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Everything posted by CoachSteve

  1. I know what you mean Jeff. I do that with the older team I coach but I am also taking the HC job with my son's team which is 5,6,7 this year. I won't even try techniques at that level. The main reason we use that system at the older level is to prep them for it for HS. THe HS uses that system. Of course, they have players for 4 years and that gives them the ability to use the technique numbering for calling certain plays. We use it just as a common language instead of outside shade, nose up, and inside shade. Both work just fine but we chose this as one of the areas we can teach in prep for HS as the HS has been very, very good to us. We figure the more we leverage common terms with the HS, the easier it will be for them in HS. Better for the kids, better for the HS. In return, we get all kinds of support from the HS.
  2. I didn't even know the claymores moved. I guess I should pay more attention. Of course, with two youth teams of my own (yes, two) and an avid college and NFL fan, I don't get much time. For some funny reason, the family wants to use the remaining time. anyway, good luck.
  3. Gather up some of your fellow teachers at other schools - the ones you are tryign to persuade to start a football club. Take them to the local pub and buy them a few pints. When they have a few in the tank, explain to them how football is actually an evolution from 'soccer'. In the beggining, there was 'soccer'. One day in a small town near you some yahoo got mad and picked up the ball and ran it in for a goal. Rugby was born. Rugby ultimately gave birth to american football (I think it was at princeton or harvard - maybe yale; buy me a few pints and I might remember that bit of trivia). So, American Football is just a evolution of soccer. Then convince them as modern men that they should evolve as well. Repeat this process for several straight nights until they agree. Just kidding, just kidding. Seriously, I don't have a clue. You gotta find a team to play against. It may require you to travel around a bit if schools from further away have a team. But yes, you have a real stickler of a problem. Maybe you could ring up the Scottish Claymores in the ENFL and see if they can help in some way. Maybe they players could stop by your practice and play a quick round of tag football. The NFL is really keen on trying to expand football to the global marketplace; I doubt they would want to miss out on a chance like this to further the sport. By the way, I applaud what you are trying to accomplish. Good Luck!!!
  4. just another idea that we use on techniques......we simply number techniques 1,2,3 from left to right - the numbers are the same for each player. So, we get: -T----G---C----G---T----Y 123-123-123-123-123-123 on 1, the DL lines up on the left shoulder, a 2 is head up, and 3 is right shoulder. This is easy enough for kids to learn and it gives a common language for talking with your defensive line. Finally, it plants the seed of numbering defensive techniques for those kids who do go on to play at higher levels.
  5. We do it pretty much the same way Slogar1 described. Make the parents sign a contract with the costs at the begining of the season. It works well.
  6. Well, that did not take long - the big issue with this rule set - how does it apply to the Center since "inside" and "outisde" relate to him. --X-----X G----C---- G ---1-----2 You are asking what happens when going to the 2 hole. The RG's first rule is take the man to the 'inside' so he should get the man sitting in the 2 hole. The LG should take the man to the inside which is the guy in the 1 gap. This leaves your Center free. Chances are, the MLB is Over the Center: ------M --X-----X G----C---- G ---1-----2 So, I have my center aim for the backer - the "over" man. The problem is, of course, the rule breaks down a bit here because which is "inside" and "outside" for C as he is point zero so to speak. I admit, this is not a perfect rule set which is one reason why we are moving away from it. I just have to convince my OL Coach that the kids can indeed learn a better blocking scheme. We also supplament this scheme with traps. Base blocking is generally consider one-on-one straight ahead blocking which is what we are doing here. The rules just tell them who to pick as their man. The players must learn to base block because sooner or later, they will end up in a one on one situation. However, I personally loathe base blocking and prefer angles (block down, traps, SAB, zone). the reason is that we rarely get bigger kids; we are almost always outweighted.
  7. Coach, There are lots of different systems but they all tend to boil down to a simple set of rules the linemen can follow to determine their blocking assignment. For example, one that I have taught in the past is "Inside, Over, Out". This is related to the hole the RB is going to. The OLmen's first responsibility is the guy inside the gap (where inside is the Center side of the play hole. If there is nobody inside the hole, he looks for someone over the hole (an LB) and then someone outside (away from center) the hole. Others teach this same set of rules but in a different order. There are other blocking schemes such as trap blocking or SAB blocking. BTW - Coach Gregory who drops in here is the board expert on SAB/Wedge blocking. You should visit his website (http://www.gregorydoublewing.homestead.com) sometime. Anyway, you can do a search on SAB blocking on Yahoo or google - I think there is some more on it on YCoach somewhere as well. In the end, the bottom line is you need to come to a set of rules that the kids can easily remember that help them find their assignments. On the number of blocking schemes you can run - in part, that will be up to the atheletes you get. I coach older kids and I think we have a lot of blocking schemes - we run up to 4 including pass blocking. That is a lot of blocking schemes to teach, drill, and perfect. Plus, the more you run, the greater the chance of a blown assignment on game day. At the age group you are coaching, I would probably start with base blocking and pass blocking and then add one of the angle or pulling blocking schemes and drill those to perfection. If they can do those and can handle another, add it but do so slowly. The most important thing is quality of execution over quantity of blocking schemes.
