Monday, February 21, 2011

Off-Season Breakdown

I am going to go into detail a little detail on how we self scout and evaluate our offense during the off-season. Typically this is the first thing we do and I usually start the day after our last game (usually I can’t believe I’m not game planning that day anyways).
                First I make a cut up of each one of our blocking schemes in the run game (Inside Zone, Stretch, Power, Counter, Trap, and Iso) and each one our passing concepts (Smash, Curl/Flat, 4 Verts, etc) then I begin to evaluate the efficiency of each run.
                When evaluating efficiency I do not divide the total yardage by number of attempts to create a yard per play average (I.E. 10 attempts for 100 yards = 10 Yards per attempt) because one of those plays could have been an 80 yard gain, which would greatly skew the results and the perception of the efficiency of the play. Due to this I picked up this system from the University Of Maryland:

For the offensive run game a play is efficient if…

1st & 10: Gain 4+ Yards
2nd Down: Gain Half the Total Distance to Go
3rd Down: Gain A First Down
Also as we evaluate a runs efficiency we note the why the play was/was not effective. I.E. Didn’t combo off to LB, Ran into unblocked defender, etc.
We make these cut ups and break down efficiency for these reasons:
1.       Evaluate What Plays Have Been Most Successful For Us
2.       Evaluate Why Or Why Not These Plays Were Or Were Not Successful (focus offseason and teaching emphasis)
3.       Cut Ups Of each Concept Make For Great Teaching Tape

After completing the off-season efficiency report we then begin a detailed self scouting report. This self scouting report consists of:

1.       Formation
2.       Down & Distance
3.       Hash
4.       Personnel
1.       Formation Breakdown – When we break down formation tendency we are primarily looking for two things. The first is strongside/weakside run. We want to ensure we are balanced running the ball to either side of the formation. The second thing we look for is run/pass ration from each formation. We want to find the run heavy formations from the prior season that you might not have picked up on during the season. If we find this uneven mix we want to try and either add a play action or drop back passing compliment out of this formation.
2.       Down And Distance – The next thing we want to do is compile a thorough down and distance report from the prior season. Our offensive philosophy is to strive for balance. We want to ensure we are striving for balance within our down and distance situations as well as the entire game. Forcing this balance as an offensive play caller in all down and distance situations will limit defenses from finding glairing tendency from down to down.
3.       Hash – There are certain hash tendencies that you can’t avoid. For instance we had a serious hash tendency to only sprint out to our right, because our right handed QB could not throw to his left. This was a hash tendency we as a staff knew about and were willing to live with (we did sprint to the left just, but the QB typically kept the ball). There are other tendency you will find from the hash (I.E. run to the field, pass to field, etc) that you will want to know about as a play caller.
4.       Personnel – This is huge for us. We use so many personnel grouping that we have to make a conscious effort to not become predictable from our groupings. If you are a Wing-T team that never changes personnel then this obviously isn’t important. Very often when I was coaching defense we would run into those teams that put a particular runningback in for screens, or a different Receiver to run the fly sweep.

After finishing these reports we get direction as to what we want to research, and get better at, as well as how we can get better at the installation process.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tampa 2 - Part 1: Pass Coverage

Tampa 2 Part 1 – Pass Coverage

                Tampa 2 is a 5 under 2 deep zone pass coverage that calls for the “Mike” linebacker to run the deep middle of the field (middle run through). This accomplishes two things for the defense.. A. it takes away the split route and other routes that look to split the 2 high safeties and B. it allows the half safeties to push further off the hash when necessary which helps on smash routes.
                Granted you need a Mike LB that can move he does not have to be a freak athlete as most of the nay-Sayers would argue.

