Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Playbook Application

I have been a big user of Powerpoint for my football needs, however I came across this program that has some promise...


Does anyone own this program??

Monday, December 27, 2010


Here are a couple examples of some of things I have spoken about in some of my other threads. Watchgamefilm just got this part of the program working and it is a wonderful addition.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


As the year comes a close, I wanted to see what technology/gadgets you used this year and would suggest to our fellow coaches!!

My top two list

1) Watchgamefilm.com. I paid for this myself out of my own pocket (99 bucks can't be beat). I posted our offensive signals and playbook. I posted all Varsity and JV games with my comments for each position for improvement on plays. Note: having your home "old School" tower CPU is great for downloading and converting videos WITHOUT occupying your laptop.

2) PS2...yes I said PS2. we used it this year to watch game film with our players. Can't beat the "cowboy remote" feature. Only negative not all burned discs worked in the PS2.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


For those that have the NFL Network the Sound FX episode on Payton Manning was very entertaining. There was a short segment on no huddle.

Also, the AFC/NFC playbook shows are pretty cool too!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Laterals after turnover

I was watching the Villanova vs. App State the other day and Villanova picked the ball off and the defender lateraled it to a teammate. This got me thinking, do teams still practice this?

I think that it would be an interesting concept to explore. I have asked some coaching friends and we have come up with a couple of rules when it should not be implemented.

Turnover in opponents red zone.
Turnover when the game has been iced
Turnover late in the game that allows the offense one more shot at the opposing defense.

Any comments?

Looking for cutups

It is the offseason once again and I am always in search of cutups. If you are interested in setting up something please let me know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Getting your playmaker on the perimeter

This series of plays originated from the base Speed Option play. The three plays were designed so we could designate who WE wanted to carry the football. When Speed Option is run the defense reacts to it differently resulting in sometimes the QB running or the running back. Often the Speed Option is stretched to the edge to provide time for the pursuit of the defense. By tweaking the blocking scheme, we were able to dictate when we wanted the QB to run, the RB to run or have the traditional Speed Option.

We use a zone blocking scheme with emphasis on double teams on the down lineman. It is full zone blocking for the Speed and Zone plays. For Quick we read the DE and have the playside tackle get his best release to the playside linebacker.

One simple rule for each play.

On Quick, we don’t block the Defensive End.

On Speed, we don’t block the Outside Linebacker.

On Zone, we don’t block the Corner Back


In reality this is Speed Option with the pitch key being the DE. We wanted to keep it simple for the QB on his read. Expect a QUICK pitch. This way, the QB doesn’t have the unexpected fast read which sometimes results in a poor pitch. The QB is expected to pitch and the RB is ready for the ball early. Every time we ran this play, it resulted in a pitch to the RB. One positive is MAKE THE DE CHANGE DIRECTIONS and RUN !


For most teams this is the traditional (funny to use traditional and Speed Option?) Speed Option play. As I have stated before, Speed Option is a better “CHECK TO” play or “CHECK OPPOSITE” play. What I mean by this is often times coaches see “speed is open”. When it is a huddle call the defense somehow knows and takes the play away. So avoid this by calling a favorite play with a “CHECK TO SPEED” tag. When the play is open run Speed or just run your favorite play. Or if the defense rolls extra numbers to the side of the call then added a “CHECK OPPOSITE” call.


We called this Zone Option and did say that the Cornerback is the pitch key, but it ended up being QB SWEEP. The RB did stay in pitch relationship giving the option illusion until reaching the Cornerback. The RB would then look to block the Corner. Why did we call it an option? This helped key the RB to stay in pitch relationship until the last possible moment.

We had great success with this series out of our WING formation. The diagrams show the plays against a 4-3 defense with rolled Cover Three.

One thing from the Webinar

Coach Miller's talk about Power and Counter was very informative!

One nugget was about trick plays. He carries about seven during the season but the key is he ROTATES them throughout the season. So when a team sees Trick play one on film...They prepare for trick play one...What he does is run trick play four!!!

PLUS he shared a poem


I saw them tearing a building down
A team of men in my hometown.
With a heave and a ho and a yes yes yell,
they swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

And I said to the foreman, "Are these men skilled?"
"Like the ones you'd use if you had to build?"
And he laughed and said, "Oh no, indeed...
the most common labor is all I need...
for I can destroy in a day or two
what takes a builder ten years to do."

