Monday, June 21, 2010

Brian Billick - Game Planning & Openers

The following 10 key points summarize what I have attempted to share with you in this book;

  1. You must clearly identify what your responsibilities are as the offensive coordinator (play caller) of your team.
  2. You must constantly analyze the methods you are using to implement your game plan and determine the capabilities of the group of players you are dealing with each year.
  3. Determining the size and scope of the offense you wish to run in any given year or game is the single most important aspect of developing your game plan.
  4. In creating your game plan, you should keep the four key measures of turnovers, explosive plays, 1st down efficiency, and Red Zone efficiency in mind.
  5. You should establish an opening sequence that can be identified, practiced, and implemented by the entire coaching staff and offensive team.
  6. You should identify the parameters of every situational offensive segment and identify the measurable success of each segment and how you are going to achieve those levels of success.
  7. You should have a plan for every conceivable contingency your team will face, no matter how unusual the circumstances may seem.
  8. You should be as detailed and specific as your time and materials allow.
  9. You should make sure you are using all the tools available to you.
  10. You should recognize the most important factor in your game plan is the human element, and that the way you interact with your coaches and players affects any and all preparations you make.

Considerable interest has been focused on the concept of “openers,” whether it be the famous “25 Openers” Bill Walsh utilized, to the programmed shifting and motioning of Joe Gibbs’ Redskins teams. What the concept of openers boils down to is a very specific and detailed approach to your opening game plan. As far back as 1979 at the American Football Coach Association National Convention, Bill Walsh – in his clinic talk, “Controlling the Ball with the Passing Game” – labeled the establishing of your openers as “the single most valuable thing that a coach can do as far as the game plan is concerned.” At a minimum, establishing your openers should accomplish the following nine purposes:
  1. Allows you to make decisions in the cool and calm of your office during the week after a thorough analysis of your opponent.
  2. Allows you to determine a desirable pass/run ratio.
  3. Allow you to make full usage of formation and personnel by making the run and pass interactive.
  4. Gives you a chance to challenge the defense and see what adjustments the defense may have incorporated into the defensive game plan, based on your different formation and personnel.
  5. Gives your assistant coaches a specific focus as to what is being run and what they should watch for.
  6. Gives the players, especially the quarterback, an excellent chance to get into a rhythm, since they are able to anticipate the next call.
  7. Allows you to script specific “special” plays and increases your chances of actually getting them run.
  8. If your “openers” are successful, it will give your offense a tremendous amount of confidence.
  9. Provides you with a great deal of versatility and enables your offense to look very multifaceted and diverse to a defense without having to run a large or unruly number of different plays.

Billick, Brian, "Developing An Offensive Game Plan", 2001, pg 23-26

1 comment:

Coach Hoover said...

Billick's book is extremely useful with practice organization and gameplanning, where is where the Walsh's WCO approach really shines imo. If practice time is the most important time of the week, then this book is a must have to make that time as effective and as efficient as possible. It also ensures that your practice plan is coordinated with your call sheet: you practice what you run in the game, and you run in the game what you practice.