Part 1 – High Hole Dropper (Mike) –

                The first thing we need to do is decide which side the Mike linebacker will initially open to. His drop rules are as follow.
1.       Numbers – The Mike Linebacker will always drop to the side with more receivers
2.       Field – If the ball is on the hash he will drop to the field (unless there is some sort of 3x1 into the boundary, then we refer to rule #1)
3.       Speed – If its 11 personnel 2x2 in the middle of the field the Mike will open to the side of the slot (the faster, and more threatening pass receiver).
4.       Arm strength – If its 10 personnel 2x2 from the middle of the field (completely balanced) the Mike LB will open to the side of the QB’s arm strength.

Coverage Responsibility and Technique:
1.       On the snap of the ball the Mike will execute a slide out technique. He will slide in a quarter turn and “Clear the Quick Game”. This means he will slide out until the QB has cleared a 3 step drop. We don’t want the Mike to turn and run out of the middle if the offense is throwing 3 step pass.

*Note as the Mike slides out if the QB is looking the opposite direction of his initial drop then he will “Baseball Turn” to work to the QB’s primary side.

2.       After the Mike has cleared the quick game he will now cross over and run. He is playing the “off hand/shoulder” key of the QB. This means he is playing the intentions of the QB’s shoulders.

-          If the shoulders of the QB are set to the Mike’s left he will continue to work his drop up the left seam. If the QB Pulls “Palm Off” (Takes his non-throwing hand off the ball) the Mike will break and hunt up the nearest seam threat.
-          As the Mike is dropping we give him the “never coming back rule”. This means if the QB starts one direction and comes back another direction he will never come back to his initial side (if he does your pass rush needs work). This means if the QB starts looking left, and then turns right he will never come back to the left. If this occurs we tell our Mike LB to “Baseball Turn” and hunt up the nearest seam threat.
·         It is important to note and understand the real purpose of the Mike LB (or whoever you have as the middle run through). His job is to deny straight line throws into the seam, and force air underneath the football. His job is not to run man to man with a slot up the seam.

Part 2 – Flat Defender (Corners) –

-          We have our corners line up 5 yards off the #1 receiver with outside leverage. We tell him to point his outside toe to the inside foot of the Receiver (this opens the corners hips and gives vision into the backfield)
-          We have out corners in cover 2 key the End Man On The Line Of Scrimmage (E.M.O.L.) for high and low hat.
Coverage Responsibility and Technique:
-          If the Corner gets high hat (Pass) he will Squat, Jam, Look, Carry, Hole.

1.       Squat: The Corner will square up and mirror the Release of the #1 receiver squatting at 5 Yards
2.       Jam: The Corner will do what he has to do in his squat to maintain outside leverage (funneling the #1 inside). Once the #1 gets to the Corners “Cylinder” he will execute a 2 hand jam. When jamming we tell our corners to “punch and pop-off” This will reduce lunging to make contact and whiffing.
3.       Look: Once the corner gets his two hand jam he can now look back inside and make sure no #2 receiver is out flanking him to the flat, and bring eyes back to the QB.
4.       Carry: Once the corner brings his eyes back to the QB he will carry the #1 for 3 steps on an Inside Release, and 2 steps on an Outside release.
5.       Hole: After the corner carries the #1 he will flip his hips, put his butt to the bench and begin to hinge. The hinge is a ¾ speed shuffle back into the “hole” (the hole is 18-22 yards deep and 2 yards in bounds).

-          Once working back to the hole the Corner has two triggers:

1.       Low Shoulder – If the QB turns to throw a check down or flat route the corner will side plant and drive on the flat route
2.       High Shoulder – If the QB elevates his shoulder to throw deep into the “hole” the corner will cross over and run.

Part 3 – Deep Halves (Safeties) –

Coverage Responsibilities:
-          No matter what the disguise we want our Safeties at least a depth of 12 yards on the snap of the ball (15 vs. 3x1 to the side of trips).
-          Our Safeties always align with their inside foot up, outside foot back (so hips are open for quick fade)
-          We use to have the Safeties execute a “slide back” technique for the quick game, however have found it is not necessary and slowed our safeties down too much.

