WR Blocking Progression Circuit: Block Partyby John Weaver
One of the toughtest parts of coaching the wide reciver position is dividing time in practice to teach them how to run routes, catch balls in traffic, proper releases, getting stacked, and how to properly block. Most of the time one of those gets neglected in practice. However, if your offense is based heavily upon perimeter runs, and screens they better know how to properly block in space. We have found that this step by step blocking progression has helped us elevate our perimeter and down field blocking.
John Weaver enters his 10th year at Madison-Ridgeland Academy as the Wide Receiver's Coach and Head Boy's Track Coach.
While at MRA Weaver speaheaded the Boys Track program claiming 3 of the last 5 State Championships (2015 - First in school history, 2017, 2019). The 2019 campaign in football resulted with a State Championship as well as breaking the Mississippi High School Passing Record for most yards in a game with 593 in the Championship Game. Four of his receviers caught over 120 yards that night.
Below is an exerpt from The Right Defense For Your Program Volume 2 by PJ Gibbs outling the WR unit that Weaver runs at MRA.
While most leaders are good at casting a vision for their teams, they rarely define how each position group fits into that vision. As Wide Receivers Coach at Madison-Ridgeland Academy in Madison, Mississippi, establishing a shared identity inside his position group gave Coach John Weaver a chance to deepen relationships with his athletes and promote unity. Coach Weaver started by naming his unit. While players suggested names such as “Money Crew” or “Flight School,” the group opted to call ourselves the “Air Raid Brigade,” or ARB for short. The ARB serves as an extension of our team offense, which is built on air raid concepts, adding the discipline of a well-coached military unit.
When it comes to creating an identity, however, it is not the unit name that matters, but rather the principles the identity is built on. The dictionary defines identity as “the distinguishing character or personality of an individual.” A second definition simply states: “oneness.”Since its inception in Spring 2018, the ARB continues to evolve under Coach Weaver’s leadership. While the team welcomes everyone, ARB membership is exclusive. Every ARB member undergoes a process of indoctrination into the ARB micro-culture, beginning with being given a call sign. Inspired by the pop-culture movie “Top Gun,” call signs become a distinguishing characteristic of the players under Weaver’s command. Players are not allowed to name themselves. Instead, call signs are assigned by the group to a new member based on that person’s unique qualities. Coach Weaver uses each call sign to embrace individuality within the group while building oneness. When an ARB member graduates, call signs are retired, never recycled, ensuring that every ARB member leaves their own unique legacy on the group. ARB member Landon Fulcher, call sign “Suave,” put it best, stating: “The ARB is a family and we all have different roles, each person is one piece that fits perfectly in a puzzle. We all push each other to be the greatest we can be individually for the betterment of the entire team.”
Coach Weaver has a call sign too. To his players, he is not “Coach,” he is “Pilot,” a leader who not only knows the way, but someone who is behind his players every step of the way. Rayf “Vinsanity” Vinson said, “I just remember when Coach Weaver first started the ARB and since he was our coach and leader, he had to be called Pilot.”