FNF Coaches Talk — Belichick scouting at Pro Days, TackleBar, Lessons from a HS Dropout

FNF Coaches Talk

Good afternoon, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed the weekend. Here are some stories that we’ve read since Friday.

1. On the road with Bill Belichick: an education in scouting and football (The Boston Globe)

Have you ever wanted to watch film with Bill Belichick? This reporter had the opportunity as Belichick allowed the writer to be a fly on the wall during his film session and Pro Day tour through SEC country.

The film rolls on and the Patriots coach stops it, rewinds it, and stops it again as things catch his eye and he jots down notes. Some are obvious. As Alabama nose tackle Quinnen Williams continually splits two behemoth blockers to create pocket pressure on Kyler Murray, the coach says matter of factly that Williams “is basically ruining [Oklahoma’s] scheme right now.’’
Others are not so easy to spot. As Oklahoma rips off a nice run out of what appears to be a passing formation, Belichick rapidly identifies what went wrong for the Tide and what went right for the Sooners. Progressing at a nearly frame-by-frame pace, the coach uses the red light to drag out the route a Tide defender takes before getting “washed out” by a swarm of Sooners. Belichick then maps out what would have been a more prescient path to the ball.

Belichick also talked about how valuable the networking aspect of the Pro Day tour is for coaches.

Like watching film, being on the field has more benefits than just watching the NFL hopefuls.

“It’s great to get out and see the players, talk to the coaches and scouts,” Belichick said. “Some of the coaches you don’t get to see much during the season, you can actually have a conversation with them now. Before games they don’t always feel like talking to me and I don’t feel like talking to them — and after the game [there’s no time]. So, this is a good chance to catch up and say hello.’’

In what ways will you seek out scouting and networking opportunities this spring?

2. TackleBar, a new version of football, aims to reduce sport’s concussion risk (CBC News)

We’re all familiar with the growing concern that the risk of brain injury is leading some parents to steer away from signing their kids up for football.

TackleBar is hoping it has a solution.

The new alternative to traditional and flag football, which was created in the U.S. and is now catching on with the Mississauga Football League and some Canadian high school teams, was in the spotlight at the 13th World Congress on Brain Injury in Toronto this week. Players still wear helmets and shoulder pads, but take a different approach to tackling.
“The tackler will wrap up the ball carrier like they were going for a normal tackle, but instead of throwing them to the ground, they would just remove the bars,” he said, showing the two removable foam pads attached to a player’s lower back with a special harness.

So far, the stats show that TackleBar is a safe alternative to tackling to the ground.

Toninato and his fellow researchers found that in about 17,000 athletic exposures among youth, there were zero incidents of concussion, and only five reported injuries. That equates to 0.3 injuries per 1,000 exposures, a rate Toninato calls “significantly” low.
Surprisingly, his team found flag football had the highest rate of injury, with 5.7 injuries per 1,000 athletic exposures. Traditional football, meanwhile, saw about 2.2 injuries per 1,000 exposures.

How have you tried to improve your team’s tackling technique in practice?

3. The Most Inspiring Speech: The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout Will Change Your Life (Rick Rigsby)

We saw this speech over the weekend and want to share it with you. It’s life advice for anyone — and we encourage you to share it with your players.

In this passionate and life-changing speech, Dr. Rick Rigsby shares the three words that taught him how to enhance his life and make excellence a habit.


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!