·         Our Safeties rule Vs. Pass is: Quarterback - #1 – Quarterback
Quarterback: On the Snap of the ball our safety will get into a back pedal and read the intentions of the QB for the quick game.
Number 1: After the Quarterback has cleared the quick game he will bring his eyes to the #1 Receiver and read his release.
-          If #1 is attempting an inside release, the safety will square up in his back pedal because the #1 and #2 receivers are in close proximity to each other. There is less chance of being stretched.
-          If #1 is attempting an Outside Release, the Safety will widen in his back pedal (while still working for depth) because the distance between the #1 and #2 receivers is greater and the safety must put himself in a position to play both
-          As the Safety is reading #1 if #1 hitches (Smash concept) the Safety knows he can over play #2 to the corner.  
Quarterback: After getting a read on the release of the #1 receiver the Safety will now bring his eyes back to the QB and Read the “Off Hand Shoulder Key”.
-          If the Shoulders of the QB are set outside the Safety he will expand to the #1 Receiver (Because the Mike will be under the seam).
-          If the Shoulders of the QB are set to the opposite side of the Safety, he will squeeze the backside seam (because the mike LB will be carrying the F.S. seam, and the F.S. Safety will be expanding to the #1 – Figure 1).
** The Safety has the never coming back rule also. If the Shoulders of the QB start outside of him, and come back the other way – he will never come back, the Safety can “baseball turn” and hunt up the closest seam threat.
** If the shoulders were set away from him and then came back outside he would open and run over #1.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pre-Snap Coverage Read

Part 1: Introduction –

                Having the ability to identify and react to varying coverage and fronts is critical to offensive success. Especially in a Pro Style offense like the one we employ. We must have the ability to determine coverage pre snap and confirm post snap in order to make correct sight adjustments in routes, understanding who we are stretching in the passing game, and so our Quarterback knows where he is initially starting his progression and what routes have the best chance of getting open.
                We also have to make proper coverage and front identifications pre-snap in order to put ourselves in a good running play or take us out of a bad one.  We believe this is done most effectively by the Quarterback at the line of scrimmage.
In order to further understand the importance of pre-snap reads by the Quarterback especially we must discuss the two types of reads that exist in our offense.
1.       Movement Key – A movement key is run when we have a packaged route combination called in which we have only 2 routes to a side and a check down operating in the middle of the field  or the flat. Movement keys involve reading one defensive player and his reaction to the route distribution while being cognizant of a “Danger” defender (the next defender inside the movement defender). This kind of read is best described as playing monkey in the middle.

A.      Within the movement key family of reads we have three passing concepts

I.                    Vertical Stretches – Putting One Defender On Top, and Below A Movement Key Defender (I.E. 62 Smash, Level, Etc).
II.                  Horizontal Stretches – Putting One Defender On Either Side Of A Movement Key Defender (I.E. 61 Choice, 63 Dagger, 69 All GO).
III.                Flood – Putting 3 Defenders in 2 zones still reading a Movement key
2.       R4 Progressions – R4 Progressions are used in our full field read concepts (Mesh, 4 Verts, Smash, Etc), along with tagged routes in our base package. Our R4 progressions still involve the three passing concepts as mentioned before but are instead taught to be read in a progression rather than a movement key read.

R4 ties the QB’s eyes and feet together into a drop back progression

1.       Rhythm – Single Breaking routes breaking at depth of 7-10 yards, thrown off the last step in the QB’s drop
2.       Read – Longer developing route thrown off QB’s first Gather Step
3.       Rush – Quick breaking routes that break open if the read route is covered, thrown off QB’s second gather step or last step Vs. pressure
4.       Release – When the Rhythm, Read, and Rush Routes are all covered the QB must release from the concept and look to either check the football down, or tuck it and run.

