Monday, January 31, 2005

"Crazy" Option or Trap Option Update: the Spinner

I added two video clips and comments about the Trap Option to the original article here.

Coach Smith

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Game Cuts: Speed Option

I've talked about the Speed Option before here, but I thought I would take another look at this great football play now that I have some film to go with it.

Clip One

The defense is a 53 with 4i DTs and 9 DEs with the OLBs in 40-50 technique alignments. We are in a Pro Left formation and have given the TE the flex call. Notice how much of a bubble this gives us playside. This can come in really handy when you want to run the Speed Option (or OSV or Spin Option, too). You'll notice that the key block is the psOT who must be able to block the DT one on one or the play is toast (well... not exactly. See Cut Three for explanation)

The Flanker takes the CB out as far as he will go but will look OLB to FS for his block.
Notice the nice scoop by the center and offside guard... which allows both the psG and C to knock the MLB out of the play. the psHB takes a good route to the CB and throws a nice block out in space.

Clip Two

This cut shows the Keep off of the Speed Option. The read comes upfield and the QB cuts up. The CB tries to recover, but is too wide to get there in time. The ps OT does a man's job reaching the DT and getting outside position. Checking to the called dive might have been a good idea when looking up and seeing that 5 tech DT. The psTE could have done a better job of getting and keeping outside position on his block on the OLB. The psG (a freshman) took a poor angle to cut off the MLB and could not get position on him. Luckily the MLB got caught up in the trash and couldn't make the play. Note that the flanker (a freshman) goes ahead and finishes the TE's block - and even though the FS doesn't get blocked and makes the eventual tackle, we get a nice gain on the play.

Clip Three

Not much to say differently except that even though the psOT doesn't get position on the DT, sometimes he's occupied just enough to keep from making the play. Not recommended, but just an example of why you want to hit it fast. That's the great thing about the option... many times the QB can pitch himself out of trouble!

Coach Smith

The Invisible Man

Play Action Passing to the TE

No, I'm not doing movie reviews. I'm talking about the Tight End as a receiver. I know its sexy and all to line up with 4 wides and send everybody deep, but have you ever actually worked with wide recievers? Do you really want to deal with more of those guys than you have to? Its non-stop whining about not getting enough touches... that the QB likes the other wideout and won't throw to me... or having to stalk block on those rare occasions where the ball is actually ran. If you really want to hear that all the time, then, by all means, run 4 or, God forbid, 5 wides. You'll go nuts before game 5. Guaranteed.

Me, give me Tight Ends over wide recievers any day of the week... Preferably a mutant that's 1/3 tackle, 1/3 fullback, and 1/3 mike linebacker who just wants to line up and crush the guy across from him. "Touches..?" They would rather be flexed-out and crack some OLB into next week. No, I much prefer TE's and FB's and LB's... The last of the dinosaurs... Kids that just like contact.

Well, back to today's topic. I decided to mix it up a bit and look at some play-action passing to the tight end - the "invisible man" referred to in the title. Off of play action (especially in the flat vs cover 3), the tight end is the great (sometimes) untapped resource of the veer offense. So much defensive thought goes into prepping for the option that who notices that lone player heading up the seam or into the flat all by his lonesome? Among all the "who's got dive, who's got QB, who's got pitch," it's easy to under-emphasize the role of the TE in the veer package. Against a zone team where all eyes are on the backfield, there's a lot of room for a TE to roam around and get open. These few game cuts by no means the only routes we run to the TE, but they should serve as an example of how wide-open the TE can become when a defensive coordinator gets tunnel vision.

Coach Smith

Photoshop Foolishness

Well, if you can't guess that this winter storm has me iced-in and stir crazy... well, you get another guess. Man, I'm bored. I've been making video CDs to send to the guys I owe tapes, but I've been working on getting a picture of myself (I've only been in about 2 in the last 5 years) that I thought I'd post on I thought you might want to know what ol' Coach Smith looked like.

Well the wait is over, as you can see for yourself. Personally, I like the 5'-1", 275 lb. Ernest Borgnine stunt-double description... but will settle with the picture below instead.


Coach Smith

btw, I used to work as a graphic artist and print specialist in another life. I still like to mess around with it. I started the MSN messenger icon-man above at the potrait illustration maker website and tweaked it a little with Photoshop.
It's a really cool place where you can make "people" to use as avatars in programs like Messenger. I still think I should have used that Hawaiian background, though. Aahhhhh, Hawaii... warm weather, the beach, and fun in the sun - now THAT'S what I'm talking about!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Game Cuts: Outside Veer

The next series we'll look at is the Outside Veer.

