Happy Friday, Coaches. Here are some stories that we’re buzzing about today.
1. Why the Triple Option is still alive and well in high school football (SB Nation)
Assuming you count an RPOs as Triple Option plays, then Triple Options are part of basically every college and pro offense these days.
The expert in this story is Scott Jazdzewski, who, in 2007, founded the Flexbone Association, which says it’s helped install an offense like the one used at Georgia Tech, Army, and Navy in over 200 high schools across the country.
Jazdzewski says there’s no reason for coaches to be intimidated by the complexity of trying to install the Triple Option because it’s not very complex at all.
“That’s kind of our little secret,” Jazdzewski said when I asked about the difficulties of running it. “Everybody thinks that this is really hard and complicated to install. I tell these high school coaches, ‘Look, if I come up to your school for three days, I can get essentially the entire offense in, other than some of the small tweaks you’re going to need based on the defense.’
Jazdzewski said the Triple Option hits the sweet spot of being JUST complex enough to give opposing teams fits in trying to prepare for it in one week — but also simple enough to teach new players to the team in one preseason.
“Nearly everywhere in the country, there’s not enough schools that are running option. So the defense you [use], particularly week to week, that coaching staff isn’t comfortable trying to stop you,” Jazdzewski said. “So they’re trying to figure out a way to stop a complicated offense. And I know that with any teams that run option, I always tell these schools that call, ‘hey they probably spend about three days figuring out how to stop you. They might have one or two bullets.”
Coaches — How do you make your team difficult to prepare for if an opposing staff is given only one week?
2. Social media: The current generation of student-athletes is savvy and sneaky (Rockland/Westchester Journal News)
There’s been an uptick in professional athletes getting in trouble for stuff they posted on Twitter or Facebook before they were famous. Apparently, some social media experts think the exposure of these regrettable tweets is actually good for the current crop of social media users coming up through the ranks.
So many of the social media gaffes that left prominent sports figures permanently exposed have gone viral in recent years. The next generation has been clicking on those awkward moments, leading experts to believe that student-athletes coming of age right now are less likely to repeat sins of the past.
It’s an interesting point, and perhaps a good teaching tool for coaches. You want to show your players how inappropriate tweets can create a fallout? Show them examples of it happening to athletes they’ve heard of.
As many of us already know, most high school athletes prefer SnapChat to Twitter.
Many student-athletes use Twitter, but only to monitor media coverage.
The disappearing content of Snapchat remains wildly popular and dangerous.
How do you stress to your players the importance of using an appropriate voice on social media?
3. Mankato State hosted Tarleton State in a snowbound absurdity (Deadspin)
We’ll close the week out with a fun story about a NCAA Division II playoffs quarterfinal game that was played in 8 inches of snow. I think all coaches and players dream of playing in weather like this.
It seems both coaching staffs scaled back the playbooks for this one. After all, how many plays can a team run with precision in the middle of a blizzard. Mankato State trudged through the weather by setting the record for the longest drive ever recorded at any level of NCAA football.
MSU took 27 plays to get to the end zone, holding the ball for 12:09 in the process. They converted five third downs and two fourth downs before finally scoring on fourth-and-goal from the five. The inclement weather conditions, which also included high winds, forced MSU to keep running the ball over and over again, which they did for the first 26 plays of the drive, a streak that would have made Woody Hayes blush. Junior running back Nate Gunn ran it 18 times on the drive alone, and he finished with 50 carries for the day. Finally, on fourth-and-goal from the five, MSU switched it up and called a pass, which went for a touchdown.
Here is the game-winning play for MSU, which remarkably came on a pass.
What adjustments do you make to your game plan when weather becomes a major factor?
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!