Thursday, December 31, 2009

Balls Deluxe

Wow.....didn't get to catch all of the Idaho / Bowling Green game last night, but I did get to catch the tail end of it.

What an exciting and ballsy finish to what would have been a 'sleeper' of a bowl game.

Tied 35-35 in the final 2 minutes, Bowling Green scores what should be a nail-in-the-coffin touchdown, only to have Idaho patiently and methodically work the ball into the end zone in the final 4 seconds.

Facing a tie-the-game-and-go-to-overtime or go-for-2-and-win-now decision, Idaho Head Coach Robb Akey goes for 2, choosing a passing game staple.

The Vandals steal the 2-point PAT for the win with the 3-step spacing concept with a Z post. Quarterback Nathan Enderle can be seen taking his 3-step drop looking for the Y's positioning on the MLB. Since the area is so confined and no void can be created between where the MLB and the Y are position, he then scans to the positioning of the H relating to the SLB (who is expanding to the flaring A). With all defenders constricted on the shallow stems, and being that there is no middle of the field safety, Enderle enters his hitch and delivers to the Post as the Z breaks his stem behind the strong safety.

balls deluxe @ Yahoo! Video

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

90 Shallow Clinic

Enjoy a clinic from former Caddo/Desoto Parish Head Coach, Jerry Byrd Jr., of Shreveport detailing the 90 Shallow series.

H/T to James Thurman for the heads up on the video.

Craig James Can Suck It

First, take a big step back.......and literally

Welcome to your impending Crapocolypse, Texas Tech

Leach Contract

Enjoy that unlawful termination lawsuit, Tech.

Leach wanted specific provisions in his restructured deal, and the university said no for nearly a year. Tech had a huge season in 2008, Leach seized public momentum and opinion, and Tech (see: Myers) still said no all the way to the 11th hour before capitulating and -- get this -- giving Leach everything he wanted and more.

First, there were "sources" who told ESPN about Adam James' "mistreatment." Once it became known that Adam James was the player in question, those "sources" became Craig James being interviewed on SportsCenter by an anchor who threw fatter softballs than my daughter's baseball coach.

Then the story advanced over the next couple of days and took on a bigger life, despite conflicting evidence to the original stories of mistreatment and numerous emails from former players and current coaches at Tech not only backing Leach, but clearly explaining the entitled behavior of Adam James.

In addition, Chris Brown returns in full force reviewing the contract situation and Leach's dismissal;

Back to Fundamentals: Oline Drills / Footwork & Leverage

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Off Season Project: ISO Disc Image

Time to get organized!
It has been difficult to manage the 600 and some football DVDs in my collection and relying on one master disc is a risky proposition.

The plan for 2010 is to create ISO files for each one and save to a few external Terabyte hard drives. This should better categorize and secure this library (primarily of game film).


Easy, with DVD Decrypter.
  • Just pop in the master disc
  • Read the Disc
  • Write the ISO file to the chosen directory (external HD)

Then when I next need to burn an additional copy, I simply slap in a blank DVD, pull up the file, and BURN! That's it. I'd have my entire library on a few small, portable HDs that can be (plug-and-play) burned anywhere.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Defensive End Speed Rush

Remember the good old days when the Saints actually had a pass rush and not two overpriced fat bodies?

DE drills courtesy of Darren Howard

Odds, ends, and what have you

In addition to the blogs linked on this page, here are some more good reads you can routinely check out;

I stumbled upon a wonderfully insightful podcast/lecture series from Oxford University covering Darwin and the 200 year span since he wrote, "Origin of Species", you may want to check out;,com_mediadb/task,view/idstr,OX-podcast-mpls_darwin200_audio_rss20_xml/Itemid,26

In addition, everyone's favorite biologist, PZ Myers, reviews NOVA's latest special of "What Darwin Didn't Know"...