So I thought to myself as I went on my way...
Which one of these roles am I willing to play?
Am I one who is tearing down as I carelessly make my way around?
Or am I one who builds with care, in order to make the world a
little better... because I was there?

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I will try to get a few articles in before the holidays get into full swing...


1. How we got our athletes on the edge (variations of Speed Option)

2. Our best Quick game concept

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stealing your opponents practice time

As an OC I am huge proponent of stealing the opposing DC's practice time during the week.
We run the following things throughout the year to steal upcoming defensive coordinators practice time.

Pole Cat

No Huddle-Scan and Warp Speed

Swinging Gate

Bruce Eien's BYU

Unbalanced Wildcat set

5 Wide Punt w qb

And a lot of motion and shifting

In the past 52 weeks I have coached in 36 games as an OC and a Head Coach
We have averaged 35 points per game and won 80% of the aforementioned contests.

Does anyone employ these tactics in their game planning?

Here are some clips for some of the stuff above:

Here is a link to see the unbalanced stuff:

Here is a link to see the Polecat stuff:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010


I put in SHOVEL today...problem is I don't have a buzz word for it yet??? HELP!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Why do WRs continue to run fades or wheel 1 yard from the sideline?

This puts more stress on the QB to make a pinpoint throw...

I teach/remind my WRs to run on the edge of the numbers, which gives the QB some room to throw to the outside!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


We have switched this concept to a simple check....

Outside WRs always have HITCH

Inside WRs check for HITCH, CORNER, or SEAM signals.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Snap Count

Everything went great last night...68-25 victory. The opponent figured out of SNAP COUNT pretty easy. We will be changing it. The QB was calling UNO UNO (for on one) or DOS DOS (for two). For the JV game I switched to MONDAY MONDAY (for one) and TUESDAY TUESDAY (for two). So now I will open for comment on how YOU communicate to the OL the snap count!

Friday, August 20, 2010


To all those who start the season tonight!!

Full report of Varsity and JV games to coming soon!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


The SLANT and DEEP OUT combo has not synced with us. We are running a quick smash in its place.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

JailBreak Screen

I use to run the rocket screen but in the spring I saw some cutups of the jailbreak screen that has been made popular by Air Raid teams. I decided to install it and I will probably never run our rocket screen anymore.
Here are the coaching pts for oline
Pass Set and Miss
Work to the side of the screen. Pick up most dangerous man as you are running your tracks.

QB fake the swing to the running back and then throw the screen to the X or the Z.

X or Z take 3 steps upfield and use fast hands and fast feet. Come back to LOS and pick your way through the wall of death. The oline is coming fast and I call them the wall of death.

Here are 2 clips from the Women's World Championship:

Untitled from Peter Johanson on Vimeo.

Here is the inspiration for the wall of death. I became aware of this term while I was working security at a major music pavilion.

My Google docs and Scribd




Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jeremiah Masoli=West Coast Tim Tebow

I know morally they are polar opposites but Masoli is an exciting player to watch on the field. I was impressed with how well he was able to run the offense for the Ducks last year. I hope we have another chance to see this young man play. If he does get a second chance then he better be able to keep his nose clean or he will follow in the footsteps of players like Maurice Clarett.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Unbalanced Wildcat

Here is a clip of Team USA running the unbalanced wildcat from the Women's World Championship. We ran stretch to the TE and pulled a guard off the oline and turned her into the lead back.

Any thoughts on any counters off of this set?

Untitled from Peter Johanson on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Innovator of the Spread-Mike Springston

Many of you may not know this but those in the know this man can be credited with many of the nuances with the modern day spread offense as you know it.

Old Notes I found

I was reading one of my old Coverdale books and I found some notes.

Here they are:
4 Tempos

1. Regular-Signal in Play

2. Indy-Get to line, call signals look to sideline

3. Jet-Fast as possible, no play change

4. Scan-Call formation, look to sidelines

No huddle body clock- I think I got this from someone on Coachhuey's board but I'm not sure.

1. Touch top of head
2. Cover both ears
3. Hand around throat
4. Touch forehead
5. Hold out five fingers
6. Six shooters at hips
7. Drink Something
8. Hand on stomach
9. shoot in the air

I personally use warp speed no huddle with three pre-determined plays in row. We have taught our kids to make the necessary change to the formation(s) based upon the hash. Additionally, the players will yell out the direction of play prior to the onset of it via code words.

