Monday, December 04, 2006

Plano East VS John Tyler 1994 - Fantastic Finish

"Bingo, Bango, Bongo" (??) - unidentified
sports announcer.

"Greatest comeback of all time... OF - ALL - TIME!!!" - unidentified
sports announcer.

"Break out the Orios, Baby!" - unidentified
sports announcer.

"I... I think I'm gonna throw up..." - 2nd unidentified sport

Sunday, November 05, 2006

We Are Marshall

December 22 2006. Mark your calendar.



"We Are Marshall tells an inspiring true story set in Huntington, West Virginia, a small town steeped in the rich tradition of college football. For decades, players, coaches, fans and families have come together to cheer on Marshall University's "Thundering Herd." For this team and this community, Marshall football is more than just a sport, it's a way of life. But on a fateful night in 1970, while traveling back to Huntington after a game in North Carolina, 75 members of Marshall's football team and coaching staff were killed in a plane crash. As those left behind struggled to cope with the devastating loss of their loved ones, the grieving families found hope and strength in the leadership of Jack Lengyel, a young coach who was determined to rebuild Marshall's football program and in the process helped to heal a community."

The Mesh Revisted

Howdy, Folks!

(my apologies to the M.C. at the Dixie Stampede)

This past season had taught me a lot of things about football. Much has been teaching technique. I had never taught O-Line before, and I was acutely aware of it at the beginning of the season. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it and I seemed to do pretty well with the run blocking techniques. Pass blocking... that's another story. Thank the Lord we were mostly play-action so I wasn't too far over my head. But I've learned a bunch concerning X's and O's... I've seen a lot more even fronts and 3-3 stack down here in North Florida than I would have seen back in Kentucky. I certainly have seen a bunch of D-1 prospects... all unfortunately on the "wrong side" of the line of scrimmage... sigh.

Without a lot of backstory, we ended up switching to the "I" during the season due to a lack of depth at the QB position. We still ran our inside veer and midline, but needed something where we could "just hand the ball off" if our starting QB was injured again. The inside trap was already in (for the cutback dive from splitbacks) so trap and trap option was easy to install as well. I found that "necessity is the mother of invention," as they say, and this split back veer guy found that you "have to do what you have to do." It seemed to help us keep it together offensively, to be sure. When the worst happens, and the "fit hits the shan," you can't be afraid to innovate... that's for sure. Coach B taught me that this year.
The JV stayed with splitback veer (ISV, OSV, Speed Option, Trap and play action) and went 6-2. So my faith in the splitback veer is still unshaken, so all you SB Veer "true-believers" our there can rest easy, lol!

The reason I'm revisiting the Mesh is that I'm in a conundrum concerning the relative importance of aligning the dive back as a true fullback versus a true halfback, having one good inside runner versus two, less filling - tastes great... you get the picture. I find myself nodding in agreement with the FB guys... but if you were to ask me if you would I line up in it myself, I would have to say "no."


It's hard to explain. Perhaps the exchange below will help illustrate my ideas on the matter.

Here's a question I got from a coach a while back:


I would like to hear your thoughts on "Why" the Split Back Veer as opposed
to the Flexbone formation like Navy.

I have coached both, and I am currently on a staff running the Flexbone, but
in my gut I keep feeling that we have more flexibility and less
predictability (because of motion in the flexbone) in the Split Back Veer
instead of the Flexbone.

I look forward to your thoughts/comments.


Here is my reply:


Thanks for the email. I'll do my best to answer your question.

Why use split backs over the flexbone? For me, the answer is simply a matter of personal preference. I feel more comfortable in split backs because that's what I cut my option teeth on.

That's the politically correct answer.

The main reason I like split backs is I prefer the offset dive path of a halfback as opposed to a fullback. I also MUCH prefer the "fast mesh" or "no-mesh" (ala Carson Newman) as opposed to the traditional mesh you get with true fullback sets. I want the dive to hit as fast as possible and I think the No-mesh if ran properly cuts down on fumbles dramatically. I don't think I can get that out of the "I" or any set with a true fullback. I also seldom see a "true" fulback type kid any more. I see plenty of halfback type kids, but not the big kid with speed. Hey, I would love to have a 4.6 (sec 40) 225 FB to establish the dive, but I just don't see that kind of kid very often. Running with 2 HB's also divides-up who "totes the mail." Most of our RB's couldn't take the pounding a FB takes over a season. I guess if I only had one good running back and a bunch of reciever types, the flexbone might be an alternative.

