How to Force More Turnovers as a Defensive Back

How to Force More Turnovers as a Defensive Back

Turnovers have the chance to win or lose a game. Every weekend, I hear coaches from all ranks discuss this concept in their press conferences. They talk about how a certain turnover here and there or the total differential impacted the final result of the game. It’s tough to say one or two plays can decide a game, but the influence turnovers have on momentum put them in that type of place. Throughout this piece, I’ll give young defensive backs an idea of how they can make these game-changing plays.

Importance of Turnovers

After a game, former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck said, “I thought the offense did ok at the start. But the biggest thing is the turnovers, and not protecting the football, whether it’s in the pocket or the interception…it’s tough to win when the defense is scoring off your offense.” One of a football coach’s biggest pet peeves for the offensive unit is turning the ball over. No matter where the ball is turned over, it kills any momentum for an offense. If it’s turned over in the red zone, then points are basically taken off the board. Meanwhile, if it’s given away in your own territory, then points are handed over to the opponent. Essentially, there is nothing good that comes away from turnovers for the offense. However, with this, we’ve seen more and more defensive coaches stress their players to force these turnovers at all costs, whether it be an interception or a forced fumble!

Interceptions

The most common way defensive backs will create turnovers is through interceptions, or INT’s. These not only help in winning that elusive turnover battle, but they also have the ability to get in a quarterback’s head. If the QB throws an INT when targeting a certain receiver, he might be hesitant when the situation presents itself later on knowing the defensive back is looming. An INT can occur anywhere on the field. Throughout the next few sections, I’ll provide drills in forcing the turnover on different routes. Along with this, defensive backs need to work on their pure catching skills. It isn’t their primary responsibility, although it is increasingly necessary to capitalize on your opportunities because you never know when the next one will come. To add on to this, remember that the play doesn’t end when an interception occurs. Rather, try to make something more happen. If you are the interceptor, then begin to look up-field for blocks and get some yardage back. Meanwhile, if you’re just another defensive back on the field, start setting up the blocks and create a lane.

Jump Ball Drill

If you’re going up against some big or athletic receivers, then the quarterback is likely going to trust their ability and toss up a pass for them to go get. This jump ball drill is designed to not only defend the pass, but also possibly nab it out of the air. Start with a QB at midfield with a receiver covered by a defensive back on one side. For this drill, I recommend playing from about the 10 to 15 yard line since jump balls are often tossed in the red zone. Then, have the QB receive the snap and take a one-step drop before lobbing it into the corner. It is the defensive back’s reasonability to backpedal, maintain leverage and then leap to grab the ball at the high point. The key throughout this is to keep the passes high enough where the defensive back has to jump. At the same time, make sure the receivers are making a realistic effort to do the same, while it’s the defensive back’s job to hold position and get there first.

Defending the Deep Ball

Every team loves to try a few deep passes in an attempt to catch the defense sleeping or take advantage of a speedster on the outside. Likewise, the cornerback might not always have safety help in case he gets beat. This puts the corner in an interesting position as he must play off a little to avoid getting beat early, along with staying mindful of the potential short cross. Defending the deep ball is all about body control, which this drill will emphasize. The defensive back will line up approximately five yards off the line of scrimmage. Then, upon snap of the football, the defensive back will backpedal five yards. At this time, he should be reading the eyes of the quarterback. If they stay on that receiver, prepare to turn, drive your feet into the ground and sprint deep at which point you’ll nab the ball at its highest point. While sprinting deep, try to maintain an idea of where the ball is out. Occasionally, the ball will be underthrown, which will force you to quickly halt movement and make a play on the ball. In the end, this drill should teach you the basics of body control!

If you do opt to play bump ’n’ run coverage, I’ve included a link to a course from CoachTube. It is taught by college football coach Grant Cain and goes through a number of different defensive back drills, with the bump ‘n’ run one coming into play with defending the deep ball.

Tipped Pass

In the majority of games, there will be a few tipped passes. These aren’t always the easiest to intercept, but they are still opportunities nonetheless. The core trait to learn here is concentration. Even though the trajectory of the ball might change slightly, try your best to maintain focus on the ball.

The tipped pass drill starts with a defensive back on one specific yard line on the sideline, a coach in the middle of the field on that same yard line, and a tipper in-between the two. The defensive back will start running toward the coach, who will throw a pass. The tipper must get a slight hand to the ball to change the movement slightly. As a side note, try to avoid having the tipper completely bat the ball up or something of that sort. Those situations won’t arise nearly as often in an actual game as a minor deflection would. At the point of the tip, the defensive back should adjust and complete the interception before running it past the coach to complete the drill.

Rip at Ball to Create Fumble

Although interceptions are the more common avenue for defensive backs to record turnovers, forcing fumbles is another possibility. The tip I usually have for this is to urge defensive backs to secure the tackle first. Make sure that you’re confident you can bring the ball carrier down. Then, while they’re going down, get a hand in there and try to rip the ball out. There are many ways for players to practice this, but a lot of it comes from game experience. Based on what I’ve always seen and learned, this is the best course of action. Forcing a fumble as a defensive back shouldn’t be your primary goal. Chances are unless the situation is perfect, it will be a tough task to complete and could even lead to the ball carrier breaking the tackle. So, with this said, remember to wrap up first because you never know if one of your teammates may get in there to help finish the tackle and lead to a forced fumble.

Momentum Shifted!

Throughout the entirety of this article, a common theme I’ve attempted to portray is this idea of momentum. Football is truly a game of changing momentum. One minute, it may seem like your team is in control and before you know it, the opposition seems to have the upper hand. One of the main shifters of this is turnovers. They can disrupt rhythm, confidence and affect a complete game. The key is to capitalize on your opportunities and don’t let them slip away!

You’re a captain, now what? 5 Tips to bring your team together and establish yourself as a true leader

You’re a captain, now what? 5 Tips to bring your team together and establish yourself as a true leader

If you’ve been named captain of your team, your coach and teammates are expecting you to be a leader. But what does it even mean to be a leader? And how do you do it? Here are five tips to help you bring your team together.

