to call the offensive linemen for being in the backfield. They told me NO. I asked them if they knew the rule and they said, "YES". I asked them why they were not going to call it. They said, "No one is calling it and we are not going to make an issue of it today." Well, we all know we have to coach through that type of situation. With the offensive linemen backed off the line it means we have to read more on defense. If he steps laterally, I have to step that same way. I want to get up the field and into the joint of his neck. The defensive linemen has to be smart enough to be aware of where the offensive guard and tackle are lined up. He has to protect himself because he wants to attack the LOS. But, more importantly he wants his feet on the ground when he makes contact with a good offensive blocker.
Let me take it one step further.
What if they are backed off the ball and have a big split in the line? If the tackle has a big split from his guard, the defensive tackle has to know that some blocks have been eliminated. They can't double team the defensive man, and they can combination block on him. When that occurs
the defensive lineman takes a little more of the edge. He is going to make a play in the B Gap. If the split between the tackle and guard gets tighter, he has to know they are probably going to Zone Block. He should get a little heavier in his technique and expect. those kinds of schemes. Once they get to the point they recognize the depth of the blockers and his splits, it is easy to recognize the differences in their stance. If the defensive man lines up and the offensive block has white knuckles and his back is hunched up with a high tail, you can almost bet he is coming straight off the ball hell bent for leather. We tell our men when they read that they do not have to move. They have their feet already planted. They take on the blocker right there.
If the defensive man doesn't have time to get in a good football position he doesn't need to move. We want to attack the LOS, but we want to be successful. To do that we have to insure the collision. We want to educate our people as to what the offense does. Our two inside people communicate with each other as to what they see in the offensive guards. If they get a light hand which looks like a pull or a pass block, they callout Yes. If they get a heavy hand or they can't read from the hand, they call out No. If the 3 technique gets a light hand from his guard and a heavy hand from the tackle, he has an advantage. He knows depending on the type of team we are playing what type of block to expect. If the split of the tackle is tight he can just about figure the tackle is coming down on him. Now, we give a football player who may not be too good, a chance to make a big play. He can either go across the tackles face or read the guard to his side.
If the tackle gives the Yes-Yes call you have taken all the offense the opponent has and narrowed it down to about 3 plays. If you get both guards in a light handed stance, it could be a pass, an influence trap, or a draw. That is it. Of course that depends on what offense you are facing. In the course of a week you can educate these guys to learn what the offensive linemen are going to do to them. Now they can read those things and have a chance to make a big play.
If the 3 technique gets a No call and the Shade Tackle gives a Yes call, we are probably looking at a Zone Trap or Power with a pull around into the hole. The Shade Tackle knows the Center is going to block back on him. That gives him the chance. to play across the face or run around the block.
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When we start practice every day, we take our defensive linemen to the sled. The first thing I .want them to do is to drive off their drive leg. We want the back foot to drag. The next thing is the drive and step. He drives off on the drive leg, drags the back leg and sets the back foot. The next step is drive, set, step, and punch. The big guys we are dealing with have to learn to use their big muscles. They have to grive the leg, set the foot, and punch. The punch has to come from their legs and buttocks. That is where their strength is. They have to learn to sink and snap the hips. When he drives into the dummy the first thing that hits it is his hands. His hands are not going to stop a good blocker. But they have to be prepared to separate and disengage from the blocker. The last step in defeating a blocker is the separation from the block.
If the time between movement and collision is not going to be great, then the back foot is not going to move. If the time between collision and movement is greater, then the defensive linemen may move the back. The important thing is to have both feet on the ground at collision. The
techniques played by the defensive tackle is no different than those played by the defensive ends. We are a gap responsible defense. We can move any of our players to any positions because they play the blocks the same at each position. As long as they know their Gap Protection they can play any position. For any base or hook block, engage the outside edge of the technique, get off and play your gap. If the guy goes inside close off his ass and collision him if you can. After that come to the first threat to the inside. He keeps coming down the line and wrong arms everything. He wants to bounce everything outside. We want the ball popped outside so the LB' ers and defensive backs can run them down. The down front people are going to make everything go outside. The wrong arm means to get inside the blocker coming to kick out. This is simple to teach. If I can do it any one can.
On the veer release by the Tight End, the defensive end widens. He protects the SamLB' er. If the tight end continues up field, the defensive end slow plays the option. If the Sam LB'er doesn't show up on the Quarterback, he takes the QB. If the Sam LB'er takes the QB, the ball will be pitched and the end reacts outside. We don't define who has what threat.
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The technique played by the inside tackle against a trap blocking scheme is like the defensive end on a down block by the tight end. The tackle, as the guard comes inside for the Mike LB'er is probably going to be able to step with the guard. He is going to
be in a situation where he is not dri ving hard up the field. The tackle collisions the guard and lets Mike work. Usually the Mike LB' er will see the guard pulling and the down block from the onside guard will never get him. We don't want the tackle riding down with the guard. We want a collision, then a close down and continue on up the field. That allows the Mike LB'er to read the exchange
We never want the offensive guard to reach the defensive tackle. We will give up an inside collision to make sure we don't get hooked. The tackle has to be able to extend his body into the collision while the offensive blocker is stepping lateral. If he can do that, he flattens the guard out and he gets great control going up field.
When teams play us with two Tight Ends we have to make an adjustment. We have to make a declaration call. We declare to the two receiver side. We will still play our half field defense with one adjustment on the weak side. Our corner will walk up on the second Tight End. He is not going to jam him and whip his ass. What he has in his favor is quickness. The key word for the corner is hold. That means he is going to hold for the first part of any option. The corner plays
the Quarterback and the free safety runs to the pitch.
If the tight end releases the Free Safety has to cover him. If the Tight End releases the Will LB'er will be free to help on the option. When we first started working with this, I said this did not look worth a flip. Everyone we played initially came out in two tight ends. They would check to the weaks ide but they wouldn't make many yards. We actually have them outnumbered. We play this in short yardage and on the goal line.
Men it is a real treat for me to be here today. I love Dallas. It is my recruiting area. It is good to see a lot of my good friends here. Thank you very much. I appreciate your attention.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE U-T OFFENSE
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
Hopefully, all of you are not here just to win the new Toyota they are giving away tonight.
I can see Larry New and several of the University of Kentucky coaches here. It looks like I will be conducting a Clinic for the UK Coaches tonight. That sure makes me nervous. Seriously, it is good to be with you. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I would rather you ask me questions than just stand up here and talk.
I have been at Tennessee for 11 years. The last two years I have been the offensive coordinator there. The thing that we have done at Tennessee over the years is to build stability in our offense. We have lost some coaches over the years, but we have maintained the same scheme over the years. We have been blessed with a Track-Football relationship. We have had some outstanding skilled players. They haven't always been the best athletes, but we have utilized their strengths.
I think there are some important things that should be mentioned in discussing our program. I will go over these points very quickly. The first point is to Teach A System. We found it is important to teach the players by positions the system which is going to be used. You have to teach the guard what the center does. That give him an understanding of the center's position and it develops team work. It also builds depth in that he can possibly play that same position later. We want the tackle to know what the guard does, artd why. We think it is important for all of our players to understand the system and why it is important to them. Last year we had four or five good receivers. The best thing about them was that I could play them at all of our different receiver positions. The fullbacks and tailbacks had to learn the protection and routes so they could be interchangeable. If we had some personnel problems with match ups, I could move a
right tackle to the left tackle and let him play there for a week.
You need flexibility to overcome graduation or an injury to a player. We graduate two tackles this year. I have an offensive guard and a defensive player who can probably step in and do a good job at those tackle positions.
We try to use the ability of the players as best we can. You have to use your personnel wisely. We do not put them in situations where they can not succeed. We do not try to build our offense around one man. We try to use the strengths of our personnel in building our offense. We talk a lot about this in our staff meetings. This past season we had a balanced offense as far as the running and passing. Two years ago with both COBB and WEBB running the ball we were not very balanced. Then we were a ball control rushing team.
Your must use your time wisely. I am concerned with the offensive line. I am not going to have the QB coach or backfield coach sitting in the film room watching things that I have responsibility for. As a staff we are going to plan our time so each group can get accomplished what is necessary for their group. In the final plan I have that responsibility. With the 20 hour rule coming to college football, we are going to have to be more organized to get things done with our players. As coaches we sometimes forget the young players in our programs. We spend all of the time getting the guys ready to play who you think can win for you and forget the young players. At Tennessee we have done a good job of keeping the young players involved. If we get an extra game such as a bowl game, that is a good time to work those young players. We use it like a mini-spring practice.
Coach Majors doesn't have to say much to us to get things done. We have been together long enough so that we know what he wants and what he is thinking. It is Coach Majors job to
solve problems for the Team. It is my job to solve problems for the Offense. It is important to have communication among staff members, but at the same time you don't need to dwell on some items that just waste time. Our staff meetings are very democratic. We try to listen to each other. I think four or five minds is better than one mind trying to do it all.
Some of our offensive objectives will change as we find the strengths and weaknesses of our personnel. However, we have a list of things that we would like to accomplish on offense. Let me review some of those objectives. We want to control the ball, move the chains, and score points. We want to punt the ball to the others 40 yard line. This just means kicking the ball out of your territory into the opponents end of the field. I have had a hard time of trying to convince Coach Majors that JUST KICKING the ball was good enough at times. He always wants it punted a lot longer than what we kick it. We want to be physical and have sound use of the line calls by our offensive line. Before 1989 we had trouble getting the ball outside. We were an I formation team and had trouble getting the ball outside. We decided to utilize the option play more, even though our QB was not a true option QB. We did accomplish our goal in 1989 and 1990 of getting outside. That made people a little more honest on defense. We want to utilize the passing game to stretch the defense both vertically and horizontally. We want to simplify the progression of teaching the QB his reads and techniques. We want to execute the passing game for high percentages. We went away from trying to throw the ball for tons of yards to throwing the ball for high percentages. That means shorter routes and throwing the ball to the backs more. We wanted to use the play action pass and move the pocket. That changed the QB's set up points. We did a good job with that phase of the game. We want to use the 3 Step Drop to take advantage of soft coverage or Man to Man coverage. We want to be better at scoring when we get the ball inside the 25 yard line. We want to use the passing game just like a running play. I had to sell Coach Majors on the fact that a 5 yard pass was a successful play. We want to be effective inside
the 10 yard line. We have been about 93% effective at scoring touchdowns from inside the 4 yard line. We want to be successful in the short yardage situations. That keeps the defense on the sidelines and gives the offense four more downs. We want to utilize our talents and create personnel mismatches. That may be tough in the upcoming year because of graduation. We want to use special plays. We want to find an opponent's weakness and exploit that weakness. Those are the things that we work on to become a better football team on offense.
We feel that 1st down production is tremendously important. We averaged about 6 yards on first downs in 1990. Second and 4 is a lot easier to call than 3rd and 8. We talked about this to our players in team and individual meetings. The whole staff harped on that idea. We tried to point out that great effort leads to success.
Last year we tied or broke 25 offensive records at Tennessee. That wasn't an accident. This season we were 2nd in the nation to Washington with Turn Over Ratio. Our offense didn't give the ball up and our defense got us the ball so we didn't have to take it so far to score. We divided up the field into areas and give it to our players. We think it is important for each of them to understand what those area are and what they mean. Inside our 5 yard line all we want to do is to get the ball out to punt with a secure formation. Two times this year we did throw the Take Off out of our End Zone. In the backed-up zone, (Minus) -10 to (Minus) -30 we are not going to take a lot of chances. We will throw the ball but we try to stay out of the middle of the field. In the Control Zone, -30 to 50, we open up the offense a little. Once we get the ball on the opponents side of the 50 yard line we try everything we have to score. If they understand the zones of the field, the effort can reflect that understanding.
TENNESSEE OFFENSIVE OBJECTIVES
(2) No Fumbles
(3) No Interceptions
(4) 85%, on 3rd and 2 or less
(5) Score every time in the Scoring Zone
(6) Score 26 points
(7) Never give up the ball in our
(8) No penalties that stop drives (9) No sacks
(IO) Drive the ball out before punting
(II) Average 5 yards on 1st down
Let me get into our formations. We don't do anything outstanding with this or anything that you haven't seen before. We have not been blessed with outstanding tight ends, so that part of our offense has been limited. We don't put a tight end in the game and ask him to do too much. His primary reason for being in the game is so we can run the ball off tackle or the sweep. We run the PRO FORMATION, TWINS and our BASE FORMATION, which is the THREE WIDE RECEIVERS look. That is what we use most of the time to stretch the field for the defense. We use the One-Back and the No-Back formations but we have to have a better Set for the Tailback position. When we went to the One or No-Back offens.e we substituted a wide receiver for the Tailback. When we substituted so did the defense. We have to get better at that position so we don't have to substitute. In the Short Yardage and Goal Line we go to two TIGHT ENDS WITH A WING SET.
