Monday, March 10, 2014

Reno Glazier Clinic

I attended the Reno Glazier this past weekend.

Here are my clinic notes, hope you can pick up something useful from them.

A couple things... Noel Mazzone was awesome to listen to.  He is a great speaker, entertaining, and his system is everything I want our offense to be.  Sadly he had to live earlier than expected to so his 5 sessions got cut in half, but still got some useful information from him.

Click for Mazzone notes Here.

A highlight was probably meeting Jerry Campbell.  He is great to hear at a clinic, he is energetic, and demands the audiences respect and attention.  There's no coming in late or sleeping in the back.  He made some great points about stimulus response and was a captivating speaker.

Notes from Paul Golla and Jerry Campbell are here.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

San Francisco Glazier Clinic Notes

This weekend I went to the San Francisco (Concord really) Glazier Clinic.

Rather than take notes on paper and never be able to read them again, I now take notes on my iPad using an app called Paper Desk.

This app is only a couple bucks, works well and I can sync everything to my dropbox automatically.  This app allows me to type text, as well as freehand draw in different colors.

Below is a dropbox link to my notes from this year's clinic.  I generally try to stick with one speaker for all 3 topics rather than bounce around from speaker to speaker.  I've found most speakers reference their earlier lectures and you get a better overall experience listening to one speaker for all of their sessions.

Please excuse the sloppiness of some of the diagrams, I lost my stylus after the first session and my ability to draw via finger tip is not as good as with a stylus.

There were many speakers from out of state.  Each shared something "special" that they do not normally share when speaking in their own state for fear of it getting back to their opponents.  Out of respect for these speakers', I deleted these "special points" from the notes, so they don't end up in the wrong hands.

Clinic Notes

Monday, January 27, 2014

Naked Concept

I want to share an awesome play action concept that was one of our best plays this past season.

Our Naked Bootleg Concept

I've run bootlegs before. We did some last season from a 100% 4 wide environment. At my alma mater we ran a lot of bootleg off of our criss cross action. This year I would say the Naked concept was cleaned up some because of the great work of Coach Grabowski..
If you haven't picked up his ibook yet, do yourself a favor and get it. There's a ton of information there that heavily influenced what we did offensively this year. We only scratched the surface this year, I plan to include more of his concepts this upcoming season.

The core components of the Naked concept

A vertical play side route... We used both the "K Route" (an inside stemmed corner) and a Go route. The K route is great because that inside stem helps sell the run action better to the Corner, thus opening up space behind him. We ended up going to a Go route at the end of the season because our K routes were getting sloppy and we weren't getting deep enough.

A deep drag or out route... from a slot or a TE.

A backside post with a hard inside stem to not out run QB's arm

A flat/DE control route - this route is the most important in my opinion. It is his job to control that back side DE... it is "Naked" meaning OL is full run flow the other way. He has to take an angle at the DE so DE thinks he will be blocked. This flat route runner can't be in a hurry to get out on his route. If the DE is up the field, he will lose his route and block the DE so the QB can set up and throw elsewhere. This was something we struggled with. We need to do a better job of picking this DE up to avoid costly sacks.

The flat route can come from anywhere. Same side, across the formation, from an H back... even a TE.

From the 21 personnel offset pistol we used last year it would look like this

Naked to the TE side. TE in this case would run the deep out. We are trying to get 15 yards deep.





Here we have Naked going away from the TE. He now has the drag, trying to get behind LBs and be at the other hash at 15.




Here's some film with my horrible voice over. Only thing holding back my rap career is the fact that my voice isn't deep enough.













One thing you will notice from the pistol is the mesh mechanics we used. I got this from Coach Grabowski as well. It is a reverse pivot, followed by 2 steps vertical, looking back at the RB, with open hand extended. This he feels, is the best way to sell the play action. We fooled a lot of defenses, and quite often our own coaching staff (if they didn't hear the play call).
I am contemplating whether or not I want to keep the reverse out next season. I agree it sells the play action better, hides the ball well, but I felt at times, especially if it wasn't a great snap, it slowed the RB and the timing of the play down a little bit.


I want to leave you with one last concept off of naked. I put this in late in the year, I really thought we would hit it for a big play but never did. It is a wheel concept. It's drawn up below from Twins, with the TE and FB still doing the same assignments. The major difference is that I have the X running a deep post with the Z running a wheel route. I hoped the Corner would follow the Post, opening up a home run to our wheel route but the corners stayed very disciplined.