COACHING THE 4-2-5 DEFENSE VS SPREAD TEAMS

COACHING THE 4-2-5 DEFENSE VS SPREAD TEAMS

The 4-2-5 is becoming the trendy new answer to all those wide open spread offenses out there. So how do you go about coaching the 4-2-5 defense vs spread teams? Well, let’s talk about it.

In this video, Coach Pat Fox talks about using a 4-2-5 system to line up and defend the standard 10/11 personnel spread teams who specialize in the zone read that most teams run some form of out of the shotgun.

Click the link to watch the whole series of videos on the 4-2-5 Defense.

If you’d prefer to read instead of watch a video, check out the notes below.

Strike the pose!

Coach Fox is constantly telling his guys to make sure they’re showing the base alignment before doing anything else.

He wants his different calls to look similar and present as confusing a picture as possible to the offense.

To do this, he’s always telling them to “strike the pose!” or to get into their base alignment before the ball is snapped. He allows them to do some moving around in the secondary before the ball is snapped, but it’s important that each of their base calls look similar to the opponent, which gives them an edge.

4-2-5 Defense vs Spread – 2×2 Formations

This is the standard alignment for the defense when facing a balanced formation on the hash, and it’s worth noting that the calls are split into two separate pieces.

In other words, the “field” side of the secondary gets a separate call from the “boundary” side of the secondary.

This simplifies things for the defenders and narrows their range of vision, giving them fewer things to think about and allowing them to play faster at the snap.

FIVE REASONS TO RUN THE 3-3 DEFENSE

FIVE REASONS TO RUN THE 3-3 DEFENSE

As offenses have become faster and have found new ways to challenge defenses in every area of the field, defenses have constantly needed ways to adapt. Some times they’ve created new ideas, other times they’ve simply reached back to schemes that have already existed, and adjusted them to fit their needs.

The 3-3 defense is as effective a scheme as there is in football today, partially because it’s not as widespread as the more common 4-3 or 3-4 defensive schemes. As a former offensive coach I can tell you that regardless of talent level, the 3-3 defense was one of my least favorite schemes to prepare for because you never knew what you would be seeing from one play to the next.

Coach Grant Cain talks about the 3-3 defense and its many variations and advantages in this video, so let’s discuss some of the key points from his talk.

1. Multiple looks and disguises

The base of the 3-3 defense is a six man box with three linebackers stacked on top of the three down linemen, but the great thing is that you can get as complex as you want with it.

You can easily create all kinds of four man fronts by either putting one your alley defenders up on the line of scrimmage, or if you’re feeling really tricky, you can line up in that base front we just talked about and slant to a four man front at the snap.

Speaking of which…

2. Almost unlimited blitzing options

When you’ve got seven or eight potential rushers on every single play, the offense can get very confused and think too much about all the threats they’re facing.

Because today’s spread offenses rely so much on reading certain defenders on option plays and certain passing concepts, the more uncertainty you can create in the quarterback’s decision making, the better. This is a great way to get the offense back on their heels, especially if they don’t see this scheme a lot from other teams they play.

Besides the amount of blitzes you have at your disposal, equally dangerous is the threat of the blitz. Even a standard four-man rush can be extremely effective in this defense because the offensive line can never be too sure who’s coming after the quarterback and who’s dropping into coverage.

It’s also a whole lot easier to disguise the coverage on the back end of the defense because of the flexibility you have in the secondary. Depending on your alignment, there could be anywhere from 3-5 defensive backs in a position to play deep coverage zone, to where you’re never giving the offense a clear read on what to expect once the football is snapped.

3. Almost unlimited coverage adjustments

Building on #2, because you have the ability to move so many people around before the snap, it’s equally confusing for the quarterback, especially with so many quick throws and bubble screens built in to today’s offenses.

The quarterback can never be too sure about who’s rushing and who’s dropping to cut off the throws underneath, and if he’s worried about throwing a pick, all of a sudden he’ll be far more indecisive and playing back on his heels, which is exactly what you want as a defense.

4. Better utilization of players’ abilities

The great thing about the 3-3 defense is that it’s got room for people of all sizes.

Maybe you don’t have those giant defensive lineman walking the halls at your high school that a 4-3 is built around, or maybe you’ve got a lot more speed than size on your roster.

With the sheer number of different fronts you have the ability to play in this defense, you’ve ways to plug in guys with different abilities into the scheme and they’ll still have a great chance at success.

The bottom line is, it’s really tough to find big guys who can put their hand down in the dirt, take up two gaps, and still run a respectable 40 yard dash.

As a coach, you’ve gotta take advantage of what you have, and this scheme gives you the ability to maximize the personnel you’ve got on your roster.

5. Aggressive style of play

Coach Cain talks about taking the game out of the heads of his players, and that’s exactly what this style of defense excels at.

A lot of what we talked about in this post has to do with forcing the opposing offense to start over thinking and second guessing themselves, which turns them into a far less effective unit.

The goal here is to do the opposite for your own players. Put them in a position where they can use their natural abilities and energy to fly to the football, attack the offense, and run around and have fun, and do a lot less thinking about their assignments or tiny details that keep them from playing fast.

You want your players on defense flying around as fast as possible while the offense is still chasing it’s tail and trying to figure out what’s coming next. The 3-3 defense is an excellent way to accomplish this goal.

Watch the whole course here.

3 NFL ZONE RUN PLAYS FROM WEEK 7

3 NFL ZONE RUN PLAYS FROM WEEK 7

Learning the ins and outs of the run game is a big part of learning how to coach offensive line, so lets take a look at three examples of zone run plays from the past week of NFL games.

1- Dolphins vs Bills

The offense takes the field with 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) and puts both receivers to the left side. This forces the defense to show their hand and “declare” for one side or another.

The strong outside linebacker starts to widen and try to split the difference between the tight end and inside receiver, which in turn gives the tight end to that side #48 Marqueis Gray plenty of room and a good angle for his kickout block on the front side of the play.

