What is the beauty to be found in great systems? To me, it is not just the ability put up huge numbers. Rather, it is the ability to teach - it is the ability to take the complex and turn it into something very easy for players to execute. My consulting clients know that they can get a flood of updated information from me throughout the year. To be clear, these updates don't necessarily mean something new; instead, they are often "tweaks" to the existing.
One such update (without necessitating a change in structure) is the revival of "Mesh" in this passing game. I learned the principle from Norm Chow when he was at BYU. Though the success of the pattern cannot be debated, few can argue the time commitment required to make it work the way Chow's BYU teams or the way Mummy/ Leach deployed their versions of the attack. Proving the flexibility of the system, we have found a very inexpensive alternative teaching method.
In the route tree we used, we simply augmented the definition and technique of the "6" route:
Even for younger players, the technique explanation is simple: run a 4 (hook), then run a 2 (short in). After all, 4+2=6. Running the "mesh drag" in this manner has several advantages:
- The initial stem provides an additional quick throw vs. pressure
- It is more effective vs. match up zone, as the hook stem is something a LB will drive on, and redirect to on the re-start
- This vacates the area for the backside drag better than the traditional mesh
- It is obviously less expensive than traditional mesh
- The timing provides a Third Fix outlet on the backside
From this simple adjustment, along with the stair step technique that is taught with standard drag routes vs. man coverage, one is able to assemble an exciting array of possibilities. This pattern has been extremely successful in 7 on 7 this summer, as it not only compliments the "471" pattern (seen here), but the weak side B wheel pattern as well.
Another variation inspired by the checkdown techniques of Steve Spurrier's teams, combined with DRIVE, is shown here:
How inexpensive is this tweak in teaching technique? My son's 7 on 7 team has been able to throw and catch both of these passes (along with Stick/Levels with RAM, 471, 220, and 09 A Badge) for scores in the last 2 weeks.
PS - days away from having my iBook available for purchase.
Living in Allen, TX and using this outlet to not only stay close to the game I love, but to help pass on what I have learned from some of the game's great coaching minds.