Saturday, June 25, 2011

Technology is my friend.....

This fall will be my 15th year to coach football.  I have had a good run here in Denison and professionally I have come a long way.  I would have to say that technology is the #1 factor in me improving as a ball coach.  However, that is sort of a trick answer.  Here are some of the technology tools I am talking about in no particular order.
2. DVD duplicator
4. blogspot
5. camtasia
6. snapit
7. webinars
List could go on and on.  The reason I say its a trick answer is this.  All of those technological tools lead back to relationships with people.  Having the ability to communicate with other coaches ANYWHERE and having the ability to functionally exchange thoughts and ideas have changed me as a coach.
     Greg Wright came to Denison in the fall of 2007.  He brought with him about 10 dvds that he let me watch.  Among them was the Gus Malzahn coaches choice set.  This was right about the time Gus had left the HS ranks and went to Arkansas as the OC.  I asked Greg where he got them at and he told me that he got them from a guy in Wisconsin.  He told me that he traded a couple of things he had and sent him some game cut ups and before he knew it he had dvds laying around all over the place.  Relationships....
     I then became a member on  My member handle is bigballsincowtown.  I couldn't tell you why.  I tried a couple of normal names and they were already taken, so there it is.  Here is where I met Brophy.  As you all know, my man Brophy is as sharp as they come in this business.  His knowledge level about the game is on another level.  Reading his posts on (and later this blog) have made me a better offensive coach.  Seeing things thru the eyes of a defender, specifically Cajun eyes that will hold nothing back, helps me daily strive to get to his level.  Relationships....
     So from Texas to Wisconsin and on to Louisiana, I became hooked.  It was like swapping baseball cards when I was a kid.  The Gus stuff got me going and carried me up to close to 200 dvds.  Then I hit another gold mine.  My boss had 6 hours of Rich Rodriguez talking ball to his former staff, when Rich Rod was at Clemson.  This was the spring after his offense took of with Woody Dantlzer as his qb.  It started with the beginnings and took off from there.  I transferred those from vhs to dvd, put em on, and they took off like firecrackers on the 4th of July.  Relationships....
     I still swap, but not like I did.  I am at 1200 dvds now and I am always looking to add to my collection.  If you are interested, lets start building a relationship and get on the Brophsters level!!!  The quest for knowledge in any profession is what its about.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Hey Coaches,

If you have some time on your hands on saturday June the 18th you can watch online for free 2 of the best games of the year in Europe.

French National Championship Game:

Kick Off at 9am ET.

La Courneuve Flash 
(French Powerhouse) 
Grenoble Centaures 
(Underdogs, first time in the Championship Game)

Then, the biggest game of the season that side of the pond: Eurobowl XXV

Kick Off at 1pm ET.

Tyrol Raiders 
(Austria -- sister team of Oakland Raiders) 
Berlin Adler 

Those are probably the 2 best program in Europe.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why Quick?

Since the end of the bowl season I’ve noticed a number of threads on various sites devoted to the quick game. Given the fact that we are living through the “Spread” age in football this hardly comes as a surprise. What is surprising, however, is the number of posts in which coaches speculate as to how relevant a quick game package is to an offense that bases out of the gun anyway. After all, should it not be possible to simply build your quick package into your basic 5 step package anyway, either via hots, sight-adjustments, or some form or the other of flare control?

There are six reasons why one needs to throw quick:
1. Horizontal Stretch
2. Force defensive numbers to be even in the box.
3. Force hard support control
4. Identify the leverage on the perimeter.
5. Find where the defense is not on the field.
6. Blitz control.

I think relationship between reasons one and two is pretty obvious. If you are a spread team, operating in a four-wide environment, the quick game functions as a way to structurally set the defense and to get an idea as to how the defense is going to defend the box. In a sense, your quick package should do for you what double-tight does for an ACE team in that it should force the defense to balance up, which should enable the offense to get a hat-on-a-hat in both the running and passing games. In other words, the horizontal stretch the quick game creates should prevent overloads from occurring in one form or another. In so doing, the quick game also enables you to identify the specific areas in a given defensive structure that you will want to isolate and exploit by way of the five-step game.

In the same way that one and two work together, so do three and four. If you create a good horizontal stretch and even the defense the defense will begin to play hard support, thus flattening the under coverage out, creating, in effect, more man to man situations in which defenders will, by the leverage of their technique, be in a less effective position to play good run support. In addition, this will clarify the defense’s leverage and subsequent pursuit angles.

Reason five, I believe, helps explain why the quick game is an invaluable tool: it helps identify, at early stage in any game, where defenders are and where they are not. In this sense, the quick game is tool for probing that helps an offense identify where along a broad defensive front it should concentrate its spearheads.

Blitz control, reason six, albeit important, is not, in my opinion, the primary reason one should throw quick. Yes, it’s imperative that an offense have the ability to get the ball off quickly off of a short drop, but certainly there are other tools an offense has at its disposal that can not only serve as a blitz deterrent, if desired, but that are a more sure fire way to make a defense pay for blitzing, such as screens, for example.

In a place of a conclusion, I would like to say a word or two about how the quick game figures into the historical evolution one-back offenses. I know this will sound like ancient history, but the one-back offense, as we understand it today, in the modern post-Jack Elway / Pink Erickson sense (and for those that don’t know, Pink is Dennis’ father), developed out of a desire to find an easy and economically teachable way to spread the ball out to the perimeter in order to displace defenders and open the running game. What people forget is that the passing game of the modern one-back offense, the one that Dennis Erickson popularized throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, but not the one he runs today at ASU with Noel Mazzone, revolved around a vertical stem quick game whose main objective was to create a horizontal stretch that would displace the Sam backer, create a 4-2 box, but one with a two hi shell that would enable the offense to run a power inside and outside zone running game, preferably to the low shade of the defense. So, even in its modern beginnings, the quick game was really not designed as a way to beat the blitz, but rather as means to an end for running the football.

In my next posting, I will talk at some length about the questions a staff needs to ask itself as it conceptualizes its program’s quick package.