Thursday, December 18, 2014


Unlike most people this time of year... I am NOT dreaming of visions of sugar plums. My visions involve Xs and Os. I am making plans for 2015, but I need your help!!

Do you have an idea for an article topic? post it on the facebook page


Don't forget about the Spread Offense Forum!!


FULL REVIEW of Coach Dan Gonzales ibook.


FULL REVIEW of Coach Rich Hargitt's ibook.


FULL REVIEW of coach Ted Seay's WILD BUNCH ebook

The Wild Bunch: A Conflict-Theoretical Approach to Offensive Football

Thinking about getting published? Contact Keith Grabowski!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

QBs 101

QUARTERBACKS…coaching what could the most difficult position, 


I am fortunate to be a high school coach that only coaches QBs. My QBs only play quarterback…unless we get a truly special player. Only coaching the QBs give them the advantage of working with me 24/7. We take time to work all the intangibles. 

As many of you know I am a firm believer in what Darin Slack and Dub Maddox are doing at THE QBA. I have been using their drills and R4 system for the past eight years. As an educator and a coach the language they use to communicate to QBs is ground breaking. Yes, I know there our other productive systems out there but the QBA fits us perfectly. 

How do I start with the QBs? First is mental. I am a former lineman so I keep my quarterbacks grounded. If any of them start feeling high and mighty and simply remind them by calling the DONNA (short for PRIMA DONNA) for the rest of the day. 

I tell the 3 Bs and the 1,2,3s and one life lesson. 


BE QUICK The longer you hold on to the ball the worse you become as a QB…this year I have reinvented this theme to “Hesitation is the WORST enemy of a Quarterback” 

BE SMART Make the proper read 

BE VOCAL Your cadence, your “huddle*” presence and your leadership 

1,2,3s I use a number system to tell the difference between the types of ball to throw. 





When you get married… You and your wife have separate bank accounts. You never agree about money!

I was able to contribute to XandOs Labs QB DRILLS

BECOME an INSIDER! It is the best value in football!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I was able to attend parts of the Chicago and Grand Rapids clinic.

They are uploaded to my LOCKR account.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Coach Grabowski's second "book"

Just as my brain has recovered from last year's MIND BLOWER, I get word that Coach Grabowski has a new "book" near completion. Actually, a series is planned....So I look for the tin foil and prepare myself!

Finally I get an email from Coach Grabowski alerting me of the arrival and a short note...

"I apologize in advance for your head exploding."

So once again, the beauty of this "book" is it's portability. Yea, I know all books are portable but once again, this is more than a book.

Places I was able to "read" it

  • My office
  • On the exercise bike
  • During my son's soccer practice (take that futbol)
  • Starbucks
  • My truck
  • The Man Cave
  • Our living room 

As I start the book, my imagination wanders and I think...

How can Coach Grabowski



All it took was the first interactive to be impressed. This book is more than a MIND BLOWER, it is an EXPERIENCE!

In return for this experience, I plan to do something different. I am going to add some short video clips of the "book". I will point out that my speaking voice is made for blogging and not vlogging... 


Next, Coach Grabowski did step up the quote factor (sorry Coach Gonzales). Heraclitus, James Joyce, Albert Einstein, Knute Rockne, Aristotle, Jim Rohn to name a few....

My Favorite is from Albert Einstein...

"Out of the clutter, find simplicity"

The series is broken down into 4 parts. Parts 1-3 are available now and part 4 is coming soon.


Coach Grabowski starts with a guided self reflection. As this clinic season winds down, many coaches are trying to add the newest "play of the week". My head coach recently said "That is why I don't like to go to clinics...there are too many plays I see and want!" Smart football coaches attend clinics to see what is new and what could fit into their offensive scheme. As coach Grabowski explains...

"Many coaches adhere to the philosophy of 'revolution' instead of 'evolution'."

He goes on to say

"What I would actually like to convey in this series is a thought process for looking at offense. I don't' claim that we do it better than anyone else, but I do believe in building on a sound foundation, and in sharing how we do it. I hope to spur thinking that can help in evolving your offense, or choose to radically change your system, provide a process in which you can streamline your adaptation and reduce your learning curve by focusing on the right questions you should be thinking about."

1. Build or Evolve a System
2. Define the System
3. Build a Strong Foundation
4. A Starting Point: The Basics of the Stretch Play
5. Teaching & Coaching Methods: Implementing the Stretch
6. Offensive Line Fundamentals
7. Fullback Fundamentals
8. Tight End Fundamentals
9. Tailback Reads and Techniques
10. Quarterback Techniques for Stretch
11. Receiver Techniques
12. Putting it all Together
13. Application of Strategy: Stretch to the Split End Side

Yes! There is even a place to take digital notes!!!