Part 2: Coverage’s

We talk about 3 classifications of coverage’s, and multiple coverage’s within each classification.
The three classifications we use are:
1.       No Deep – No deep defender beyond 10 yards
2.       Closed Middle – Single High Coverage with Safety Aligned in the middle of the formation
3.       Middle Open – Two High Defenders at or beyond 10 yards.
In order to determine the coverage we first look to classify the defense by identifying safeties. Once we identify the safeties we narrow down the possibilities of the coverage by evaluating the depth eyes and leverage or the corners (explained later). By piecing these two keys together we can narrow down the possibilities of coverage pre-snap. Post snap we confirm our coverage by “peeking” at the rotation of the safeties.
Types Of Coverage:
No Deep:
Cover 0
Middle Closed:
-          Cover 1: Man – With 1 Deep Safety
-          Cover 3: 3 Deep, 4 Under Zone Coverage
-          Cover 6: 3 Under, 3 Deep Zone Coverage
Middle Open:
-          Cover 2: 5 Under, 2 Deep Zone Coverage
-          Cover 4: 3 Under, 4 Deep Zone Coverage  
-          Cover 7: Inverted Cover 2
-          Cover 10: ¼, ¼, 1/2
-          2 Deep Man Under: Man Under With Two Deep Safeties

Part 3: Evaluating Corner Technique-

                After determining the classification of the coverage through the number of deep safeties we now must piece together what coverage we are actually facing by evaluating the technique of the corners. It is important that we check out both corners technique in order to identify if we are facing some sort of combination coverage (I.E. Cover 10). We determine what technique the corner is by evaluating his depth, eyes, and leverage.
A.      Evaluating The Corners Depth – The Depth of A Corner Is Critical because certain defensive coverages require certain depths of their corners (EX. A defense would not play cover 2 with an off corner because they can’t reroute the #1).
We Say There are 3 Types of Corners:
1.       Off Corner
·         7-8 Yards Off #1 Receiver
2.       Squat Corner
·         5 – 7 Yards Off #1 Receiver
3.       Press Corner
·         0 – 2 ½ Yards Off #1 Receiver
B.      Evaluate The Eyes Of The Corner – Evaluating the eyes of a defender is critical to the QB and Receiver. Defenses can play quarters, cover 1, and Cover 3 all with off corners, however their eyes will tell you if they are in man or zone which now will tell you what coverage it is.
1.       Eyes In Back Field –
·         Zone Coverage – Corner Is Keying QB

2.       Eyes On #1 –
·         Man Coverage
C.      Evaluate Leverage Of Corner – The leverage of the corner will be your final clue as to what coverage he is playing. The leverage is important because it will tell you where the DB’s help is coming from which in turn will help narrow down coverage possibilities.
1.       Inside Leverage –
·         Corner Is Aligned on #1 Receiver’s Inside #.
·         Typically means the Corner does not have inside help (Cover 0/Cover 4)
2.       Outside Leverage –
·         Corner Is Aligned On #1 Receivers Outside #.
·         Typically means the corner does have inside help (Cover 1, 2, 3)
D.      Putting It  Together:
1.       You are facing a middle closed defense, you come to evaluate the corner..
A.      He is in an off alignment
B.      His Eyes are turned into the backfield
C.      He Has Outside leverage
It is safe to say that you are facing Cover 3

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Power/Counter Run Game – Part 1 Weakside Power

    Take a look at Stanford, Wisconsin, Auburn, and Boise states' offenses (along with countless others in high school, college, and the NFL). What do these teams have in common in the run game? All 4 establish the running game through the off tackle hole with gap scheme runs (power/counter), al be it each has their subtle differences.

