Stanford Coach David Shaw on Oregon’s Offense

My affinities are well known, but I think all offenses should strive for this description:

“The thing is, it’s not complicated,” [Stanford head coach David] Shaw said of the Ducks’ offensive scheme. “It’s just complicated during the game. The adjustments they make are so subtle that you don’t realize it until they’ve scored three touchdowns on you. You change to try to cover what they’re doing, and they make another change.

“They spend a lot of time looking at you. They run simple plays and however you’re stopping their simple plays, Chip takes advantage of what you’re doing, which is the brilliance of the simplicity.”

Smart Links – Busted Midlines, Game Planning, 4-2-5 tips, High Freeze, Keats – 9/27/2012

Amazing, from LSUFreek:


mgoblog on Michigan’s busted midline read and play-action against Notre Dame. In the first play I like outside zone and in the second the runningback needs to get away from his fake and step into that linebacker.

Game plan nuggets.

22 keys to your 4-2-5 defense.

Ole Miss’s Hugh Freeze hopes his scheme will hold up versus Alabama.

Ben Muth on the Chiefs outside zone.

Biography of John Keats.

Fewer long-winded speakers at this year’s UN Assembly.

Make sure to Like Smart Football on Facebook.

For the Win: Hook-and-Lateral… and Lateral

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater had won 46 straight games and three straight Division III championships. Last weekend, however, Buffalo State pulled out a hook-and-double lateral on 4th and 19 to help them topple UW-Whitewater for a 7-6 upset. Via CoachingSearch:

“That’s a play we practice every week, because it’s our last play type of play,” head coach Jerry Boyes said. “The kids executed it to perfection. It was a huge time, but something like that just doesn’t happen. You’ve got to practice those things. Through that, you give yourself a chance.”

Boyes called it the biggest win in the history of the program. Asked about his expectations coming into the game, Boyes wanted a measuring stick for his team. Surely, they passed the test.

“If you want to be the best, then you’ve got to play the best,” he said. “The opportunity came and we jumped at it. Win or lose, you’ve got to find out where you’re at. What better yardstick than going to play the No. 1 team in the land? Never afraid of a challenge.”

Keep the seat warm for me

Although something very important is happening soon — the start of football season — something even more important is happening for me: I’m getting married. Aside from my general good fortune, this also means that I’ll be out of the country on my honeymoon for the next few weeks, until the second half of September. So if you’re wondering why I’m not updating or writing for Grantland despite the start of football season, this is why. Both of those things will resume once I get back.

So keep the seat warm for me. In the meantime, the best way to get your Smart Football fix is through the book, The Essential Smart Football, available in paperback from Amazon and B&N and on Kindle, each at this link. If you have an iPad, iPhone or Android device, the Kindle application is free. It won’t be available for Nook until sometime after I return.

Lastly, I ask a favor of you, my readers: If during the first few weeks of the season you see anything that might be of interest — some strategy trend, scheme, tactic, communication method or anything at all — please mention it in the comments to this post. It’ll be the first thing I check when I return, as I try to figure out how things have evolved from last season and where they might go.

Thanks to you all, and see you soon.

Smart Links – Mortality Rates, 4-2-5 straightline, Magic, Double-Stick Shovel, Fitzgerald – 8/20/2012

From Coach Joe, the stick/draw but with a shovel pass instead of a draw:

Mortality rates for football players (and baseball players).

Dave Raley on the future of defense: 4-2-5 straightline.

Short story from F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Former women’s soccer goalie Mo Isom might be LSU’s next kicker.

Our long-time fascination with magic.

Richard Posner on How much is enough?

Will Apple TV crack the TV market?

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:


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.