It’s starting to feel like Thanksgiving, and many of you are gearing up for big rivalry games. Here are some of the topics we’re discussing around the world of high school football.
1. Andy Reid Is Creating Football’s Future, and Patrick Mahomes Is Living It (Sports Illustrated)
If you love talking scheme or find yourself drawing up plays on napkins, this is a great story for you. Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes have formed the perfect union between play design and skill set. This article chronicles the genesis of many of the highlight reel plays that you see the Chiefs running every week on the way to historic offensive numbers.
Today a big part of the job for K.C. quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka and for passing-game analyst Joe Bleymaier is to scour the college ranks for plays their coach might consider. And Reid doesn’t care who or where these plays come from. The offensive principle to which he is most loyal is simple: He’ll do anything for a first down.
High school coaches might be interested to know the origins of some of Reid’s play calls date back to his time playing high school football.
The Chiefs’ playbook even includes one scheme from a 1970s veer offense. It’s a pitch trap, a bit of a tricky concept in which the quarterback fakes a pitch to the back on one side while a guard pulls to execute a trap block in that direction. Everyone flows one way, but then the QB whirls around to face the opposite direction and gives the ball to the other back on an inside handoff. Reid learned that one at John Marshall High in Los Angeles, where he played on the offensive line. His fellow Chiefs coaches laughed when he first installed the play, but Reid always knows when to call it, and they say it always works.
It’s a great read if you’re interested in offensive scheme.
Coaches — How do you seek out plays that other teams have run successfully?
2. San Francisco 49ers welcome high school team ravaged by Camp Fire (ESPN)
We’ve all heard about the devastating fires sweeping through California. It appears that one NFL team — the San Francisco 49ers — has reached out to help a local team. The 49ers invited Paradise High (Calif.) to its Monday Night Football game against the Raiders.
Kudos to 49ers GM John Lynch and the rest of the organization for showing compassion to those affected by the fires.
In what ways have you tried to form partnerships with college and pro teams in your area?
3. HS football players nationwide targets of racist incidents at games (USA Today)
This is a sad trend in high school sports, but certainly one to be aware of as a coach. There has been a string of racist incidents at high school football games across the country this fall.
The story leads with Thompson High (Ala.) quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, brother of Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, having racist remarks hurled at him and his teammates from the home team’s stands.
“It’s crazy that the person felt comfortable enough to say things in a crowd in public,” Tagovailoa said. “I’m not naive, I know there are racist people, but still.”
The writer tries to nail down the root of the recent increase in reports of racism this fall.
Daniel Drezner, a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said that instances like these “are more noticeable” because of the current political climate.
It’s a disappointing trend in high school sports and one we certainly hope discontinues in 2019.
What can coaches do to foster a supportive relationship between spectators and players?
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!