Quarterback Helmet Cam with Kentucky’s Maxwell Smith

I’m generally a fan of these. It’s obviously not *really* what it is like being a quarterback, but it’s useful coaching film because you can see if the QB was looking in the right spot on a given play:

It also reminds me of when former Houston Cougars receiver Patrick Edwards, who is currently battling to make the Detroit Lions roster, wore a helmet cam to a Houston practice:

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Smart Links – Texas A&M, Podcasts, No Punts, Cam – 8/16/2012

Bill previews maybe the biggest wildcard in the SEC, Texas A&M, and the Aggies have finally named a starting quarterback. Below are some highlights from A&M’s most recent scrimmage:

- My podcast with CougCenter, part 1 and part 2.

- No touching 28 in Vikings camp.

- Cam Newton on his rookie year, as well as his need to mature.

- Rocky Long is considering forgoing punts after crossing his opponents’ 50 yard lines.

- GQ with a short piece from Joe Posnanski’s Paterno book.

- YouTube re-imagined: Think channels, not videos.

- Le Tableau Vert.

- Daily deals are dead.

Alabama linebacker play

Solid (short) video from ESPN:

Love it

In a day with a lot of mixed football news, stuff like this is what it’s all about. Some great blocks, too.

Spread Punt Protection: Theory and Practice

This article is by Patrick McCarthy. You can follow him on twitter at @patdmccarthy. Any and all questions are encouraged. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, he played and coached in France and Sweden while also coaching at St. Thomas Aquinas HS (KS) and Neenah HS (WI). Since then he has coached at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Southwest Minnesota State University, Culver-Stockton College and most recently as the Head Coach of the Kuwait Gridiron Football National Team.

In the elaborate math problem that is a football game, each side continually seeks to create a two on one or other favorable numerical matchup; one on ones are not enough. A major reason for this is that, given disparities in size and speed, all “ones” are not necessarily made of the same stuff. And nowhere is this more evident than with special teams, and nowhere on special teams is this more important than punt protection. Frank Beamer calls his punt teamPride”. The worst punt team in the nation averaged net punting 26.3 yards (Alabama, actually, which is a different discussion for a different time – I’d assume their opponent average starting field position was impressive). There aren’t a whole lot of offenses that can average over 25 yards a play with a certain call, nor will teams gladly cede more than a quarter of the field during a snap on defense – and that is the very worst end of the punt spectrum.

Goal is to avoid this

The protection aspect is closely tied into the coverage responsibility of the punt team; if there is no opponent to protect against, then every effort is given to get that member of the punt team into coverage. While watching on TV it is difficult to get an understanding of punt protection schemes that teams are employing. The only time a reply is shown is if there is a block or botched snap, and often times the camera cuts from an offensive or defensive player on the sideline to the ball in mid-air which does not lend itself to appreciating the nuance of the punt game.

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The essence of the thing, in one word: Practice

“The talent’s fine,” Holgorsen said. “The biggest thing was the culture shock, trying to train these guys how to practice, from a throwing-the-ball standpoint.” Holgorsen said East Coast-bred players don’t grow up with 7-on-7 summer leagues and passing drills. Many don’t get an extra hour of athletics in school. “The skills were underdeveloped. They didn’t understand how to practice what I was I talking about.”

Holgorsen and Leach faced the same kind of transition 12 years ago when they went to Tech and installed a new-age offense. Holgorsen didn’t face that at Houston (Art Briles, a Leach disciple, had just left UH) or OSU (Gundy and offensive coordinator Larry Fedora at least were running no-huddle, fast-paced).

“But when we went to Texas Tech, it was about like going into this situation,” Holgorsen said. “Very slow. Huddle. Try to call plays and try to do things to make the defense good. We just had to teach ’em. We weren’t going to stray from our philosophy.

“We just had to coach it. We kept pressing forward, we kept improving, finally the light came on in the last game.”

Read the whole article here.

Change “Commission” to “Commissioner”

Per various developments in bountygate, I enjoyed this excerpt from an article by law professor Gary Lawson, describing the FTC.

The Commission promulgates substantive rules of conduct. The Commission then considers whether to authorize investigations into whether the Commission’s rules have been violated. If the Commission authorizes an investigation, the investigation is conducted by the Commission, which reports its findings to the Commission. If the Commission thinks that the Commission’s findings warrant an enforcement action, the Commission issues a complaint. The Commission’s complaint that a Commission rule has been violated is then prosecuted by the Commission and adjudicated by the Commission. This Commission adjudication can either take place before the full Commission or before a semi-autonomous Commission administrative law judge. If the Commission chooses to adjudicate before an administrative law judge rather than before the Commission and the decision is adverse to the Commission, the Commission can appeal to the Commission. If the Commission ultimately finds a violation, then, and only then, the affected private party can appeal to a [federal] Article III court. But the agency decision, even before the bona fide Article III tribunal, possesses a very strong presumption of correctness on matters both of fact and of law.

Of course, if that is what was actually negotiated for and agreed upon in the CBA, that’s a rather important detail. But it’s of interest, nonetheless.

Smart Links – Lauren Hill, McKinley Mac, Leach’s Celebrity, James Joyce – 7/2/2012

“It’s just all made up and flagellant.” – Fred Davis, Redskins tight-end, attorney. (Transcripts here.)

- Gene Stallings, Alabama Football, and passing/rushing efficiency.

Blutarsky on the four-team playoff.

- Mike Leach’s celebrity status.

- Lauren Hill’s (potential) novel federal sentencing arguments.

- Louis Menand on James Joyce.

- Poetry and the Olympics.

- Behold: The McKinley Mac.

- Like Smart Football on Facebook.

The Essential Smart Football: Now under $5 on Kindle

It looks like Amazon is running a deal on The Essential Smart Football for Kindle, as it is available for less than $5. The paperback is also available for under $10.

After the jump is a further update on the book (thanks to all!):

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Smart Links – MMQB, Newspapers, WVU, Fire Zones, Reddit, Solo Cups – 6/11/2012

Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe on The Essential Smart Football.

- Go vote for your Verbies.

- Bruce Feldman on West Virginia: “The biggest change is that everyone’s getting along with each other.”

- Is Buffett Right About Newspapers?

- Matt Bowen on fire zones from a Cover 2 look.

- Quickish and Dan Shanoff are now a part of Gannett. Congrats to Dan.

- The culture that is Reddit.

- Simon Schama on Shakespeare’s histories.

- The most important thing you’ll see today.

- Finance bloggers on what has changed or shaped how they think.

- Like Smart Football on Facebook.