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



; .

Foreword Inhoduction Key to Diagrams ix

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

3 6 8 10 13 15 17 20

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

29 33 35 37 40 46 51 57

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

60 62 65 69

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

74 76 80 83

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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







Counter6w€€Pbootleg versus 50


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

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

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

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






Running Options Ftom the l-Formation

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

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



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



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

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




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

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



Divo strong ver6us 50


6fr 5tO O
( )-J,,--"'




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



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


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

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

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The Freeze Option Series

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

We'd like the FB to stay tight to any down block-stay imide out ofthe tlap block and break oflthe block on the playside LB.When this occus.L COACHING STRATEGIES Blightly. the fullback will run an S course. The tlap haB kept our fullback as a threat in the offense. This serieshas beena supplementto ourwishbone triple option attack. It's important that the firllback doesnot step outside the otrside foot. On the snap. On the snap. the QB will reverse pivot slightly past six o'clock. A good coaching point for the QB is to sneak a peak at the pitch key on the fiIst step. and the trap-option pass has taken advantage of a secondary which aggressively supports against the option phasesofthe series.Option Pas6 This is an excell€ni seriesbecausethe pass look is identical to the trap and trap option. It's imperative to establish the FB trap in order for th€ trap option to k) E 6 r1j4lrriIt Frcunt3Bl The Tlap. FIGUBE 3A FS - FS sc \ The Trap Option Once the trap has been established and LBs begin to step up on play remgnition. putting the play8ide foot in front of the offside foot (oossover). since he doesn't have his back to the pitch key on the fi"st step. or "whirlybird" action. a and b. The QB action and subsequent mesh with the FB has the pot€ntial t lieeze the LBs and FS. . I'he tullback should know prior to the snap where the trap will occur. We prefer this action because of the holding eff€ct it has on the linebackersand FS. The whirlybtud action allows the QB to accomplish this. it s time to run the option off the trap fake. This has the potential to oeat€ conflict for the defensivelineman. The backfield action is ideniical to the trap everything must look the same (seeFigure 3.His second step (balance step) must insure that his Bhoulders will be perpendicular to the LOS. When we throw offthe hap-option sedes. is identical to the tlap-on the tlap option. a and b). The trap option giv€s us a misdirection type of option play that has an excellent "Iie€ze" effect on the LBs and free safety. and carry out the option fake. the defen€e makes itBefvulnemble to the trap option. based on the defensive alignments. we "log" the 6ame defender who is happed on the trap pla). sinl the mesh. we have specific ideas in mind-w€ want to control the pitch support on the option and take advantage of a fast flow LB. The quarterback executesa full turn (360 degrees). dous freeze potential on the LB and FS. depending on the speed of the fullback. T$o routeB that accomplish these objectives arc shown in Figurc 4.16 FOOTBAI. the trap option pmvides a misdirection option with hemen. This is particularly helpful to the open end side! The pitch back can also assist the QB by recognizing hard pressure and making a call to the Tte line blocking QB as the stunt is recognized.The thid step is a ride and follow the fullback-tum to the inside.

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

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

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

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

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

If 4 rotates quickly and leaves the area that would allow the spreadend to crack on him. the wing mr13t block 4. The spread end besins his crack path on 4. anticipat€shis support action against the option. We like the option to this flank.After the seconddeliberate step away from the center. being carefui not to move into the coverase ofthe ftee Eafet)'. the spr€ad end should be open and the quaderback will hit him quickly (seeFisure 11).ss fiap-Option Pass Wi. and will either get a pitch or continue in the patteln as wide as the freld will allow. fakes the trap aspect ofthe trap option."..22 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES The pass{iom this option play has beenequalb effectiveas the run. developsa pitch relationship with the quarte$ack. and keeps his hands over ar imaginary ball. The quaft€rback rcverse pivots with two st€ps exactly as when €xecuting the tlap option. the wing $. This passwill be thrown from behind the rieht tackle at a d€pth of3 to 6 yards."ii* Bellykeepoptionp. and ifnot. The left half leaves in motion. The fullback bends his paih around the quarterback. The pmt€ction is simple and ihe options work risht off the basic play. and allows his head and shoulders to complete the pivot so he can determine as quickly as possible what 4 is doing.te-Side Flank Now let's look at the wide-sideflank and a package of plays that flows to that flank. If4 rea& th€ trap-option threat and begiN to support. as opposedto power sweep or blocked sweep. If not.i11 flare and stalk 5 (seeFigue 10).i.becausewe don't iike the idea of our wingback having to block a tackle. executing pitch-keep option.The endmovestoblockdown. then turns up field. the quarterback complet€Ehis pivot and runs directly at 3.1if he is inveded. releaseoutside and stalk No. The wing's assignment begins with checking 4. When running the trap option to this spread flank.The slotback flarcs and immediately looks ov€r hi! inside shoulder.If th€ cornerbacksuspech a pass TIGURE II . the spread end's assignmentis to crack on . dependingupon how long the quarterback is able to threaten the fl ank ex€crting the run-pass option aspectof the plav. 5. with little depth.then releasesinto ihe deep flat at a 4s-desreeansle (seeFisurc 9). The right halfrcleases with width and looks over his outside shoulder. The trap-option passisth€ next play in th€ packase. FIGUBEl0 l wid*"id. delaysiwo counts.

