FNF Coaches Talk for Friday, Dec. 14

Happy Friday, Coaches. Here are some of the stories we’re discussing today.

1. Oklahoma Sooners Football: How can Oklahoma attack the Alabama defense? (Crimson and Cream Machine)

There are far easier tasks for a football coach than coming up with a game plan to attack the Alabama defense — which boasts as many as five or six potential first-round picks. But this article does a pretty good job of presenting some ideas for a game plan for Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.

Georgia had some success against Alabama when quarterback Jake Fromm took some deep shots downfield.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The writer also shows how Alabama’s linebackers can be targeted in the passing game.

Bama GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Coaches — How would you attack a defense that doesn’t have a clear weakness? 

2. Area excelling on football field with safer game despite drop in numbers (New Jersey Herald)

This story talks about how some New Jersey schools are dealing with a drop in participation numbers, which falls in line with the trend across the country. At Lenape Valley, Smolyn has instituted the use of Guardian Caps at practice, which are a soft-shell helmet cover engineered for impact reduction. According to its web site, Guardian Caps reduces impact up to 33 percent and the product is currently utilized by over 100 colleges and 1,000 high schools nationwide. Smolyn saw their research and bought in immediately.

“To be honest with you, the game is actually safer than ever before. All the coaches are trained. There are certain things that I have to do now that when I started 20 years ago we did not have to do — all these courses, training, heat acclimation, concussion protocol. Those things were all kind of non-existent. The training for coaches as techniques, tackling methods, staying aggressive with the hawk tackling and the rugby tackling were also non-existent.”

Have you found any products that have helped your team reduce concussions?

3. Breaking down Sean McVay’s timeout usage by the numbers (Rams Wire)

This is a pretty interesting look at the unconventional way in which Rams coach Sean McVay uses timeouts. Instead of saving timeouts for the end of each half, he burns through them whenever he doesn’t like the look of the defense or when the play clock gets low.

More often than not, the Rams go into the final five minutes of a game without all three of their timeouts. Mike Sando of ESPN found that McVay has had all three timeouts with five minutes left 30.8 percent of the time this season

The writer tracked the plays following Rams timeouts to see if the break to reset helped the NFC West leader.

As the numbers show, when McVay does use a timeout, the Rams typically have a successful play out of the break. That’s either making a key stop on defense to get off the field, causing an incompletion or short run, or simply picking up a first down on offense. Having a success rate of 53.5 percent is good, especially considering 63 percent of McVay’s called timeouts have come on third or fourth down – meaning they’re crucial plays in the game.

What is your philosophy behind the use of timeouts in a game?

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!