Smart Notes – Best plays, Manning’s slide, DFW – Dec. 27, 2010

Best college football plays of the year, courtesy of Dr Saturday:

2. Has anyone watched the DVD series on the passing game by Sonny Dykes, former Texas Tech assistant, Arizona offensive coordinator and current Louisiana Tech head coach? I’m tempted to get this as a self-Christmas present, but I’m not sure if it’s worth it, given how much I already know about the Airraid. Indeed, I’m actually somewhat more interested in this tape on teaching QBs and packaging plays with formations from Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst (who is rumored to be Texas’s next offensive coordinator, and who I think would actually be  a good fit there — he could even wind up the new coach-in-waiting). Let me know in the comments if any of you have seen either of these and what your thoughts are.

3. Yes, Dan Dierdorf, that’s smart football, but not for the reasons you think. Peyton Manning’s game-clinching slide at the two against the Raiders was one of the headiest plays of the year, but Dan Dierdorf muffs the analysis. As said on Shutdown Corner:

Dierdorf’s commentary is unbelievable. He goes on and on about how Manning went down because he was going to get caught from behind (he wasn’t) and because he wanted to avoid injury (not that either). It never occurred to him that Manning was ending the game. He’s preaching the merits of smart football while sounding like someone who’s never watched a game. Ladies and gentlemen, your network No. 2 announcing team!

As a bonus, check out Tim Tebow’s day against the Texans. He still has a long ways to go, but I’ve said all along that he can definitely be an NFL quarterback; it’s just a question of when he’ll be ready. So far, so good.

4. I make few promises on this site, but I promise never to write a 13,000 word sentence. There are some pretty famous examples of such efforts, however.

5. Understanding David Foster Wallace through his study of the philosophy of language.

6. I’m a bit late to this story, but UConn will be taking a bath on their BCS bowl appearance.

  • Neil

    I was just wondering if that osu interception should be a penalty because 19 bats it forward.

  • Joe

    Neil, passes can be batted in any direction. Batting applies to other loose balls like a fumble. (I had to look that up)

    Saddest part of UConn losing money on their bowl trip is they might also lose by 50 and get embarrassed!

  • I agree, Tebow is just to hard of a worker to be denied, if he stays healthy and relatively concussion free (considering he had that bad one vs Kentucky last year), he should have a nice NFL career.

  • Newton

    I’m not so sure I agree with you about Peyton’s slide. Going down to kill the clock (and the game) is the smart play. However, if that was his intent, why didn’t he go down after 5 yards? Also, he looked pretty ticked after he went down.

  • Mr.Murder

    ‘Hal Mumme’s philosophy for the Airraid was “throw the ball short to people who score.”’

    The main problem with the NYG offense at this time is Steve Smith being hurt and not playing.

    The most important thing about the NYG was their game vs. Philly where the Eagles got four TD in a comeback win. Why so? It was a case study of overblitzing as a way of shaking up a game.

    Your prior thread here, where you link Advanced NFL Stats and the Bill Walsh discussion of randomization, was put to the test by the Giants.

    They often blitzed several times in a row, and several times the same repeated blitz, to try and deny Vick rhythm in his game. It broke down several times due to structural weaknesses of the front in how it shows an overload to the point it gets familiar. If the blitz didn’t work the down before, would it work again, planning against the principles of randomization?

    They lost contain and gave up huge gains on runs with the backfield trailing offensive players in man coverage and not facing the game.

    Another reason why cover two is the way to beat Vick, to work against his patience and keep eleven pairs of eyes on him. Though Mike is showing an excellent feel for the replacement process of anticipating a rotation and replacing an important player(usually the middle, or most active outside linebacker, other times the rotating safety or player who replaces the safety in that role, again usually one of the two rangy linebackers).

  • Trevor

    Hey Chris, I have the Sonny Dykes videos. Those were among the first I bought several years ago when I decided to get into coaching. In my opinion, they’re the 2nd best commercially (besides TFS anyway) available Air Raid videos out there, behind Chris Hatcher’s series. That said, nothing mind-blowing, but still very good. He explains a lot of what they did at Texas Tech and most of the film is from Texas Tech if I recall correctly. It’s a pretty good inside look into the offense that was run at Tech for a long time.

    Just fyi, the best Air Raid dvd I have, of which I have a lot, is by far the Holgorsen seminars from the ’09 TFS. I got them through a trade, but they are really, really, awesome for understanding what makes Holgorsen great: technique and X’s and O’s. Everyone knows he can draw up some cool stuff that just works, but the way he teaches WR technique is pretty simple but VERY effective. In my opinion, it’s why guys like Danny Amendola, Wes Welker, and Eric Morris (all H receivers) became so good, and it’s also why I think the relatively low-level of (physical) talent Tech had in the early years was effective from the start. X’s and O’s are great and all, but technique is invaluable.

  • Chris


    Thanks for the insight. I’d love to hear more about Holgorsen’s TFS tapes. Sounds like pretty interesting stuff.

  • Joe

    Mumme has new dvd series out,
    Well maybe not so new since they have been sold since May, but he has made them while at McMurry.

  • Peter

    Regarding Tim Tebow, I’m still not convinced he can be a QB that you can build an NFL offense around. He doesn’t make any difficult reads or difficult throws. As was the case at Florida all of his big throws are off play-action, and he’s still not all that decisive with it. He has a lot of the same qualities as Ben Roethlisberger, but building an offense around a QB that runs around and pump-fakes until someone is eventually wide-open does not seem like a good strategy for sustainable offensive succes.