    For me power/counter (gap schemes) are a valuable tool in our offense because the scheme is adaptable and multiple. We have multiple tags and variations off our gap scheme run plays with little to no variance to our offensive lineman's rules for the play. This is the ultimate goal of our entire offense. Be as multiple as possible, without major change to the blocking rules of our offensive lineman. We want those guys to have very little to think about other than whipping the defense's ass.
    To start with I must clarify between the two gap schemed plays we have:
  • We have a weakside gap scheme family that we classify as the 50's. All the 50's tell our offensive line is that it is a gap scheme and all frontside doubles go to the "Mike Box" (explained in figure 1). This concept is essential in being effective in communicating to your offensive line as to who they are working there double teams to (a key point I first heard from Russ Grimm). You can't classify weak side power/counter (any power that does not have the TE blocking down) as the same blocking rules as Strong side power/counter (any power blocking scheme with the TE blocking down). The fact of it is the offensive line responsibility is different and it should be called so. Instead of asking our offensive line to remember "on weakside power you double the 3 to mike" we tell them in the play with the 50's series.

  • Secondly we have our 60's series which means we are running strong side power (as mentioned before that is a power/counter play with the TE blocking down). This means any Frontside double team not involving the TE will work to the "Will Box" (explained in Figure 1)

Labeling The Defense For The 50's and 60's:

(Figure 1)

Defining The LB Boxes (Fig. 1) –
  • The idea behind labeling LB's areas instead of people is simple. This allows for variation in defensive alignment. The player physically located in the "Sam Box" could be a drop down safety. If we just told the guard to pull for the Sam linebacker there is a potential for miscommunication.

  1. Sam Box – The Sam box is the first defensive player aligned playside of the center.
  2. Mike Box –The Mike box is the first defensive player aligned head up to backside of the center.
  3. Will Box – The Will box is the second linebacker head up to backside of the center.
Line Calls –
    The Last thing we need to touch upon before getting into our diagrams and responsibilities are our frontside double team line calls –

Single – Double team between the Center and Guard
Double – Double team between Guard and Tackle
Triple – Double team between Tackle and TE

50 Kick –
Now that we have covered a little bit why I like the gap scheme run game, and how we ID the linebacker areas I will go into our first gap play. We will start with the weakside power game, beginning with the 50 (53/54) kick play (Figure 2).

I personally like the 50 kick play vs. pre-inverted cover 3 (like running away from the strong).

(Figure 2)

PST: Gap, Down, Backer – Double 3/2 to Mike Box
PSG:Gap, Down, Backer – Double 3/2 To Mike Box, Down on any Gap Defender
Center: Away, On, Backer – "Cat" (Center and Tackle) Vs. B.S. 3 Tech
BSG: Pull and lead on "Sam Box" – Hug double team tight and fill first open window, Inside Out To Sam.
BST: Gap, Down, Hinge
BSTE: Cut Off "Sam Box"
FB: Insert into line of scrimmage and make left hand turn. If DE squeezes – capture outside edge and Log
TB: Search step (drop step with off leg – Allows timing with B.S. Guard, and allows for TB to get down hill). Find first open window reading from A gap out.

50 Arc –
By definition this is not a weakside power play, however it is in the 50's family because the TE is not going to block down, instead the TE will arc (hence the tag) and block the support player.

*Note: Arc is a play I like against 6/7 (inside eye/head up) techniques on the TE. We are hoping the arc release will influence the DE to widen and allow for an easier kick by the fullback.

PST: Gap, Down, Backer – Double 3/2 to Mike Box
PSG:Gap, Down, Backer – Double 3/2 To Mike Box, Down on any Gap Defender
Center: Away, On, Backer – "Cat" (Center and Tackle) Vs. B.S. 3 Tech
BSG: Pull and lead on "Sam Box" – Hug double team tight and fill first open window, Inside Out To Sam.
BST: Gap, Down, Hinge
TE: Arc Release and Block Support defender
FB: Insert into line of scrimmage and make left hand turn. If DE squeezes – capture outside edge and Log
TB: Search step (drop step with off leg – Allows timing with B.S. Guard, and allows for TB to get down hill). Find first open window reading from A gap out.

50 Counter:
The last 50's run I am going to discuss is the counter play. The counter is an easy add and only changes 3 people. The Fullback, B.S. Guard, and Tail Back.

