Offense “Coleblooded Style”
Johnnie Cole Offensive Coordinator Alabama State University Montgomery, Ala.
n behalf of Alabama State, Head Coach L.C. Cole and our entire staff, it is an honor to contribute to this year’s AFCA Summer Manual . I have been coaching now for 16 years, seven of those as an offensive coordinator, and have had great success running the HOBO offense (High Operated Big Offense). The 2001 season ended with some great numbers for the Alabama State program. We finished third in the nation in total offense (averaging 486.0 yards per game — 300 pass, 186 run) and we ranked sixth in the nation in scoring (37.5 points) and passing per game. Over our two years at ASU, our quarterback threw for over 6,500 yards and 66 touchdowns. With all this success, we have broken numerous school records. As with most offenses, we have a variety of formations, packages, and schemes which will attack modern day defenses. Our Philosophy TEAM (Together Each Accomplishes More) Perfect Practice Scores Touchdowns No-huddle (two minute offense) Special Plays Multiple in formation and use of motion Keep it Simple Keep protection and blocking schemes the same Run Game Pass Game Screens and Draws Position Coaches I believe in any team sport you must have everyone working for the same cause, in the same direction and on the same page. Additionally, your coaches have to believe in what you are doing. I like highly motivated guys who are multidimensional and are team players. There are many ways to attack defenses, but as an offensive coordinator you must have guys you can work with, so it is very important that you choose the right people. I would like to thank my staff, Darryl Williams (wide receivers), Chris Kapilovic (offensive line), Lane Powell (runningbacks), and Sadiki Johnson (tight ends). These gentlemen do an excellent job in teaching and motivating our players to learn and execute our offense. Good coaches are one part of a bigger equation which includes my life motto: “People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.” In my seven years as a coordinator (Southwest College 92-93 [NAIA],
Tennessee State 96-99 [OVC], Alabama State 2000-2002 [SWAC]) the HOBO offense has averaged 32.0 ppg and 410 ypg; I contribute my success to having both a good plan and good coaches. Practice Time With multiple offenses, you can do many different things. However, in my opinion, this is not the best plan because perfect practice makes perfect and to be perfect you must practice exactly what you will be doing. Our practices are broken down by certain run plays, pass plays and formations, but we also make room for special plays. We open practice every day with screens and draws, which replaces team take off. The next several periods are individual and group, where we work on position specific techniques, different pass pattern combinations, runs and special plays. After which we move to our run section of practice. During team periods, we coach on the move and do not repeat incorrect plays since they are already repeated on the call sheet. Further corrections are made in our meetings (individual or team). We end our practice with a scramble drill because it is great for conditioning (no-huddle offense). No-Huddle Offense We run a no-huddle offense to limit substitutions by the defense and to control the tempo of the game. Although we are “nohuddle”, this does not mean we are always in a “hurry-up” mode. If we have a team on their heels we will “hurry up” and attack, however, there are times we want to slow it down to rest our defense or give our quarterback a chance to get his composure back and develop a rhythm. There are other advantages to the no-huddle offense. Many times the defense will show their front and coverage scheme earlier than a team that huddles. This enables us to make checks and audibles at the line of scrimmage. Also, we free up more practice time to work on other game situations, since our two-minute offense is already built in. Special Plays We implement our special plays (reverses, halfback pass, etc.) during camp and practice them all year so that it is a regular part of our offense, just as the zone or screens and draws. The advantage to this is that no extra pressure or special build up exists to run those plays. If it is successful,
Chris Kapilovic Offensive Line Coach
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we get a big play or an easy score. If it is not, it’s just another incompletion or unsuccessful run. Formation We use multiple looks to manipulate the defense into lining up a certain way. We also employ motion and shifts to create mismatches and help our quarterback to determine the coverage. This situation provides an edge for us over the defense because they have now become predictable. Our game plan includes at least 15 different formations, various motions and shifts because we always seek to exploit mismatches. To help accomplish this, we drill our players on formations and teach them defenses so they know where to look for mismatches. Using multiple formations means the defense will have a more difficult time preparing and using various front and coverage combinations. We utilize this advantage by scripting most of our