Good afternoon, Coaches. Here is a collection of stories we’re talking about in our newsroom.
1. Schofield: Philip Rivers’ play-action precision key factor in one of his best seasons (Pro Football Weekly)
If you’re looking for a tutorial on how to execute play-action, this article fits the bill. It’s filled with still pictures and gifs, so take a seat and go through it at your own pace.
The premise of the article is that Philip Rivers is having one of his best season, in large part due to his success running play-action.
Those numbers? 133.4 and 93.8. Those are Rivers’ quarterback ratings this season on play-action (which is third-best behind Russell Wilson and Brees) and when pressured (tops in the league), respectively. Rivers’ ability to execute on play-action designs, as well as in the face of the blitz, are huge reasons why he is playing at such a high level.
There are many examples from Chargers’ games this season, but this particular gif shows the defensive linemen and linebackers freeze while Rivers fakes the handoff.
It has all kinds of tips for how play-action should be taught, schemed and executed.
Coaches — How do you script a game plan so that you can use play-action as a weapon?
2. In high school football, life can imitate video games (CentralMaine.com)
This article dives into the trend of coaches and players using the Madden video game to troubleshoot play calls to combat specific defenses. Nokomis (Maine) quarterback Andrew Haining played Madden to come up with an unorthodox way to attack a rival team’s Cover 3 defense.
“We really had no answer for their Cloud Cover 3 in Week 2 last year, so I knew we needed to figure something out,” he said. “So believe it or not, I came home and I repped Madden time and time again. Which plays are good to beat Cover 3 and where the windows often are.”
Nokomis coach Jake Rogers said the video game also makes it easier to teach players terminology and route concepts.
“The Xs and Os of it are very sound, it’s what we use,” said Nokomis coach and frequent football video player Jake Rogers, whose Warriors will play Fryeburg Academy in the Class C state title game Saturday.
“It teaches kids terminology, especially pass routes and coverages. And it’s a universal language, really. What’s a slant, what’s a curl route. Concepts like Smash. And on defense, it teaches man coverage, zone coverage, 4-3 defense versus 3-4 defense. They can see the inner workings of different schematics. It’s pretty cool.”
In what ways has your players’ exposure to the Madden video game helped with their learning process?
3. Video: Nebraska team works double-pass trick play to perfection (0:33) (MaxPreps)
Here’s an interesting play call that freezes up the defense just enough to open up the deep secondary for a bomb.
Trailing 17-7 and in need of a spark, Grand Island perfectly executed a double-pass trick play. Evans bounced a pass in the flat to backup QB and receiver Carson Cahoy who then launched it downfield to Douglass for a 70-yard touchdown strike.
What play would you call if you were attempting to trick the defense into thinking the play was dead before the whistle?
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!