Defending the Double Wing is always a fun topic. It's a great offense for exposing your defense.
The fact is, this is a tough task no matter what you run. It's a great argument against balance.
I've been working on our 3-4 Defense eCourse and this is a topic that's sure to come up. So I'm preparing myself.
Episode 146 is a collection of my ideas on defending the Double Wing Offense. It's not the end all, not the solution forever. Just ideas.
Hopefully it gets your wheels turning as we head into the off-season!
There is no 'right' way. The sooner you learn that, the better your coaching career goes.
It's not easy to accept, of course. I wish there was a right way. I wish there was one single scheme that would beat everyone else every day.
As long as no one else knew about it, of course.
But there is not. Every scheme can work. Offense, Defense, Special Teams. If it's sound and it fits your players (and you can teach it), you can win with it.
And every football team is different. Your players are probably different from week to week - and even day to day.
How your scheme gels together... how you turn 11 individuals into one unit... that is going to change every day.
That requires you to be a flexible football coach. To have a toolbox of answers waiting.
Knowing when you use them? How to teach them? That separates good coaches from great coaches.
Check out Episode 145 of The Football Coaching Podcast to find out how you can be a Flexible Football Coach!
When the season's over, the next one begins. Post-season evaluation is a major part of that process.
These are 9 key points that your staff needs to discuss during the off-season. Address them, you get better. Ignore them, you get disaster.
Why do you coach?
Is it because you like football? Well of course.
Maybe you're really competitive. Wins and losses.
On Thursday night, before our last game, I was reminded of why I coach football.
We have a tradition called the Senior Speeches. And it's an annual reminder to me, and the rest of our staff, of why this is all worth it.
In Episode 143 of The Football Coaching Podcast, I'll tell you what our players say that reminds us that coaching is an important profession.
One of the most important professions, honestly.
Listen to Episode 143 on Why We Coach Football now, and give yourself a reminder why all the blood, sweat, tears and time are all worth it!
The weather is getting colder. The sun goes down a lot earlier.
Football season is winding down.
And that's when the really important stuff happens!
Rivalry games. Playoffs. BIG things.
But kids don't always see all of that as a reason to work. A reason to continue to grind.
As a coach, you have the ability to change how your football players approach their craft. Even this late in the season.
One way is to shake up your practice. Try some new ideas. Do something out of the ordinary.
Listen to Episode 142 for some great ideas on how to shake up your football practice this fall!
It's happened to every coach. Some of your kids are checked out.
Football is a long season. A grind. Not everyone has the focus and tenacity to push all the way through.
At least not with a little help. And that's where you come in.
When the wheels seem to be coming off, and you need to re-focus your players to finish strong, there are things you can do.
But it all comes down to you as a football coach. What will you do to get your players back on track?
Finish strong. Listen to Episode 141 of The Football Coaching Podcast. And stop wishing the season would end!
They come up at the worst time. Those special situations you forgot.
The game is in hand, then something happens. You know you should have worked on it... but you just didn't.
I've worked to put together a complete list of special situations for your football team. I know it isn't complete because - well, it never is. But this is a start.
I've also included the spreadsheet I made in our JDFB Insider Forum .
You can add more situations that your football team works on - or needs to work on - in the forum. We'll compile a big list and have it ready for 2015.
As it stands, there are a ton of situations that come up in a football game that you have to be prepared for. Listen to Episode 140 of The Football Coaching Podcast to make sure you've got these big one's checked off!
We all dream of that day. Giving the halftime speech that wins the big game.
Seriously, as I dreamed of becoming a Head Football Coach, this was what I thought about. It's like the iconic moment of coaching football.
It just doesn't happen that way, though. Not very often.
So when the moment comes... are you going to miss it? Are you going to deliver the halftime speech that wins the game for your team?
Or might it be the speech that loses the game? Highly unlikely, but it could. You might be going about this all wrong.
In Episode 139 of The Football Coaching Podcast, we're talking about the 6 keys to delivering a great halftime speech. I'll even tell you the best speech I ever heard.
I also want to hear your favorite halftime speeches. You can leave them in the comments below here, or go to our JDFB Insider Forum to share.
Our job as football coaches goes way beyond X's and O's. And it goes far beyond drills, too.
One of the biggest obstacles to success is player motivation. Getting kids to buy in. To play hard. To just want to.
But motivation is not some mystical concept that we either have or do not. It's something that coaches can cultivate.
In this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast, we're talking about how to motivate your football players. I'll give you 7 tips that can help you start increasing your player's motivation on the field.