formations in the beginning of the game plan and determining which ones create the most mismatches, providing us a greater chance of success. Keep It Simple We try to keep all of our run blocking, pass protections, and screen and draw schemes the same to minimize time spent thinking and limit mistakes up front. We feel that a knowledgeable, confident athlete is a much better player. Our run game has similar blocking schemes but different backfield action. Some plays we use include inside zone/outside zone, speed option, power and guard trap. Keep in mind that all of our formations tie into all of our schemes. Pass Protection As discussed in the previous section, we feel if our players understand the schemes, we have a better chance of protecting our quarterback (seven sacks in 12 games last year). We have protections for two-back, one-back, and no-back and also use a turn back, sprint out, and slide protection. At times we will cut block in our quick throwing game. In pressure situations, we allow our quarterback to change the protection and/or throw hot (Diagram 1). Run Game We have a basic run package, but we try to use different motions, backfield sets and action to give the plays a different look
Diagram 1: Two-Back Protection Big on Big
Diagram 2B: Inside Zone One-Back (Shotgun)
* Back’s check LB’s and release
* QB responsible for B’s defensive end. He can give it or keep it. Passing Game We have had great success throwing the ball, and believe this is due to our emphasis on several points. First, it is very important that our receivers know where they are going and why, so we keep our routes simple. All of our routes are packaged and include the vertical game, option, horizontal, tight end, bunch and fast break. If there is a pattern that we feel is effective against a certain defense we will run that pattern out of multiple formations (Diagram 3). The primary goal we communicate to our quarterback is to take a pre-snap read, find the safety and put the team in the right protection. Next, we teach to read the nearest defender, safety (vertical game) and inverted defender (horizontal game). Finally, follow the progression and find the primary, secondary and third receivers and deliver.
Diagram 1A: One-Back Protection
Diagram 1B: Sprint Out Protection
* Zone Protection while keeping the blocking scheme the same up front. Our favorite run is the inside zone and we can run the play out of a variety of formations. We run it out of a twoback set with the fullback blocking force or away and give the ball to the tailback. We may also give the ball to the fullback and run the belly. Out of the one-back set we can have a two tight end, one tight end or no tight end set and can be under center or out of the shotgun (Diagram 2).
Diagram 3A: Regular Formation
Diagram 2: Inside Zone
Diagram 3B: Double Formation
Diagram 2A: Inside Zone (FB Away)
Diagram 3C: Ace Formation
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Diagram 3D: Double Tight Ends
Diagram 4A: Slide Protection
Diagram 6A: Bootleg/Naked
* Aggressive to the gap (1 & 3 step), pass set to the gap (5 & 7 step drop). Blitz We must always be prepared for the blitz, so most of our routes have blitz beaters automatically built in. We prefer slide protections when the secondary is involved. Using multiple formations provides an advantage in a blitz situation, especially our one-back and no-back sets. These formations spread the defense so the quarterback can get a better idea who and from where the blitz is coming (Diagram 4).
* Regular Formation
Diagram 5A: Screen
Diagram 6B: Bootleg/Naked
* We can call screen to any No. #.
* Double Formation
Diagram 5B: Draw
Diagram 6C: Bootleg/Naked
Diagram 4: Blitz Off the Edge
* Give ball to halfback or QB draw * QB checks from big on big to a slide protection. If SLB comes, throw hot route Screens and Draws We use two different blocking schemes in our screens and draw package and have multiple ways of distributing the ball to the desired carrier or receiver (Diagram 5). Play Action and Bootleg We feel it is important to have a play action pass and/or bootleg off of all of our runs. Again, we can keep the routes the same for both (Diagram 6). Our offense is predicated on attacking the defense. We are constantly working to find different ways to take advantage of the defense.
* Double Tight Ends Hopefully, you’ve found this information useful. On behalf of Alabama State Hornet football, we would like to again thank the AFCA for the opportunity to contribute to this year’s Summer Manual. Our doors are always open, feel free to call or drop by when you are in Hornet Country (Montgomery, Ala.).
Avoid Teaching Blind-Side Blocking Below The Waist
Even though blind-side and peel-back blocks are legal near or behind the neutral zone in certain instances, the AFCA Ethics Committee reminds the membership that teaching players to block below the waist in those instances is ethically improper and should be avoided because of the high possibility of serious injury. The Football Code states: “Teaching or condoning intentional roughing, including blind-side blocking an opponent below the waist anywhere on the field, is indefensible.”
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