Well, I hope I've answered your question, Coach. I honestly don't have a definitive answer, I just know what I like and what I know how to coach.

Let me know what you think and keep in touch,

Coach Smith"

Another thing I've realized is that Coach Sparks hit the nail on the head when he said the No-Mesh was a way to eliminate rundowns from backside penetration (...which you shouldn't get if you are scooping backside... I know! But you still get that from time to time... admit it!!) Stepping up into the LOS and pointing the ball at the dive read and not reaching back is definitely the way to go in my book - no matter where you align the dive back. If you can do the No-Mesh with a true FB, then I'm all over it. If you can't, then I'll stick with split backs, thank-you-very-much.

I guess I've gone from 50-50 "I don't really care where you put the stinking dive back" to 70-30 "I don't care where you put him... as long as he's 4 yards back and splitting the inside leg of the guard!"

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject. You can leave a comment at the bottom of this post or email me at the address below:

Here is an earlier article concerning the No-Mesh or Point-Mesh.


A while back, I mentioned I would do an article concerning the no-mesh mesh or what I like to call the point-mesh method of reading the dive on the Inside and Outside Veer. So here it is. Actually, this is an excerpt from an email I sent a coach a while back concerning the topic. It's been cleaned-up and spell-checked a few dozen times - which means there's probably no more than 2 or three dozen errors left to correct. Fortunately for me, I can live with that many errors so here it is. Here are my notes and observations from watching Coach Spark's veer install video, hearing him speak about it at his clinic, and first-hand observations from our use of it at M.H.S.

The Point-Mesh Method or No-Mesh Mesh

1. The speed of the dive is important. If you have your HBs sitting back at 5 yards off the ball, it's going to seem like the QB is just standing there waiting for the dive back to make it to the line. In C-N's splitback alignment, the HB's feet are 4 to 4 1/2 yards off the front tip of the ball... And are aligned so as to split the inside leg of the guards (who are 2.5-3 ft from the center.) The dive hits FAST- so the misdirection of the ride-and decide is replaced by the misdirection of Oh-sh**-there-goes-the-dive-back-with-the-ball. The HB's aiming point for ISV is the outside leg of the guard and the inside leg of the tackle for OSV.

2. The path of the QB is important. The QB path is not only down the LOS but up into the LOS as well. This is important- the QB needs to work his first step towards the dive read forward as well as sideways. He is trying to put his foot in line with the toes of the playside guard before the snap. We will lay a half bag down at that angle so it forces the QB up into the LOS as he works down the line during the individual period. They all hate that, but it helps get them going at the proper angle.

3. There is no ride-and-decide in the no-mesh mesh. The QB extends the football out straight at the dive read while gripping the football firmly in both hands. If the dive read does anything besides step straight in at the QB, he leaves the ball extended and hands off to the HB. If the dive read comes at the QB, he pulls slightly before the HB arrives and continues to the pitch read. The HB rolls over the "ball" and is either tackled by the dive read or if he is able continues up field to help seal-off inside pursuit.

Coach Sparks said on his tape he did this due to 60% of C-N's fumbles on the option coming from mesh problems. I also heard at one of his excellent C-N clinics that the speedier dive (and the QB being up into the line) helps reduce problems with backside pursuit. It also takes away angles for defensive linemen trying to slow-play the dive, feather, etc.

4. Some might think the no-mesh (or point mesh) is too difficult to read. The idea to put into the QB's head is this: if he just guesses every time on the dive read, he should be right about 50% of the time. All we want him to do is be right 25% more of the time. Don't pressure him too much- many times our QBs have missed the dive and given the ball when we should have kept -- but we ended up with decent yardage due to the HB's momentum, the speed of the dive, and the dive read not being able to get more than an arm across the path of the ball carrier. Our biggest plays seem to come off the dive... The HB hits it and nobody knows he has the ball until he's at the depth of the FS.

Here is a video clip where you can see the angle pretty good. Notice the QB is getting up in the LOS and he doesn't swing the ball back and ride the HB. In this clip, we are facing 40 front and end up reading a DE instead of a DT.

