FNF Coaches Talk — Les Miles’ Family Balance, Kendall Briles’ No Playbook Offense, Coaches vs. Officials

FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coaches. We apologize — the site was down on Wednesday. We’re glad you came back to check out today’s stories.

1. Jayhawk Insider: Family and Football – The Miles Way (Kansas University Athletics)

It’s no secret that football coaches spend countless hours at the office watching film, preparing practice plans and meetings with student-athletes. It’s a career choice that doesn’t impact just the coach that chooses it, but the entire family unit.

Kansas head coach Les Miles has made it a point to include his family in the entire process from recruiting and watching practice to celebrating triumphant wins and dealing with tough losses. From the beginning, Miles’ family has been a part of it all, especially when it comes to recruiting young men to join his program.

When the Miles children were younger, being included meant numerous trips to practice and dad’s office, which led to many memorable moments.

“I remember drawing up a play in my dad’s office that included cartwheels, decoys and probably too many players,” Smacker recalled. “He was like that’s a good idea, I’ll have to take parts of that. He played along when he didn’t have to.”

While being a coaches’ kid is full of advantages, the Miles children went through phases where they wanted to be elsewhere. Although social events seemed like more fun, the Miles children learned at a young age not to fight their unusual schedules and chances to create family memories.

“No kids could have a social event when dad could be at home,” Smacker said. “I remember moments where I was frustrated about it, but now I look back and I am so thankful that we did spend those times (together).”

In what ways do you try to share your football experience with your family?

2. No playbook, no problem: Kendal Briles keeps it super simple (Noles 247)

Kendall Briles came to Florida State with a strong reputation as a play caller, after having success with the spread option, uptempo scheme at various stops. FSU head coach Willie Taggart committed to entrusting his offense to Briles, with a mandate to keep it simple.

Taggart revealed during his speaking engagement in Jacksonville that Briles has kept it so simple this spring, he didn’t even hand out a playbook.

“You talk about being simple. No playbook. At first I was a little hesitant about that,” Taggart told the crowd of FSU boosters. “But seeing how our guys responded to it, and how they went out and executed, was impressive. You go back to the spring game, some of the issues we had in the past, just from a receiver standpoint, the alignment. All the penalties, you didn’t get any of those in the spring game. And we went faster. We went faster than what we tried to go last year. It’s something Coach Briles has brought to our offense, it’s the tempo, and it’s a fast pace. It’s fast and it’s causing problems for the defense.”

Briles seems to be subscribing to the theory that players play faster when they don’t have to think their way through the playbook. But how do they know what play to run if there’s no playbook?

“We don’t have a playbook. We do a lot of walk-throughs and guys take notes, but we don’t give them a playbook,” Taggart said. “Coach Briles don’t script plays. And you say ‘why you don’t script’, and he said ‘you can’t go fast if you’re looking down at your play sheet.’ Again, I questioned that too at first.

In what ways have you tried to simplify your offense or defense so players are playing faster?

3. A Call To Arms: How To Fight The Shortage of Referees and Game Officials (LWOS Network)

This isn’t exactly an article about coaching, but it does place some of the blame on the shortage of referees and game officials on coaches.

Who would want to get paid very little to stand outside and get berated from coaches, players, and parents? This is the center of the issue. The leading cause for the lack of incoming officials is this abuse.

The article makes the case that the solution to the shortage of officials is creating a welcoming environment for high school and college students to go into the part-time profession.

We all love to complain about missed calls, but would you rather move toward robots? Would you rather sports end? Referees and officials are human. We all make mistakes. Despite that, we can fix the shortage. By allowing more students to become officials, we can make sure the standards are raised. These standards would allow for better officials to get licensed, which would result in fewer instances for verbal abuse. Be nice to your local game official.

What is your approach to dealing with officials when you disagree with a call?

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!