To illustrate, we will look at a few clips involving the drag route.
First, the basic DRIVE:
As Part 3 of Developing an Offensive System nears its release date, I wanted to write about some adjustments in the way we package that have proven to be very beneficial in the past year. Late last fall, I began to adjust game plan forms in order to make it easier to recall options in the heat of battle. This spring, six primary "structures" were labeled on the coach's sheet:
We derived this terminology to make the teaching for all players easier; it also allows the offense to move around star players with no additional learning burden. The Read/ Navigation tags allow the coach to guide the passer to the easiest lane of completion. By classifying game sheets, the playbook, and cut ups by route structure, one can be extremely efficient - with an offense can now teach minimal techniques and assignments, but apply in several different ways to attack a defense. Most of all, the QB and coach can benefit from the ability to hit all eligible receivers in a pattern.
To illustrate, we will look at a few clips involving the drag route.
First, the basic DRIVE:
Next, the 9 route in front of DRIVE:
Lastly, using the 9er (Numbers) advantage principle:
Homer Smith taught us all that nothing can become more entangled than patterns, protections, and formations. To this, we must add read types, as merely having one way to read a pass defense severely limits the ability of an offense to attack. This system, as it is constructed, meets all those needs, though the number of combinations can seem overwhelming. By simply grouping structures as a means to help coaches process and assimilate the weapons at their disposal, we are able to keep the offense in manageable pieces, maximizing learning and execution.
Things are hectic, as Part 3 of the iBook Series is days away from being available. I have gotten a ton of email and messages with questions, and wanted to take the time to address. I really do try to reply in a timely manner, but sometimes schedules and deadlines prevent me from doing so. So - here are a few teaching clips that will help answer some questions. Most of them are directly from our QB Manual...
As you can tell from the clips, these ideas have been in place for a while. The important thing is that the coaching points and techniques remain the same, despite different play terminology.
"Scanning into IN routes":
Because of the proliferation of quick crossing routes in this pass offense, there must naturally be some "counters" to prevent defenders from sitting on these stems. Also, 3x1 sets tend to get the defense "tilted" to the 3 receiver side.
Here is a quick video describing one of my favorite Scoring Zone patterns, called "BUC", which stands for Backside Under and Cross. A frontside receiver is called to run a Deep 6 (BUC tells him to alter his technique), and we use the NINER Advantage Principle to guide the passer to the thinnest part of the pass defense.
In my coaching iBook The Need for Change, I call for the need of mutual accountability on the part of coaches towards the players. Ninety-nine percent coaches are invested in their players emotionally; somehow, this dedication is at times lost in attacking defenses. An example of what I am talking about can be revealed below with the standard 4 vertical pattern. While it certainly has answers for multiple coverage possibilities, certain categories simply relegate the pattern to "settling" rather than attacking. For instance, vs. Man Free, the locked seam is of no use, allowing the Free Safety and extra underneath player to help on the seam read and back, respectively. Patterns should attack the full depth and width of the field - the elimination of targets by coverage allows the defense to level the playing field.
Gripes are no good without a solution; below is a teaching video example of what I am talking about. We strive to give our players the ultimate pattern, regardless of the defense we will see. Here, the seam read is mated with a variation of the SNAG pattern on the frontside. Doing so has distinctive advantages:
1. The coverage is threatened to the fullest
2. It keeps patterns alive by giving the defense multiple threats that must be respected
3. It allows the offense to manage its strengths (ie - who is the good seam reader and free him up)
Most of all, it allows the offense to be efficient with its pieces, allowing the offense to work techniques and routes that always keep the offense playing downhill.
One of the things I truly love about having technology constantly at our fingertips is the ability to constantly learn (and teach) football ideas. I am completing one of several projects related to football; the one with the most over-arching relevance is what I am calling my "Hit Lists":
Used as a game planning, QB teaching, or even professional development tool, these lists cover 5 major coverage categories and provide the user with a "ready reference" on attacking a given defense. Each coverage will have between 30-40 ideas, and each idea is accompanied by a coaching clip (complete with telestration) highlighting a specific principle. This is much more detailed than saying "4 verts vs. Cover 3"; the guide takes you into the drop angle of specific defenders and in some cases, give outlines in altering the defense's call to get the desired response.
Projects like this highlight my study of the defenses my coaches will likely see in the upcoming season. The coach is then equipped with a ready-reference catalog to use during game planning or offseason preparation. More importantly, it does not lock in a coach's creativity; rather, it serves as means to unlock new ideas.