The next clip shows the QB keeping on ISV. If you watch it a few times, you'll se that he almost immediately pulls the ball back in for the keep. The "give" is technically what we are supposed to do when the dive read squats on the LOS, which is pretty much what the read did. However, he does "box in" completely, and seeing this gave the QB the impression that he had committed to the dive. I've said it before, reading the dive is more "art" than "craft." Another factor may be that the QB is one of only four seniors on the field along with a host of freshmen - including the dive HB. I think the QB might have taken it upon himself to try and carry the team at times. He was (and is) a competitor.

Well, that's about it. If you want to see a few more clips, here is the link to some Outside Veer from a previous post.

Coach Smith

Friday, September 22, 2006

Attacking the Big, Bad 3-5

This post will be online Saturday night.
(Awe hell, it took til late Sunday... refunds for everyone! And it's late, so typos be damned!)

Below are the two diagrams I posted initially concerning this post.

Okay, If you took a look at the diagrams above, you may have come to the same realization we did concerning the 3-5. While I'm sure there are many coaches who will be glad to tell me all the built-in checks and balances the 3-5 has in it to stop such things, I've found the following to work pretty well.

!. The Wing alignment.

The 3-5 team we saw used the DE asthe contain player. If you gave him a slot, he would drop off and in the hook-to-flat area... sometimes up in the rec's face and other times at linebacker depth. We'll get to that in a minute. We also wondered if they would liden him against a wing... not wanting to get outflanked and all.

That's exactly what we did. Staying with our terminology, we gave our signal for a crack to the Z (wingback) so he would know to block on an inside path. This left the CB as the pitch and the widened DE as the pitch. Oh, how I wish our our starting QB had not been out for this game... our converted TE with 1 week of practice was in no way ready to read a dive so we told him to always give... there were times the keep would have scored... and the QB might still be running!

Later against thier J.V. this play, and the ISV in next diagram, proved to be an effective adjustment to the stack and that "impossible" to block stack OLB! The key moment is when they finally decide to adjust. You can see several things, but the main two would be the three LBs bumping to the TE... or the entire front shading to the TE similar to a weak-eagle 50. If the first occurs, run ISV weak... widening the psT's splits of course! If the latter occurs, then bring in the SE so he can seal/crack the psOLB and run ISV weak... comboing the 3 tech and reading the 5 tech (Speed Option is also a good idea) for the dive and moving the pitch phase to the CB. There are many other things, of course, but the OSV from the Wing set worked really well.

#2 The Tight Flex.

(Whoops! Left off the back paths on the diagram! ...will fix later...)

I had asserted rather childishly in the past that the "best" way to defeat the 3-5 was in the air. Yes... if you have Dan Marino Jr. at the helm.

While we looked at getting the flex and running some ISV for our varsity, without our starting option QB, we decided to shelve it. However, when the J.V. game rolled around, I decided to take it off the shelf and dust it off...

Another way to attack the stack is to again widen the DE and bring the TE down on the stacked Sam OLB. My advice on his split was to "never alignso wide that he couldn't get down on the psOLB with more than three big strides." The psT veer releases inside the DT but must get vertical so he can pick up a psOLB that's blowing up C gap. I widened the OT and put the responsibility of blocking the NG on the Center alone. Work hard on scoops with him and have him "climb the ladder" once he gets into that playside knee... the psG can help vs a shaded NG, but then the MLB is unblocked. We didn't get that. Our psG zone stepped in then up at the MLB... again with a healthy 3 foot split.

After looking at the angles, I told our HBs that this is one week the veer lane just might not be there and to not "freak-out" if they found themselves running straight up the field. I had hopes the either the psT or TE -- whoever didn't get the psOLB -- would come upfield and at least get in the way of the FS... alas, with only 3 days to practice for the JV, we were less than perfect in that regard. But if the FS is having to make tackles on a hard-running HB with the initial hit coming at 7 to 10 yards downfield... well, I can live with that.

Again, look for the defense trying to shore up the strong side wome way and have a plan to attack weak. But to paraphrase Coach Sparks, "run strong versus a balanced defense and run weak versus an unbalanced defense." Or something like that.

I will have to admit, the 3-5 was one of the hardest defenses I've come across with respect to scheming it. And if you insist on going on a long snap count (a bad idea; hint, hint!) they can still move people around and mess up reads and stuff like that. But I will also say we saw a whole lot less of that against us (when we did go on a regular count) than the other teams we saw on film. I guess the option makes even the mightiest of 3-5 coordinators play assignment football...

Just a little.

