In-Game Technology and Teaching

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In December, I laid out a plan for using technology on the field in practice and games.  The opportunity for immediate feedback on the field is largely untapped.  Read it here.

It’s good to see that some coaches are taking advantage of the rule changes and technology.  Here is an article about Marty Martin, the head coach of Mt. Whitney High School in California utilizing technology to give in-game feedback to his team.

Please check out my company’s website.  We are developing innovative ways of sharing coaching knowledge and rewarding coaches for their intellectual property.  Please contact me if you are interested in contributing to a project this offseason.

Quarterback Timing and the Scramble: Get the ball out like Peyton Manning and Scramble like Russell Wilson


Innovative football coaching resources:

On USA Football:

Retired coach Bill Mountjoy recently shared these quotes on the quarterback scramble:

Sid Gillman said,  “Passing is timing.  It’s the ability to stand in there and take a chance on a beating by the pass rush until the right time comes to let go of the ball.  Nothing is important except releasing the ball at the right instance.  Therefore, accuracy means less than guts.”

Steve Spurrier on “scrambling” said, ”We don’t have that play!”

Bobby Bowden’s thought on “scrambling”:

The question is, “Do you have a drill for your quarterback as far as scrambling for receivers?”  et me tell you what we do.  That’s a good question right there, and if you throw a lot, it is very worth doing, practicing.  Did you want to know if we have a scramble drill to teach him how to scramble?  No we don’t because we don’t want our quarterbacks scrambling.  Let me tell you this…the guttiest thing in football is a quarterback who will take the ball back here and set and hold it right here and start to release it when a guy is fixing to drill him.

It’s hard to argue with the philosophy of Gillman, Spurrier, or Bowden.  On the other hand, it does happen, and it pays to have a plan when it does happen.  This can be handled in teaching different escapes points in the protection, as well as drilling it within different d[passing concepts after simulating a breakdown in either the routes or the protection.  For more on how to do this and the drills, see Get more out of your 7-on-7 drills.

Gillman, Spurrier, and Bowden stress the point of showing poise and composure, having eyes down field and working through the progression, and delivering the ball on time. It’s better to have a quarterback who can do this than the quarterback who can scramble and create.  The quarterback delivering the ball on time has benefits…read more

Read Bowden’s entire comment on scrambling:


The Underlying Philosophy of Chip Kelly

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Innovative football coaching resources:

Another good one via Coach Bill Mountjoy:

Schemes and plays don’t win games.  Execution wins games.  You want a game plan that confuses your opponent, but if it also confuses your own players, you will lose.

Cleverness is enemy of execution.  Thinking is way too slow to work at the highest levels of performance.  Players need to stop thinking and react, using finely honed instincts developed through experience.

Never deal with hypotheticals.  You’ll kill yourself.  I could have nine million different scenarios today.  I don’t deal with all that.  I just deal with what reality is.

Chip Kelly at the 2009 Coach of the Year talk:  “With our inside zone play. We get so much practice time and so many reps that we can handle all the scenarios that come about.  Instead of trying to “out-scheme” your opponent, put your players in an environment where they can be successful because they understand exactly what to do”.

Know the rules: Manziel “catch” illegal on all levels

Innovative football coaching resources:

See it here:

Regardless of the illegal motion, Manziel’s play is illegal on all levels from youth football to the NFL, although most, including officials, don’t know the rule. Deception in simulating a substitution is illegal.

I’m sure this play will be replicated this week. If you are thinking about using it, don’t. It will get called back if the opposing team knows the rule. If it happens to you, have the rule book ready and get get it called back.

NFL Rule:


HS Rule:



More explanation:

Example of illegal “hideout” ND vs. USC, October 2009:

Explanation from

The Pac-10 has come back to USC with favorable rulings on several penalty calls in Saturday’s Notre Dame game.

On the Irish’s fake field goal attempt in the first quarter, Pac-10 officiating coordinator Dave Cutaia has determined that it in fact was an illegal substitution. The player in question was ruled to be among the substitutes leaving the field and stopped about three yards from the sideline, which makes this play illegal. The penalty should have been five yards and a redo of the down, which would have made it 4th-and-7 from the 32-yard line. Instead, Notre Dame used the play to reach the 2-yard line and set up a touchdown one play later.

Clemson vs.Miami 2009:

Trick play used town Michigan hs state championship:


Ideas and Concepts that are Producing 40.9 points per game

Dan Gonzalez presents innovative concepts in his books. The proof is always how those ideas translate to production on the field.  Currently, Gonzalez serves as a consultant to high school football programs.  He is helping produce results.  His teams are averaging a 40.9 points per game.

A client in Texas after 3 games has the following offensive statistics:

465 yards per game, 41.3 points per game

The QB is passing  for 215 yards per game, rising for 105.3 per game.  He’s thrown 4TD and run for 7TD.

A client in Missouri after 4 games has the following offensive statistics:

Averaging 40.3 points per game

The QB has completed 72.6% of his passes for 11TD and only 1 INT, and averages 259.9/passing yards per .game.

Keys to production

Gonzalez points out that explosive plays for each team and no turnovers are the keys for the production of his clients in Missouri and Texas.

The tools

Navigation tags allow the quarterback to be in sync with the play caller on a down by down basis.  What was once something that was 100% memorization of the game plan so the QB was on the same play with the coach can easily be seen from the press box and communicated with Gonzalez’s navigation tag system.