Here is some video of a Head Coach out of Auburn, Illinois speaking about his no huddle system. Some pretty neat nuggets in there if you watch the whole ten minutes.
At the end Coach Bates talks about his ten minute drill which is a neat way to run an uptempo system.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's almost here!!

One week to go until the 2010 season begins...

Since the season will be busy and in depth articles will be few...My posts will become more of a diary entry with "hey, this worked great!" or "boy, did that suck!"

Any last requests?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Polecat-Any one run this?

I have been running this as a compliment to my offense. It is a nice change up to the offense. The kids love it and we have been blessed with athletic enough quarterbacks to run it throughout the years.

I believe that is can be advantageous to the offense if you spend some time to practice this formation and it's complimentary plays.

Here is a clip of the Redskins trying to run it against the Giants. You can find the clip at about the 1 minute 40 second mark.

Here are some other clips of the offense being run.

If the aforementioned link does not work cut and past this one.

I would love to hear what if you guys run this offense with you home team.

Here are some more variations of the Polecat this one would be considered the swinging gate on PAT attempts

Golf Balls and Tennis Balls

During training camp in Austin, Texas I had the wide receivers catching golf balls and tennis balls. I soft tossed both of the balls to the wrs and they were then required to look it.

Additionally, we took the golf balls and taped them to the palm of out hands to work on catching the ball with our hands.

If you want to bring some tennis balls out to practice but don't want to pay full price for them. Check out EBAY, I recently bought a 100 used tennis balls for just over 20 dollars. I borrowed one of those lobsters and we will be using it come Monday.

Archos 605 wifi

I recently purchased one of these off of Ebay with a DVR docking station. I am planning on taking JPEGs of upcoming opponents defense and bring this out to pratice with me so I don't have to carry a number of scout papers with me. Additionally, it will allow me to start keeping a digital archive of how different defenses align to our offense. I picked this unit with the DVR for about 150 dollars. I let you know how it works in the near future.

New additions to the library

I have had the opportunity to see Coach Brent Eckley speak at clinics and when I saw he had authored some new spread books, I was excited!



The "101 No Huddle Spread Offense Plays" goes into detail of the base plays that makes his productive and explosive offense. He also adds special plays to keep the defense honest. The description of each play highlights key coaching points that may be overlooked or forgotten!

The "101 No Huddle Offense Drills" has drills for those first installing the offense to advanced drills.

I would highly recommend this books!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Women's National Team

So you many of you may not know this but I just returned from Stockholm, Sweden. I was the US Women's National Team head coach.

Our first game was against Austria here our some highlights of the game.

WWC USA - Austria from BoisEntertainment on Vimeo.

Our second game was against Finland:

WWC Finland - USA from BoisEntertainment on Vimeo.

The Championship was against Canada:

Women World Championship Game 2010 from BoisEntertainment on Vimeo.

The United States came in as the number one seed. The seeding was based upon the number of women who have played tackle football in the country. At this present point in time the US has has over a 100, 000 women participate in football.

You can find all of the stats from the tournament at this link: http://iof1.idrottonline.se/ImageVault/Images/scope_0/id_24082/ImageVaultHandler.aspx

Thursday, July 1, 2010


When protection breaks down, the QB needs to have the poise to make a quick decision. I don’t really think there can be a black and white answer when a QB is scrambling. Often we see the QB gets into trouble and cringe while watching him run for his life and chunk one deep…the result being a touchdown. However you do need to stress to him to be smart with the football.

The golden rule is


I picked up a piece of advice at a clinic that helped clarify this rule.

When scrambling:
Near the HASH MARKS, the throw should be OUTSIDE the HASH MARKS.

Near the NUMBERS, the throw should be OUTSIDE the NUMBERS.

Near the SIDELINE, the throw should be at the SIDELINE or OUT of BOUNDS.

You need to remind the QB that completions are more important than trying to make a big play. He needs to know don’t be afraid to throw out of bounds or RUN. A future blog article will outline QB escapes.

The rules for WRs are fairly simple with one exception. That would be TOO DEEP and DEEP. TOO DEEP is when the WR has run the classic fade route and is 40 yards down field. He can come straight back to the QB’s vision. DEEP is when a WR has run a POST or CORNER route. If the WR sees the QB get into trouble right after his break, he can change direction and still gain depth.