Coach Smith

I'm Back, Part II

Well, it's been a roller-coaster ride and we're not even to the half-way point in the season. Our very good second string QB transferred during the summer, so of course our starting QB separated his shoulder in the Kickoff Classic game. Did I mention our starting right guard was also out with a high ankle sprain?

Needless to say, it's been tough. Making the switch to O-Line from RBs/QBs was a challenge, but when we were running the veer, it was okay. I felt I could do a pretty good job with the run blocking techniques as it is low, hard, and down in the legs. But when we switched to the "I" and the power game due to necessity, I have really felt as if I was no longer the right man for the job.

Not a great way to start off the season.

Coach Bennett has a saying, "It's time to bow-up," and it's a good one. This past week vs. Madison, with our option QB back (much quicker than anticipated), we switched back to the veer and gashed them in the second half. The backs and line had the best game of the short season versus what is argueably the best defense they have faced yet. After an 80 or 90 yard drive, it all came down to an inside veer... 4th and goal on the three yard line with about 6 minutes left to play - down by six points. We had them on the ropes and out of gas. The play was there... but we didn't get in.

I'm not going to dwell on what happened because it isn't worth the effort. What went wrong can be fixed, and we have a heck of a foundation with which to build the second half of the season.

It's gonna be quite a ride.

Coach Smith

Monday, July 24, 2006

Attacking the Split 6 Defense

Over on Rolling Thunder's Message Board, the question was posed on how to attack the Split 6 defense. This particular defense has 3 technique defensive tackles, 7 technique defensive ends, and Inside Linbackers stacked over the 3 techniques.

I sat down and thought about this defense for a while. Below is the reply I came up with - perhaps others will comment as well.


Coach, we like to run midline at a 3 tech if possible.

also, any 44-style defense has trouble covering the flat in play action... I like a 12 yard In/Curl by the Flanker with the TE running a flat route underneath off play action off veer action...

Twins and Twins-Open might make the OLBs widen... if not, work the 3 step game... 5 yard hitches with automatic fades if the CB aligns 5 yards or closer...

Lead Option might help the LB/3 Tech stunts:

The backside Seam or Post off play action to the Te or SE can be a good call vs. a cover 3 FS that wants to be an alley player for the option...

The Crazy or Spinner Option could trap that 7 tech...

the handback trap ran to the 7 tech might not be too bad a play - seems like JT Curtis runs something like that...

Just some ideas, Coach. Ideally, you will get them out of 8 in the box by offensive alignment and run your veer... but if you can't... vs. stack defenses, I think it can help to switch over to more double options like Midline, Speed, and Lead to help account for possible gap exchanges that might mess up veer reads and blocking assignments.

Coach Smith

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I'm Back!

Well, It's been an eventful school year. Thank goodness its over. Every part of my life was a series of ups and downs.... (what was left of) my marriage, teaching basic mathematics (yet) again, my desire to coach, my social life... it was all a mixed bag. Its hard to get yourself back on solid ground in life when there's no "firm footing" to be found. So if you have been wondering why I've not been too enthusiastic about Veersite, well, let's just say it was part of a pattern.

Thankfully, that pattern has been broken.

Nuff Said.

I've moved and am now an assistant coach at a high school in Florida. I'm much more excited about my teaching, my coaching, and I might even have a social life again one of these days!

Well, two out of three ain't bad, according to Meatloaf.

Coach Smith

ps. I've got to give Coach Jody Hagins of Summerville, SC credit for successfully doing the "Where's Waldo" and figuring out the high school I've started working out. Coach figured it out from 3 clues... but I'm pretty sure he would have gotten it right with less. The man should be a private detective!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Night of the Living Walmart

Well, my first post in a while and its not even related to football... Unless you count the fact that I'm a football coach and it happened to your's truly. Works for me!

Watch For Falling Prices

"Watch for falling prices." A very successful slogan for Walmart back in the day. I found out Friday night, unfortunately, that falling prices aren't the only things you have keep from landing on you.

It started simple enough... while my Pathfinder is in the shop having it's 170K-mile transmi$ion rebuilt, Coach Bennett was nice enough to offer me his pickup truck to go to the store. (p.s. I just gave you a clue to my present whereabouts... sorta like "Where's Waldo!") Anyway, it seemed inoccent enough, but little did I know what was, literally, "in store" for me.

I should have noticed the signs...

Yep, things definitely were amiss.

Welcome to Walmart. May I eat your brain?

It was late, though, so I missed a few subtle hints that perhaps tonight wasn't going to be my night.