I will admit I was disappointed to see all the I FORMATION "stuff". I just figured Coach Grabowski was being sympathetic to those two coaches down south, to remain nameless...

You are lucky I didn't post the shirtless picture!

When it comes down to the player chapters, every one is like a mini clinic.

Breakdown of blocking using screen shots!
Below are four pictures taken from the KEYNOTE blocking progression for the Line.

And here a few of my favorite plays

Friday, May 9, 2014



I can't believe it took THIS long but there is a TON of material from

Coach Andy Mitchell...Goalline Offense and more
THE Mike Emendorfer...Spread
Coach Blair Hubbard...Rocket Sweep

111 slides chuck full of football goodness


contact Coach Blair Hubbard

Email FasterthantheFly@rocketmail.com  Coach Blair Hubbard

I will tell you that each PowerPoint has over 150 slides. He also sells CLIP videos.

University Of Wisconsin-Platteville has EXCELLENT POWERPOINTS

Email munzr@uwplatt.edu Coach Ryan Munz


Sunday, May 4, 2014

How we come up with the game plan...The Basics by Terrence Banks

What plays do we want to run this week and how much to run is always a question that every coach has to answer on Sunday’s staff meeting.
While we are a spread team I think our basics can apply to any offense. I had the pleasure of hearing Noel Mazzone live and in color in Nashville two years ago for eight hours and he enhanced my knowledge of the spread game and changed/clarified my game planning.

After, of course, watching film, the first thing we do is have the coaches’ draw up the expected front we expect to receive vs. every formation we are thinking about running. Then, by formation, I allow my coaches to put up every play they want to run. The key is we are only going to have 28 regular plays in the game plan. I say 28 because we will keep four Red Zone Plays and three 3rd and five plays. We start with the 28, it may be 20, 45, 98 plays on the board we won’t carry more than 28 plays into the game. Twenty Eight is the max (we have run less several times). We also determine four Red Zone Plays and hopefully two of those are inside the 5. Also we come up with three 3rd and medium plays. Our game plan includes no more than 35 plays total. Because we are a No Huddle Spread team, we generally run a play three times in that week. There are other tidbits, I will share in a latter write-up, but this explains the basics of our game plan decision making each Sunday.

3 sample 3rd and 5 calls

  • Levels
  • Curl/Flat
  • Stick-Draw

Discuss how you game plan HERE

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New Helmet Technology-SG Helmet

I recently met a representative from Echelon Sports  SPORTS ARMOR who introduced me to the new SG Helmet.

I have to say, I was quite impressed with the feel of the helmet.   The helmet itself is made with a Kevlar shell and a patented polypropylene inside. The main thing that stood out for me was the how light the helmet was in my hand and how light it felt when I placed it upon my head.  I asked a couple of my players to check it out in the spring and I have been checking in with them from time to time.  

Their comments  about the helmet have been nothing short of amazing for me as a coach.

Players Comments:
"I don't even feel like I am wearing a helmet."
"I don't get a headache when I am wearing the SG helmet."
"I took a hit to the head and did not feel it like I might of with my other helmets."
"My peripheral vision in the SG helmet is awesome."    

Additionally, I purchased a SG helmet for a player who had a concussion with another helmet in the early part of spring.  When they returned from their concussion protocol, I put the helmet on the player and the player has not had any recurrence of head injuries since placing the SG helmet on their head.

Attached is a article from ESPN to peruse if you want more information about this style helmet.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Something different for Lent

Instead of giving UP something for the Lent, I decided to give on FACEBOOK. Here is the list.

Day 50: All good things must come to an end....
YOU must go and find the next one #make your own luck #pay it forward
Day 49: TALK more and TEXT less on this TUESDAY.

Day 48: Filth breeds Filth (#BNM quote) SO SWEEP the CORNERS

Day 47: The best ways to attain your goals are to write them down and tell people.

Day 46: Successful people never stop learning.

Day 45: Sometimes to be comfortable you have to make yourself do something uncomfortable...

Day 44: The road to success is always under construction.

Day 43: Hard work builds character and humility, as well as some calluses to remind you.

Day 42: Don't like your lane? YOU can always put on your blinker and CHANGE your LANE.

Day 41: Work SMARTER not HARDER Day 40: Be sleek not sloppy on this Sunday

Day 39: Get outdoors today!

Day 38: "Free your mind and the rest will follow"

Day 37: The pursuit of happiness should not include $ signs.

