The Hitch – Detailed Info from Bill Mountjoy

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Coach Bill Mountjoy always passes along great information, and here is some more on an “old school” play that is as effective than ever.

Coach Mountjoy is one of Dan Gonzalez’s influences and mentors.  Dan has put together a great series on Developing an Offensive System, with part 1The Need for Change and part 2 The Blue Print available now.

Dan Gonzalez’s iBook is available now for a limited time at $39.99 ($20 off the regular price).  Get it here. This iBook is loaded with content.  Gonzalez goes into detail on the essentials of putting together an offensive system through instructional video clips and interactives.  60 instructional videos explain concepts and analyze plays in detail.  Over 50 multi-angle cut-ups of plays are included for your own review and study as well.  The total minutes of video included is just over 2 hours. Learn more about what is included here and here.

The introductory sale applies to  The Need for Change as well.  Get $5 off Part I.  Read about The Need for Change here and here.  Get it here.

If you get both Part 1 & 2, you are getting over 3 hours worth of video as well as text, interactive presentations, and diagrams.  Gonzalez put the highest level of detail into these manuals.

Here is a message from one of Dan’s clients:

I asked their coach, Ryan Schartz, if he’d write a bit on how they have benefited:

Last winter my offensive staff and I knew we had a group of players suited to throw the ball.  Our run and shoot system was by no means broken, but it did limit some of the the things we wanted to be able to do.  After reading Dan’s book Re-coded and Reloaded, it dawned on me that this was the system to use.  Installment started in the spring and continued into the summer.  The language that he uses allows players to learn quickly.  Our kids have commented several times that it is much easier to learn than our former system.  His system was an easy transition as it has many run and shoot concepts built in. One of our main objectives was to be able to get our RBs out in to routes out of the backfield.  The Gonzalez system more than allows an offense to use all 5 receivers.  The best part, though is the rhythm passing and progression allows the QB to make his reads quick and decisive. After using parts of it for the first 3 weeks of the season, we have noticed that there is much flexibility in attacking defenses.  This is all coming from at team that traditionally runs the football 80% of the time.  Dan has been terrific!  He is readily available to help explain and give advice.  Although we have not changed much of our run game, his passing system has been a wonderful resource for our program.

Ryan Schartz
Head Coach
Fort Osage High School
Independence, MO

From Coach Mountjoy:

Joe Gibbs’ 3 Step Drop Back Passes (he always said the HITCH was the single most effective play in his offense BECAUSE it was an easy  completion that was like a SWEEP which was around the corner & 6 yds. downfield, & it you rolled up to stop it the WR would convert to the FADE (for a big play).  So in effect, it was a short pass, a deep pass, and a sweep, all rolled up into one!

HITCH” depends on play of Corner ((5-8 yds deep AND “bailing”), PLUS the Flat Coverage. “60 SERIES” We relies MOSTLY on “Pre-Snap Looks” (PSL):

THREE STEP DROPBACK PASS

HERE IS OUR WHOLE PHILOSOPHY IN A NUTSHELL. PICTURE YOURSELF AS THE QUARTERBACK IN THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE:

X—————O-O-C-O-O-Y
————-H——–Q——————–Z

———————-R

YOU HAVE TWO MEN SPREAD ACROSS THE FIELD – X AND Z. IF EITHER OF THE TWO MEN IS SINGLE OPEN (CB BAILING), YOU SHOULD THROW TO HIM ALL DAY. IF YOUR OPPONENT SENDS SOMEONE OUT TO HELP COVER HIM, YOU SHOULD RUN! THIS IS THE FIRST THING WE DO. WE CHECK OUR WIDE RECEIVERS. IF THEY ARE SINGLE COVERED, WE GO TO OUR 3 STEP GAME.

ALL OF THE ABOVE IS ASSUMING THE CORNERS ARE OFF AND “BAILING”. WE DO NOT LIKE THE 3 STEP GAME INTO HARD CORNERS. SO, IF THE CORNERS ARE OFF AND BAILING – HOW DOES THE DEFENSE HELP THEM? CHECK THE ALIGNMENT OF THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FLAT. HE CAN LINE UP IN ANY OF 4 PLACES.