  8. In any system that you are going to block down to the inside of the playside, yes, you will likely leave a DE or OLB free. You could consider supplamenting this with a pulling guard from the backside or you can have a lead blocker in the backfield (i.e. your full back). Of course, you may decide to use a different blocking scheme for outside runs and this one for inside runs. All blocking schemes come down to a numbers game - you can have up to 7 guys on the LOS (two TE set). If tehy put 8 guys in the box then mathmatically someone is unblocked. If you count your FB as a blocker, you even the odds.
  9. Actually, I think the OL will have to know much more than the direction of the run or the hole number. What I mean by understanding the play is that to determine which threat is what priority also requires them to know what the FB's blocking assignment is, if an SE or Flanker has any blocking responsibility, etc. Further, what do you do if the defensive front shifts during or after the threats are called out? For example, the SS suddenly runs up to the LOS just before the snap? Will that require you to change your threat assesment? Maybe blitzing is against the rules in your league at your age group so that might no matter. Like I said, I have never coached this type of scheme so I 'm just throwing out ideas and stuff to munch on.
  10. I have seen this but I don't coach it and therefore not overly familiar with it. I think it is a bit much for the kids to learn at that age. I could be wrong but it seems to put a whole lot of recognition of defenses and understanding of o plays on the linemen. Perhaps with limited o-plays it is possible but I think it will ultimately limit what they can effectively learn and consistantly execute unless you can break it down to a simple set of rules. For example, if you can say that on all run plays to the right against an even defense an uncovered G will do XYZ. I would keep it simple and go by odd or even front more so than 5-3, 5-2, 4-4, 6-2, 4-3, GAM, etc, etc, etc.
  11. There are some out there, but I have never used them as they cost in the 100's. I use Visio since I have a liscense but that is close to 250 or 300 as well to buy new. Nothing really robust under 100 that I am aware of.
  12. I have been away for a while due to work and family and holidays - my time the last 2 months has not been my own. I'm sure all are in that boat. Anyway, I started coming back here to see if anything was going on and I see a few new members and I just wanted to say Welcome Aboard!
  13. To be blunt, you should focus on your own performance and helping your peers by encouraging them to participate fully in the off season program. No matter how well you played in the past, I seriously doubt you have achieved your full potential as a player - you are what, 14? 15? 16? There are NFL veterans who have yet to reach their full potential; I doubt you have achieved yours. Your focus should be upon unlocking your full potential as a player and not trying to rewrite your Coaching Staff's Program. By the way, it is a 4 year Program and not just a bunch of X's and O's in a playbook - coaches see that; players rarely do. Anyone can draw plays; not everyone can administer a four year HS Football Program. Further, maybe you should not worry so much about Freshman verses Sophmores verses Juniors verses Seniors - perhaps you should view everyone as part of the same team. Don't get me wrong, I applaud your internal fire and desire and inititive. I just think it is misplaced. Maybe you are thinking of becoming a Coach as your future profession - if so, excellent! And, if so, the best thing you can do now is focus on learning as much about the game as a player as you can and making sure your grades are as strong as they can be. It does sound like you have some years experience playing the sport. Do your peers? Perhaps the limited number of running plays has to do with it being a Freshman team. Take a look at the Varsity - do they have more running plays? It is possible you are being built up over three or four years rather than having it all at once. Successful Programs are built in this way. It is far better to have 4 running plays that you execute well than 20 running plays that you run to anything less than perfect. I would like to offer you a strong warning - I can almost guarantee you that if you walk into your Coaching Staff's office with a completely rewritten playbook and a chip on your shoulder, that it will take you a very long time to get out of their doghouse. A better approach might be to schedule some time with your HC, go in with a positive attitude and explain to him that you are interested in learning more about how plays and systems are put together. See if your coach is willing to explain some of the X's and O's to you of your existing playbook. Go in with a positive and open mind and you might just learn something and build a much stronger relationship with your HC about your desire to learn and excel. Go in with a chip on your shoulder and tell them the "suck" may just get you cut. Now, all that said....to answer your question - yes, there is a difference between a cadence and an audible. A cadence is the call (down, set, hut, hut) by the QB that defines when things like Motions, shifts, and the snap of the ball will occur. An audible is given to a QB and team (provided they can handle it) to change the play at the Line of Scrimmage based upon what he sees the defense doing. The Audible is a verbal code system so you can really use whatever words make you happy. If you want to make it city names or colors or numbers or neighbor's pet poodle's name, then go for it. What is important is the team knows what the code words are and they can relate it to the change they represent.
