Play Fast Football is intended to be an informational resource for High School, Junior High, and Pop Warner coaches. It will discuss various topics that affect our level of football through the use of video highlights, video chalk talks, and white board discussions.
I played 4 years of receiver at St Johns University in New York. After that I was a graduate assistant for 2 years at St Johns. I have been a Head High School Coach for the last 13 years. We are a no huddle spread offense with 3 back and option football incorporated. On defense we are a 425 team with split field coverage principles.
|Know What You Want To Get Done|
We are nearing the end of Spring practice so I thought I would talk a little bit about Installation and understanding how to plan the essential things you need to get done. When preparing for Spring practices or Summer Camps I think it is really important you understand what the essential components of your offense and defense are. This time of year is great for emphasizing fundamentals and technique work. You must always keep in mind though that fundamentals and technique must be applied to be effective, so you must provide the blueprint you want to apply the techniques and fundamentals to. That is where your base offensive and defensive schemes come into play. If you talk to lineman about proper stances and weight distribution, eventually they will have to come out of that stance and execute an assignment. Now you have to start right to end right no question, but you have to have an end if you are going to "END" right. That is where your schemes come into play. This time of year it is very important to know what you are hanging your hat on. I am talking about the base structure of your offense and defense.
|Be A Thinking Man|
Let's start on offense. We are a huge tempo, no huddle team. Everything we do starts there. We must teach our different tempo's and work on them all the time. From a schematic standpoint we are always going to start our run game install with the Veer/Zeer Read. If you expect your QB'S to be players that can run read schemes you better get that in first. It is very simple gap blocking up front so it will marry real well with our future run game schemes. Teaching the QB'S and RB'S how to mesh in the read game will always be our first priority. In the passing game we will always start with our 2 quick game concepts. Establishing rhythm in the passing game with relatively easy throws for the QB is a must if you want to develop confidence in your QB. After we get those schemes in we progress to our Jet Sweep/Power Read concepts. The gap veer scheme ties in very nicely with our power blocking scheme and is a natural progression. There will also be a mesh and a read on this play so the progression from the Veer Read is a natural fit for us. From an attacking standpoint now we have a run that attacks the perimeter so we have a nice compliment in our run game now. We then progress to our first 5 step passing game concept which will be Curl/Flat. Now we can teach our lineman our Half Slide protection rules while our QB'S have a fairly simply east/west or horizontal read concept that teaches them to use the pocket and develop the necessary footwork to function as a pocket passer. Our receivers are learning a simple concept that works on spacing and horizontal stretches. After that we go to our Counter scheme in the run game which is also fairly simple because our kids already understand gap blocking schemes. We use the counter play off of our outside run plays so we can protect the integrity of the perimeter runs and slow down the flow of the defense. Next we go to our 3 Man Snag concept in the drop back passing game. This still gives us a simple spacing concept for the QB that is easy to read, but also adds a vertical threat into the mix. That will be the main focus of our install and we will finish with some screen concepts and a play action passing concept. For me, I feel like this teaches our kids the backbone or bread and butter concepts in our offense. Now we can progress into the summer and try and have 90% of the playbook installed by the time summer camp for fall season starts. As far as formations go, they will vary from year to year based on my returning personnel. I think you can be unique in your approach to formations to fit your individual needs.
|Installing Base Defensive Concepts|
As far as our defensive install we are going to start with our 4 man over front, then try and build in our two Odd fronts to protect the even front. Again I think it is very important to stress the importance of stances and starts, reads and keys, run fits, and tackling. Those things will all have to be applied somehow so you need to understand where you want to start. As a 425 team we are going to start with our base coverage system which means working on Quarters and Cover 2 concepts. We will start in our over front with a base coverage call and work against 2x2,3x1, and 2x1 sets. This allows us to apply all our coverage concepts against the possible looks we may get. For the first 3 weeks I focus on defending my own offense because I think it keeps the reps high because it is easier for the scout team than reading scout cards. The last week of practice during game week, I will look at some potential things the opponent may run but that is really not a priority. After we have our base coverage principles in we progress to line stunts and disrupts. We will follow that up with a man free pressure and then last we add a 6 man pressure with zero coverage. After we get our even package for the spring in we progress to our Odd front stuff. The first thing we put in is our 3-3 Stack front which applies all of our over rules and calls with base coverage principles. This way we get a change up front in with no new calls or responsibilities. Then we will add our Dime package stuff which is 6 DB'S in the game while playing from an Okie 3-4 look. In the Spring we always send a 4th rusher and play base coverage rules behind it. Now heading into the summer we have about 70% of our defensive package in. With the 425 we feel like we can line up to anything and our secondary can adjust the coverages accordingly.
I think it is very important to try and stay on your installation schedule unless dramatic developments cause you to change. This spring we are missing 4 offensive lineman due to injuries and personal situations, but I stayed on track and got everything installed. There are some new kids and really young kids so it does not always look clean but at least the concepts, terminology, communication, and operating procedure is taught. Just remember to focus on teaching, developing, and evaluating players during this time of year. Do not allow yourself to get caught up in winning 7 on 7 tournaments or Spring games because your still 0-0 heading into September. Have a plan and stick to it.
|Good Things Come To Those Who Play Fast|