If your route is

TOO DEEP come back to open grass

DEEP break opposite but don’t out run your QB’s ARM

SHORT go long keeping an eye on the QB

MEDUIM stay at your level and stay or get into QB’s view

BACKSIDE get into QB’s view and stay in open grass, don’t run to another WR’s level


QB scrambles to RIGHT

QB scrambles to the LEFT

Sunday, June 27, 2010


After a month of Summer workouts, I thought an update of the quick game is about due.



The biggest tweak is having the inside WRs use a FLY or DIE rule.
If there is coverage over the top of them, they die or run a hitch.
If there isn't coverage over the top of them, they fly or run a seam.

Next week will be teaching the outside WRs to run a hitch against press coverage. This involves him selling fade then at about 6 yards, giving the DB a little nudge then hitching up.


The IN route needs to be run at more of a slight angle outside to help time it up with the QB. Otherwise, it has been very good.


We started referring to the "FADE" route as the hole. This helps the QB and WR to realize it's NOT a "bombs away" deep throw.


The arrow route needed alot of practice. We had to stress that the route is at an angle toward the sideline. Early on the WRs would take a few steps forward THEN break to the sideline.

SLICE and deep OUT

A work in progress! Timing by the WR made the throw too far inside. We may look at running a deeper OUT, changing it into a TURN or CORNER route.
The TURN route would simply be running the deep out, but as the break to the sideline is made,the WR would look for the ball and settle.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TREY sets

Here is a response for TREY sets...

I don't prefer SPEED OPTION to strength against this box look.

The defense has the numbers advantage.

I like SPEED OPTION weak or versus a 3-4 front.

TRAP...once again a great play that look like zone read

Thursday, June 17, 2010


There are two factors that should be considered when running the football from the Trips Formation.

How active is the Safety in the run game?

How does the box change? (Most importantly the Linebackers)

Looking at the first two pictures you will see a 4-3 and 3-4 versus a two back formation. Notice the location of the OLBs and the SAFETIES. The Defense may get into a “run mode”. The LBs and Safeties are in a tighter alignment.



When you look at the TRIPS formations, notice the how the defense is horizontally stretched and how the defense rolls toward the TRIPS side. They should be rolling at least 3 defenders to the TRIPS side…if they don’t, you better be running bubble and tunnel screen.



I have four ways to attack the defense. Keep in mind to vary the point of attack to keep the defense on their heels. The automatic was to run Speed Option to the single WR side. The problem is the OLB location. If he is tucked inside then Speed is very good call. If he is outside, then Speed is very bad. So use Speed Option as a check with me call.

Top Run play
1. SPEED OPTION STRONG: attacks the perimeter.
2. INSIDE ZONE READ: attacks the lack of defenders on the weak side.
3. TRAP: attacks the inside.
4. COUNTER: weak side play that brings extra blockers to point of attack.


When running Speed Option the most common mistake is the RB getting too deep in his pitch relationship. Forget teaching pitch relationship is 5 yards wide by 2 yards deep. You need to teach him to get width of 5 yards and TRAIL the QB. I have been teaching this for years and have never been called for illegal forward pass. The other overlooked aspect is the QB pitch. He must step to the RB, stay low and follow the pitch. This helps avoid or absorb contact. Also tell your QB to expect a quick pitch. There may be some blocking problems. First is the #2 WR block on the STRONG SAFETY ($ in the diagram). Often the WR cannot get a square block and ends up blocking the Safety into the play. You need to teach him to J block. 2-3 steps flat down the LOS, THEN up to the Safety. Another solution may be have the #3 WR block him and the #2 WR goes to the Free Safety. The next problem could be if the defense widens the Playside LB. The best solution is to have # 3 WR block the LB and see if the Free Safety runs the alley and make plays.


I like the inside zone read over the traditional zone read because the offense has a numbers advantage. The offense has an equal 3 for 3 blocking. When the Free Safety aligns to the TRIPS side it could result in a big play because there are no defenders past the LBs. A key coaching point for the QB’s footwork is to make sure he gets perpendicular to the LOS to cut the RBs path and forces him to run to A gap.


The Trap is another great inside run and a great way to exploit when the LB start widening to take away Speed Option. The footwork is the same as Inside Zone Read.


