Part 2 of my iBook Series is now active, at a special introductory price for 1 week. It contains over 2 hours of video coaching presentations embedded, plus new interactive features. For details, please visit HERE.
Apple should release by early next week!
This is PART 2 of the four part series. If you haven't seen Part 1, find it HERE
I'm excited to say that all the project pieces are done, and it is now in its final stages. The hope is that it will be available by the week of Christmas.
There is TONS of content - over 2 hours of video! In fact, Apple might make me split it into two iBooks, as there is a maximum size they allow. Coaches Edge Technologies will work with them to come to a solution, but I am assured that the release date will not be delayed.
More to come...
Part 2 in the four part series of iBooks I am releasing through Coaches Edge Technologies is in the works, and should be to you by the Holidays. In it, in-depth examination of Language, Protections, Drop Back Passing, and Complimenting the Drop Back Game will be backed up with interactive video and presentations. New ideas used during the 2014 season will be introduced, and will prove to be a primer to Part 3 (covering teaching and installing) and Part 4 (covering game planning and adjustments) to be released in the spring.
With Part 1 already being available (here), we are hoping to provide an excellent resource for your team's off-season development and beyond. This series ISN'T just about the drop back passing game; it will be about efficiency and balance, as some of our most successful clients were able to run the ball downhill through a variety of schemes -- which will be discussed in the series.
I'm really excited about this work, as it will help coaches from any system.
This past weekend, many in my part of the country got their first look at the Cardinals' offense. With the exception of some early miscues, the Arizona attack was extremely efficient, knocking off the Cowboys in their own backyard. Finally, people were talking about the Cardinals being "for real." Truth is, football people have know Bruce Arians was "for real" as an offensive coach for a very long time.
My first observance of his work was in 2001. He had just been hired as the OC of the Cleveland Browns, and I was very interested to see his version of the Colts offense there (he had been Peyton Manning's QB coach prior to the Cleveland gig). Many of the same ideas were in place, including the well documented "Shallow" and "Levels" packages. Some things I have always found interesting, however, are some less heralded aspects of his offense.
In studying the Steelers' game plan vs the Packers from Super Bowl XLV, these things become even more apparent:
Option Routes. Arians has always used a tough, dependable option route runner to move the chains. His use of adjustable routes separates on a regular basis is a real differentiation of his attack.
Empty Formations. The Cardinals' use of no back sets is at a much higher percentage than the NFL norm. Of course, the versatility of Andre Ellington allows for this, as he is able to align anywhere on the field. Even against a defense like the 2010 Packers, who were renowned for their zone pressure schemes, Arians had a healthy amount of no-back passes in the game plan.
Stacked and Bunch formations. Much of what I admire about this offense, like the Patriots, is that they always do everything they can to get receivers a free release. Moreover, they do a nice job of combining ideas, such as stacking receivers in EMPTY sets:
Within the plan, there are also packaged plays, shot plays, and the method for dealing with Zone Blitz. All of these should be part of an offensive coach's arsenal.
While I'm not certain how read concepts are grouped in the Cardinals' playbook, I do know that all the combinations I have seen have simple solutions using ACTS, the reading system described here. Further, this system of reading is producing great results on the high school level; new ideas are being deployed, and Part 2 of Developing an Offensive System will be completed soon.
Sometimes it's like watching a baby deer learn how to walk. Watching improvement is rewarding though, and makes it all worthwhile.
That's not a typo - he threw for 400 and 5 TDs, and ran for another 180 (1 rushing TD) - all using concepts in this system! This same player passed for right at 1000 yards all of last season. A.C.T.S. has truly given definition to the offense, and allowed the coaching staff to be completely accountable to the player (instead of the player only being accountable to the coach).
While everyone is set in what they are doing schematically, the great news is that the ideas in Part 1 of my iBook series (found HERE) can help you TODAY. The ability to communicate your intentions on a down by down basis cannot be emphasized enough, and this series will allow you the tools to not only augment what you are doing this season, but align your off-season goals as well.
Speaking of off-season study, Part 2 of the series is due out in the December time frame, with Parts 3 and 4 to be released in the Spring. I
I've said many times that a complete system should not only have all the answers to defensive problems in a self contained environment, while remaining "learnable" for players. To this, I will add that a great system will generate more problems for defenses as the season moves on. This is especially applicable in high school and college football, where teams typically exchange the previous three games as a general rule. Carefully considered, and offensive plan one week can help create dividends for the coming weeks as well.
As an example, let's take one formation idea that is underutilized in many offenses: "stacked" or "bunched" receivers. Though the vanilla TV commentator will point out how the tight alignment of receivers will provide natural "rubs" vs man defenders, there are two important things to consider:
- Proper route running technique and selection will give receivers ample opportunity to defeat man for man defenders without wasting receivers (deploying players on a pass play with no intention of getting open for a pass).
