Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Colt vs. Jets

My wife and I took the trip to see our first game at Lucas Stadium in Indy. My first impression was how nice and accessible everything in the stadium was to the fan(s).If you ever get a chance to check out this stadium you should definitely make the trek.

When the Colts are on offense you could hear a pin drop while Peyton is going through his audibles and when they are defense the stadium is rocking.

I have a couple of things that I wrote down about the game that I wanted share:

1. Tripping-I have been watching football for 20+ years and I have never seen this infraction called. It was called on Sunday.
Here is the sign for tripping:

2. No Huddle Tempo- As coaches we have all heard about the tempos of the no huddle being the next way to dictate to the defense how they will defend us. Manning and the Colts run an uber fast no huddle which caused me to almost miss a play because I took my eyes off the action to explain something to my wife about what happened on the previous play. In high school unfortunately the refs will not allow you to go this quick because it causes so much stress on the defense. I have personally argued with the refs on numerous occasions about slowly us down. They have told me that can give the defense time to get set before they blow the play in action.

Here is an example of their scan no huddle:

3. Jets Dl fakes injury to slow down the no huddle of the Colts. The entire place erupts into boos. I have to say that is a great way to get the pace of the game slowed down.

4. Brad Smith as the wildcat QB. He is really an explosive player who I had lost track of because he plays for an east coast AFC team. I found this Highlight film of him dicing up defenses while he was at Mizzou.

Here is the vid of him returning the KO:

5. Highlights of the game:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

almost history

I just left the game where a 14 and 0 team was booed! More to come on my thoughts of the game.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

XMAS gifts

For Christmas I received two football coaching DVDs Coach Lewis' the Hybrid and Coach Eien's Exotics and Trick Plays.

Coach Lewis does a nice job with this DVD. I own the entire series and I have only run a handful of single wing plays that past two seasons. I have to say every time I am done with his DVDs I go to my football coaching notebook and I try to add some of his concepts to the things we already run. In the spring I am going to commit to running one spinner series. I figure I need two runs and one pass of this series for it to be effective for my offense.

Check out Coach Lewis' preview of the Hybrid:

I will post shortly about the Exotics and Trick Plays that Coach Eien pontificates about on his dvd.

Below is one example from coach's DVD.


I am really big into technology and how it can help me with my coaching responsibilities. While I was surfing the net for a personal media player I came across this product that is available via the Internet and will be shipped from China in about 1 to 2 weeks. I have always wanted load some of my coaching videos as well as video of my opponents for the upcoming weeks and it looks like the Dingo may be able to meet this need for me.

I like that you can use an emulator on it as well as watch videos in many different formats. The best part about this is the price it costs less than $100.

Check out what this reviewer has to say about it.

PS2 as a commando remote

Several years ago we found out that the PS2 is a great replacement for the commando remote.

We burn all of our DVDs via Nero and all of them play flawlessly on the PS2.

The PS2 controller allows you to:
Slow Mo
Jump to chapters.

The thing I really like is the controller allows you to jump back and forth very quickly when you are watching game film.

PS2 currently go for about $45 on Ebay and a Commando remote is still a couple of hundred dollars the last time I checked.

For me the smart money is on the PS2

UPDATE: I just check the Gamestop website and used PS2s are going for 50 dollars.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Check your couch cushions...

For those that use COINSTAR, you can avoid the dreaded fee and pick the Amazon certificate. I often empty out my change from my car and will have some extra dough for a new book...

Here are some great choices

Concept Passing: Teaching the Modern Passing Game. I keep this with me and refer to it often...

Concept Passing Teaching Modern Game

Coverdale and Robinson collection. Any Coverdale or Robinson books are a must addition to your library!!



Please comment with what you are reading!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


1) the BOX
2) the EARS

Where would you attack?

FOOTBALL MATH: Greater than, Equal to, or Less than…

In my previous article, I touched upon the “numbers in the box”. The magic number is six. More than six in the box, you should be throwing the football. Less than six, you should be running the football. It is not an absolute because of other factors such as down and distance.

The box is the imaginary space from the line of scrimmage (LOS) to the linebackers and extending to the last man on the LOS. The other factor is the “ears of the box”. This was introduced to me by Coach Jerry Campbell. Coach Campbell is a must see on the clinic circuit and his website (www.jcfb.com) is very informative. Draw two circles on the top edges of the box. This may be the location of the outside linebacker or strong safety (FIG.5). Finally, I add a triangle to identify the free safety (FIG.6). The triangle is an idea I started to think about in the last part of our season. I plan to use it next season. If there are two high safeties then no triangle is used and the read goes to the “ears” One ear must be open…

A general rule of thumb is when a base defense is balanced and has an even number of linebackers (4-4, 3-4, 5-2, 3-5) try to get them unbalanced by an odd formation. For example if the base defense is a 4-4 then any 3x1 formation would work to attack the defense (FIG.7).