Looking forward to the stretch of 'real' bowl games this week, starting with the Advocare Independence Bowl. A real good write-up of the matchup between the Bulldogs and Aggies can be found here;

View of Independence Stadium from my office this afternoon (0.8 mi away)

Geaux Texas Bulldogs

Though I usually attend the I-bowl, I decided to sit this one out this year because I was tired of enduring the 'cold' (35 degrees tonight) the last few years. So my son and I will watch it on TV, instead. So far, by fan count, A&M is winning with 39 smoking hot young women in tight jeans and Ugg boots to only 2 Georgia women.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday PSA (Steven Seagal:Lawman)

If you're snowed/shut in during this holiday break, you may be tempted to pass the time with whatevers on the televison. An interesting and wonderful program filmed in New Orleans, 'Steven Seagal: Lawman' on A&E, certainly is worth checking out.

A much better representation of the Cresent City than previous attempts, such as K-ville, episodes follow Steven Seagal (yes....THAT Steven Seagal), around as he (portrays) an active duty (reserve) Sheriffs deputy in Jefferson Parish.

If you can get past the intellectually dishonest claim that Seagal has been actively PRACTICING law enforcement for the last 20 years (and not just being POST certified or being an honorary sheriff) and the fact that after all the editing you still end up with a rather uneventful drama, but the show actually does a lot of good. Seagal means well and has his heart in the right place (you can't fault the guy for that) as he provides a window for America to view all the good people in the city and what they are going through.

However, I would just like to take the time to issue the following warning.

You may think that through the hokey production methods and simplistic delivery render this an innocuous diversion....don't be fooled.

Do NOT play the drinking game!!!!

1 Drink
  • Every time Steven Seagal says Martial Art
  • Every time Steven Seagal uses his Super Cop Senses (The camera fades to black and white)
  • Every time one of Steven Seagal’s team members is visibly annoyed at our star
  • Every Time Steven Seagal tries to lecture someone he is arresting

2 Drinks

  • Every time Steven Seagal says Aikido
  • Every time Steven Seagal says Zen
  • Every time a chase scene is cut to show Steven Seagal running then another cop catching the suspect

Following these seven simple rules you and your friends will be snockered in no time. For you non-alcoholics divvy up the rules as evenly as possible. This should still have you good and tight in thirty minutes or less.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Get Back To Fundamentals: Defense


C/O Coach Charlie Means & Texas Tech

Defensive Line




Darin Slack F4: Quarterback Tai Chi

If you are looking at what you have coming back next year at that quarterback position and wonder what you're gonna do, be sure to pick up some Darin Slack products.

Darin Slack's F4 Quarterback development series are the best in the industry and there is no rival when it comes to presenting material for easy absorbtion.

If you've received the mind-blowing C4 series and have the fundamental knowledge of throwing biomechanics and self-correcting, be sure to enjoy the F4 series that covers a wide array of fundamental-enforcing drills and competitive challenges. This series progresses your quarterback through living and operating like a quarterback though footwork, upper body, trunk, and mental training.

Of particular interest, was the final DVD of the series that established easy-to-use training methods that cemented proper alignment and mechanics of a thrower. This is a great tool for reinforcing the elements of C4 as well as slowing down the throwing movement to waypoints to enforce disciplined biomechanically correct throwing motion.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reason For the Season: Festivus

Festivus starts tonight. What a year its been.
Airing of Greivances
I'd first like to air my grievances.....
Mark May and Lou Holtz. You two are single-handedly spoiling the college football experience. Shut your mouths. Quit trying to sound intelligent. Quit trying to make up cute word-mashups. Lou, what the hell happened? You were the untouchable coaching Howdy Doody dynamo in the you're a ridiculous Sylvester the Cat talking joke.
Big 10 Football. Suck it. This was 'your year' Ohio State....enter teh shut up for the next decade, and take Penn State with you. Call me when you get the stones to have a conference championship game.
Now to the Feat of Strength!
I challenge Jessica Biel to a feat of strength.....I dare Ms. Biel to a tug-of-war with.....
Ah, moving on, I'll wish a seasons greeting as we all gather around the Festivus pole and enjoy a performance or two.....

Off Season Team Building: Mat Drills

Football hasn't been a 'season' sport for over a decade at most high schools.

