Welcome back, Coaches. Let’s get to some of the top stories of the day.
1. ‘It’s a science now’: For college football’s elite, there’s no such thing as an inexperienced QB anymore (Chicago Tribune)
The education of quarterbacks is starting younger and younger, and as a result, they’re getting to the college game (and perhaps even high school) with a much broader base of knowledge. They know how to recognize schemes, weaknesses in the defense and blitzes before the snap.
“Quarterbacks know, right now [at very young ages], when they motion a guy, they’re doing it to see if they’re in zone,” said Robert Faleafine, the president of Jr. Sports Prep Hawaii, who has coached in it as well. “They’re doing it to see if they’re in man. At this level. They’re watching that. So receivers are already being taught how to sit in zone, and to see whether the cornerback bails or if he sits. They learn these things already. At 11! At this level. It’s crazy!”
Part of this can be attributed to better coaching. More youth league coaches have experience playing the game. Also — high school coaches are doing a better job of establishing feeder programs with the youth league teams running the same scheme as the high school team.
Finally, 7-on-7 summer leagues have helped quarterbacks identify coverages.
“I think the big thing is, their understanding of defensive structures and coverages, and with all the 7-on-7 stuff that people do,” Locksley said. “Nowadays, you’ve got all the 7-on-7 leagues. These guys are learning the passing game a lot earlier than, say, a guy who turned around and handed it off 40 times a game in high school. Now they’re coming in with understanding and knowledge of passing concepts, and for me that’s probably been the biggest change from the high school quarterback of 10 years ago to the high school quarterback of now.”
Coaches — How do you help your young quarterbacks see the game through your eyes?
2. The football playbook rule? ‘keeping it simple’ is the way to go (Morning Sentinel)
Here’s something to think about if you’re adding to your playbook this offseason. Keep it simple. Don’t inundate the players with too much information. Whenever you add a play, be sure to subtract one as well.
“It really comes down to what we think they can handle mentally, because you could have a limitless playbook,” Cony coach B.L. Lippert said. “You don’t want to overburden them with 400 plays, but you also want to be diverse enough where you can take advantage of a defensive weakness you’ve seen on film.”
Of course, players are more likely to spend time in their playbooks now that they can access them digitally on their phones. Many Maine coaches share their playbooks this way.
“It’s all digital, they can look at it on their phone,” White said. “(You) can pick out whatever game from last season or two years ago that you want to watch, bang. Playbook right there, you can just (read) right through it.”
Coaches — How do you make sure your players are spending time studying their playbooks?
3. Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh uses Virtual Reality technology to recruit (Michigan Daily)
Obviously, not all high school programs have a budget for Virtual Reality technology, but here’s something to think about if you’re in the market for VR.
VR has already found its way onto the University of Michigan’s campus. Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the University’s football team, uses VR to recruit potential team members, allowing them to experience “a day in the life of a Michigan football player.”
We always thought coaches use VR to visualize plays and formations of opposing teams, but this is a new one. How about recruiting a kid to your program by allowing him to see a day in the life of one of your players?
It’s worth a shot.
What is the best recruiting tool you have for prospective football players at your school?
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!