If the defense is unbalanced and has an odd number of linebackers (4-3 or 5-3) try to get them unbalanced by an even formation. An example of this is lining up in 2x2, if the base defense is a 4-3 (FIG.8).

Next, identify the defender that you have put in an uncomfortable position. In FIG.7, the linebacker defending the three receiver side may be put into a bind. He may be poor pass defender and by placing an athlete at the #2 or #3 spots in the trips will create a favorable matchup. The other way the formation is making him uncomfortable is by his alignment. The formation pulls him away from the box and makes it hard for him to complete his normal run assignment. Another key point is the mismatch that is created on the single receiver side. The linebacker to that side is forced to cover the running back. This matchup is often overlooked because of the short side of the field. I will remind people all the time that the distance from the hash to the sideline is eighteen yards. This is more than enough room to do some damage to the defense, especially one that is field strength heavy!
In FIG.8, the three linebackers are stacked in the box. First response is to throw uncovered, however the two high safeties may be able to make the play. Other pass concepts to attack this coverage would be bubble or Fade/Out combination. The other factor is determining the weaker of the two safeties. Draw the triangle leaning toward the safety with the best pass coverage skills. FIG. 10 shows one ear open and the triangle leaning away from the open ear. Which side to attack is very clear!
Depending upon the hash, one would anticipate one of the three linebackers to bump out toward to the flats. In FIG. 9, the ball is on the left hash (represented by the dashed line) and the linebacker has bumped toward the play side slot receiver. The left “ear” is open, attack that side!

I will try to include some real pictures. Look for the weakness!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Try This...

For those of us who work somewhere that has every good site blocked (such as blogs and forums). I found out by accident that if you save and quit the pages (you are looking at before you leave home), you can open them up and still read them!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


SPREAD 101: Football Math

Pre Practice: WRs, QBs and RBs

SPREAD 101: The Run Game

The Smash Concept : our tweaks and tags.

Feel free to respond to this post with other topics you would like to read!

Happy Holidays!
Coach Mo

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pre-Practice Oline


Guards and Tackles-Kick out and wrap drill
Since I love to run the counter game I spend about five minutes with my guys kicking out and wrapping up. This is a high tempo activity with the emphasis on speed and footwork.

The guard needs to throw his inside elbow out and then work on an angle to kick out the EMOL
The tackle works on what I call the Bunny Hop. He jumps back with two feet and works on keeping his shoulders parallel to LOS with eyes on the backer that he is going to wrap up on.

Combo Drill
Guards and Tackle
Work on moving the defender into the 2nd level. My coaching emphasis here is pushing the hips together and keeping eyes on the 2nd level defender that is their responsibility. Please take a look at one of the earlier posts that describes how I plan on using a variant of operant conditioning to train my olinemen to keep their eyes on the 2nd level defender.

Gun Fighter
Hand on hips shields
Throw hands into the numbers of the players across from you.
Two hand punches
One hand punches
Make sure the players have proper knee bend and their head pushed back.

During this time frame the center(s) are snapping and moving.
My centers are instructed to be snapping every time they are not included in a segment. I want them to get maximum amount of reps working on the gun snap.
My coaching points her are keep the butt down, lock the wrist, and throw the ball through the midline of the body.

I would love to hear about your pre-practices. Please feel free to post.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Spread 101: Throwing uncovered

I find it hard to believe, that how popular the Spread Offense is, the number of coaches still looking for information on this “offense”. My opinion is the Spread is not just an offense but an offense philosophy. Just take a look at four teams: Texas Tech, Florida, Oregon, and Michigan (West Virginia). All are “spread” teams but are vastly different. So when a coach asks “We want to run spread next year, where do we start?” My response is to choose your run game first, then develop your pass game.
The first theme to understand is “numbers in the box” and making the defense respect all your receivers. How? You need to learn how to throw to the uncovered WR. I was first introduced to a true spread offense by now retired Coach Tom Bailey of Homewood-Flossmoor High School (H.F.). At that time, the slot or inside receiver, was the player that needed to be respected. Now, you will see teams throw to the outside receiver if the DB’s coverage becomes too soft. The magic number is six. More than six in the box, you should be throwing the football. Less than six, you should be running the football. It is not an absolute because of other factors such as down and distance.
The first picture (FIG.1) shows a dramatically uncovered slot receiver. I see this happening a lot when the ball is on the hash and the defense is strength is toward the field.

