Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to Make a Video Playbook from Movie Maker

Video is an awesome tool for teaching young people today. If you are making a video install playbook, it is a good idea to show the play drawn up before showing the video of the play itself. This helps your players to better visualize the concept. The best way to draw this play up is to "grab" a picture just before the snap of the ball from the video clip itself, draw it up in PowerPoint using arrows and letter, and then add this drawing back to your video.

First open Movie Maker and click on View and then click on Timeline. Next, import the video clip that you want. Now, there is a green line at the beginning of the clip. You can grab the picture from the beginning of the clip or you can drag the green line to whatever point you want to in the video. Once the green line is where you want it, click Tools, then click on Take Picture From Preview. Now you have a .jpg picture file that you will draw on in PowerPoint.

Next, download and open one of these PowerPoint files. The bottom file is the newest version of PowerPoint:

PASSING PLAYBOOK (video playbook drawing template).ppt

PASSING PLAYBOOK (video playbook drawing template).pptx

I am having problems with putting links on here. Go here to download the templates:

Right-click on the PowerPoint slide and go to Format Background and click on Picture or texture fill. Next click on the File button and find and select the .jpg file you just created from Movie Maker. Now your picture will be in the background.

Next, move around the arrows and change the letters to how you want them. Warning: working with curved lines is a pain in the butt in PowerPoint.

Once you have the play drawn up how you want, you will need to save the slide with the drawing so you can import it into your video. Click on the Windows icon in the top left corner and go down to Save As and then click on Other Formats. Click on File name and name the slide and then click on Save as type and save as .gif. It will ask you to export every slide or the current slide--click on Current Slide only. You can give the .gif file the same name you gave the original .jpg file.

Note: It is a good idea to save the play slide as a .jpg file the first time and then save it as a .gif the 2nd time after you draw the play up. This lets you go back and fix the play if you change anything on the drawing and it's easy to differentiate between the original pic and the drawn-up pic file by the file format.

Here is the order that I use. You will have to import the videos and pictures into the Movie Maker timeline:

1. Show .gif picture
2. Show the play, wide angle
3. Show the .gif picture again
4. Show the play, wide angle at 50% speed
5. Show the play, tight angle, 50% speed

To show the play in 50% speed, right-click the video, click Effects, go all the way down and click on Slow Down, Half; next click on Add, then click OK.

Make sure to save your files. Now, you can make a dvd or upload your video to Yahoo for your players to watch and learn. Kick butt and share with the rest of us when you get done.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Beginning & End Of Everything You Need To Know About Football...


Spacing...The Final Frontier - part 2

More Spacing to get you through the summer...Here is the Spacing route on the backside of Slant. The protection is a 6 man slide to the left with the RB picking up the right DE. QB's initial thought process is Slant vs. Cover 2 and 3-man Spacing vs. Cover 3. Andrew Coverdale would describe this as a non-premium look, meaning there is an overhang LB or safety is in the alley in position to help vs. the Slant. More specifically, this would be called Limited Access because of the Loose CB. Bottom line, the QB knows the Slant probably isn't going to be open.

The QB has a three-step drop. He will still peek at the Slant on his first step in his drop just in case the alley player blitzes. Also, this "peek" to the single-side X WR will help open up the Sit route. The QB will peek at the Slant, then his progression is Sit to Mini-Curl to Flat route. Here the Sit route to the TE is open, so he takes it right away. I'm a perfectionist who unsuccessfully tries to not be too critical, but the throw by the QB could be better. The Air Raid Settle and Noose drill has the QB practice passing the ball to the shoulder opposite of the nearest defender. I would like to see a more accurate throw to the left shoulder of the TE here to help with the YAC (yards after catch) but I'll still praise my QB for the correct read and for moving the chains with a 5 yd throw that turns into a 10-11 yd gain.

Next time, we'll look at Spacing to the Mini-Curl.