Further more, think of how an offense becomes limited when the number two quarterback has to play.  He isn’t as confident because he lacks experience, and most time the coach shares that lack of confidence.  Navigation tags eliminate that worry be giving the coach the ability to direct his passer.

The communication system he has developed is revolutionary, yet very simple.  Gonzalez explains the philosophy of why he set up navigation tags in this excerpt:

“Instead of a system centered on the coach, we now have a system centered on the needs of the player.    This point cannot be understated; it is often forgotten that the players (particularly the quarterback) have the hardest jobs.  It is the coach’s job to orchestrate and guide; putting the needs of the player ahead of everything in a system is the ultimate in servant-leadership.”

He goes on to explain the technical purpose of navigation tags:

“The ability to target multiple parts of a given pass pattern, and a means for communicating these intentions from one down to the next.  To simply give the QB a progression, and then to leave him with no way to adjust in-game, is unacceptable.  The coach must accept responsibility to guide the leader of the offense, and have a way to communicate his intentions.”

Navigation tags allow the quarterback to be in sync with the play caller on every single play.  Gonzalez explains this further:

“These situations happen in every game at every level: the players don’t always see what a coach does, and there is a need to augment the standard progression to dial the player into the easiest completion.  Rather than “grab bagging” on the sideline, we use navigation tags as a means to communicate on a down to down basis.  All the while, this communication is achieved without losing the ability to adjust, should the defensive play be different than anticipated.  Most of all, these tags do not deviate from the core concepts of the offense, and the astute coaching staff will implement these as part of a game plan, rather than a harried grasp at straws on the sideline.”

Another chapter worth highlighting in this resource are “Offensive Axioms.”  In regard to axioms, Gonzalez writes, “That’s what it’s all about, right?  Having a core set of values, and doing everything within the confines of those values.  Through all the developments, X and O –wise, the crux of the philosophy should not change.  To reiterate, core values do not change; the method is what changes with innovation.   So how would one go about shaping this philosophy?”

Gonzalez explains his axioms in detail in this chapter.  Learn how Gonzalez’s axioms get the defense to play into your hands and tax the defense mentally. What any coach can pull out right now to help his offense are bulleted below.

▪Organize your offense so that it attacks all areas of the field.

▪Always be in a good play by organizing play structures into packages to give every play a explosive possibility.

▪Use personnel, shifting, and motioning.

▪Get to the third man in the progression to open up big plays with the third fix.

▪Create big plays and control the clock.

▪Limit the defense’s ability to disguise.

The last chapter, “Stay on the Cutting Edge” provides some great thoughts for any offensive coordinator. Gonzalez explains the importance of being organized in thinking about distribution of plays and key factors in becoming a top producing offense.  He emphasizes carrying the appropriate amount of offense and how to think about what to carry in terms of play calls.  He shares his model and thought process.  While your system may be fundamentally different than Dan’s in terms of how it attacks, the thought process can be applied to any offensive system.

There is much, much more that Gonzalez puts on the table in terms of how a great offensive coach thinks and plans.  This is a resource that is quickly and easily read because of the dynamic format used to produce it.  It’s a combination of short, yet meaningful spans of text, and video screencasts in which Gonzalez shares and illustrates the points he writes about in the text.

Again, none of what Gonzalez presents requires any team, whether they performed well this week or poorly, to scrap what they do.  Gonzalez simply gives some tools and perspectives that can be meshed with your current system.  These two quotes point out what he is communicating in this manual:

“However, the astute coach with the system to overcome such obstacles can make simple adjustments without disrupting any core teaching.”

“That is the challenge every year: seeking continuous improvement, while at the same time, sticking to one’s core teaching and beliefs. ”

This is part one of four in Gonzalez’s series, “Coaching Concepts:  Developing an Offensive System.”  Part 1 The Need for Change was designed to make an impact for coaches right now at this time of the year.

Follow Dan Gonzalez on twitter @Dan_Gonzalez16 and read his blog here.

Check out my company website

You can get The Need for Change and other innovative resources here.

Show Gun Offense: 369 rushing yards per game

Coach Zeitman has the offense rolling again at Ferris State University.  At 2-0, the Bulldogs are averaging 369 yards per game on the ground, 575.5 yards per game, and 51 points per game.  The base play is the inside veer, and Coach Zeitman shares the fundamentals and technique details for each position in his interactive book The Show Gun Offense:  Inside Veer.  

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Practice tip: In-season drills must have focus and purpose

On USA Football:

You’ve been through the grueling weeks of camp when fundamentals were taught and concepts were learned. At this point in the season, the drills that teach a single skill need to be repurposed to include multiple fundamentals and techniques. Doing this saves time and allows coaches to focus on specific techniques and strategies that must be employed to beat this week’s opponent. Before proceeding into the setup of specific drills, here are some general parameters for deciding on what will be worked and how to set it up. Make the drill game specific. In other words, if it doesn’t happen on the field or isn’t teaching the muscle memory and application on game day, the drill has little value. This starts with making sure your warm-up drills – usually done with little or no equipment – have specificity. Most important is that the players understand how that drill appears on the field. Visualization of what is happening in a real situation adds value. In the videos below the drill is shown, then the game application of the drill follows…read more.

The following video included in this article is from my interactive book The Zone Offense:  Build a Base detailing the specifics of the inside zone play.  It is packed with game and drill video, animations, and information on using the zone play and building an offensive system.  It will be released early in the off season.

My company, Coaches Edge Technologies is dedicated to providing in-depth coaching materials so that we can help build a better coach, a better, player, and a better team. Check out our website for cutting edge materials that can help you right now.