And you can start right now.
The season is under way. And everything may not be going exactly as planned.
You're a problem solver. A fixer. When something isn't working... you do something about it.
But here in the world of football coaching, we tend to do too much. To over react.
The best thing you can do, often times, is to stay the course. Constant change means your kids will never get good at anything.
They can lose confidence in themselves as players. In the technique you teach. And in you as a coach.
That's never what we want. We want our kids to believe that they can do it. All they need to do, is do their jobs.
You spent a whole off season putting this playbook together. Researching drills. Studying the talent you had coming along...
And when you did that, your mind was clear. You were sane.
Now it's football season. You're amped up. Sleep deprived. Maybe a little panicked.
Can we all agree that clear headed you is a little more sane, a little smarter, than amped up, sleep deprived, panicked you? I thought so.
So stay the course. Keep with the plan. Focus on fixing the problems, not changing the plan entirely.
What's the hottest new concept in Offensive Football Coaching this season? That's easy.
Run-Pass Option plays. RPO's.
OK they're not exactly new. But you might be seeing more RPO's now, than ever before.
What is a Run-Pass Option? Why have they exploded in popularity in recent years? And how can you incorporate RPO's into your Offensive Playbook?
In Episode 136 of The Football Coaching Podcast, I'll take a look at all of these questions. Plus, what are some of the issues with RPO's that you need to be prepared for, if you decide to incorporate them into your offense?
You've got those really cool blitzes in your package. And you love to bring the heat.
But when is the right time? Or is there a right time?
Rather than just calling your blitzes at random, how about using some reason and logic behind them?
In Episode 135 of The Football Coaching Podcast, I'll tell you my 7 top reasons to use a blitz when calling a game.
Game Planning gets this mystic wonder attached to it. Fans often confuse a team being better at executing, with a coach having a great game plan.
The truth is that game plans rarely will win you the football game. And the pursuit of the perfect game plan can help you coach yourself right out of a victory.
So what should you be looking for? What do you need to do to prepare the perfect game plan?
This month I am releasing The Game Planning eCourse for JDFB Insider Members. We'll look at every aspect of preparing a great game plan.
In this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast, we scratch the surface of preparing your Offensive game plan.
Coach Simple. Play Fast. Win.
That's the message with Joe Daniel Football. But how does it apply to the field?
This year I've been working harder than ever to simplify. To give our kids the bare essentials of instruction that produce the results.
Kind of 80/20 approach. 80% of the results are produced by 20% of the coaching that we give our kids.
So why not cut out the other 80% of verbiage, drills, and detail? All the stuff that is clouding up our football player's heads.
In Episode 133, I'll share 5 tips that are helping us to keep it simpler during the 2015 Football Season.
At the time I recorded this, we were less than 24 hours removed from the first scrimmage. And while it wasn't great, we are far ahead of last season.
The first day of practice is almost here. And in Virginia, that means 3 days with just helmets. 2 days in helments and shoulder pads.
How can we get the most out of the opening of camp? I used to think those first 3 days were a waste. They're not.
Football practice without pads can be a huge benefit for your team. You can get your playbook installed, but there's even more.
Focus on footwork. Teach attack angles. Learn how to practice fast, without contact.
But safety is still your number one concern. I'll give you some pointers on staying safe during your pads-free practice, too.
In 2004, I was captivated by the idea of throwing on every down. Chris Hatcher had me hooked.
The Air Raid is absolutely brilliant. With just a handful of passing concepts, a simplistic running game, and a few screens and draws, you can make sure the defense is never right.
Like every other scheme in football, it doesn't always turn out that way on the field. But it sure is a cool idea.
While the offense is still being used, it's not as revered as it once was.
You can look back to the '90s, when Kentucky's passing offense took the SEC by storm. Hatcher's teams that dominated Division II Football. And of course, Mike Leach throwing the ball all over the lot at Texas Tech.
Not to mention, Tony Franklin System teams were dominating High School Football.
When we look at the landscape today, it doesn't look quite as bright for the Air Raid. Leach and Kliff Klingsbury have struggled recently, as has Hatcher.
(for what it's worth, I'm not a TFS member so I can't say for sure - but Tony seems to have evolved...)
That doesn't mean it's not fun to talk about! So sit back and listen to Episode 131 of The Football Coaching Podcast. We're talking Mesh, Y-Shallow, Y-Stick, and just generally chucking the football all over the field!
You need to be prepared for anything, and that goes far beyond X's and O's. These are 8 important parts of your program that need to be addressed before practice starts.