PST: Gap, Down, Backer – Double 3/2 to Mike Box
PSG:Gap, Down, Backer – Double 3/2 To Mike Box, Down on any Gap Defender
Center: Away, On, Backer – "Cat" (Center and Tackle) Vs. B.S. 3 Tech
BSG: Pull and Kick E.M.O.L. – Pull into line of scrimmage
BST: Gap, Down, Hinge
TE: Block Will box
FB: Lead on Sam Box
TB: Single Jab Step, Come under QB – Find open window from A Gap Out

Conclusion –
I have only touched upon our weakside power/counter game, as well as our gap scheme plays in general. I plan on posting 4 more times on this topic –
Strong Side Gap Scheme
Gap Scheme Plays Involving The QB as A Runner
Play Action Pass Of Gap Scheme Plays
Stanford/Wisconsin SL/EZ Cut – Ups

Hopefully you got something out of this (or else I wasted some time) and hopefully you will stay tuned for the following posts.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Disguising Coverage

Being an offensive coordinator I'd like to talk about a topic that will help those on the defensive side of the ball. I consider our team to be an efficient passing team. Last year we threw for 27 TD's to only 6 Interceptions. Four of the six interceptions came off of coverage that was disguised pre-snap that our QB mis-read.

To me teams that either line up and play 1 or 2 coverages (Cover 3 and 1, you know who you are) or those teams that show coverage early are virtually no threat to our passing game. I feel like it is easy to get our QB's ready to face these kinds of teams. However teams that play multiple coverages, have the ability to show one and play the other, or give a universal look pre-snap and move out of it late cause me a lot of headaches.

This leads me to the two ways you can easily disguise in the secondary:

  1. Start in a universal look –
    For us we base out of 3-3-5 Personnel we show 5 across the board at 10 yards deep pre-snap always. For those of you that play with a base personnel grouping (4-3, 3-4,etc) show 4 across the board and roll out of it. Our secondary knows when we want them to move out of their universal look based on a "key" we get off of film study.

         You should be looking for these tips as your movement keys:
  1. QB in shotgun lifting his knee, flashing his hands, or clapping
  2. Under Center QB puts hands under center
  3. Shotgun Center Lifts head from between legs (This is usually a good one)
  4. The start of motion (have done this against Wing-T teams, depends on coverage being played behind)

    *Note: As an offensive coach the best ways to take advantage of a good disguising team that is using one of these keys are:

    1. Quick Count – Catch them misaligned
    2. Dummy, Bluff, Freeze – Whatever you call it, flash your hands (give them their key) then look. If you are an under center team get under center early (let them show their hand) then pop out (hold the pen last).

  1. The Second way to disguise pre-snap is to double call your coverage –
    Our defense will double call the coverage at times. For example the call may be "Under Pirate Show 3 Play 9". This means we are going to show cover 3 (an 8 man front) and based on our "Key" we will move into a 2 shell and play cover 9 (Tampa 2). This way allows you to show 8/9 man fronts and roll into your 2 high coverages, where as the universal way only allows you to show 2 high and drop into 8 man fronts. To me the two ways complement each other.

    Additional Note:
  • Now let me make it clear I am not advocating disguising coverage every snap. Like anything else there is a time and a place for it. If its 3rd and 3 get you're a@@ in an 8 man front right now and play defense. However on normal down and distance (1st & 10, 2nd & 6 or Less), and long yardage I think disguising your coverage will help you.
  • I also believe showing a universal 2 high shell is a great tool for zone blitzing teams. This allows you to roll your strong safety down and either send him, or replace him as the 2 seam player or even middle hook player, while your Free Safety rolls back to the deep middle from depth to begin with.
  • Since we are a 3-3-5 team we give our Linebackers the autonomy to "prowl" on any down. This means they are free to move where ever they would like pre-snap as long as they can get to where they need to get to, and never cross the heels of the D-line. This adds to the look of "Chaos" we are trying to present to the offense. Again this prowling has a time and a place that you must teach your linebackers.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Offensive Philosophies

I don't know if these are philosophies or just goals of running an offense; however they are what I stand by throughout the season.