  14. We had a tough year - 3&6 but where in all but 2 games. We had a couple of very tough losses. Our issue this year was speed - pure and simple - speed. We didn't have any; not a lick. If we had had our RB from last year, we would have been 7-2. Speed kills; so does lack of speed. We did what we could and the kids played hard - they never quit - and we had a great time.
  15. End of year close at work, thanksgiving, two kids birthdays, christmas, and new years......see what I miss while I was out! Sheesh. I didn't even know things were on the fritz. Glad to know it got fixed.
  16. The tighter the splits, the more the defense is 'bunched' into the middle. The wider the splits, the more spread out the defense will be. So, if you make larger splits and the defense spreads out with you, you should find better running lanes for your backs. Crunching your splits brings the defense closer together and makes running inside very hard - however, it should open the outside a bit. Smaller splits also closes down blitzing lanes. Whether or not there is less running room depends on how much space your OL makes when they are blocking. If they blow the D off the ball, lanes will be there. If they are stagnated and don't drive the defender ot of the way, there won't be a seam. Which is easier to block? As a general rule, the wider your splits the harder it is to block. The reason is, the OL has to make more blocks laterally to protect the gaps. This is a hard move for 8-10year olds. You can increase their ability to do so by moving them back a few inches. Many coaches put their OL as close to the LoS as they can. If your OL has good footwork, you can move them as far back as you legally can. This creates more space between the OL and DL which gives your OL more time to make their step towards the correct DL and react to anything unexpected.
  17. I've never been in that position and I don't envy it. I am a huge believer in teaching fundamentals but I also believe in that the way to get better at something is to do the thing. So, I like having fundamental time and intrasquad scrimmage time. I don't mind one scrimmage with another team but I don't like doing a lot of them. Ultimately, I would have to ask is how far along are your players at this point? The reason I ask is that I see a scrimmage doing more harm than good IF yor players don't know their assignments and fundamental blocking and tackling. If they can't do those three things, the only thing that will come out of a scrimmage with another team is that your kids will get their butts handed to them and it will deepen frustration.
  18. That is really a function of your defensive philosophy and how you want to handle things. Like all things, it jst depends. That said, in my opinion, your DE goes with the TE splitting out as long as the DE goes no more than a couple of yards. The LB had to understand the hole that is being created inside the DE. If Y splits out more than a couple of yards, I prefer to leave my DE at home and split someone else out with the TE. So, if the TE goes five or ten yards out, he is no longer a TE but a SE so he becomes the CB's cover responsibility. Unless, of course, you have a flanker on that side as well. In that case, you have to decide which guy your CB gets and which guy your S or LB gets. Of course, there is another variable, but we will get to that in a moment. Of course, this is for your 5-3. So.... Base ---------------S --- ----------W---M----$ C----E---D---N----D--E---------C --------Y-T-G-C-G-T-Y ----------------1-------------------Z - -------------2-----3 I drew a split back set just becase I am in that mood this morning. I could have just as easily gone with an "I". It isn't that important for the moement. Split 2 yards or less ---------------S --- -------W-----M----$ C--E-----D---N----D--E---------C ------Y---T-G-C-G-T-Y ----------------1-------------------Z - -------------3-----2 Do you see the slight hole between your End and your Defensive Tackle? Will needs to be able to fill this so I have him step out one step. The main reason I don't mind moving my DE out a yard or two is becase Will can fill this hole with Mike and Safety support. Also, if I do not, then DE is subject to being easily cracked down on by Y. BTW, yes, I did just flip 2 and 3. If he is planning on going to that hole, there is a good chance 3 will lead the play. Splits more than 2 yards (i.e. Y becomes a