PowerPoint Downloads:

Saturday, June 26, 2010

RB Spin Drill

One of the very best coaches I have run into is Eddie Gran, now the RB Coach at Florida State. I had the privilege of working an Auburn camp a few years back and learned a ton. He has coached guys like Deuce McCallister, Rudi Johnson, Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown, and Monterrio Hardesty. I also got his drill video which is a tremendous teaching tool. It does not just have the drills, but it shows game cut-ups of the drills actually being used in the game (I added some slow-mo and a few game cut-ups at the end of the video below, too). When you show this to your RBs, they will be plenty motivated to learn these drills so they can put them to use in the game. Then once they experience some success with it, they will be even more motivated and will bug you to practice it over and over. One of my favorite drills featured here is the Spin Drill. One man simulates a defender who overpursues just a bit and then the RB spins inside him. Here it is:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

West Coast Offense

Had a little time to browse through my vids this weekend and coincidentally enough a discussion popped up recently going over the nuances that differentiate the "WCO" from the "Air Raid" offensive system. My thoughts on the matter were

"...from what I can tell, Air Raid is an "idiots guide to passing" (via the WC concepts).

Anymore, Air Raid is all gun, and uses probably 10% of what most WC offenses use. Also, the AR progressions are deep first / shallow last, whereas WC is primarily short first, deep last.

I'll post some Callahan / Gruden clips later in the week (2000-era) in skelly (w/ play name/tag) and it is all over the place.

AR is just a handful of concepts - there isn't much to it - with an ample sprinkling of screens.

As far as the RnS influence, I could definitely see the stealing of (philosophical) concept of verticals-to-sail - basing out of a vertical stretch into other concepts (which is essentially the RnS....vertical, to balanced, to choice routes). If you go from Verticals, then to Sail, then to Dig/Shallow, you can bridge that to RnS, pretty easily."

In the meantime, here are some clips for posterity of the Gruden/Callahan Oakland Raiders during a skelly session. Play names are included in the posts, feel free to correct me as needed or offer any other comments.

I felt this was makes for an interesting discussion because it is through these concepts that you can trace the evolution of the modern game (or watch it as it takes place) back to its roots. You can see how concepts become more and more streamlined as the superflous chaff (less efficient method / terminology) is removed. You can see where Air Raid staples were derived from and this illustrates the adaptation of the passing game.

For Additional Readings:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Norm Parker - Nothin' Fancy

People will make a big deal about "having a month to prepare" for flexbone can make any defense look good, but with Norm Parker, What You See Is What You Get.

Parker's no-nonsense approach to defense, stressing (schematic) minimalism and disciplined fundamentals is what has been showing up every week for years in Iowa City.

Below are some clips from the defensive annihilation at the Orange Bowl with Iowa's defense matching the formation (doubles or trips) then gap controlling the front 7 (spilling to force corners).

There is nothing here that will blow your brains out with scheme - but the flawless execution of footwork and hand placement along the front is what gets this done. The most entertaining element (IMO) is watching the backside outside linebacker methodically shuffle into the hole for cutback. This also puts him in great position to match the final 3.

With the 'even' (coverage) defense matching the even (formation), it allows MLB Angerer (rep Bettendorf!) to completely sell out to the fullback on every play.

Even though #94 Clayborn is a consummate ass-kicker, if you need an example of "bock-down-step-down" DE execution; this is it.

For the compendium of defending the triple option, see Coach Hoover's series here

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

Friday, June 18, 2010

Spacing...The Final Frontier

The topic of 4 man Spacing came up recently, and this is the one cut-up I have of it. The play is Sluggo Space. Sluggo is the frontside route with spacing on the backside. Besides being 4 man instead of 3 man spacing, this play has another variation that the Saints use on occasion as well. Spacing usually has a Swing route from the RB in the backfield. Instead of the Swing route, the RB/WR can be split out wide and run the Hitch route.

The RB in the backfield is running the Shallow stop route. This route and the Mini-Curl route by F give the QB a 2 on 1 vs. the Sam in Cover 2 as I learned from Dan Gonzalez on the Huey board.

The QB is taught to look to the Sluggo vs. 1 Hi and to Spacing vs. 2 Hi. The defense is in Cover 2 here, which tells the QB to look backside, but the Sluggo still works because the safety gets a bit too nosy. Aggressive Cover 2 safeties don't like it when you hit a couple of Slants in front of them. Once set up properly, Sluggo can be a big play vs. Cover 2. Notice the pump fake by the QB to help get the safety to bite. We hit this for a couple of TDs the same way at my old school.

For the Tech Geeks:
The drawing of the play before the video clip is from a powerpoint slide. I stole this idea from Coverdale's video playbook and from others on this board. If you are making a video playbook, the best way to draw that play up so that your players can best visualize the concept is to "grab" a picture just before the snap of the ball from a video clip as a .gif picture file and put it into PowerPoint.