10 NFL AND COLLEGE HEAD COACHES WHO GOT THEIR START IN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

10 NFL AND COLLEGE HEAD COACHES WHO GOT THEIR START IN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Are you a high school football coach who wants to work at the next level? It’s more common than you might think, and there are plenty of big name coaches who started their coaching careers under the Friday night lights.

Here are ten NFL and college head coaches who got their start in high school football:

1. Tommy Tuberville – Cincinnati

How to Get Recruited for Collegiate
Sports

How to Get Recruited for Collegiate Sports

The dynamics of recruiting in the collegiate sports landscape has

changed greatly over the years. In today’s world, many college coaches

travel all around the United States and sometimes into other countries

looking for talented individuals to add to their team. For a high school

athlete, this whole process can seem a bit overwhelming. This article

will ensure you are in a perfect position to get recruited without any

trouble.

NCAA Eligibility

Long before you even step foot on a college campus, you’ll want to make

sure there won’t be any issues when it comes to eligibility. The

eligibility standards tend to fluctuate, so you’ll want to keep up on these

to prevent any surprises later on. The solution to this is a rather simple

one: listen to what your high school academic counselor tells you. Take

the classes that they say you must take to put you in a position where

eligibility issues won’t be an issue.

Once you’re in the right spot in regards to classes, you then need to

register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. In order to complete this

process, you’ll need to fill out the online registration, pay the fee and

submit ACT/SAT scores and an official high school transcript. Don’t

make the stupid mistake of failing to achieve this certification as it can

cost you the opportunity to play collegiately.

Highlight Video

When producing your highlight recruiting video, it is important to not

submit a low-quality video. It may even be worth the investment to hire

a videographer to ensure it is of solid quality. Another piece of advice is

to keep it simple, but include enough footage that accurately shows your

designated skills. You need to convince coaches that your skillset can

provide use to their team. As for getting your video out there, you can

post it on YouTube or use a website like Recruit Reels. Many people have

found success in the recruiting process through sites like Recruit Reels.

On their website, they state “Video is the most compelling resource for

recruiters and our videos provide more than simply highlights – we also

include workout footage, player interviews, stats and coach

testimonials.”

Get the Video to Coaches

Once your video is completed, it is time to get your footage out to

coaches and schools. In today’s landscape, you’re likely safe to begin

getting your name out there by the start of you sophomore season. Your

options for contacting the coaches are plentiful as well. You can mail the

DVD to a coach or e-mail a link to them. However, don’t forget to include

contact information in this message. Another possibility for this initial

contact would be speaking with the coach via phone. Some might favor

this more personal approach.

Making Lists

One way to get an idea of various schools you might be interested in is

to create a list of dream schools, realistic ones, and fallback options. This

should likely be done earlier on in the process to get an idea of the

coaches you should contact. It will not be nearly as overwhelming if you

only have about 15 schools to look at rather than a couple hundred. The

list may take some research and possibly change from year-to- year, but

it can definitely serve as a nice basis to go off of when you’re getting

started.

Research, Research, Research

Everything can’t be learned about a college from a simple campus visit.

Sometimes, as the player, you’ll need to do some researching on your

own. There is plenty of ways to do so, particularly with the amount of

information available online. Take advantage of this so you don’t end up

making an unnecessary mistake. Research can be completed in the early

stages by checking out the school’s website and reading reviews about

the school online. It can also be utilized through contacting former

players through social media to hear about their experiences at the

school or with a particular coach. Finally, it may be valuable to get an

idea of how much playing time you’ll receive early in your career. Some

players may be more willing than others to sacrifice playing time early

in their collegiate career.

Get Advice from your High School Coach

For many high school athletes, there is plenty of value that can come

from getting advice from your high school coach. By doing so, you can

get an assessment on what level you’re best suited for this. Do you have

the talent to compete in Division I or is a lower league, like the NAIA,

more appropriate? These are questions a high school coach can provide

assistance in. In addition to this, it wouldn’t hurt to ask your high school

coach for a recommendation or promotion to some of the college

coaches of the schools you have interest in.

Showcase your Talents at Camps

For athletes from smaller high schools, it can be difficult to get noticed

by Division I schools even if you may have the talent. One potential way

to get recognition is through attending sports camps. Not only do they

put you in the presence of college coaches, but they can also serve as a

valuable tool for developing your own personal skills. The key is to

come to these events prepared because you never know whom you’ll

meet or give a first impression to. Just make sure this first impression is

a positive one.

Make the Best Choice for You

For those athletes that receive multiple offers, it is important to make

the choice that fits you best. While the athletic aspect of this decision is

a major one, it shouldn’t be the only one. Think about the financial

aspect. Who’s offering you a full-ride and who’s proposing a partial

scholarship? Keep in mind the type of person you are. Will the academic

and personal development aspect suit your interests? Finally, how will

you respond to the coaching and playing time situation? Going back to

the research, make sure you’re choosing a place that will put you in an

enjoyable place on the road to success.

Stay Focused

The entire collegiate recruiting process can be a lengthy one. For some

athletes, it may span through one’s entire high school career. Through it

all, stay focused and make sure no eligibility will arise during your

freshman season of college. Just keep in mind that there are always

people who can assist you in the process, whether it be high school

coaches, family members, or former players. Take advantage of your

resources!

How Offensive Coaches Win with Pre-Snap Movements

How Offensive Coaches Win with Pre-Snap Movements

Using motion and shifts can be an effective tool for offensive coordinators to

confuse opposing defenses. Motion and shifts on offense can be simple and easy to

implement. The types of motions and shifts an offense utilizes will be greatly affected by

their tempo and offensive style but almost every offensive scheme can utilize motion

and shifts in one way or another. Many defensive coaches despise playing against

offenses that motion and shift every play or very often. Here are the Top Four reasons

why offensive coordinators should implement pre-snap movement into their gameplans.

Motion and Shifts Can Provide Number Advantages

No matter the level of football, motion and shifts will be used from pee-wee all the

way up to the pros in the NFL. There is a reason that this is consistently used, because

it helps offenses gain an advantage by confusing opposing defenses. A motion and/or

shift can change the strength of the offensive’s formation and in many ways can change

how a defense will need to align. Defenses can react a few different ways to these pre-

snap movements and offensive coaches have to be locked into how defenses are

adjusting and take advantage of any opportunities that may be presented by confused

defensive players. If a defensive player is supposed to adjust to a strength change and

they fail to do so, the offense automatically creates an advantage for themselves out of

a sheer number standpoint.

