Tuesday, March 3, 2015



I have been going to clinics for a long time now, and enjoy all of them that I go to, feeling that I am always learning something.  The AC Nike Clinic at the beginning of February proved to be the best one yet, for the simple fact that Coach Narduzzi is the single best clinic speaker I have seen to this point.
I think the ultimate compliment is this.....me and a few of my coaching brothers looked at each other as soon as it was finished and the resounding statements was, "Damn, I wish I could go back and play for that guy".   There are very few people I have seen, and as you can see from past posts I have seen alot, that left me feeling this way.


It is widely known that he keeps the scheme and adjustment simple, so that his players can play fast...but what really stuck out to me was his emphasis on technique.  For a long time now I have believed that technique trumps scheme a lot of the time, especially as a high school coach, and to hear his emphasis on it made me feel like I was doing something right.
Below are the notes I took, with a few other things mixed in.  I would love to start a conversation about it, so feel free to comment below.
Spartan’s Identity

·      “A focused group of vicious brothers, forever bonded together, to wreak havoc upon all oponents”
·      Core Values: Big Plays, Relentlessness, Swarming
·      Force Turnovers, Be Hungary, Have SWAG
**This is created by the players for their identity
Spartan DAWGS 2011 (I believe)

Defensive Philosophy

Defending the Run Game- Defensive Philosophy
·      Stop the Run- Build A Wall
o   Make offense one dimensional
o   Defend Opponents favorite runs in practice
·      FUNDYs
o   Coach the Little Things
·      SPEED
o   Evolution of the 4-3 Defense
·      KISS
o   So they play fast
o   No thinking
o   BONE HITS- Chart Big Hits
·      Disguise
o   Always look the same pre-snap
·      Zone-Blitz vs Man Blitz
o   Zone blitzing is safer and easier


·      Alignment Rules
o   Allow for easy adjustments
·      Nine Men in the Box
·      Bounce Inside Runs Out (Spill and Chase)
·      Make Outside Runs Cutback (Force)
·      DL
o   Attack and React
o   Get a great takeoff and work from there
·      LB
o   Key Read and Run
o   Read the “Guys that don’t lie”- Uncovered Players
·      Safeties
o   Read Key
o   Play Run to Pass
·      CBs
o   Press
o   Play great technique

·      Gets 9 Men in the BOX
·      Allows LBs to RUN
·      GREAT against Shotgun/QB Run
·      GREAT for Screens
·      Takes away all underneath throws
o   Forces LOW % throws
·      Easier to predict the release in WR routes

·      Attacking Mentality
·      Forces a bubble in the WR release
·      Keeps the WR off safeties
o   Safeties are generally the force players
o   The inside press tech of the CB keeps WR from having clean crack on $ on their way down to play run
·      Forces throws to the opponents secondary WR
·      Easier to Coach
·      Restricts the routes that a WR can run
o   WR can only run 5 routes against an inside technique press Corner

·      Press the #1 WR
·      Align to the Inside Eye of WR
·      Shadow Tech
o   Shadow first step with inside foot
o   Give a little ground
o   Once WR breaks cushion, offhand JAM
·      Gives the Illusion of FULL PRESS
·      Routes CB will see
o   Fade
o   Hitch
o   Post/ Post Corner
o   Corner
·      Play Run Support 2nd

Safety Play
·      9x2 of #2
o   Outside alignment if TE
o   Inside alignment if removed
·      Stick Feet (Flat foot read)
·      Read QB to #2 to #1
·      Vs. Trips play YO-YO  (trips side safety rock down, away safety MOF)
·      Beat the CRACK BLOCK

o   Read MUST be fast
·      Key the QB- “Key the guy that throws picks”

LB Play
·      Heels at 5
·      3 match LB (ILB) plays Out to Vertical
·      2 match LB (OLB) plays Out to Vertical to In

·      LBs can run in the run game.  Attack read. Safeties have force and BCR/Windback
·      In PASS game, Safeties get help from LBs rerouting WR



All-22 Michigan St. vs Illinois- 2013

Thursday, January 15, 2015

TCU Blitz Package

TCU Blitz Package

This season we are working on on transitioning to a 4-2-5 defense. For a few years now we have been a 3-4 and it has served us well, however, as often happens in high school, our personnel for the near feature dictates that we no longer can run the 3-4


I am a big proponent of fitting a system to a kid and not a kid into a system. Its hard enough to be a high school kid, nevermind a high school football player, so why not put more on myself to fit the system to them, then making them do something that makes it harder to create success.  
We have seen a move to more hybrid kids at our school. We no longer have a big 300 lb nose tackle, but we do have 6 250 lb kids that can do a little work on the line. We dont have the 235 lb LBs anymore, but we do have faster, 22lb kids that can play either MLB or W/s/$ in this system.