Then right-click on a PowerPoint slide and go to Format Background and click on Picture or texture fill. Next click on the File button and select your .gif file. The whole slide will be a picture of the play right before the ball is snapped.

Then, use the Drawing Tools to make arrows (and I would recommend to use Shape Effects and put a shadow on the line so it stands out and has a better contrast with the football field behind it). You can also use X,Y, Z player labels and 1,2,3 labels for the QB's reads (it looks best with a circle around the letter or number IMO).

You will then need to save the slide with the drawing so you can import it into your video. Click on the Windows icon in the top left corner and go down to Save As and then click on Other Formats. Click on File name and name the slide and then click on Save as type and save as .jpeg. It will ask you to export every slide or the current slide--click on Current Slide only.

Note: It is a good idea to save the play slide as a .gif file the first time and then save it as a .jpeg the 2nd time after you draw the play up. This lets you go back and fix the play if you change anything on the drawing and it's easy to differentiate between the original pic and the drawn-up pic file.

Another idea I got from a fellow Huey member is this: show the pass play drawn up (wide angle, leave the diagram up about 5 seconds), then show the play; again show the play drawn up, and then show the play in 50% speed. Finally, show the play from the tight angle.

It looks nice, but it is time consuming.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Grind (NFL Coaching Schedule)

Not to long ago, I had the privilege of spending an evening or two drinking .......and chatting it up with some seasoned coaches, veterans of the NFL coaching grind. Many of the stories ran into one another and stretched spans of never-ending days into months. One coach in particular talked about how Friday afternoon would essentially be the only day of the week that they had an opportunity to actually 'be home' and maintain whatever family life you thought you had. The days during the 28-week siege of a season (not counting OTA, "off-season" requirements), would often begin at the office at 430 am and not end until 10 or 11 at night. This coach was adamant that no one slept in the office, that these were days chocked full of football.

What the hell are these guys doing all day? What could possibly demand so much time? How much film could you possibly watch in a day's time? Are these guys bullshitting or what?

Well, here is a Bill Walsh-era game week schedule format. Those days are filled and with the advent of 'instant (video) libraries' (where every game from the previous week can be called up at a moment's notice, shared by the league) are becoming more and more specialized and refined. This is just an outline, however, and in the dog-eat-dog world of professional (and NCAA) coaching, you realize that you (and your staff) will do whatever it takes to gain an edge. This also can help explain why you see so many guys recycled in the league, because it is such an enclosed, tight-knit fraternity; not made for just anyone.

Sample Game Week Schedule
1100 Individual coaches finish viewing and grading video.
  • View film as an offensive/ defensive staff.
  • Written comments for each play
  • Catalog comments by both player and play for analysis
1300 Staff meeting
1400 Team meeting Special Teams viewing of game
1430 Offensive / Defensive viewing of game
  • Coordinator reviews 15-20 key plays with the entire offense, major points of emphasis Break up positionally to review film
1615 On-field (practice)
1645 Practice ends
2000 Dinner
2100 The running back, offensive line, and tight end coaches meet to outline basic runs and pass protections schemes for morning meeting with the coordinator

TUESDAY (Coaches only, players' day off)
800 Personnel report on opponent by the team's Director of Pro Personnel
830 Offensive staff meets and discusses base runs and pass protections
1000 Offensive line coaches begin run and protection sheets, and view goal line, short-yardage, and red-zone situations. The offensive coaching staff lists base pass, play action, and action passes and specials
1130 Lunch, workout, miscellaneous
1400 List nickel passes and nickel runs
1600 Begin scripting sheets
1700 Review blitz situations
1800 Dinner
1900 Finalize
  • Script sheets
  • Scripts and cards
  • Scouting reports and installation slides

2000 Begin short yardage and goal line discussions

730 Staff meeting
815 Quarterback meeting
  • Basic defensive profile
  • Run checks
  • Protection perimeters and concerns
830 Special teams meeting
900 Team meeting (5)
  • Scouting report
  • Install base runs, nickel runs, and protections
930 The offensive line breaks off
  • Install base runs, nickel runs, and protections
1000 Individual meetings
1115 Walk-through
1145 Lunch
1245 Individual meetings (view video of opponent)
1315 Meetings end
1330 Special teams meeting
1400 Practice
1615 Practice ends
1715 Coaches review practice video
  • Finalize short yardage and goal line offense
  • Finalize red-zone offense
  • Review backed up and four minute offense
  • Review script sheets and prepare cards for Thursday's practice
730 Staff meeting
815 Quarterback meeting
  • Review blitz
  • Outline red zone approach
830 Special teams meeting
900 Team meeting (5)
  • View practice (the offensive line is separate)
930 Offense together - install short yardage, goal line, red zone and backed up plans
1030 Individual meetings (view video of opponent)
1115 walk-through
1145 Lunch
1245 Individual meetings (view video of opponent)
1315 Meetings end
1330 Special teams meeting
1400 Practice
1615 Coaches review practice video
1700 Discuss openers

