FNF Coaches Talk — Michigan’s RPO Offense, Iowa Strength Program Motivators, Belichick’s Advice to Draft Prospect

FNF Coaches Talk

Good afternoon, Coaches. Here are the top stories of the day.

1. Michigan football film study: First glimpse at Josh Gattis’ offense (Detroit Free Press)

Michigan football’s spring scrimmage did offer an early look of what will become the offense run by Jim Harbaugh and Josh Gattis this fall. The overall philosophy appears to be pretty simple: Create as much space as you can for athletes who can do something with it.

The Michigan offense figures to create all kinds of confusion for Big 10 Conference opponents this season as teams like Ohio State and Michigan State try to identify the new formations.

What would cause you to change your offensive system this offseason?

2. Old with the new and how Chris Doyle shapes Iowa’s football culture (The Gazette)

Last season was Kirk Ferentz’s 20th at the University of Iowa. He set the school’s record for victories by a head coach in the opener. The milestones are multitude.

Last season also was strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle’s 20th at the UI. Ferentz hired Doyle almost 21 years ago with the idea that strength and conditioning was going to be an element that pulls Iowa forward.

Doyle believes that peer pressure is the best motivator in the weight room.

“They say the lead dog sets the pace for the pack,” Doyle said. “When you see that going on in the weight room, as much as anything, I’m a believer that elevates everyone’s performance. … So, when someone looks over and sees Tristan Wirfs and he hang cleans 450 through a set of four, they’re all into that. That’s a really huge lift.
“ … Everyone in the room looks over and thinks, ‘If he can do that, maybe I can hang clean 300 four times for the first time? Maybe I can do something I haven’t done before.’”

Marshal Yanda played with the Hawkeyes in 2005-06. He was picked in the third round of the 2007 draft by the Baltimore Ravens and he recently signed a one-year contract extension for his 13th season with the team.

Doyle often uses him as an example of what can be accomplished through hard work.

He likes to tell the story about the shoes Yanda keeps in that locker. They’re a pair of Nikes (red and gray “Frees”) from his first Pro Bowl (there have been seven of those, by the way) in 2011.

He still trains in those shoes.

“I said, ‘Marshal, …’ he can afford any shoes he wants,” Doyle said, “I said, ‘Why?’ He said because it’s a reminder what it took. ‘It keeps me grounded and it reminds me of what I did to achieve that level of success and what I need to continue to do on a daily basis.’”

How do you set up inter-team competitions to motivate the players in the weight room?

3. USC LB Cameron Smith got best advice from Bill Belichick ahead of the NFL Draft (The Press-Enterprise)

You ever wonder what Bill Belichick would say to a player who is worried about which team he’ll play for at the next level? Well, we might have an answer.

Bill Belichick visited the USC Pro Day this offseason, and Trojans linebacker Cameron Smith had a chance to speak with the coach 1-on-1.

“It almost went exactly how I thought it would go; it was all business,” Smith said. “He’s a legend, obviously, but learning from him and being questioned by him, what he threw at me was really cool and I was really proud of myself when I left.”

It was in this meeting that Belichick gave Smith the best piece of advice he received throughout the draft process.

“He said it doesn’t matter when or where I get drafted, it’s just about what I do after that,” Smith recalled.

What advice do you give your players who are stressed about choosing the right college?

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!