When transferring defenses, I believe in always starting to learn from the best, and recent history tells us its this guy....

2014 AFCA Coach of the Year, Gary Patterson.  You cannot read anything on the internet about the 425 without immediately being directed to him. I have read a lot of information so far, and it is all clear and concise in his system. It has been about as much of a smooth transition as one could hope for up to this point, and that is a credit to Patterson's simpleness, and me gaining the information by way of Brophy and Coach Hoover.   

Blitz Package

The easiest thing I have been able to install is the blitz package due to an excellent film I found.  

The Blitz Package

Coverage and Philosophy


Bullets are inside linebacker blitzes.  


Smokes are Safety Blitzes. Lions are Smokes but with an exchange with the End.


Dogs combine the Safety and the Inside LB to the same side. 

Bullets Thunder

Bullets Thunder brings both ILB and a Safety. The Safety must make a COP call to tell his DE that he has the DE in coverage. 

Hopefully this helps you have half the success of Gary Patterson. Any questions, as always, leave in the comment sections, Ill always answer as best I can. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Packaged Play Encyclopedia


This has been a work of mine for a long time now, with several hold ups due to the season, job changes, etc., but it is by far the most comprehensive piece that I have put together, as well as the most fun. I love this stuff, and as I have stated in earlier articles I think this is the future or offensive football...honestly with the amount of time I have used to put this together, I think it is the NOW of offensive football. You will see spread principles, power running principles, wing t principles, and many others all combined together to put the defense at an immediate disadvantage. I cant say who was the first to do this, however, I admire that person. I can say the first time I saw it, and was in awe, was Ole Miss against Pitt in a bowl game 2 years ago, and that is where this project really started. Chris Brown of Smart Football and Grantland put together a piece on the exact drive I am talking about, and you will see it referenced and linked below. 

Before this starts I think I need to put out a few qualifiers:
1) Some people may see this differently. For instance, I think of Inside Zone Read as 2 plays/options, in itself a package, while I am sure there are many that see it as one play, and therefore wouldn't understand the classifications I used to organize this article. 
2) I am a fan of this, I in no way claim to be an expert. All of the writing I do regarding reads and such is my own interpretation (although I think a good one).  I more than welcome comments on this post and quality conversation about any of it. Even further, most of the clips here are of Ole Miss. I am not in the program or in any way connected...I don't know what Hugh Freeze is thinking (HOWEVER, COACH FREEZE IF YOUR ARE READING THIS, FEEL FREE TO TELL ME) 
3) I have used the terminology that I am accustomed to from the staffs I've been on. Feel free to insert your own. 
4) Lastly, I'M A DEFENSIVE GUY FOR GOSH SAKES, cut me some slack!!!

Enjoy the heck out of this coaches, I have putting it together. 


Three Play Packages

So with the evolution of these plays, as you will see further in the article, and as you have already read, combining three or less plays/options together is more or less child's play at this point, but it is a good base and a good place to start. 

Right away we see wing t concepts coupled with pro or spread. Ole Miss used the bucksweep to have a strong perimeter run, combined with a read for the QB and a bubble screen. The formation itself if going to most likely open the run, but if the defense somehow figures out a solid way to play the run(s), they are going to have a very hard time defeating the bubble. 


Here is a second variation of the play, this time using motion to create the 3 man surface to the buck side. 


I like this play because it is a great formation variation of the epitome of packaged plays, zone read with a bubble. The double tight forces more gaps to be covered and opens up the outside for the QB run or the bubble depending on the play of the OLB. 

This one is up for debate in my own mind about what it should be classified as, but in Mike Leach terms, all four guys running the "verts" are running one concept, combined with Inverted Veer make 3. I guess......
This play is definitely determined by a presnap read of 2 high vs 1 high safety. Against Cover 3 you are running verts, against Cover 2 you are most likely getting a 7 man box and running inverted veer giving you technically a 7 on 6 advantage (accounting for the optioned player). 


Again, more bucksweep, but this time, instead of the bubble, you get the second motion man running a swing. It is very hard to keep track of all the movement in the backfield and the swing will open. If you can run this at the high school level its YAC all day on that swing route. 
NOTE** The first motion noted stops pre-snap allowing the second motion to come. 


Here you get a down hill run in Iso, with a mirrored concept in what we would call Okie. Because the Iso block is by the looping guard, it takes time to develop, and I guess actually could be considered a lead draw, but gives time to take a look and see if the concept can be thrown. 


This is a play that Ole Miss runs with a lot of variations. As you will see later, they do a lot with the Inverted Veer, however here, they just make sure they have a ton of blockers for the give....and a fade if the D is lined up in man. 


Lastly for this section is the PEEK MOOSE concept. It is a Y stick, with a variation of draw, and a throw backside.  Coach Brian Flinn of Villanova has variations of this play, and many other teams run it as well. Here are some markups and some film on the variations. 











