Playcalling doesn’t have to be difficult

Okay, so here’s a story for you. Kilff Kingsbury was our starter, and he was sort of conservative, you know? B.J. (Symons) knew what I wanted to audible to before I even said it, but Kilff was just careful like that. It was third and long against someone, and their corner was cheating way up. Kind of a cheat back, and then at the last second he’d pop up.”

“Well, we had good technique, and were pretty good getting off the line, so I called “Six,” or our call for four verticals. We had it, and I called it, and Kliff shook me off. Now most of the time I’m fine with quarterbacks shaking me off, but we had this, and I got mad and called time out and said some things to Kliff.”

He spits in the ocean, and continues.

“So Kliff goes out there, and I call “Six” again, and he shakes me off again, and now we get delay of game. It’s fourth down, and we’re on our own forty, but I just call it again and have some words with Kliff. We hit it against that corner cheating up for a touchdown, and Kliff comes up and starts yelling at me angry on the sideline: ‘FINE, FINE, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? WE DID IT YOUR WAY, AND NOW ARE YOU HAPPY?’ And I was.”

That’s from Spencer Hall’s day on the boat with Mike Leach, who is bordering on overexposed right now. That said, the above anecdote is great, and does more (for me) to illuminate why he’s worth studying than all of the Adam James stuff. I have read his new book and do recommend it, and I plan to have more to say about it in the near future.

  • Aaron B.

    Good book. I don’t think I’ve read any book that quickly since I was a kid.

  • Brian Balkus

    I was reading something the other day about Nebraska’s new Offensive Coordinator and his plan to transition to a much less complex offensive scheme. After being forces to watch an inept west coast/spread hybrid cost Nebraska the last two Big 12 championships it sounds great (in theory anyways). What do you think of Nebraska’s new offense (or what little that is known about it)?

    “Instead of the phonics of the West Coast offense, it’s a whole language method. See the play. Be the play. Or be some other play, if the first one won’t work. It’s profound in the sense that it’s a return to the early church of the game, before coaches needlessly muddied it up with every strategic piece of bureaucracy they could conjure up.Conceptual methods make offenses like living, adapting organisms — versions of Bob Knight’s motion basketball offense, only on turf — and not some blueprint where players are predestined to a certain spot by virtue of the play call. There’s value in that kind of predestination — if you have 40 hours a week to study and 900 variations to use. It’s hard for college kids to master that and make plays. And I’d argue that athletes are superior visual learners who can simply see what they should do better than they can hear an assignment from a quarterback, process it, then execute physical assignments from an auditory task.”