FNF Coaches Talk for Feb. 25 — Forcing turnovers, Indiana’s acceleration, USA Football National Conference reaction

FNF Coaches Talk

Good afternoon, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed your weekend. We enjoyed ours at the USA Football National Conference, as you’ll see below.

1. Mike Smith’s message: Coming off the edge, go after the ball (Packers.com)

We all know how much defensive linemen love to pad their sack totals. As the Packers look to crank up their edge-rushing production in 2019, new outside linebackers coach Mike Smith probably won’t talk much about sacks.

He has a different, though strongly related, focus in mind.

“I’m a big believer in it and you’re going to see – in all my drills – stressing get the ball out,” Smith said the first day he met the Green Bay media. “With today’s rules, you can’t hit the quarterback low, you can’t hit him high, can’t put your weight on him. It’s tough. So our big thing last year was get the ball out.”

One other key takeaway from this story for high school coaches is the way in which Coach Smith motivates his linemen. He doesn’t yell for the sake of yelling, but he’s also not afraid to challenge his players.

“He’s passionate, loves football,” Pettine said of Smith. “He’s going to show them very detailed (ways) of how to do it. And then he’s going to hold them accountable to it. But he has a great way with the players, a great demeanor. He’s smart, he’s tough-minded.
“He’s not a guy that’s just going to say, ‘I’m yelling, therefore I’m coaching.’ So when he does get after a guy, it has some meaning. When you look at coaches, it’s never really one thing. I just call it like an ‘it’ factor, and Mike’s got it. That’s why I’m obviously thrilled to get him here.”

Coaches — How do you stress the importance of forcing turnovers?

2. Indiana Football: It is Time to “Accelerate” the Program (The Daily Hoosier)

We’ve featured the Indiana football program a few times recently, and here’s another story about the way Tom Allen and his staff are using technology and analytics to help their program.

Director of Athletic Performance David Ballou believes he has found the missing link from last year’s program — acceleration.

“The number one thing that we saw holistically is in terms of acceleration. We have an acceleration need. Acceleration really is football,” Ballou said at a media availability last week.

The program is measuring and tracking acceleration in increments, and what they are finding is that the new players are emerging.

“I want to know in five yards how much power they are putting out per leg, and how many meters per second they are moving from a speed perspective,” Ballou said. “And then 10 yards, and 15 yards, and 20 yards.”
“You have guys that take longer to get up to top speed but they can get up to top speed if you let them and they’ll throw and nice number up there. But in reality, on the football field, it takes too long to get up there, so you have got to fix that, there are specific things you can do to fix that, and we’re doing them.”

How do you measure a player’s acceleration, and how does it factor in your decisions regarding personnel?

3. USA Football National Conference Daily Publications (FNF Coaches)

We spent the weekend at the 2019 USA Football National Conference in Orlando, Fla., and we published two digital publications to highlight the events of each day.

We encourage you to take a look. It’s filled with takeaways from chalk talk sessions, Live Field demonstrations and more. If you ever get a chance to go to this conference, we encourage you to jump at the opportunity.

Here’s the Saturday publication.

And here’s the Sunday publication.

We hope you enjoy it!

What mentoring and networking opportunities are you planning to participate in this offseason?

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!