FNF Coaches Talk for Oct. 30

Good afternoon, Coaches! Here are some of the stories we’re discussing today.

1. Inside a high school football coach’s headset: A mix of strategy, screaming and jargon (The Washington Post)

We love stories like this — ones that give a behind-the-scenes look at coaching high school football. This reporter received permission from the Mount Vernon (Wash. D.C.) High coaching staff to listen in on the headset communication during a game. It’s filled with anecdotes and quotes, basically a lot of stuff that we can all relate to.

The one thing we found interesting is how different the style of communication was for the offensive and defensive staffs at Mount Vernon.

“For us, it’s usually pretty straightforward, short play calls,” Mount Vernon offensive line coach Mike Graham said of the offense’s headset communication. “You’ll hear a lot more chatter and stuff on the defensive side with those guys over there.”

This story ends with an example of the perfect type of headset communication — one that results in a big play. Mount Vernon head coach Monty Fritts and offensive assistant Stanley Riley are discussing the best strategy for icing a game that is going in their favor.

Fritts: “Hey, are we still getting man [coverage] up top?”
Riley: “Yep.”
Fritts: “I just don’t want to throw a pick . . . I don’t want to throw to anyone but Kofi right now. G left then back to slant for Kofi? Want to do it?”
Riley: “Just G right, G right.”
Next play: Touchdown.

It’s a fun story; we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

What tips would you give a coach looking to improve his in-game communication between coaches?

2. PN-G says goodbye to W over iPad violation (Beaumont Enterprise)

We all know how competitive high school football can be in Texas, and this story certainly shows an example of this. The Port Neches-Groves football team was ordered Monday to forfeit one of its wins after a coach was spotted in the press box using an iPad in violation of UIL rules.

Rule One, Section Four, Article 11 of the NCAA rule book — which the UIL uses unless expressly stated otherwise — says that any type of film or photographs may not be used by coaches or for coaching purposes any time during the game or between periods.

It sounds like the PN-G administration is supporting the coaches; they don’t see it as a huge violation as much as a misunderstanding.

P-NG Coach Brandon Faircloth defended his staff’s actions altogether.
“Yes, we had an iPad in the press box, but I don’t believe we broke any rules,” said Faircloth, who also serves as PN-G’s athletic director.

The most interesting part of the story — to us, at least — is that the violation was reported by a scout whose team was not even playing that night. A Barbers Hill scout sat in the press box while scouting PN-G during its game against Crosby, and reported a PN-G coach for holding an iPad up to the press box window and taking pictures. Barbers Hill (4-1 in conference play) and PN-G (4-1) will meet later this season.

“This is going to be bad for Barbers Hill because they’re going to have many angry Indians players ready to play them,” PN-G graduate Wes Temple said. “I don’t see what’s the difference from an iPhone in the press box compared to having an iPad.”

Barbers Hill and PN-G will square off this week for a conference championship. Drama!

How would you handle witnessing a rules violation by a coach if you were scouting a game?

3. Steal Points by Using Tricks, Specials, and Formations (X&O Labs)

Broken Arrow High (Okla.) offensive coordinator Jay Wilkinson makes the point that a trick play doesn’t have to involve laterals or athletes playing out of position. Simply scheming unique formations can throw a defense off balance.

Too often coaches make trick plays far too difficult. The fact is, you can get the same impact without having to add a whole new concept into your offense. There are a variety of ways that you can throw a curve ball and they don’t all require an entirely new play. One such way is by using formations.

Wilkinson shares the advantages a bunch formation to give an offense.

One formation that is simple but presents real problems for a defense is the bunch formation. Teams that already run 10 or 11 personnel groups can realize the following advantages by adding this formation:
Great Strong Side Running Formation.
1 on 1 Passing on the Back Side.
Defense has alignment problems.
Very little new teaching involved.
New Dimension – Shotgun, Empty.

What formation gives your offense the best chance to run a trick play?

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!