Saturday, December 24, 2005

Coach Bill Adams

Bill Adams: July 6, 1930 - Dec. 21, 2005

I was saddened to learn this weekend that my high school football coach had passed away this Wednesday. At first, I couldn't comprehend it; Coach Adams was a big strong guy and sometimes the term "bigger than life" seemed to fit him pretty well. Guys like that are supposed to outlast us all. At least it seems that way in Coach Adams' case... although I must admit I am certainly biased.

He was one of a dying breed: the truly hard-nosed coach who knew when he needed to lay into a kid... yet also knowing when he needed to offer a kind word. He didn't tolerate anything but perfection, althought during the lean years when I played, perfection wasn't something his players often managed to produce. But he taught me that you always play with intensity and guts and that you shouldn't walk out onto a football field unless you were man enough to dish it out or take it. "Mouth" didn't win football games in Coach Adams' world and he sure didn't tolerate showboating or poor sportsmanship. And the head-spinning gal in "the Exorcist" didn't have anything on what your's would do if Coach Adams got hold of your facemask after you had made a particularly bone-headed play. Looking back, what was nice was that parents didn't get hot and mad if it happened, they knew that Coach Adams was simply making a point the best way possible: simple, blunt and direct. They didn't get mad and pull their kids and all the mess you see these days. On the contrary, they appreciated that Coach Adams would give it to us straight. Kind words might be few and far between on the sideline Friday nights, but he would always give you your due when we ran through film. I learned fast that all it took was all I had. Be it drills, team O and D, sprints, or game time... I gave everything I had... and after a while it became a habit. I have no doubt he appreciated it.

Regardless of individual ability or the outcome of the game, all Coach Adams asked of his players were their best. If you gave him that, then he managed to find the positives... even when they weren't always obvious or in great supply. I learned a lot from him that has helped me make it through life's ups and downs... and I'm a better man for having known him. Of course I didn't tell him this directly the last time I talked with him a year or so ago at his home... that would have been out of character for him and me as well. But he did listen intently as I told him what I had been up to over the past few years... about the teaching and especially the coaching. I told him how a lot of what I learned under him had helped me and he seemed pleased. I guess even then, I still wanted to impress the man. I hope he noticed... I'm sure he appreciated it if he did.

Some things never change.

Thank God.

Coach Bill Adams' Obituary

Merry Christmas!

Wow, I've been really impressed on the "Happy Holiday" Backlash this Christmas. I never expected that people would be quite so vocal in telling the "social elite" to butt-out of their holiday season. All I can do is clap my mitten-covered hands together and say, "Heck Yeah!" Perhaps we are seeing the begining of the end of the era of political correctness. Let's certainly hope so.

If you like the pictures below, you might have the political slant necessary to appreciate the humor at There you'll find many, many more political satire pics along a similar line.


Gameplanning : 3-5 and 4-3 Defenses

This post is something I've been wanting to do for a while now: Gameplan against defenses we see at the high school level. I've decided to start off with the 3-5-3 (or, if you're semi-middle-aged like me, the 53 Cov 3 with drop ends) I've seen a lot of coaches asking questions on the message boards on how to attack the 3-5-3. I've drawn it up against a 3 wideout splitback formation... but don't feel you have to stay with that formation alone. Also, the DTs are shading to 5 tech's when the DEs are dropped off... and they get in 4-Is when there's a TE liked up to thier side. The DE walks up and plays a "tough" technique on the TE - squeezing him down hard if he combos with the OT and staying on the LOS. The OLBs are mostly playing QB to Pitch, but they and the DEs are playing games whenever there is a TE lined up. I've got my own ideas on what might work best (hence the 3 wides), but feel free to get into 2 tights and run it down thier throats. BTW, the D line is pretty good, so good luck. Every so often, they also will jump into Cover 0 (man with no safety) and send the house.

My advice is to finesse this group as your O line is faster, but out-weighed around 30 lbs a man from tackle to tackle (if they weren't, what's to keep you from lining up in the Power I and running it down thier throats?!) Have fun.

The second defense is your standard 4-3. They are insisting on shading to the twins (DTs - 3 and a 5) and the DEs play a 5 if there's no TE and a 7 tech if there is a TE. The OLBs and DE's are playing games and the safeties are rolling up like a shot if near back dives about 75 percent of the time... but every so often the SS rolls up and they give you a cover 3 behind it... or the corners and safeties switch up who rolls up to take pitch. they don't play man - at least on the film you've seen. The front 7 is quick and athletic and the LBs all scrape fast and are very agressive.