730 Staff meeting
815 Quarterback meeting
  • Discuss openers
830 Special teams meeting
900 Team meeting (5)
  • Review practice video (the offensive line is separate)
945 Offense - review the checks and alerts, review the game plan by personnel and formation
1100 Individual meetings
1130 Practice
1300 Practice ends
  • Finalize offensive sideline sheet
  • List openers
900 Review practice video (the offensive line is separate)
  • Individual meetings - hand out final game plans
1030 Practice
1115 Practice ends
2000 Check into hotel
2100 Special teams meetings
2130 Offensive / defensive meetings
  • Review openers
  • Use cut ups to support opening calls
  • View game video to give players a flavor of the game
  • Plan and review key situations (e.g. short yardage, goal line, blitz, etc)
2200 Team meeting
2205 Snack

Additional readings;

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Selection taken from the coaching canon , "Finding The Winning Edge".

A critical part of the game planning process is to identify the skills each player needs to perform the steps (tasks) involved in a particular play or play sequence. After identifying the skills needed by the player, a team must have a process in place for ensuring that their players develop these skills so that each play or play sequence is productive. Taking steps to develop these skills in every player occurs in two stages: isolating the skills and teaching the skills.

  • Isolate the skills. The first step in the game planning process should be to analyze the tasks involved in the assignment of every player. Next, a decision must be made regarding whether the players have the ability to master the necessary skills. If it is determined that the ability of the players does not mesh with the skills required for a specific task. If they do not, the head coach must either discard this part of his offensive plan or alter the play or play sequence to fit the level of talent.

    Whatever the head coach’s decision, his decision can be made easier if he strictly adheres to one of the cardinal principles of training – specificity/ Specificity refers to the fact that “an individual gets what he trains for. “ All factors considered, the more specific his players’ preparation for a particular game, the better their performance.
  • Teach the skills. Collectively, teaching players the skills they need involves an evolutional process of promoting, enhancing, practicing and refining each facet of the capacity being developed. In this regard, the rudimentary teaching progression of “hear it – see it – do it” is as applicable as it ever was.
Employing the proper teaching sequence is possibly the most viable way a coach can impact the game, certainly at the position level. Accordingly, as the head coach, you must make a decision as to what level of the teaching hierarchy you wish to utilize.

For example, with regard to teaching skills to your players, you must decide whether to rely on having the players learn by rote memorization or to require them to utilize critical thinking skills and acquire a more comprehensive knowledge of the offensive system. You should keep in mind that the more players are taught to critically analyze their responsibilities and to understand the relationship of these responsibilities to the total structure of the offense, the more productive the system will be.

Walsh, Bill - "Finding The Winning Edge", 1997, pg 210 - 211

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fumble Analysis

Back in the old days before cut-ups were readily available, I was resigned to taping games off of TV to try to learn as much as I could. One advantage with the game telecasts are the close-ups which allow you to analyze exactly how fumbles occur. I use this video of fumbles to show my skill players and I relate it back to the Ball Security fundamentals that I talked about in my last post:


Fundamentals of Ball Security:
1. Two Finger Claw
2. Wrist above Elbow
3. Ball Tight to Chest
4. Tuck Elbow In
5. Opposite Hand Over Football on Contact
6. Keep Pads Low

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zone Blocking - Ron Hudson (ULL)

Ending the OL presentation, was ULL OC, Ron Hudson, discussing ULL's notorious rushing attack.

Linemen work playside gap to linebacker, which becomes a zone, gap, man-scheme.

Rather than talk about hips and footwork, Hudson feels his emphasis on face and hands ("point with nose") is what helps his linemen grasp zone concepts faster ("in playside gap, put your nose to far number of defender").

