Monday, December 10, 2007

Some Old Video

My first coaching job was in West Tennessee at Crockett County High School. I volunteered to do the Freshman team my first year in order to learn more and get experience calling plays. Below are some O cuts of the 6-2 '96 team and the 8-0 '98 team which later lost by a touchdown in the 3A championship game in 2000. The video below is from a tape I made to show for a meeting with prospective football players in the 8th grade. My goal was 35 players for the Freshman team. If we lost 10% a year due to transfers, jobs, girlfriends, rules violations, etc., that would still leave us with over 20 Seniors and around 25 Juniors (with a healthy sized Sophomore class, too) with which to field a varsity team. Not bad for 3A.

Note: Google Video is having problems (12/11/07). Hopefully the video will be back online soon. - sts
Crocket Freshman O Cuts '96 and '98

Link to larger video

One thing both teams had in common was a great work ethic. We had the majority of them lifting after school and they didn't just go through the motions. Inertia is a two-way street. Get them used to working early on and it becomes second nature. All things said, the '96 and '98 players were that rare breed that simply will do what you ask them to do with 100% focus and effort... what a great group of young men.

One thing I learned from my time doing Freshmen was that you need a bread and butter straight ahead running play, a bread and butter misdirection play off of that, and a couple of playaction passes to finish it off. I think I called it the "Nuclear Triad." What an idiot... Regardless, I had blundered onto something which I still hold fast to this very day. You need to know how to run your base plays against any front - period- before you start piling-on the supplementary stuff. The same goes for your defense and it's adjustments to various sets. Stick to that, and have a great kicking game, and you reduce your chances of making mistakes and giving your opponent the game on a silver platter. The '96 group ran off tackle iso, power sweep, FB dive, counter trap, playaction, and boot. All plays and rules were straight out of the high school playbook, too. I just kept the formations simple so the guys could help each other when they discusses what they did on each play. Our defense was the high school's base 53 cov 3 and we taught technique. If we called a blitz that season, I can't remember it. The '98 group was even more pared-down. We ran our power toss, counter tray, and playaction passes. We didn't hit a defense that could stop all three phases all season long. In fact, those guys game me the best complement as a coach that you could hope to get. After getting up 28-0 in the first quarter on a pretty good 4A team and watching them fold after that, my guys said that after the practice and prep the actual game was almost a let down. They knew everything to do from both an offensive and defense perspective.

Don't think I didn't walk away from that after game huddle with a big old grin on my face, either.

Coach Smith

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