I am thinking it might be better to send X on a GO route to remove him from the picture, and hit the wheel route trailing him.

I think it definitely had big play potential, and I will continue to play with what route configuration works best for us on it.













Friday, January 24, 2014

Meal Prep For Coaches

Recently I have really gotten in to fitness and nutrition.  I don't plan on being a body builder or anything, but I value looking and feeling good.  I have done any polling or research into our profession, but just from staring at teams' sidelines... there is a large percentage of football coaches who are overweight.

When I was 21 I made some big changes in my life and I dropped a total of 90 lbs from my biggest down to my smallest.  I wrote about that here.  I no longer care about the number on the scale, I only care about how I look from working out.

I want to share some pieces of advice, simple things that you can do to help yourself lose weight.  We are still in January, the month where everyone vows to drop those extra pounds.  However most people that start a new years weight loss plan, give up within a month or two.

I won't get into working out... do something you like... do it often.  Burn Calories.  For me, I enjoy lifting.  I hate cardio.  If I want cardio, I will lift weights faster.  But that is just me, do whatever makes you happy.

I wont to focus on what I feel is the most important part of losing weight...

Meal Prep

We spend hours of time every week breaking down film, preparing for opponents, and organizing our team.  We can spare an hour per week for meal prep.

I typically do all of my cooking for the week on Sunday night.  I am an extremely picky eater but when I find something I like, I am able to eat it on a daily basis.  I do not want to get too much into the actual foods because everyone has different tastes and favorites.  But if you are curious here are some things I eat almost every day...
A lot of chicken (I genuinely like chicken more than beef and it has less fat/calories)
Tuna fish (I prefer pouch over can because I hate draining and I don't need to bring can opener with me)
Ground turkey (I sub this in for any recipe with ground beef)
Eggs/Egg whites with turkey sausage
Whole grain Pasta (With a little low calorie alfredo sauce)
White Rice (most will tell you to use Brown Rice... I just think white rice tastes much better)
I have a whey protein shake every day post workout as well.

I have other snacks at times, or I will switch a meal up... but these foods are fairly constant in my day to day eating.

The are multiple benefits in mass preparing all your foods.
-Saves time.  It is actually quicker to do all of your cooking at once for the week than making each meal
-Less prone to cheating and over eating.  The meals are already done
-Convenient, quick, Can eat on the run
-save you money, avoid eating out and fast food

What you will need




A digital food scale.  I picked one up a couple years ago.  You can get them for $20 or less on amazon, walmart, or target.



A Calorie counting App - The best in my opinion is "My Fitness Pal".  I have tried others, but this one is the best.  You just type in the food and it has everything you can think of in it.  You just adjust the serving size to enter how much you ate.  It even has a scanner function.  You just hold it up to the bar code of any food and it will automatically input the food's data.  I've seen it work on dollar store brand items.  it has everything programmed in there.  Using the app is where the food scale comes in handy.  It allows you to measure what you are eating so you can enter the data into your phone.  You can't expect to get solid weight loss results until you begin tracking your calories (and macronutrients).  What some people might think is a serving of a particular food might actually be 2-3 servings.  The app is awesome because you can enter in some info about yourself and it tells you how many calories to consume in order to reach your goal.  When I want to lose fat I choose the 1 lb per week goal, which will give a 500 calorie deficit per day.




TupperWare to store your food in.  I bought most of mine from the dollar store.  I have no idea what size they are but they are big enough to fit each meal, stackable, easy to clean and reuse, and they were cheap.  Buy a decent amount of them, since you will be prepping probably 3-4 meals per day for 5-6 days at a time.

Cooking Tips

Multitask!
I am able to get my cooking done quickly because I do it all at once.  A typical Sunday evening looks like this.  BBQ or oven cooking chicken, boiling pasta on stove, while cooking eggs/turkey sausage on another burner, while my rice cooker is doing its thing making rice for the week.

Once all of the food is cooked I use the scale and Tupperware to divide the food out evenly into packaged meals and stack the meals up by which day I will eat them.

Add Flavor without adding Calories/Sodium
I try to add as much flavor to my food without adding extra calories, recently I have shifted away from eating anything with sodium in it as well.  A lot of what I eat is high in sodium so it is important for me to not add any.

Since you other coaches are like family to me I will let you in on my secret recipes.

I add spices to almost everything... they are zero calorie, and have zero sodium... literally if you look at the nutrition facts they all say 0 for every category.

