Good morning, Coaches. We hope you’re getting ready for the holiday break. Here are some of the stories we’re talking about today.
1. Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph’s decision to kick a FG was the largest play call error on record (edjsports)
Broncos coach Vance Joseph is getting criticized for making one of the least aggressive — and non-analytical — decisions since edjsports has been tracking this type of thing.
To review: With 4:39 remaining Saturday night and trailing 17-13, the Broncos faced a fourth and 1 from the Browns’ 6-yard line. Instead of going for it—even after back-to-back runs by running back Phillip Lindsay picked up just two combined yards—Joseph elected to kick a field goal.
The Broncos realized 26.7 percent Game-Winning Chance (GWC) by kicking it in that situation. If the Broncos had gone for it instead, they would have realized 59.8 percent GWC. In other words, this play call was an error that surrendered 33.1 percent GWC; the largest play call error that we have ever seen.
The article actually makes the case that going for it on fourth and 1 was the safer play because it doesn’t rely on the defense to get the ball back.
Importantly, a successful conversion followed by a touchdown provides the Broncos a path to winning that doesn’t require an additional possession. The safe option hopes, or perhaps assumes, that the Browns don’t score again, which is no certainty.
How much do you consider analytics into your decisions on fourth down?
2. Recruiting GenZ: How Purdue used Drake and Fortnite to land a top 25 class (Pharos-Tribune)
Purdue coach Jeff Brohm on Wednesday signed the program’s first top-25 class since 2004. Brohm and the Boilers’ staff have embraced the changing world by employing a creative team of about 10 videographers, photographers and graphic designers to create and distribute graphics and other promotional materials to recruits.
In one of the more popular designs that circulated on Twitter, the creative team photoshopped a “Fortnite” character to look like a Boilermaker wielding a hammer. When Drake dropped his “Scorpion” album this summer, Purdue played off of his mix tape titled “If you’re reading this, it’s too late” with the words, “If you’re reading this, Boiler Up!” in the same font. Recently, the team took the “Red Dead Redemption” video game cover and swapped photos of commits for the main character.
Brohm said the key to the marketing materials is to put pictures of the recruits in images they can circulate on social media.
Purdue started sending pictures of the players instead, edited so they are wearing Purdue uniforms. The other common criticism of GenZ is they have short attention spans. So at Minnesota, Fleck said he’s constantly evolving his tours to show kids something different.
How do you stay involved in the recruiting process for your players now that so much is done through social media?
3. Justin Hardee covers punts like he’s the first responder to a 5-alarm fire (Baldy’s Breakdowns)
Tuesday is the day that Brian Baldinger breaks down plays from around the NFL and demonstrates proper technique and form. Here’s one for special teams coaches. Saints gunner Justin Hardee fights through a double-team to beat all of his teammates downfield.
.@saints @jhardee_19 #whodat covers punts like he is the first responder to a 5 alarm fire. Pro-Bowl worthy. We pay attention to all things football ONLY in #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/K007p4bO0S
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) December 18, 2018
How do you teach effort on special teams?
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!