People who play us from the defensive stand point would have to stop the Sprint Draw. If we are going to run ONE play, this is probably our bread and butter. Our onside tackle takes the defensive tackle anyway he wants to go. The onside guard reads the alignment and movement of the defensive tackle. If the defensive tackle slants to the inside, the guard goes around the offensive tackle for the LB'er. If the defensive tackle goes outside, the guard goes directly to the LB'er and climbs him. The center and backside guard are responsible for the nose man and backside LB'er. They use a scheme which we call a slip block. This is a very slow and deliberate pushing movement. We don't care who ends up on blocking who. It is the tailbacks job to pick up the hole. The backside tackle blocks what we call a "fish hook." That is turning out on the backside tackle. The fullback gets on a track for the inside hip of the offensive tackle and kicks out on the defensive end. The tailback takes an open step, a crossover
step, then squares his shoulders and gets on a track at the inside hip of the onside offensive tackle. We want to get the ball as deep to him as we can. He can cut back at any point.
Base Sprint Draw
If the guard is covered, the Fullback has the LB'er. We want the fullback to go .inside the guard if possible. We run the ball anywhere the defense will let us. If the center is uncovered, he does the same thing for the guard. The center and backside guard are responsible for the backside I or 2 technique and the backside LB'er.
There are some change ups we like to go to. We have the ability to run the same action with different blocking. We can add the word "FAN" and get the guard and tackle blocking out on the defensive tackle and end, with the fullback climbing the LB' er. The "Zone" scheme is almost the same except the guard and tackle come off hard and get movement instead of setting up in the FAN scheme. The Fan scheme is good against a team such as Auburn. They come up field hard and attack the line of scrimmage. The "Zone" scheme is better against a reading team, where you have the chance to knock them off the line.
Fan Set or lona Drive
To the backside we have adjusted our blocking to take advantage of some things the defense does. In some cases this will time up better with the exchange of the ball. It takes the backside guard longer to get to the backside LB'er. If we know the back-
side guard is going to the backside, the center blocks him and the guard "Tom Blocks" the backside LB' er. That means he steps around the center. We have even done it with the backside tackle if we have had trouble with the backside defensive tackle penetrating inside. We can turn the guard back and bring the tackle around the backside LB'er. That gets kind of harry and we don't do that much.
The next play we have in our offense is the Sweep. We were more effective with Chuck Webb than Tony Thompson, but it was a good play for us. We blocked our guard on the LB'er, tackle on the tackle, and the tight end on the defensive end. The fullback could almost be in motion as long as he was parallel with the line. We wanted him out of the way of the pitch. The tailback delayed, caught the ball, and then got downhill as quickly as possible. Our fullback was running to take on the support from the outside. Our tight ends were not very good blockers so we were making yards off the ability of the backs. We scooped the backside nose guard and LB' er with the center and backside guard. On this play we wanted to get the center on the backside LB'er. The backside tackle did what he had to do to keep the defensive tackle out of the play. If he had to block him, he did. If he couldn't get into the play, he pulled. His block depended on the scouting report of the type of personnel we were playing.
Base ,~ ,.,.
If the tackle got the uncovered look, he went down on the covered guard. We ask him to go to the upfield hip of the tackle on the guard. That meant we could stand a little penetration to the inside, but that took care of the reading tackle.
There are other ways we can run the sweep with different blocking. We ran the Sweep with Zone Blocking. I like this scheme because it lets your linemen pick landmarks and really get off the ball and be aggressive. We pick the landmark off the ability of the defensive tackle or the ability of the offensive tackle. Our basic point was one foot outside the defensive tackle. We were going for the upfield number. Of course there was always the possibility that the tackle could get run under, but we have schemes to take care of that. When we called Zone Blocking the fullback went on the LB'er. We ended up in Zone Blocking with the guard and tackle scheming or the tackle and tight end in a scheme. That let everyone come off the ball and get after people. We had a two man combination on the down men on the line of scrimmage regardless of where they lined up.
The nice thing about this Sweep is that you don't have to have the tight end. You can motion one of your wide receivers to crack on the defensive end or motion across the set and get a hat on the defensive end.
We had trouble with the tight end block. Sometimes the defensive end would line up so wide we couldn't hook him. We schemed and went to the nY-Sweep." The tight end blocked down on the 5 technique and the tackle pulled and logged the defensive end. We don't let the tight end call this block because he would call it every time. We do not want that to happen to often.
The "G-Sweep" or Nebraska Sweep, in my opinion is the best way to run the Sweep. The guard pulls on the support
and the fullback and tackle Zone Blocks the defensive tackle and LB' er. Our problem was the tight end block.
We had a nice complement off this play. This is what Coach Majors calls the Pizzazz Offense. That was the reverse to the wide receiver off the Sweep. I think we scored twice this year off the fake reverse.
If you have the Sweep, you have to run the fullback on the Roll Dive. This is all Zone Blocking for the line. They can really get off on this play. However, there are a lot of little coaching points to the play. We want this play to look as much like the Sweep as possible as far as the offensi ve line techniques go. We want the tackle reaching and the guard on the zone block. Ideally we would like the LB'er to run outside on the sweep fake so the fullback could stay onside with the ball. We don't get it much and the fullback ends up on the backside of the center. The center and backside guard have a tight scoop. The backside tackle has what we call a "Shoe Shine" at the 2nd level. That means he comes off low and hits any pursuit coming at LB'er depth in the ankle.
The fullback takes an open step, crossover step, and gets his shoulders square. The center has to get at least a tie. We hope the center can get
movement because we are secure on the backside. The fullback doesn't need to make his back cut until he is on the defense's side of the line of scrirmnage.
The Counter Play is one heck of a play. We don't run it enough. We set our onside tackle with his inside foot to take away the risk of the defensive tackle getting across the offensive tackles face to the inside. The offensive tackle is taking a hard inside step and a hard outside step. After that he disconnects and goes hard for the backside LB'er. We want him coming at the feet of the nose guard. The tight end takes an inside step and takes on the 5 technique. We want him to push him off the line and inside. We want movement on the tackle. The center steps with his onside foot to the middle of the nose guard and then works his way down the line of scrirmnage to the backside tackle. The onside guard blocks the technique of the tight end on the nose guard. He may reverse block him if he can. If the nose guard has gone backside, the guard works for the backside will LB' er . The backside guard and tackle pull to the call side. The guard is going to kick out on the defensive end and the tackle is turning up on the onside LB' er. The backside tackle works off the up field hip of the guard. If the guard has to log the defensive end, the tackle can get outside and up field for the LB' er. The fullback comes off the outside hip of the backside tackle and is responsible for the defensive tackle if he comes up field. The tailback takes his steps and follows the tackle into the hole.
If we get a 3 technique by the tackle and a 7 technique by the defensive end our scheme is modified somewhat. The tackle guard combination on the 3 technique and backside LB' er. We don't get in a hurry to get to the
backside LB' er. the center has the tough block on the shade nose guard. He has to really work on that block. The tight end influences the 7 technique and then arc blocks the support. The backside guard and tackle do the same thing. The fullback blocks the say way.
We can run the same play from the One Back Set. The Redskins have made a living by running this play. The problems that come from the play is having to log the defensive end closing down. You have to teach your center to be flat enough to cut off the defensive tackle. You have to put in the Naked Bootleg because there will be a bunch of guys chasing this play from behind. Another change we used for the defensive tackle that was giving us problems by running the play down from the backside was to block the tackle on him. We put a second tight end into the game and set him in the slot outside the tackle. We pulled him for the LB'er, which gave us some success from the One Back Set.
I wanted to get into our passing game but I have run out of time. We do have 4 or 5 passing plays that we try to make a living from. We have our work cut out for us next year because of graduation. The thing I like about ou r program is that we have worked our young players into our program. I do not know if we can win the SEC again or go to the Sugar Bowl again, but it will be an interesting season. Men, I have enjoyed being here. If you are interested in our passing game, come down and you can talk with our QB Coach. He will go over our entire Passing Game. Thank you.
MOTIVATING THE SPECIAL TEAMS
I want to commend you for the tremendous job you have done with the young people in our communi-
ties. I am a former student athlete myself. I would not have had the opportunity that I have had in my life time without people like you. People like you helped me in high school develop the attitude and disciplines that are needed to carryon. When I got into college coaching a awful lot of coaches in this area helped me with recruiting. You people gave me some good advice when I was just a young pup. I started out at the Air Force Academy. I was 24 years old and didn't know a 3 Deep from Sick' em. The coaches in this area took me under their wing and helped me with the Ins and Outs of recruiting. I guess they took pity on me because I was a Western Pennsylvania boy. So I commend you on the job you are doing with the development of our youth. You are giving them the values, attitudes, and disciplines that is going to carry them on to the leadership roles in this country. Many of the people I went to college with have gone on to serve this nation well over the years.
I know you are anxious to hear what we try to do with the Kicking Game. What we try to do with the Kicking Game in every phase is to try to get an edge on the other team. On every single snap we are trying to get an edge on the opponent. We want to work our personnel so that we can take advantage of anything the opponents may do wrong. In every meeting, every walk through, every practice, and every scrimmage all of our players know we are trying to get an advantage on our opponents, What it can lead to is Big Plays from you Kicking Game. It starts out with fielding the ball cleanly or staying on sides. It is painstaking attention to details. When you have all of your men working together to get that one clear cut objective which is to gain the advantage. We want that small win which takes place on one of those 6 or 7
snaps which can change a game around. We think they are there in the Kicking Game every week if we work hard and play together. That is the key to success in the Kicking Game. You have to be committed to helping your team win.
The next thing is One Play And Out.
The Kicking Game is different from the Offense or Defense. On offense you can fumble the ball on first down, recover it, and on second down you can get a first down or touchdown. The same thing can happen on defense. The defense can give up a big play or two, but if they hold after that for three plays they have done their job. That is not the case in the Kicking Game. Your people have to develop the Special Team Mentality Of One Play And Out. I believe you have to drill it that way. They have to believe that if they get the one play and out, they are going to gain an advantage. You have to do it in your walk-through and simulations to build that attitude. This is something you have to continually put in front of them. You have to coach them, teach them, and communicate it to them endlessly. I think this helps you avoid the breakdowns that can occur in the Kicking Game. We talk all the time about getting the edge in the Kicking Game. However, if we are not getting the edge, we are giving the opponent the edge.
In order for us to develop that special team mentality we have to develop strength in every area. If you don't have a good punter or punt returner then you have a weakness in some area. You have to develop those talents with what you have. For instance, your punt returner may not be the fastest guy in the world, but he can be secure. Being secure does not always mean mishandling a kick. You could have a short returner who doesn't make the proper call on a short punt. If the ball bounces into one of your players because that returner didn't make a poison or peter call. Those calls tell everyone to get away
from the ball. If he doesn't make those calls and the punting team recovers the ball, he has let his team down. Everyone has to develop the techniques, skills, and talent that will keep you from beating yourself. You have to teach that returner to be secure. He may not catch all the punts, but, he can make the proper calls to keep everyone else from making mistakes.
You have to take advantage of any opponent's weakness. They may have a problem in protection or coverage. If a team returns the ball up the sideline, we will work all week on taking that away from them. Kick the ball away from that return man. If they would happen to fumble or mishandle the return that could be the one big play in the game to turn the advantage to you. You can go back to your players again and again basing your relationship on your ability to communicate trust to them. When things you work on in practice turn out to be the game turner your players begin to believe in you more. What you say and what is, is exactly the same. The most important thing you have in the Kicking Game is that your players trust you. If you, as the coach, have a weakness in a certain area, tell your players about it. If you can establish a high level of trust in your team and constantly get better in that area in practice, you can motivate them. The trust between Coach and Player is the most important thing in coaching.
The next thing is step by step progression. You have to explain to your players that it takes time to develop. They are not going to be where you want them all at once. Success is the progressive realization of a goal. It will not happen right now in the Kicking Game. You have to make a Staff Commitment to make it happen. Even if you are to where you want to be you have to continue to work on it. They will get better. When that happens, they start to trust you. This helps them perform at their highest level.
The last thing in the introduction is quality work. Quality work is doing your very best. But that is not good enough. We talk about it all of the time with the Lions. We want to play at our highest level for 16 games. We do not worry about what happened last week or the week before. We want to
look at it this way. You do your best but you have to become better. It is a commitment to on going skill development. I tell my players it is the same for me. I have to model that. I have to show them that I am trying to get better and trying to get them better. If you have an athlete who plays his best game ever in the first game, don't let him set on his one game laurels. Make him work to the best of his ability. Don't put limitations on the athletes. If you refuse to accept limitations they will continue to get better and better.
