Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Coach Vass

If you are not on twitter, I need to make you aware of the opportunities for growth as a football coach.  If you are on twitter, you already know that my man Chris Vasseur, @CoachVass, has absolutely crushed this off-season and is doing so much to help out other coaches.  He just started doing some video clinics this week on Periscope.  They are amazing, check them out here.  He has also been doing a phenomenal series with USA Football called Deep Dive on Defense where he is interviewing some of the top coaches in the country.  Go here to check those out.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Fire 3 Simulated Pressure

It is an honor to contribute my first article to USA Football and I appreciate all that they do to help out the coaching community.  I want to go in-depth and talk about some of the specific Sim Pressures.    A Simulated Pressure is a pressure that brings a non-traditional rusher (a LB or DB) in exchange for dropping a traditional rusher (DL).  The great thing about Sim Pressures is that they are “extra safe” pressure that do not require any additional rushers.  This means they do not sacrifice coverage in pressuring Offenses by getting to the QB and disrupting the run game. 

Most coaches are now becoming familiar with the idea of Simulated Pressures, although they are not a new concept, as I have discovered in my research from my last article, Origin of Simulated Pressures.  I will talk about how to run these pressures from multiple fronts and from different pre-snap looks and bluffs to help coaches who are beginning to install Sim Pressures into their defensive package.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Origin of Simulated Pressures

The Simulated Pressures have been all the rage this off-season as the newest innovation in football, but how new are they?  I dug deep into some old film and many old playbooks to investigate this question.  I will veer off and talk a little football history along the way, so I hope you don't mind.

What is a Simulated Pressure?  It is pressure that brings a non-traditional rusher (a LB or DB) in exchange for dropping a traditional rusher (DL).  They are generally 4 man pressures, although they can also be 5 man pressures by "adding" the rusher assigned to cover the Running Back when he blocks.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Read Tags in the Shotgun Run Game

There is often confusion about the different types of reads in the Shotgun Running game that I wanted to talk about and clarify.  I will be talking about Zone, Power, and Counter and these four primary read tags off of those concepts: Read, Flash, Bash, and Toss.

"Read" by definition means that the QB will be reading the backside DE or EMLOS (end man on line of scrimmage) to the play.  So, "Zone Left Read" means I am reading the DE on the right.  Read is used so much as a tag on the Zone play that many coaches don't even use the tag anymore.  So when I call "Zone Left," it is an automatic read.  The Double Teams are so gorgeous on these two clips.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Origin of Power Read

The topic of the origin of the Power Read play came up recently and I will investigate the beginnings of this play that has become a powerful weapon in the Spread Offense this past decade.  Brandon Lechtenberg was a recent guest on USA Football's podcast, Deep Dive on Defense with Chris Vasseur (if you haven't checked this out yet, you are really missing out with my man Coach Vass killing it).  Coach Lech told the story of how his brother, Adam Lechtenberg, was the first one to suggest the idea to run Power Read while he was a G.A. at TCU in 2009.  TCU unveiled the play in a stunning win vs. Clemson early in the 2009 season.  QB Andy Dalton was the leading rusher for TCU in that game with 19 carries for 86 yards and he had a lot of key 3rd Down conversions with the Power Read play.   TCU also featured this play in their epic Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin that year.

Power Read

Thursday, December 13, 2018

NCAA Analytics - Adjusted Yards Per Play

I stumbled upon a book called, Football by the Numbers, 1986 when I was growing up that changed how I look at the game.  It made an excellent argument that Total Offense and Total Defense were not the best statistics for determining which Offense or Defense was actually the best.  The authors, George Ignatin and Allen Berra, determined that an Interception was worth -50 yards in field position and a Fumble was worth -40 yards (Int's are worth more since they are usually returned back for more yards than Fumbles).  They took Total Offense/Defense minus the 50 yards for each Interception and minus 40 yards for each Fumble, and then divided that by the Number of Plays.  This gave the value of Adjusted Yards per Play.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

New Website Logo

I have been meaning to update my website logo for a long time and I have recently been inspired by the courage and selflessness of a man who gave his own life, Coach Aaron Feis.  I wanted to write a bit about these coaches that have inspired me to try and follow in their footsteps.

Top row: left to right

Aaron Feis – Stoneman Douglas HS (FL) – I started my coaching career at Deerfield Beach HS in south Florida and Douglas was in our District.  Coach Feis is an amazing hero.  John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2017 UCF Clinic - Scott Frost notes

I didn't know much about Scott Frost until I got to hear him in person at the UCF Clinic last March.  I knew that he ran the Chip Kelly offense that I have always been a fan of, so I made the trip to Orlando.  There were some audio-visual technical difficulties after the first speaker, so he went off the script and just starting talking ball and fielding questions.  You can tell when someone has complete mastery of what they are talking about, and I was really blown away.  Here are the notes:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Defensive Points and Stats Sheets

I posted a pic of my Defensive points leaders for last week and I got a question about how I did my points system.  I originally got this from when Charlie Strong was at Florida and I tweaked it a little.  I tweaked it some more after getting some feedback from Sam Nichols at X&O Labs as well, who made an excellent argument that Missed Interceptions should be even more penalized.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Film Study: 2016 Clemson Defense vs Louisville