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

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

the inside. we ran the fiIst 12 playB we had r. We throw the ball over his head. . but we take it from there. rl^IheideaIhal $hen$cwanl robrFakagiven udency. My contentionis thar if we arF on their 25.41blitz ererl orhpr down. but risht around the 15-yad line.€ceiver wiih the same spacing on two or three :lavs in a mw If we want to throw theball to th€ $e Lrrjidp.You know where you're going rather than having to say. We present different looks and dilemmas. If ue go a "eries where there haven't b€en blitzes on the first two downs. :. Auto. tsut from the 25 to the 10.because three out offourtimes. so that there is more maneuve ng room :.der.Werun the bau dght at him. In our last game.eiver 'sidth and spacing. will reducethe split of the receiver.In an evenly matchedgame. In a . I don't want to try to take the ball from th€ir 25 to the goal line by trying to smash it thmugh people. ofcourse. Bur rhF p^in1i" $e wenr l2 plals in .and suddenlythe basic offensegoesall to pieces. By the style of our football.We continuousl) changc rF. you won't make it. witl be man-to-man by coverage. and we pretty much establishedin a given serieswhat we would come That's a good approachto offensivefootball. We are quite willing to do that .€ first thing on their mind is how to releaseout :j the backfield. we ran out ollists lcause the first 12 worked and none worked -q thal. Why? First. :r many t€ams knoq will cheat to get wherc they . every defensive coach in the country is going to his blitzes about right there. at that point. herc comes the safety blitz on the third down. with a very :nited inventory.because right at that point defenses cbange. That might have been the differencein the By the time we have complet€d 8 to 10 plays. we will kick a field goal.Our backs. but we keep going. against Southem l-ilifornia. We know that if we throw to backs.cided on in ordex Ofcoune. They'llseldom blitz twice in a row. and spread the defense. .We seldom will line up our . we will e). Th€ effect is that he feels he has to adjust. we readily seewhat their adjustments are. We continued that at Stanford. The biggest problem you will r:re in the forward pass is when you have to ::row the ball a numberoftimes and.:ren game. we don't worry about it. add ve. \\'hen you can get outside. \\'e need running room to the outside.. em over and over. w€'re going for the end Play Selection )re ofthe facto$ involvedwith our srccesB years :io with the Cincinnati Bengals was that we r ruldbecinto set agame plan for the openingof :ae game. :. you begin to throw the same .Meanwhile.satility.n scoring lefiitory I have seen many teams march the ball beauti fully. We don't change. we\e forc€d the opponentto adjust to a number of thinss. they're going to blitz the next down.ption has to be qualified with how much you . right downtheline.Failing at that. we simpiy line them up there and run ! mething else. to try to keep it. we'I] have somebody to get the ball to a little bit late-just as an outl€t to get 4 or 5 yards.PASSOFFENSE 25 We'll get outside to throw the ball and get ours€lves closer to the man we want to thruw Lo. say.It fo(es you to go into that game with a certain calmness. the trajectory of the ball can be flatter becausenormally there isn't a :]lan betweenyou and the receiver The venatility also includes changing your ' rmarions. wo will vary tbe splii ofthe receiv€rsaccord:_. they are already warrning up their placekicker.We know that if they don't blitz one down. Unless you are sup€rior Of couNe.We went eight shaight ::mes scoring the fir8t time we had the ball.We are quite willing to move the :ran to get the release and sometimesteleeraph 'i hat we are doing.because know what the play we is. The a4ument that yon will throw the inter:.g th€ pattem and the coverage to and.We try to get a line on their firBt down