Happy Friday, Coaches. Good luck in your game tonight.

1. Can Defenses Keep Up in the Offensive Revolution? (The Ringer)

We’ve seen a trend throughout all levels of football toward high-scoring offenses. Before we start to see if our scoreboards can fit three digits for each team, we should consider what can be done to stop — or at least limit — these offenses.

Coaches have to project which offensive schemes from any level of football might be the next big trend, much like the RPO did three years ago. Advances in technology and smarter, younger coaches mean that schemes develop and travel at warp speed. If these were the only problems defenses faced, it would be enough. Instead, they are just the newest ones.

This is especially the case in the NFL.

“It’s becoming a seven-on-seven league,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane told me, referencing the type of youth football game played with only passing plays. “Cornerback play is vital. A lot of it just used to be on the front [seven]. But if your front is dynamic and wreaking havoc, coordinators are having guys get the ball out quick. So it’s important that cornerbacks have to be able to tackle, that linebackers can get out there.”

How has the shift toward offensive explosiveness changed the way you coach at the high school level?

2. On Mike Leach: Only a football coach can talk about students that way (The Spokesman-Review)

Coaches — This is an contrarian opinion about the way we as coaches talk to players. It’s not necessarily one we agree with, but it’s worth thinking about. We’ve all grown accustomed to hearing fellow coaches provide tough love to players that we’ve never stopped to thank about whether a person in any other profession could get away with speaking to student-athletes in the same way.

This writer argues that Mike Leach was out of line for calling his players “dumb, lazy and entitled.”

Mike Leach, the highest paid – and most grossly overpaid – state employee, has a well-earned reputation for mocking, insulting and sneering at the “softness” of his WSU football players after losses in which he apparently stands blameless.
Following a pair of disappointing breakdowns this year, Leach took the low road again. Following Saturday’s loss to Utah, the $3.58-million-a-year-man said his players are “fat, dumb, happy and entitled.”

It’s worth considering whether that criticism could be considered motivational for players on any level. Or is Leach just giving the media what they want to hear?

For someone whose supporters view him as a strategic savant (and on that point, let me refer you to LaVell Edwards and the pass-happy BYU teams of, say, forty years ago), Leach’s stream of simplistic macho name-calling seems … what?
Dumb? Lazy? Entitled?

Why are coaches able to talk to student-athletes in a more critical or profane way than people in any other profession?

3. High school football radio broadcasts among last surviving pieces of Americana (Courier and Press)

This is kind of a light story for a Friday afternoon, but one we can all relate to.

No matter where you are on Friday nights, there’s still one way to follow all of the high school football games that’s been around for nearly a century.

Listen on the radio.

Whether you have earbuds in at the game, are in the car flipping from station to station or are tuning into an online stream from across the country, broadcasters continue to deliver the word’s-eye view of what’s happening.

You may be able to follow highlights of big plays and track live stats via social media and other services — or keep tab of all scores in one place. Some games even have video live streams, an entirely new venture.

Yet, as so many traditions of nostalgic Americana have gone by the wayside, people continue to tune into high school football on the radio throughout the Tri-State and beyond every Friday night like they’ve done since the main form of entertainment was gathering around the home radio.
And going to the games, of course.

What does your local broadcast of high school football games mean to your community?

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

About the author

Dan Guttenplan