What I am going to try to give you is information that you can use. Not just good information, but this is going to get pretty basic. I read the newspaper this morning. There was a lot of informatioh in that paper, but not a lot that I could use. When we get our team together at the beginning of the week, everything I tell them is something they can use. I am going to start with what I think is the most important things and carry it from there. This is kind of a Shotgun approach. The most important thing in the Kicking Game is Kick Protection. That is the most important facet; protection of the punt, field goal, and point after. The most important play in the game is the punt. I f you can be secure in your protection and average 35 yards a punt all year long, you will gain an advantage. If you check your records and come up with a number for your net punt average, where the offense doesn't score when you punt that distance, you can build some goals. If you can sell that distance to the team, it can make a difference. You will find you will be getting an edge on a team if he breaks down just one time. If they have a bad snap or a bad punt, your team will understand that break down. They will go on the field and take advantage of it.
The first thing I will start with is the long snapper. There are some things that are very important in coaching the long snapper. The first thing is the grip on the ball. he has to grip it with a light finger tip grip. The second thing is the flat back. If the back rounds or hunches up the snap will be erratic. You want to keep the ball coming back to the punter in good weather and bad weather the same way. The hard thing for the long snapper is the snap into the wind.
We want the shoulder firm, back flat, and the hips down. If the hips start to round and the legs become straight, the snap will be erratic. The hands come through the legs with speed. The right hand is the snap hand and the left hand is the guide hand. Keep a light touch on the ball. The elbows have to stay in and finish with the hands to the target. These techniques will let you correct an error a man is making in a game or practice.
The second area of the punt game is coaching the punter. If there is one important word in coaching the punter it is contact. Making good contact with the ball is the most important thing the punter can do. Let me cover some techniques for the punter. For the right footed kicker he wants to field the ball over his right side. He should concentrate on the point of the ball prior to the snap. He has to make adjustments to the ball as it is in the air. If the ball is off target and he doesn't adjust to the flight of the ball, he has trouble after he catches the ball. If he reaches up to catch the ball, he has to bring it back down and he is out of rhythm. He has to move his feet while the ball is in the air so that when he fields the ball he is over his right side with the ball. As he catches the ball, he wants to do it cleanly. If he catches it heavy handed, it throws off his timing. We want the kick off in 1.3 seconds after he catches the ball. The whole operation time is .8 seconds for the snapper and the 1.3 seconds for the punter.
We like a 2 step punter. He wants a slight stagger with the right foot in front of the left. We talk about weight and balance in the Kicking Game all the time. We start from the ground up. The punter has to control his feet first before he can punt the ball. The punter catches the ball over the right side because he is going to punt the ball with the right foot and drop the ball on the right side. We describe the drop as not a push or drop, but a placement of the ball. We want a light touch on the ball. When the kicker punts the ball all he does is open the fingers. He doesn't push the ball or drop it. He doesn't fly the elbow out or bring the wrist in. He holds the ball out about 90 degrees. This builds in consistency into the drop. The punter imagines the ball being cut
off in the lace area. There is no forw~rd part of the ball or backward part. He wants to hit the ball in the fat part of the ball to the front of the ball in a crossing motion. We want the mass of the foot to make contact with the mass of the ball. We want the ball to be dropped slightly in and slightly down. The contact will be made slightly below the knee. We want good control on the left foot on the ground. He finishes with the· right foot up over the right side. This allows the punter to stay square and hit through the ball. We don't want a glancing blow. We want to hit from the base of the laces to the front of the laces. Just imagine there is no front or rear to the ball. Don't let them try to kill the ball until they get into the grove. Make them concentrate on making contact with the fat part of the ball in good balance. If you want more hang time hold the ball a little higher. If you need a line drive kick, hold the ball a little lower.
One little drill we do with our punter is to get him on one knee. We have someone spin him a ball. He catches it, takes his time and drops the ball straight to the ground. The ball should actually turn to the right a little. Being on a knee he is closer to the ground and he can isolate on seeing the drop of the ball. We are looking for 4.3 hang time on the punt. Of course if we can get better, we will take it.
Don't let your guys over kick in practice or warm-up. When your punters are hitting the ball good, they want to stay out there and punt longer. What they do is kick themselves through the high performance area. They will only have 12 to 15 punts like that. How many of you have seen your punter kick great in pregame and then go out in the game and can't hit one good punt. I make my punters quit when they start hitting the ball solid. It is very important to make the punter keep his head down through contact.
Let me get into Punt Protection. Our punt protection is from the two split ends look. I am not going to tell you that is the best way to protect a punter. You know what you have to accomplish with you protection. This is the one we use the most. We have the right and left tackles off the ball. The reason for that is the up
field rush we get from people in our league. With the speed of the people coming off the corners we have to back up our tackles to give them a chance. The techniques of protection the punt is very important. We can not go down fielq with our interior people until the ball is kicked. If we are blocking an eight man front with three deep receivers we Man block. With the ends split they take a defender with them. Everyone else blocks Man on Man. That would work fine if the defense would rush straight ahead. However, it does not happen that way. The defense will cross and stunt to try to block the punt. Because of that we have to line up in a Zone Scheme and finish off with Man Blocking. The reason we like Man blocking is because it is the best way to protect. The athletes in the NFL can cover that 9 yard distance to the block spot in a hurry. A guy like Noga, who plays for us, is so quick in this area that you have to finish him off with a drive block to keep him from coming through. We drop back off the ball at the snap and protect inside. WE are not going to let anyone come inside. When we drop inside we finish off in Man blocking on anyone coming inside. We are going to finish with the helmet on the torso of the man that is rushing. We want the firm finish because it keeps the protection unit close to the line of scrimmage.
The next protection is against a 9 Man rush. We still split the ends so they are responsible for the rusher who must cover them. We still line up in the Man to Man protection. That means the personal protector is responsible for the fifth man where ever he goes. The blocking scheme is the same for the 8 Man rush except the personal protector has to pick up the extra man in the 9 Man rush.
The next protection is the 10 Man balanced protection. When this happens and you have a center who can't block, you have to. bring one of your split ends in. We have a tackle make a technique call. He calls out "Double Bump." The punter is instructed to punt away from the "double bump." If you have a good coverage man, a man that the defense likes to double team, split the other end. If the defense gives us a double on a split end we split the other end. If they only have single coverage on the split end, that only accounts for one man that you have to block. The three inside men to the spit end take the 2, 3, and 4 rushers to that side. The personal protector takes the 5 man to the side of the split end. When the personal protector comes out over the ball he calls his block by jersey number. The slot back to either side calls out the number so they know who has the "double bump." Everyone away from the call takes their man from the inside out. The last man or slot has the double bump. The way he does it is to take the first and most dangerous threat. Hetakes the inside charger off his stride with a firm inside hand. He puts him helmet on the torso of the outside charger.
The next protection is the 10 Man Overload. When you work on your punt protection do it in the middle of practice as a surprise. Make the situation like it would be in a game situation. Give them the confidence that they need. This puts the punt team in a manufactured pressure situation. They will want to do it. And, you will see them start to get better and start to go up that ladder of success with step by step progression. Against the 10 Man overload, w~ still split the end. That takes Ohe defender. If they don't cover him we can still protect using a double bump on both sides. The personal protector takes the fifth man to the side you want to kick to. He makes his call and the slot makes their calls. Everyone then begins to take their man with inside out responsibility. The last man on the LOS get s the double bump. The blocker we use in the double bump blocking scheme is a bigger, faster, athlete. We would use LB'er personnel in these spots. When we punt the ball, we want to punt into the single coverage man, so he can go down and get the Big Hit. The return man has to field the ball on an angle. He can't get square on the ball and you stand a good chance of getting the big hit and the turn over.
The next thing I want to touch on is our coverage on the punt. This is one of the most important phases of the game. What we like to do is first cover the field and then cover th ball. The center goes directly to the ball. The guards or the two men on either side of the center, start down the pro hash mark. The pro hash marks are 6 yards apart. The next guys go down the college hash marks, which are about 5 yards outside the pro hash marks. The next men fan out and go down the numbers, which are about 12 yards from the sidelines. The split end goes directly to the ball and the personal protector goes to the ball. The coverage fans out over the field with four men going to the ball. The most important thing the coverage team has to do is compress the ball. They have to fan out to cover the field but as they come down to cover the ball you should almost see the protection unit in formation at the ball. We want no holes in the coverage. If one man doesn't get down the field, it is like running into a bubble LB' er. That
gives you big problems. They have to go down in relative position. The right side people have to stay on the right side of the ball in coverage and the left side people have to stay on the left side of the ball. If one of your coverage men cross over, he leaves a hole in the coverage and cuts off one of his guys coming down on the other side. One of the things we work on every day in practice is coming to a torso position in the tackle. That is keeping your head up and wrapping up with your arms. The coverage of the punt goes back to fundamental t.ackling. We work on it everyday.
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We have been very pleased with our return game. Last year Mel Gray was the All-Pro returner in the Pro Bowl. We stay very simple in our returns. We have a Wall Return and a Middle Return. Everything we do comes off those two returns. Let me cover the Wall Return with 2 split ends coming in coverage. We double both wide men. The end on the wall side forces the coverage men into a wider than normal coverage lane. The man over the guard and tackle hold up the men that are aligned on. The back side guard and tackle set the wall. The backside end forces the kick. The returner in the Wall Return is not trying to get to the boundary. He wants to take the ball up field as soon as he can. He is looking for the seam of the wall
and the forced wide coverage man. This is our base return.
We can do something off this look.
The two men which we are doubling are turned over to one man. The other two guys come to the inside and rover around. We are still running the return to the right but we have a different look. This also gives us a safe defense against a team who may try to run the ball from punt formation. We let them play the slot blockers Man to Man and the end can go up field and contain.
With the Base Wall Return we can run stunts with our interior line. If we find a weak blocker in the slot, the outside rusher can hard charge up the field and make a move to come back inside for the block. This gives us the combination block from the left side and return to the right.
Let me draw up the Wall Left return.
When you draw up a return you need to think about the opponent. We want to know how their weak coverage people are. We have to have a game plan to give to our team on Monday. Once the team starts to believe in you and the ideas you bring into that meeting, you can hear a pin drop. They will get out their pencils and notebooks. What you are telling them works. You are giving them information that they can use to accomplish what they want. That is to win games and have fun. Two years ago we had Benny Blades and Ray Crockett. Green Bay had a kick coverage man named Carl Bland. He was killing everyone on kick coverage. I told our men we were going to catch the ball in the end zone and if we have to we will return it. We caught one on the 2 yard line and brought it back to the 30 yard line. We came within a whisker of breaking it. In order to
do that you have to go against many of the things people have told you to do in the Kicking Game. But we felt we could return the ball.
This is how we got it done. We game plan the opponents. We manufacture the game situation. We go over each detail. After all, we are going to run a simple scheme and work on execution. We do not set the wall the same way ever time. The wall setters use a technique which we call stalk blocking. It is like playing one on one in basketball. We want to stalk the defender, keeping the body between the ball and the defender. We want to position the blocker away from where we are going to return the ball. When the defender changes feet we are all over them. We are just like a Chicken on a June Bug. In practice I have to call them off. We gear our players for one play and out. We want to get one hit and get off the field.
Let me cover a simple thing with the Middle Return. WE find out who is making the tackles and make sure we block him. The interior linemen turn out on the punt coverage team. One of the outside men, depending on which way you call the return, comes in and traps the center. This is a simple return right up the middle. The key to any return is the Stalk Block. The real key is to avoid the penalty. You can have the best return, but one clip and they bring it all back. The big thing is playing with discipline.
Next is one block scheme on the punt game. Albert Lewis has taken this part of our game to another level. We get into an overload to the left. We put Lewis at the Right End. We drive the inside two people outside through the punt team. Lewis loops to the inside and straight up the middle. We absorb the personal protector with the over-
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load. Albert Lewis has such great quickness he is coming in the A Gap to the ball. We run our returns off that look. The punt team doesn't know if we are blocking or returning.
I want to cover a Kickoff Coverage against a 3 Man Wedge with 3 Deep Men. We have a kicker with 5 men on each side of him. We want to kick the ball where they don't want it. If they have a great returner, we don't want to kick the ball to him. We want the returners to have a problem fielding the ball. Games have been lost on missed communications by the return men. We have kicked the ball right between two guys just waiting for them to run together trying to field the ball. We number our coverage team from the kicker to the sideline. The l's are next to the kicker, and the 5's are against the sideline. When we cover against a 3 Man Wedge our l' s attack the shoulders of the middle wedge blocker. Our 2's attack the inside shoulder of the outside wedge blockers. Our 3's attack the outside shoulder of the outside wedge blockers. We are going to go to where you want to return based on your blockers.
The front five on the return team is blocking from left to right, numbers 2, 1, 1, 2, 3 on the coverage. That means our l's, 2's, and 3's are going to have to defeat the front 5 and at the same time pick up their landmarks
on the wedge blocker. They have to compress the ball with the left side coverage staying on the left side of the ball and the right side staying on the right.
