Be Who You Are, Protect Who You Are


One of the biggest problems in coaching today is that there is more information than ever before.  With the internet and social media a coach can get his eyes and hands on almost any piece of football knowledge he craves.  All you have to do is go to you tube and search "inside Zone", or "zone blitzes", or "3-4 Defense" and a world of knowledge is at your fingertips.  While I love to study the game of football and it's constant evolution, this information can set you back more than it can actually help.  You can get flooded with information and lose sight on the techniques and fundamentals that your Offense and Defense need to succeed.  Remember every scheme needs to hang its hat on something.

We have all used the term Bread and Butter before.  It is your go to move.  For Mariano Rivera it was the cutter, for Drew Brees and the Saints its the spacing game.  Joe Gibbs had his 1 Back Counter Trey and Stone Cold Steve Austin has "The Stunner".  When in doubt this is what you do.  The same is true for running an offense or defense.  You have to know exactly who you are and what you are trying to accomplish.  There are so many great ways to move the football on offense, just like there are so many ways to stop people on defense.  But in an attempt to do them all you just water down your system and end up ineffective.  The offseason is a great time for Football Coaches,  you have clinics and webinars and college visits.  There is a wealth of information out there just waiting for you to explore.  The problem is if you explore it with the idea of using it all, you will end up hurting your production more than helping it.

So what is the point of all this?  It's simple, figure out who you are on offense and defense and do things to protect your scheme.  Now keep in mind that doesn't mean running brand new schemes, just wrinkling your own schemes to keep teams off balance.  I'll give you an example of this.  I use an Up Tempo offense that never ever snaps the ball on 2.  We snap the ball on 1 or first sound all the time.  Now you may ask why in the world would you do that?  Well its simple, of the times we snapped the ball on 2 we went offside 25% of the time and the defense only jumped 10% of the time.  So i thought to myself why snap the ball on 2 if there is a greater chance of a penalty on my offense?  With that being said I also need something to slow down the defensive line and their get off.  So what i do is I use freeze tempo as a way for the offense to "Check With Me" and I try to screen and draw real early in the game.  This way i never snap the ball on 2 but i also protect my offensive line. I live in an up tempo world.  That is how I like to play offense.  So I need to know my limitations and where I should invest most of my time to be effective.  We are going to work a ton on Pre and Post Snap reads for the QB and his decision making process.  All of our answers need to be built into the play if we truly want to be up tempo.  That means I can't spend a ton of time on shifts and motions to out leverage the defense.  I also cant try and run Power, Counter, Toss, Trap, Dart, Belly, ISO, Zone, Stretch, and Scissors.  To truly be a Tempo team you will cut down your playbook, formations, motions, trades and shifts but you will protect yourself by varying the tempo and building multiple options into each play call.

The same can be said for defense.  It really does not matter if you are 4-2-5, 3-4, 3-3-5 or "46" just play the scheme that you know best, that fits your personnel, and that you can fix.  But with that being said be able to protect the things you do with other things.  The easiest example of this is watching even front teams use an odd front on passing downs or Vice Versa.  These teams do not magically morph into the other system, they just use the fronts as a protection to their Base Defense.  It adds to the preparation of the offense during the week and makes them a little less effective VS. the base front.  You see the same thing with Single High Defenses having some sort of 2 High coverage structure in their defensive package.  Offenses are going to prepare to beat all the 1 High looks so having a 2 High look protects your 1 High package.  With that said you probably will not be a great 2 High coverage team so use it only as a changeup.  If you are a pressure team then by all means pressure.  But figure out if you are a zone pressure team or a man pressure team and live in that world.  Which ever it is get really, really good at it then use the other as a changeup for protection purposes.  

At the end of the day figure out who you are and get really good at the things you do.  Your kids will respond better and you will understand how to prioritize your time better to be more effective.


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