The question Hudson wants to present on every down is "Can the defense stretch with us"?
Then he will see where the offense can stop just one of the defenders (from stretch) and gash them for a big run

RB Coaching points (on zone)
  • Slide shuffle
  • Shoulder square to cocked to attack
  • Stay on track to aiming point
  • Press heels of OL
OL Coaching points (on zone)
  • deep bucket step
  • 1,2,3 square
  • get vert
  • Shuffle (gain leverage)
  • then press (vertical)
  • Bucket step (lose ground to gain leverage)
  • Plant your face on far number (of DL covering you)
  • Take steam off slanter (DL moving away, stay on as he crosses your face)
  • Follow landmark (far number)
Uncovered linemen work flipper / near leg (2nd step) / to near flipper:
1. Lateral
2. Flipper

Hudson's approach with surface contact on zone is premised on kinetic loading through dipping the hips prior to engaging a defender. This becomes a 1, 2 step then (load) vertical jump through the defender. This is illustrated through his "Superman" drill shown below.
Coaching Points for linemen
  • Don’t extend arms in run game (think tripod)
  • Throw face and hands on 2nd step
  • Dip hips to uncoil (helps timing)
  • Eyes to the sky when Crowther pumping (don’t drive through and bury your head)

Zone Combos
Ringo / Lucky / Triple (line) calls to communicate help into zone
If the center hears a Ringo call– and near man (3 tech) comes, the nose doesn’t matter

Triple is 3-man combo (and PST just 'hears' "Ringo", meaning he's on his own) between the BSG, C, and PSG

uncovered center slams nose and works to Mike. He can work to slam the nose, and have the BSG work towards the Mike

Uncovered center sees the near knee of the 3 tech come towards him, he will work to take him, while the PSG 'takes the steam off' the stick

The cadence is ALWAYS on 1, and they don't have false starts because the center calls the cadence (though the QB calls the protection at the line). The cadence is a 2-syllable, 1-word ('SETHUT'). The center snaps the ball on the 'T' of SET. The rest of the line will rise out of their stance on the 'H' of HUT.

When working freeze plays, the center can make a "Trout" call, declaring the TACKLE will call the cadence (great for aggressive defensive ends).

ULL INSIDE RUN from ragin caucasian on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pass Pro - Chris Truax (SFA)

Proceeding Allen Rudolph at the ULL clinic, was Stephen F Austin Offensive Line Coach, Chris Truax. Truax shared his thoughts on protection in SFA's 1-back system.

SFA is a 4 wide 1-back offense with 15 routes, 3 runs, 3 screens, and 3 protections bearing a strong resemblance to "air raid" (note his astute observations on formation naming).
Truax spent time discussing his philosophy on protection and offensive line play fundamentals.
Fundamentals of Pass Pro
  • Know where QB set is
  • Be patient
  • Get into set quickly
  • Use hands
  • If you are covered by a down defender know your help
  • Maintain loose and relaxed posture prior to contact
  • Stay off your toes
  • Don’t lean on defender after contact
  • Head goes back as hands/arm extend to jam
Protection Drills For Linemen Everyday
  • Kick flat
  • Kick angle
  • Kick vertical
Truax explaining center technique for gaining leverage with the off hand

Coaching the center in pass pro
  • Uncork hips (of snap hand) to point to landmark
  • extend opposite (off) hand

If down lineman is positioned on center's off hand?

  • Off hand punch
  • kick off leg
  • 2nd step/hand regoroups

Dealing with dangerous 1 tech , do they fan to the nose?

  • No, they will always call protection to 3 tech
    Don’t chase space, if Nose hips leave, drift back

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Screen Game - Allen Rudolph (Southeastern Louisiana)

The next few posts will cover a round table-type 4 hour discussion on offensive line play. This was an attempt by ULL OC, Ron Hudson, to kickoff a type of Southern C.O.O.L. clinic. Hudson plans on expanding this forum in the future and it would be something of a 1-back offensive line conclave. The discussions taking place this day consisted of presenting a concept then sharing perspectives between various coaches off that theme.

Allen Rudolph and Chris Truax share philosophy on handling OL

As you will see/hear, quite a bit of information is shared and problems discussed. This deviates from the standard fare of rote lecturing present at most clinics.

To start the morning, Southeastern Louisiana Offensive Coordinator, Allen Rudolph, shared his approach to slow (RB) screens.

RB Landmark screens
Rudolph bases his RB landmark screens of their 4 vertical principle; receivers will use a 15 yard takeoff unless tagged with a “crack” call (at the LOS). They also will choose to simply run 5-step concept routes, while the back and line engage the screen (Drive /Choice concepts).