These are my go to seasonings. I got all of these at Sam's Club (just like Costco for anyone who isn't familiar with the warehouse store). I love the taste of pepper.  I love anything spicy and feel the crushed red pepper helps to give otherwise bland egg whites some needed flavor.  My mom used garlic salt on everything growing up so garlic powder is my no calorie/sodium way of replicating that taste in my food.  If I could only pick one seasoning it would be Mrs. Dash.  Mrs. Dash has a wide range of flavors and the good thing is that now ALL of their products are salt free.  I recently purchased the chipotle version and I like that as well.  It tastes good on everything.



PAM
I can't imagine cooking without PAM.  Makes clean up much easier because food doesn't stick.  No need to cook food in oil or butter when you can use PAM and add ZERO calories to your meals.

Zero Calorie Foods
Hippies will tell you they are bad for you and aren't natural.  However there a number of zero calorie foods you can experiment with.

Walden Farms produces nothing but zero calorie foods.

One that I have not tried but have heard is amazing is "I can't believe it's not butter" Spray
ZERO (that's 0) calories and I have heard it tastes just like butter.  Ideal for putting on potatoes/toast/ anything else you might like without adding all of the fat and calories of butter or margarine.


Closing
Give it a shot.  You do not have to eat any of the foods I mentioned above.  However I promise you, give meal prep a try for a month and you will see results.  It seems like a lot of work to do up front but I assure you it saves time compared to cooking food each day of the week.

If you get bored with food easily pick out a few breakfast meals, a few lunches, a few snacks, a few dinners and this way you can change it up.
Monday: breakfast A, lunch A, dinner A
Tuesday: breakfast B, lunch B, dinner B
Wednesday: breakfast c lunch c dinner c
Thursday: start the pattern over

Give this a shot.  We all want kids that are in shape and take care of their bodies... don't they deserve a coach who does the same?

Monday, December 9, 2013

POWER game film

I have been an all 4 wide coach my entire time at my current school.  A number of factors contributed to us needing to make a change midway through the year.  We became a 21 personnel "pro style" offense.  A major play for us was the standard "Power" play.  Just wanted to share a few clips of us running power that I felt we executed decently.  You will notice the guards skip pulling, it is a technique I understand in clinic talks but I am not 100% sold on it.  They entered the hole square, which is the whole idea behind it. However I feel most kids can get to the hole quicker, and with more speed (and therefore momentum) with a standard pull.  I think I will experiment with both through spring ball and summer next year.

Well, enjoy a handful of POWER clips



video

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Planning an entire week of offensive practice

I consider myself to my a minimalist.  I want to run a few things but be very good at them.  Even with my minimalist approach when I began planning our Summer practices I couldn't help but feel stressed for time and reps.

We made a major program wide decision to make our lifting/conditioning the primary focus of our summer practices.  In the past we put too much emphasis on running plays.

When we began breaking down practice times for offense and defense after our lifting/conditioning sessions I quickly realized I didn't have that much time to schedule for offensive practice.  I knew I needed to restructure how we were practicing because there was no way to practice all of the techniques and plays we have in one day.

I came up with the following format...

I remembered the 3 day install plan I used a year ago for Spring Ball, and thought to myself, "Hey I can do something similar to structure a focus for each offensive practice.  I also wanted something that would be easy to transition into the season and mirror how a typical week in season looks.

I started, like any teacher does, at the end.  Fridays would act as our final assessment.  In the season the game friday night is the ultimate test, for our summer practices Friday we will run only team offense and throw everything at the kids, we can grade through film and see how well they are understanding the plays and their assignments.

Monday would act as our learning day.  Typically in season this is a day we watch a lot of film, break down the opponent and the game plan.  Monday is also our heaviest lift day and conditioning day.  To save their bodies after their intense lift/running we bring them into the classroom and will show them film, review things on the whiteboard, any new installation, and give them a focus or main thing we are trying to improve on for the week.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are where we really get our work in.
I split our entire offense up into a 3 day plan, each day focusing on specific plays  so that all of our individual, group, and team periods can focus on these plays.

I essentially broke down the offense like this...

We have 3 core run plays: IZ, OZ, Counter
We have 3 core spring outs: Curl/Flat, Flood, what we call Wide
We have 6 core pass concepts: verts, snag, Boot,  stick, smash, spacing,
We have 3 core screens: Solid, Jail, RB

I took these plays and divided things up so that each of those 3 "work days" every drill, and every segment on our practice plan will be focused on

1 run
1 sprint out
2 passes
1 screen

It made planning practices much easier for me because I can keep the rough schedule pretty similar and just change certain parts of drills depending on the plays we will work that day.