- Defenses today are well coached in defending such alignments. Even at the high school level, defenses have answers to simple rub or pick plays.
This second fact is something that can be used to the offenses advantage. For instance, let's look at some opponent scenarios:
- This week: Multiple 3-4 pressure team that blitzes a lot
- Next week: 4-3 Cover 4 team
- 3 weeks from now: Best opponent; Cover 1 press team
This week's mythical opponent plays loose man and 3 deep zone mainly, and creates pressure by attempting to overload protections by bringing 4 rushers to one side - outnumbering most 6 man protection schemes as they typically distribute blockers with 3 to a side:
A couple weeks ago, the #1 ranked 5A team in Missouri squared off with the #1 ranked 6A team in the state. The 5A team prevailed that night, 35-21. I am admittedly biased, as the 5A Fort Osage Indians are a client of mine.
I asked their coach, Ryan Schartz, if he'd write a bit on how they have benefited:
Last winter my offensive staff and I knew we had a group of players suited to throw the ball. Our run and shoot system was by no means broken, but it did limit some of the the things we wanted to be able to do. After reading Dan's book Re-coded and Reloaded, it dawned on me that this was the system to use. Installment started in the spring and continued into the summer. The language that he uses allows players to learn quickly. Our kids have commented several times that it is much easier to learn than our former system. His system was an easy transition as it has many run and shoot concepts built in. One of our main objectives was to be able to get our RBs out in to routes out of the backfield. The Gonzalez system more than allows an offense to use all 5 receivers. The best part, though is the rhythm passing and progression allows the QB to make his reads quick and decisive. After using parts of it for the first 3 weeks of the season, we have noticed that there is much flexibility in attacking defenses. This is all coming from at team that traditionally runs the football 80% of the time. Dan has been terrific! He is readily available to help explain and give advice. Although we have not changed much of our run game, his passing system has been a wonderful resource for our program.
Fort Osage High School
I have always thought this: the most successful head coaches are defensive guy who let their offenses go attack opposing defenses. History is littered with great defensive minds who prefer to try to keep scores close, only to end up in the coaching recycle bin. History shows that the most successful coaches (winning year in and year out) are often defensive minded guys whose offenses STRESS the defense:
Even in college football, the last two "dynasties" (USC and 'Bama) were led by defensive head coaches who schematically stressed opposing defenses with their offense (on a side note - Jim McElwain, former OC at Bama, now at head coach at CSU - does a superb job of blending the shifting-motioning-formationing attack with no huddle delivery). The thing is, these two schools' rosters were/are filled with NFL talent few could match.
But, in principle, we learned that perhaps more defensive head coaches (and offensive head coaches, for that matter) should take a cue from what is working; if one is to feature a power running game, the way to maximize an offense's potential to break a defense is through the use of tempo. Just this weekend, we were given three major examples of this:
Michigan State at Oregon:
In a truly great matchup, an outstanding defense simply could not keep pace with the balance and tempo that Oregon presented. On the go-ahead touchdown, Oregon catches MSU spinning to an 8 man front (resulting in 1 high safety), leaving the defense vulnerable to the "4 Vertical" pattern that results in the score.
BYU at Texas
After intercepting a pass in the end zone just before the half, the Texas Defense had given up 2 field goals at the midway mark. The box score, however, reveals the inability of the Texas Offense to keep the ball for any time, allowing to Cougar offense to hammer away at the Horns. This wasn't the 1980's BYU offense that passed on virtually every play; BYU had 59 rushing attempts to go along with 27 pass attempts - numbers only reached in an uptempo mode.
Jaguars at Eagles
The snapshot of the Eagle's second half drives who the ability to remain balanced. With the exception of the 68-yarder in the 4th quarter, each was a mixture of runs and short passes. Even the big play was delivered off of play action. Again, the key is the ability to give the defense a 2-dimensional threat.
While there are adjustments made during intermission, coaches know the "halftime adjustment" moniker that has overrun TV and radio broadcasts is not what it is portrayed in the media. Certain elements of the existing game plan are emphasized, and while there are "tweaks", wholesale changes that have not been practiced simply do not happen.
What happened in these three cases is this: good defenses simply could not hold up to the offensive barrage. Michigan State's defense was lauded as the nation's finest, and still might be. Texas' defense only gave up 6 first half points, despite being put in bad situations. The Eagles were able to create more opportunities for themselves because of the nature of their attack.
Operating from a no huddle environment allows the offense to be MORE physical because they can call more downhill runs while still making the defense honor the pass, giving them more opportunities to test the soundness of each play. Anyone whose ever coached can realize HOW CLOSE every play is to being a big gain for the offense; simply giving the offense more chances to give playmakers the ball AND punish the defense physically also simplifies the defense for the offense.
There are very few reasons why an offense should play a grinding, low-output style of offense; the refusal to accept change simply is not one of them.