defenses. We try to create an effect on our opponent. we'r€ going for the end zone. matically. and we threw no intercep::rns. for instance. Sowe are looking.are to be.irotr about the forward passinggame versu€the :rnning game. If we want to :hrow inside. and large. Youger rnlo troublc. the freld they can op€ratein changes.tend the Eplit of our re :!r!ers. if you are vastly superior it makes very little differencehow you do it. to get into the end zone. but lhe. our opponent :rnbled five times. We don't r ant the ball in the air very long. The pass coverage. We've kept him off balance with the t''pe of thing we were doing. nvlat in the hell do we do now?"Occasionally planned plays don't work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ConchEluat is a scoutfor the DenaerBrcncos. This play requires our flanker to motion pre-snap to an area 5 yards ouhide the alignment ofY On snap. 2.84 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES OuI QB will take his five-step drcp and key S. we dump to the FB. IfW widens to the flat. Ywill outsjdereleaseand occupya space5 yards ouhide hiB original alignment and get to a depth of 7 yards into the end zone. There have been instanceswhere we have fbund our flanker. This is our most successful play and we want our TE to gain a minimum of5. .left hash mark. leaning out of bounds. 338 Flood Pass Our sideline conversation will include our next two plays. 1987Sunner Manual. We completeto our FB who is unable togetoutofbounds. to Ienseto run the same front and cover as tbe fimt due ro I heir inrbrlir) to huddle. Ifhe widens and hangs with TB. Our final time-out is used with 12 secondsremaining on the 2-yad line. and ifit's not going to happen. We want thls block as close to the line of scrimmage as possible. ourTB is prime. then he will k€ep him from gaining gound upfreld.We anticipate tbe de.OurTB will release thmugh the inside leg of{ and his roul€ muar widenW By accomplishing rhis. Our FB will slip release the flat. but that has been the result ofa gr€at effort by our tdggerman. By accomplishingthis we have kept the football in the middle ofthe field.Our FB must pin the delender respon. Oui backs align in a near set. FIGURE 3 F I G URE 2I . keying the block of our FB. Our QB iB reminded not to lorce the issue.Th€ play chosen is a 338 flood pass (seeFisurc 3). Our TB will sprint to the front cone. re place the burden on M to get to the TB. subsr ure. trynotto look stunned. ThiB rEa ro technique that enables him to prevent a potential passrush ftom an area outsid€ ofour tackle.He must gain enough li"idth and depth that a simultaneous hit and reception would break the plane of th€ end zone. He then slips into the flat." If that defender widens to a point where a pin tu not feasible. 93X The situation is second-and-goal the 4-yard on line with 22 s€conds go. FS CCNCO / S CCo T ST Doubles right 93 X is a fade by our sptit €nd (X). Be composed and be the frrst to let your booster club know that you practice this amazing f€at every Thursday. sible for'contain. We also anticipate a defensive change so our third Eelectionis a play we feel has a chance versus any defensewhere w€ need 2 yards. We have crcat€d a two-on'one situation with our FB and Y Our objective js to make S wrong and look to ourTE. to get rid ofit so we'll have another opportunitJr. and we can get back to the line ofscrimmage for play No. We'll bring X to a tight position weak. Our QB willfirstcheck the corner. and somehow completes the pass to the flanker.orsig i1 nal in a defens€(seeFigure 2).The aligr]ment olw will change his fbcusto makingw wrong. he will oc' cupy the area S h as vacatedat a depth of 8 yards.OUrQB must lorce the issu€by getting outside. He will drive throryh the outside shoulder and fade tothebackconeofthe endzone. He now looks to the TB and thrcws or runs to the front cune ur In th€ event h€ throws off-balance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