The second picture (FIG.2) shows the uncovered slot receiver by coverage.

And finally, the third picture shows (FIG.3) how the outside receiver may be considered uncovered. My personal opinion is if you are going to throw to this receiver, he better be a play maker!

QB Technique
Catch, Set and Throw. It’s that simple, but takes time to perfect it. In an ideal world, the QB shouldn’t need to find the laces. Early in the learning process this is not a necessity. The pass can be an upper body throw. I point out to the new QB that that throwing to the inside receiver amounts to about a ten yard pass. The pass needs to “aimed” at the outside shoulder. This helps to lead the receiver. Some teams will not use steps and simply turn and face the QB. This may insure a completion, but it makes it easier on the defense. I don’t like to throw to an uncovered slot that is not moving.
WR Technique
I prefer the WR to recognize being uncovered and make a subtle signal to the QB. He has the better angle than the QB. The signal at H.F. was tugging on your jersey. I begin referring to it as “TUG” So a huddle call could end with”check TUG “.This alerts the QB to peek at slots. Coaching point: make sure the player knows to make the signal on the inside of the body facing the QB! The timing of the slots steps depends upon speed. A good starting point is to coach the slot to WALK (yes, I said walk) two steps up field and outside angle (FIG.4). Steps that are too fast lead to the ball thrown toward defenders. A slight turn of the shoulders can provide a better target for the QB.

For the outside WR, the technique can vary. A good starting point is using the same steps as a quick screen. Two quick steps up, retrace, then back to the starting point (FIG.5). Some teams just open and face the QB.
A great time to work on this is during prepractice. It is an easy warm up for the QBs and WRs.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions!!

VIDEO to follow!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

All the talk about the Oregon Zone Read of the Three technique got me to start thinking. If a team were to add the fly sweep component to this type of play a team could get the five technique to play soft because of the edge threat. Additionally, through film study an opposing D coordinator would be able to surmise that the read key is the backside 3 tech. Thus telling that young man to play at the LOS and avoid penetrating the LOS. Which as we know is the number one thing that kills any stretch sort of play. Therefore, one could reasonably conclude that an offense through formation and motion could get two backside defensive players to play less aggressive then they would would normally play. Just my thoughts on the matter. I will let you know how it goes in the Spring.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oregon Football

I have to say I'm a little biased on this on ever since I saw Jeremiah Masoli absolutely truck the OSU defenders in the Holiday Bowl last year. Coach Kelly runs a pretty slick offense with the West Coast Tim Tebow in Jeremiah Masoli.

Check out these clips from the Washington State and California games earlier this year.

ESPN 360

I am sure plenty of people know this by now but it is really cool to go back and watch some of the many games you may have missed. It gives the viewer to watch live games and games it covered in the beginning of the year. I am watching the Civil War right.

Monday, November 30, 2009


When people see no huddle offenses; many think it is always GO-GO-GO. But in truth, there are many different styles and tempos to incorporate into your spread offense.

*FAST- also referred to as INDY or NASCAR.
Teams want to snap the ball quickly to keep the defense on their heels.
Advantages: 1) fast paced keeps defense reeling
2) Substitutions are limited
3) makes it hard for the Defensive Coordinator to make his calls
1) 3 and outs could happen often causing your defense to be on
the field longer
2) It may tired the offense which may lead to mistakes
3) No Motions or limited motions.

*MEDUIM - Teams want to see what the defense lines up in then will call a play to exploit the alignment.
Advantages: 1) Always have the possibility to call the perfect play

Disadvantages: 1) Defense may have time to Sub and make calls
2) Hard to see alignment from the sideline, must have quality
Pressbox coach

*SLOW – Teams will line up will a play call then will reset or run the play.

Advantages: 1) good for 4 minute offense to close the game
2) prepare the offense for a quality play. TRICK PLAY, SLOW DEVELOPING.

OTHER INFO from clinics and forum posts

"Our HC/OC at my previous school use to do this. He had 2 four play sets that we practiced. He called one "Stampede" and the other "Texas".

I'm sure he had some rhyme or reason to when he called them but the game would be going on, it would be like 2nd and 2 and the play call he would send in would be "Stampede"...QB would call it in the huddle, we would run play #1 out of it like any other play, then right back on the LOS ready to go again.

Awesome. The kid's loved it."


There are many ways to communicate your system.

