FNF Coaches Talk

FNF Coaches Talk: Coaching the WR, Advanced Stats with Bill Walsh, Newton’s WT Johnston

Good afternoon, Coaches. Here are some stories we’re talking about today.

1. Coaching the Wide Receiver – The “Square Break” breakpoint (USA Football Blogs)

In case you haven’t heard of the “Square Break”, let us take a minute to explain. The “Square Break” is designed to allow a receiver to change direction at a sharp, 90-degree angle on any in or out breaking route under 10 yards. “Drop, break, line” is the three-step footwork pattern that will become rhythmic and second nature to the receiver over time.

Here’s what it looks like on film.

Sometimes, it can be used as a designed play against man coverage if the defensive back is playing off the receiver. Other times, it can be used against Cover 2 with the receiver settling in under the safeties.

Coaches — How do you use option routes to combat varying coverages?

2. Stats Corner: Hall of Fame Bill Walsh and Advanced Statistics (Mountain West Connection)

Most coaches preach that the team that wins the turnover battle, the time of possession, and out-gains the other team in offensive yards wins the football game. Most coaches are right.

However, Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh thought five other stats were more important to winning.

Down and Distance
“If you get 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, or 100 percent on third or fourth down, it’s a successful play”
Backed up
If the open field starts at your 10 yard line, then behind the 10 yard line is considered backed up.
Third Downs
“A statistical analysis of the more successful teams in the NFL reveals the necessity of focusing on getting the offense into a favorable third-down situation (e.g., either third-and-medium or third-and-short),” Walsh and his use of statistics.
Red Zone
Inside the 30 yard line, can you score?
Blitz
“All factors considered, the best way to discourage a team from blitzing is to ‘hurt it’ and to ‘hurt it big.’” So the best way to stop a team from blitzing is to let them blitz and make a big play.

What are the statistics you pay the most attention to?

3. Texas state champion coach: ‘I’m at peace with dying’ (FNF Coaches)

This story was in our February issue of FNF Coaches. Newton High (Texas) coach W.T. Johnston was given eight months to live by his doctor prior to the start of the football season. The coach vowed that his final lesson to players would be to show them how to live before they die.

“Being around kids has been the best medicine for me,” Johnston said. “They make me laugh. I haven’t always been able to do a lot of coaching during that time, but I’ve been able to see how my life can affect people before I die.”

Johnston staved off the inevitable and made it to Dallas for the state championship game. He sat on the sideline in a wheelchair during his team’s 21-16 victory over Canadian at AT&T Stadium.

“I’ve been given a great gift through all of this,” Johnston said. “People don’t understand that. I’ve been able to see how my life can affect people before I die. Not everyone will have that experience. I’ve been able to see what I can do to enrich other people’s lives before I die. If I leave them with something from me, that’s a part of me that will never die.
“Coaches don’t realize the impact they can have. I still remember things my coaches said to me 40 years ago. Do things the right way, and put things in the right perspective.”

What is the most important lesson you can teach your players in 2019?

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!