53 Twist{over-1l3-sirong |etr


53 will-coveFl/3-si.ong left




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


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

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

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

967 54 321

Gap nu'',be ng systen


123 45 769

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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



C Otr OC C

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

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


] ('lJ]

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



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

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




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



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

OC C tr C C

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

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


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

.) (_)

StrongEagle versusrwins


ocroo o





StrongEagle vorsuspro

c ccc9co



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



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


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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We slant only the two tackles. We play with four down linemen two ends and two tackles. w€ are talking only to our tackles. we will slant our DE wben he is a 5 technique to the shength call. FIGUBE r!"/Fr. seeFigue 1). Th€refore...Our wideside of the field player is named Gorill a (strong safety). ofth€ time.We usually make only two callg in our Eagle defens€. Base Defense When we arenotslanting. .8. we may call a s)anting defense almost 507.rd 3l r sr""r Ourbasic alignments for our down linemen in Tite Eagle are a 6. our strongside linebacker its Sam (Eagle oo G OC C qC TJ]^CC IT -T E E B SR . our call would be Tite/ Field 2 Slant or Tite. and a 9. We play with foul lin€back€n in our scbeme.:r i. our Banditwould be forc€dto play a loose9 technique.f'ield 2 Slant Weak. or Tite/field Slant Weak.".Theirjob is t r keep the LBs free to m ake rackles. Fmm ihis alienment. they are role players.not the 6 technique. Some teams slant to conlirseblocking schemes. we baseout ofan Eagle defense. There are a nunber ofreasons to slant. and our weakside linebacker is Rambo (Fifty backer). Slanting Defenses Mostofthe time when we call a slanting defens€. and he i" qo conscious ofthe C gap that we usually do not slant him. i i i r 1 t.EMPHASIS ON DEFENSE 119 . Our call is either Tite/Tield Slant (see Figure 2). ib a C gap plaler. The 2 call noves our shade to a 2 technique.. a 3.r t : i Slanting Defense for an Advantage CHUCKBROYLES .A variation in our Easle defenseis to play Tit€r'Field2 (seeFigure 3). In running situations. we put a lot of time and effort into determining the directions we arc going to slant versus padicular offensrve backer).but the biggest reason we slant is to gain an advantage..We probably slant for those reasonsalso. Tbere js one exception:W}Ien we Blant strong. a 2. We play a hearT He 6 technique. so v€rsus two TEs we would be in a 6.1 7. our shortside of the field player is Bandit (dmp end). FIGURE 2 I TIGURE Ve$us twoTEs.:tti i--8 arq*:r :ri iii We like to move our defensivelinemen. The advantage we wish io gain is slanting our is delensirelin"men rhe dirccrionthc offense 'n running the football.1l f. ? t . unless we would give him a fire call. iit i ! i t i i .and a 5. i. a 5. a 3.We hav€ convinced our defensivelinemen that in our Eagle d€fense. shade. W1]enwe are on theboundary.othem to get penetration. somcto avoid mismatches. we make a freld call (Field Eagle) and when Ne are in the middle ol the freld we make a TE call (Tite Eagle.

as from I he srrenerh calt.urlea" hard. ro I th"n th. stant slack helps ub prorecr ihe Rambo oackcr.It jq 6imply a change_up ofassiqnmenls oer$een thc 5 tcchnique and thc Ramb. calt.ln r h. a BF6ide6 TiLeT.:.wa "tanr only our iaclles.\ould o: nt€r'treldG. stanted I a^\aay trom theptay. maApa"Lr"*: Nosecalt. to Our 0 tackh.w]lcn c is lh. S.L namDoLoop g:r us rwo goodchange up" r.15L 9r.. a and Rambo Decomes L.1-lil:1.iptd our sjanrs. w. In Slani Slack.n nlqup ro d gap. rr.i".T -lll /se p i su i "5 .gap player."{::"91. ib lo rpad rhe grard Hc on rhc morc and adJLr6t his block.andqurckty crord his block with a slanring mooun. our cau $outd bpTite FietdcStant.."r Rambo becomes he overrap lg*s:-": "yl{ Slanr r-lj. The r.see Figurc4.f|e is to rcad rhp cenrer un lh.TheeBs(unr ..Fh of rhe de|cnsFis arua1" c :"..anr Srack4amoo Loop bnngs the Bandil on a eB stunr. ue pinchour . shown in Fj8ure6.Fcnruquc. F F AJso fromStanrSrack.ard Rambobecon"E eB to pit.We expectI heqpr.Jon...doasnur har" r6 s16r. not the "Coach. q. :r-rDF^::le 9r bpabre pranr ptay ro and ::. C rnolesour Ehadc ro a z rcch_ nrque and atso dlcrls our DEq versuh r$o TEs ro p. l l l 1 " stant wncn..:.) n /-) z-rF. b) Bandjt i.Slanr.. 6s.wewouldha\e m grve them a firo call We^do acc?pr excusp.a .weg . weaksrde the 50 start rn up ro prorecr our srronssrd.120 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES Tf we do nor wanr rwo TEs forcing our Bandrr . basicalignmcntin Stanrdefenhpisarr.-=.. Ou. . C I^O 1 . mov. f.-teet lrkc Rambuonly loops iffio$ iFwpak. or nose. We rcfpr r.tite r jct(iU StantWeak.or..I hrsctelense calledonlJon I he is hashiInere_ .8. ir impej-dtive rr rhar our 4 A :i:l* ?y. wi run StanrSracl \ac _ riamoo Loop /see FigrjrF 7.-'.9"1 prayer. s rF..praya toose rechnrqLre.and r\e widen ctur RamboLb to a q eye. rhiq lcchniqlrFas a snave|.r qe are refernngonlyro rhc rack_ res. nac( acrossthc taceor usp r-Lr j"ou n_a nd technique Slant Stack A \ ariarion of our Stanr defense rs SIanr Srack. curoff.wF wi run a 5n ^.echnrque.Hcbp.'t.rega rdtesq he dirccrion the oft oj sranr we $erc In slant theDEs. regardtesq direcrinn of oi flow il . q E r-t_-E g ^ vv.. ca thiq de_ We lcnsebjmply.i.h FIOUSE 5 50Sranl (Strnr derense) o. ca . .omcsB ro gap a Stack and Slanr Std.-81 Slanr caltrn..\ playerq o ro sranr. Frorn rhis atisnmenr. sranr $rrh_severai change_ups.u_^ru c DH o C _ In Slanr defensc. $ant him to WF crowdrlr" cen_ @r.seeFrgurcFr.rdpfFnsa.erhnrquc bccomes B gap pta)er. Stanl dcfpnse usedontt as iq a boundary defense...