I start the four play packages with an Ole Miss play. This is the play as diagrammed by Smart Football, that, as I stated earlier, originally peaked my interest in packaged plays. In the bowl game, Ole Miss could not be stopped and I felt made Hugh Freeze look like a genius.  Chris Brown does an excellent job diagramming this and explaining packaged plays here.


In another Ole Miss Play we will see arc motion, creating a pitch option after the inside zone read. That is three plays, in order to add one more element the quarterback also has the option of throwing the hitch. The interior read would be the same, DE for the initial read, OLB or S for the pitch read, and if the C plays the pitch man, the QB has the option to throw to the receiver running the hitch behind it. 


The last play as you will notice, relied completely on post snap reads, whereas the original play in this category relied on all pre-snap reads with the exception of zone read. This play will be just the opposite, as there is one pre-snap read, and the other 3 options rely on post snap reads.  For this play, if the QB was to get a one high or soft corner look or a misalignment to twins, he could immediately throw the bubble screen.  If he does not like the bubble screen, the play can then go in the other direction, with a slice zone read with a hitch as the throwing option. Again, this gives the QB one presnap option coupled with 3 post snap options. 


This play has a similar  theory, as the bubble is there initially, however, rather than a hitch as the post snap throw option, the route has been changed to a fade, most likely due to a two high safety look.  Notice this incorporates the tight end, who is free releasing since the defender over top of him is the read key.  They have also run this play with the tight end staying in the seam rather then getting to the number, again most likely based on a one high look.

Here you get the exact same play, however, with just a few simple changes it presents itself as completely different. You are still given the same elements, Fade/IZ Read/Bubble, but you have a different formation, different variation of IZ read, and a different player running the fade. Same idea, completely different play. 


Same play with a hitch instead of a fade or fly. 


Same play concept, again, different formation and different variation of IZ read. 


With this play, you get a slightly different running play, a different pass concept post snap, and a hitch as a presnap read. If given a soft corner, the QB will throw the hitch. Now on the presnap read as well, if the OLB to the twins side expands to cover down the #2 receiver, or if the OLB on the snap flys to the #2, the QB will hand off the the running back on a lead zone concept. If the OLB does not expand, #2 gets thrown a now route since he is not covered down.


This is one of my favorite plays. I love stick/draw, just as a play alone. I think it gives the QB a great, simple read, and is a great play to rep the hell out of and use as your third down go to. Coach Hoover wrote an article about it here. Chris Brown of course wrote about it as well here, as well as many others. Here Ole Miss combines the stick draw concept out of a three by one formation...but there is no way they are going to waste a play having only 2 CONCEPTS!!! so they add two more, a bubble to the 3x1 side, which accomplishes the same thing as the traditional fade/out that normally accompanies the concept, but gives and extra pass outlet, and a fade, in case the 3x1 formation draws man pressure and the single receiver has the ability to blow away man coverage. So there you have it, Stick/Draw + Fade and Bubble.


As you saw earlier, in what I think is a great integration of wing t principles, bucksweep read was used. Here the use of the H to run the buck (and I can almost guarantee that Auburn has done this at some point and will try to find the film on it) leads to a 4th option, the speed option. The QB reads the unblocked end and if it is a keep read, he now uses the A back as his speed option man. He still has the hitch or sit route as well in case the corner flys up to play the pitch.  This gives a finesse attack to one side of the field, and a strong downhill off-tackle run to the other.  


Here you see the incredibly popular inverted veer being used as 1/2 the package. It is coupled with a bubble screen to one side and a rocket screen to the other. I would guess that the bubble screen is presnap if you get a Cover 2 with inside leverage and no cover down on the #2 receiver. The rocket then would be post snap, dependent upon how an OLB plays the inverted veer. 


BELIEVE IT OR NOT.....OTHER  TEAMS RUN THIS TOO....Here is Oregon, running IZ Read, with a Double Now, thus giving it a Quad Package. 


Lastly for the 4 Play Packages, lets go back to Ole Miss, and yet another variation of the IZ read, combined with a bubble and a hitch. 



Here Ole Miss uses the hitch as a pre-snap read against a soft corner. At the heart of the play, as with most of the plays we have seen it the IZ Read. Using a two back formation, they are able to put the third back in position to be a pitch man, giving the IZ a triple option effect. And as the fifth and last option, if the corner attacks pinches, the QB has the option to throw the bubble screen. That is 5 Plays/Options!!!! in one play call.  You need 13 defenders to have a decent shot at stopping this. 


So that is all. I hope to have given you all a lot of information. I love this stuff and I hope that I did it justice. I have already begun breaking down Oregon 12 and Auburn 13 to see just how much more of this I can compile, but I think this was a good start and I hope everyone gets a ton out of it.