Happy Hump Day, Coaches.
We’ve got three good stories for you today.
1. Andy Reid’s Process for Scripting the First 15 Players (Yahoo Sports!)
We missed this one before the Super Bowl, but this is gold for coaches at any level. Andy Reid’s game scripts are legendary for the way they set up the game for one of the best offensive minds in NFL history.
To a man, all the coaches interviewed for this story agree that the first goal of Reid’s first 15 plays script — which applies to first and second down, and excludes third downs and red-zone plays — is to move the ball down the field and score, all while setting a tone for the rest of the game.
“The game has so many ebbs and flows,” former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress said. “Obviously, it’s important to get your quarterback some easy completions to start with, if there is such a thing. Maybe you’re wanting to get over the top and send a message. Or maybe, because of nerves, you’re just wanting to let your offensive line screw their heels in the ground, and be able to fire off on somebody and run the ball.”
The second purpose is the critical gathering of intel. Even when the Chiefs’ early play-calling goes nowhere (as it has in their past two playoff games), the amount of thought Reid has put into it means that every play Kansas City runs gives it a chance to pick up a defensive tell that can pay off later in the game.
This happens the moment the play clock begins, starting with who defenses put on the field. That’s why Reid needs his assistants to identify them correctly.
“For instance, let’s say it’s a two-tight end, two-wide set,” Childress said. “Are you gonna play nickel against that? People have done that before because they look at [Travis] Kelce like a wide receiver. If they do that, you want to be sure you have some ideas about how to counter that.”
Prior to becoming the head coach of the Bears, Nagy was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator. During the season, he’d enjoy Friday dinner with his wife and kids. Eventually, without fail, family time would get interrupted by a text from Reid.
The message: a photo of a 3 x 5 index card, with 15 plays on them, all scribbled in red pen — and only one word from his boss.
“He’ll know there’s a handful of plays that everybody really likes, and those are the ones that end up in the first 15,” Nagy said. “He’s real friendly that way, and he listens to a lot of people.
“He takes all the ingredients, mixes it all together and comes up with a great meal.”
What is your process for scripting the offensive play-calls at the start of each game?
2. How the Chiefs ‘Put the Stinger’ in the 49ers and The Backstory on 2-3 Jet Chip Wasp (Pro Football Talk)
Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill will always have third-and-15.
They’ll always have “2-3 Jet Chip Wasp.” That’s the 44-yard pass from Mahomes to Hill with the Chiefs down 10 on third-and-15 with 7:13 to play. It’s the play that wobbled the 49ers’ formidable defense, the biggest play of Mahomes’ life and certainly of Hill’s . . . and, as it turned out, the biggest play of Andy Reid’s career too.
“We call it ‘Wasp,’ “ Reid told me in the solitude of his office post-game. “Literally put the stinger on ‘em.”
“Crazy thing is,” quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka said, “Patrick called it. He asked for it, and Andy called it.”
— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) February 3, 2020
What would you call on third-and-15 with the season on the line?
3. USA Football Grant Program Applications Now Open For 2020 (PR Newswire)
Coaches — This is something you absolutely should be doing this offseason. Apply for a USA Football grant, and you may receive a grant up to $1,000. It may not sound like much, but every little bit helps. If you need us at FNF Coaches to help you write your proposal, reach out to us on Twitter or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you. We have a partnership with USA Football.
High school football programs may apply now through March 9 for USA Football’s equipment grant program, offering $1 million in resources to benefit young athletes. USA Football is a member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and is the sport’s national governing body.
All schools and youth football organizations that are 501(c)(3) compliant may submit applications by 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, March 9, at usafootball.com/grants. USA Football awards grants based on need, merit and a program’s commitment to coaching education and best practices. Applications are submitted online.
Grants are valued up to $1,000 and provide resources from official USA Football partners:
- Tackle football equipment from Riddell
- Field and practice equipment from Gilman Gear and Shadowman Sports
- Portable field lines from Port-a-Field
- Background checks from Peopletrail
- Wearable technology from Catapult
Please reach out to us if you need help writing an application for the USA Football grant program.