Camp Highlights

My team camp wrapped up Wednesday night and I have gone through the film about a hundred thousand times.  I have to admit that we are not anywhere near where I’d like to be at this point but at least we know what to improve on.  I put together this video some a few highlights  (grouped by play type) from Day 1 and 3 of camp (Day 2 film was a nightmare, rookie freshman filmer).  In the clips you will see some counter, zone, our screen game, a couple sprint draw highlights, some sprint out pass, 4 verts, and snag.  I have written about these plays on my blog in the past.  Biggest thing that upset me was our screen game, that is the best part of the offense and our WRs did not block for one another, and my OL did not follow their very specific blocking rules.  I went off on them, walked through some things and the screen game was better on the last day of camp… my guys were at least going to the right defender.  We will have the screen game dialed in by game time.

One thing I was happy about was our tempo, you can’t see it in film, but we were getting off on average 23 plays in 10 minutes meaning we were snapping the ball every 26 seconds, pretty good considering we were in near 100 degree weather.


Battle of the Bay Football Camp

Months of hard work will pay off starting tomorrow and running through Wednesday.

I have spent the last 7 months or so planning and getting things ready for this camp… It is truly my baby and it has grown into a pretty good sized camp.  One of the biggest team camps in Northern CA.

We are lucky to have a total of 8 very good programs participating this year.

I am excited both as the camp director and as a first year offensive coordinator.  We have a lot of new players and I am excited to see how they step up to the challenge.  I have faith that our kids will compete and that we will move the ball offensively.  My number 1 goal for camp is tempo… I am warning every other team before hand that we go fast and sorry, I know it is camp but you’re going to have to catch up.  Last year at camp was our first time experimenting with fast tempo and we started killing teams we otherwise couldn’t gain a yard against.  I truly believe that tempo is a great equalizer and  will be our key to success this season.

I know I will not be sleeping much tonight as I feel like a little kid the night before Christmas.

Ill definitely be writing next week about how camp went and what plays were working well for us.

Spread Quick Pitch – My new toy

I want to share with you all my new toy I have been playing with at practice.  Now when I saw playing with this I mean I have invested zero offensive time in to it.  I have had our scout team O run it and run it very successfully without putting any practice time what so ever in to it.  Every single part of the play is already taught because we use our quick screen terminology.

It is a quick screen to our RB from the backfield which is not uncommon in spread offenses, especially ones that use TFS screen system.  My OL hears the call for quick screen right or left, they do not need to know who is getting the ball, we block our quick screens like OZ.  My thinking is this, if I am calling quick screen it is because I either have  a numbers or leverage advantage I want to exploit now.  I do not release my Ol to lead block on the perimeter on quick screen anymore simply because I have found that I do not need them and instead I would much rather have them seal the box off to cut off pursuit as well as occupy the DE from getting anywhere near a throwing lane.

What is different is that I have changed how we deliver the ball to the RB.  We ran this RB swing screen some the last 2 seasons, and I have used it at my previous school and do you know what all stops had… we fumbled it more times than we caught it and never gained a yard off of it!

I have found that the distance was so short that an overhand throw was tough on the QB to guide in there and if he zipped it, it was almost impossible for the RB to catch.

During spring ball I told our back up QB (scout Qb) to catch the ball, turn to the play and underhand pitch it as far as he could.  I told our RB to open up and run a swing being ready to catch the pitch.  Again my OL required no new teaching whatsoever as they just OZ’d it.

What I love about it is that it gives us a great same side run play.  Often defenses will adjust strength or a better player away from the RB because he usually comes across the Qbs face to get the hand off.
I love that it requires no new teaching whatsoever.
One thing I noticed, it gets to the edge FAST.  It hits outside much faster than our regular OZ, literally if my tackle touches the DE we are already around him.


Sprint Draw

The topic of the Sprint Out Passing game came up on coachhuey this week, and with that the idea of running Sprint Draw as the primary constraint play.  We had a lot of success with our sprint draw last season, and didn’t really sprint out all that much.  The sprint out will be a much bigger part of our offense this year and I predict Sprint Draw will be even bigger for us in 2012.

First I will explain the action.  In our sprint out game our QB catches the snap and sprints with depth to the edge, the RB aligns playside and will lead block, helping the tackle seal the edge or pick up any sort of 2 off the edge scenario.  We want the sprint draw to look similar, so our RB will slide 2 steps playside then work back for the mesh.  Qb catches the snap and takes his sprint out, sticking the ball in the RB’s belly on his way by.  Now in the clips you will not see a great slide by the RB’s, and our QB doesn’t sell the sprint far enough or long enough.  We just didn’t emphasize these small details like we should have last year.  Fixing these mistakes will further sell the sprint out look to the defense.

Now to what really matters… the offensive line.

The biggest reason I am so high on sprint draw is the investment I have to put in to it.  There is no new scheme to it.  We block it the exact same way as we would any pass play.  We ID fronts, have a man that we have to block.  We will set, punch, and then drive block the defender whichever way he is going… the biggest thing is to stay engaged.  If say a guard is responsible for blocking Mike in pass protection then he would set, show his hands, and then fire out upfield to that LB.

In the case of a 6 man box, where the RB fits into pass protection we keep all of the rules the same.  Generally our RB has a specific LB depending on how we ID the front.  On draw, he is still responsible for that LB, only know he is responsible for making him miss.  I know it doesn’t guarantee a hat on a hat but it allows us to keep our rules 100% consistent and we get so much LB movement from sprint out that it makes the RB’s assignment of making him miss easier.  Really you want to call sprint draw because that playside LB is over reacting to sprint out to disrupt the sprint out game.  This is where the constraint comes in to play.