After loading-up on Skillet Select Dinners, I made my way to the pet section. I have four dogs, and the oldest is getting up there in years. I decided it would be nice if I got her and the three other dogs each a big, soft dog bed pillow to sleep on.

Remember when you were a kid and you loosened the lid on the restaraunt salt shaker so it would spill it's entire contents onto the plate of the next poor slob to pick it up?

Hey, I'm the Next Poor Slob!

Well, I used to be that kid. If I had a nickle for every time I left one like that, I would be a rich man. Well, tonight, it was my turn. This is the part where I met the recieving-end of the ol' Karma-Boomarang.

Warning signs - they're all around us... telling us to look out for this... watch out for that. All you have to do is pay attention and you see them everywhere.

I look way up on the top shelf and see the dog pillows perched precariously on the edge. In plain sight and visible for all to see is the following: "Please get assistance with items on the top shelf." Of course, I'm the kind of take-charge guy who waits for no mere "associate" and takes matters into his own hands... So I pull down pillow one... pillow two and three... and then pillow four. But number four is the same color as pillow one and I think to myself that each dog should have a different color pillow in order to remember where they sleep. Now I know full-well that dogs would be considered color-blind with respect to humans and the different colors on these pillows are more for the owner's sake than for anything else. But I was being "me" that night... and it was a quarter 'til one A.M. So I reach up and give it a pull.

The ironic part is now I have no idea what which of the four pillows was number four; I've completely forgotten what color was so appealing. As the pillow clears the shelf I see something getting dragged down with it out of the corner of my eye.

I usually get my dogs dry food. I save the canned stuff for treats and other occations. However, tonight I was "getting" a certain special can of dogfood whether i wanted it or not. I didn't know exactly what was tumbling down off the top shelf right at my head, but I did know it was coming apart or something as it fell. It is a small comfort looking back that at least I still have reflexes good enough to avoid an open can of rancid dog food falling at my head at one in the morning in a strange Walmart in North Florida (clue #2, waldo fans). I had little time to congradulate myself however as it fairly exploded upon impact - showering my shoes and lower legs with a hearty blend of rotten meat, black fluid, and maggots. Mmmmmm, Mmmmm! That's good eatin', Folks!

The worst part is it got on the dog pillow and I had to settle with another color. Dammit, now I'm pissed! Ah yes, how could I have been so foolish - it was a variation on the old salt shaker ploy. Except they had upped the ante by wrapping an open can of dog food in a pet pillow! Yep, the first thing they teach you in the Cub Scouts - always check your pillow for rancid dog food! I would have smacked my forehead like the V-8 commercial except I was trying to figure out what in the heck I was smelling. It was bad, that much was immediately apparent. It will be hard to describe, but I'll give it a shot. Let's see... Imagine your 10 closest friends. Now imagine them defecating into a 5 gallon bucket one after the other. Now carefully sit that bucket in the hatchback of a black Trans Am on the 4th of July. Make sure you leave the windows rolled up, Sports Fans! Now take out the bucket in a couple of days, stick your head over it, and breathe in. Do all that and you will begin to get a picture of what "Isle 12" smelled like... and not just Isle 12... Ol' Steve (at least the lower third of me) now smelled like that, too!

I'll skip through the rest of the evening, but I can attest that my "shopping experience" made the term "sub-par" look like getting an A+ on the GRE. The best was check out. I don't know which i liked more, the dude that came up behind me while i was unloading my buggy or the reaction of the check out girl. Dude started out acting all put-out cause he was having to wait (you've had to tolerate this cat too, I'm sure) Imagine my glee when he almost threw-up on himself when he invaded my "personal space" in a vain attempt to make me hurry. Sorry, Dude, the Stevemeister doesn't rush! To add insult to injury I loudly and proudly proclaimed, "Hey, I think I just sh*t myself... How 'bout that!?"

Super Plus - an extra gallon of holding capacity!

He suddenly decided another check out isle was the place to be.

I kinda felt sorry for the poor check out girl struggling to scan my items with one hand while holding her nose and mouth with the other. That little scan window can be pretty honery, especially when you're in a hurry it seems. I explained to her what had happened, but after the "soiling myself" comment I made to Dude, I wonder if she believed me?

Probably not.

