FNF Coaches Talk for Tuesday, Feb. 5

Good afternoon, Coaches. Check out today’s top stories for high school football coaches.

1. Man Coverage RPOs (X&O Labs Football Trends Report)

X&O Labs, owned by HUDL, gathered information from the 2018 season and is now releasing its report on play-calling trends. You will likely not be surprised to see that Man Coverage RPOs were a trendy play at the high school level.

But there is good reason for the mass appeal: these types of offensive concepts put run/pass defenders that are in zone coverages in the ultimate dilemma, asking them to play both the run and the pass while the quarterback reads them post-snap. It’s a lose-lose situation. Whatever they do is wrong.

This article offers plenty of videos and diagrams to explain different variations of RPOs to run against man coverage. Why is it so important to know how to beat man?

We found that 46 percent of defensive coordinators either use pure man coverage or a version of split field coverage (which essentially turns to man post-snap) to defend run/pass option concepts.

Coaches — What type of defense does your base offense struggle against? Why?

2. A Look Inside Ohio State Football Winter Workouts (The OZone)

The Ohio State football program has gone through plenty of transition this offseason with a new head coach in Ryan Day and a new possible starting quarterback in transfer Justin Fields. What hasn’t changed is the team’s commitment to offseason strength and conditioning.

Players are trying to get bigger, faster and stronger, and this short video shows some of the work that’s being done. It definitely looks innovative with sleds, tire pulls, speed and agility drills, squats, cleans, and more.

What exercises have you added to your strength program this offseason?

3. John Carroll football team braves elements for offseason workouts (The News-Herald)

If you are dealing with cold weather in your hometown, consider embracing the elements to help your players build mental toughness. If they can get through a workout in freezing temperatures, they might be even more confident when they come back in the heat of the summer.

That’s an approach the John Carroll (Ohio) football staff has adopted.

It was 24 degrees at Don Shula Stadium the early morning of Jan. 15. The backdrop wasn’t the snowy mountains of Russia, where Rocky trained during the iconic film for the iconic movie villain Ivan Drago. Instead, it was the metal stands, where a fan wouldn’t dare sit on this morning.

The John Carroll staff can’t technically run the early-morning workouts, but they can certainly oversee them to make sure the players are showing mental toughness in the cold elements.

Every Tuesday and Thursday until early March drills begin at 6:30 a.m. under the guidance of Robertson. Finotti and his staff aren’t permitted to be involved, per NCAA rules. Of emphasis are speed mechanics, efficiency of running, acceleration and deceleration, but most important is a mindset, said Robertson.

What activities do your players do in the offseason to build mental toughness?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!