Welcome back, Coaches. We’ve got a few good stories for you.

1. Going for 2 down 8 points: Why NFL teams keep doing it, and why analytics backs them up (ESPN)

We all know analytics suggest we should be going for 2 far more often than we do. But we still kick the PAT unless it’s an obvious situation for a 2-point attempt, don’t we?

Take this situation, for example.

A team is down by 14 points in the fourth quarter, and it scores a touchdown to pull within 8. In analytics circles, attempting a 2-point conversion when down 8 points late in the game has long been discussed as a slam-dunk decision that NFL coaches should make. Recently, it has become a choice that some coaches actually do make.

Between 2000 and 2017, there were only two instances in which a team was down 14 points, scored a touchdown to cut the deficit to 8 and went for 2 on purpose (excluding aborted PAT attempts). And one was in a snowstorm, when kicking can be adventurous. Since the start of 2018, it has happened five times, most recently in Week 11, when the Lions tried it against the Cowboys.

Of course, there’s more that goes into this decision than analytics. How are your short-yardage plays working? Does your offense have momentum? Is your quarterback able to improvise?

All that being said, the analytics couldn’t be more clear.

Why should teams attempt a 2-point conversion down 8 points? Because the odds of converting a 2-point conversion once in one try are worse than failing twice in two tries.

Assuming the team is going to score another touchdown — none of this matters if it doesn’t — and prevents the opponent from scoring again, going for two now gives it an informational advantage that indicates what to do after its next touchdown.
If the team converts on the first 2-point try, it knows it only needs a PAT on the second touchdown to win.
If it fails, the team knows that it has to go for 2 again the second time to have a chance to tie.
Kicking two extra points maximizes the chance to reach overtime. Attempting a 2-point conversion when down 8 points late maximizes the chance to win the game, which is the ultimate goal.

What’s stopping you from going for more 2-point conversion attempts?

2. Florida calls on its most famous alumni to boost fundraising effort for new field house (Fort Myers News-Press)

We all want to make improvements to our facilities, and the North Fort Myers football team has a creative idea for kick-starting its effort for a new (or renovated) field house.

Granted, we don’t all have Deion Sanders in our rolodex to help with a fundraising effort, but I’m sure we all have impactful and influential alumni we can call upon.

The decision to seek out assistance from “Prime” works on multiple levels. For one, his social media audience is robust, and he has connections with many wealthy former athletes, coaches and executives.

The effort to refurbish the North Fort Myers fieldhouse was given the green light to raise $20,000 on wefund4u.com. Those proceeds will be combined with money the program has saved to go toward the project that will cost around $50,000.

By seeking out Deion Sanders to kick off the fundraising campaign, one would think they might also get a sizable contribution from their most famous alumni.

If you could call upon one alumni to kick off a fundraising effort for your program, who would be most influential?

3. Florida Gulf Coast University clarifies ‘offers’ given to high school football players (USA Today)

Here’s something to be aware of as your players seek out opportunities to play at the next level.

More than 100 football players from around the country took to social media over the past week saying they received “offers” to play college football at Florida Gulf Coast University.

One problem: FGCU does not have an intercollegiate football program among its 15 NCAA-sanctioned sports.

The FGCU club football team just finished its second season with a 6-2 record. The team is coached by Kevin Van Duser, who said he sent emails to prospective players telling them if they chose to attend FGCU, they would be guaranteed a roster spot.

“This past season’s success brought us a lot of publicity and traffic to our website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with hundreds of kids across the country asking for us to look at their film,” Van Duser said. “Last week, myself and three of my coaches began to watch film that was being sent to us. The kids we wanted to offer a spot we got to know.”

How do you ensure that your players aren’t getting taken advantage of during the recruiting process?

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

About the author

Dan Guttenplan