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Everything posted by Johnp2

  1. That play at 1:50 is genius (and incredibly well-executed). Seems like the key is for the QB to sell it with his three-step drop and then roll out which he did well in this instance. Question: I noticed the RB lined up with his arms behind his back. Curious as to your intent here. Is this to simply have him ready for the hand-off? OR do you line him up like that the first time you run it...and then a few plays later line him up like that again and then fake it? i.e. do you condition a key for the defense? I'm definitely going to add this to our playbook. That was so fluid I imagine it takes a few reps in practice with the right personnel. Other than that TD, how well has the play worked for you? Thanks!
  2. So are you in a rec league and are bringing in a select team, or are you in a select league? Great video, by the way. Thanks for sharing!
  3. Absolutely!! This is the reason I have not nor will not institute the shotgun. I can't justify the risk/reward.
  4. I don't think it's right to force coaches to rotate positions. I know leagues do this because they want to ensure coaches keep all players involved, but from my experience, any coach adamant about keeping his lesser-skilled players in the background--will always find a way to do so, regardless of the rules. With that off my chest...:-) You'll have your work cut out for you. Full disclosure: I assign my players to a position and that is what they play all year. Thus I am unsure as to what would work best. I imagine that in your league, the RB gets the ball a LOT. I imagine most coaches are thinking, "I want to get each kid two touches, so I will rotate them into the RB position for their touches". Consequently 90% of the running plays go to the RB (use that to your defensive advantage). If I were forced to to do this, I'd design my playbook so that the RB gets lots of fakes, but not many hand-offs. If they don't really care how you rotate (as long as you rotate), I would advise rotating at the quarter. Meaning give the QB all the snaps for a quarter. If your league is forcing you to ensure every player plays every position in a given game, then I would challenge them on that. The intent is good, but I think it's the wrong way to enforce it "equal opportunity." Finally, regarding the playbook---I am not one who believes in keeping it simple. Of course you have to know what you are working with (6-7 year olds), but the key is to challenge them. Scrap what does not work in games, and then try new things. Every season I've added a play each week until the final game, simply because I might see something that would work--and we try it. Players know we have a one and done rule. Meaning if we develop a new play, we might practice it 10-15 times in practice. If it is not executed well when we run it in the game--I won't ever call it again. Good luck. You've received some great advice from the other coaches!
  5. As Rob stated, focus on keeping the runner inside. Not sure of your league and first down marks, but if we faced a 2-4, I doubt I would throw once the entire game. Instead of I would just "run where they ain't" and try to pick up 5-10 yards at a clip. My personal philosophy is to stop the run first, then make teams beat us with the pass. We run a 3-2-1. If you can provide specifics, I'm sure someone on here can help, else you can find various topics regarding 6v6 defense. Thanks
  6. I think much of my response depends on how far downfield the receiver was. Was the receiver in front or behind your LB (or parallel per your diagram?) Depending on the down and distance, our LBs play anywhere from 7-10 yards off the LOS. At what point do your DEs become CBs? We coach our DEs and NT to read the pass/run and adjust accordingly. The read is simple: If the backfield is empty, drop back into coverage. The DEs cover the flats with the NT dropping back about 10 yards. It's very important we keep everything in front of us. In this instance, I would place responsibility on the DE (now a CB) to attack the pass assuming it was within 10 yards (part of his pass protection zone). If it was a deep slant (10+ yards), I would require the LB to attack it. Finally, at this age, while there are a few QBs that can fling the ball, there are not a lot of players that can catch the deep ball consistently. Because of this, most QBs will often hone in on the best receiver (and coaches will design and call plays for that receiver over and over again). If a team starts moving the ball on us by playing throw and catch to their best receiver, I'll put a player on that receiver. I can only recall two times I've done this, but it worked. Of course the teams were not deep, so we simply said "we're going to take away your best player and then make you beat us with the rest of your team".
  7. Thanks for the feedback. We can open it up to defensive players too. I forgot most of you play 5v5, which would leave the top 3 non QB/RB everyone else as Orange noted. Ha! Defensively, I would put our Ends/CBs most important. Our LBs are the playmakers, but I'd say I "depend" more on the Ends/CBs to force everything inside.
  8. Got it. I was thinking you just threw out two days and that was that. Again, whatever works--as long as you get full attendance, that is the most important part. I guess your team selected the "Justin Beibers?" ;-) This season, I'm actually going to move where we have practice--right now it is walking distance of our house. 99% of my players live about five miles north of where I am. Does not sound like much, but we are in a congested area and they have 30 minute commutes to practice. Seeing as they have all been so accomodating during the years, I am moving my practice to their area.
