Good afternoon, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed your weekend. Here are some stories for high school football coaches to consider.

1. How defenses are countering spread offenses by packing themselves in Tite (SB Nation)

As college offenses have evolved, defenses have evolved with them. The newest defensive scheme to hit the high school scene this season was the Tite front. The bunched defensive front is the response to spread offenses and RPOs. Here’s what it looks like:

This article lists some of the positives that can be gained by using the front.

One of the most interesting parts of the Tite front has been the hybridization the edge rusher. When defensive coordinator Dave Aranda arrived at LSU for the 2016 season, he inherited Arden Key, a stellar defensive end. With his length and size, Key became a standup outside linebacker who could rush the passer or drop into coverage, based on the call.

It also lives the biggest negative.

The Tite front does have its weaknesses, and it starts with the lack of edge rushing opportunities. That’s why it’s not a huge thing in the NFL.
Most teams align with only one true outside of the offensive tackle edge rusher. This limits the chances of getting to the opposing quarterback, especially if you don’t have a Key.

Coaches — What defense do you use most often against the spread offense or RPOs?

2. How Four Standout College QBs Are Training for an NFL That’s Changing to Fit Their Skills (Sports Illustrated)

Former Mississippi State star Nick Fitzgerald and former Penn State star Trace McSorley are currently training under coach Ken Mastrole, a former Maryland and Rhode Island quarterback who bounced around the Arena Football League. His training methods are geared toward dual-threat quarterbacks, which are obviously most prevalent at the high school level.

Mastrole has the quarterbacks tying tension bands to the cart, which is immobilized thanks to the medicine balls. The quarterbacks will then hold a band in their left hands and a football in their right as they drop back and throw. If a QB’s front side opens too early prior to his throw, the band will tell on him by losing tension. If he doesn’t generate enough torque with his core, the band will tell on him.

Mastrole’s No. 1 goal is to clean up the throwing motion for multi-threat QBs so that they can win games if the defense takes away the option to run.

Mastrole didn’t teach this way until a few years ago. He worked on mechanics with his quarterbacks, but those drills were based largely on what Mastrole learned as a player. About three years ago, he met Massachusetts-based coach Gardy O’Flynn through a mutual high school quarterback client. O’Flynn, a former minor league pitcher, works with any athletes whose sports require an overhand rotational delivery.

How do you train your multi-threat quarterback to win from the pocket if he has to?

3. Endurance training and chocolate milk: How basketball players adjust after chasing state titles in football (SportsDay HS)

Here’s something unique to Texas high school football. Multi-sport athletes often miss half of their winter sports team if their football team goes to the state championship game. Check out this calendar for the high school sports season in Texas.

UIL calendar for football and boys basketball 2018-19 season

Event Date
Start of football practice Aug. 13
Start of football season Aug. 30-31
Start of basketball practice Oct. 24
Start of basketball season Nov. 8-12
Start of football playoffs Nov. 15-17
End of football playoffs Dec. 22
Start of basketball playoffs Feb. 18-19
End of basketball playoffs March 9

This particular story talks about how the Highland Park football players had to shift their strength and conditioning programs so that they could contribute to the basketball team.

In practice, they tried to increase repetitions and improve endurance for long stretches of movement in basketball, compared with the short bursts with breaks between football plays.

They also focused on staying healthy. Dorbah drinks water “all the time” and often turns to Pedialyte and chocolate milk to help his body recover.

Coaches — How do you feel about allowing your football players to change their bodies for other sports in the winter?

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!

About the author

Dan Guttenplan