FNF Coaches Talk for Wednesday, Jan. 16

FNF Coaches Talk

Let’s get right to the stories we’re talking about today.


This article provides a coaching clinic on where the RPO came from, how hard it is to stop, and what’s next. What we found interesting is how little thought went into implementing one of the more innovative offensive schemes in the early years. In fact, former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme ran RPOs the first time as a reaction to a heavy pass rush.

[In 1997 at Kentucky], we couldn’t block Jevon Kearse, and so we told Tim Couch to either throw a bubble screen or hand the ball off. It was so easy to do. I don’t know why we didn’t keep doing it.

St. David’s School (N.C.) coach Dan Casey believes RPOs are so prevalent in high school because they can neutralize a dominant defensive line.

High school coaches are so dependent on personnel. So if you have an offense that — you just don’t have any offensive linemen — you have to find a way to move the football, apart from just handing it off to your running back and running straight downhill. And so I think these coaches have basically out of necessity developed some of these offenses, because they just don’t have the personnel to run traditional offensive sets.

In what ways can you game plan to neutralize an opposing team’s dominant defensive front?

2. ‘Sean got swag, man’: Payton’s bold approach gives Saints distinct edge (USA Today)

The most successful coaches will tell you that the key to connecting with players is being yourself. You can’t be anyone else as well as you can be yourself. Let your personality come through, and your players will respect you.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton certainly lets his personality come through with motivational ploys, aggressive play calls and psychological manipulation. His players say part of his success is attributable to the fact that he never lets his players get comfortable.

“I think he’s very cautious about people getting comfortable,” Morstead added. “He’s always able to kind of keep a little bit of a healthy fear with guys, whether it’s about your job security or playing time, he’s always, I think, trying to keep guys a little bit on edge. I think that’s by design, and a great way to be. Because complacency can kill you. Sean, if he wasn’t a head coach, could be a master psychologist.”

Payton is a far cry from say-nothing Patriots coach Bill Belichick, or analytics-wizard Rams coach Sean McVay, but that’s not to say Payton does not have success doing it his way.

Consider that 17 teams during the regular season attempted more fourth-down conversions than the Saints, but only the Chargers (87.5 percent) had a higher success rate than New Orleans (81.3 percent), which converted on 13 of 16 tries. The Saints also have been 3-for-3 on fake punts executed by the versatile Taysom Hill.

What personality traits do you allow your players to see through your coaching?

3. Coaching the Wide Receiver – Daily Pre-Practice Routine for Wide Receivers (USA Football Blogs)

This article offers some examples of how the smallest details matter for wide receivers. For example, here’s a video demonstrating the proper stance for a receiver. The key is that there is zero wasted motion. That can make all the difference for a quarterback facing a pass rush while trying to find a receiver who has established separation.

Route running is also such an important part to gaining separation for receivers, and this video shows some drills to help receivers with route-running. Deception is the key. Receivers want to make the defensive backs believe they are running a different route than the one that’s coming.

What drills help your receivers master the position?

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!