Registration can be found HERE.
It will be the first of several slated for this spring; the series will cover many of the topics and material discussed here...AND MORE.
I really hate that the topic of conversation about the Patriots is the ball inflation scandal rather than the relentless assault on defensive structures. As the game unfolded, I was extremely impressed that EVERY PLAY was designed to dissect the Colts' defense; I am surely looking forward to ways in which they will attack the coverage tendencies of the Seattle secondary.
While the football fan is focused on eligible linemen and the like, I am concentrated on the manner in which the coverage and front structures of a defense are stretched beyond repair. In order to do so, the quarterback must be able to attack when the opportunity presents itself. Because of this, it is integral that the QB MANUAL is more than just a drill book -- IT SHOULD BE A GUIDE TO EXECUTING THE OFFENSE. It should have explanation, diagrams, animated presentations, and video. Here is a small excerpt from my QB MANUAL:
Not only must the QB be in tune, but the entire coaching staff as well. That's the reason for developing "HIT LISTS" as a game planning tool. These "HIT LISTS" go even further than the Attacking Coverage section of my QB manual, because focuses the minds of the coaching staff on formations and matchups, and thought processes, as well as pattern and coverage structures:
The upcoming Webinars will go hand in hand with the subject matter of the two iBooks that are out, and will also serve as a springboard for the next two, which will cover Teaching and Game Planning.
In addition to Parts 3 and 4 of my iBook series (here), we are working on a web clinic series in that will cover several topics throughout the spring. To answer many questions I have been getting, iBook Part 3 will deal with teaching/ installing, and Part 4 will cover game planning. In order to augment these works, our clinics will cover parts of the QB Manual, Attacking Coverage Section, and our new "Hit Lists" -an update to the game planning menu under consultant services - which serves as a brainstorming tool when combating the major coverage categories.
The season may have come to a close, but there is still PLENTY of football to go around!
More information to come...
That's what I think about when I watch one of the four elite NFL quarterbacks play. Everyone has the WILL to win; significantly less have the will to PREPARE to win. In particular, I have a special fondness in the way Tom Brady operates. He spreads the ball around with surgical precision, even though (with an exception his elite tight end) he currently has a very ordinary receiving corps by NFL standards. With an exception of a few years in the mid-2000s, this has been the case throughout his career.
The Patriots offense is a wonderful blend of personnel groupings, mismatches, and tempo. They are always attacking a weakness in the defense, and Brady's mastery and preparation are wonderful to study. Watching Brady - or any of the elite quarterbacks - always gave me the desire to replicate their methods. I've always been in awe of watching the greats spray the ball around, and especially hitting different parts of the same pass pattern. Though it is easy to replicate plays and concepts, it is decidedly more difficult to guide the quarterback's decision making. UNTIL NOW...
Now, there is a communication system that allows you to guide your passer's decision making on an every down basis, and what we have done is published an iBook with video and presentations to support that teaching.
Furthermore, the manual outlines a basis for game planning and aligning play installation and teaching to make the most of precious practice time. But, even better than that, the highlighted material can be assimilated into your offense WITHOUT CHANGING YOUR CURRENT SYSTEM.
That time of the year is upon us, where coaches are doing the teaching that will determine the fate of their respective seasons. As this teaching goes on, it is important to note that while we have the best laid plans beginning last offseason and through the spring and summer, we must always strive to improve - to be the very best we can for our teams. This is why I teamed with Keith Grabowsky on this project.
As the first of a four part series, the groundwork for developing your offensive system to account from the game's newest trends will be set. Teaching points borrowed from my Quarterback Manual are shared with video and presentation formats that will allow you as the coach to give your players a competitive advantage.
Great care was taken to share to share the access I have been granted, allowing insight to the NFL and college football's top offensive systems. I know many coaches that have a thirst for knowledge to better the young men they coach, but not the requisite connections to gain special access. Regardless of style of play, this resource can help you RIGHT NOW.
Get it HERE.
After numerous technical challenges, I am happy to announce that my new ibook, Coaching Concepts: Developing an Offensive System is now available. It was a long road, but it will be worth it. The content is dynamic, with over an hour of video embedded. Most of all, information such as "Navigation Tags" will help your offensive system RIGHT NOW, without changing the system you are installing.
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.