——–W—-E
X————–F
X——————O-O-C-O-O-Y
—————-H——-Q——————–Z

————————R

1. “F” = “FORCE” (8 OR 9 TECHNIQUE ON LOS)
2. “E” = “STACKED ON OUTSIDE HIP OF DE” OR SLIGHTLY WIDER
3. “W” = “WALKAWAY” (1/2 WAY OUT)
4. “X” = “ON X” (OUTSIDE; HEAD; OR INSIDE SHADE) = RARE

“FEWX” DETERMINES THE USE OF THE 3 STEP GAME IN SITUATIONS WHERE THE CORNER IS OFF AND BAILING. EXAMPLE:

A) “HITCH” = YOU WOULD NOT THROW THE HITCH VS. THE “X” POSITION (UNLESS YOU WANTED TO LIMIT YOUR CHOICE TO THE INSIDE RECEIVER). IF YOU THROW IT VS. THE “W” POSITION – YOU HAVE TO READ HIM CAREFULLY AND BE SURE HE IS HELD DOWN BY THE INSIDE RECEIVER. IT IS GREAT VS. THE “F” AND “E” POSITIONS, AND YOU WILL PROBABLY NOT GO TO THE INSIDE RECEIVER VS. THE “E” POSITION.

B) “SLANT” = YOU WOULD WANT TO THROW THE SLANT VS. THE “X” POSITION IF HE IS IN AN OUTSIDE SHADE OR HEAD UP (IF HE IS IN AN INSIDE SHADE – DON’T THROW IT UNLESS YOU SPEND A TON OF TIME TEACHING THE “SPECIAL” RELEASE REQUIRED). VS. THE “W” POSITION IT IS VERY GOOD IF THE DEFENDER IS PULLED OUT BY THE INSIDE RECEIVER’S FLAT ROUTE (OTHERWISE – THE SLANT IS TAKEN AWAY AND THE FLAT SHOULD BE THERE). VS. THE “F” AND “E” POSITIONS YOU WILL HAVE TO HIT THE SLANT QUICKLY BEFORE THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO WORK UNDER IT (IF THEY HANG – THE FLAT ROUTE COMES OPEN).

C) “UP” (FADE) = THE ONLY PART OF OUR 3 GAME WE REALLY LIKE TO CALL VS. HARD CORNERS. HIT THE W.O. IN THE “HOLE” 18-22 YDS. DEEP BETWEEN THE CORNER AND SAFETY. CAN PUT INSIDE RECEIVER ON A “SEAM” ROUTE UP THE HASH TO HOLD THE SAFETY, OR ON A FLAT ROUTE TO HOLD THE CORNER (WHICHEVER YOU NEED TO DO).

(see “FLAT TERMINOLOGY” ATTACHED at bottom):

PS: We like SMOKE to WR on the backside of Trips (3×1 sets). We like Hitch from 2×2 sets based on FLAT coverage in attachment (generalities).

COACHING THE QB & RECEIVER ON THE “HITCH”:

I.      QB CROSS STEP FOOTWORK IN DROPPING BACK 3 STEPS ON THE HITCH ROUTE:

1.       Pivot on the left foot and take a long step back toward the set-up spot with the right foot.  Then use cross-over action to the set-up spot.

2.      Starting with the right foot, you will take 3 steps and “Stop”, “ready” to pass.  You must have stopped and be ready to pass before the receiver makes his final break (on at LEAST 2 steps more than the QB took).

3.      Open your shoulders at an angle NOT TO EXCEED 90 degrees to the LOS and look straight down the field, seeing your reads as you go back.  Know where you are going with the ball by the time you reach the set-up spot.  IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE QB TO KEEP HIS SHOULDERS AT A RIGHT ANGLE TO LOS, AND HIS FOREHEAD PARALLEL TO THE LOS ON HIS FIRST STEP SO HE CAN SEE THE FIELD.   ON STEP 2 & 3 TRANFER YOUR VISION TO THE THROWING AREA.