We go to the 4 Man Wedge next. The kick return team has to defend the huddle of the kickoff team and then defend the field. The Chicago Bears came out in a bunched up huddle on us all year. We had to defend the huddle first. As they spread out we had to defend the field. As we cover the kick we want to cut the field down as we run down the field. WE want to have a relationship where we are about 2-3 yards apart at the opponent's 30 yard line.
Let me show you a return that people run against us. The outside man on the front line and the outside wedge block will double team our 3. The second man drops and blocks 2. The middle man drops and blocks the left 1. The offside drops and blocks 1 and 2 respectively. The two middle wedge blockers double team the onside 4. The outside wedge blocker to the off side comes back through the middle and seals back against the offside 3. The back who doesn't catch the ball comes into the alley behind the double teams and block 5. They have a double team on 3 and 4 and everyone else blocked. The way we would defeat this is to send 3 and 4 on the inside and outside shoulder of the outside wedge blockers . The l' sand 2' s are on the inside
and outside shoulders of the inside wedge blockers. We are going to cover the field, defend their wedge blocking scheme and get to the ball. Every team you play has a return blocking scheme. The key is to prepare in practice for that scheme. You coach your scout team to run the return better than your opponent. Then you work on coverage and correct your mistakes. We drill
and drill and then correct the mistakes. Guys in the NFL hate it when a guy who is not getting the job done is not getting corrected. They may not say anything but they hate it. You have to show your players that problems are going to be addressed.
I know we don't have much time and I want to cover everything. The best return we have had is our sideline return. We use a 3 Man wedge. The reason for that is I don't want any mishandled kicked balls on our end of the field. There is nothing that can put your team on a down quicker than a mishandled ball that goes out of bounds at the 5 yard line. We must protect the field. That is why we use 3 Deep to handle the ball. With a Two Deep Scheme it puts pressure on those deep men to run to the sideline to field the ball.
We are going to drop in relationship to the football. We have had success running the baIlout of the end zone when it was 6 yards deep. Our front line people are going to drop back keeping their man between them and the ball. They are going to sprint back turn with their weight over their feet and keep moving. We have a motion problem. The coverage is flying down the field. If the blockers are stopped the coverage will fly right by them. The outside men on the front line takes the 3 man to he side of the return. He stays between him and the ball until he stops him. At that point he attacks his outside shoulder. The other 4 men on the front line are going to do the same thing taking their men. They take the 2, 1, 1, and 2. The outside wedge man is going to widen to influence the number 4 man to get wider. Then he is going to go back inside and
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double on the 3 man. The middle wedge man and the on halfbacks form a diamond on the return. We could blindfold these men and they would get into their position.
The last thing I want to cover is the protection on our Field Goals and PAT's. The main thing is to get your big people in the game. This is a personnel game. It is going to be Zone Protection. This allows you to get you big people on the field. The holder is 7 and 1/2 yards deep. If we think there is going to be a hard rush we may put him back 8 yards deep.
The total time to snap the ball and get off the kick is 1.3 seconds for the total operation. We get shoe to shoe and interlock our feet on the center. The. center has to bridge as he snaps the ball. If he fires out there will be a hole. The line must rise with power and stay on the same relati ve plane. The key to protection on the field goal is there is not separation in techniques. There is no one firing out or falling back. They are all tight and in line together.
The Wing Back protects to the inside and actually lays out up the field to protect the corner. The kicker wants to kick the ball at the base of the laces on the back of the ball. The plant foot of the kicker will vary depending on the height of the kicker. Once you find out where the plant foot is for the most accuracy for the kicker, keep it the same. As the kicker plants his left foot we want him to have a firm left side. He has to keep his weight on the left side and stay firm. We want him to finish to the target.
Something that can cause kickers problems are the right and left hash marks. When the right footed kicker has to kick from the right hash mark it is not the same as kicking from the middle of the field, or the left hash mark. The angle to the ball is different and he has to readjust his approach a little. That is where he must spend the most time practicing.
In conclusion I want to say this. I tell my guys that they have to learn to communicate with me and their team members. They have to know want they need from me and their team mates to perform at their highest level. It takes tough, unreasonable, communications sometimes to get to the highest level in a high performance business
such as football. I think communication has to start with the people that are coaching and they have to learn how to develop powerful and productive relationshipips. All this has to be modeled from the people that are coaching.
I want to tell you what a great privilege it has been for me to be with you. I have a high regard for what you are doing with our young people today. Giving them the value, training, discipline, and the standards that are going to hold them in good faith for the rest of their lives is a great thing. Men, keep up the good work. Thank you.
LINEBACKERS IN THE OKLAHOMA DEFENSE
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
The thing I like about our Defensive Staff at Oklahoma is the fact that we are always looking
for a better way to do things. It is not an I concept with us. We do not have one coach dictating everything to our defensive staff. We have a Defensive Coordinator that leads the group, but he does not dominate the group. We work very well together on defense. We work together as a unit. That is the key to coaching and that is the fun part of coaching. We are in the process of analyzing our defensive package to see if we can make it better. We evaluate our personnel to see if they are in right position. Also, we want to look at our techniques and determine if our players are playing the right techniques. We have a lot of people back, but we know we can not sit back and just think we will have a Great Team without working to get better.
Some of you may know that we have been on Probation for two years. In 1989 we were not on National TV. However, we were able to appear on TV last year five times. I am bringing this up because we have changed our offensive thinking somewhat in that time period. We are no longer just simply a Wishbone football team. We are an option team, but we are throwing the football. We are not just throwing the ball in practice; we are throwing the ball in the games. That has helped our offense a great deal. We have a QB that is very exciting and can throw the football.
When we were a Wishbone Football Team we were a tough team. You practice against that wishbone everyday, you have to be tough to endure. We were a tough defensive football team mainly because of the competition against our own Wishbone. Conversely, our defensive secondary would see very few passes in practice when we ran the Wishbone. As a result our secondary got very little practice against the pass. When we played good passing
teams like UCLA and Miami, we were at a big disadvantage. Now, I think the change in direction we are taking, offensively, will help us a great deal on defense. It has helped our defensive staff in getting our defense ready to play.
I want to talk primarily about our Eagle Linebacker Play. The thing we tell our coaches about our defense is this. This is not a complex equation. We are not talking abut Physics or Chemistry. We tell our coaches to find the best LB' ers they can find, and then tell them "SIC EM." Our basic defense is an Eagle Package; some people call it a Split Eagle. Some people may call it a 35 Look; others may call it a 53 Look. This is what our Basic Front looks like.
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We play with three down linemen.
We have two stand up Ends and LB'ers. We feel this gives us a lot of speed and quickness with four people in a standing up position. Some other teams are playing this same defense, in college and in the Pros. The difference is that they have the end on the split end side down in a four point stance. He is not a true stand up or drop player. That is a four down linemen concept; we playa three down linemen concept. The reason we are playing the three down linemen is because we have a hard time of finding four tough, hard charging, down linemen. We feel we have more flexibility in pass coverage with a end that is in a stand up position. We feel the ends and LB'ers are the key to our defense.
When we have had great LB'ers at Oklahoma we have had good defenses. They have to be the play makers, or Quarterbacks on defense for us. They have to make all of the checks and adjustments. They have to make things happen for us. I am not interested in the LB'er that makes 20 tackles per game, but is always dragging down the backs after they make 3 or 4 yards on each play. We want the LB'er that can make the big play. We are looking for guys that can make the negative play, or the big play.
Our LB' ers are going to line up a shade to the outside of the offensive guards. We line them up 3 1/2 yards from the line of scrimmage. This is a change up for us than what we use to play. Before we would play up on the heels of our defensive tackles when we had LB'ers like Brian Bosworth. When you are playing a team like Nebraska, which is an assault type team, you have to play tight to the line to get to them.
Our basic stance is squared up. We do allow them to stagger feet a little, if they want. The thing is that we want them to have quick feet. We do not like to play our LB'ers 5 yards deep, but we do want them at 3 1/2 yards. We do not want them to cross their feet. We want them to have good feet, and have a feel for the ball.
Our key is the Fullback. We key through the guard to the fullback. Our initial movement against an I Back Set is to key the fullback and feel the I Back in the Deep I-Set. We want to feel the Tailback and the QB. The good LB' ers can do this. If they can't you should make them put their hand on the ground and playas a down lineman. If the Lb'ers can't feel the Tailback and QB they do not need to be playing LB' er. They have to have some instincts. The advantage of this defensive front is that it frees the LB'ers up so they can make the tackles. The Will LB' er does not have to sit in there and take on those big blocking guards all day long. We do not expect our LB'ers to sit inside and take on the guards all day. The shade nose has the responsibility to fill the 1 Gap. He wants to put pressure on the center so he can't make a cut off block against the Sam LB'er. If the ball goes away from the nose guard, he has to keep the center off the backside LB'er. The LB'ers can get away from
the tackles and guards if the nose man will give us some help. We look for the LB'ers that can run.
Our defensive line technique is critical to our overall LB'er play. We want to make sure we are jamming the offensive linemen. We want to disrupt the linemen on their release. We do not want the offensive linemen taking an easy cutoff release. This allows him to get down inside on our LB'ers. If our defensive linemen are not willing to jam the offensive line, and be physical with them then we will find someone else that will. We do not want our down linemen making the plays on defense. Our key is for our inside LB'er and our two outside people to make the tackles.
We use to stagger our stance for our down linemen. They would put that inside hand down, and on the snap of the ball they would take that inside hand and move it on the ball, trying to move the inside foot to the spot where the hand was on the ground. We are changing this next year. We use to see Base Blocks against us. We do not see the Base Block anymore. Everyone is using the Zone Block, or Area Block, or Cut Off Blocks. We are still going to stagger our stance some, but we are not going to be as aggressive as we use to be on the line of scrimmage. We are going to go to what some of the Pro teams are doing, and some high schools teams are doing. We are going to be more of a MIRROR type team. We want to mirror the offensive lineman moves. We feel this will give our linemen more power. This should give us a better strength base. Hopefully, this will allow us to get to the ball a little quicker. Our tackles playa 5 or 4 technique. If they are in a tight stance they can get cut off a lot easier up on the man.
We do all the warm up type of things that you do. After we stretch we run our KEY DRILL. We do this drill everyday. After the offense breaks the formation we break our defensive set.
Then we recognize the formation, and recognize the backfield set. The next thing we do is to believe what that backfield set is telling us. WE TEACH OUR LB'ERS TO READ THE PLAY AS IT DEVELOPS. Let me show you what I am talking about.
Anytime we get the Fullback moving in the direction of the two LB'ers we
call that a NORTH or a SOUTH TRAP PATH. We tell the LB'er this. "IF HE COMES -- YOU COME." When that Fullback comes North or South, we attack. We talk about the path of the Fullback, and determine how he is going to play. We talk in terms of Path and Play. "If the Path of the Fullback is this; it will be this play. If the Path of the Fullback is this; it will be another play. Based on that path, and based on the recognition of the play, "this is how we want to play". We go and attack the FB on his North-South Path.
We see this type of play from teams like Nebraska, or other teams that play the I Formation. We see the play to our Eagle Side, or away from the Shade Nose Guard.
As our Will Lb' er reads the Fullback coming toward him, he steps up and accelerates and looks for the guard. We see the play blocked two Viays. One way is with the guard pulling around to trap the Will LB'er. When I see the guard on the Trap I want to take him on with my Long Arm. I want to rip through the guard with my outside arm and force the ball to bounce t o my 3 technique. I do not want to take on the guard with my inside arm and take a chance of getting trapped outside. That could let the fullback get into the end zone in a flash~ I want to Long Arm the pulling guard and force the ball to our 3 technique.
If the offense traps our 3 technique we must beat the fullback coming straight ahead. If the tackle tries to get inside of the pulling guard the LB'er must step up and get inside the tackles block. He can do that if he is reading the fullbacks path.
The thing we do not want is for that fullback to maintain his North-South Trap Path. We do not get much help from our defensive end on the jam against the tackle and guard. The main thing is to get that Fullback off his North-South Path. We have stunts to help us with this. We can send that 3 technique into the defensive tackle. That takes the edge off the tackle.
This allows the Will LB'er to step up and take on the Fullback. They do not call that play many more times after that. If you are a great trapping team we will play stunts.
Whe+e we get hurt on this set is the Trap Option. This gives us more problems. We see the Freeze Option some, and we see it in the Spring against our own team. If we do see a trap play to the 5 technique side, which we all see, the key is the near side LB'er. He steps up and reads the FB. He has to get inside the block. If we are playing against a Split Back Set the LB'er keys the near back on his side. We see the I Set or the Power I Set the most.