Day 36: Surge through your struggles

Day 35: Don't run from your problems...you may be running from the solution!

Day 34: If you are either UNWILLING or UNABLE... be ABLE, then WILL yourself to change!

Day 33: YOUR excuse is INVALID

Day 32: You gotta wanna #BNM quote

Day 31: Profanity is the lack of intelligence #BNM quote

Day 30: It's not healthy to have HATE in your heart

Day 29: Don't jump to conclusions; you might SPRAIN your BRAIN 

Day 28: PREPARE to Succeed and you will!

Day 27: Do #OneThing extraordinary for someone that is feels ordinary.

Day 26: Holding a grudge will give you a brain cramp... release it, let it go, and feel better

Day 25: You are never too old to act silly

Day 24: Negative Thoughts NEVER result in Positive Outcomes.

Day 23: Perfection is a process that requires sacrifice, dedication, and honesty.

Day 22: Want something? Step 1 MAKE a PLAN. Step 2 GO get IT!

Day 21: Make someone LAUGH today, it feels great and is calorie free!

Day 20: When you keep a warm heart, the weather forecast is always sunny.

Day 19: You need to truly SACRIFICE to reach your goals.

Day 18: Learn today by listening to someone.

Day 17: Focus Friday... finish one task before you start another.

Day 16: When you keep making ATTEMPTS, you will NEVER FAIL.

Day 15: Never complain that your feet hurt...

Day 14: Take on this Tuesday and tell someone how thankful you are for their friendship.

Day 13: Marvel on this Monday, don't make it moody.

Day 12: Trust yourself and you will be able to finish anything you start.

Day 11: Disconnect from tech and reconnect with a human.

Day 10: Talk to someone that you normally don't...You may be surprised and learn something!

Day 9: Hard Work doesn't go unnoticed; those who truly care (to you) appreciate you!

Day 8: "Be quick BUT not in a hurry" John Wooden

Day 7: You are AWESOME! Now go tell someone that needs it more than yourself...

Day 5: Why is so hard, for so many to realize, It is the WINNERS that work HARDER, work LONGER and as result PERFORM BETTER!

Day 4: To achieve anything in life, you must first believe in yourself!

DAY 3: Another one of my base LIFE ideals is The Fish Philosophy.

Day 2: Surround yourself with POSITIVE and HAPPY people
and in return you will be POSITIVE and HAPPY.

DAY 1 Positive: My favorite philosophy, ADJUST and PROCEED.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Some more TECH goodness!

I have discovered some more resources that I would like to share! Full reviews coming soon but here is a peak!

Lockr is a fairy new website that offers coaches a place to STORE and SHARE...

  • PLAYS 


Football Play Card is a SITE and APP combination that allows you to draw play cards and store (via cloud).

They are currently running 50% off subscription rates! 
Please use promo code DACOACHMO for referral purposes from this blog. THANKS!!! 


Both have piqued my techy interest!
MORE DETAILS coming soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More Chuck Martin goodness!

I was lucky enough to see Coach Chuck Martin speak at our State Clinic. The now Head Coach of Miami University was, as always, in rare form! His presentation was Program Development.
Here are my notes (with help... THANKS Coach Randy H.)

Good Players, Good Staff, Good Program

I want players that...
Must love to compete 
Out prepare their opponent

The problem with today’s kids?
“We gave them everything, but taught them nothing”

Best Weekly Team Goal is
“Make ONE more play than your opponent”

1. Be a great teammate

  • Care more about the guy next to you than your own success.
  • Stress thus every day!
  • Give them examples.
  • There were years where this was the only rule…an all-encompassing concept.

2. No Stars

  • You should be afraid to challenge your best players.
  • He can watch you practice for 30 seconds and know who your start players are because you coach them differently. His goal is to coach his best players the hardest.
  • Understand that you are nothing without your teammates and staff.
  • We and our, NOT I and My.
  • Selfish Behavior- ask: Is that being a great teammate?

3. Accountability in Academics, Football, and Personal Lives

  • We must learn from bad choices.

4. Leaders are made, NOT born

  • Challenge them everyday!
  • Coaches should lead their position group, then teach them to lead.
  • **Create suffering (opportunities to rally around each other).
  • Push up position hold, wall squat…not a prolonged conditioning session!
  • Go Best on Best, Competition!

5. Develop Relationships

  • Developing someone as a student athlete starts with knowing everything about them.
  • You gotta have a great relationship to be demanding!
  • Put high demands on players in practice; try to get them to "wilt".
  • Relationships start with knowing everything about the player- all aspects of life- cannot push them without a relationship. Promise kids that they will be able to compete for a starting position

6. Sacrifice

  • Doing so in the off season, creates a bigger sense of investment in the program.
  • Players want to be better and willing to sacrifice more.