The Counter play is excellent…if you have the linemen that are mobile! You may have problems with having the center block back on a wide D lineman technique. This may be answered by having the center pulling and the guard blocking the D lineman. Once you mastered this play, you could add a read call for the QB to read the DE!

Finally you could check to Speed Option to the single WR side.

As always post questions and comments!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Here are a few tags for the MESH CONCEPT.


The easier variation, Just have the OUT WR wheel up the sideline. This can be done from 2X2 or 3X1 formations.

FROM 2x2



The second variation is the PIVOT or WHIP tag. This involves some timing practice. The meshers will stop their route early and then pivot to the outside. The best way to time it would be to have the WR run toward the LB and when the LB drops and looks toward him THEN plant and pivot to the outside.

Friday, June 11, 2010


This month’s American Football Monthly magazine had an article about incorporating WR route running into some agility drills. It got me thinking how I could use this idea and solve some early summer problems. It always seems some basic routes need extra work. This is a great way to multitask.

The WR lines up on the first cone with the foot closest to the cone, back. He takes a diagonal step toward the next cone and continues a straight line to it. This helps to teach the correct first steps for our ARROW route. Common mistake is for the WR to step forward then angle out.

When the WR reaches the cone, he pivots and starts a slow backpedal to the next cone. We are working on bubble with a backward technique this year. When he reaches the cone, he will plant and burst to the next cone.

At the end of the burst, he will plant his foot hard and pivot to simulate the end of the quick hitch.

Next the WR will turn and sprint to the next cone and plant hard making a square cut.

Finally the WR run the foot work for a SPEED OUT. He takes two steps forward then rolls to the third step to the next cone. He then gains ground with his fourth and fifth steps.

After learning the progression, the WRs started looking pretty good.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


When using the Trips formation to attack the defense, most coaches are trying to outnumber the defense or find a weakness. Remember that the weakness may be in run support or opposite of the Trips. The theme of “a picture is worth a thousand words” was the result when I took a look back at the some of the 2009 season games.

Here are some pictures…

So what do all of the pictures have in common? The defense has FOUR defenders to the TRIPS side. Just by the numbers it is hard to attack the TRIPS side. Next, look at the single WR side. All have a single defender to that side and flat defender (OLB) is packed into the box. SPREAD 101 rules would dictate to throw to the SINGLE WR side until they stop it or roll coverage to him.

The top three routes would be

1) HITCH: don’t be afraid to throw to what looks like press coverage. You would be surprised how many times the DB bails.

2) COMEBACK: Depth can determined by QB’s arm strength and timing. Standard depth would be break at 12 yards and comeback to 10 yards.

3) OUT: 8 to 10 yards. Remember to cheat in the WR’s alignment.

The top concept for me would be the classic Run and Shoot CHOICE concept.

SINGLE WR: FADE/SKINNY. Start by teaching the WR to run a FADE to clear for the CROSSER. With time, you can teach the WR to run a SKINNY POST, but you must make sure he stays a vertical as possible.

FSWR (#1): POST. This is a pretty standard route that should attract deep coverage.

FS SLOT (#2): CROSS. Run diagonal at ILB then can climb to 12 yard depth.

FS IWR (#3): CURL. Run to depth of 10 yards and settle.

RB : ARROW/FLATS. Get to the flats gaining depth up to 5 yards.

1) He peeks at the SKINNY/FADE.
2) He looks to the CROSS.
3) He dumps to the ARROW.

He should take a presnap read of the FLAT defender.

If that Defender is in blitz position then he knows that the top option is the RB,s ARROW.
If the Defender is wider to bail to the flats then he knows that the SLOT'S CROSSER ROUTE will have some space.

RUN GAME to come!!!

HERE ARE a few clips


Friday, May 28, 2010

Almost there!

I have been capturing pictures from last year's games to show some for the TRIPS Article. End of School has been crazy!
And trying to put together motions and shifts article...

hopefully my blog partner can provide some new stuff too!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sorry for being MIA

I have been in the process of finishing the first draft of this year's playbook. So that is where I have been...

Any new suggestions for next article? I need some inspiration!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chuck Martin Clinic notes

Using Formations to gain an advantage

1) Don't worry about balance (run/pass)

2) Allows you to keep it simple.
- 4 runs - 4 passes

3) Create run/pass looks.

4) Utilize your personnel.

5) Make game planning difficult for defense.