Motion and Shifts Provide Better Blocking and Route Angles

Another advantage of using motion and shifts in an offense is the ability to give

your players a better angle on blocks. A lot of offensives today utilize either an H-Back

or J-Back that motions and shifts very regularly. This player generally is a flexible player

that can play a multitude of different positions with different responsibilities. When an H-

Back motions or shifts, the offensive play-caller is generally using this to try and give

their player an advantage through an angle whether for a block or to leak out on a pass.

Motion and shifts provide a great tool for offensive coaches to put their players in an

advantageous position to block their assignment or create an easier route on a play-

action or pass play.

Motion and Shifts Encourage Defensive Players to Have “Bad Eyes”

Defensive coaches are always telling their players to have “good eyes” whether it

be on their man or a high-safety reading a quarterback’s throwing direction. There are

many aspects of a football game where trained eyes are essential. Motion and shifts

from an opposing offense can confuse defensive players by creating pre-snap action

that calls for attention from the defenders. Many times a motion and/or shift is really just

a decoy to trick defenders into thinking the action is important to their own individual

assignment. If offensive coaches can “trick” defenders into overcompensating for a

motion or shift, they can gain an advantage and potentially take advantage of a big play

opportunity. This is especially relevant in the secondary as defensive back’s that have

bad eyes generally will give up big plays.

Motion and Shifts Can “Slow Down” A Defense

Lastly, one huge advantage that offensives can gain by utilizing motion and shifts

is the idea of slowing down opposing defenses. Offenses that utilize motion and shifts

consistently can provide a headache for opposing defensive coaches by causing them

to be less aggressive with play calls and more focused on simply getting lined up

correctly. When defensive coaches have to worry about just simply getting their

defenses lined up it can slow down a game plan and ultimately cause defenses to

remain stale. When offensive coaches play against an aggressive defense, it can be

advantageous to implement motion and shifts in order to slow them down. Not only will

this potentially slow down coaches but motion and shifts can cause players to second-

guess things and ultimately slow down their pursuit and play because of over-thinking.

Motion and shifts can provide many advantages for offensive coaches. No matter

what type of offense a team is running, they can implement motion and shifts to help

give them an advantage that might not otherwise be there for them. If you want to learn

more about using motion and shifts, check out Mike Rowe’s Using Motion and Shifts.

HOW VAN HALEN AND CHIP KELLY CAN MAKE YOU A BETTER COACH

HOW VAN HALEN AND CHIP KELLY CAN MAKE YOU A BETTER COACH

As coaches, we’re problem solvers. When one problem goes away, there always seems to be a new challenge right around the corner.

Speaking of which, one of the biggest problems in sports right now is keeping players focused on what you’re trying to teach them.

Whether you’re installing the 2 Back Inside Zone, or just going over the mechanics of the quarterback mesh in the run game, player attention spans are at an all time low. No young person can leave the house without being plugged into something and keeping their minds constantly occupied.

(Speaking of which, there’s a good chance you’re reading this on your phone while you’re supposed to be paying attention to something else)

This problem won’t be going away anytime soon, so how do you compete with all these distractions?

You’ve gotta be creative.

Creative people can seem odd, because, well, they are. You don’t get something different by trying the same thing over and over again. So it’s no surprise that what often looks random or chaotic is actually well thought out and serves a real purpose.

Don’t believe me? How about an example?

Brown M&M’s

During their heyday, the band Van Halen got a reputation for having some, let’s say “weird” demands in their rider. The most famous example had to do with a certain flavor of M&M’s:

Buried amongst dozens of points in Van Halen’s rider was an odd stipulation that there were to be no brown M&M’s candies in the backstage area. If any brown M&M’s were found backstage, the band could cancel the entire concert at the full expense of the promoter. That meant that because of a single candy, a promoter could lose millions.

This story has been told a million times already by now, but you may not know the other half of it. As it turns out, there was a method to the madness:

In now-departed arenas such as Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, the original Boston Garden and Chicago Stadium, Van Halen was loading in massive amounts of staging, sound equipment and lighting. Unfortunately, these buildings were never built to accommodate a rock band of Van Halen’s scope. Without specific guidelines, old floors could buckle and collapse, beams could rupture, and the lives of the band, their crew and fans could be at serious risk.

To ensure the promoter had read every single word in the contract, the band created the “no brown M&M’s” clause. It was a canary in a coalmine to indicate that the promoter may have not paid attention to other more important parts of the rider, and that there could be other bigger problems at hand.

Van Halen came up with a very creative solution to a problem they’d no doubt faced over and over again, a lack of focus and attention by the promoters and others they dealt with.

If they got to their dressing room and found brown M&M’s, they knew there were a lot bigger safety issues that needed to be taken care of.

FIVE REASONS TO RUN THE JET SWEEP

FIVE REASONS TO RUN THE JET SWEEP

In football, there aren’t a lot of one-size-fits-all approaches.

Most of what works best has to do with the kinds of players you have, the opponents you’ll face, and what your team is already comfortable with. That being said, there are still traditional wrinkles you can throw into your scheme with little effort, and today we’re going to talk about one of the simplest of them all:

The jet sweep.

Coach Bruce Cobleigh talks about the many benefits of running the jet sweep in this video, but let’s discuss a few of them here.

1. You can add Jet Sweep Motion to all kinds of run and pass plays

Before we talk about actually handing the football off on the jet sweep, let’s talk about something that’s equally dangerous for the defense: The threat of the jet sweep.

Just by putting a guy in motion from one side of the formation to the other while running a completely unrelated concept and you get defenders to freeze or even stick their nose in the backfield while you run a pass concept deep down the field to a now wide open receiver.

Teams have been pairing up the jet sweep with their more traditional run concepts for decades, and do you know why they continue to do it even after all these years?

Because it works.