X-man) ---------------S --- ----------W---M----$ C-----E--D---N----D--E---------C X---------T-G-C-G-T-Y ----------------1-------------------Z - -------------2-----3 Twins (X and Z to one side) -- ------S -----------------W---M----$ C------------E--D---N----D--E-C X---------------T-G-C-G-T-Y ------Z--------------1 - ------------------2-----3 Here, I show the S rolling over to pick up coverage. Some coachs send one of their LB's, but not too many. Notice that the Cb on the other side has come in tight. Now, for the Variable I mentioned - the Wingback.... ---------------S --- ----------W---M----$ C--E-----D---N----D--E--C ------Y---T-G-C-G-T-Y --------W-----1 - -------------3-----2 First, I split the left side Y out about two yards and sent the DE with him. I turned Z into a Wingback and lined him up in that slot. This is presenting you with a bit of a problem as the offense can use the WB as an extra linemen (thus making this a 'disguised' jumbo set), the WB can also run but that doesn't really bother me. the best he can do is come down the line and dive inot a hole or try to get outside - my E and Cb are right there and $ and S will roll over there. No, W as a runner does not bother me but what is problematic is he is an eligble receiver. Who has coverage on Y and who has coverage on W? Well, it should not be too hard to work out because if Y did not split and W was just on his outside hip, what would your coverage be? For a pass, he is trying to confuse your coverage by flipping them or hiding his W. So, with a wingaback, if you don't respect the 'jumbo' set by shifting your DL, he can run power just like any other unbalanced line. However, if you do shift (which I would), you have to understand who has what coverage. It depends on your coverage rules. For me, the CB has the outermost receiver and the W is going to get picked up by W but you could do it with S if you wanted. You just have to be prepared for the quick swing pass to 3 - you don't want your W and S run off by their Wb. Now, let me go one step further - last year, we ran the below as a wrinkle to our offense with some nice success.... ---------------S --- ----------W---M----$ C--E-----D---N----D----E--C ------Y---T-G-C-G-T---Y --------W-----1------3 - ----------------2 Basically, just split our Y's out two yards and put a reciever and a fullback in the slots. If you squint your eyes a bit, you will see this nothing more than a funny looking double wing. (Right now, either Jack is smiling or he is having a heart attack!). In the end, the most likely reason for someone splitting his TE out a couple of yards is to see if your DE will come or not. If you shift your DE, fully expect the 3 back to lead the 2 back through the 5 hole.
  19. our major problem was speed - we had none.
  20. Sounds like the youth program is really kicking!!! That HS coach has got to go though. BTW - we opened the season 0-4. I won't go into details but we just could not get this team to move until the 5th week. We ran of 3 straight wins to climb to 3-4 including a big win saturday against a 5-1 team who was tied for first and in contention to take their bracket. We knocked 'em off and now they are in danger of missing the playoffs entirely. It was our first complete game on both sides of the ball. Both teams played well. Of course, we followed that game up with a game last night with a mediocre performance. We lost 20-12. So, we close our season this saturday against the team we just played this past saturday (the one we may have knocked out of the playoffs). They are going to be pumped to get revenge on us. I hope our players are focused about going out on a winning note. I'll know at practice tonight.
  21. In our 44, we call our Backers by names: B - Bandit M - Mike W - Will $ - Sam In a typical 4-3, you have 3 backers which are the Mike LB who is the Middle LB, the Will LB who is the weakside backer, and $ for Sam who is the strong side. The $ is used to designate Sam instead of an S because S is usually used for one of the Safety's. I have seen lots of names for the fourth LB - Backside, Bandit, Rover (really Rover and Bandit are more often seen for a strong safety in a 4-3 or 3-4 but they have been adapted to the fourth LB in a 4-4; probably because in a 4-3, the SS often plays in the box on running downs). Anyway, we went with Bandit because there is a very easy hand signal for play calls that the defense can easily remember.
