Urban Meyer coaching methods

Save on iBooks from Keith Grabowski, Dan Gonzalez and other Coaches Edge Technologies authors from now until the end of the AFCA Convention.

Tomorrow’s National Championship Game presents an opportunity to examine how coaching can propel a team to a championship. In mid-August, Ohio State’s season was in doubt as an injury ended Braxton Miller’s season.  He was the key piece to the offense. After a stumble, JT Barrett went on to break records and become a legitimate Heisman candidate. Then he broke his ankle.

Now Ohio State enters the championship game with the third team quarterback, Cardale Jones.  Will he be able to fill the big shoes of the two quarterbacks who were starters before he was for a third time?  How did Barrett do it?

When Urban Meyer took over, he spoke at the Ohio High School Coaches Clinic about his method of “on edge coaching.”   He said he wanted the Buckeyes to be taught and coached through “direct teaching.”  He made the point of using the technology and tools available to teach rather than just present to players, and to keep them on the edge of their seats.  Meyer said, “The greatest teaching tools available in the history of this sport are now available to you…The days of saying, ‘I don’t use that’ are not acceptable at the Ohio State University.  We’re going to be on the cutting edge of every teaching tool that is available.”

Tomorrow is a test of sorts, not just for the Buckeye’s on the field but the methods of the coaches in preparing the players off the field as well.  Jones performance on the field will be a reflection of the work done on the practice field and in the classroom up to this point.

I had a call from a close friend this week on that very topic.  He is a perennial league champ and has his team in the play-offs every year.  He said, “I’m not looking for the next great scheme.  I’m looking at how we coach and prepare our players to face all situations.”  Truthfully that’s what coaching is really all about.  As I type this while watching two distinctly styles of teams (one spread the other double-tight), I believe that truly is the key.  Schemes only a team so far.  Solid preparation by the players and coaches will produce consistent winners.

Read more about it in the Wall Street Journal:

Check out my resources available:

The Zone Offense:  Create a Structured System focuses on this topic.  Preparation, planning, and the details that lead to execution are emphasized in this iBook.

Dan Gonzalez presents the idea of accountability in The Need for Change.  His ideas can help make any system better because of the emphasis on preparation.

Finally, Coaches Edge Game Planning System helps you implement not just a tool for scripting and game planning, but a process for making decisions and properly preparing your players.

Offensive Ideas & Tools to Help Your Team Win in 2014

Gonzalez Cover part 1

Not many offensive resources give you information that can be applied immediately.  Most take some work and problem solving to be able to fit the idea within your system.

If you have been exposed to the materials Dan Gonzalez has created in his first two books, you know he is innovative and gives all the details you need to implement his system.  What he has created in his interactive book are tools that are easily applied to your offense.  His new interactive book is Coaching Concepts:  Developing an Offensive System Part 1 – The Need for Change.  

I’ve mentioned navigation tags in a previous post.  I am very excited about this concept as a cutting edge offensive tool.  In addition, he provides offensive axioms.  If you make sure your game plan and design fits these axioms, you will definitely increase your offense’s chance for success.

Finally, Gonzalez expands beyond what has become the go to packaged play for a lot of teams – stick/draw.  He includes video and details on stick draw, as well as two other packaged plays which are simple to implement.

As he has done before, Dan Gonzalez has created a powerful resource for you coaching library.

Get Dan’s book on your iPad or Mac.

Coaching Concepts:  Developing an Offensive System Part 1 – The Need for Change.  

My Newest Project: 101+ Read Game Plays

In 2013, I released 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.  This interactive book is the first of its kind, blending the information you normally get in a coaching book-text, diagrams, and coaching points, with the information you normally get on a DVD – video and game film.  The innovative format is able to go way beyond what you get in a book or DVD, giving coaches a depth of knowledge well beyond the other coaching products on the market.

I released my second interactive book in March 2014 – The Zone Offense Create a Structured System.  This utilizes even more capability of the technology, loading the book with 167 pages that included 662 interactive slides and 51 total minutes of video.