"*/Fi. 34. and our nosebecomes callsideAgap a the B player. he becom€s a scrape LB very similar to Sam'srespon_ rhe old ArkanBasmonst€r defenBe.' :' ) : Goaching the Front Seven in the 50 Defense RONSCHIPPER ii$ r r i r t$ .i 0 i 9 }: t ! . 52. :. we crash up our DE and bring him on an automatic fire call. our call would be Slant NoseiFire/SamLoop (see Figur€ 9). I've tried to rcad every word written about the 50 defense. he must check for the counter and then become an overlap player. FIGUBE 8. to D gap. If we want to insule a quick force by our DE.un the 50. I've gone ro clinics acrossthe country to hearpeople speak rn the defense. and :djustmentB. He still must be an inside-out player If an off€nse gives a wide slot or twift to the freld.We work prc-practic€ lour days a week in our stunt and slant period. i I ve been a head coachfor 30 years. and I've attended spring practices at many ofthe majorcollegesin the country that . W€ must be able to run this defense against anlthing the offense shows us.. 9 k *X l t *t i 1 X tt ri . but must slant for an advantage."t I L-e 1. In order t be a succesEtulslanting team. During these 30 yeam. you cannot just slant to be slanting. The defense has gone through many mod€l rhanges. CO C \/t\-) . alignments.1 ::. Sam would loop and become QB to pitch.rs many other special nam€s given to it by coaches .EMPIIASIS ON DEF!]NSE 121 FIGUBE 8 FIGURE l sr..\/'e^qF c c-Q <-/l G\ r .. Ifsam flow his way C sibility becomes reads flow away.our 4 eye tackle is more conscious gap. as well . and the 50 dcfensehas been our defensefor each ofthose 30 rears.\gR -r Et ol Slant Nose.' : We begin with the Base 50 (seeFisure 1) W€ wanl our player" 1o understand this defen"einside out.ho have added difTerent stunts. Sam muBt read flow of the football lf it flows his way. 1gg1 Pr@eeding9 Coach Brolles i8 head @ach at Pittsburg State Uniuersit! (Kg) . Therc is a lot oftime and preparationthat goes into our slanting defense. ! $ i i r i t 1 * l ' .""50 lJ €P T L C\gC qelE N T E ] BB C . New secondary cov€rages have idded to its flexibility."is. l :.It'sbeen calledthe 54.50.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Defending Against the Run-and-Shoot

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


Detensive alignmenr and movem€nl ver6us hall-roll pe6s

7-8 yds 7-8 yds

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

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


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

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

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





Oslensive alignmenl and movemsntv€rsuslrap or trap opllon

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

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

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


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

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


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


Detuns€againsl ace back scre€n



<---.-.'* s

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

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Applying Pressure Without the Risk

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




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

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


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

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

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



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


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

We called it our "checkwith me'package. adiustment.ck.nnessee Chattanooea.This packaeeis game ptanned to match our fronts and coverages rdth fornations of our opponents. tain sets that we may see." We gave th€ initial coveragewe wanted with the fronts.136 FOOTBALL COACHING STR{TEGIES TIGURE 3 C C C CO TOCC TN T M S o FIOURE 5 ComboEagl€ versusl-backser C R RT NT o C C C TC C c <__ s <_M<_W C C WC FS system and had a change to pemonnel lacking experience. FIGUHE 4 FIOUBE 6 ComboEagleversus2-back sel Ch4kwith me: Eagle veFus l-b. What we devetopedis o11r Combo-Eaglebase front. but gave us the flexibility to adjust to one-back s€ts. And we wanted to combine both Fonts to maximize oul effectivenessin certain situations in the running and passing game. Thj6 front is a combination ofSlide principles with a Spiit adjustment. and all adjustments werc automatic. but improve our effectivenessv€rsus certain one-back sets and motion. -t 992 Proceedinss. Our huddle call was "check with me.e also better able to defend comptex passing offenses. Combo-Eagle. to FS The changes we made in our defensive package have allowed our younger players to get comfoltable with technique and responsibitity W€. coach Green is head coach at the Uniersit! of T. One phase ofreorganizing our packagewas to have simple rules in the pedmeter so that we could packag€ morc than two fronts ano more than two coverages game plan our calls m cer.We wanted to keep the effectivenessof c€rtain ftonts. and many times a huddle was not needed. The huddle call was quick.shifts.s alignment.T M<-S o C R C <-W< T *\ Its key feature was that it alowed us [o remain in our stack alignment venus two backs.de€p C C N T C C CC CCt]CCC T M FS DU _*"Q___*-E) o C C IC OC T N< . W€ could communicate our Slide. Dich sheridan bas hea. We wanted to keep each play.coach at North camrina state uniDercity. shown in Figure 4.. and t€chnique as much the s:tlre as possible.I must admit that we stole thiE terminology from our olfense. decidedto rcstructure our calls to we simplify oul adjustments. automatic 2.r. at . andmotion(EeeFigure S)while staying in our 2deep coverage. whilestill keeping he rulessimplcfor our r pedmeter people. and our players really like it. and Split calls and coverages thmugh just one call: "checkwith me" (s€eFigrle 6).