4.       The ball must be held chest high and with two hands.  Always be ready to unload the ball quickly.

5.      Stop in the “Ready” position without any resetting so you can pass immediately if necessary.

6.      THREE STEP DROP  (“QUICK DROP”):
A.      The 3 step drop is a 1 + 2 step drop, with 1 full stride and 2 short gathering strides – planting on the third step and throw. Always stop with short steps and come to balance before throwing.
B.      It is coordinated with the quick passing game.  Receivers run 5 step breaks.
C.      Think in terms of the set-up spot being 3 to 4 yards deep.  Set up in .8 seconds and throw the HITCH (timing route) in 1.3.

II.   WR ALIGN 12 YARDS FROM H/Y WITH OUTSIDE FOOT BACK  STEPS ON HITCH:

1.  First step with your outside foot.

2.  Your fifth step will find you on your outside foot (at 6 yards deep).  Plant this foot and pivot your inside hip to the outside – staying low and stationary.  Turn your eyes to the QB first and foremost.

3.  EXPECT the ball to be on the way BEFORE you turn your head.

4.  After the catch roll to the outside (you are a broken “arm tackle” away from a score)!

III.   ESTABLISHING TIMING BETWEEN QB’s & RECEIVERS:

THIS APPLIES TO “TIMING” ROUTES ONLY (THE “HITCH” IS A “TIMING” ROUTE):

A)      THE TIMING OF THE DELIVERY IS ESSENTIAL.  IT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM TO SUCCESSFUL PASSING!

B)      GIVE THE RECEIVER 1 SECOND TO GET OUT OF HIS STANCE, AND 1/10 SECOND FOR EACH ADDITIONAL YARD RUN.  FOR EXAMPLE:  A 6 YARD “HITCH” SHOULD BE COMPLETED BY THE RECEIVER IN 1.6 SECONDS!  NOTE:  ON A TIMING ROUTE – THE RECEIVER MUST TAKE AT LEAST TWO MORE STEPS THAN THE QB DOES IN SETTING UP  (THIS GIVES THE QB .5 SECONDS TO GET THE BALL OUT).

C)      QUARTERBACK MUST GET THE BALL OUT OF HIS HAND (ON “TIMING ROUTES”) BEFORE THE RECEIVER MAKES HIS FINAL BREAK.  FOR EXAMPLE:  THE RECOMMENDED TIME FOR THE QB ON THE “HITCH” IS 1.3 SECONDS (IT HELPS ON ALL “TIMING” PASSES IF QB’S ARM COME UP INTO THROWING POSITION AS LAST STEP HITS THE GROUND).

D)      (QB)  IF YOU CANNOT CO-ORDINATE EYE AND ARM TO GET THE BALL AT IT’S INTENDED SPOT PROPERLY AND ON TIME, YOU ARE NOT A PASSER!!!

E)       KEEPING THE BALL IN BOTH HANDS AND CHEST HIGH IS PART OF THE ANSWER.

F)      “BREAKING POINTS”:  (FOR TIMING PURPOSES) – OBSERVE THE FOLLOWING (ON TIMING ROUTES):
1)      QB TAKES 3 STEPS (IN .8 SECOND) – ON PASSES WITH BREAKING POINTS OF 6 YARDS.  QB GETS THE BALL OUT IN 1.3.  The WR on the HITCH comes open at 1.6.

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

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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:

BOWDENXSCRAMBLE

The Underlying Philosophy of Chip Kelly

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Innovative football coaching resources: https://coachesedgetechnologies.com/store/

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”.

Drill Happy? A quick note from Coach Mountjoy

DRILL HAPPY?

Too many coaches are “DRILL HAPPY”.  Joe Bugel said that when he first coached the O-Line for Woody Hayes at Ohio State, he came to practice with a large stack of 5×8 index cards containing his O-Line drills.

Woody told him “you are not in the entertainment business – toss those damned cards away & just teach the O-lineman how to drive block, reach block, & down block”.

How do you do this?  No “drills” are needed – you just line a defender up on the blocker & just DO IT!

PS:  You don’t need a bunch of boards, sleds, dummies, ETC.  Those things are NOT found on the field on game day!!!

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A Plan to Break Down Defensive Frontal Structures

Bill Mountjoy is an authority not just on how to run the ball but also on when and where to run the ball.  This post from an email from Bill provides great information on how to use run schemes.  Thanks again Coach!