Now before I go on I'd like to ensure my viewers (all 2 of you) that discussion of actual schematic football both offensive, defensive, and special teams is to come on this blog. I am choosing to go over the installation, and organization process first because I believe that is what truly wins you games. Everyone knows how to block the power play, and inside zone. The key is who can install it, teach it, and rep it the best (of course with good athletes).

-Back to Philosophies- I think the key to having philosophies or goals is to revisit them weekly to ensure you are keeping on track with them. It is is easy to write a long winded philosophy sheet during the clinic season only to loose track of it come season.

With that being said these are 12 things I stick by throughout the season that I think make me a better playcaller, teacher, and coach.

1. Win - No exceptions, Anyway Necessary. Have no ego - running an offense that doesn't put your players in a position to win is a waste of your time.

2. Have A System - Don't grab bag, invent, or create during the season (as best as possible). Only refine, rep, and perfect. Have a dedicated and detailed installation plan.

3. Don't Get Board Of Details and Reps - It is our job as coaches to tirelessly rep the details of our position groups, don't tire of this, and don't allow your position groups to tire of the details. We as coaches must constantly think of new ways to teach the critical aspects of the game to avoid redundancy.

4. Put The Majority Of Learning In The Hands Of Few - My girlfriend assures me that this statement doesn't make sense. What it means is that our system is built and maintained for easy adjustments by certain players to give the look of multiplicity while maintaining simplicity. Tags and variations only affect the players absolutely necessary while maintaining norm upfront.

5. Simple Yet Multiple - #4 leads to #5. We want to be a multiple team employing a lot of shifts, motions, unbalanced lines, and formations while maintaining a between scheme and formation for continuity.

6. Practice Situationaly - All our group, 7 on 7, and team periods have a situational emphasis. Either down and distance or critical situation. This has helped avoid uncertainty of players on game night and has lead to more efficient practice time.

7. Think Players Not Plays - Get the ball in the hands of the players that can move it. Have categories on your call sheet with specific plays designed for your playmakers.

8. Force The Defense To Defend The field Horizontally and Vertically - This is not just done by spreading the field with formation (although that is the first step). Once you have them spread you must keep them spread by incorporating what Chris Brown calls constraint plays. These plays force the defense to maintain sound alignments to your formations and when they don't these plays are designed to capitalize. For us we use Bubble/smoke screen to the wide receiver/slot, draw, and play action to constrain the defense.

9. Be Willing And Capable Of Making In Game Adjustments - When all else is equal the team that makes the best adjustments will win the game.

10. Don't Allow The Defensive Line To Get In Rhythm - Do this by mixing the snap count, cutting the defensive line early and often, varying the QB's launch point (Drop Back, Sprint Out, Play Action) and Changing the QB's Passing Clock (Quick, Drop Back, Sprint Out), as well as incorporating the Screen and Draw game.

11. Have A Language - Force Coaches and Players to speak the same language. Do this by having specific terms/"Buzz words".

12. Practice As If It Were Game Day - Have personnel substitutions come from the sideline, force tempo to the line of scrimmage, and build a finish to every indy, group, and team period you do.

These are just things I try to ensure get done with my team. I stole all of it from better coaches then my self. To give credit alot was taken from Shawn Watson, Tony Franklin, Bill Williams, Chris Brown, and Bill Walsh

* Would love to hear your philosophies in hopes of adding to mine.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Offensive Package

I guess to properly introduce myself I could tell you my hobbies, interests, girlfriends name, and so on... but if it were me reading this blog I really would not care.

With that said I am going to get into football.

I figure since I consider myself an offensive coach (however like most good offensive coaches I started on the defensive side of the ball) I will go over the offensive package I run.