(Note: links open in a seperate window and play on that window. When you are done, just close the window as you would any other.)

Outside Veer

The first clip is OSV vs a 53 with 4i DTackles and OLBs just chompin' at the bit. You might notice the depth of the Safety - this is why we check OLB first and don't always account for him. We are running some unbalanced trickery so don't be thrown off when I go over assignments. The SE is Over and both OT's are together on the same side with a Guard and TE to the weak side. The backside TE takes a good inside release and continues on to the next level. Note the great pancake block the ps"TE" (actually the right tackle most of the time) puts on the OLB playside. This contrasts with the non-block of the wing. He's a great soph. reciever and second team QB, but he's not gonna be mistaken for a blocking back. The SE widens and stalks the corner. The QB and pitch back carry out thier assignments and the ball carrier makes a nice gain on the play. There is no combo block called at the line since the DT's are playing 4i techniques. I cannot emphasize how important it is to hit the play fast and for the line to stay low and get thier heads across the playside thighpad of the defender. We have 2 freshmen starting in this clip on the line.

Cut One: Unbalanced Wing OSV vs 53

Clip two is the mirror of clip one. The downfield blocking is better and this time the dive scores.

The last cut is OSV from a Pro left set. The defense is a 62 cover 3 - a favorite target for the OSV! We stalk the corner and the FS is the pitch read (although we don't get to him). I personally like bringing the Flanker down on the FS and pitching off the CB. If you do this, you make sure the pitch read can't tackle your dive back should he be given the ball.

The line play is pretty good. Notice the zone step by the psTE in case he has to double with the psOT although this proves not to be the case.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Game Cuts: Inside Veer

Well, I finally found a place to host small video clips. It is called and thier free hosting package seems pretty decent for what I need; a place to host lots of small, short video clips of individual football plays. I have no idea how long has been around or how long they're likely to stick around, but while they do, we'll have a place to host some play clips!

(Note: links open in a seperate window and play on that window. When you are done, just close the window as you would any other.)

Inside Veer

The first clip is ISV vs a 4-front. We do some good things and some "okay" things on this play... but it's mostly good. Playside, the guard is handling the 2 tech on his own and getting some push so the OT can seal ILB. The TE is arcing and the backs are doing okay. They were, however offset a bit to playside - which can become a nice key for the defense if you don't stay on top of it. Backside we do a nice job of scooping to playside and cutting off pursuit.

At the end of the play, it would have been better if the back had set up the DB for the TE a little better. Andrew is a little tenative and never makes contact with the Cornerback - but it is partially because the HB cuts inside (instead of staying in the veer lane!) and pulls the DB in with him. A head fake inside then hitting the sideline might get C.G. into the endzone.

Cut One: ISV vs. 4-front

ISV to the Twins
The next clip is ISV ran to the twins. The playside OT checks to double with the psG but ends free to help on LBs - head-up to inside. In this blocking scheme, the OLB is the pitch read but somehow gets caugh-up in the trash. The slot rec. is stalking the SS, but we could have called for him to block down on the OLB and used the SS as the pitch read. Anyway, the Z is getting the the way of the SS, but that's about all. It would be better if he locked the SS up, giving the ball carrier at least the possiblity of cutting outside if needed. The split end is stalking the CB but cannot be seen on the clip. The FS is late to the party and over-runs the QB when he does show up. Backside there is penetration by the DT (a 2 tech?) which is not a good thing. It looks like the OT was too high for a good scoop. If he had gotten his head across the knee, there would have been much less penetration. The TE is scooping and since the DE tried to cross his face, he is cutting him off. If he could have beaten the DE across, the TE would have continued to the second level. The QB catches the psDE stepping down and inside and correctly pulls the ball in and continues on to the "promised land." The dive HB does a decent job of getting in the way of inside pursuit after making it thru the line untackled. The pitch HB does an okay job staying in pitch relationship as long as possible.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

2005 Carson Newman Clinic

2005 Carson Newman - Sports Belle Clinic

March 4 - March 6, 2005

Music Road Hotel & Inn
Pigeon forge, Tennessee

After looking all over Carson Newman's website for clinic info for weeks, I got the flyer for thier 2005 clinic today in the mail... go figure!