The offensive line technique progression is to:

  • Set
  • Punch
  • Extend
  • Release

For the split receivers with a "crack" call, they don't want him to settle and engage a box player. Instead, they simply want the receiver to make (any) contact, and "take his head off". At worst, the receiver will have bought the back a split-second to break free. At best, it will knock a defender out of pursuing the play.

How do they deal with trash underneath or a DL twist in the way of the screen?
If the defensive line stops and peeks, the offensive line will redirect and take it. Rudolph does not use a 'rat killer' (who will double-back after releasing on the screen and pick up any backside pursuit).

The PSG engaged in the screen will sprint to the numbers; if the LB closes (from inside-out), he will pick him up. The RB landmark is 3-5 yards outside the tackle box (hash landmark)

PST – no set/cut; pass set kick slide
BST – does whatever

If confronted with a head up (4) or inside (4i) guy on the tackle, the PST & PSG combo to release ('you' / 'me' call on who kicks to screen and who engages the DE). If both are unsure about the box (look), they will make a 'grey call', meaning it is definite pass call to tackle (‘you’ tackle kicks to screen).

RB Throwback screens

Rudolph uses throwback screens in conjunction with slide protection as it allows the QB to set deeper and extend the launch point. Although this can be run out of any formation, the rules remain simple. Engaging the frontside tackle, guard, and center, the assignment depends on how the line sets after the play.

Rather than having static assignments that can cause a play to fail if one man doesn't fulfill his role, he has these linemen release at the same level so they can see and communicate who becomes what role within the screen. The first man out (not always the PST) will pick up the first opposite color jersey and kick out. The second man will continue pursuing the landmark (hash when ball is in the middle / top of the numbers when ball is on the hash) and then engage the first man outside. The remaining lineman will follow the second lineman to the landmark and engage the first man inside.

1-first color
2-first to landmark
3-next inside threat

Rudolph allows his linemen to cut on perimeter ONLY if the defender is coming downhill (aggressive). In any other situation, he requires his offensive line to gather their feet and attack the V of the neck (of the defender).

The key coaching point on his throwback screen is that the offensive line has to be flat on their release. If the linemen can't see the other (lineman) guy, then they will have no idea what their relationship to the point of attack (1,2, or 3) is. If the line releases at angles, they will often have responsibility overlap and pit two linemen on one defender.

Troubleshooting Screens
Rudolph uses four simple tenets to determine what went wrong when screens don't work (how to screw this up) to ensure that the execution is bulletproof.

  • Line or backs leave too early
  • The line is not flat down LOS
  • Not cracking when man coverage
  • Don’t bring the running back across the formation vs man (inviting linebackers into the box)

Fire Zone Pressures - William Jones (DC East Mississippi Community College)

( audio of clinic presentation here )

General Zone Pressures
1. A solid variation to stopping the run and rushing the passer, the foundation of a GREAT defense

2. Zone pressures allow you to bring extra rushers and play a safe coverage behind the blitz (not as much risk vs. Cov-0 but still high reward w/ negative plays by offense)

3. As a defensive unit, you MUST work on your run fits and QB (Pressure points of the passer) rush lanes vs various personnel/formations/plays. (Trash cans can be used for walk through and run through).

4. QB/WR are taught concepts of the following
  • Split safety looks C2/C4/C6
  • Post safety looks C3/C1
  • No safety look C0 / man-to-man
    Therefore have certain route concepts and combinations that can be designed against each defensive coverage concept

5. QB/WR is taught when you see a blitz, look to;

  • Will protections hold up and work the “concept side” of the pass play
  • Throw to the “hot side” of the pass play
  • QB/WR may have route/sight adjustments called within pass play of “trouble call” (Blitz side)
  • As a defensive unit we want to identify all or most of the “concepts and hots” that offense want to use to attack our defensive package. (game plan/adjustments)

6. Can “trigger” the QB to make the hot throws vs what appears to be man-to-man coverage and void areas that are in the defense. The zone pressure concepts will drop defenders in those ‘hot areas’.