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

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

We attempt to kick each kickoff io it will be re_ turned. lushated in Fieure 5. This i6 I he responsibjliry ].Our atignmenrand sptjrsare il. a safctv $ho can_ c36'c36 cz'Qr4'036' c36'c . Agam. maintaining proper leverage on the ball. Onside Kick Anoth€r option for the kickoffteam is the onside kick. this onside kick has been highlv successtul for us. In ordFrto havea shot ar gaininADossession offan onside kicir'. The quickeslwa) Lolosea football game 13to get a punt blocked or a punt rcrurned tor a touchdown. This phase ofthe kicking same must be executedproperly every time. the ball should be kicked high and straight. The kick shoutdnevej" kicked tesb be than 10 to 12 yards. Atl of our defensive starteru want to be on the kickoffteam. this coverage team has a hemenalous amount of pride.jou have no chance. Our atisnmenr I he oDside on kick is 6hown in Fieurc 4. we work hard to get the balt kicked straisht down the field. Another key is to not let the kick qo out_ot_ bounds. firsr musr havea perfecrtl we executed kick. and that's h€althy for the whote t€am. Nolapses. Again. It s a higbly competitive situ_ ation. The remainder ofthe cover_ age attacks! We want to force a mistake bv the rcceiving Leam. This is the frrst point of em_ phasisro the kicker We 6rrivero ger Lhebig hop out of the ball. He ptays of JU6rrke a shorlstopcovering rhe bounda4rAn_ other verJ rmporlanrrole is 3.140 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES not allow a linemarl to catch a clean kick and rc_ turn it for a big gain.W'rhoutrhe properkick. We use the sprcad punt with zone prot€cnon. This is something that you us€ only when your 'back is to the wall".Down through the 1ears. the success failure or of an unsidekick can be the determiningfacror rn a rootDa| game. down. Punt Protection and Coverage The laBrphaseofcoverage our pLrnr is prorec|lon and co\erage.

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

kicker risht. Be onsides. E. (Ifblocker forcesvou oul or a lane. l.sTechUniuersit!. Knowblocking assignmentsandblock above the waist. work back to sideline. C. Sp. Punt B€turnt A. Be onsides. 1986Summer Mdhual. Fan out. D. Ends mustcontain. C.t-short defense. CodchDfies is hea. l.) D. (1)veEus exha pointformation (call blocked direction). Fullback coversright. Blockedfield goal attemtt may be advanced bv either team.) Kickoff Return! A. Go for "blocking" zoni. set back in lane. D. (Aled your tackte when held up. On bad snaps or mishandt€d ba]l ho]ler "lire.or (3) Long-long defense.j C. On center's snap aftor command ofdown. B. Releasewhen you hear balt kicked: (1) Fan out. We cover as a team. Don't rough kicker or holder. C. B. You can fair catch. If"block" is caUed (1) b€ r€ady when cent€r touchesball." Upbacks and €nds releas€ outside. Two factors that make unsure kicking srru(1) field position. Versus Field Goall A. BalLrn piay on center'lrsnap. ot . E. We cover as a team.) B. Remember ball is live after it travels 10 yards. F. Be onsides.and (4) go for "blocking" zone F. Field ball int€lligently. First man downtake an uncontmUedshot if you have shot. l(.. 15. Lincmpnkcppout"idefoorplantpd andbtock D. Know depth ofball.t coach. F. Punt Protection and Coverage: A. (3) Locate ball. or (4) block below waist. Advanceball on fourth down btockedpunts. Btockedpmts that do not crossline ofscrimmage can be advancedby either team. (3) dont be offside. and (2) scoreofgame. but aor ends. F. be sure ball is kicked before rouingback for the return. B. B. Stay in lanes. Conv€rgoon ball and break down. Blocked punts that crossline ofscrrmmage play as any normal punt. B. C. B. B. D. D. "Unsur€" is bench catl. When we have a retum. Locate ball.) H. (2) charge on snap. 8.t-onverge ball and breakpoinr on (61Endsmushcontain (7) Holder left. C. Upbackskeepoutsidefoot in placeand block E. Reninders are same a$ extra point. Sprint. G. (Your man . (2)Sprint.l E. (tnside Kick Coveragel A. Call a "block" if opponentsare going into a E. Don't (1) be offside. We want them to kick. Stay on lane. G. (2) Sho. (2) mugh kicker. (Rememberbalt is live after it tuavels 10 yads. Ter. Play defensecalled: (1) Nomal 40.142 FOOTBAIL COACHING STRqTEGIES Key Points on the Kicking Game Kickoff Coveragel A. J. H. Converyeon the ball.kicker cove6leti. Extra Point (Protectionl! A. Trcat 6eldgoslqameaq punr on btocked kickr. We must protect. Field ball in air. C. Recover ball on third down blocked punts. Be onsides. Know situation. (Same as extra point. (4) Treat as punt. Be ready when center touchesball. and hold€r or kicker scramble and find reField Goal Pfotectiont A. Attack! (We want poss€ssion.int. C. Move on center's snap. F. (3) clip. E. Anticipate fi€ld goal.vilt not block the kick with your head in the middle. Place kickins tee 7 yards ftom balt. Locate the ball. Versus Extia Point: A. and (2)versusrun formation (automaticdef€nse).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