My new interactive book which will be released soon is 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays:  The Read Game.  This includes the details on running zone read variations, zone option, veer, power read, play action off of the read game, and gives ideas for developing other types of read plays.

It will be available soon.  In the mean time, check out my other two books.

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Pin & Pull Resources

Follow me on twitter: @CoachKGrabowski

Pin and Pull has been a great play to allow us to get the ball out on the perimeter with force.  Here are a list of resources beginning with my own.  I have a detailed chapter on pin and pull in my iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays for the iPad and Mac. Here are some Pin and Pull Resources to aid you in learning more about the scheme:

From Me:

My article on AFM

Pin and Pull from the Spread

Trailer on my AFM Video on Pin&Pull

Sweep Read that Attacks Both Perimeters

Use the Proper Tool-Pulling Technique

Smart Football/Chris Brown:

Outside Zone Variant:  Pin & Pull

Sweep Read Play

Colt’s Stretch Play


Sweep Read Play

Strong Football

Loosening Up the Box


Pin & Pull Scheme Cut-Ups

Pin & Pull Cut-ups

Auburn Buck Sweep

Complementing the Power O

Offensive Line-Sweep Pulls

Incrementalism – Get Better Everyday

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“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”
― Abraham Lincoln

During our preseason camp I posted a thought on incrementalism.  Incrementalism is making changes by degrees or in small steps.  I really like the website www.aplayaday.com; it’s perfect for learning something new in this game everyday.  The videos presented daily (Monday through Friday) are essentially mini-clinics.  While you may not use that particular play or concept, you have a chance to learn about it, because at some point an opponent may use it.

Because the videos are short, you can watch them while having your morning coffee, during your lunch break, or even between classes.  The effect is you are learning or getting more detail on five concepts a week.  Sometimes it’s tougher to carve out time to sit down and watch an hour long clinic video, but this concept of the mini-clinic is much simpler.

If you have an idea that you would like to share, there are simple instructions for submitting your own material and helping others make this game better.  I submitted a video.  It’s up as a free sample that can be viewed here.

The sample is from my iBook. My iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays provides concepts that can be utilized in any offense, not just the pistol. The interactive multimedia book contains 229 pieces of dynamic content and q total of 30 minutes of game film.  I have received some great feedback from coaches who adapted all or some of those ideas in 2013. Get 101+ PRO STYLE PISTOL OFFENSE PLAYS for your iPad or Mac from the iBookstore


Play Action Passing Resources

Play action passing is a huge part of our offense. Being able to run the ball effectively and having a good play action game go hand in hand. Here are some resources from my notes on the play action passing game. Along with coaching presentations and articles, I’ve included good analysis articles that explain an offense’s plays with illustrated still shots, diagrams, and video. I have found a lot of statistical analysis which really shows the importance of having play action as part of the passing game. In most of the statistical analysis articles you will see that play action greatly enhances the team’s passing statistics and the quarterback’s rating. As an NFL coach recently told me, a good keeper turns into the same play that the QB was running in junior high and is easy to complete. Finally, I include a section of videos. All of the links in this post are to materials that are free.

Read my AFM article on tying the run and pass together here.

Read my AFM article on organizing a pass concept here.

Download my PowerPoint on keys to effective play action here.

View some of my play Action Cut-ups here.

My post on General Bootleg Quarterback Principles

Play action is explained, diagrammed, and shown on video in my iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays available for the iPad on the iBookstore here.

Dub Maddox-Set-Show-Snap-Sell. Must watch on how to teach play action fakes. We use it at BW.

Get Coaches Edge cutting edge resources.  Text, diagrams, animations, and game video all in one product:

101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays:  Play Action iPad iPhone More Info

Herring Snippet Covers.001

Explosive Offense:  Manufacturing Vertical Shots iPad  More Info

101+ Read Game Plays    iPad   More Info (includes read game PAP)

101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays  iPad   More Info (large PAP section)

