FNF Coaches Talk for Friday, Nov. 9

It’s Game Day! Hopefully your season is still going, and you’re looking for some motivation before tonight’s game. Here are some stories we’re talking about in our newsroom.

1. Creating misdirection with the split zone end around (USA Football Blog)

We’ll start with some X’s and O’s, since we all love to break down play designs. This play works for a team that might not have the most mobile quarterback — but still wants opponents to account for the possibility of another player carrying the ball other than the tailback.

Teams without a runner at the quarterback position can utilize this series to create misdirection in the running game while still maintaining an effective passing game, something option teams struggle to do because of the skill set of their players.

This article goes through all of the varying options once the possibility of an end-around is established (fake end-around, play action, etc.).

After running the split zone with a fake end around, the offense can then go to the play action off of this same action. One of the most popular concepts ran off of this action in the NFL is the yankee passing concept.

The blog has plenty of videos that show examples at the college and pro level, so be sure to check it out.

What play do you script early in your game plan to get a feel for how the opposing team will react to it?

2. ‘A Football Life’: Bill Belichick mentored Bill Cowher as LBs coach (Yahoo! Sports)

We know high school football coaches love mentoring opportunities, and this snippet from NFL Network’s documentary of Steelers legendary coach Bill Cowher shows that even the best NFL coaches feel the same way. In the late 1980s, Cowher was promoted to defensive coordinator of Marty Schottenheimer’s staff, and he wanted to learn more about coaching linebackers since his background was in the secondary. He reached out to Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick, and the two coordinators met for 12 hours to share teaching techniques.

It’s a quick 90-second video, so give it a look when you have a chance.

In what ways do you seek out mentoring opportunities?

3. Texas coach reveals he quit at midseason due to death threats toward his quarterback son (Go San Angelo)

This is a scary story, and one that demonstrates just how crazy people can get about high school football. Stanton (Texas) head coach Jerry Burkhart shared his reason for leaving the program in the middle of his first season as coach. It turns out his son, quarterback Landon, was receiving death threats from another kid at school.

The student told a classmate on Aug. 22, 2018, that he planned to stab Landon the following day, according to a report filed with the Stanton Police Department. One of Stanton’s coaches was informed of the threat, and the student was searched upon his arrival at school the next morning, leading to the discovery of two pocket knives.

Burkhart ended up pulling his son out of the school after the team’s 1-4 start. He coached two more games before resigning from his position as head coach and athletic director.

“I continued to show up every day and fulfill my duties as athletic director and head coach,” Burkhart said. “I just felt that pulling my son out of school was causing issues, and it was just best for my family to resign from Stanton. And it was best for Stanton to let us out of our contracts. It was not a good situation. I told them I wasn’t coming back next year, and I understand their part that they’ve got to find somebody that’s going to be there for the program.
“But I never did give up on those kids. I care about the kids at Stanton very much, and that’s one of the big pieces that hurt me real bad.”

It’s a sad story, and we hope the Burkharts get a fresh start somewhere else.

What have you done to make sure your local fans have the proper perspective on high school football?

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!