Just yelling it out: works great for formations

Wristbands: everyone is on the same page and can provide position specific assignments

Signals: best used for skilled positions, QB can verbalize the Line assignment. Play caller should avoid be the signaler. Have at least to people to signal, use in practice too.

In Fast or Nascar mode, keep list to a minimum and vary the launch point of passes and run plays.


1 Nose
2 ear
3 throat
4 arm
5 high 5
6 gun 6 shooter OR rub belly (six pack)
7 drinking 7 up
8 2 fists on top of each other
9 top of the head
0 make an 0







Saturday, November 28, 2009

Martial Arts for football

Since I became an offensive line coach I have been intrigued how the martial arts can help an offensive lineman with their punch. I bought the Coach's Choice video Martial Arts for Offensive Linemen and the Tunch Punch dvd.

I have to say both of them are informative and you can use some of the techniques on Miller's dvd. The Tunch Punch dvd is excellent and is a must buy for any coach who is interested in this type of training.

During the season we use a variation of these hand strikes with our oline striking their opponent with two hands and then alternating hands. During the offseason we incorporated numerous Tunch Punch drills and saw an improvement in our oline and dline ability to strike and separate. It is not very difficult to incorporate and I think gives a coach a big bang for their buck.

Below are several examples that I have recently incoporated into my teams offseason conditioning program.

Double Handed Strikes-emphasis on elbows being in, sitting in an athletic position, and using the meat of the hand to strike.

Hi-Low- the player will strike a pad high and then low. The aforementioned coaching point are incorporated into this movement.

Single Handed Strikes-Same as doubled handed except only with one hand

Combo Movements-Hand strikes that end being a series of movements. For example, one strike with left hand followed by two with the right.

It is my contention that by doing just these few exercises in the offseason that we should see a dramatic improvement in our players ability to engage a defender.

Check out these two clips for examples:

This second video is more geared towards dline and offers some questionable techniques.

Dub Maddox

I love this video. I first saw it on the Coachhuey board and I have showed it all the groups that I coach. The kids really love this video.

Great Job Coach Maddox!


This is common theme.

We are always looking for wacky formations to run basic plays.


Freddie Barnes

I had the opportunity to coach on the staff when Freddie was in high school. Freddie is a great kid and a tremendous competitor. Great Job Freddie!!! All of your former coaches are proud to say they had an opportunity to interact with this such a great young man.


Check out the highlight film on this young man.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Combo Drills

We had a very successful season this year running the football. However, at times we struggled to get off of our combo blocks and onto to the second level defenders. While I was reflecting on the season I had a flash brilliance on how I was going to teach combo blocks next year.

This year and previous seasons I taught the oline to use the four hands on the defenders and four eyes on the second level defender. Depending on the movement of the lber an offensive linemen would get off the block.

Next year I am going to use two separate pieces of card stock one will be red and the other will be green. I am going to hold up the red card stock to alert the offensive linemen to stay on the combo block. I will hold up the green card stock when I am moving into an adjacent gap that the linemen is charged with protecting. I am hoping that this will force the oline to use the four hands and four eyes principle and react to the appropriate color. I will check back in when I employ this in the coming months to report on the success of the technique.

Here is an example of combo blocks that I found on Youtube.

No Huddle Communication

Ok so I was going through my notes last night from a clinic I attended several years ago. It was definitely an eye opener. I ran across no huddle communication lines and I found a very simple way to tell the qb to run the ball/throw the ball to the right or the left. Thumbs up=Right and Thumbs Down=left.

Here is an example of Byron Leftwhich running the no huddle offense

Here is an example of Applachian State University running the no huddle vs. Michigan in 2007.

Oregon Offense

I have to say that I love the Oregon Duck's offense. Jeremiah Masoli is the West Coast Tim Tebow. I love how Coach Kelly runs the spread offense. The motion and other window dressing his offense highlights always has me going back to the drawing board. Please enjoy the clips of the Ducks running the O during the Holiday Bowl last year.

Single Wing

With the advent of the Dolphins success running the Wildcat many teams are looking for ways to incorporate the single wing into their offense. When I was in my search I ran across Tom Lewis' Single Wing dvds. I contacted him and ordered the entire series up. I have to say that I was not disappointed by the content found within the dvds. Coach Lewis does an excellent job summarizing the offense he is so passionate about. For anyone who gets a chance I would highly suggest purchasing these information laden dvds.

Lost Password and Username

You can find my first attempts at a blog at this URL. http://footballfastbreakongrass.blogspot.com/

I hope to be adding some more content in the near future.