  9. Agree, this has been my experience as well, both as a coach and a parent. I find this interesting (and not in a bad way). As a parent, yes--the two seasons I was not a coach--I made sure we were available and made my son's practice top priority. And yes, both coaches threw down the mandate (and practice was usually 70%). However, when it comes to determining a practice time for my teams, I've been a sucker to make sure we do it as a collaborative effort. ;-) Honestly, I know if I were to throw down a mandate, I would still get 100% participation, and this is simply because I know all our parents are dedicated--but would not want to take advantage of that in the event someone needs to move heaven and earth to get to practice. The main thing is that we agree on the importance of practice, and the #1 problem I hear from new coaches is the lack of practice participation. Whatever you need to do (be it a mandate or work with the parents) to get 100% participation, everyone on here will tell you that should be your goal...else you will pay the price come game day.
  10. What if you said "practice is every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 pm---see you all there!" and only half show up? The problem I believe that you run into when you mandate when practice will be is the following: 1. There is a very good chance a one, two, three or more players' parents will have a conflict at that time. If not, you've simply lucked out, but it won't be that way each season, guaranteed. 2. Assume your league promotes "no practice/no play" like mine does. You can tell the parents, "This is when practice is, and if your son is not there, he will not play". Right there you have lost that player. If enough players have a conflict, you might have 3-4 players simply sitting on the bench that game. 3. Assume your league does NOT allow "no practice/no play". Then you are stuck with keeping kids in who most likely do not know what to do. I believe this Spring will be my 15th team (of varying sports) to coach. I'd say out of 14 of those teams, I was able to find a two or more days/times that does work for everyone, and many seasons I've had 16+ players. Don't get me wrong. You are absolutely correct that you have to be very firm in insisting you get 100% participation at practice. I can just tell you that I've learned during my time coaching, your chances are far greater getting 100% attendance if you work with the parents to come up with agreed upon days/times. Is it easy, no. I always urge the parents to be VERY flexible when we negotiate. As mentioned, there have been a few times that a parent could not make the only days/times that work for everyone, and in that instance, I've helped them find another team--as I will only have players who can make 100% practice (with the exception of being sick, etc.).
  11. Then at this point, I would challenge why it must be from a tee. Don't see any sort of advantage to snapping it from behind Center other than coaching young football players for future football endeavors. Again, that is just me. I have no problem questioning the rules of a league to which I am volunteering. Chances are greater than zero that one person simply came up with that rule, and he does not have a sound reason (other than to simply allow it--as I stated) as to why it is in the rule book. Said differently, how does this help grow young football players?
  12. To start some banter.... I would like to hear what you coaches feel are the top 3 positions in your offensive scheme. HOWEVER, this cannot be the QB or RB position (those are obvious). For me it is: 1. Middle Reciever: This is my true H-back. The MR gets the most opportunity in our offense to make an impact. I put my smartest/most athletic players here. 2. Center: Full-disclosure--I played Center my football career. Thus I take a deep-rooted interest in teaching how to properly snap the ball and adjust your body after the snap. I also make him the "Sergeant" of the offense (calling the huddle, keeping the players on the line) and helps dictate the pace of the series. I always put my most passionate players here. 3. Right Receiver: This position goes in motion a lot on a variety of ways (foot-tap, audible, or count) and is always part of our most complex plays. I always put my smartest/least athletic player here. What are yours? Remember, QB/RB excluded. ;-) For any new coach that cannot come up with a list, you might consider revisiting your playbook, with all due respect.
  13. One thing to note: I highly doubt your league disallows the snap from Center. Instead, they are probably just "allowing" the hike from a tee. I would STRONGLY urge you to teach your team how to snap under center, as the Center can be a very valuable player once you find one who can snap and break well. You're gonna have to do it an a season or two anyway, so might as well start building yourself a good Center now. :-)
  14. I wouldn't worry about the other dads. None of us claim to be football savants, but we are doing one thing they are not--and that is out there actually trying. Not that I dismiss advice from dads. I know many of the my players' fathers very well, and quite often I will ask them their thoughts. After last season, one dad noted we should try to run the ball up the middle a little more---it simply affirmed what I was thinking, so I'm thankful for his feedback. One advantage to having the same players for years---the parents know your exact philosophy, and they trust/respect it--else they would probably not request to come back each season. They also know that I will always allow the best idea to win. ****BORING STORY ALERT****** Last season we were overwhelmed from an athleticism stand-point. Our "2nd string" QB is a very smart player, and his arm-strength is average for a nine year old. We played one game against a team that had ALL 12 year olds (per their coach). When our second QB was in, I limited his passes as this defense could break on any ball that was not on a rope and out-leap our receivers to get it. This player kept telling me he wanted to throw. Although our opponent was the best in our division (eventual champs) we were tied in 6-6 late in the 3rd quarter. This player kept telling me he wanted to throw--and I gave in (for his own good). To this day, I firmly believe we could have defeated that team had not gone that route--but my mantra has ALWAYS been to coach my players as I would want my own son to be coached. First pass: pick six. He was a little rattled. Second pass: pick six. He was silent. Third pass: pick (almost six). He turned, looked to the sky with tears and said "How can this be happening" and then he asked to come out. I dismissed that notion pretty quickly. In fact, I rode him pretty hard. NOT for the INT, but because he did not get after the defender who made the INT. After the game, I explained to his dad (whom I know well) why things happened. I was not hanging him out to dry, but he wanted to test his skills as a QB against a stellar defense, and I let him. That evening his dad sent me and email informing me that I will NEVER have to "justify" my actions to him, and that what I did for his son was not only a great "sports" lesson, but a great lesson in life (as this kid---who is AWESOME--is a bit of a head-hanger when he makes a mistake). It provided a forum for him to talk about such lessons. The next game he came out swinging and threw a TD and an X-point. A few games later, he threw another INT, but this time he immediately went after the defender without hesitation and got his flag, and his body language showed he was ready to get out there and go again. I remember putting my arm around him after that and saying "now you are a QB."