The ride home was a windy one, what with the windows down and all. I was almost used to the stench by the time I pulled in the driveway as I was able to put up all my groceries before hitting the shower. I fell into a fitful sleep filled with images of pet pillows, rotten meat coming at my head, literally being buried under an "avalanch of values", and then Rosie O'Donald shows up in in a G-string.

What a flippin' nightmare!

Consider this advice, Sports Fans - and a warning - always check your shelving for booby-trapped exploding meat cans before giving something a yank. The wardrobe you save just might be your own!

Coach Smith

ps. Week one of Spring practice is in... more to come as I experience installing the Veer from scratch for the first time!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Long Time No Post

Well, the title sums it up. There's been a lot going on with me on a personal level the past month preparing to move cross-country to a new job in a new state. I'm not going to name the school where I'll be coaching because we'd kinda like to keep moving to the ol' split back veer a secret as long as possible. I will say it's a southern state. But that's it. I'll update after week one 'cause I am one fired-up individual and I think great things are in store for this upcoming season!

The Carson-Newman Clinic was awesome! I ran into several old friends and made several new ones... I'd especially like the coaches I met from Central Florida to shoot me an email ( since I've slept and forgotten exactly where they were from and have no way to contract them from my end - but they were an extremely nice group of guys. Bill Curry was an absolutely outstanding speaker and I am so very, very pleased to know that Coach David Cutcliffe (who also spoke at the clinic) will be running the offense this season for my Vols. As usual, Coach Turner was "the man" during the breakout session and Coach Sparks deserves cudos for coordinating yet another wonderful clinic. I'll type up my clinic notes in a few weeks but for now I'm finishing up my last week at M.H.S. this week and preparing to move sometime around the 13th of April. So there may not be many updates until I manage to get internet (and phone) service up and running. Wish me luck!

Well, in the spirit of April 1st, I have to pay homage to one of the all-time greats in the coaching profession, Jules Winnfield. You may remember that he had vowed to his friend Vincent to "walk the Earth" the last time we saw him. Little did we know that the man, no, the legend would find his way to coach youth hockey. I can only hope that he one day sees fit to turn his formidble talents to the gridiron. I would say that Coach Winnfield would put an end in a hurry to what Coach Wyatt calls "McFootball."

Coach Jules Winnfield

Click on the pic. Clip will open in your Media Player.

Alternative link to video clip

" And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengence upon thee..."
- Coach Jules

" ...where I'm from we call this the Engelwood Jack..."
- Coach Jules

Continuing with this post's ice hockey theme, here's a link to Coach Reggie Dunlop's magnificent half time speech . (do they call it half time in hockey??) Anyway, it is truly a study in motivational psychology!

Beware, however of some brief R-rated language, some not-so-brief violence, and of course, the wonderful hockey-stick-to-the-heads-of-all-the-opposing-players-in-the-box move! Not since Moe, Larry, and Curly have such moves been seen on the big screen... I tell ya, it's movie magic all rolled up into a few minutes, folks!

All kidding aside, there is some rough language in this clip including the F-Bomb... you may not want to play it if you have children present in the room, parents.

You have been warned!

Now click on this picture if you are an adult and prepare to laught your butt off.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

3 Wides vs. the 33 Cover 3

Well, I'm still working on this post, but I thought I would put up what I've got. All I've got so far is the diagram below and what's staring at me from the whiteboard hanging on the wall.

Play action looks good to the flat since it's cover 3. If the DEs start hanging in the flats, then Speed and Lead Option should go big when you get the ball to the perimeter. I like running lead draws if they tend to just rush 3 on passing downs. Motioning a HB out and trapping to the motion could be a big gainer. I also like motioning the opposite HB weak and getting him matched up with the weak side OLB on the Smash (or Corner) route. Running ISV or Lead/Speed to that motion might or might not be worth a look depending on how they react to it... be ready. It's a balanced defense, so running strong makes sense. Pass plays I like against it are All Curl, the Seam (reading the FS), Sail, and the Hitch weak and the Bubble strong if they insist on bring the DEs in from the flats.

I'm out of time for tonight... I'll get some play diagrams up this weekend.

Have a good rest of the week,

Coach Smith

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Starburst 3-Way Kickoff Return

I know this isn't veer related, but I've gotten so many requests for info on the 3-Way K.O. Return from over on Coach Huey's board that I've decided it would just be easier if I posted the info up here on Veersite. Now, instead of retyping (I'm not a very good typist), all I have to do is refer coaches back to this page.