Outside of a weight program that cycles your athletes through progressive stages of development (peaking at the start of the season), the supplemental component to this training is "mat drills". This combines all the best from how the wrestlers used to train (no longer have to advocate players wrestling) without worrying about them stunting growth with outrageous body weight manipulation.

These are also great team-building exercises, because players will often be challenged more severely than they would in football practice. It also requires a greater investment in what the team is working for. Nothing invested, nothing lost. When the game is on the line in October, there is no way a player can just turn their back after enduring through such a demanding "off-season".

Having done this at other programs, just a few notes;
Schedule it before school - don't think you can accommodate schedules. After school, on the weekend, will still find a reason to miss. Get in early, put in the hustle, and enjoy the rest of the day. Nothing will build your players more both emotionally and mentally than challenging them with this type of explosive training to start the day.

Mind Over Matter (don't mind the ones that don't matter) - your numbers may suffer at first, it happens. Don't worry about the kids that aren't there / showing up. Focus and support the kids that ARE there and seize the opportunity to cultivate deeper relationships with those players.

A collection of COD, plyos, agilities, and speed work

MAT @ Yahoo! Video

MAT @ Yahoo! Video

MAT @ Yahoo! Video

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Awesome

Coach Evans bombards you with football awesome....doing more breakdown of TCU's nickel coverage

Happy Holidays, folks

The Most Interesting Men In The World

Props to those across the pond coaching American football and the wonderfully natural (non scholastic) environment in which they operate in.

Heads up on a few blogs worth following;
(wonderful use of John Grisham's book, 'playing for pizza') (Roldan Leyba)
(one of my older brothers actually played for Alice Springs Red Backs when I was playing in college)

Cheers, mates!

** I was actually going to do a semi-insightful breakdown of Gregg Williams' 3rd down fire-zones in the Dallas-NO game this weekend, but my DVD burner that I recorded the game corrupted the disc it was burned on....oh, well, needless to say, sometimes you win, sometimes you don't. Also, (Y/X) shallow seemed to be the only thing New Orleans could get to successfully work when everything else fell apart.
shallownodal @ Yahoo! Video

SA @ Yahoo! Video

One thing I did want to illustrate (have to dig up the other film shortly) is how Sean Payton OPENS a game. They obviously want to take the ball at the opener, and when they do....that first series IS ALWAYS at quick tempo (huddle very shortly, if at all) and rarely motion or shift. This establishes their tempo (as Payton has always been big on shifting) and sets up predictable scenarios, as well as creating comfort for the players to establish the rhythm they will eventually settle into during the course of the remainder of the game.

** Also, I'm working on a Bama D vs Texas O write-up, that I can hopefully have done after Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.

Stealing an oft-used, Clausewitz-esque, military axiom, its application with coaching is profound. When you reduce it all down, it always comes down to fundamentals and execution. If you are looking for that next step, that competitive advantage for your team this off-season.....pump your brakes when you find yourself getting excited over schemes or philosophies.

Often times in the off-season, through clinics or bowl games, we can be influenced with stimulating Xs and Os and be convinced that those are the 'answers' we need to find to turn the corner.

Undoubtedly, setting players up for success on the field is aided with play-calling and match-ups. However, often times this is such a small, over-valued facade in football that it blinds us from the foundational tenets of successful football.

Here is my pitch, my admonition to you and your off-season staff to evaluate HOW, not WHAT, you will be doing in the Fall. How are you going to account for all situations, how are you going to competently teach your game plan for each opponent, how are you going to build relationships with your players and parents?

This off-season, SKIP the clinics - save your money.
Challenge you and your staff to think differently - make yourself uncomfortable. Instead of clinics or DVD, schedule time to spend quality time with a college or university program.

When you do so, SHUT UP. Listen, absorb, humble yourself and acknowledge what they do to create organized efficiencies. THIS is the logistical modality that you can apply to your program (regardless of what you run) that will improve the condition of your football schedule in 2010.

Enjoy the holidays.

Friday, December 18, 2009


over Run @ Yahoo! Video

over pass @ Yahoo! Video

Tsunami (ST)

Had a great time last weekend in the Dome for the LHSAA Championships and got a chance to unwind and absorb all that was around me (outside of muffalettas, meat pies, and Hurricanes).