Smart Football/Chris Brown

Play Action – Better Pull a Guard

Green Bay and the Dig Pattern

Jimbo Fischer Bootleg

Manufacturing Big Plays in the Passing Game

Analysis Articles

Redskins Best PAP

Giants Play Action

Ravens PA vs Giants

Patriots PAP


Houston Texans 2012 PAP


Broncos Bootleg

Texans Signature Play

Oregon Play Action

Boise St complimenting Power O with PAP


Stanford PA off of Power O

Ohio St 2011

Cincy Bearcats

Zone Bootleg

Clinic Articles and Presentations
Ron Jenkins Play Action Mechanics

Fundamentals of Play Action JA Polk

Top Gun QB Academy PA Fundamentals

Andrew Coverdale PPT includes PAP

Bill Walsh – Controlling the ball with the pass

American Football Monthly- Paul Markowski

American Football Monthly – Rich Hargitt

Complimenting the rushing play with a play action

Pistol PA Downloads

Dennis Erickson – One Back a play Action, Miami 1993

Play Action off of Jet Sweep

Play Action with Curl and Scat concepts

Spread Offense Counter GT PAP

Mount Union PAP

Ted Seay- Bunch Play Action from Double Wing

Coach B Dud

Jay Wilkinson- Jenks Bunch, covers some PAP

Youth Double Wing Passing Game

Shotgun Wing T Play Action

Wishbone Play Action

Naked-Using Receiver Motion

Passing Game- Bootlegs

Bootlegs-QB reads made simple

Wing T Waggle

Spread Offense Bootleg Series

Bakersfield HS Pistol Play Action

Wing T 48 Pass

Defending the Bootleg

Backside safety vs play action

Statistical Analysis

NFL PAP Snapshot

Cowboys PAP

Bears PAP

NFC West

Seahawks PA

Cowboys-Play Calling and the Illusion of Offensive Balance

2012 Play Action, Defense

2012 Play Action, Offense

Cowboys PAP rate increasing

Running the Numbers

Redskins use of PA


49ers play action

Play Pass-Selling the Fake

QB &RB Action

QB footwork Draw Action Pass

Cal Play Action Money Concept pt1

Cal Play Action Money Concept pt 2

Cal Play Action Money Concept pt3

Ga Tech Inside Veer PAP

Play Action from Ski Gun

Play Action Pass Protections

PAP off of Jet Sweep

PAP from Power I

Wishbone PAP

Option Central PAP off Jet Sweep

Wildcat Naked

Wildcat Jump Pass

Fishduck: Oregon PA

Fishduck: Oregon Sweep/PA

Ohio St Zone Read PAP

Alex Gibbs Keepers

Tony Demeo Video Cuts
Frontside Post Wheel

Backside Post Wheel

Boot from trips

Frontside Stretch

Backside Stretch

Stretch with Triple Action

The Mother Lode of Zone Running Game Resources

Innovative Coaching Resources: https://coachesedgetechnologies.com/store/

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Follow me on twitter @CoachKGrabowski

Be more effective and efficient in your game planning and preparation.  Here’s what Andrew Coverdale had to say the Coaches Edge Game Planning System:

“The most valuable resource we have as coaches during game weeks is time – and this resource helped me completely re-imagine how I can best spend it.  By taking the process of planning and scripting and automating it, this tool will allow me to be more efficient in how I work, and most importantly, leave me more time and headspace to be fully present with my kids during our preparations.”

Andrew Coverdale
Offensive Coordinator
Trinity High School
Louisville, Kentucky
2014 6A State Champion
Get it here:


The Zone Running Game
When I started researching the zone running game about a decade ago, there were very few resources available. I was able to put together a binder of articles, some clinic notes, and I found a book and a few videos that I purchased. This post would have been like hitting the mother lode for me back then. The Internet is full of resources on this topic now.

I owe my initial learning to some local coaches who were willing to give their time to sit down and teach me. I owe a lot of my initial learning and foundation of the zone running game to Russ Jacques and Ron Lewis who are both great high school coaches here in the Cleveland area.

Later, I learned from communicating with Bill Mountjoy after my first year of running the inside and outside zone. What I learned from him and a few others helped improve it and produced the Ohio HS Division I leading rusher and scorer in 2005. I posted some zone information from Coach Mountjoy here and here.