  15. I've had this happen a few times. We run a 3-2-1, and I line my ends up near the sideline. While I admit it looks very odd, it works (for my team). Our first game seasons ago when I implemented this style, on our very first defensive series I remember a dad yelling at my players "What are you guys doing? Move in! Move in!" I calmly (but sternly) said, "Just stay where you are." Of course there was some akward silence after that, but we only gave up one or two TDs that season. ;-) As Patansdu alluded, it's all about keeping the runner in the box. Anyone who has been around football for this age knows that 90% of TDs/long plays are players getting to the outside and streaking down the sideline. We take that away at all costs.
  16. Both. I would do both simply to mix it up. I really dislike this because 1) there is not likely to be any (if much) throwing. Thus all a defense has to do is watch for the hand-off and it becomes one against five. Two plays that I used to run back in the day coaching that age--these will certainly work. 1. Use a Center to "snap" the ball from the tee on the first play---hand off to your RB. One your second play go spread formation, use a center to snap again (your fastest player). This time, however, send your three receivers deep. Make them run straight down field as fast as they can, and yell "I'm open, I'm open". Have your QB drop back like he is looking for someone to pass to. Most likely the defense will be chasing the "receivers". At this point, simply have your QB hand off to the Center. Of course your QB will have zero chance throwing it that far, but the defense doesn't know that. ;-) 2. The next play is a passing play. I've attached a diagram for you. Note: you should first run the exact same play but hand-off to the receiver. Have your QB hold his arm out with the ball the entire time so that the defense sees it. On the next play do the same thing, but pass it (see attached). Remember the pass doesn't have to be far. Your QB can even pitch it to the MR if needed. Whatever best gets him the ball. Other advice: 1. Spread the ball around to all positions (not just players). By that, don't hand-off to your RB each play--just subbing players in at the RB position. 2. Set up plays. As noted in the second play above, you can really condition the defense to think they know what you are doing (especially at this age) and then hit them in the opposite direction. 3. Have fun and don't worry about winning. If you've never coached before, you might be in for an eye-opener on how "serious" some of the coaches are. Just focus on your team's execution and keeping everyone involved. ;-) Good luck!
  17. So as I am beginning to assemble my team for the Spring season, the stars have aligned in my favor. ;-) Last season we were mainly 8-9 year olds playing in a 10-12 league(my son turned 10 before the season and I kept my team in tact). We definitely held our own and finished 5th out of 12 teams. I personally had a "three year plan" for my team...meaning I expected us to win the Championship by our third season in the league, but now I feel we are way ahead of schedule. My roster this season is going to be my first "all-star" team. During the years I've lost a lot of my best players to tackle, but FIVE of my all-time greatest players will be re-joining our team this season--taking a "break" from tackle!! This will be the first time I've had these five players on the team at the same time, so this season is really a "whose who" of my greatest players. Couple this with the fact the true warriors who overcame all the odds last season will be back, and I really think we will make a run at the championship this season. Of course our oldest players are still only 10 in this league so we will definitely still be the youngest team by far, but I see no reason we should not be a solid contender this season. At our end of season party last season, I borrowed from Bum Phillips stating this season we knocked on the door, next season we will beat on it, and the season after that we will kick the (well, you know) in. ;-) I suppose this season we might just beat on it hard enough to knock it over! My most important task right now is to fit the pieces together. I've never had this much talent, so am simply salivating at how I am going to design our offensive units. ;-)
  18. So do you guys postpone practice when it rains...or when there is lighting? This is a question for everyone. I personally LOVE practicing in the rain (as do the kids). ;-) I'll only cancel practice if there is "dangerous" weather. You make a valid point, however, if you have to cancel a Friday practice (for whatever reason), you've essentially lost it.