7. QB will tell you so much at when, where, how.

  • QB Helmet (snap count, hots, checks)
  • QB 1st 3 steps (concept/hots/screens)
  • QB directional Keys
  • QB delivery keys

8. Droppers / Cutters / Screw Down players began on basic progression concept

  • Hot
  • RB
  • Crosser

9. Game Planning

  • Ability to attack the weakest blocker in protection (OL,TE,RB) in a 2 on 1 concepts (high / low, inside / outside)
  • Ability to attack certain protections and trigger certain adjustmetns with blitz threats
    Full Slide
    Half Slide
    Dual Read
  • Gamble: The QB has to have time to pick out the open WR in the open area

10. 5 man zone pressures are designed in a :

  • 3 deep / 3 under concept
  • 2 deep / 4 under concepts
  • 4 deep / 2 under concept
  • Draw basic concept (Rex Ryan)


"Cause A Pause"

At this point, Jones began illustrating several of their 3 deep / 3 under pressures. Among them were two impressive concepts to take note of; "Dog" and 'Mafia'.

To take advantage of an explosive rush end they had last year (#9 Claude Davis, now at South Florida), they used this looping stunt. "Dog", showing man coverage blitz (4 rusher overload to a side) then loop the rush end into the far A gap. With the Nose looping to outside contain and the Mike coming fast in the A gap, the stretch of the opposite A gap opens up.

Out of 3 high

Out of 2 high

"Mafia" was another concept they used to exploit the weakside bubble. So vs man protection it provides an easy path to bring a rusher free, vs run they cover up the weakest gap fit on the front. They have found that looping the nose (away from the mafia stunt) can always get the center to jump this crossfacing defender and really open up the area of attack.

vs tight #2

Normally, vs 2-back, the Will and Mike would be looping into the bubble. In this depiction, vs twins, the safety screws down and replaces the Will and becomes a hot blitzer.

Mafia zone pressure vs twins

Of note on this clinic was the verbiage used to coach the BRONCO ends. To keep them honest and playing run first, they don't coach them to drop, they call them "potential rushers" (courtesy of Pete Jenkins). In "mafia", the drop end now is the hole player. Instead of walling off #2, he is falling inside to the hole and fits on cutback on run away.

Coaching Rules for Mafia Pressure:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Important Practice Principles - Pete Jenkins

DL NFL/NCAA Coaching legend, Pete Jenkins (Philadelphia Eagles DL), sharing fundamental principles to be successful with practice.

Important Practice Principles
1. Coaching with purpose: Players and Coaches should be on the same page
2. Practice every day with toughness, speed, and intensity
3. Practice what’s important to be successful
4. Simulation is the key
5. Consistency regardless of the opponent
6. Have an advanced plan (weather, school, schedule, etc)
7. Practice unusual schemes early and often (don’t wait until the end of the week)
8. Practice the obvious situations over and again
9. Stress and emphasize the kicking game
10. The questions we all share: what to teach, how to teach, how long and how often

Identify and define positional needs within your scheme of offense and defense

Components of the Pell Method of Teaching Football
The skill – football skills both mental and physical relative to positional needs and successful execution

The drill – the teaching process designed to help your player understand and become physically proficient at skills and techniques needed to play winning football

The time – based on two factors:

1. How well or how poorly players are executing
  • Good execution – polish the skill
  • Poor execution – coach and rep skill
2. In season, the specific nature of the opponents offense or defense

Teaching Your Players In The Classroom - Ed Zaunbrecher

Any excuse to travel into the heart of the cajun triangle is a good one and be it for football...well, even betta.

Before we dove head first into the weekend's festivities, we HAD to partake in the legendary cajun cuisine of Prejeans. The Crab Au Gratin was delicious and our creole waitress, Trista, (with her French accent) was even more.

The next few series of posts (this week) will be talks from this weekend's UL-Lafayette Ragin Cajun Clinic. Among the list of presenters (that I'll be sharing) were Pete Jenkins (Phil Eagles), William Jones (EMCC), Chris Truax (SFA), Allen Rudolph (SLU), and Ron Hudson (ULL). As stated previously, I am a big fan of podcasting for efficiently assimilating information (through passive stimulation).

This first installment features, Rice Offensive Coordinator, Ed Zaunbrecher, on the methodology for teaching your offensive players in the classroom. This is a great precursor to understanding offensive philosophy and basic offensive concepts.