The document below describes the Red-White System.  Coach Mountjoy’s notes are written after the document.

Reedwhite1redwhite2redwhite3redwhite4redwhite5redwhite6

We still find IZ GOOD to the “White” side of the defense (see ATTACHMENT).  Can use it with or without “H” back ISO on it.

ALSO:  Check below:

CALLING RUNS:

 RED:

  1. “POWER”
  1. “OUTSIDE ZONE”
  1. “TOSS”  (ESP. IF MAN/BLITZ)

WHITE:

  1. “COUNTER”
  1. “INSIDE ZONE”
  1. “TOSS” (ESP. IF MAN/BLITZ)

ALSO:  “H-AROUND” (PRIORITIES IN ORDER):

A)    IF 3 MEN TO SE SIDE OF BALL AWAY FROM “TRIPS” – RUN TO SE SIDE.  IF 4 MEN TO SE SIDE OF BALL FROM “TRIPS ” – GO TO PLAN B):

B)  IF 4 MEN TO EACH SIDE OF BALL IN “DOUBLE” – RUN TO TE SIDE.

“LEAD DRAW”  TO EITHER SIDE.

A)     POWER/COUNTER:

RED SIDE (TE SIDE IN THIS CASE) WE CAN RUN THERE ON POWER VS. 4 IN THE “BOX” STRONGSIDE OF THE CENTER (with H coming in motion) – BUT NOT 5:
WE FEEL that since there will be a smaller HOLE between the 3 technique & the 7 tech. DE to be kicked out on the “POWER” to the TE side (by align) – the “H” in MOTION can get ONTO the block MUCH quicker than the OFF G would on the Counter (before the hole constricts). ALSO: In “DOUBLE” – if you ran Power to SE side – WHO is the kickout blocker??? REMEMBER: If they are WEAK on the SE side, with 3 defenders or less in the “box” – EXPLOIT IT (don’t bring another defender over WITH the motion, because we don’t like to run to the SE side with 4 defenders in the “box”).

WHITE SIDE (SE SIDE IN THIS CASE) WE CAN RUN THERE WITH 3 IN THE “BOX” WEAKSIDE OF THE CENTER ON COUNTER (with wrapping OFF G coming) – BUT NOT 4:
The HOLE on the SE side between the 1 or Shade & the loose 5 tech. DE to be trapped on the COUNTER is generally wider (by align) – taking the trapping Off G more time to get there, & if the DE DOES close too fast – we can “TANGO” block him on Counter to the WHITE side (which you CAN’T do on the Power towards RED).

Using the SEQUENCE of motioning to POWER the TE side, & coming back with COUNTER to the SE side (WHEN they over react to motion) is almost an entire offense in itself (along with the play actions). Having used these plays in this manner since 1982 – I can ASSURE you that it is what works best for US!!! We don’t get “carried away” & try to do too many things. You might call us “minimalists”, & our philosophy is “LESS IS BETTER”!!!.

Larry Beightol says that:
1. We only run Power to the TE side, AND, then only to the RIGHT!!
2. We only run Counter to the SE side, AND, then only to the LEFT!!!

His ONLY REASON??? (QUOTE) “EVEN IN THE NFL – there is not ENOUGH TIME to teach the COUNTER to the TE side AND the SE side, AND to the right and left, AND ALSO, NOT enough time teach the POWER to the TE side AND the SE side, AND to the right and left. We have to leave time for our OTHER runs, AND, Pass Pro”!!!