2. Creates new formation variations

Building on the first point, this has as much to do with scheme and preparation as actual play on the field.

This doesn’t sound like a big deal until you realize that defensive coordinators need to have a plan for every single one of them.

If the defensive coordinator doesn’t have a plan to stay gap sound and keep a hat on a hat for every possible way you have to run the jet, then eventually you’ll figure out what it is and gash the defense for a huge gain.

3. Easy way to get the football to your playmakers

So many offenses these days are running the bubble screen and have other quick throws to get the football to their speedsters, but the simplest way is to shorten the distance between the quarterback and the intended receiver as much as possible.

The great thing is that you can very easily add this to your bag of tricks without much effort, and the payoff can be massive.

4. Makes tacklers run and cover guys tackle

Since the jet sweep is a great way to get the football out on the edge in a hurry, what often ends up happening is that the ball carrier gets matched up on the outside with a single corner or safety having to make a tackle on his own.

If that particular defender isn’t such a great tackler, then a quick hand off across the formation can turn into a huge play just because your guy is better in space than their guy.

Like coaches say, it’s not about the X’s and O’s, it’s the Jimmys and Joes, and if you’ve got a speedy and agile guy who can make people miss in the open field, then adding the jet sweep to your offense is a great way to manufacture opportunities for your best guy to match up against their worst guy.

5. Eliminates linebacker run fits

When you’ve got a side-to-side threat like the jet sweep presents, the linebackers can’t simply flow downhill to take away a traditional north and south run scheme.

If they can’t flow downhill, then they can’t build momentum to match the big offensive linemen coming at them to seal them off from the play.

Advantage: Offense

You can watch the whole course here.

THIS GUY’S DESIGNS ARE MAKING NFL HELMETS LOOK LIKE RELICS

THIS GUY’S DESIGNS ARE MAKING NFL HELMETS LOOK LIKE RELICS

Some like the classics. Some like to get crazy.

I think we can all agree that with time, even the best looks become a bit outdated.

Dee Yung, a graphic designer from Oklahoma, has taken upon himself the task of modernizing the NFL via a fresh lineup of helmet designs. Some of these designs hold fairly true to the originals. Some are… fascinating… to say the least.

Regardless, these new designs make some of the NFL’s current helmets look like relics of the past. Check ’em out!

Five Leadership Lessons You Learn Playing Offensive Line Worth More than the Touchdowns You Won’t Be Scoring This Season

Five Leadership Lessons You Learn Playing Offensive Line Worth More than the Touchdowns You Won’t Be Scoring This Season

You may not get to score touchdowns, your name may not be called out for making tackles and you may even hang your head a little when you tell someone you’re “just” an offensive lineman, but there are lessons you are learning now which will last you and help you for the rest of your life.

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Lesson #1: You are learning to take joy in the dirty work.

If you’re playing on the O-Line, you may have a rock solid core under a little play-doh, but you probably don’t have a six pack. As O-Linemen, we weren’t put on earth to look pretty, we were put here to make other people look pretty by doing the dirty work and then to take joy in their successes.

In a world full of people with big ideas, it’s the people who are willing to not only do the dirty work, but to learn to enjoy it who actually make those big ideas happen. And if you’re the one with the big ideas yourself, with every rep in the weight room and every snap of practice when you put forth your best effort while everyone else is complaining, you’re becoming someone who can do what’s necessary with the right attitude to make your dreams a reality.

Lesson #2: You are becoming keenly aware of how your decisions impact other people.

If a quarterback and running back miss a handoff exchange, your team could lose a fumble and maybe lose a game because of it. If you miss a block, one of your best friends could end up with a concussion or a broken body part.

One of the attributes which separates an average leader from a stellar one is how well they are able to understand the impact their decisions have on other people. What other sport and what other position can you think of where an athlete’s actions actually impact the lives of his teammates more than an offensive lineman?

Lesson #3: You are developing resiliency.

How many times have you completely taken your man out of the play with a great block only to have a running back cut the wrong way and be tackled by the guy you thought you’d just destroyed? And whose fault is it? If you’re an offensive lineman, it’s always your fault. No matter how well you execute your responsibility, your teammates will still screw up, and you’ll still get blamed. This is part of being an offensive lineman. And it sucks, but it’s also a very powerful, long-term leadership lesson that your glory hound teammates aren’t learning.

As an offensive linemen you are by definition a leader--you are at the very front of the offensive formation. Without the hole you create, there is no glory for any other position. The valuable lesson you’re learning is how to deal with other people’s opinions about you while simultaneously maintaining your willingness to give your best effort on the next play.

The best leaders are masters at resisting the temptation to reciprocate blame when someone first puts blame on them. Rather, they smile when being criticized, listen and learn from the situation, then put it behind them and do all they can to improve on the next play.

You will receive your credit, but only if you learn to do your best and not be stopped while constantly being blamed for things which you aren’t at fault.

Lesson #4: You are learning the ability to work for delayed gratification.

Offensive linemen do receive credit eventually, but it’s after the winning is done. It’s not in the weight room. It’s not on the practice field. It’s usually not even during the game. But when the game is over, when the season is done, and when your glory-hound teammates aren’t walking around with a limp in a decade, they will be very grateful for the effort you put in.

Leaders are faced with the same difficulties. While your backfield teammates are learning to do the best with what’s given to them, and blame you when it doesn’t work out, you are learning to do your personal best.

You must accept responsibility not just for your mistakes, but the mistakes other people blame on you while improving each step of the way. Doing the best with what someone else creates for you and blaming the creators is something employees do.

Entrepreneurs learn to work for “recognition at the end of the season” - exactly what you’re learning as an offensive linemen.

Lesson #5: You learn to listen well and react quickly.

Have you ever committed a false start? One of the loneliest feelings in the world is leaving your stance too quickly only to find yourself finally receiving the full attention of everyone in the stands while the ref twirls his hands like an old-fashioned lawn mower.

Your teammate may or may not give you a pat on the butt, a head nod, or say “good job” after you pancake a defensive end (who never saw the trap coming)... but you can count on feeling like everyone hates you when you jump the snap count.