The mp3 to the clinic lecture is located here


Teaching the QB in the Classroom
Coach must first be able to give specifics to QB

  • Details – fits a system
  • Accountability – consistency
  • Communication – teaching tools
  • Reference for staff
  • Continuity when coaches change

Defensive Concepts

  • Fronts
  • All you expect to see
  • Number in box
  • Shade-3 tech
  • End inside or outside
  • Overload
  • Coverage rotation
  • Free man in protection
  • Coverages
  • Middle open or closed
  • Man or zone
  • Areas open and covered
  • Spot drop or matchup
  • Where are potential blitzers
  • What do they allow quickly

Teaching Progression Day 1

  • Introduce in classroom drawing
  • Film study if possible
  • Individual techniques
  • Individual timing
  • Group vs Air
  • Pass skel or inside run
  • Team

Teaching Progression Day 2

  • Review
  • Practice Film
  • Question and Answer- if they can’t tell you they don’t know
  • Onfield timing
  • Pass skel-inside run
  • Team

Teaching Tools

  • Installation schedule- more thorough-nothing omitted
  • Playbook-handouts
  • Take notes
  • Teaching tapes
  • Walk throughs
  • Board work
  • Homework

Sample Play

  • Purpose of play
  • Uses
  • Concepts involved
  • Formations used
  • Protection-hots
  • Quick throws
  • Middle closed reads
  • Middle open reads
  • Man reads
  • Possible adjustments
  • Eyes

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Can't Win For Losin.........

If you're a human being, you can't help but be affected by the developments in the Gulf.
Below are some insightful links to provide some information sorely lacking in the "news".

In addition, this has been circulating for a couple of weeks now. I think it is comprehensive and a good read for anyone trying to understand not only what happened but the lay of the land when it comes to the parties, claims for damages, statutory schemes and possible insurance issues. It doesn't so much answer claims and coverage questions as it does identify the issues and identify the influencers.

But I wanted to post it separately so people who are interested could pull it and print it - or find it later. At a minimum, you'll know more about these issues than most people, except maybe the engineers and admiralty lawyers, the next time you're talking about this stuff.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Orleans Saints Passing Game (Part II)

Continuing the New Orleans Saints Passing Game, we move from their vertical-stretching 5-step game into their deadly 3-step horizontal stretch.

If you have to defend four vertical receivers, you’ll be looking to keep a cushion on the receivers and safeties deep to prevent them from getting over the top. What happens when those receivers bolt out of their stance only to come up short (quickly)? With four deep defenders, you’re not left with many bodies left to cover the 53 1/3 yard width of the field underneath (horizontal stretch). This leads us to the spacing concept and its variations.

After threatening and torching DBs with the 5-step game, what do you do when those same receivers come up short on their stem and break short? You're left with a big cushion between the receiver and the ball.
Previously covered here, with its variations stick , scat, and snag, these short concepts allow receivers to gain immediate horizontal leverage on underneath defenders, gain separation, and allow the quarterback to quickly throw a completion.

Again working off the 5-step passing game, the utilization of screens to trap an over aggressive defense underneath creates another dimension of attack. So for a defense, just wildly attacking the quarterback won't get it done (because you only open up the effectiveness of the screens). Getting full use out of the athleticism of their running backs and tight ends, the Saints can further isolate less athletic defenders in space by showing a ‘deep pass threat’ (drop back action) then throwing to a back (feigning blocking) with a linemen leading on the perimeter for them.

RB Screens
Here we'll see backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas athleticism exploiting linebackers and safeties to get to the perimeter.

TE Screens
With versatile players like Jeremy Shockey, David Thomas, Billy Miller, and Heath Evans (now Jason McKie), the Saints can create a 3-way threat H-back. Using these players in such a role further aids the run game and deep passing game.

As with any good zone / stretch running team, the bootleg off of run action is a great way to slow down and victimize backside defensive edge pressure. A back or tight end will release backside (of run action) with a post (playside of run action) creating a two-level horizontal stretch that a quarterback can be assured of an easy downfield completion.

The flood concept creates a three-level sideline stretch after freezing the defense with run action. With a receiver deep (outside the hash), a receiver intermediate (outside the hash), and a back flaring to the flat; the quarterback is assured a completion by overloading a defense to one side.

I hope this overview of 5-step, 3-step, and complimentary passes provides a 100-foot perspective of how these concepts are employed to keep a defense on their heels. With a myriad of ways to attack on any given play, every down becomes a "passing down" regardless of field position. This versatility also alleviates pressure on the offensive line both in pass protection and run blocking. Because the defense cannot pin their ears back and focus on one or two game plan elements, they are forced to slow down and react, allowing the offense to dictate the tempo of the game (and why you'll often see Sean Payton open games with up-tempo/no-huddle drives).