I'm posting links to the flyer below. I had to cut it into sections and reduce the resolution a bit, but it should print out okay... the registration info is really the only part you would need to print, actually. File size limitations at my freebie image hosting site forced the cut-and -paste approach, unfortunately!

When I find the link to the actual PDF file, I'll be sure to post a link to it.

Coach Smith

Monday, January 24, 2005

Improving the Passing Game

The Veer presents many problems for a defense. One is how to use the secondary to help stop the option. This puts the DB in the difficult position of having to play the pass and the run with equal importance. Play action is especially dangerous as the LBs will be pulled up for a moment before making thier drops... and even the DBs might get fooled - and then be caught flat-footed.

Sometimes, however, you need a good drop-back pass to convert a 2nd and long or 3rd and long. this is where I am trying to incorporate some of another offense into the mix; the West Coast Offense.

Below are some play diagrams of what I feel are the more promising routes to bring in with a minimum of fuss and muss.

More later,

Coach Smith

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Video Madness

Well, I have got the flexbone option material VideoCD masters ready to go. Each section has a menu entry and the whole thing fits on 3 CDs. I have tried them on two 1-year old Apex DVD players and they all ran nicely. I plan on taking them to school and seeing how some older DVD players take to them. I am having trouble creating the menus in the DVD format - the menu choices are there, but they don't get highlighted when you pass over them like the ones on the VCDs do. This can lead to some slight difficulty choosing the correct segment at times.

I already have the 2003 MHS highlight film on VCD along with 2 segments of game cuts from 2004. the De Lasalle ESPN special is also on VCD, so I hope that on Friday I can finally get to Post Office and get some of this stuff in the mail!

My next video project will be "scanning" in some play cuts for some in-house material for out players. I will take some examples of each play, freeze it for about 5 seconds with the play title at the top of the screen and lines showing each player's assignment. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to do it! This might help with the teaching process this spring. Let's hope so.

Coach Smith

Friday, January 14, 2005

1 Gigabyte Free Email Service

In case your email account is limited in the size of attachements it can handle and you are dying to trade for that 3 meg flexbone playbook, you might look into Walla is a free email service I tried out before lucking-out and getting a GMail account. It's not flashy, but it there, and it works, and for some people it just might do the trick. So if your email account is bursting at the seams, you might give a try.

Coach Smith

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Option from the Wing-T , Revisited

On Option from the Wing-T, I have added a link to a pretty good article about a coach running outside veer from the Wing-T.

Technique Alignments

Well, I got a question about numbering defensive players (technique alignments) and I had to think about it for a while. I've been around the block and coached at quite a few schools in a short time (are they trying to tell me something??), and each one has used a slightly different technique alignment scheme.

All were similar in that a 2 tech was head up on the guard, a 4 tech was head up on the tackle... but from there things just went "crazy-go-nuts!" (just like Billy Crystal's old "Fernando" character) . Anyway, all I can say is that there are several different ways to set up technique alignments, all of them work, and I can't tell you which one is best; it's the old "Less Filling" - "Tastes Great" debate all over again. Below are two that I like: the first is the one used where I coach now and the bottom one is the one I most likely would use were I to start from scratch.

Just do me one favor.

Don't make up any more schemes for this kind of stuff. Because If you do, I might have to shoot you in the kneecap.

Coach Smith

p.s. The info scanned-in below was submitted by Coach Tolly McClatchy on the Rolling Thunder Option message board. You can find it in my links section. You can find the link to Coach McClatchy's defensive website here. It is also in the links section as well.

If you look very closely at the top of this scan, you may notice the author was Paul W. "Bear" Bryant - who credits a Texas high school coach named "Bum" Philips with some input as well!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Play Action Pass Protection

Nothing fancy tonight... just the basics on our play-action protection. the emphasis is on the QB and HB fake for deception. We want our linemen to be agressive and show run to the defense. However there is a point of diminishing returns where they start missing blocks and letting the D linemen by due to poor angles caused by "too much fake not enough block" syndrome. The main thing is knowing who begins the turn-backs... and then picking up the guy that crosses your face. The diagram shows how we would probably react to both a 44 and 50 front defense. We like the playaction look for the vertical game with the X backside Post, the Y Seam, and the Z Fade all working well at different times.

Coach Smith