The zone has become a very popular run because of its ability to be used in multiple formations and personnel groupings. This post includes over 150 links to information in the zone running game. All of the links will take you to information that is free.

Here are enhanced digital books (text, diagrams, telestrated voice-over instructionals, game footage) that are based on the zone running game:

Marrying Stick and Zone Bubble (an RPO) iPad   iPhone  Google Play  more info

Something to Hang Your Hat on Inside Zone  iPad  more info

101+ Read Game Plays    iPad   More Info

The Zone Offense:  Create a Structured System  iPad   More Info

Bubble as a Pre Snap and Post Snap Answer iPad More Info

101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays  iPad   More Info

Read my zone article here:

A Multiple Run Game with the Zone Scheme

Download my zone clinic presentations here:

2007 Glazier Clinic Presentations

2005-2008 Clinic Presentations

Notes on Wake Forest Outside Zone

The zone running game is the basis of our pro style pistol offense. Learn more about it in my iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays, and look for a three volume series from me to be released in the late fall.

Chris Brown/Smart Football

Simple Explanation of Zone Runs

Zone Runs

Houston Texans Running Game

Malzahn – Auburn Run Game

Inside Zone and Pin and Pull Cut-Ups

Brophy Football Blog
Alex Gibbs New Developments

Herb Hand Zone Runs

X&O Labs
Inside Zone for Maximum Efficiency

Rip, Reach and Run to the Perimeter

Utilize the H-Back in Zone Schemes

Marrying Inside and Outside Zone Schemes

Pistol Two Back Zone Run Game

Pistol Zone Read Variations

Zone and Gap Runs from Unbalanced Formations

Zone Read: Variations in the Pass Game

“Pod” Teaching the Inside and Outside Zone

The QB Midline off of Outside Zone

The Inside Zone Study

Blocking the Outside Zone

Clinic Articles, Notes, and Presentations – Materials produced by coaches
Chip Kelly – Zone Read Option

Andrew Coverdale Inside Zone

Bill Mountjoy Zone Blocking

Bill Mountjoy Run Blocks

Bill Mountjoy Outside Zone

Bill Mountjoy Inside Zone

Bill Mountjoy – Teaching the Steps of Inside and Outside Zone

Alex Gibbs Outside Zone

Alex Gibbs Inside Zone

Zone Blocking Stacks

Coaching the Inside Zone – HS

Critical Elements in Zone Blocking

Inside Zone Tutorial

Complimenting Inside Zone With the Wham

Outside Zone – Running the Defense Horizontal

IZ Notes – Steve Loney

Ken Wilmesherr – Zone Blocking Part 1

Ken Wilmesherr – Zone Blocking Part 2

Ken Wilmesherr – OL Drills

Kevin Boyd – Effective Zone Blocking Techniques

notes taken on Steve Addazzio Clinic

Chip Kelly Zone Read Option Article

Zone Blocking Drill Manual

Greenbay Zone Scheme

Atlanta Flacons – Beightol OL Zone Drills

3 Man Zone Combos

Kyle McElvany OL Manual (HS)

Blocking the Modern Zone Run

HS Zone Presentation

Outside Zone Drill

Bill Mountjoy Clinic Notes

Zone Blocking Part 1 – Philosophy and Concepts

Zone Blocking Part 2 – Schemes and Footwork

Zone Blocking Part 3 – Stances

Zone Blocking Part 4 – Drills

Zone Blocking Part 5 – Drills

PPT with Alex Gibbs Coaching Points

Defensive Stunts for Zone Read

Zone from the Flexbone

Alex Gibbs Coaching Points

Forum Thread


News Articles – these articles give some insight on to what coaches believe and why they are using zone runs.