  22. I don't know that 'trick' plays are needed but a little misdirection is always helpful. The big thing that I read though is that he is putting 3 backers to one side. I run a 4-4. I can move my linebackers where ever I want and it is still a 4-4. But, moving his LB's over to one side is creating a very large seam somewhere. The question is where. Lets look at the 44 really quick: -------------------S ---------B-----W---M------$ CB--------E---N----T----E----CB X-----------T-G-C-G-T-Y ------------------1-------Z ------------------3 ------------------2 The text picture is a basic 44 with the interior backers stacked behind the down linemen and the OLB's out a little wide. I don't know what offense you are running so I drew up one with a single Y, an X, and a Wingback and an I formation in the backfield. It doesn't really matter though for the purposes here. With the 4-4, there are few variations he can do to the above picture. One is, he can put his Bandit backer and his $ backer stacked behind the Ends. This means the Ends likely have outside contain. He can also move his Ends into the C gap and move his OLB's out and up a bit. If he does this, the outside backers have contain. Any one of htose will be his base defense. Now, the 44 is nice because it puts 8 men in the box - enough to cover every gap. Now, what you are telling me is he is stacking one side - let's assume the TE side - it probably looks something like: -------------------S ---------B---------W--M-$ CB--------E---N----T---E-----------------CB X-----------T-G-C-G-T-Y ------------------1--------------------------Z ------------------3 ------------------2 Note, I moved the End on the stacked side back to head up over Y. Also note that I moved Z out to take the CB out of the play. Now, if DT hits OG and E hits Y, that leaves the ROT uncovered. He can send two backers and leave one behind to overload the ROT. While this should put an LB in the backfield, it opens some very bad gaps in the defense depending on who he sends. If $ stays home for outside contain (most likely) and W&M come - a dive into the 3 hole (between LOG and LOT by my numbering system; yours may vary) should be wide open for 3 or 4 yards. His backside is also a bit weak so "off tackle" to the 5 hole with a lead blocker should work well. If 3 picks up Bandit backer and X makes his block on the db, your 2 is all alone with their S - a good matchup. But, that is all basic stuff and you could run some basic audibles as already said. Now, if you want to mess with his back side, put X in motion and have him crackback on the DE or go for Bandit. Another play is to put Z in motion and have him lead the other two plays I mentioned (dive and power off tackle) or just give him the ball and let him do a quick dive. If your QB and TE are able to toss and catch - have the TE slip behind the blitz and let FB block the first man through. (remember Z is split way out to draw the CB out). 2 can go into a little swing route to the stacked side. Your QB takes a quick look - if $ fails to cover Y, a pop pass out or in are going to be wide open. If $ takes Y, then there Mike has to respect the swing pass by the RB but he is in on the blitz!!! In otherwords, you created a bad bind for his $am backer - he either has to take coverage on Y or on your TB. Do this on a one step or three step drop - long enough for QB to make the read on $ but not enough for $ and Mike to figure out what is going on. One more thing on this play - if you do a 3 step drop - fake the FB dive well to draw the blitzing LB to the FB - makes an easier block for FB. The key to understanding this overshifted 44 and your passing game is to understand his coverage. MOST LIKELY, the OLB has to cover the TE or the RB. It is possible his S will come up to take one - If it is the TE, you are in great shape! If he does that, the power play off tackle to the weakside where the OLB is taken out by the FB and the S is now out of position because he is biting on the TE threat. The point here is that you don't need trick plays to beat this overshift as he has overcommitted himself to one side. Some things to note during the game though is does he only run this to the open side of the field or to your TE side? Does he REALLY send 2 backers or is he showing all 3 to confuse your OT and only sending one (thus dropping the other 2)? If you have film of him from other games, then you have time to analyze what he is doing and work up some plays that attack the overshift or put him in a coverage bind at the OLB position. The 44 is a great running defense, it is generally weak agains the pass. By the way, you can mess with the 44 based on formation and motion without changing your base plays. Try coming out in some trips sets or bunch or motion in and out of these sets. You can still run the same basic run plays. Of course, if you are in a 2 TE set with a wishbone or Double Wing, it makes it harder to exploit the 44's weaker pass coverage.
  23. We put 5 up front; 4 in the middle and 2 men deep. We teach our front line to drop back and form a wedge in the middle of the field and then hit the first guy they see. We teach the second line to do the same thing IF the ball goes over their head. This gives us 2 wedges and we run straight to them. Like Pats said, we are not looking to break it for a TD but to get the best field position we can get. We do pretty well. If you have two or three kids hitting the same kid on a block, then they need to talk to each other...."I got right, i got right" or "I have him" or whatever. Our largest problem with our deep men isn't actually making the catch but judging the 'height' of the kick and where it will actually drop. We had a lot of kicks over our heads early in the season. The issue wasn't where they lined up but coming up too fast. We moved our deep men back a little - I would rather catch it on a one hop than to turn around and run it down - and told them to be patient and let the ball come to them. We do pretty well catching the ball deep; we have some decent hands. We put better hands back there over our breakaway runners. If they are one and the same - great - if not, I want possesion rather than ten extra yards.
  24. yup - about anything you want. Against a typical 5-3, your OG's are likely to be uncovered - you can use them in a variety of ways - double team the DTs or NT's, chip block and go for a backer, alley block on sweeps, pulls and traps. If you have the QB who can do it, an occasional speed option is very effective. This takes some reps in practice to get the read on the DE correct and it does get your QB hit though. But, when run correctly, you can eat up some yards in a hurry.
  25. sometimes it takes a while for that to cacth on - at first it will be forced on their part but after a few practices (if you keep reminding htem), it becomes habit.
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