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Saturday, July 22, 2017

What Defense Should We Run?

I find it interesting that defensive coaches say they are a 3-3, 4-2-5, 4-3, 46 "guys" and they do not run anything but their style of defense. I philosophically disagree with that outlook of coaching at the high school level. We must adapt our scheme to fit our personnel because we cannot recruit our players or sign them to a contract. In my opinion, we must remain flexible with our defensive scheme so we can fit the scheme to the talents of our players. I have changed defensive schemes in the middle of a season and we went to the state championship game! Do not be afraid to change your scheme if it is needed!

Do you have the personnel for an odd front?

I am not married to any defensive system, but I totally believe in playing man to man coverage regardless of the scheme. We will use a majority of cover 1 and cover 0 to take away the run / pass conflict for our players, which allows them to play FAST!! The fronts we use will change year to year based on the number of defensive linemen and linebackers. There are some great coaches that love zone coverage and they have won a lot of games with it. That works for them, and I love the fact that they have a philosophy and they stick to it. That being said, I am a man to man guy for a number of reasons:
1. No run / pass conflict
2. Simple teaching (You have that DUDE)
3. The offense cannot overload you
4. Sets the tone for your program
5. Takes away space

Do you have the personnel for and even front?

I have an upcoming podcast that will discuss this issue and it will be on and iTunes in 5 days! Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Podcast with Joey Fields



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Let's Talk About Summer....

Football coaches have different views about what a productive summer looks like for their football program. There are coaches that take their teams to a bunch of different team camps, and there are those that do a minimal amount of work during the summer to allow their players to be "kids." Most coaches in West Virginia fall between those two views of summer. I am not trying to say there is one way everyone should use summer. There are coaches who have won state championships with a variety of strategies during the summer. The purpose of this blog post is to detail how we use our summer and hopefully it will help your program in the future!

In West Virginia we have what is called the "three week period" where we can use a football and have actual practices. This starts the second week in June and you can put on shoulder pads for part of it, practice, go to 7 on 7 tournaments, etc. We will start our summer program the week before the three week period so the players can lift and run. We also used three of our flex days during this week to allow the players to become accustomed to how we practice. I found this to be very beneficial because it allowed us to hit the ground running when we started our three week period. 

We went to three college 7 on 7 tournaments and we threw 7 on 7 with three different high school programs during the three week period. Four days a week (Monday - Thursday) we would get in a lift and then we would practice for an hour and a half. We were in helmets the first week and then we put on shoulder pads for the second and third weeks. There was no live contact when we put on the shoulder pads. The reason we used shoulder pads was to help our players get in shape and to allow us to practice controlled tackling without the risk of breaking a collar bone.  Our players enjoyed being able to put on the shoulder pads and the coaches liked to be able to teach technique without fear of an upper body injury.

We will then give the coaches and players off the week of July 4th so everyone can take a break from football. I believe that it is important to allow your coaches and players to get away from football during the summer because we put in long hours during the season. Our bye week is not until week 11, so we need the time off to help us stay fresh during the season. We will resume workouts after the week off and the players will only lift and run for 2 weeks (Monday - Thursday). Then we will use our remaining three flex days the last week before the season starts. We will give the players off Thursday and Friday that week so they are fresh on the first day of practice on Monday.

I think we get all we can out of the summer, and it is a big reason why we have had more success than the previous years at Riverside. I believe you win games in the off - season and practice. I am not saying we work harder than any program, but no one will outwork us in the state of West Virginia. I hope this blog post starts a meaningful discussion about how we can best use our summer practice time. Thank you for reading!