Steelers Zone Running Game

Another on Steelers Zone Run

DolphinsSwitch to Zone Run

Broncos Power and Zone Run

Seattle Commits to Zone Run

Buccaneers – Defense faces Zone Run

Redskins – Shanahan Loves Zone Runs

Alabama Inside Zone

NY Jets Run Game

Raiders Still Believe in Zone Blocking

Why Packers Should Consider Zone Read

Redskins Zone Read

Analysis Articles – These articles use still shot illustrations and diagrams to explain zone runs

Steelers Zone Run Blocking

Urban Meyer – OSU Zone Runs

Michigan State Outside Zone

Redskins Zone Run Defeats 8-Man Fronts

Zone Run Can Make Redksins a Playoff Team

Browns Zone Runs

Texans Running Game

Texans Get Run Game on Track

LSU’s Inside Zone

Inside and Outside Zone Runs

Seahawks Zone Read

Seahawks Zone Blocking

Florida State Zone Blocking

OSU/Urban Meyer Outside Zone/Stretch

Texans Wide Zone

Notre Dame Zone Blocking

Oregon Zone vs LSU

Texas A&M Zone Read

Oklahoma Zone Run

NY Jets Run Game

Michigan Zone-Stretch

Dallas Cowboys/Bill Callahan Outside Zone

Oregon Inside Zone Series

Auburn Inside Zone

Wisconsin Run Game Part 1

Wisconsin Run Game Part 2

Redskins vs. Seahawks Zone Run

Michigan Zone Read

Oregon QB Zone Read – Fishduck

Oregon Inside Zone Runs-Fishduck

Oregon Outside Zone Read Altered- Fishduck

Videos online

Texans Run Game

Youth Football Zone Cuts

Coach Berry OL Drill tape pt 2 – Howard Univ

Coach Berry Inside Zone

Coach Pogue – Seymour HS. iZ vs 8 in the box

LSU Zone Clinic

Cut up illustrating Lions Zone Blocking

Oregon Zone Read vs Stanford 2010

Oregon Inside Zone vs Cal 2008

Oregon Outside Zone vs Cal 2008

Outside Zone – Joe Daniel

Iowa State Zone 1

Iowa State Zone 2

Iowa State Zone 3

Minnesota Inside Zone

Minnesota Inside Zone 2

Minnesota Inside Zone 3

Minnesota Inside Zone 4

Minnesota Outside Zone 1

Minnesota Outside Zone 2

Minnesota Outside Zone 3

Minnesota Outside Zone 4

Minnesota Outside Zone 5

Inside Zone Blocking Scheme

Steve Campbell – Outside Zone 1

Steve Campbell – Outside Zone 2

Steve Campbell – Inside Zone 1

Steve Campbell – Inside Zone 2

Steve Campbell – Inside Zone 3

Steve Campbell Plays off of IZ

Steve Campbell -Reverses off of Outside Zone\

Steve Campbell -Triple Option off of Inside Zone

Steve Campbell Inside Zone Clips pt 1

Steve Campbell Inside Zone Clips pt 2

Outside Zone Clips

Brock Huard – Oregon’s Inside Zone Read

Zone Read Cut ups

Alex Gibbs – Outside Zone Cut Ups

Texas Playbook Spotlight: Inside Zone

X&O Labs – Monmouth Outside Zone

Inside Zone Blocking Ohio St

Zone Blocking white board prior to walk thru-HS

Zone Blocking Walk Thru 1 of 3

Zone Blocking Walk Thru 2 of 3

Zone Blocking Walk Thru 3 of 3

Rod Dobbs pt 1

Rod Dobbs pt 2

X&O Labs Southern Oregon U Inside Zone

Tony Demeo zone read

Tony Demeo zone read to unbalanced

Nevada Zone Read

Another Nevada Zone Read

Nevada zone read vs Missouri

Nevada zone read vs Mizzou give to RB

Pistol Zone Read HS

Oregon zone read 3 tech

Oregon shotgun read option

Oregon read 3 tech

HS zone read clips

Inside Belly/Zone Coach Ruckman

Tight zone explanation

Zone blocking drill

Alex Gibbs pt 1

Alex Gibbs pt2

Alex Gibbs pt3

Alex Gibbs pt 4

Alex Gibbs pt 5

Alex Gibbs pt 6

Alex Gibbs pt7

Alex Gibbs pt8

USC Outside Zone vs Cal 2008

Miami Outside Zone Blocking Larry Scott

Outside Zone and Toss – John Hart