One facet of the game that I gained a greater appreciation for was after getting to hook up with Leesville Head Coach, David Feaster, again. After exchanging pleasantries, we went straight for the low-down, "Coach, what the hell is up with your damn onsides kick!?". Weeks prior, Feaster and his Wampus Cats travelled to our stadium and unleashed a beast of a kickoff package that left us grasping for answers.

Feaster explained that when he arrived on campus he observed his kicker spending countless hours practicing kickoffs. To assess what kind of talent he had on the roster, he asked the kicker if he can kick it in the end zone. The player replied that, "no", he had never been able to get the ball into the end zone......close, but never far enough to garner a touchback. Coach Feaster couldn't see the logic in spending so much time on such a fruitless endeavor, so he had this player begin preparing to kick a focused, directional squip kick for onsides recovery.

tsnumai @ Yahoo! Video

Not the typical onside kick, this features a focused dto which 6 gunners converge on the single spot the ball is kicked. The ball is kicked so lightly that it travels the required 10 yards (to the 50 yd line) at the same rate as the kickoff team players. The ball arrives eligible for play along with entire kickoff team, who take out your returners and crowd the ball for recovery.

Frustrated at halftime with an adjustment, we ended up attempting to run this ourselves for our remaining 3 games in the post-season. It was no easy task tweaking the kick to not lead the pursuit team.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Off-Season Bag of Mojo: Video Coaching

Behind The Curtain

This will detail pretty much the process for doing what I do (regularly) on this blog. This is a great precursor for explaining how to do video teaching, cut-ups, scouting, etc when you have a program that doesn't invest in legitimate A/V equipment.

If you don't know by now, I am not a faculty teacher/educator. I work in the private sector so obtaining coaching gigs can be challenging (but not impossible). Consequently, my gigs typically come with a 'merc' status and my 'assets' are not tied to a school system / program. This being the case, I often come into schools who's programs do not have the budget to support legitimate and necessary coaching tools such as DSV or HUDL. To compensate for this, I will develop ad hoc services that these applications provide. Much like the earlier posts about using Excel and other MS Office products for program efficiencies (scouting, recruiting, tendencies, strength & conditioning, etc), this will be an, "Idiots Guide To Video Coaching.....CHEAPLY".

So, with that in mind, the following process will be how I have supplied a 'ghetto-fix' to what those AV services provide, only cheaply (with more effort). This method can serve a variety of needs you may have at presenting data / video / concepts more efficiently whether it is for your players, your coaches, or just sharing information.

Working With Video

The first part is acquiring the video. If you have a robust PC, importing bulk video files in via a camera-firewire connection, or a burned DVD, then cutting up later - great. If not, and if you want to cut down on the processing of the PC, you can simply cut up video by recording the clips you want through a DVD burner. This is actually my preferred method of getting the cuts I want, and it takes up less space on your HD.

The easiest, cheapest, and most user-friendly method I know of is Nero.

Nero is a video editor / DVD creator that I use heavily to create scout DVDs. I import a DVD file/chapter to bring it in to an mpeg/avi format that is recognized on most PCs.

With the video file imported, you can upload it or distribute it as you see fit, otherwise, you can continue manipulating (add audio / cut-up) through Nero before exporting an edited video. Once you have a video file on your PC in mpeg/avi format, you can distribute it, host it to an online server, or convert it to a mobile device (if you want to have available for PSP’s, iPhones, blackberrys, etc).

Working With Images

Another related process that I regularly use is taking image snapshots of videos. This can be simpler to illustrate a point or provide a focus that moving images would detract from. To do this, playing the video through a media player. You won’t find this on many video players. A couple of free players you can use (hey, did I mention it was free?). I would recommend VLC media player or Windows Media Classic v2.4.5
VLC Media Player
Media Player Classic
PowerDVD also does this snapshot function, but it isn’t free. The video snapshots do exactly that, create a jpeg image of what the screen displays. This is particularly helpful in doing your best ‘John Madden’ on a telestrator. All that is required is to play the file, take a snapshot (built-in feature of the program), then retrieve the image file from the save-to directory.