We ran a version of this return back in the late 90's at Crockett County High School. My tape with that footage is gone, but there is a clip of it on that old freshman highlight video I put up. If I could get it going on the Freshman level, I hope this would encourage you to try it on the varsity level as well.

Coach Smith

Link to video of a team running the return very well.

Link to PDF of an article about the return: here.

Sunday, February 05, 2006 Problems, the host for veersite and about a zillion other personal websites is having some problems this weekend. They are working on fixing the problem(s) but it may take a couple more days from what I've peiced together.

Also, If you have been expecting film from me and havne't gotten it, please email me at and give me a reminder. I've gotten two emails from coaches I should have sent stuff to a long time ago...

Coach Smith

ps. I don't want to jinx it, but there's a very good chance I'll be coaching in Florida next season. I've visited with a great coach down there who is commited to running the split back veer and I'm excited about the prospect of being a member of his staff. I'm not crazy about moving so far from my family members who are getting up there in years, but I'll know what I need to do when the time comes.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Gameplanning Defenses Continued: The 43

Here's the 43 with 1 and a 3 technique defensive tackles and 5 tech DEs mentioned a few posts ago. The DEs are taking dive, the OLBs are scraping hard for QB, and the Safeties are flying up for pitch.

I sat down and came up with a few ideas concerning what might work veresus this alignment and player responsibilities.

Against a 52 or a 43 with the rolling cover 4, the cutback-fold or cutback trap can be a good gainer if the halfback can break into the second level. The safety opposite backfield flow is usually concerned about getting back to that deep third (as he should be) and isn't hanging around for misdirection. Now for the next two plays. If you find that the ps DE is squeezing down and getting the HB, you are primed to run some boot action his way. I have this play diagrammed here.

The Midline ran to the 3 tech and the ISV ran to the 1 tech is standard fare for option teams everywhere. There are two problems with the 3 wide alignment I've chosen, however. For the Midline, you really would like to have a TE coming off the psT block of the DE to seal on ILB. You can adjust to this with some motion by the "Y." (Just be sure to use this motion in other situations to avoid giving the defense a coveted 100% key) The second problem is the balanced defensive alignment. You really want to run strong in this situation to take advantage of the numbers. But if you do, you have that problematic 3 tech that can be a challege to block one-on-one with the psG and unleash the MLB if the psT can't come of the doubleteam fast enough to cut him off. My solution is to motion the "Y" quickly across the formation to the side of the 1 tech and arc him to the OLB or FS. If the defensive secondry rolls up to the motion, you probably have the playaction slant and Speed Option away from motion for sure.

Speaking of runnng strong, the Speed Option to the strong side looks to be a solid play - especially if you have repped the "C" backfield action to perfection. This action will serve to freeze the LBs and safeties for a moment - setting them up for the crack blocks of "Y" and "Z."

Getting back to the passing game, the 4 across look by the secondary might aid the safeties getting to the pitch, but it should serve to hinder pass drops - especially if they like to run a cover 2. For this reason, I've decided to try the old BYU "63" "middle flood" route. Like Chow says, you get that "oblique stretch" by the receivers - right in the middle of a secondary aligned to help stop the option. You also get 2 backs in blocking to better protect your five step drop.
I like this route and especially play action in this situation.

Speaking of play action, I've seen the "Y" come wide-open against this coverage at the SS runs up to make a big stick on the option. I've also seen the backside Post (or Split route) come open against safeties that tend to come flat as they rotate to their third. I've got this drawn up where the QB is reading the SS then switching backside if the SS drops. the backside route needs to be ready to turn the Post into a Dig if it looks like he can't get behind the FS. It will probably be so obvious from the box which route is open that you may want to just tag it when you send the play in.

The last play I thought might be worth a look is our take on the "Crazy Option." We trap or log the DE instead of pitching off of him, so I've gone to calling our play the Spin Option in order to highlight the differences between the two plays. Anyway, I like misdirection versus the secondary rotation and this is about the only other misdirection play I can think of other than running the counter-trey. I really like running that to a TE, so it's out as long as I stay in 3 wides. You could run it, though.

There's a lot more that you can run against this, and I'm eager to see that your suggestions will be.

Coach Smith

ps. I'd like to send out a big "Hello" the latest two members to Veersite who have signed up on Frapper (Friend Mapper), Coach Nicholson and Coach Kennedy. And I've hopefully fixed the problem registering for the message board - I see new posts beginning to spring up again.