then tuln and sprint back to the ball and block firct thrcar. The tullback will move up 2 feet closer and then move up on the punt so that the punt€r do€sn.s peNonnel on punt cov_ erage structure (seeFigure 4). C C O tI . If ball is purted. FIOURT 4 rosse Jamespunt return flounE 2 l-. We operate from one type offront in our punt _ defense.pl up L.Our firsr prior_ ity is speed.for retum rrar.A . cedenc€ over all other ddlls. r..ne punter witl never get closerthan 2 feer from the back of the end zone. to-Make sure ball is kicked.Jesse James. we have a great chance to set up our retum.l ff T . You are a 'personal protector. 2 and g-Attack #4 using pop technique and rctuln position.6\/\ A.A.A .A o CCC S Punt Beturn leam Alignment and Issr'gnrrents We call our punt rcturn team .ronr.In order to simplify our comrnunication we refer to ou. 4 and 7-Attack #2 using pop tecbnique and retum po8ition. but neyer closerthan 4 yads from the puntingspur. .i. to emphasizcrhe need lo -hold Lrp rhe co\Hrage. The pmctice ofthis unittakes pre. We try to dis_ cover this knack with a simple kick block d tl that we do thmughout spring and fall pmctice (se€Figure2). Releasehim outside. Ger ar least 10 yards. R€leasehim outside. 3 and 8-Attack #3 using pop technique and return position.Our philosophyis to use the block tn. Unc" \.but beyond that. Releasehim out6ide.we wilt have variations ofthe JesseJames retum to take ait_ vantage ofouroppon€nt. Dllring the courseofthe s€ason. peel around to block punter or FB.152 FOOTBALL COACHING STRATEGIES Punting Frcm Deep in Own lenitory When punting inside ofour own 3-yard tirre. Releas€him ortside.to6edown foot and releaseafter makine goodhit.A S Punt Block and Return Teams Th€ personnelfbr ourpunt block(score) t€am will bp the bcsrsrhlpleson our rpam. w€ searchfor play_ eft with a knack for btockins kicks.. qptrlsro I LrnemFn wilt. 5 and e Attack #1 uBing pop technique and retum position. positions as nun1beru1 10.1\. Wedo e!eM hingwp cando b ror bluck a h-ickfmm anywhcre nn LhFdctd..ntro orercmphasizp prcrpcrion.t kick him. TIGURE 3 1o-man froni punt btock/return C C CC OCC tr OCC ArA^ ...e Cetour oppon. l-Force or block kick.ur um.. Returner-Go nortlvsouth right away.""dbb"kd.l t l Our punt btock and punt rctunr t€ams look ex_ actly the same. I rgxreJ shoss ho$ wc align in our lo-man. .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