  19. I have an established team, but I can tell you the one downside to this is not getting to deal with the "unknown". Indeed it is all about using your personnel to its fullest potential. The one reason I reserve an "open spot" for my team is I because LOVE molding new players into my scheme. Two seasons ago I was given a six year old on our 8-9 team. He never played football but turned out to be a pretty good athlete, and I had him scoring TDs by season's end. I do agree it is a completely different style of coaching when you have all new players, and I commend any coach who is able to have success with that.
  20. Sounds like you have a great defensive scheme, Patandsu!
  21. Yep. This only emphasizes the need to have parents' complete buy-in for the practice schedule. As I mentioned earlier, I get all the parents together for a "kick-off" meeting. I let them know the #1 agenda item is for everyone to agree on practice days/times. For those that cannot make this meeting, I ask them to let me know the absolute black-out days/times for their family, and serve as their proxy for the meeting. There is a lot of negotiation that transpires, but we always come up with a schedule that works. Only twice have I encountered parents who were not flexible enought to make the the days/times that worked for everyone else. In both instances, I not only told the parents their son cannot be part of our team due to practice conflicts, but helped them find another team that can adhere to their schedule. The best advice I can give any new coach (with respect to off-field decisions) is to ensure that you have all the parents' commitment to practice. This is done by allowing them to make the decision on when they can attend. If it turns out they cannot make adhere to the schedule of the rest of the parents, then there is nothing wrong with asking them to find another team--and perhaps help with that endeavor. It's a win-win for all!
  22. Got it! I think that is a great approach, as setting up plays is what it's all about. This has given me a great idea on how to utilize this play (and variants of it). If you--or anyone--wants the gory details of my idea, let me know. I have a pretty salty reputation for beginning our games forcing our opponents to believe our team does not know what we are doing, which carries through our first few plays. We then go for the throat and don't let up (until we have the game won). I'll never stop loving the look of utter-shock on the opposing players/coaches/parents when we start over-powering them with our smart football. The problem is, everyone we've faced knows this about us now. It's good because I've always mandated our opponents "remember who they played", but it's becoming hard to sneak up on teams (as we made a huge statement in our first season of 10-12). I'll specifically target any new coaches and take advantage of that this season (hoping they have not been warned). Every coach in our league knows my philosophy. They better not get caught flat-footed. Anything is fair game with my offense, and I want them to think they know how to stop us. Thanks again for your response--it's really helped me!
  23. Full-disclosure: Friday is my favorite night for practice (if that is one of the days agreed upon by all the parents). I always tell the parents we could be doing worse with our Friday evenings then be at football practice with our kids. ;-) We usually hold our practices from 5:15-6:30. A lot of our parents (most of whom are good friends) will simply go out and eat dinner with the kids after practice on Fridays. This instead of rushing home to ensure Johnny does his homework, gets to bed early, etc. If your intent is to ensure you get 100% participation in practice, the best way to do it is to get all the parents together and select which days/times works for everyone. This ensures all the parents "sign-off" on the agreed upon day(s). You would be surprised at how many parents register their kids to only play in games and have little motivation to get their kid to practice during the week. If they all agree on a Friday practice, then there is little excuse for them to miss. Good luck (and this is an interesting topic).
  24. Rob, that is precisely what happens in our league (when we are allowed to rush), which is why we don't rush---but do welcome it. ;-) I like the way we have it in our league (rush once every four downs) as it adds that element, but the QB is not running for his life on every play. In fact, I would not have a problem disallowing the QB from running when blitzed, assuming you can only blitz once ever four downs...just to keep it balanced. I think I mentioned this once, but we incorporate a "fake blitz". Remember, we have to announce when we are blitzing. We'll send two guys rushing in, and they stop right at the LOS. Because 99% of the teams ask their QB to run when they know they will be blitzed, the QB crosses the LOS right as our rushers stop at the LOS---resulting in a penalty. With that, how often do you guys see actual "sacks"?
  25. I think it is unfair that the QB cannot run when blitzed. I understand the need to teach young boys how to get rid of the ball under pressure--but I also understand the importance of allowing young QBs to make the right decisions, and sometimes that is to tuck the ball and run. For you coaches that are in leagues that disallow the QB from running when blitzed, what are your thoughts? I can tell you from experience that is the reason we don't blitz, as allowing the QB to take off is the great equalizer. I guess I see little benefit in how an eight year old can learn pocket presence if he is constantly running away from an on-coming rusher. I know my son will some day face on-coming rushers in tackle, but by then he will have seasons of focusing purely on reading defenses, seeing the field, knowing how to go three deep in his progression, etc. If he needs to expedite that from 7 seconds (when our league allows full rush) to four seconds, he can work on that--but at least he KNOWS what to do. Plus he will have blockers. ;-)
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