Clemson vs. Louisville is the Saturday night game and I want to take a look at the film of last year's epic battle and see what Clemson DC Brent Venables did to try to slow down Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and the explosive Louisville Offense.  Louisville scored 36 points with 295 yards passing and 273 yards rushing (573 total) and was a yard away on a 4th down inside the five-yard line from winning the game at the end.  There were a number of things that Venables and the Clemson Defense did well to pressure the Louisville offense into some mistakes and keep them off-balance.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Stalk & Go RPO

The Stalk & Go RPO (Run-Pass Option) is a good addition to any playbook against defenses that become undisciplined with their Defensive Backs versus the run.  The play below is Zone Read with the QB reading the DE.  The H-Back arcs around the DE to the CB but he fakes a block on the CB and sneaks behind the CB.  Most Quarters defenses will check to Cover 2 vs a Nub set to the Boundary with no Wide Receiver and this is the case here.  The CB is the Force player and he must come up quick to play the run.  The Safety is not a regular Cover 2 hash Safety, he is cheated to a C-7 (C gap, 7 yards deep) alignment to help versus the run.  However, he is still a Pass-first player, but he is in a difficult position to cover the H-Back with full run action.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Football Tool Chest

Wow, just found Toys-R-Us for football coaches.  There is a TON of FREE stuff here:
Football Tool Chest

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2009 Florida Clinic

I did a previous post on just Bill Belichick's outstanding portion of this clinic but here are my notes from the entire clinic, including Urban Meyer, Jon Gruden, and passing game notes from Scot Loeffler.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Coaching Styles and Motivation

Probably my favorite coach of all-time: Chuck Heater, Marshall Defensive Coordinator
I posted this on quite a few years back.  It is a paper I did for my Master's degree.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Addressing Domestic Violence - ProtectHer Sexual Assault Prevention Program

South Carolina football players were warned by the Head Ball Coach to respect women.  Coach Spurrier's rule was, "Never, ever, hit a girl. If you do this, you're finished as a Gamecock football player."  He said, "It's a wonderful rule and when you enforce it, you get results...You'll have to ask other coaches why they don't have that rule.  Everybody knows I have one." 

Dennis Dodd in his article on Steve Spurrier's Zero-Tolerance policy said, "Any expert in the field can tell you one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime."  Dodd makes a great point worth repeating: "Why can't that stance be adopted nationwide?"

Friday, December 30, 2016

Hook and Lateral

The Hook and Lateral play by the Miami Dolphins vs. the San Diego Chargers in their 1981 playoff game is one of the greatest plays from one of the greatest games in NFL playoff history. Check out the old-school three-point stance by the inside WR on the play.  Unfortunately, his is not the worst WR stance—look at the stance and false step of the WR at the top of the screen):

Twenty-six years later, in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2007, the Hook and Lateral play resurfaced again as Boise St. shocked the world in its epic upset of Oklahoma, and this play also became part of one of the greatest bowl games in college football history.  The game was tied and Boise St. had the ball with under two minutes remaining looking to pull off the upset until Oklahoma ran back an interception 33 yards for a TD with 1:07 left that seemed to crush all hope.  Boise St. faced a 4th-and-18, down by 7 with seven seconds left at the 50-yard line when destiny called upon this play once again...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

2008 Destin Glazier Clinic Notes

This was a very good clinic.  I got notes from Steve Addazio, who was still with Florida at the time and Joe Cullen, who was with the Detroit Lions.  I also got some notes from Ted Monachino who was with the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Steve Addazio, who is doing very well for himself as the Head Coach at Boston College, talked about Implementing a Zone Blocking System.  He talked about Inside Zone footwork and some of the blocking tags and the Zombie variation as well as his count system.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

2007 Destin Glazier Clinic Notes

This clinic had two good defensive speakers, namely Doc Holliday and Will Muschamp.  This was fresh off Florida's national championship win over Ohio State in January 2007.  Doc Holliday spoke about the Tracer blitz that they used to harrass Heisman trophy winner Troy Smith as well as their base defense, Under Orange, which is an Under front with Man-Free coverage.  He also talked about DB Drills and Charlie Strong's three favorite Fire Zones.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Need a Little Help...

I need the following TCU Defensive film if anybody can help out:

2005 - Oklahoma, SMU, Utah, BYU (Whole Game), Air Force
2006 - UC Davis, Utah, Army, Wyoming, UNLV, UNM, SDSU, CSU, Air Force, N. Illinois
2007 - Utah, UNM, BYU, UNLV, SDSU, Houston
2008 - SMU, SDSU, CSU, BYU, Wyoming, UNLV, Utah, Air Force
2010 - Baylor

Shoot me an email at if you can be of help.  I have a bunch of 2016 film I can trade.

Friday, December 11, 2015

LB Scrape Technique

The success of the NCAA Blitz, a.k.a. America's Fire Zone, like any other Blitz or Fire Zone, is predicated not so much on the schematics of the play as much as it is on the fundamental techniques executed by each player.  I have talked about the "Run to Daylight" technique of the playside DE (F in the diagram below) here in a previous post.  Manny Diaz refers to this Fire Zone as Scrape, and I will talk about the "Scrape" technique of the Mike LB that is essential to the success of this play.