this is only partly true.Th€ high school coachhas seen his own playerc move into collegeranks. Thid. pEycholosy."Here's a man who really knows the game and knows how io pui it acmss. and he has the desire to follow th€m there and to work with more mature athlet€s. and he must prove himselfto be a goodtechnician with a goodknowledgeofintricate football. On the other hand. hemust rely on his own abilities and Second. hisher pay siandards are also a lac tor. although thtu is not alwaF the case.This doesnot mean that the discerning coach does not recog' nize the weaknessesof each player and coach. actual coachingexperience after graduation. about 1 1 . The head coacb's security lies in three First. for gaduate work.. the collegecoachgets more rccognition. for this rcason. wouldsecondthis 1007.182 I. The haining of the coach must be an exhemelybroadening experience. and very often acoachcan grvethem information that will helpthem do this. general. for the young coach's first contact with the player is as an individual coach. This conpFrarion wilh lhe adminisrrarion obviis a two-way street. He must be able to captivate the player menially and to build withinthe player th€ desirc to comp€teandtoimprove. Cedainly bis most important qualification in this area is to live up to all the fine things for which football standsIn this area he must be like no one but him sell In dealing with the prcss he should tell the truth. one of the truly great college coach€s ofall time. to move into coll€se is an advanc€ment.or someother university.therieht people.'OOTBALLCOACHING STRATEGIES profession is the fact that the coachreceives age d smallpercenl ^fhrchala? for tua(hinB and a larye pen€ntage ofit for his classroom teachjngand other duties. Third." it will be worth his while to be abie to work on a sood colege coachins staf for a year or two.und€rgraduate athletic expedence. To mislead the press is neither etbical nor sensible. With this in mind. Fifth.However. the coachhas no igbt to . several seemto be the most First. He must realize that you win with people. th€ coachwants to find the answer to the question.he will rarely be dismissedforhis failure as a classjob 8. it would appear that the coachupon graduation should make a strong effort to get on a good high school coaching staff or stay at his university. For this r€ason a young coachmust be a fast and eag€r l€arner. Coach Bear Bryant." Considedng fiftl things flrst. In coachesfeel that the most important coaching prepamtion is fr$t. coachingschoolsand coachingclinicsafter $ork in phy"iion.Much has beenwritten and discussed the coach and public relations. or say nothing.he must b€lieve absolutely in th€ pl ayers and his coaches. Althoush we often say that ih€re arc thinss morc important than dlaw ins circles and X's. 9. s€cond.the college coachgets to spend more time on actual coaching and less time on oiher duties.we find that almost always a successful high school coach has aspirations of moving into college coaching. Moving into collegecoaching. Fourth. the young coach must be a good technician.pmperly led. and. When a coachbecomes a head coach. Most administraotrsly tors seein th€ coachand the athletic t€am a positive force for good attitude and sood discipline in the schoolsyst€m. education. Most ofthese men are interested in spo s and want to portray spots in a positive sense.but at the same time. the football coach must cooperate with his administration. he has the desire to excel and hc believeshe can achievethis better on th€ collegelevel. Even though he works for "peanuts. Crddudr Undcrgrddudre cal education."How sood a coacham I?" Second. The first impressionthe player must have is. He goesfurther to say that a coachshould always have a lons-term contract.Although th€re are many reasons for this. and third. be must rec ognizein them and in himselfthe opporlu nity for team victory. 10.he must have a sound knowledg€ ofall the phasesoffootball. and practice teaching are regarded by coaches as havine relativoly little value in preparation for coaching.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Association works closely with the National Collegiate Athl€tic A. innovatioN in techniques. have been inBtrumental in the AFCA's becoming the effective and highly respected organization it is today.rleschangesand pmposals. The A-ssociation promotes safety in the sport. fiIst declared by founders such as Amos Alonzo Stagg and John Heisman." Th$e objectives.proper coaching methods. The A.esociation of Intercolegiat€Athletics. and oLherorganizations involved in th€ same. the Carrafian Football League. Pop Warner. Indeed. i$ights in coaching philosophy. A convenLionheld each January gives members a special opportunity to exchange ideas and recognize outstanding achievement. and set€forth strong ethical and moral codeBthat govem all aspect€ of football coaching.TX 76712 $1T 774-6900 205 . and the business conducted by the Boad ofTrustees and AFCA committees.L C|IACHES ASS0C|ATt0 Since it was founded in 1922. the National Football Foundation and Hall ofFame. In addition. and Russia. A[ cur€nt and forrner football coaches or administrators who are connected with the gam€ are encouragedto join.FCA who will speak out with a unified voice on issues that affect their sport and profession. the Association keeps members informed ofthe most current rr. the National AEsociation of Collegiate Directors ofAtl etics. the NationalA. the National Football League.FCA now has more than 7.000 membeB. Japan. the Arrtencan Football Coaches Association has strivetr ro 'provide a forum for the discussion and study ol all matters pertaining to footbal and coaching" and to "maintain the highest poesible standards in football and the coaching profeBsion. Aushalia. one ofthe many goals ofthe Assosiation is to build a Btrong coalition offootbal coaches-TEAM A. the AFCA is involved in numernus programs that ensure the integrity of the coaching profession and enhance the development of the game. please write or call: AI'CA 6900 Old Mccregor Road Waco. the AFCA is tte team for the football coaching profession. To becomea member ofthe American Football CoachesAssociation.F(lllTBAI.ssociation. Through three annual publications and several newsletteru. including coaches from Canada. Europe.

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