6) Create edges to get the ball to the perimeter.

7) Create Matchups.
- 4 x 1 formations - 5 x 0 formations

8) Motion to and from Empty.

9) Strength of formation to the boundary.

10) Allows you to be stubborn and boring.

11) Attack their bad players.
- Make their CB defend the run.
- Make their LB defend the pass.

Coach Martin was an entertaining speaker !

Next UP!

Sorry for the layoff, I have been collecting information and waiting to be inspired...So expect an article on EMPTY.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Notre Dame Clinic tidbits

Here are a few things I either noticed or wrote down during the clinic.

Instead of using the term FINISH they say SCORE.

When asked "What do you look for in a QB?"
ND OC Charley Molnar answered "We want a QB that can extend the play"

Coach Kelly's notable quotes

“Not to it, through it” in reference to cones as an ending point of a drill.

He told the QBs to “Keep your feet alive” instead of having happy feet.

When he meets with the players, he tells them
"You are here to play for Notre Dame"

Pride and Tradition will not be left up to the weak and timid.


At the Saturday morning practice, within the first five minutes, Coach Kelly strongly told the QBs to get rid of the hand warmers and "quit being soft!"

OL coach Ed Warinner shouts “Knock him off the ball”

ESPN radio host Mike Golic was at practice on Saturday...he looked almost skinny, that P90X program is working!

X and O diagrams to come

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


When coaches think boot pass, many coaches think run play action. A few years ago I attended a clinic talk that used a hitch as the action fake. The boot pass is a great play and is often overlooked by spread teams. The hitch action allows a pass happy team to add a boot element to their offense. This also is an important addition which changes the QB’s launch point. The multiple routes and formations make this a very versatile play.
The starting point is the QB. The hitch action needs to be practiced to see what footwork works the best. The starting point is the QB pumps the hitch route and then opens to the boot side. Some QBs may prefer a harder pump, then a pivot on the lead which shows the QB back to the defense. The QB needs to whip his head around to find his WRs and the possible rush.

Protection is the standard turn back with the pulling guard.

If you don’t have a guard that can pull then you may add an H back and have him chip the DE before releasing.

As stated before, you can vary the routes and formations. First we will look at it from an ACE formation (3 WR and 1 TE).

5 yard Hitch. Drive at CB's outside shoulder, plant, look for ball NOW!

Run under LB at depth of 5 yards, avoid LBs! Get into QB view ASAP.

Hard inside step to PSE, push off the DE then get to flats to a depth of five yards.

Break at 7 to sell POST route, turn CB's hips THEN break to CORNER. Use Pylon rules.

From the ACE formation booting away from the TE.

5 yard Hitch. Drive at CB's outside shoulder, plant, look for ball NOW!

Break at 8 yards to corner of endzone. Use Pylon rules.

Run under LB at depth of 5 yards, avoid LBs! Get into QB view ASAP!

Run at LB at depth of 4 yards, avoid LBs! plant whip to outside gaining a depth of 5 yards.

From the TREY formation.

5 yard Hitch. Drive at CB's outside shoulder, plant, look for ball NOW!

Run at LB at depth of 4 yards, avoid LBs! plant whip to outside gainig a depth of 5 yards.

Hard inside step to PSE, push off the DE then get to flats to a depth of five yards.

Break at 7 to sell POST route, turn CB's hips THEN break to CORNER. Use Pylon rules.

From the TRIPS formation

5 yard Hitch. Drive at CB's outside shoulder, plant, look for ball NOW!

Break at 7 yards then get behind the Free Safety and into QB's view.

1 step upfield then run across BOX. Not a DRAG! Settle in grass.THEN climb up field.

Drive 12 yards then break to the sidelines at 45 degree angle.

Additional tweaks could include replacing the DRAG route with the Air Raid CROSS route.

I will try to find some clips from Wisconsin Whitewater dvd.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I had the opportunity to meet with the new Valparaiso University staff and watch practice. The new head coach is bringing the Air Raid to VU. One of the main drills I got and wanted to pass on was how they practice MESH. They do this daily for at least 6 minutes. They break into two groups. The Meshers/Out combo and the Corner/Swing combo.

In the meshers group, they position coaches as the LBs to make the WRs either settle or run. I would point out to have the QB "look" at the corner route then to the Mesh. The QB throwing to the Out would "look" Corner, Mesh then Out.