Another interesting wrinkle that I picked up this off season that I can not wait to work on (because our QB is as good a runner as you will see at QB) is QB draw off of sprint action.  It is pretty simple and we could probably run it tomorrow with no work/reps just by telling them the play name.

RB will do his 2 slide steps and now attack the LB he is responsible for.  QB will catch and sprint out for 3 steps, then plant his foot cut back and follow the RB through the hole.  It gives us an additional blocker and should be a very inexpensive, quality constraint to our sprint out game.  Below are a few clips of us running sprint draw last season.  These aren’t the best clips of it last season, just the first ones I was able to locate.  Note the movement even crappy fakes create from the defense in a few of the clips, also notice my OL completely block no one, but we still manage to pick up yards.

The next step would be adding in a throwback jailbreak screen from a sprint look.  It is on the back burner for now as we have a lot we need to improve on, but it is definitely something we will add mid season as one more wrinkle teams have to defend.

Install/Practice Plan

Installation and practice plans are popular topics with coaches and everyone has their preference.  if you have something that works for you, awesome, keep doing it, but I would like to share what I have done this year as a suggestion to others.


For our 10 days of spring ball we decided to use a 3 day install plan that is the new rage with many coaches, especially us spread guys.

Day 1 was all about teaching formation, stance, how to line up… the most basic elements that are required before you can even snap the ball.  We focused on this in team, and used the indy time to teach the drills that will be worked daily.

Days 2-10 were where we began the 3 day install plan.  If you are unfamiliar with the 3 day install it is quite simple… you take your entire offense, divide it up into 3 days, and cycle through the 3 days over and over again.

I was able to split up our plan quite symmetrically.  We have 3 base run schemes, Zone (IZ and OZ but very similar rules so I put them together), Counter, and Power.

We have 3 types of screens… Quick, Play Action, Jailbreak (also F slip screen)

We have 6 base pass concepts

I was able to make it so each day we covered 1 run, 1 screen, and 2 pass concepts.

For example,

Day 2 – IZ/OZ, Quick Screen, 4 verts and snag
Day 3 – Counter, Play Action Screen, Smash and curl/flat
Day 4 – Power, Jailbreak, Cross and flood

Days 5,6,7 would repeat
Days 8,9,10 would repeat

We used this same format through our first 3 weeks of summer practice as kids are still learning what the play is.

I found this narrowed focus for each day really helped the kids learn the play and get better at the individual role they have within the given play.

Now this week, as we prepare for camp I have switched up our practice plan and focus.  We know the basic rules of each play, but now I feel is the time to prepare for the most common looks we will see by working all of our plays against a given look per day.

For example in our 4 day/ week plan we will execute all of our plays each day.

However each day will have a specific focus from the scout defense.

Monday: 4 man front, 1 high … cover 1/3
Tuesday: 4 man front, 2 high… cover 2/4/2 man
Wednesday: 5 man front or 3-3… 1 high… cover 1/3
Thursday: 5 man front or 3-4… 2 high… cover 2/4/2 man

Therefore each week we will have seen essentially every look we will see from a defense in a game and run all of our plays against it.  I think it enhances learning because our kids have to execute ALL of our base plays rather than just a few for the day.  I wouldn’t force this upon them in the beginning, but after 5 weeks of practice between spring and summer if they don’t understand the backside guard and tackle pull on counter they never will.

It makes it easier on the scout defense as well because they only have to learn 1 look for the given day, and we run all of those coverages so the DBs and LBs have it easy.  The defense can get aligned faster which means my offense can practice faster.

I am a big believer in the 3 day plan for install… and this 4 day plan for practice.  It is a slight change up from the way we did things as a team last season but I see it paying off already.  At the end of every week we will have seen every front, box count, and coverage we will see in the season.

YES, I’m Still Alive!!!

To clear up any confusion yes I am still alive.  I know I have been MIA here for a while now and I apologize.  I have just been swamped with new developments in my life.  The biggest of which has been changing credential programs as my district no longer accepts the internship I was going to use.  I have been frantically trying to transfer to a new program and should find out by the end of the month if I will get my first full time teaching job here at the HS I coach at.

Since I last wrote

Made it though my first spring ball as a Varsity Offensive Coordinator

We have had a couple weeks of summer practice and 2 passing tourneys

The 2 things I am most excited about:

1. My football camp is in exactly 1 week.  Last year I decided rather than pay someone else for a crappy team camp and deal with travel and everything else, I could put together a better product, a cheaper product, and host it at my school to actual generate a profit for the football program.  The first year was a success but it was relatively small.  This second year got much more attention and next Mon-Wed we will be hosting 7 other programs (Varsity and JV) at our school from 3-8.  Everyone wins, all of the kids get a team camp that is the cheapest I have ever seen in Northern CA.  Everyone gets a shirt and we feed everyone daily.  It should be an awesome experience and I love that I can call this camp “my baby”.  I have done a ton of work on it over the last 6 months to put it all together, and we have some wonderful volunteers helping us put it all together.  It is now one of the biggest team camps in Northern CA.

2.  I will be speaking at the 2013 LA Glazier clinic for 3 sessions next spring, I am BEYOND excited for this opportunity.  Spread run/screen, spread pass, and ol play/coaching in the spread.

I hate that I have been away for a while but now that I have my summer practice schedule set, and my summer credential classes set, I at least now know when I will be able to have the free time needed to get back on this blog.