Some of our other schemes, Draw, 2 in 1 plays, rocket toss can be sprinkled in because while in the playbook aren't the things that we absolutely have to be perfect at to move the football.  They are necessary side dishes but this summer is all about getting better at the main course.

This practice format has especially helped my OL because I can tailor all of our INDY time to the skills needed for 1 specific play and we rep that play to death.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Improving effort and tempo in the weight room

Improving our participation was the biggest priority of this past off season.  I wrote a prior article about Creating Off Season Competition.  The numbers went up, and this trickled through to our spring ball and now into our summer practices.
We essentially were able to weed out the non committed kids and our attendance is better than it has ever been in my 4 years here.  We finally had kids showing up every single day but then came the next hurdle.

I looked at what our kids were doing in the weight room and I wasn't happy with all of them.  They were there in the weight room but some left not sweating and I saw them milling around far too much.  I knew I needed to make a change to make sure each kid was WORKING during hour lifting sessions.

I then recalled a phone conversation/interview I had with CAL S&C coach Mike Blasquez.  Since CAL has no made the change to no huddle spread, I asked how it has impact his weight room philosophy, especially in regard to their tempo and rest in the weight room.  He said they had to change how they rested and now all of their rest times are sped up.  They try to mirror the frantic pace of a Tony Franklin style practice within their weight room.

I decided with our equipment limitations I wouldn't be able to go quite as fast as what a D-1 college might do in their weight room, but I knew that the days of just writing the workout on a whiteboard and letting the kids free lift were OVER for our program.

I decided that from now on, EVERYTHING is going to be timed.  We use a segment timer in practice every day, why not in the weight room as well.

First I analyzed our weight room, the equipment we had, and the number of players we had at each level.
we typically have in the low 40s per level.  For some reason everything in our weight room comes in 3s... 3 squat racks, 3 bench presses, 3 adjustable benches.

Using that information I came up with the following guidelines for our weight room.


  • We will always workout in groups of 3, no groups of 4 are allowed because it will destroy our tempo
  • We will have 5 lifts/exercises per day
  • Each of the selected lifts has 3 locations (rack, bench, pull up bar, location outside)
  • Each "station" will have 9 minutes, then we rotate
  • This totals out to 45 minutes to complete our workout
We typically do between 3-4 sets of each lift... 9 minutes doesn't give the kids much time to screw around.  To complete their lifts they basically have to do their set, rack it up, change weights, and the next person is lifting right away.  Kids can't hide out like they used to, I know where I started each of them so I know what lift they are supposed to be doing at a given time.

To keep the kids on schedule I use a timer app on my phone.  Since the rotations happen every 9 minutes, I just keep restarting the 9 minute timer after we rotate from each station.

I see our working harder and getting more done than ever before.

Our school is months away from an entire reconstruction, which includes a new weight room.  This process will be even easier when we have a more state of the art weight room that has nothing but racks in it.  

If you have a set up with many racks and free weight your players never have to move... each rotation simply means changing to a new lift.  This way is even better because you can better control the lift order of each student for maximal gains.

The next step I am going to make is to create a CD with music that has the 9 minute intervals built in to it.
I got this software for doing so and it is my new weekend project.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Teaching Vertical Set

I get messages at least once a day asking me something football related.  This off season I would say the number 1 thing has been asking how to teach vertical setting.  I have written articles in the past on vertical setting and drills for pass pro but I want to use this article to tie it all together.

This is the order I would go about teaching things.

Find a scheme
Vertical setting can and will work in any type of pass protection scheme.  I have used it and seen it used at the HS and College level in BOB, half slide, and full slide protections.  Pick a scheme (maybe have a 2nd as a change up or adjustment) and beat your rules in to your kids head.  Vertical setting is great, the best thing since sliced bread, but if you flat out don't attempt to block a defender because you're kids don't know who to block, or more importantly, where their eyes need to be, it won't matter if you back hand spring set... you're QB is dead.

Decide your ideal depth
Colleges and vertical set purists have been using a 4 step vertical step approach )inside out inside out) as far as I know since it's invention.  My original Vertical Set post explains this.  Middle of 2 seasons ago I adjusted ours to a 2 step approach.  4 steps was getting us too close to the QB's face and he felt uncomfortable and I felt we could still do our job with 2 steps of depth.  I dubbed this technique Vertical Set 2.0 because it was the new edition and used 2 steps.  You need to decide what is best for your kids.  If I was brand new to it I would work 4 steps initially and see how the OL and QB felt with it and then adjust it to 2 steps from there.

