FNF Coaches Talk for Friday, Feb. 15

Happy Friday, Coaches. Here are some stories we’re talking about as we get ready for the weekend.

1. Why has Penn State football changed its offseason workout routine? (Penn Live)

We hear a lot of stories about coaches scheduling summer workouts for 5 or 6 a.m. to build mental toughness in the players. While there may be some gain in that department, the early-morning schedule can result in some sacrifices in strength gains, according to Penn State coach James Franklin.

In past years, alarms went off early and workouts took place before any class started inside any lecture hall at University Park. Now, the team gathers in the afternoon for their workouts.


“We moved those to the afternoon, which is something I’ve never done before,” head coach James Franklin said last week.
“But with our conversations with sport science, we spend all our time talking to our players about the importance of nutrition, hydration and sleep, but then as coaches we get them up at 5:00 in the morning — it just didn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Coaches — We understand high school student-athletes have jobs and other responsibilities that might demand an early-morning schedule, but it’s just something to think about. Athletes typically have more energy in the afternoons.

What factors do you take into account when crafting an offseason schedule for players?

2. What Rockvale football’s Rick Rice is learning from area coaches who have started a new program (Daily News-Journal)

Oakland assistant football coach David Watson has been part of starting two high school football programs from the ground up in Rutherford County.

He offers plenty of advice for young coaches starting with new programs.

“You’re going to take a few lumps because it’s a new school. But guys like (Rice) has had success before. He has a credibility factor that gives you an advantage during tough times. Being a young guy like I was, the struggles with being at a new school can wear on you, your confidence and your staff’s confidence. (Rice) knows that. He’s been there.”

Two coaches that are quoted in this story said that finding a place to practice, ordering equipment and not having a spring practice were the most challenging parts of starting from scratch.

“Right now the biggest concern will be playing surfaces,” said Luker. “We have a brand new grass field and it’s softer, not settled. You hope your Bermuda (grass) survives the winter and hope it has a great growing season. We need that. The practice field is not sodded yet. That will happen. Those two are a concern to me.”

When starting a program from scratch, it’s important for a coach to recognize the program building process takes time and patience.

“Probably the main thing I’ve gotten (advice on) is try not to do everything in one day,” said Rice, who spent the previous 21 years as head coach at Wayne County and will finish the current school year there. “You’ve got to focus on one thing and get it done.
“When I first started, I had a lot of things going through my mind … it was ‘Get this done, get that done.’ I talked to one coach who started a program and he told me to take a deep breath and do one thing at a time.”

What is one piece of advice you’d give a coach starting a new program?

3. Video: Steve Spurrier Calls Incredible Trick Play For Touchdown (The Spun)

Former college football coach Steve Spurrier was back on the sideline on Saturday night, coaching in the Alliance of American Football League. Spurrier, who coached in college at South Carolina and Florida, is leading Orlando’s AAF team in the newly-developed league.

The aging process does not appear to have made Spurrier any less aggressive in his play-calling.

What trick play do you have saved for red zone situations?

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!