So what do you have to learn to do?

You have to learn to listen. You have to listen to the snap count when the play comes in from the sideline. You have to listen in case there is an audible. And you have to respond to a sound faster than the defensive line and linebackers can react to a sight.

Learning to listen well while in constantly, changing, pressure-filled situations is a hallmark skill of a leader. And it’s one you are developing each day you play offensive line.

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Although you may not receive much glory now for what you are doing, you must remember to form the habit of doing the best you can each day and don’t blame others--including coaches--for not seeing your immediate value. Instead, focus on listening, learning and improving and your rewards for playing offensive line will continue to pay off far longer than the last time you ever take off your cleats.

3 Things most High School Coaches are doing wrong with their kickers...

3 Things most High School Coaches are doing wrong with their kickers...

1) Over-Kicking:

    Most high school coaches encourage or allow their kickers and punters to spend the majority of practice kicking and punting. This leads to under performing, lack of focus, and possible injury.

    Kickers and Punters are synonymous with baseball pitchers. Just as a pitcher has to count pitches per work-out so as not to fatigue his arm to levels of poor performance and possible injury, a kicker/punter also has to count kicks/punts so as not to fatigue his leg to levels of poor performance and possible injury.

  Most of the heavy kicking/punting should be done early in the week. Wednesday should be a very light day of kicking/punting. Preferably, there should be no kicking/punting on Thursday ( the day before the game on Friday night ). Most high school coaches schedule a total special teams review on Thursday, and wear out their kicker/punter 24 hours before game time. This is obviously counter productive to preparing the kicker/punter to be fresh for the Friday game. Many of these special teams plays can be accomplished without the kick or punt. If the head coach cannot live without actual kicks/punts on Thursday, try to keep the reps down to a minimum.

 Additionally, police your kicker/punter during pre-game warm-ups, and prevent him from over-kicking/over-punting in pre-game. If he does kick/punt too many, he will be in danger of a fatigued leg in the

2nd half.

 

2) Get-Off Time

     Most high school coaches encourage or demand fast get-off times for kickers on their field goals/extra points.

 The danger of speeding up the kicker too much... he gets out of TEMPO. Every kicker, punter, golfer, pitcher, batter, etc., has a specific tempo in which they maximize their action. For a kicker, the timing and tempo of his approach and swing are paramount for his best kick. Get a kicker out-of-tempo by asking him to come in too quick, he will become inconsistent.

 A good field goal get-off time in the NFL is between 1.23 seconds and 1.33 seconds. Many high school coaches are asking their kicker to go sub 1.23 seconds. Asking your kicker to go this fast will cost the team a few missed kicks, because your kicker is out of tempo and does not get a good look at the ball. In addition, the holder is now speeding up and becoming sloppy with the hold.

 A good punt get-off time in the NFL is 1.9 seconds to 2.1 seconds. Realistically, high school punt operation should be in the neighborhood 2.1 to 2.5 seconds. *** Not a bad idea to move your punter up to 14 yards behind the long snapper. This adjustment makes it an easier snap, and gets the ball into the punter's hands earlier.

 

3)Kick-Offs and Touch Backs

     Most high school coaches love touch backs on kick-offs, but do they know a great rule to assist their kicker in getting the most distance possible???

     A huge advantage in high school football...the kicker has the freedom to bring out his personal football for the kick-off. The official must see and approve the ball before each kick-off. The kick-off ball should be extremely broken-in, but still have the white stripes visible, and look somewhat decent. This rule of allowing the kicker to kick a well worn, well broken-in ball... is a HUGE advantage. The right ball will lead to more touch backs. ( FYI: Have 2 kick-off balls ready in case one gets damaged or misplaced ).  

 

By: John Carney

 23 year NFL veteran place kicker

 2x Pro Bowl

 2x Super Bowl

 2,062 career points

 CarneyCoaching.com

 Coaches, do you want to maximize the performance of your specialists? Do you know the best coaching points to offer your kicker and punter? Do you want to teach your specialists professional drills? All this information and more are available in the program: "Kick, Punt, and Train Like a Pro", developed by 23 year NFL veteran John Carney.

In-season, limited time offer 30% off. Order now, time is running out!

THE #1 THING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW TO COACH OFFENSIVE LINE

THE #1 THING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOW TO COACH OFFENSIVE LINE

It doesn’t matter how brilliant it looks on the chalkboard, if you can’t block it, you’re screwed.

As coaches we love to draw up all kinds of fun stuff, but when it comes time to execute, if you can’t get any movement up front at the line of scrimmage, you’ve got bigger problems that drawing up more plays won’t solve.

And that’s why you’re here, to solve a problem.

Bob Wylie has been coaching offensive line at the highest levels of the game for years, and today we’re gonna go over how to coach offensive line stance.

It’s all about angles

Relax, you’re not going back to geometry class, but there’s an important lesson here.

Whether it’s missed assignments, poor leverage, or all kinds of other issues offensive line coaches run into on a day-to-day basis, it can usually be traced back to their angle of departure off the line.

Usually the reason an offensive lineman departs from the wrong angle is because their stance is wrong. When your stance is wrong, it means your weight isn’t distributed properly which leads to wasted steps, false movement, and makes you slower as an offensive lineman.

Since we love you so much here at CoachTube, we decided to give you a checklist to go over when you’re teaching your players about the importance of stance.

The Feet

The stagger should be toe-to-head or toe-to-instep, with your inside foot up and your outside foot back.

Inside foot should be flat on the ground, outside foot should have about a half inch of air underneath the heel, no more than that. The outside foot should have toes slightly turned out just a little bit.

The Bend in the Knee

Bend your knees, and put your elbows on top of your knees.

When you bend down, your knees are gonna be inside your feet, not over your feet, make sure your knees are pointed inward just a little bit.

Take your off-arm, the hand that’s not on the ground, take the inside of the elbow and put it on the outside of the knee, keep your hand semi-relaxed.

The Hands

Put your down hand on the ground and put it somewhere is the area of your outside eye. Make sure all five fingertips are on the ground in front of you.