Over exaggerate the set
I believe, in the beginning it is best to have the kids flying backwards.  I like to have them go for more yardage or steps than I would ask in a game when we first teach it.  My thought is similar to track coaches who train their 100m kids by running 200's.  After doing all those 200's, the 100 seems easy.  Same thing with setting, after working back for 5 yards, or 6 steps, doing our 2 step vertical set is faster, and feels more comfortable to them.

Below is a video of my kids setting for depth (6 steps) followed by our wave drill. Sorry the video starts a half second too late.
video

Wave Drill
The next thing I would get really good at is wave drill.  You can work a ton of kids at once.  You can burn some muscle memory in to them.  You are teaching the kids how to step to cut off an inside rush move or a move to their outside.  I refer to them as Power Step and Slide Step.  The Power step is a hard step, 45 degrees up field and inside with a powerful inside hand punch to cut off a defender.  The Slide Step is a pretty traditional kick slide backwards and out at a 45 degree angle to continue getting depth and widening a defender should rush your edge.
This drill is great for checking kids pass pro posture, hands, body position, stagger, and their footwork.  This clip below shows the kids after a squat day (you will see their signs of leg fatigue).  Here I have them all working one side (same stagger and stance), once we get rolling and kids know what position they will be playing the most and where they will be getting most of their reps we will just line the kids up and they will use the stagger of their position.  I just point to a side and for half of them it would simulate an outside rush more while it is an inside rush to the other half of them.
video

Mirror
Next I introduce our mirror drill.  This helps them reinforce keeping good body posture and moving their feet laterally to "mirror" their defender.  Here is a LINK to a post I did a while back on the mirror drill.
We eventually progress to working mirror, and then I yell HIT, on HIT the defender rushes and the OL has to execute a punch.

Partner Sets
The next drill I use is what I call "Partner Sets".  We get a lot of good reps in this drill if the kids will work each other.  We partner up and designate one guy as the OL, one as the defender.  On the OL movement the defender will rush and pick a side working 1 move.  The OL has to Set, incorporate part of wave and mirror drill to stay head up with the defender, punch the defender, and work his feet to cancel this first move.
As the kids improve at this drill I then allow the defender to work a first move followed by a counter.  This can be a great time to work kids on the moves you see most from an opponent, or a specific defender's best move and counter move.

Live 1 on 1s
By this point we are pretty close to letting them go full out and put it all together.  We will work live 1 on 1s next.  I think of this as the test of how well I have taught them.  They will need to use things they've learned doing all of the above drills to be successful.

Blitz Pick Up
As long as you have been chalking, walking through, and teaching your specific pass pro scheme(s) your kids should be able to execute the blocks now.  You can include the RB and QB if you like, or just keep your OL by themselves, whatever works best for you.  Now you will use a full defense to bring pressure (combining the 1 on 1's into a 5 on 5 situation for your OL, or 6 on 6 if you add the back).  You are evaluating where their eyes are and the blocks they are making.
My biggest piece of advice with this drill is to have your fronts/stunts/blitzes pre printed out on cards.  This is something given to you in TFS but it could be made in PPT in an hour or with HUDL in probably even less time.  Make a card for everything you even think you could possibly see.  Make a copy for each of your lower level coaches as well.  Put them in a binder, keep it in the ball bag, your trunk, your briefcase... whatever.  It makes going through and getting the reps so much easier when you can hold it up rather than talk to the defense and see where to go.  If you are fortunate enough to have an assistant helping your OL or an injured kid they can be holding up the card for the defense while you are coaching up/correcting/praising your OL in the drill.


Here are some other drills from a post a did a couple of years ago.
Drill Videos




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

R4 in Spring Ball

Well we are nearly done with Spring Ball.  We have 1 practice left tomorrow and then we are off for Finals.

I talked about R4 installation with my kids in the past.  Now that we have some of our base concepts in and I have had a chance to look back and reflect on things the QB who is distancing himself from the pack is the one who understands R4 the best.

All 3 are struggling with their mechanics at times, but that is too be expected... they just haven't thrown the football that many times.