The next path we talk about in our KEY DRILL is the DIVE PATH. The Fullback takes an aiming point on the outside hip of the Guard. We want our LB'er to read that path and get the feel for the play. We feel the Shade Nose Guard must beat the tackle on this play. We do not feel our tackle will be reached on the outside shade. The center is at a disadvantage against the Shade Guard. He can not be reached. We want the Sam LB' er to press the 3 Gap. He must get into the Dive Path on the play. We want him to go DIP and RIP. We want him to close off the 3 gap and force the ball to go somewhere else. We do not want the Sam LB'er to play lateral. We do not want him to Catch the Guard: we want him to DIP and RIP. We want the LB'er to give the guard very little room with the shoulder pad on the Dip: then we want him to Rip Up and press his body through the offensive guard through the 3 Gap and force the ball to go somewhere else. Option football teams like to run the Dive Option. Wishbone teams use to run this play a lot of times. with the offset nose guard you do not see it as much now. That is hard to block. It is t.ouqh to run that ball in the 3 Gap.
Off the Dive Path is the Isolation Path. The Will Path sees this a lot. When he sees the Isolation Path of the Fullback, Will goes for the Fullback as soon as he recognizes the Isolation. We want to meet him on his side of the ball. "HE COMES - I GO". On the Dive Play the QB works away from the center. That is a simple read for the LB'er. On the Isolation Play the QB works behind the center. It is hard to defend because of the QB action.
That is a much harder for the LB'er to get the feel for the ball. Colorado, USC and Nebraska know how to run that play. Years ago that use to be a hard play to stop. A lot of teams have stopped running that play. I still think it is one of the real hard plays to stop in football. They would run to the Eagle side, away from the nose guard. It is tough to stop if everything is equal. What we have done is this. In the old days we would say take on the fullback with the inside shoulder and force the play back to the backside LB'er. We want to get a good jump ball and beat the fullbacks block across the LOS. Now, with the Combination Blocks with the center and guard, teams are blocking the nose guard with one man, and have one man free to come off on the LB'er. This has forced us to change the way we play our front side LB'er. We do not take the Fullback on with the inside shoulder all of the time now. We will give our LB'er certain calls that has him taking on the LB' er more with his outside shoulder. He will try to force him outside our 3 technique to the 5 technique. This is a change up to keep us from taking on that play the same way down after down the same way.
The LB'er has to get a feel for the play. It is just like the trap play. That LB'er has to have a feel for what the QB is doing. They have to be conscious of the QB, regardless of the play.
We get our Scout Team and get two units of LB'ers and work on our KEYS. If we are getting ready to play Nebraska we will work on the Dive and Trap Path. We work on our Keys. We want to make sure our LB'ers do not cross over, keep their shoulders square, and press the line of scrimmage. This is a Key Reaction Drill, or Play Recognition without having to take on a bunch of blockers. If our LB' ers can't read plays, they can't play for us. If they can read plays and diagnose plays, and have good feet and good quickness, they can play for us.
Next is our Off Tackle Path. Now the Fullback is blocking inside out. The aiming point of the Fullback is the outside to inside hip of the offensive tackle. When the Sam LB'er recognizes the Off Tackle Path he wants to get tight and press the line
of scrimmage as close as possible. He wants to come off the butt of the tight end. Now the QB is leaving the Center and taking the ball to the Tailback on the off tackle play. The Fullback is working inside out on the end. The Sam LB'er is going to stay inside as long as he can. He does not want to get outside and cut himself off from the play. If he takes a false step, a cross over step, or over runs tqe play, it is the same as if he were blocked. We want our LB'er over the Tight End; not where he lines up, but where he is going to be when the ball gets there. We do not want to get flushed outside with the pulling guard. We need to be off the tail of the Tight End.
Our basic technique with our Defensive End is to take on the blocker with our inside shoulder. We want to force the ball back to the inside. We want to force the offensive guard to make the tackle as we jam him into his running back. We may change up our basic Pass Coverage and that would make a difference how we play our LB'ers. If we are playing a lot of TWO DEEP we do not want the ball to get outside, wide. In Pro Football, most teams want to see the ball bounce outside. I want to see the ball bounce inside where our nose guard and Inside LB' er are free and have a chance to make the play. We are not going to Bounce The Play Outside.
The key point here is to get off the butt of the Tight End. The other key point is the Will LB'er. When he saw the Dive Path, the Fullback still had a chance to cut back behind the Nose Guard. The Will LB'er has to be aware of the Cutback.
The play that has give so many people is the Counter Sweep, or Counter Tray Play. Nebraska was the first team to run this play consistently. They ran this play in the early 1980's. They made a living with this play. This is the type of play that you have to stop with repetition. The more the LB'ers see the play, the better they can recognize what is taking place. We key the fullback, but we still want to feel the QB and the Tailback. Now days, not only do you have to defend the Tailback Counter, but WHAT ELSE? THE TAILBACK COUNTER PASS! THAT IS RIGHT. The LB'er must get inside the Fullback. The Fullback will get inside on the defensive tackle to keep
him from getting inside to the play. The fullback will go inside out. The QB is working directly behind the Center. If the QB is working directly behind the Center, we must defend against the Misdirection. This is what we tell our LB'ers. We have a Summer High School Football Camp and we tell them the same thing in the Camp. "Fullback Starts, I Start; when I feel the QB and Tailback starting out, I retrace my steps, and play just like I do on the Off Tackle Play." I want the LB'er to retrace his steps and avoid all that garbage coming outside in. We tell our LB'ers this. "If you choose to "Run Through" you MUST make the play. The best thing is: "Start, Retrace, and Play It Like An Off Tackle Play;" We want them to be physical with the offense in the running lane as soon as possible.
Everything is the same on the Tailback Counter Pass except the Fullback. The Fullback is going to try to get
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outside of the defensive end and pin him down inside. The Fullback runs Inside Out on the Run, and Outside In on the Pass. It is hard to pick up on the Video Tapes. You run the tape back and stop it after the fullback takes one or two steps, and ask the LB'er -"Run or Pass?" "What is the Play -What is the Play."
We see several different Sweep Plays. Basically, against the Sweep we want to press and attack the Line Of Scrimmage. If the guard pulls and the fullback is filling inside, we want to attack the fullback. Our tackle is in a 5 technique. The guard pulls and this gives us an alley for the Sam LB' er to zun : through. Sam wants to run through the alley at an angle. He wants to take on the Fullback and force the Tailback to change his path. If the LB' er can beat the Fullback and make the tackle that is great. If he can't, he wants to force the Tailback off his path. He wants to make something happen that
will help us on the play. We do not want to just sacrifice a LB'er one on one.
I have five minutes left for a few questions. "How Do You Play The One Back Set?" Our basic adjustment is to move the inside LB'er outside on one of the split inside men. We are seeing teams that are not deploying their tailback or fullback on the One Back Set, so we may not be in the Eagle Package against the Trip Set. We may bring in a 5th defensive back on the One Back Set. If we can stay in our Eagle Package we will adjust with our Ends and LB'ers.
QUESTION --"Do you play a lot of Field Defense?" We played some field defense a few years ago before we went to a lot of substitutions on our defense. We have a lot of ability to make adjustments in the game with our defense on the field or we can make substitutions according to the offense.
Against two Tight Ends we may play two 4 techniques a lot. We may play two 4 techniques against the likes of Nebraska because of their Option and Sweep game, as opposed to our Eagle Package. If we have to make an adjustment, our secondary has to be a part of the changes.
On Pass Coverage, we are primarily, a Zone Coverage Team. We cover the passing zones the same way most of you do. The Strong Side LB' er has the Tight End area. The Will LB'er has the Curl area. We do not go to spots and tell our LB'ers to read. We tell our Will LB'er an initial aiming point to help him. This helps him to know how far we want him to cover. It is a good coaching point. "What techniques do you use on the Tight End Across?" If the tight end is playing off the LB'er, we tell him this. "If you have to step up to hit him, let him go." This is when we are at normal depth. The key works are Open Up and Hinge. If the end is shallow in front of the LB' er, he lets him go, and looks for the area behind him. If the end is working off the LB'er, we do not want him to get across the field.
I have enjoyed this experience. You are welcome to come to Oklahoma to visit with us. We are an Option Team that is throwing the football. We are an Eagle Package Team on defense. You are welcome to come visit with us. Thanks a lot.
DEFENSIVE LINE TECHNIQUES
UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Men, I want to try to continue with what Larry New, our Defensive Coordinator was talk-
ing about earlier today. I will talk about the Multiple Defense as Larry indicated. He is great about sharing his ideas with you. If you want to come to Lexington, Larry will spend more time than most people are willing to spend with the High School Coaches. Larry loves football and will talk with you One on One as long as you want to talk.
The part about our defense being simple goes back to the communication aspects. That is the key to the system. This is a system. When you hear Larry New talk you can tell the type of coach he is by the way he gets excited. He coaches with a lot of enthusiasm. He is a fine football coach. He is very experienced and has been around some other good football coaches. He has a fire about himself and he wants everyone to play with a lot of intensity and great effort. As a football coach he is a genius. As an Audio Visual man he is a disaster. I have seen him lick his finger and erase a T's and X's off the diagram on the overhead. His stroke is coaching and talking football. He will spend time with you if you will come to Lexington to visit with him.
Everything I am going to show you is how we line up in our positions for our different fronts. We are in multiple fronts so we can give the offense problems. How you play the man off the ball, or the LB'er, is the key. How the LB'ers react is the key. The man up front must smash the man up front that is going to block on him. He has to do that and hold the gap. How the LB'er fills the gaps are the keys. The LB' er may have the gap between the guard and tackle, but how he takes that gap is important. Is he going to attack the gap as soon as he sees flow toward that gap? Is he going to spy, or hover, and then when he sees the ball go in the gap, then get into the gap? Is he going to line up
outside and stunt to that gap regardless of where the ball goes? The man off the ball is the key. This is a key point. If you really want to know more about the defense and how we play the LB'er you will have to visit with us. Larry did not tell you how the LB'ers play because we do not feel we can cover all of this defense in two hours. We have a booth set up out in the Exhibit Hall with information on our Clinic and Summer Camps coming up. Our Clinic is April 5 and 6. The best time to meet One on One with the UK Staff is late in Mayor early June. We will spend time with you.
There are some rules you have to learn to play this defense. Larry talked about our 31 Defense. The first number is for the Tackle and the second number is for the Nose. If only one number is called it is for the Tackle. The Tackle is in a 3 Technique and the Nose is in a 1 Technique. Everyone else is in our Base Alignment. The Ends base is a 5 Technique. Mike and Will play their 1 and 3 Techniques. The Rover and Bandit go according to the Coverage. The Strike does have one thing that he has to do hear. Anytime the Strike sees the Tackle down inside over the Guard, he has to sight adjust in a Cinch alignment inside the Tight End. If the Strike hears the call for the Tackle is a 3 or a 1 he knows he must play a Cinch Technique. He is in the old 7 Technique inside the end.
I want to go over our Gaps. We do not number the Gaps. We call our gaps Letters. The A Gap is between the center and guard, B is between the guard and tackle, C is between the tackle and end, and D is outside the end.
Before Coach Curry came to UK we were a Reading Defense. Now, in this defense we are a Smashing type defense. We must be strong up front in this defense. Our linemen must Smash the blocker as they come off the LOS. It comes down to Who is going to block Who. In a sense we are trying to block the offense. It was a hard adjustment for our linemen this year.
This is what we start off telling our defensive people. "NO ONE CAN MAKE YOU BETTER THAN YOU WANT TO BE. " We have to motivate these big players to get them to play better. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." But, we do believe we can make him thirsty. Our job as coaches is to lead the players to the water and make them thirsty. I let them know it is up to each player how good they want to become. If they have the desire and have good size and strength they can become good in this defense.
The key to the defense is Sound Techniques. This is what we mean by sound techniques.
1. Footwork - We must have sound footwork or it will kill us. A lot of people do not run the film properly to see the footwork. The first thing I grade is the first step. I want to see if the takes the first step properly. If he takes the first step wrong he is beat. That is the only way I know to force them to take the proper first step, and that is why we grade that first step.
2. Body position - This is what we
a. Below Pads
b. Corner of Blocker
A good thing about this defense is that we are playing on the corner of people now. If we take the proper steps the offense can't tie us up if we take our proper steps and get on the corner. We do not want the man to get head up with us because they can hold us from the head up position. We want to be on the corner of the blocker after we take our first step.
3. Use of Hands Separation - If you do not block with the hands we are going to kill you. Everyone blocks with their hands.
4. Keep Head Up - Don't hit with the top of your head. Bring the head up when you make contact.
5. Recognize, React, and Tackle - This comes from reading blocking schemes.
Next is our Basic Principles of Defensive Line Play.
1. Stance - Most of the time we are going to be in a 3 point stance. It is tough when the players have to learn the stance from both sides. We may put the other hand down to a 4 point stance if they are having problems with the 3 point stance.
a. Go in any direction with ease.
b. Never tip off our. direction.
c. Step with either foot. Eliminate false steps.
a. Lateral - as close to head up as possible (ability).
b. Vertical - on or back ofr L.O.S.
