Sunday, January 27, 2013


Joe Medina Cascia Hall Prep School (OK)

"Use Play Action Pass early in the game, it takes advantage of the defense when they are aggressive"

"We like 3rd and MAKEABLE"

Rich Hargitt Nation Ford High School (SC)

"Use a Crazy formation on 4th down instead of trying to use a base formation and long/hard count"

"If a play doesn't work, tweak it first before getting rid of it"

Kevin Kelley Pulaski Academy (AR)

"When you give players more ownership, they tend to remember it BETTER."

"A High School coach can affect more lives in a year than most people in a lifetime"

Lee Owens Ashland College (OH)

"Use SCAN Tempo on ALL 4th downs"

Steve Specht St.Xavier High School (OH)

"We run the Coast to Coast Offense...we take ideas from coast to coast."

"Scheme so the the Offensive Linemen can stay aggressive and PLAY FAST."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

101 Pistol Option Plays review and other Pistol thoughts

I’m always looking to expand my library with worthwhile resources. One key for me is that I can reference the material more than once. I have experience running the Gun Option Run game for the last 10 years. I have seen it evolve a lot over this period of time. Zone Read, Veer Option, Midline Option, and now Dash Option. My favorite is the Veer Option, well actually it is Midline but it always seems to get my QB beat up too much…

 My first exposure to the Gun Offense taught me that the tailback’s alignment in the Gun Offense started at even depth with the Quarterback.

Next. the tailback moved back so to provide a better mesh. The problem is that it is a presnap key for the Defense. If the defender is aligned away from the RB, they would key the RB running ZONE. If the defender is aligned TO the RB, they would key the QB running ZONE READ or SPEED OPTION. So put the RB behind the QB and NO PRESNAP KEY! 

I had thought of this idea about six years and then discovered it was Nevada’s base offense. I referred to it as Power I Gun (PIG for short). Here are some old school clips from that “Era” (Coaching sophomore football…Forgive me for the crude film job).

from John Maurek on Vimeo.

I decided to buy the eBook version and am glad I did! I am able to read it on my Laptop and my iPhone (The iPad mini is a near future purchase). For the teams I have coached, the Pistol formation has provided us with a more downhill path for our tailback. When we are in a one back set, it doesn’t give a presnap key to the Defense.
Coach Vint’s book is well laid out and easy to read.

The book contains sections on:

At first glance I thought I found a grammatical error, complement. But I learned something new from our friends at Google. Complement

I am verbiage junkie. I love to see how other teams call their formations and plays. Coach Vint uses a number to set his Fullback. It is easy to learn and flexible. I may look into incorporating this into our offense next year. Plus the tags are great too! (Boss,Cobra,Cowboy, and Hoss)

Coach Vint uses a phonetic system for his motions. I have always been torn how to name motions.

Only one name for the motion and tag the player.
Examples: H Zip, X Zip, S Zip

Motions that are specific to players.
Examples: GLIDE is only used by the HB, JET is only used by the SLOT

Use a Phonetic system.
Zip = Z into formation
Fip = F into formation
Yip = Y into the formation
Tip = T into formation

This is still been a challenge for me. Could the players confuse ZIP,FIP,YIP and TIP?

Coach Vint answered
"Never had an issue with it. We rarely have two guys go in motion, and they did a good job of remembering what the ips,aps, and ops meant."
He continued
"I built the system to be simple. The goal was for our athletes to be able to play fast. Our verbage was simple and allowed them to play fast without thinking."

I would have like to see Coach Vint go into more detail about QB and RB steps for the base plays. However, I did understand all the plays and know that when you are in the gun, you can over-coach the footwork. For a more detailed look, check out an old article.

 VEER and MIDLINE form the GUN

We are a big two back team, the problem was the backfield set would give a presnap key. So we decided to try putting both back behind the QB. I only have one clip…hopefully I will get myself into gear and breakdown our whole season.

Oh Snap!

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Here are my some of my favorites from the book, for the rest... you gotta buy the book!

I would highly recommend buying this book. Coach Vint did an excellent job and he is very accessible…

Twitter account @coachvint
GREAT JOB Coach Vint! I’m jealous!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


As Alabama was scoring again...I wondered how did they get sooo wide open. As a Notre Dame fan,  it was difficult for me to watch the first time, but for the sake of learning (and writing a long overdue blog article) I RE recorded the game. I hate to admit, but I deleted the game as soon as the 4th quarter was finished... Not to confuse this with when the game was over, which could have been end of the FIRST quarter!

Most of the deep routes were a pretty typical CORNER route, but could it be the traditional SMASH CONCEPT that beats Cover Two? 

SIDE NOTE: I have always loved the SMASH CONCEPT and it had been a staple part of our offense. The problem we had was the Cornerback's drop. Some of the cornerbacks we faced were able to squat on the HITCH then rally to the CORNER or cloud the read of the QB just enough to frustrate us… Luckily we discover the SNAG or SCAT CONCEPT.

Okay, back to the game, or beat down… Alabama was creative in how they kept the coverage of the corner back low. Not a traditional HITCH route which is normally paired with the CORNER. They used a delay arrow (or flats) route and a pivot route.

The Tide also used three other components
  • PLAY ACTION: It seemed like almost every pass was PLAY ACTION. It helps to have an impressive run game. But they also utilized it on FIRST DOWN!
  • COMPRESSED FORMATIONS: Basic tight BUNCH set or 2x2 formation.
  • MOTION: They would motion from Bunch or TE Trips to a 2x2 formation. 
 So with pencil and paper ready, I was able to review the pass plays. Then I took some extra time to put them all in a short PowerPoint.

Some of the plays I was able to get the down and distance. I had planned to get some screen shots ala SMART FOOTBALL, but I am still a rookie when it comes to that technological savvy. 

One of the final pass plays wasn't the SMASH concept, but it looked like the backside WR ran a " Y CROSS " type route.