I consider our package a pro-style offense (what the hell that really means I don't think anyone really knows...). To me what that means is we will use multiple personnel groups, formations, shifts and motions to get the defense aligned how we want it, and than we will go to work with a balanced offensive package.

We take the approach from Brian Billick in his book Implementing An Offensive Game Plan (Great read highly recommended for anyone in any offense) in which we view our package in a yearly, weekly, and game plan oriented approach.

This time of the year we add and subtract from our package and come up with our "Offensive Utopia". This meaning we come up with how we want our offense to look and operate in a perfect world. Once our yearly offensive package (which I will go over in great detail later in this post) is put together I will, as the offensive coordinator complete a yearly installation schedule.

The yearly installation schedule is one of the best tools I have started using over the last 2 years. The goal of the yearly installation schedule is to help you avoid entering week 1 saying "Sh!& we haven't installed our empty protection yet!"

My yearly installation lists every practice we will have from January 1st to the night before our first scrimmage. We are constantly installing and fine tuning throughout this time with the goal in mind that come season we are only making adjustments based on game plan (this is clinic talk to an extent there are always a few things I try to install during the season and more often then not they are sh!& canned the next week).

When installing a concept I always install it the same way (Whole, Part, Whole - Cliche but effective):

Installation Process:

1. Offensive Unit Meeting (Whole) - Each position group is sitting in their own section of the classroom with their position coach. I as the offensive coordinator install the play to the entire group. This is done on the chalk board, and then game cuts of us, college, and NFL teams are shown.

2. Indy (Part) - Individual techniques necessary to the success of the play are practiced. Great attention to detail must be exhibited in individual time.

3. Group (Part) This differs from run and pass...

If we are installing a pass our group outline goes as followed:

A. 1 on 1 - Work the individual technique of each route vs. zone and man defenders 1 on 1.

B. 2 on 1 (Movement Key Drill) - this is a portion of practice where we are running our combination against only our movement key (I.E. Flat Defender on Curl/Flat Concept)

C. 3 on 2 - 3 On 2 is incredibly important in order for QB's to understand our check down principals

D. 7 On 7 - Self Explanatory

If we are installing a run our installation process goes as followed:

A. 1 On 1/ 2 On 1 Combination Drills - This is where we break the run into parts for our offensive line (Base Block, Combo Block, Double Team, Fill Block, Etc)

B. Pods - Working the backside Tackle, Guard, Center in one pod, The Middle 3 (B.S. Guard, Center, P.S. Guard), and the Frontside (Center, Guard, Tackle, and possibly TE/Wing) along with the runningbacks/fullbacks.

C. Inside Run - duh again

D. Team -

I think if you want to be successful you must follow the same installation format for everything you do. Your players want to be taught, and learn to love the structure of the installation process.

*As a side note we give everyone an installation note book. In it are blank templates I make on playmaker pro that they must fill in during every meeting and keep in their lockers. When I have locker room duty (one of the things I have learned to hate coming from the college level) I inspect their installation notebooks for quality and the ever important attention to detail.

Back to our "Offensive Package"

We break our offense down like this...

"Know where you are going to live" - Tony Franklin
If you are going to be an air it out 75% of the game team know that going into the season. That way you can better delegate where you will spend your time in the installation phases.

Goal: Strive to be a balanced attack -

50% Run
50% Pass

Last Season:
57% Pass
43% Run

A. Run Game (50% Of Offensive Play calls)

1. Gap Scheme (Power/Counter) - 25% Of Offensive Play Calls
2. Zone Schemes (Tight/Wide) - 15% Of Offensive Play Calls
3. Misc (Iso, Trap, Draw) - 10% Of Offensive Play Calls

B. Passing Game (50% Of Offensive Play Calls)

1. Drop Back (3/5 Step) 25%
2. Play Action/Sprint Out 15%
3. Screen 10%