Depends on how good the man can read. If he can read, he is up on the ball; if he is a slow reader, he is back off the ball. By backing off the ball you do give up a little because the offense can adjust the block.
3. Concentration - They have to concentrate on playing defensive line. How do you practice this? You have to make practice as rapid fire as possible. You have to repeat the drills over and over after you have taught them what you want.
To teach all of this to the defensive line we feel you must Chalk It, Talk It, and Walk It. We get so wrapped up with intensity, and we forget at times to take them out on the field and walk them through what we want. This is the way to teach football. Then in the concentration part you can go out really put pressure on them to move a lot faster. Teach them first.
STANCE - We are in a 3 point stance.
We want to be Toe to Instep, with the weight evenly distributed. I tell them the shade foot is going to be back. That is my cover foot that I am going to cover the man up with. We want the toes straight ahead. I want a balanced stance. If I get in a 3
point stance and put my hand down the middle of my body, it is going to turn my shoulders and I will be cockeyed. The hand should be right out from my big toe. Your weight .shou Ld be forward on the balls of the feet. The uncovered hand is the hand I have in the gap. I want to get into a position to grab the cuff of the blocker. We stress these points.
c. Weight Distribution
d. Eyes on Blocker
On Alignment we start off with the starting point. The starting point is Foot To Crotch. We want to hug the ball so the blocker can't knock us off the line. We start out teaching the lineman hugging the ball and let them come off the ball and explode into the blocker. That is how we start them out.
a. Foot to Foot
b. Hug the Ball
a. Step with the Covered Foot
b. Face Mask In "V" of Neck
c. Hands - Pec & Cuff
d. Smash & Strain
With the legal aspects in our times we have to be careful. If we say hit with the HAT and HEAD we may get sued. What we tell them is to keep the eyes up and to put the face mask in the "V" of the neck of the blocker. The one hand comes up to the PEC and the other hand comes up to the Cuff.
It is hard to show you this drill with this mike on. We teach this drill from the 6 point stance and the 3 point stance. We take a lot of reps on the 6 point stance. Then we come up to the 3 point stance and work on that aspect of the defense.
BLOCK REACTIONS - This is how we teach them to react to the blocks. We are going to teach them to react to the Right Shade and the Left Shade. We want them to react to the Drive, Cut Off, and Reach Blocks.
A. Drive Block - We do not get a lot of drive blocks on this defense.
But if you can't handle the Drive Block you will see a lot of it. You better be able to handle the Drive Block, and you have to teach it first. In our scheme because we stunt so much we do not get much of the Drive Block unless it the double team. We still have to play the Drive Block. If we do get the Drive Block we step with the shade foot and Pec and Cuff, and strain inside.
B. Cut Off Block - The term Cut Off can screw you up. If you have the inside gap and the blocker is trying keep you out of that gap is it a Reach or Cut Off Block? As the blocker tries to cut us off from the gap we want to step with the inside foot first and keep the shoulders square. We tell them to throw their butt in the hole. This helps us square back up.
C. Reach Block - This is the only time we step with the outside foot first. We want to stay square. I am in a Right Shade Technique. My right shoulder is on his shoulder. My right foot is back. That is my cover foot. My outside arm is free. It is the same if he is lined up on the center or guard or tackle; we are in a Right Shade.
Next is the Cutback Play. We play THROUGH the Gap. The Cross Face Technique gives up the LOS. That is the worse thing we can do on the play. Don't Cross Face. We run a Mirror Drill and go One On One at 3/4 speed. We get all of the line and line them up. We put the offense in their position. I tell them they are going
to be in a Right Shade. They all step to the right of the blockers. Right Shade means Right Foot Back, Right Hand Down. I will signal to the offense the type of block that I want the offensive man to simulate. We work on the three blocks as we covered above. We get down and take one step. It is a Mirror Drill and that is all it is. I will callout SET GO. The defensive man has to react to what he reads. It is just one step. We are working on footwork. We work on the three blo~ks and we can give them a lot of reads and they can get good at this drill. We flip the offensive people around after we go through all of the blocks. It is a good drill and the players do not mind it at all. After everyone has had a chance on defense we switch back to the first group and work on the Left Shade. We do the same thing as we did before. This way everyone gets work and everyone can get better. You can work every player, JV and Varsity Players. You never know when you will have to play some of those players. At Kentucky we know we will have to play some of those young players at the end of the season. We coach all of them so they can get ready to play when they are called on.
Now that we have the Read Down we want to do some Stunting. This is how we are going to Stunt. We want to attack them. As soon as the ball moves we want to Smash the Offensive Line. If we get into the wrong gap, we still want to smash the blocker. We want to hold that line and create a pile at the LOS. There are three ways to secure the hole. One, you are in the hole. Two, he is in the hole. Three, I get my head and eyes in the hole. If the back sees the head and eyes in the hole they will not hit in that gap.
Now we call our 3 Jet. Now we have a NUMBER and a WORD. Now we know the Number is a Read, and the Word is a Stunt. On the Read we went on the movement of the blocker. When we run a Stunt we go on the Snap of the ball.
a. Same Stance and Alignment
b. Hug the Ball
c. Go on the Snap
d. Exact Footwork
e. Eyes on your Man - Stunt and Redirect
We feel we will Stunt better if we go on the Snap. This is how I think you can improve your defense. If you can get them to go on the Read and the Snap they will be a lot better. If you will Read when you play straight and go on the Snap on Stunts. If he will go on the Snap he will go to where he is supposed to go on the Stunt. If we are goirig outside on a Stunt, I want to take the first step with the outside foot. If I am going to Stunt inside, I will step with the inside foot first. Don't change their stance, you don't have to. You can do it, but you have to work on this. Again, it comes with concentration. We want to look at the man we are going on.
We have two ways in which we Stunt.
First, ± am going to change gaps. We call it a FIRE when we are going to change gaps. As we go from a B Gap to an A Gap on the snap of the ball. How do we do it? We have the same stance and we want to make it look like we are reading. We are in a 3 Technique going to a I Technique. That would be a 31 Fire for us. We key the blocker as we step. If the blocker goes away from the way I am going, I make my step and square up. The blocker will probably go on by me. I do not want to run into the A Gap and then try to get out to the B Gap. They want you to waste three steps by going down inside the A Gap. We step laterally and then take one, two and I am in the B Gap.
This is the tough thing to do. Now we want to go to the A Gap and he is going to try to cut me off through the A Gap. As I step laterally I do not have a lot of power, right. We want to get into the A Gap and he is trying to keep us out of the A Gap. We put our face in they "V" of the neck and mash him down inside. We block him down inside all the way to the sideline as hard as we can. You will create a big pile if you will explode on the move to the Gap.
This is the Total Influence we give a blocker. This is the total package.
b. Penetrate - Jet
c. Change Gaps - Fire
d. Change Gaps and Penetrate - Jet
e. Widen Gap - Slant
This is how we run the Total Influence Drills. We use 7 Chairs and a Ball. We get the players to line up on the Chairs. We callout a defensive call and they line up on the chairs. If I call 31 Jet this is what it would look like. The nose lines up in the 1 gap, the tackle lines up in the 3 gap. They step with the Jet foot and rip up field. If we call 31 Fire Left they step laterally and change gaps. We make them go on the football. You can have one of the managers or injured players move the ball. We do not always go on the snap count. We will go on the snap of the ball and on the movement of the man. We stress the proper steps. This is how we start out teaching stunts.
Next we go to a 2 on 1 Drill. We call a stunt and have him make the steps. We do not want to double team block the man in this drill. This will help him learn to read people.
This is how we line them up. The Tackle learns these techniques. He has a 1, 2, and a 3 on the Guard. On the Tackle he has to line up in the 5, 4 if he is reading the guard, and a 6, and outside the tackle is his Base. If we put him on the Center it is a Tom call. If the Strike calls LEFT, he goes to the call side. He always goes with the Strike.
B65 3 1 T
A 4 2 0
S M E
The Nose lines goes Strike. This is how he Base is on the Center. and a 3 position.
away from the lines up. His He has a 1, 2,
BO 1 3 W
E A K
On the inside shoulder of the Weak Tackle we call it a Weak call for the Nose. He plays the same technique in a Weak as he does in a 1 position. That is all it is for him. It is the same as a 3 position on the guard. It is the same if he is playing the center from the other side of the ball. That is his techniques.
Let me show you something about the 31 Stack. First, want to show you how we teach the Agilities. We stress feet, feet, feet. I think this is very important. We can't stress feet enough for those big guys. We run the Carioca, Rope, and Bag Drills to work on the feet.
We do One On One everyday during the season. We do Hook Ups on every Tuesday and Wednesday. We go best against best. You do not need a ball carrier. We have linemen against linemen, one on one. The Offensive Coach calls his play and we call our defense. We only go for 10 minutes per day. We can go 5 Run and 5 Pass Plays. That is the best way for us to get better; by going against good people on offense.
We run the Dive Drill. I am sure all of you run the Dive Drill. We put the ball down the middle in a 5 yard wide chute. We change the positions around on defense and work on all of our calls.
We use the Inside Drill. I said THUD PACE here because it is Coach Curry's idea. We run this during the season. By Thud we mean we are going to go full speed, except we do not pile on our good backs. We come up and put a shoulder on them and stop right there with them. We can run it as a 8 on 9 drill. This makes both sides of the ball more physical. We only run plays inside and the off tackle plays.
We can take the Rover out of the drill if we want. We can work against the Isolation, Sprint Draw, Traps, and the Fullback Dive Plays. The offense will sometimes run a Sweep on you. We
all know how the offensive people are in these drills. When they do that we want to make the Sweep break outside on us in this drill. It is best against best.
Once we have taught 31 and Stack 5 we can make things interesting for them. We can line up and show the offense 31 and on the Snap of the ball go.to a Stack 5. We call Show Stack 5. We just move the Strike, Tackle and Nose over one gap. The End does not have to move.
Then we show them a Stack 5 and go to a 31 look on the snap of the ball. The Strike, Tackle, and Nose move the other way a gap. Again, the End does not have to move. Now, we have the line moving back the other way. It is like a sickle cutting grass. The offense is trying to block a Stack 5 and you have gone back to a 31 look. That is tough on the offense. We did not run enough of these two stunts last year.
Let me show you a film of what I have just covered. We did not always do things right, but we are going to get better. Men, I appreciate you attention. Our staff will be here the rest of the day. Thank you very much.
LINEBACKER AND END TECHNIQUES
UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Let me start by thanking everyone for being here this morning. I want to thank all the people I
work with for the support they have given me over the years. What I am today is because of a lot of people believing in me and my work ethic that I have developed over the years working with a lot of good people. I feel the State of Kentucky is going to lose a great football mind and a great person when Rick Lantz goes to Virginia. He was very instrumental in my formative years of coaching.
I will talk about the play of the outside LB'ers in the UK Package. A lot of people will tell you that the people I coach are not really LB'ers. I will not argue with you on that, but at UK we call them outside LB'ers. I will talk about the Strike and the End on our Multiple Defense. They could be called Ends in some defenses.
The I want to conduct this talk is to take you through a series of things that I feel will help you understand our defense. I want you to feel free to stop me and ask questions at any time. I will try to give you the answers to the most common questions that I am asked about our defense related to our Strike and End.
To build on what Larry New talked about I want to cover the play of the two men that I work with, the Strike and the End Position. Let me give you the JOB DESCRIPTION for each. I call these two positions Half Man and Half Animal. These are the type of players that usually play these two positions. Over the years they have been the type of players that live on the edge, and in general are kind of wild men. They do not have to be 6'4" and 245 pounds to play these positions. We have played men that were 6' 2" and 225 pounds at these positions. What they do have to have is the ability to bend their knees and ankles. They must have good upper body strength, but they do not have to bench press 400 pounds. However, anything over 325 is considered good for them, and 385 is
great. They have to be able to make decisions. I learned a long time ago that great players over come coaching. These two players have to make decisions. They have to make great decisions. In football you get beat on the Perimeter and with the Bombs. We have to be able to contain the offense or put pressure on them.
Players that play these two positions must be able to make plays in the off tackle area. If he can stay on his feet, and if he can make decisions, and has upper body strength he can play these positions. In our Scheme we want to find the player that can make good decisions. We like players that have long arms playing these two positions. They must be able to use their hands on defense to play these two techniques.
The difference between the two is this. The Strike sets our Defense. In our Scheme the Strike, Tackle, Mike, and Bandit all go together, right or left. The Nose, End, and the will go to the opposite side of the ball. The Strike Sets Our Defense. The difference in the End and Strike is this. The End is usually a little heavier of the two. He has more alignments and is more of a technique player. He must be a very dependable player because a lot of times he is over on the end by himself. The Strike needs to be a little more agile and a quicker player, and a better change of direction player. He has to be a player that is willing to take a chance and be wrong at times.