In the corner group, the QB needs to work on releasing the ball quickly (Rhythm). The QB throwing the swing would need to "look" Corner,Mesh then Swing.

I plan to see VU again, being that the commute is about 5 minutes from my house!!

Friday, April 9, 2010


We had some requests for an article on BOOT pass...the problem, We didn't run boot from gun last year. I will make some diagrams and notes on Wisconsin Whitewater's Boot Naked concept. I practiced this concept two years ago, but never ran it in a game. Coming soon!

Next Week, Notre Dame Clinic!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


You could run all the formation variations but, in spread reality, the 2x2 formation has the best “bang for your buck”. This is also why I will only post the blocking against 4-2 and 30 stack. In the diagram,the RB is offset, but a pistol look would look great too! If they have more than SIX in the box you should be throwing the football (refer to my Football Math article). One blocking variation could be having the Playside tackle take a hard influence step and pop his head up to sell pass. The WRs can fake QUICK or BUBBLE screens. I have come to the conclusion that when a play is hitting inside, there really isn’t a need to have WRs run down field to stalk block when they can keep the DBs thinking by running a short route.


PST: Short step back with right (playside) foot then drive out Playside Defensive End.
PSG: DO NOT BLOCK PLAYSIDE DL! Step down hard to inside gap, DOUBLE team block on D LINEMAN.
C: DOUBLE team BLOCK on most dangerous D LINEMAN.
BSG: SCOOP BLOCK on D LINEMAN in playside gap.
BST: SLOW BACKSIDE RULES: No one cross the face into the playside gap, work up to LB level.


MIDLINE versus 4-2

MIDLINE to the 1 technique

Friday, March 19, 2010

VEER and MIDLINE from the GUN

This has been a hot topic lately, so I figured this to be a great article. I have some experience coaching this type of gun run game. These plays are very effective because of the option element that always gives defenses fits! However, like any option attack, a lot of time and repetition are needed for a successful play. I prefer the gun veer and midline for many reasons.
1) The QB can be involved in the run game without getting beat up.
2) The read is a bit slower.
3) It can be just as effective from two back, one back (2x2), or one back (3X1).
In the past, my “rule” was run Veer to the 1 tech and Midline to the 3 tech. Now, teams are running either play to any side. Even running Midline to the 1 tech is common! Running Midline to a 30 stack front can be done with some change in the blocking assignments.
There are three factors in perfecting the Veer and Midline options.
1) The QB READ
2) The MESH between FB and QB
3) The pitch phase between the RB and the QB
The best way to teach this is the Perimeter Drill

The first diagram (FIG. 1) shows the lines for the path of the FB to the right.
(BLUE LINE is ZONE READ LEFT) This is not covered in this article.

The second diagram (FIG. 2) shows the lines for the path of the FB to the left.
(BLUE LINE is ZONE READ RIGHT) This is not covered in this article.

The third diagram (FIG. 3) shows a typical set up for perimeter VEER run. The extra player line up and swap positions. Every three is a good rotation. The DT line is slanted outward to simulate a true veer path if all blocks are completed. I will sometimes have this line hold bags and hit the FB as he runs. I will also have the first player in line slide to one side to get the FB to cutback (FIG. 4).