7. Be Realistic

  • It is important that each player understands where he fits into the program.
  • Don’t make a weekly goal that could back fire at the start of the game. (No turnovers, Negative yards, Shutout).

8. Process over Product

  • The players must be focused on the details and work necessary to reach the goal, Don’t point fingers at kids, even in difficult times…stick to your plan and if you are doing the right things right, things will break for you!

9. The Best Prepared Players Play

  • More games are lost than are won, We value preparation over ability…Believe in what your doing!
10. Immune to Momentum
  • This is the most overused “theory” used in sports, mostly by writers! If momentum is so important then why aren’t we all looking for it when we lose it! Absurd…
  • Players need to focus on the next play…not the last one…we gotta make one more play…momentum as good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher.

11. Practice 11 on 11

  • The best approach to getting better at football is playing football!
  • Put your players in as many different situations as possible. You can work situations every day.
  • Coach Martin’s favorite is going out/coming in drill.
  • Start with the ball on the 1 yard line ball coming out, we are up 3 points, they goal is to get ONE first down. If the offense is forced to Punt? Then turn it around at the 40 and put the onus on the defense.

 At the end of season they have a 1 hour 15 min practice, 1 hour could be 11 on 11.

Other articles from the archives

Sunday, March 16, 2014

TOP THREE TECH to get you through the OFF SEASON

As the clinic season draws to a close, here are three TECH items to get you through...None are FREE but ALL are worth it!

#1 The MIND BLOWER! until Coach Grabowski releases the next one!

They already give coaches a TON of FREEBIES. When you become an INSIDER you get expanded articles and VIDEO.

#1 all22video.com
"Get UNLIMITED access to the largest collection of football coaching videos on the net, including college game film, cutups, and clinic film you can't get anywhere else."

Yes, I know they are all listed #1... why? you gotta read Tim S. Grover's RELENTLESS

Monday, March 3, 2014

Recoded and Reloaded...a review that is finally done

Long overdue, I can’t believe that it was almost a year ago when I wrote a preview… 
You don’t just read a book by Dan Gonzalez, you digest it. Once again, Coach Gonzalez produces a book that makes you think. When is the last time you saw a quote from Benjamin Franklin in a football book? The great thing about this compilation is there are many ideas that can easily transfer to your offense. This is not Coach Gonzalez’s “first rodeo”, but an evolution of his first book , but you don’t necessarily need to buy it to understand the second work. In my opinion, BOTH books are significant additions to my permanent library.

Coach Gonzalez’s packs a large amount of football goodness into 171 pages. The book’s size resembles a notebook…

no small pictures or print to contend with!



The book contains 10 chapters

1.    The need for restructuring
2.    Traits of a complete pattern system
3.    An offensive flow chart
4.    Formations and Personnel Groups
5.    A structure for calling pass plays
6.    Protection
7.    Structural tags and backside tags
8.    Distilling pass concepts and attacking the defense
9.    Assembling patterns
10.  Installation

Route Tree that I love!

Coach Gonzalez has a Route Tree that makes sense. I’m not a big fan of the traditional route tree. But I believe it can have a place in your offensive system. It is a great teaching tool for rookies. I HATE the traditional route tree! WHY? Many of the traditional route trees (YAWN) have “branches” that are used seldom. Coach Gonzalez’s tree has all routes that are staples to his offense. The pictures in the book grouped some of the routes together… I would have liked to see each route diagrammed separately too. I’m sure if you hire Coach Gonzalez, he could make that happen. I am intrigued by the 2 route, which is describes a 3 step IN. This may replace the slant…

Protections using colors…

We have used names for pass concepts and the lineman and backs had to know their assignments based on the just the name. Two years ago, our head decided the Oline and backs needed some concrete verbiage. So a THREE digit system was introduced:
  • First number tells type of concept and direction for line.
  • Second number tells which direction for back to block.
  • Third number tells the CONCEPT.
It has it flaws, but I have learned to live with it.

Coach Gonzalez uses colors to signify the protection type.
You want the BACK in typical slide BOB protection? That would be BROWN or BLACK call. If you want the back in a route or GONE from the protection? That call would be GREEN or GOLD. If you have a Tight End in formation and want to keep him in the protection…the call would be TAN or TEAL. More protections and codes are fully diagrammed in the book. If you are struggling for pass protection communication that is simple, then I highly recommend using the Coach Gonzalez coding.