QB1 has really started to think in terms of R4 non stop.  Our final practice last week he really began to hit some rhythm throws he was missing in the past because he was finally relying on post snap confirmation while looking into his vertical tube.  He hit 2 perfect corner passes in a row on our snag concept (when tried to pre snap cap, and then fly up to jump the flat route, thus uncapping the Corner Route).  You could see the light bulb go on in our QB's head.  When I saw him this morning at school he told me he had been thinking about that play and R4 all weekend and that he really felt like he had it now.

My other 2 QBs are still a little bit behind in their mental R4 processing but I have some extra chalk/film sessions lined up with them once we are out of school.

I just wanted to share with all of you who are still curious about R4 or installing it for the first time as well, the power is real.  We are hitting more vertical routes (Corner, Seams, Posts, Go's) than ever before.




Saturday, April 20, 2013

Installing R4 for the first time

Football season doesn't end in November/December for me.  I do almost as much work in the off season as I do in season.  Like most coaches I attend clinics, watch videos, research online, and just try to talk to as many coaches as I can.  I am like a sponge and I try to absorb as much information as I can, doesn't matter to me what it is about, I just like to learn about football.

One of the biggest things I researched this off season was the R4 system created by Darin Slack and Dub Maddox.  I feel like I am getting to this party a little late but as they say "it's better late than never".
When reflecting back on last season I was probably most disappointed in our drop back pass game.  We ran the ball well most of the time, we sprinted out well, but we just could not complete passes consistently from the pocket.  We could not stretch the field vertically in any way.  Eventually teams stopped defending vertical passes, loaded the box, and we couldn't do much.  I knew I had to find a way to hurt teams in the air.  I have owned the R4 DVDs for over a year but didn't feel I understood it well enough to install it last year.  I knew that devoting a lot of time and energy yo the R4 system would be the best thing for us.

So I watched my R4 videos over and over until it sunk in.  I bought the iBook "From headset to helmet" to further my understanding of the system.  After reading it twice, and watching the videos three times I felt I had a good enough understanding to teach it, install it, and make it our system.

The first thing I had to do was dissect our playbook.  I had my ideas of what concepts I liked best and wanted to run, but now I had to put everything in to R4 terms.  This meant some concepts had to be adjusted just slightly, I had to change some route DNA to fit into R4.  I had to adjust our teaching from yards for WR routes into steps, to time things up better.

Once I had our concepts properly aligned with R4, I had to begin teaching our players and coaches.

This is what I have started doing and will continue to do until spring ball.

Right now we are all about our lifting program, we are saving anything football related until spring ball.  However in my mind R4 has a lot material that has to be understood before you begin installing plays.  I felt that our QBs would need a head start on everyone else.  Installing R4 requires a lot of work upfront but once the kids understand the concept of what R4 is, it can be applied to the entire playbook.

2 weeks ago I began meeting with the QBs every Monday night after weight lifting/baseball practice.  Each night I have had 2 QBs from each grade level there.  We go at night because 2 of our QBs are on the baseball team and that is the only time they can make it.

The first thing I did was buy each QB a spiral notebook.  I got them for a buck each and I feel that they are more likely to learn the system and retain information if they are the ones writing things down and drawing it up rather than if I printed them off my powerpoints or diagrams.

I began by drawing and explaining all of the necessary terms and information for R4.  We discussed the 5 vertical tubes, hard deck, pre snap cap.  We discusses the ideas of cushion and collision.  We discussed the timing of Rhythm, Read, and Rush routes and how it matches up with their footwork.  We discussed why certain plays fail and what defenses do to stop us.  We discussed how to read coverage.  We discussed their timeline vs man and zone.  We discussed a lot.

I didn't throw all of this at them at once, we went slow, I encouraged them to ask as many questions as they could, and believe me they did.

Now we are at a place where the kids have at least an elementary understanding of how R4 works, how they will use it, and how their decision making is sped up by using it.

Last week we installed our first play on the board...SNAG.  I think by now everyone knows that Snag is my favorite play, so of course it would be the first that I install.  We went through the play over and over again and how the R4 elements apply to it.  Every kid left this past Monday with an understanding of the Snag concept that was light years ahead of how we were reading it last year.  My 2 returning varsity QBs (both were backups but got game snaps last year) left the room saying, 'Coach, we really like this".

Now we will continue to install 1-2 concepts each Monday night until we get to spring ball.  I have my schedule set up so we are installing similar plays to help in the learning process.  I am excited, the kid's are excited and I KNOW we will be a much better passing team than we were last season.