The slanted line is also a great reminder of the old school running progression of HOLE-HASH-NUMBERS-SIDELINE-TOUCHDOWN. The QB line is the READ KEY or DE. When first installing the drill you may need to be the read OR stand behind the player and pull him right or left. This is the first spot I will stand because I can see if the QB is looking at the READ KEY. After making sure that the QB in line knows to look for the QB’s eyes I move to the pitch phase. The RB must walk two steps back at an angle to insure proper timing. He must wait and watch the MESH then he opens to get into pitch relationship. Pitch relationship is 5 yards and trail. Yes, TRAIL the QB. If you teach the old school 5 and 1 (or 2) the RB is often 5 yards deep in the backfield. Another key coaching point is the RB MUST adjust his relationship to the QB. The QB must attack the line of scrimmage and avoid bowing back, which loses yards.
When the QB makes a pitch read:
1) He must step to the RB
2) He needs to stay low as he pitches.
3) He needs to FOLLOW the pitch.
4) He should end up behind the RB
These coaching points are for two reasons: the QB avoids contact (always a good thing!) and IF there ever is a bad pitch, he is in a good position to recover the football.
A few rhymes or quotes for the QB read, courtesy of Coach Tony DeMeo.
THE MESH-“If in doubt, GIVE”. The FB should always get 3 yards…
THE PITCH-“Never pitch in a MESS or under STRESS”. The QB should keep the ball if there is too much traffic.
When the QB makes a keep read, HE MUST GET VERTICAL!
QB: Secure snap, EYES on READ KEY, SHOULDER SQUARE to LOS, get ball back to start MESH, Steps using a clock would be 5-3-5 (right) and 7-11-7 (left). IF GIVE then carry out PITCH PHASE. READ PITCH KEY.
FB: Step, EYES on FIRST DL past center, MESH with QB. Make sure QB has the snap secure before making second step.
Vs. 1 tech-PRESS the hole (FS A GAP) GET VERTICAL, then look for cutback (BS A GAP).
Vs 3 tech-PRESS the hole (FS B GAP) GET VERTICAL, then look for cutback (FS A GAP).
RB: WALK Two steps back and watch the MESH. After MESH, pivot and get into PITCH Relationship (5 yards and trail QB)
The fourth diagram (FIG. 5) shows a typical set up for perimeter MIDLINE run. The extra player line up and swap positions. Every three is a good rotation. The DT line is the READ KEY This line is now straight to keep the FB in “GET VERTICAL” mindset. I will sometimes have this line hold bags and hit the FB as he runs. The QB line is also straight to keep the QB in the same “GET VERTICAL” process. The the first spot I will stand will be the DT line, so I can see if the QB is looking at the READ KEY. The RB must get into pitch relationship even though I have never had the QB pitch. If this is your choice too, then I would suggest the RB to carry out a great fake and call out “BALL, BALL, and BALL”. The QB will almost replaces the spot that the DT lines up. That is why the diagram has the QB line going through the DT line.
QB: Secure snap, EYES on READ KEY, SHOULDER SQUARE to LOS, get ball back to start MESH, IF GIVE then carry out PITCH PHASE. READ PITCH KEY, if in the game plan.
FB: Step, EYES on FIRST DL past center, MESH with QB, PRESS the hole (FS A GAP) GET VERTICAL, then look for cutback (BS A GAP). Make sure QB has the snap secure before making second step.
RB: WALK two steps back and watch the MESH. After MESH pivot and get into PITCH Relationship (5 yards and trail QB), if in the game plan. Or carry out a great fake and call out “BALL, BALL, BALL”.
The Midline play is quicker hitting and the coach must stress the importance of “GET VERTICAL”. Too much “dancing” in the hole can result in the ball carrier getting blindsided.
Y: release inside and look to block SAFETY.
PST: DO NOT BLOCK PLAYSIDE END! Step down hard to inside gap, DOUBLE team block on D LINEMAN.
PSG: DOUBLE team BLOCK on D LINEMAN in playside gap.
C: DOUBLE team BLOCK on most dangerous D LINEMAN.
BSG: SCOOP BLOCK on D LINEMAN in playside gap.
BST: BACKSIDE RULES: No one cross the face into the playside gap, work up to LB level.
Y: release inside and look to block SAFETY.
PST: Short step back with right (playside) foot then drive out Playside Defensive End.
PSG: DO NOT BLOCK PLAYSIDE DL! Step down hard to inside gap, DOUBLE team block on D LINEMAN.
C: DOUBLE team BLOCK on most dangerous D LINEMAN.
BSG: SCOOP BLOCK on D LINEMAN in playside gap.
BST: SLOW BACKSIDE RULES: No one cross the face into the playside gap, work up to LB level.
Blocking the 30 stack is really only changes the PST release. But I would run Midline more against the stack then Veer.

2 x 2 Formation
The RB needs to come in motion to the play side. The motion could be like jet. The timing would need to be worked to make sure the RB doesn’t travel too far.
The other motion could be deep and into the backfield . The motion doesn’t need the timing practice and can provide easy counter action.
3 X 1 Formation
The action is the same as in the perimeter drill. This is a great formation to run play action to expose an over active Safety.
2 back Formation
The only consideration for this formation is the RB needs to be fast and get into pitch relationship.



VEER from a 2 x 2 formation with JET motion

VEER from a 2 x 2 formation with DEEP motion

BLOCKING for MIDLINE and variations coming next!!