I feel like the guy on the old Mission: Impossible TV show who records the taped message at the begining. Your "mission," should you choose to accept it, is to come up with the best game plan possible for each defense. Try to stick to around 5 running and 5 passing plays total since I'm one of those "purists" who will "run no play before it's time." (some of you may remember the old Earnest ans Julio Gallo Wine slogan - some of you won't)

Send your comments, scans, etc. to In the subject line, put "gameplan" so I'll know what it's about. And if you're one of the several coaches I've promised to send some video to, I'm working on it (although a nice email to remind me might be wise!)

Well, have fun with it and I'll tabulate and post the results as they come in. Please state if you do or do not want to be credited with your solution. If you don't specify, I'll assume you're cool with having your name posted. You've been warned!

Have a good one and Merry Christmas!

Coach Smith

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Update: No-Mesh Mesh

I added some links to game footage where you can see the No-Mesh Mesh being used. Again, the first place I ever heard of using this was Carson-Newman under Coach Ken Sparks. He and his staff are the originators of the No-Mesh Mesh to the best of my knowledge. (scroll down and you'll see scans of this years' clinic flyer. Hey, Coach Sparks, I need a little, uh, payola for all these free "plugs" I'm giving the clinic! LOL)

You will also find a new diagram that might show the angles better than my written description did. I know I've had some questions about the point-read method method over the last couple of weeks and hopefully this will help make things more clear. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so hopefully it will!

The No-Mesh Mesh

Coach Smith

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Brother... Can You Spare A Job?

Ha, ha... just joking! Well, sort of... I mean, I am looking for a new job for next year, but I'm not really looking to go around bugging you, the loyal Veersite reader, for a job.

Not yet, at least!

I am, however, looking for a challenge and a change for next year. Sometimes its easy to get complacent and get into a rut... each year blurring into the next until you look in the mirror one day and there's a tired, old face staring back at you whispering, "the Horror... the Horror..."

Wait, that was Colonel Kurtz from "Apocolypse Now." Sorry.

How about, "Where the hell did all the time go?" Yeah, that's more like it.

Well, don't worry - I'm not that guy. I hope I never will be, either. What I am is a coach looking for a team that wants to run the option and work the short to medium range passing game. I want to be in the thick of it, working hard and making a difference. I would rather not move - again- but I've got to face facts and be real; we're a small football team with a lot of good coaches and I'm running a bit low in the seniority department. And I'll be 40 my next birthday.

Nuff Said.

It could be worse... at least I've still got (most of) my hair.

If you know of a team that is looking for a motivated option coach, please drop me a line at . I would like to remain in the Southeastern US, but I'm not ruling anything out at this point. The last time I checked, a regulation field was 53 & 1/3 yards by 120... no matter where you put it.

Have a good one,

Coach Smith



Friday, December 09, 2005

March 3rd - March 5th Mark Your Calendar

It came today in the mail, the brochure for the 2006 Carson-Newman Football Clinic. I know I have gone on in the past about this clinic, but let me take a moment to do so again.

I love this clinic. I love the fact that Coach Sparks knows the great responsibility we as coaches have concerning the young men who play for us. I love the fact that you see coaches sitting up and taking note of what's being said - not worrying about skipping out to do who-knows-what. I like the fact you can bring your wife to this clinic and she won't be bored out of her mind. I like the fact that you will hear men give testimony as a matter of fact. I like the interesting speakers you'll find there and the break-out sessions where you can quiz the coaches of what might be the last, best veer program in the nation. And I especially like the fact that you will meet some of the best coaches and all-around nice guys you're likely to find anywhere.

I once heard that "if you want to make God smile, just tell him your plans." Well, I don't want to ignore that sage advice, but if it's all the same to Him, I know where I'd like to be on March third 2006.

Nuff Said.

Coach Smith

click each image for a larger version

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Laughing My A$$ Off

I was browsing through various posts on the X's and O's of Football Forum and ran across this. I almost fell outta my chair when I read the last line!

Re: tantrums
« Reply #5 on Today at 5:19pm »

We had a good one in practice this year. A DE took some of the DL's motivation to heart and went off. He grabbed a set of small aluminum bleachers-the kind about 5 seats high- turned it over and rolled it. During the break the guys were all trying to pick it up and nobody could (and, yes I did try it after the kids left.Heavy).

The kid has an anger management problem. Last year he got mad about something and ripped the locker room door off the hinges.

Why do we keep him around? Two reasons:
1. He's really a good kid. I mean, he really is. "Yes sir, No sir" kid who takes things out on things, not people.
2. Well, duh! He's a DL who can throw bleachers and rip doors off the hinges.

Well, Duh!!! :-)

Have a good one,

Coach Smith

ps. New update this weekend and - coming soon - Coach Smith hunts for a job!