To be sure you’ve got it right, pick up your down hand and stretch it out in front of your. If you have to shift your body weight to stretch it out, your stance is wrong and you’ve got too much weight on your down hand.

When your weight is distributed wrong, it leads to false steps and wasted movement, which again, leads to playing slow.

SUPER BOWL 50: GAME PREVIEW AND PREDICTION

SUPER BOWL 50: GAME PREVIEW AND PREDICTION

On February 7, 2016, The Carolina Panthers will be looking at winning their first Super Bowl title, while the Denver Broncos are seeking their third title win. And while almost everyone is focused on this game being Peyton Manning’s “Last Rodeo” – and whether he can lead this team to one more win before hanging up his cleats – there’s another story to look at.

This Super Bowl is also about whether Cam Newton should be considered as one of the elite class of quarterbacks in the game. Newton was an 1st-overall pick way back in 2011 by the Carolina Panthers, and they have consistently won three consecutive NFL South Titles with a Super Bowl appearance. Though the Carolina Panthers has always been branded as underrated team despite their 15-1 season performance, but since getting past the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, this team is possibly real deal.

Cam Newton is touted as the “next” superstar in the National Football League, and winning the Super Bowl will be crucial in securing his spot among the best. This Carolina team is hopeful that with a young, energetic team – a young head coach with a young quarterback and a talented defense – this will be a start of a dynasty.

For Denver, this is – obviously – the last Super Bowl that Peyton Manning might be on – and before he retires, and championship win is all that matters.

But in the end, the Panthers are complete team – offensively and defensively, while the Broncos have the experience to will this one. Carolina can rack up the points with their front four, terrific quarterback and the depth of their running game. While Denver has the best defense in the league, despite a good yet inconsistent offense.

This game is another classic matchup of a very good offensive team against a dominant defensive unit.

Who Wins: Denver 24, Carolina 17

20 GREAT FOOTBALL PEOPLE TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER

20 GREAT FOOTBALL PEOPLE TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER

Twitter: It’s not just for cat pictures and Crying Jordan memes anymore.

As the number of users has grown in the past few years, a thriving football community has sprung up on Twitter, from all areas of expertise.

Some people on this list are coaches, others are former NFL players, some of them are just people who love talking about football, but they’ve all got something interesting to say, and that’s why they’re on the list.

So here (in no particular order) are 20 football people you need to follow on Twitter ASAP.

1. Chris Fore – @CoachFore

Coach Fore is a high school coach located in Southern California who is always giving his thoughts on the game, especially about the high school level. He’s also a good guy to follow if you’re looking for new coaching job opportunities anywhere around the country.

THE GUS MALZAHN QUARTERBACK COUNTER PLAY

THE GUS MALZAHN QUARTERBACK COUNTER PLAY

Do you have a backup plan in case your brilliant plan as a coach doesn’t work? It’s something to think about, because it happens to all of us.

As coaches we draw up all these plays where every player executes his assignment perfectly, the opponent still hasn’t caught on to what we’re trying to do, and everyone on your team has the same amount of awareness you do when putting this plan together.

Except that’s not how it works, and you know it.

You need plays to go to when your first choice isn’t getting it done. For example, if you’re a team that runs a lot of speed option, you’d need to have something else in your playbook that can take advantage of the defense focusing way too much on that play.

Speaking of which, in today’s post we’re gonna look at Gus Malzahn’s version of the quarterback counter play.

The Breakdown

FIVE TIPS FROM GUS MALZAHN ON HOW TO BUILD YOUR PLAYBOOK

FIVE TIPS FROM GUS MALZAHN ON HOW TO BUILD YOUR PLAYBOOK

Coaching football is hard enough as it is, so the last thing you need is a bunch of complex verbiage that makes it more difficult to teach your players your scheme and to make adjustments within that scheme as the game goes along.

This is especially true if you make your living as a high speed no-huddle offense.

Plenty of coaches out there spend a lot of time thinking about which plays they’ll be running and how to coach up a certain route or blocking assignment, but a lot of times they miss opportunities to make the learning process a lot less complicated for their kids, and as a result they’re not as effective as coaches as they could be.

Gus Malzahn understood a long time ago that the faster and more efficiently a player processes information, the better he’ll play, and so he put a lot of thought into the best ways to put together his scheme as well as the best way to teach it.

Malzahn talks about “choosing a theme” for your offense in this video, and in this post we’ll talk about, and expand upon, the points he brings up.

1. The theme needs to be simple for the players to remember and to relate to.

In other words, it’s probably not a good idea for you to fill up your playbook with calculus or chemistry terms.

You should strive to incorporate verbiage that your players use or are aware of in their everyday lives. You might think that naming your run concepts after characters from the Brady Bunch is a great idea, but let me save you some time: don’t.

2. You need a word association that is easy for your players to understand and remember.

Building on the previous point, the best way for your players to memorize and then recall your system is for them to be able to associate a theme with another idea.

As Malzahn says, things like state capitols or NFL teams are always a great idea, because not only are they terms that have a natural association to one another, but they’re also terms that your players will have heard many, many times and will have a much easier time recalling them during a game.

3. The words need a relationship in order for play action passes to compliment the run plays.

The “relationship” part of this is key. Our brains form much stronger memories about something when that memory is attached to something we already know very well. It’s much harder to remember a long list of unconnected terms and phrases.

You may know the terms Power, Counter, and Zone extremely well, but most of your players probably won’t, at least not to the degree you do. You need to find words that all relate to one another and

Take an example from Malzahn himself

46/47 Power – “Moses”

46/47 Power Pass – “Egypt”

Association: Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt

You can take this approach even further to add related terms for screens, trick plays, etc.

4. The theme must allow the verbal command to be interpreted with physical motion by the signaler.

You can have the best idea in the world for your terminology, but if you don’t have a way to get the information to your players on the field using signals, then it’s useless.

Make sure that whatever terms you decide on can be reasonably paired up with some kind of physical signal that is easy to see from far away, since you’ll often have to signal to your offense in the red zone, or to your players lined up near the opposite sideline.