SWITCH, CUBE, DEPOT, BRONCO, BENGAL, BADGE…these are a few tags diagrammed in the book.

Coach Gonzales groups the tags into three groups:

o    “B” TAGS
o    “R” TAGS

Great teachers use teaching methods that work. Coach Gonzalez is a big fan of acronyms. I love them too. They are an excellent memory tool. HIDE and SLIDE are two staples of the backside tags. HIDE is simply “Hitch, then come Inside” and SLIDE uses switch release then HIDE technique. for those of use that love the TRIPS formation, the tags CUBE and CASH are used.

The names Dolphin, Patriot, and Redskin are used…no, not as play names but as part of the “STRETCH FAMILY”.

Dolphin = OUTSIDE to INSIDE Read
Patriot = INSIDE to OUTSIDE Read
Redskin = DEEP to SHORT Read

Coach Gonzalez is easy to reach through his website. I have had a few telephone conversations with him that always seems to humble me (No, I don’t know everything)


wondering how to get a visual conversation the next time....

A couple of nuggets I have gained from his conversations

He would rather have a GUY that makes the catch, not a playmaker

When setting the Pass Protection, you should set the slide to the field. Most Zone Blitz comes from the field.

What is your favorite concept? Anything with a  DRAG route

What do you like on 3rd and 8? It starts with 2 back protection and a DRAG route...

He loves 4 verticals and the adjustments off the concept.

So, if you are struggling with your pass game then buy Coach Gonzalez' books.


If you need more help...HIRE HIM!

And finally, I am hoping to have a PART THREE to this story...


please oh please pretty please

: As always If you find errors in this article let me know... Any questions or comments? please post HERE or contact me.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Some Non football finds...that may help you!

I have discovered Google+
This has cut into my FACEBOOK time (not a BAD thing!)

Here are some good videos I have found and would like to share...ENJOY!!!



Using an iPad to share presentations....

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How I take clinic notes...

As the clinic season gets underway for me, I thought I would share some insight on how I take, then compile my notes. This year I will try out using my iPad as well as my newest addition of a Bluetooth keyboard. I got a great deal on the keyboard thanks to nomorerack.com.

Here are the staples of what I like to pack in my bag.

Yes, I know most clinics supply a tablet, BUT I am somewhat "OCD"  and I have discovered the spacing is not always the best...

Sorry IRISH...
Here is what I like to use. Email me if you want a copy. DRAW A PLAY TEMPLATE

and of course highlights too! This is the result of using the R4 system. I like to go back and color the diagrams with colors for RHYTHM, READ, RUSH. Or just separate the OLine blocking and the RBs...


This is one of my "PAY IT FORWARDS". Just is case someone forgets one. Plus the Vendors always seem to have a ton.

or whatever you call it now a days... If a Speaker has a PowerPoint to share, I can sometimes get him to drop it on my drive. It save him an email. However, the popularity of the HUDL presentation may make this tech tool obsolete!

I always try to pack Chap Stick, gum and mints. These are necessities for morning breath..and I always share!

YES, I'm one those nerds that like to sit up front. I always try to make sure to sit on the side opposite of the speaker. This is the best view!

TIP: Don't hesitate to ask the speaker to join you for lunch or dinner...especially if the coach is from out of town.

If the speaker has handouts, great, I will still try to make additional notes and then put them into my Power Points.Why do use Power Point? Because I can have notes AND drawings availiable. As most of the coaches I have shared notes with know, I mainly use two different types of slides.

The first one has a large TEXT BOX for general notes.


The other is a yard line grid. It is adapted from PLAYMAKER PRO with some "life-life" colors. The bottom has player assignments.

If the play diagrammed is a run play, I will try to use a larger view for the blocking scheme.

And for drills, I will use some shape to make figures...

Over the years, I have become pretty adept at "drawing" in Power Point. This the result of trial and error. Lines have become fairly simple. The new version of Power Point made the line more difficult (For shame Bill Gates!). But, I found that is If use an old PP file the lines translate...

So, after the clinic, I try to highlight one idea from each speaker and post some CLINIC NUGGETS.

Then, in the weeks to follow, depending upon my schedule. I transfer my notes to a PP.

I put them on a clip board and set on my "Macgyver Prop Up".

No gum was not used...just PVC, electrical tape and some shelf liner to keep it from sliding around.

I'm lucky, that I have an hour at school, after the students have been loaded on the bus. Some peace and quiet in my office. Unless, I'm at home as a result of a SNOW DAY!

I plan to make a short video on how to draw curvy line in PowerPoint. But that will become obsolete as a make full transition to the APPLE WORLD.