Good afternoon, Coaches! We hope you’re riding the high of a win on Friday night. Here are some of the stories we’re talking about in our newsroom.

1. 🏈VIDEO: Michigan Mr. Football candidate Roderick Heard with the game-winning TD pass in OT as Harrison beats Country Day 13-10 (Fox Sports Detroit)

We all love watching highlights of crazy trick plays. This one doesn’t exactly fall into that category, but it’s a game-winning play in a matchup of Michigan rivals that showcases a player’s understanding of the rules and game situation. The beginning of the video is a coach’s worst nightmare — a game-tying field goal goes awry due to a mishandled snap.

But watch the poise and understanding of the situation that the holder demonstrates in turning it into a game-winning touchdown pass.

Heard explained after the game how he was able to think so quickly on the fly.

“I knew he couldn’t kick it so I just picked it up and tried to run it in,” Heard said as tears streamed down his face. “They were outside, so I turned around and saw Max … and just threw it to him.”

Coaches — How do you prepare your players so they are able to think clearly when a play breaks down?

2. VIDEO: Brian Dawkins gives pep talk to his former HS team, and he has not lost a step (USA Today)

Anyone familiar with Brian Dawkins’ NFL career — or even if you just saw his speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony last summer — knows he can give you goosebumps. Here, while giving a speech to his high school alma mater, Raines High (Jacksonville, Fla.), Dawkins does it again.

Dawkins also spent a day at Raines and spoke to the entire student body about aiming high and believing in themselves. He feels that too many people in his community don’t believe that they deserve success.

What message do you feel your players most need to hear when it comes to approaching adversity?

3. Hi-Tech Mouth Guard Helping Football Teams Track Impacts (Keloland Media Group)

Here’s a story about a Minneapolis that is using new technology — Prevent Biometrics Mouthguards — to combat head injuries and concussions. The mouth guard sends a signal through Bluetooth to an app that will be on the sidelines with the trainer.

“One of the benefits is that the trainer can make more informed decisions about athletes that might need to come off the field to be checked for a potential concussion,” Sigel said. “Lower impact, lower magnitude hits, no alert, we just keep playing. And the vast majority of impacts, you know, don’t cause an alert or really don’t cause alarm. But when you have an impact of 60 Gs or 70 Gs, that’s a lot, that’s a big impact, and most experts would say that athlete ought to be looked at.”

Although several teams are using this new technology on a trial basis this season, there is still much to be learned before it is recommended as a product that helps prevent concussions.

The mouth guard has its limits. It does not actually offer any additional protection from concussions, and it cannot diagnose a concussion.

What piece of equipment has had the biggest impact on your program when it comes to injury prevention?

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