B)     ZONE PLAYS:

We prefer INSIDE ZONE to the “WHITE” side because the RB has a chance to CRAM the B Gap (because of the “bubble” over the ON G) without having to always make a CUT (“the BEST cut is NO cut”), & because we frequently get 3 double teams on the IZ to the “White” side:

GETTING 3 “VERTICAL” DOUBLE TEAMS ON INSIDE ZONE PLAY TO “WHITE” SIDE:

OBJECTIVE:  PUSH LEVEL 1 (DLM) BACK INTO THE LAPS OF LEVEL 2 (LBers)

—————————-W/S

C———————————————-S/S———–C

——————–W——-M——S

———————–E—–N—T—-E

———————-O-O-O-C-O-O-O

O—————————–Q—————————–O

——————————-R

INSIDE ZONE LEFT:

LE & LT = (ZONE) DOUBLE DE (#2) TO WLB (#3)

LG & CTR = (ZONE) DOUBLE NOSE (#0) TO MLB (#1)

RG & RT = (ZONE) DOUBLE DT (#1) TO SLB (#2)

RE = (MAN) CUTOFF DE (#3)

RB = 1st. STEP LATERAL WITH PLAYSIDE FOOT, ROLL, CROSSOVER, AND AIM NOSE FOR OUTSIDE LEG OF LG.   CRAM B GAP

QB = OPEN TO 7 O’CLOCK.  AFTER HANDOFF – FAKED NAKED FOR 5 STEPS AWAY FROM P.O.A.

WR’S  “PUSH/CRACK” FROM CORNERS TO SAFETIES

We prefer OUTSIDE ZONE to the “RED” side of the defense because the RB’s SECOND read (his first read – the DE – normally gives his a read to go inside) is generally a 3 technique (on “Red”) as opposed to a “1” or a “Shade” (on “White”), and he can make his decision to cut UP quicker off the 3 tech. (& more straight upfield).  On  “Red” he has a greater chance to cram the C Gap (because of the “bubble” over the ON T) – which is what we WANT!

The BIGGEST MISTAKE I see offensive coaches make it that they (in a given game) try to run ALL their plays, from ALL their formations, & run them ALL both right & left (& run them ALL to both “RED” & “WHITE”). That is a recipe for “getting your ass beat”.

 

More Zone from Bill Mountjoy

Coach Mountjoy has some great material on the zone running game and he forwarded more for me to share.  Included in this post are Alabama’s theory behind zone blocking under OL Coach Joe Pendry.  As Coach Mountjoy said, “ They BEGIN with it as a “man” scheme (DLM widens quickly) & progress to “zone” when it is needed (DLM honkers down or comes inside).”  The next piece are two photos of the Washington Redskins Zone Landmarks (2013).  Coach also shared two other pieces that he felt went along well with this info.

ZONEBAMASlide1Slide2

IZCOMBOSIZPPT8

Why we zone block by Coach Mountjoy

WHY WE ZONE BLOCK:

Our DEFINITION of zone blocking = “ZONE BLOCKING IS TWO ADJACENT OFFENSIVE LINEMEN RESPONSIBLE FOR BLOCKING TWO DEFENDERS IN A CERTAIN AREA.” It BEGINS at the bubble. The more bubbles – the more zone blocks on a given play (the fewer the bubbles – the fewer the zone blocks on a given play. WE normally get from ONE to THREE zone combos on a zone play (strictly depending on the defense’s alignment). THEREFORE – ZONE & MAN BLOCKING ALWAYS HAS TO FIT TOGETHER WITHIN EACH PLAY!!!

1. Zone blocking means that our blockers are responsible for only HALF a man (they have “ass protection” coming from an uncovered teammate to their inside). This way, we frequently get DOUBLE TEAMS from the DLM to the LBer. A blocker can come off the ball FASTER, & with MORE CONFIDENCE if he knows that he has help. If the DLM goes inside – he will be turned over to your inside teammate.

2. In a zone blocking scheme, fleet-footedness and athletic ability trump size as desirable qualities in offensive linemen. Coordination and technique matter more than muscle in implementing a successful scheme because defensive linemen are often double-teamed at the point of attack. Creating movement on the defensive line is more important than opening a specific hole in the defense.

3. You cannot MAN block all twists, slants, angles, stacks, etc. Sooner or later – you HAVE to zone off with another man, or defenders will run free. If you look at Vince Lombardi playbooks from the 1950’s & 1960’s – he EMPHASIZES zoning off on certain RUN schemes (he called it “Do-Dad” blocking), and on pass protection schemes vs. “twists”, etc.

4. It has proven to cut off penetration, & create movement on level 1 (DLM), with someone coming off on level 2 (LBer).

5. Can interchange positions EASILY!

6. WHO to block is EASY.