5. The theme must be flexible enough to expand in the future if necessary.

This is a key point and is something that’s often overlooked by coaches.

You can do all the preparation and scouting you want in the offseason, but there will always be things you didn’t anticipate or haven’t seen before, so you need to have a philosophy and style that is flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

Watch the whole course here.

LITTLEST KID ON THE FIELD TRUCKS LINEMAN – YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP

LITTLEST KID ON THE FIELD TRUCKS LINEMAN – YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Every now and then, I see a youth sports video showing a massive kid trucking over an entire team of hapless defenders. Parents and coaches are shouting “oohs” and “ahs” as the kid runs through children a third his size.

Personally, I find these videos annoying. There’s nothing to see. Place an 8th-grade sized kid with a bunch of 3rd graders, and yeah, he’s going to run them over. Surprise, surprise. While we’re at it, let’s watch Vin Diesel box a 120 lb high school freshman.

When I began the above video, I was expecting something similar. You can imagine my surprise when the smallest kid on the field trucked the opposing team’s lineman (okay, fine, I know it was actually the linebacker). The would-be tackler was sporting some major size advantage after all.

It’s just one play in a youth sport’s game, but watching the clip, it honestly plays out like your typical, entirely unbelievable Hollywood sports-clip. There is just no realistic chance that small of a kid is going to RUN OVER the other team… not to mention, follow it up with an ankle-breaking juke and a nasty stiff arm.

And yet, somehow, that little dude pulled it off.

Touché little dude… touché.

If you don’t want to be on Youtube getting trucked by our aforementioned little dude, check out this free course on tackling and defensive technique from Don Bosco’s state-title-winning coaches.

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR OFFSEASON FOOTBALL TRAINING

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR OFFSEASON FOOTBALL TRAINING

Off-Season Mode

It’s winter time and it’s the perfect time to build your game skills. It’s not the time slack off and relax, however tempting it may be. You know that you’re still a football player who has a bright future ahead of you that can easily be crushed by your lack of commitment. You STILL need to keep fit and in-shape for the game every time.

If you choose to spend your off-season by just splashing at the pool all the day long as you eat burgers and play Madden, you’ll certainly regret everything you did when the new season starts. It’ll take some time to be able to regain your form following months of slacking off. Sure. Your experience will be a pain the a**.

What’s the Solution?

There is absolutely no room for complacency on your part as a football player during the off-season. You really need to commit yourself to an offseason football training to make you remain relevant and competitive in the game. This training program will enable you to improve on your game by sharpening your skills come the new season.

A productive off-season football training is the most important thing for you as an athlete.

Let’s get started.

Here are some useful tips for a successful training:

Start with a Plan

Plan your off-season training well for it to be fruitful. A good plan maximizes your football skills and strengths. It’s possible to do some exercises while still having a good time during your off-season training. These can include playing pick-up basketball or hiking with your friends. You should remember that you’re still a football player and you should remain focused on your training.

Set Goals

Apart from just staying fit, you should also set goals on what you plan to achieve at the end of the off-season. Here are two things to do before embarking on your off-season training:

Get the Evaluation from your Coaches (Head Coach, Position Coach)

Coaches are supposed to evaluate the performance of the players they coach. Your position coach is likely to tell you exactly the areas you need to improve on at the end of a season and before the new season starts. Your coach can also share with you training and exercise activities you can employ in your training.

Evaluate Your Own Performance

The fact that you know yourself better than anybody else makes your self-evaluation very important. You know the areas you’re not good enough and you know very well that you can work on to improve on them. Again, the off-season gives you an opportunity to improve as an individual player as you’re able to train alone and focus on improving your skills as a football player. The training sessions you have when the season starts are meant to improve the team as a whole.

Setting Specific Goals

You should keep specific goals which will make a good football player. Specific goals makes it easier for you to evaluate your off-season training performance as well as to pick the right training exercises. An example of a specific goal is aiming to increase the maximum weight of your bench press by like 20 pounds instead of just aiming to get stronger. Another specific goal could be aiming to decrease your 40-yard dash by a second.

You should keep specific goals which will make a good football player. Specific goals makes it easier for you to evaluate your off-season training performance as well as to pick the right training exercises. An example of a specific goal is aiming to increase the maximum weight of your bench press by like 20 pounds instead of just aiming to get stronger. Another specific goal could be aiming to decrease your 40-yard dash by a second.

Without these specific goals, it will not impossible to know whether you have managed to improve on your strength and speed. Your offseason football training may not be fruitful at all and you will not have improved as an individual player.

Create a Routine

Create a training routine once you are very sure of what you want to achieve at the end of the off-season training. A regular routine makes you keep on improving on your performances to enable you to ultimately achieve your goal.

A routine doesn’t imply that you’ll be doing exactly the same exercises all the day. A good routine should incorporate a variety of exercises to prevent your training from becoming boring while at the same time corresponding to your set of goals. This creates a well-rounded training that targets your muscles in different ways.

There are many different exercises that you can choose from. While most of them are good for you as a football player, others are not that helpful. You should only focus on your specific set goals that guides you in choosing the perfect exercises as well as designing your routine for your off-season training.

It is important for you to have a wide variety of exercises for your training despite having set specific goals. For instance, it’s not practical to have a training session that entirely has weightlifting or running exercises. Try to mix it up. You should also include strength, agility and endurance exercises to balance your training plan and avoid making the session monotonous.

An example of such a good routine may include having like three sets of 10-15 reps of dumbbell bicep curls, four sets of 6-10 reps of standing military press, 15 minutes of rope jumping, five sets of 10 reps of maximum speed burpees , 100 sit-ups and many more. This will be an example of a well-rounded training session.

Hard Work Pays

Yes. It does. And you know it’s true. The effort you put in your offseason football training will determine your form and sharpness come the start of the new season. Your own initiative and motivation during training entirely comes from you as there’s no coach directing you on what to do. These sessions are not compulsory like the ones you have during the season and there are not fines for not showing up either. The discipline you show during this offseason will make you a better football player and a better athlete.

Be sure to Sign-Up for our Free Football Training Courses Today!