In my experience I have found that players practice differently than they play. Players tend to think that they will play a lot better when they get
in the game. They think they can play a lot better than they practice. What I do is this. I try to tee a player off early in practice to raise his level of performance to the same level he will play at during the game. A player will not do this on his own. I want them to raise their level of intensity from the beginning of practice all the way through the end of practice. I work hard on each player to try to find out what makes each player get to that point of intensity that he plays at in a game. You have to work at this for each player. There are two things that we feel get you in trouble on defense are your eyes and your feet. There are two other things that you need and that is correct hand and head placement. Let me comment a little about the eyes. We have found that football players tend to stare, rather than see through things. If we tell a player his key is a Tight End they will stare at the Tight End and they will not see anything else. If you tell them their key is the back, they will stare at the back and they will not see anything else. The second thing that football players do is this. Football players tend to have a bond between each other, even with the opponents. If a defensive player is going to rush the passer and rushes from the outside at some point he is going to face the blocker. It may be a back in the backfield that he has to attack. Somewhere along that path the two may look each other in the eye and know that they are going to go at it, one on one on that play. They agree to make contact; it is just a natural things. If the back is going to cut the defender, they both know that at some point, place and time, they will say it is just going to be "You and Me." That is what happens to many football players. But the good players, they say "Yes, let's get it on, and then he tricks the blocker. There is that bond between football players, team mates and opponents alike.
More about the eyes of the Strike and End. You have to see more than one thing. Let me give you an example by going over one technique. I think this is the toughest technique in our system. We have an alignment for the Strike that is called CINCH. For the End it is called Tough. The two have the same techniques but we call them
different terms. We are trying to coach Eyes and Feet. I always try to coach Eyes and Feet. If you put a special stripe on the players helmet you can see where the players are look from the film.
In the Cinch Technique we are going to key the tackle. We are going to look through the tackle, to the near back, pulling guard, QB, and what ever appears next. He must step at the Tight End. He wants to make contact with the helmet and hands. He must step at the end and not laterally. He must drive the end back. Most players want to step laterally and that is a mistake. The most passive position to play in is the parallel stance. If a player is in a parallel stance he is getting ready to get his ass kicked, for the most part, or he is going to catch it from the offense. I think you need to be in a staggered stance to make the offense think you are coming hard. The stagger stance is much more aggressive on defense for the Strike and End.
Let me comment on head placement.
When you strike a blow you need to strike through your eyebrows. Keep the head up, and look the lick in, through your eyebrows. That will keep you head up. Running Backs run away from the opposite color jersey, or HELMET. If they see the helmet is inside, they are going outside; if our helmet is outside, they go inside. It may be the jersey or the helmet, but running backs go opposite in most cases. On defense we must aim our eyes and aim your head. If the Tight End has a stripe or School Logo on it, that is to our advantage. I like for our defenders to key on that helmet stripe or logo. If that stripe goes parallel to the LOS the Tight End is probably going to arc release. It the stripe comes off at an angle he is going to try to reach block the Strike or End. We are still talking about head placement. The offense can not get his helmet around you and hook you. The man can get the helmet outside, but you can not let him get his body turned outside.
I want to talk about the pass rush.
There are three basic kinds of pass rush. First is the Called Pass Rush. This is where you tell your players to get down in a 3 point stance and to come straight up the field. They know they have to rush. Second is the pass
rush when you are in the base defense and nothing will tell the man to rush the passer. He must React to the passer. The Third rush is the pass rush from a Stunt. Let me talk about these three rushes.
First is the Called Rush. You have a call that has the Strike rushing. If we have a Called Rush we do not care if the offense knows we are coming. We put him in a 3 point stance. To us this is our Sooie or Scream Stance. If we want all four front men rushing we Call Scream. If we call Sooie it means we only send the End and Strike. Those are our Trigger Terms. We want to get down in a 3 point stance and get our butts up a little and turn loose. We want to run like we run a 40 yard dash. We try to give them some directions as to what he needs to know on each call. On a Scream or Sooie we are trying to make that defensive man get deep. We want to make the blocker worry about beating him up the field perpendicular to the LOS. We want to get upfield 5 yards. If we can get the tackle to think we are going to beat him up the field we have him on the run.
I have been very fortunate to have worked with some great pass rushers that had great desire in my coaching career. I have learned one thing about this technique. For a defensive man to get back 5 yards to sack the QB it takes a great effort. You can make the call all you want, but if the rusher does not have the desire to get there he won't. My style of coaching may be different than most coaches. Coaches can get caught up in trying to get the players to do as we say. I do not have a problem with a player in practice trying out what he can do, and what he can't do. But, to get to that point, he must prove to me that he can at least do what I ask him to do, then I will let him experiment. If he can do that then he deserves his chance to try something new.'
The Pass Rush that we use to go with this Call is our Bear In And Lean Technique. That came from the Miami Dolphins. We are trying to beat he man up the field, and turn his shoulders pads and feet perpendicular to the LOS. As he turns we want to take our inside shoulder pad and explode up and under the outside arm pit. I do not like to use the Rip Technique. We do not want to get crossed in the move
up field. We want to throw our eyes to the sky and lift the arm off your neck. You must lean into the man and come up hard on the move.
If we have a man coming from the outside hard we do not like to tell him to contain. On Sooie you let him go or you will not get any rush. This is a big rush for us.
The next rush we get into is when we are in a Base Defense. For us it could be 31 or 13. When we are talking about the 3 man side we are talking about the guard, tackle, and end. If we are talking about the two man side we are talking about the guard and tackle. On our Base Call nothing is told to our E or Strike to get up field. They know in the Base Defense they must be a Contain Rusher. Before they can get up field they must do two things. First, he must see the tackle sit back quick, and the guard set back. Usually you can tell the difference between a Draw Block from a Pass Block. The draw is usually a quick set. You have to coach against the draw on the pass rush. The second thing you have to know in the I Set is this. It is not a pass unless the QB has gone as deep as the deepest back. Against the Split Backs it is easy. It is clear and defined.
If we read the set back and the tackle moves out to pass protect, we want to get into a pass rush. This is our Tilt Rush. All we are trying to do is to be in a position to contain rush after the Tackle and Guard set to pass block. We want to get our outside hand on the cuff of his shoulder and the inside hand on his pec and stay outside. He must stay outside and keep the containment. He wants to work up the field in a contain position. The most under used Rush is the Power Pass Rush. There are two things that come out of this rush. Once you get him in that position you want to take him straight back.
There is a difference in the Pass Rush on a Back and on a Tackle. I do not like to use a flipper on a back. Every now and then you may need to do
that, particular early in the game to give them something to think about. I believe in giving them the same thing back. If the fullback comes and cuts your legs out from under you, then I say you can come back and do the same thing to the fullback. On a back there is a lot of time and a lot of space to make you move. This is where the football players mentally agree to make contact. This is where the good players trick the backs. You must look him right in the eyes, read his shoulder pads, and then do what ever it takes to beat him.
There is another Pass Rush t.hat; we get out of Stunting. This is what we want on Stunts in our Pass Rush. We want to get off on the ball, which is your key. You use the proper foot work. First I will let the players rush their own way. If they do not get the job done, then I tell them to do it my way. I do not have a problem wi~h this. I would prefer a lateral crossover dip, rip, and the whole ball of wax up the field. If a player can get it done his way, that is fine with me.
I believe you have to give the players clues or keys to help them. Let's look at the Pass Rush vs. Boot or Counter Plays. If. the tackle sets and turns his rear end to the sideline, we are thinking Counter or BootAction. Most players want to run up field when they see the tackle turn his tail. We do not want them to run up field when they see this. We want them to close down and get their shoulders square to the LOS. We want to square the pads. We want the head in front of the man.
After we get our pads square and then see it is turn out protection we step out to keep from getting cut off. We call this containment OH CRAP!
D~ 0 r
You think you have the play contained and then you see that it is going out side. That is when you yell out OH CRAP, and take off to contain. We tell them to run straight to the boundary. We do not want them to go up field and try to pull up. We want to see through the tackle to the next back or to the next linemen.
At some point everyone that plays football must learn to play the CUT BLOCK. When the tackle steps out the back comes to cut the end. That is where we must play the Cut Block. Some one is always throwing at your legs on defense. I am still talking about containment and pass rush. The back is trying to cut the legs of the end. I learned some important things about the Cut Block that I feel we need to look at a little closer.
The first thing about the Cut Block is this. When you see the Cut Block you better look at the helmet of the blocker real close. We want to look at that helmet from a bent knee and bent ankle position. Everything in football I believe starts and finishes from the bent knee position. When we see the Cut Block coming the man will cut us if we go up field. We tell them to stay on their feet and we will have a chance. We want to work the LOS with the shoulders square in a bent knee position. We want to look at the helmet as we work outside. We do not want the hands on the blockers back. We want to put both hands on the helmet and press it away and push it all the way to the ground. We want to come out of the block and keep our feet and shoulders square. We do not want to cross over. We play the helmet to the ground and continue on our OH CRAP angle.
I had the privilege the last two summers to work in the NFL on a minority program. I worked with Chuck Noll and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I got this term from Chuck. I think all Head Coaches have one or two terms that they want to tag as special to them. One of his big favorites is this; "Ose Same Foot, Same Shoul.der." If you take a blocker on you need to take him on with the same shoulder and the same foot. That is your strength and power. Take him on with the shoulder over the knees. This is where the Cut Block comes into play. "Same foot, same shoulder, shoulder over the knees."
I do not tell the Frosh the same thing I tell the Upper Classmen. As the saying goes at American Express Company, "Membership Has Its Privilege. " When you get to be an older player you can experiment to find out what they can do best. When they are young we do not want to give them too much. We tell the freshmen to get as wide as they can and still be in a position to take care of your responsibility.
If I am the Strike End playing against the 9 technique that is trying to make a Reach Block on me this is how I play him. I am looking at the helmet of the end. If his helmet goes inside I step inside with him. It is a mirror step. We always step with the foot in the direction we are going. I want to smash and attack his outside ear hole of the helmet. I take the outside hand on his shoulder and inside had and rip through the pec. It ends up on the throat. Now I want to push and pull and work him up the field. Jam that pad up in his throat. Take him up the field, cut off the running lane, and make the play. One problem is when the players start raising up looking for the ball. When I coached with Tom Harper at North Carolina he called that "LOOKING OVER THE FENCE". We Contain Rush against the Sprint Out attack. We can take the fullback on and fight him one on one or we can try to trick him and step outside. You agree to make contact and then you fool him and step outside and contain.
Against the wide splits we want to make sure we can cover our area. If the end is split up to 3 yards he can split the difference. If he is split 4 yards we can turn our back to the man and he can not clip us. Anytime we are on a vacated area, or on Air, we make it look like we are going to rush. Another thing I learned from Tom Harper was this. I do not spend a lot of time coaching stance. If you spend a lot of time coaching stance, they will never get out of their stance. I do not really care if the man is in a two point or three point stance.
On a down block the End looks at the helmet of the tackle as he comes inside. He is looking at the helmet and he is going to throw his butt inside and squeeze the play down. As he squeezes the play down he looks off
the tail of the tackle to his next key. It could be the near back, guard, or the QB. If the near back is attacking him he wants to play on the LOS and stay underneath the Blocker. If he will stay on the LOS and close and shuffle, .. shuffle, and shuffle he will know where the ball is. After he takes three steps if nothing is happening there is a good chance that two things are going on. First, it is going to be a reverse, or Second, the play is going away from him.
Against the pulling guard it is the same thing. We still play on the LOS and stay underneath and hold on as he reads his keys.
Coach Larry New did not go over our Trigger Terms. Every Position has his own Trigger Terms. Some Trigger Terms will overlap. For every angle there is for the End we have a name for it. If we want him to come underneath the blocker we call it a Charlie. If we want him to go off his butt we call it a Mesh. If we want him to go straight up the field we call it Sooie or Smash. If we want him to do the same thing but line up over the head of the Tight End we call it Slit. That means he steps with the inside foot, and then gets up the field. If we want to run a combination stunt with another man we give it a name. Everyone has his own terms. I can teach you this system in five minutes. Coach Glaser will cover the base alignments of our front in his lecture.
I do think the End and Strike Position can determine the out come of a game. They can dominate a game just by moving around. I feel good about the people we have coming back to play those two positions for us next year.
The Question is asked how do we play against two Tight Ends. If the offense has two ends and we do not give
the End a Trigger Term he must look down inside to the Nose man. If the Nose is lined up on the Center gap he stays on the Tackle. If the Nose is out on the Guard, the End moves outside on the End. I can coach the same thing to both players on this defense. It depends on the experience of the players. If we call a Stack the Tackle stays on the Tackle and we bring in the Rover to play on the Tight End. We would treat a Slot the same as a Tight End.
'Or N !P JE
If you want to visit with us you are welcome. Most of this material we have on tape and you are welcome to see those tapes. I have enjoyed this experience and I hope I have given you something that will help you next year. Thank you.