Also, another application I use pretty regularly (much like the video capture) is Gadwin Screen Print. It allows you to capture any display on your desktop at your discretion.
Gadwin Screen Print

If you are running Windows Vista, you are afforded the luxury of the SnipIt tool that does the same thing (small consolation when none of your other programs work in Vista....and Vista / WMP 11 is also the reason you'll need VLC to play your DVDs).
Again, no matter what you plan to do, you can easily create a 'presentation' in Powerpoint, by taking the video screen captures and just using the images, marking the images up, or even better; create marked up animations. In the example below, I am merely taking a hard copy position manual and turning it into an illustrated video by animating segments / objects within the slides.

Here, I take a screen capture of a pre-snap look (of a clip I plan to include in the full video), mark it up, and animate the objects for when I want them to appear (or be highlighted). I will control the slide duration when I capture the presentation in Camtasia (recording).

Again, this slide could serve as a hard-copy handout, or become a 'telestrator' to insert prior to showing the video clip. In this clip, I just illustrate how a defensive back should be thinking prior to the snap (front ID, receiver recognition, key progression, etc).

As you can see here, all I am doing is dragging and dropping the image file into PowerPoint. From here, you can stretch and skew the image. In this example, I stretch the image to have the formation/front the focal point within the page frame. You can use the format options in PowerPoint to mark-up the image to your preference. The earlier Herb Hand and Drew Brees posts are good examples of this (its JUST PowerPoint!).


One other plug I'll throw out there for scouting, is a FREE application that you can use to compile offensive tendencies based on D/D, formation, Personnel, etc. I used this years ago and loved it. Although apparently when I was using it, none of the teams we faced never used shotgun (program doesn't have gun).
Holly Software Scouting Engine

Then I simply upload the exported video to an online video hosting server. In this example, I'm using Yahoo Video (free!). You could use YouTube or whatever else you'd like to host the video at.

With the video transcoded and available, I simply grab the html embedded code and slap it here - voila!

Parents Just Don't Understand....


After the first game opener.....

two weeks later......

you can't tell this was written by a parent, right?

Another gem (email) from a few years ago.........same scenario;



Sent: Saturday, September 10, 2005 10:06 AM

Subject: football game


Could you please forward this email to the football program- -------- etc? ------- is o-2 so far.

Both games could have been won easily.Special team mistakes- a fumbled punt return that (opponent) recovered for a TD.and a missed field goal cost you that win. Also the panicing as time ran out - you don't need to air it out and get it intercepted if you have a couple of minutes left- a 10 yd first down or out of bounds run will stop the clock also.

Now to the game last night.The swing pass did not work- why did you keep trying it?I hate to be critical but you and the coaching staff need to review your play calling -what worked what didn'.t You owe it to the players to call the best play for each situation and right now I give you a C- You wasted two time outs early in the second half why? You needed them later and they were gone! The pitch out to ------ worked well. the one short pass worked well. What about slant passes across the middle? (opponent) dbacks were playing off our wide receivers what about a quick pass to them? Does ------l always have to run sweeps what about him picking holes in the line more- (opponent) got two touchdowns up the middle by breaking tackles. Which means the -------defense needs to review the basics of tackling- hit them low etc.If (QB) doesn't mind running the ball more, you could run the option sometimes. ------'s failed attempt to get the 2point conversion could have worked if he had tried to go in the north direction sooner but he'll learn as the season goes- maybe he was too tired?The gutsy 4th quarter tdown pass to ------was a beauty!

The guy I was sitting with was way more critical of the coaches than I have been here.

I know you guys are doing your best but you gotta step it up You lost two good chances to be 2-0 the rest of the season does't get any easier. Keep working hard and smarter and this could still be a successfull year. AndI know it's not all about winning. It's about having fun about character development and getting a good education These things will always be more important that winning. I hope you will consider some of my ideas. If you want I will send an email afer each game.

Gotta go.

Arm chair Dave