How you install your defense shouldn't be scary. There's no right way to do it - but there's a lot of wrong ways.
Coaches are often concerned way too much with how much to install, how fast. That's not the big issue.
If you install too much, too fast, it's because you have too much in your playbook. It's a whole different issue - but one that I'll address in this podcast too.
No, your bigger conern is not how much or how fast. The question is, is your focus in the right place?
When you start installing all kinds of whacky defensive fronts and blitzes, your focus is no longer on the kids. Your focus is now on the X's and O's. That doesn't win football games.
Listen to Episode 129 of The Football Coaching Podcast to find out how you can keep your focus where it needs to be when you install your defense this season.
I love the Wing-T Offense. So here's what I think about it.
I'll tell you a basic overview of how I view the Wing-T Offense. It's incredibly versatile, but there are some basic rules.
Then I'm going to give what I see as the advantages and disadvantages of running this type of scheme.
If you're a Wing-T Guru, maybe you'll hear some things you agree with and some things you don't.
For coaches who may not know a whole lot about the Wing-T, I hope this will spark you to learn a little more.
There's a lot of myths about tackling. But the truth of coaching better tackling is much simpler.
I always hear coaches talking about violence. There's some misguided idea that if you don't lay the lumber you can't play defense. In reality, the whole goal of tackling is to get the man with the football on to the ground.
He doesn't need to be hurt. We don't need cracked ribs, or snot bubbles (yes, a The Program reference). We just need him down on the ground, not gaining any more yards.
How do you make that happen? It's not some special sauce. You don't need to hire some tackling guru. I do like what I've seen of USA Football by the way, I just don't believe that alone could fix your tackling woes.
The key to better tackling is to coach specifically what you want from your kids in a tackle. Build confidence in their own abilities to make a tackle. And then get some help for them.
1 on 1 tackling is always going to be a tough job. The kids who carry the football are usually the best athletes on the field. If they weren't... well, they'd play more defense. But 3 on 1 is always good odds.
By pursuing to the football, defeating blocks, and getting better with our reads and keys, tackling will automatically improve. More guys to the football means more chances to finish the tackle.
It's a huge Mail Bag episode today! Plus a short interview with Coach Ricky Coon from Southeast Missouri State.
Here's what's on the menu...
Big mailbag show. Dive in and find some good stuff.
Are you getting all you can out of your practice time? Practices need to be geared toward winning football games.
Not looking at your practices that way? You're leaving something on the field.
Listen to Episode 125 to find out...
And you'll learn about the latest Live Web Clinic from Joe Daniel Football!
Coach Rob Patterson sat in with me for The Football Coaching Podcast in this episode. He's currently the JV Coach for Southern Lee High School in Sanford, NC.
Coach Patterson has been on a path a lot of coaches want to know how to follow. He started coaching youth football when his son was playing. And he fell in love with it.
After many years of coaching, he's moved to the Middle School and now High School coaching ranks. And he's winning.
Rob is a Joe Daniel Football Insider member as well as a member of the 4-3 Defense eCourse. His youth team won their Pop Warner championship. He took his defense to the Middle School level and allowed just 8 ppg.
Currently, he is coaching with the Junior Varsity at Southern Lee and also working in the box and as Quality Control for the Linebackers on the Varsity.
Special Bonus: How To Build A Whiteboard, or... Why I Cannot Drive My Truck Right Now.
Episode 123 of The Football Coaching Podcast is the start of something new. This is our first Success Stories interview with members of Joe Daniel Football.
Coach Donnie McDonough returned to his alma mater after college, and took over as the head coach at Western Wayne High School in 2013.
After a rocky start, the team finished 6-4 in 2014. Their first winning season, and first playoff appearance, in 20 years.
Coach McDonough is a member of The 4-3 Defense eCourse, and a Joe Daniel Football Insiders member.
Hear how his football team made the turnaround in this episode!
Earlier in the week I wrote an article about the true nature of the 4-3 Defense. The way I see it, anyway.
The 4-3 Defense has certain rules. A few years ago I wrote about the 8 Laws of The 4-3 Defense.
Block down, step down. Spill the football.
7 Man Front. Mike Linebacker has to be a 2-gap player.
I know a lot of people don't see the 4-3 Defense this way. That's OK for them. For me, the Miami 4-3 Defense as it was designed by Jimmy Johnson and his staff at The "U" is where it's at.
And it is still one of the best defenses in football. So sit back and listen to How To Coach The 4-3 Defense!