Good afternoon, Coaches. Here are a few stories we’re talking about in our newsroom.
1. Football’s First Play-Calling Competition Returns in February (Business Wire)
This is a pretty cool opportunity for coaches who want to put their play-calling abilities to the test. Your Call Football (YCF) will host in February a four-game series at the Dream Finders Homes Flex Field at Daily’s Place, adjacent to TIAA Bank Field – home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
YCF allows fans to influence the outcome of live games by calling plays in real-time via the YCF app—eliminating the need for the ‘Monday Morning Quarterback.’ YCF also offers a ‘live fantasy’ and gaming experience where fans compete against each other for bragging rights and more than $72,000 in cash prizes based on their play-calling score.
If you think you call a great game, maybe it’s worth the trip for $72,000 in cash prizes. Former NFL running back Merril Hoge will be returning as head coach for team “Power,” and he will be joined by former NFL defensive back Solomon Wilcots who will coach team “Grit.” They provide fans with a selection of three plays to vote on and the majority play is then executed live on the field.
During YCF’s first series in May 2018, fans called 295,000 plays during a zero-latency live stream delivered by Phenix. Among the new features for 2019, fans will be able to compete for a separate set of cash prizes during each quarter of every game, set up unlimited head-to-head competitions and view up-to-date content and rosters in the app during non-game times.
Coaches — How do you keep your play-calling skills sharp in the offseason?
2. Incoming Iowa freshman Justin Britt earned a scholarship by blocking well at a camp (Hawk Central)
High school coaches — If you want to motivate your players to give maximum effort while maintaining a great attitude, this is the story for you.
In 2017, Justin Britt attended an Iowa football camp for college prospects. Britt earned himself a scholarship offer directly from Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz strictly due to his blocking and attitude.
“I just felt it, standing there. I liked that when he knocked someone down, he helped them up,” Ferentz said. “He just had a real good way about him.”
It reminds of the mantra we hear from so many coaches across the country. Some players can’t will themselves to 4.4 speed in the 40 or a 350-pound bench press. But all players can give good effort and attitude.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Britt has also impressed Ferentz with his knowledge of the game and study habits as well.
Britt already has impressed Ferentz with his technical knowledge of the game. During their final visit before the Dec. 19 signing day, Ferentz remarked that Britt was identifying things some of his third-year players at Iowa couldn’t.
How do you recognize players for showing great attitude and work ethic?
3. Legend of the Long Toss: Stories of Patrick Mahomes II’s Awe-Inspiring Passing (The Ringer)
Everyone’s heard the stories of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing it 90 yards in the air — and many have seen the across-the-body or behind-the-back throws in games — but what you may not know is all of the fundamental work that allows Mahomes to perform in games.
he part no one notices, Mahomes tells me, is the fundamentals. That’s where it all starts. The first 12 or 15 throws in warm-ups are short passes to help him get his feet right. He builds from there by simulating every dropback he’ll make in a game. Offensive coaches rave about his perfect foot placement on these throws, which allows him to build up to progressively longer throws with consistency.
It’s a good message for high school players. While you may not be able to throw like Mahomes, you can certainly prepare like him.
Here’s an interesting story about Mahomes’ pregame preparation in high school, when the field was often split in half with each team occupying one side.
His warm-up routine has been problematic, however. In high school, when both teams warm up at the same time, Mahomes’s arm was a little too good. “If you’re going to do the normal high school warm-up thing, which is split the field, one team is on one side, you’re on the other, that is not going to be enough room for Patrick Mahomes,” says Adam Cook, Mahomes’s coach at Whitehouse High School. Cook tried to get quarterbacks on the field earlier than everyone to avoid the field congestion. However, the opposing team would often have its punter warming up on the opposite end of the field, leaving him in great danger of being hit with a Mahomes long toss. “It wasn’t intentional,” says Cook. “He’s just warming up, but he’s going to throw into you because he’s throwing it as long as he can throw it.” Cook wanted Mahomes to stretch out his arm because he believed in taking a big, downfield shot early in the game and needed the quarterback’s arm ready. Throwing into the opposing team was collateral damage.
What drills do you recommend for a quarterback to help strengthen his arm?
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!