LINE BLOCKING TECHNIQUES
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Thank you for the kind words. This is my first clinic this year.· You will have to bear
with me while I get back into the swing of things. It is different talking to your troops than it is talking to you coaches. When you talk to your troops you have to be nice to them. Some people ask me why I talk at clinics. Some people say that I have been doing clinics for years. I can tell you one thing it is not for the money. I travel all around and talk to groups like you because I love football. I love my job. I love coaching. I hope I can reach one or two of you out there tonight. I hope I can encourage you to love this game of football as much as I love it. That is the main reason I talk at so many clinics. That is why I am willing to get up here and sweat my ass off. I sincerely believe in the game we are playing. I truly believe if we do not do something about this great game we are going to lose it.
I hope I can tell you a couple of things that will help you to be a better football coach. That is why we all are here. It is a pleasure to see you in here listening to me instead of being down at the bar drinking beer. I want you to know that I understand football in this area. I know what football is like in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. I was raised, played, and coached in this area. I want you to know I appreciate the job that most of you do. I want you to know that Indiana and Kentucky football is getting better every year. You people have some things to fool with that other states don't have to fool with. I congratulate you as coaches. I can remember coming down here to watch football when I was not impressed. I have seen the Kentucky State Championship the last three years and I know there is some good football being played in Kentucky. It is the same thing over in the State of Indiana. I know it is tough competing against those guys running around on that
hardwood in their underwear. For years that is all kids in this area wanted to do. All they ever did was bounce that basketball. Well it is starting to turn the other way now and I appreciate the job you men are doing in this area.
I want to tell you what I think about the game of football. I want you to understand where I am coming from and how much I love to coach. We want to have the ability to control. the football. We have done that by running the football. Do you know what ruins football? It is people like Larry New, the Defensive Coordinator of the University of Kentucky. Those damn Defensive Coordinators are ruining the game of football. They are a little smarter than we are right now. They make it difficult for us to do the things we want to do on offense today. They are stopping us from running the football. You have to be able to throw the ball as well as run it. But, we want to throw the ball in a manner that we can control the ball. We want to have the ability to score quickly within our offensive strategy. We want to have the ability to score in all kinds of conditions. This is where the running game comes into play. I have seen the weather here in late November and early December. You had better be able to play when the weather is bad.
I want to be able to beat the toughest team on my schedule. I have to gear my football team to be able to do that. I never will forget talking with a High School football coach about his team. He got the chalk and started telling me about his great offense. He showed me how they ran the unbalanced line on offense. If the defense overshifted to the weak side they would run to the strong side. If they overshifted to the strong side, they would run to the weak side. He told me they could run that ball up and down the field all day. I asked him if they had won many championships. He said, "NO, because the
other teams all had better personnel than he had. Finally, I told him to scrap that damn offense. I went on to tell him to find an offense that would allow his team to win against the toughest opponent. I do not care if you beat Podunk High 68-0. I want to know what you are going to do against Notre Dame and Ohio State. Those are the people I want to beat. When you develop an offense, make it one that gives your kids a chance to win. That is your job as the coach.
I want to have the ability to adjust and attack new defenses. If you work all week on an Oklahoma defense and they come out in a Gap 8, you have to adjust. I want to have a blocking scheme that can adjust to anything that the defense might throw at us. I want to utilize my personnel as best I can. You have to develop your people. I hear high school coaches say all the time, "If colleges need something we just go out and recruit it." I do not get what I want when we recruit. But we still have to go out and beat Penn State with what we have. We have to develop personnel just like you do. If I want to be a QB oriented team, I have to develop a QB. What happens is this. The other coaches take the young QB and play him as a defensive back if they have juniors or seniors in the QB position. When that kid is a freshman or sophomore he is playing defensive back. When he gets to be a junior and the coach needs him, he pulls him over to play QB again. That doesn't work. Make sure you have those young QB's coming along.
Base your football on FUNDAMENTALS.
You win games because you can Block and Tackle better than your opponents. If you think you can out coach teams you will be a loser. I have seen it happen many times before. I walk in to a school and this week they are running the Split Back Veer Offense. The next week I go to see them play and they are running a Power I Offense. The next week they are running the Drop Back Passing Game. Every year they went to a new offense. They never get to the point of learning how to play the game of football. You have to build on good, sound fundamentals, and then be slow to change your offense. You will very seldom hear me tell you which offense to run. I do not draw up a lot of plays because I am not that smart. I do not believe in changing
plays just for the sake of changing. Change plays because you think it is something that will fit into your football system and make you a better team. Look at the great coaches. I have a coach in my area who has been in coaching at the same school for 35 years. He runs the Wing-T Offense and a 6-2-3 Defense. He runs the Trap up the middle. Then he fakes the Trap and runs the Off Tackle. And he runs the Bootleg Pass. He has won 8 Or more games in the last 15 years. He wins because he is a great coach that has developed a system based on fundamentals.
Many of you know coaches just like my friend in your area. That is how we want to play. Hell with the Trends Of The 1990's. We want to line up and knock your butt off the ball. That doesn't mean we don't keep up with what is going on in football. We keep up with what the defenses are doing differently. However, we are going to move slowly when we make changes. I want to talk about the philosophy of offense.
When I start talking about philosophy it takes me back to my days when I was a student at Miami University in Ohio. One of my professors taught a Physical Education class where we actually boxed. He put us in the gym and we put the gloves on and we would work on the light and heavy bags. Toward the end of the semester we were going to match up with other members of the class and box one another. I matched up with another 160 pound player who was about 6' 2". We got into the ring and they ring the bell to start fighting. This Tiger comes out and just starts beating my brains out. I said, "Jesus Christ, ring the bell and let me out of here!" That is offense. He had a great offense. That is what I want from my team. I want to punch them and knock off the LOS. I want to hit them in the mouth until they give up and let you score. That is the same philosophy that I want my team to have. I want the defense to feel like they are always being pushed back. I want to run the ball, move the chains, and wear them down. I want to get 3 or 4 yards in the 1st quarter so by the 4th quarter we are getting 7 or 8 or 10 yards per play.
How many times have you heard the comment that "Defense Wins Games." If that statement was true then Bo Schem-
bechler would have been coaching on that side of· the football. He coached offense. Offensive football is what wins games. I want my offensive linemen to know that. If anyone wants to meet a real football player, then 90 percent of the time it is an offensive lineman. Think about this. The defensive coaches will grab a players and tell him to go in the game and stuff the offense for 3 plays, and then he can come back over on the bench and sit down. Hell, those kids don't get to play any football. I tell my players to stay out there for 8 or 10 plays. I tell them to stay out there 8 to 10 minutes if they want to play. I do not care how long they are on the field. I tell them just be sure to put some points on the board while they are out there. The only people that will know the offensive linemen are out on the field will be the moms, dads, uncles, and other relatives. It will not be their girl friends because they are too damn ugly to have a girl friend. That is the attitude the offensive line has to have. What are these guys looking for? They are looking for respect from their team mates. That is what we strive for and what we are looking for.
·When I first became an assistant in charge of the offensive line I decided to do something to make them respect one and another. I created an award. Our school nickname was Redskins. We called this award the COCHISE Award. We pick the best offensive linemen from each particular game. If he never missed a meeting and was never late for practice, and was selected as the best linemen in the game, he got the award. If a lineman got his name in the newspaper he was ineligible for the award. We put a mat in front of his blocker and no one was a~lowed to step on it but him. That territory belonged to COCHISE. The Award became a very prestigious award. This gave my players respect from the rest of the team. I really enjoyed giving the award. This gave us a good mental approach to the game.
When I played football everyone lined up in the same defense and played straight football. If a team was better than another team they lined up and knocked them off the LOS. Today, Defensive Coordinators have screwed up all of that set up. Now we get ODD and EVEN FRONTS. We get Over and Under
Shifted Fronts. The defense has all kind of Multiple Fronts and Coverages. Along with all of the disguising and shifting, now they are changing personnel like crazy on defenses. They are taking out LB'ers and putting in defensive backs like it is going out of style. They are making it too tough to play this game. Hacksaw Reynolds use to play for the San Francisco 4gers. He was great against the run. On 1st Down he could really make some big hits. On 2nd Down they would bring in a defensive back for him. Finally, he told the coach that he was going to start missing tackles so he could play a little longer. In order to play modern day football the offense has to meet the things that are thrown at them on defense.
If you can teach blocking and teach technique you can move the football. What I want to move on to is how we teach some of the blocking techniques at Michigan. The first block is the Base Block. This is a One On One Block. You have to start to teach technique of any block with the stance. I have changed my viewpoint on the stance somewhat. I use to say I wanted my feet as far a part as the width of my armpits. Now I want the feet as wide as the shoulders. I have widened the stance somewhat. We did that because we pass the ball more. It is easier to get into the pass block fundamental position from a wider stance. To the side they put their hand down. I let them stagger their feet somewhat, not an awful lot, but I let them drop one foot back. I want about a heel to toe relationship.
At this point in the stance I tell them this story. I tell them we all have brand new NIKE shoes and we are going to the woods to take a hike. While we are in the woods we get this terrible urge to take a crap. I tell them to take a position to accomplish that feat. This is what I tell them. If you get the feet too far back they will crap on those new Nike shoes. The next thing I tell them is to get more comfortable and put one hand down on the ground. I want them to use the finger tips, and not the knuckles. If they get their weight too far forward they will get crap on those new Nike shoes. They can understand that talk a lot better than me telling them about force producing angles in their leg and ankles. That is why I use that
story. It gives them something to relate to. Getting the offensive linemen into the proper position is extremely important. Everything starts with a good stance. I do not want them too comfortable in the stance, because I want them to get the hell out of it when the ball is snapped. I do not want comfort. I want effectiveness.
The next thing we teach is the buddy system. We have two players working together. The blocker has to know what it feels like to be in the perfect drive block position before he can make a perfect drive block. The partners work together to get into a form blocking position which teaches all the fundamentals of contact, leverage, and technique. When the blocker makes contact with his partner, he whips his fist up inside the shoulders of the defender. He leads with his forearms but brings his fist up inside. We have to center the head on the defender. We don't teach the butt block. We don't teach the shoulder block. If the defense would stand still we would teach a shoulder block. But they don't. Lead with the forearms, rip the fist up inside and center the helmet on the chest. The last thing is the follow through. That comes when the defender tries to get off the block. The offense and defense may get into a stalemate. That is fine, because the defense must try to tackle the ball carrier. He is going to have to get rid of the blocker to make the tackle. When he attempts to do that, the follow through takes place. The time to really get after the defense is when he tries to disengage with the blocker. That is when the blocker finishes his block.
The next block we teach is the Read technique. We use that technique when the defensive man is further off the ball and we are trying to seal him inside. I start from the basic stance. I am going to fire in such a way as to put my helmet right through the defenders outside hip. If the defender plays straight we have him in a shoulder block. If the defender plays the head of the offensive blocker, we are back in the base block. If the defender goes inside, we listen to the ancient Chinese Philosopher, Confucius. Confucius say, "WHEN ONE GOES IN, ONE COMES OUT." The offensive blocker lets him go in and he goes
out. He looks for the man outside. That is the LB'er scraping. That is the lead technique when the lineman is covered.
If the lineman is not covered and he is looking at the LB'er, he runs a different aiming point. His aiming point becomes the inside hip of the down linemen outside him. If the down linemen plays straight or goes outside, the offensive blocker is in perfect position to seal the LB' er. If the down lineman comes inside, the offensive lineman locks on him and drives him inside on a drive block.
We use a little different type of block when teaching the gap blocking. To block a gap, the first thing the blocker has to do is control his inside area. I f I am gap blocking, I am blocking the first defender to my inside between me and the ball. The first thing I have to do is prevent penetration through the gap. The fastest way the defender can beat the block is to fire straight ahead. The fastest way the blocker can cover the inside is to step down immediately. We don't aim at the hips. We take a lateral move. As I am taking a lateral move to the inside, I read the defender's charge. The first thing I want to do is to read the stance of the defender. If his head is down and his butt up, he probably is coming hard into the gap. If he is back in his stance, he is probably reading. As I lateral step to the inside, and as the defender comes into my gap, I want to get the biggest piece of him as I can. If I get my head inside on him, that is great. If I don't, I take the biggest piece of him I can get. If he is reading, my next step is up field. I try to get my hands inside and drive him down inside. If the defender loops into the face of the blocker, it is back to the base block.
The next type of block is the Hesitation Block. This is a technique used by the offensive guard to keep from getting picked off by a slanting defensive tackle when he is trying to block a LB'er. The offensive tackle blocks his man anywhere he wants to go. The guard steps to the defensive tackle and reads his movement. If the tackle is playing straight or going outside, the guard comes up and attacks the LB'er. If the tackle slants to the outside, the guard comes up and attacks the LB' er. If the tackle