FNF Coaches Talk — O-Line Solidarity for Coach with Cancer, In-Cuts Are Better Than Outs, Strength Training for Safety

Welcome back, Coaches. Here are some stories for you.

1. Their coach had cancer so the O-line shaved their heads with him. Powerful 🙏 (Bleacher Report)

Coaches — Here’s one that will pull at the heart strings. The Tweet says it all.

Members of an Arkansas college football team surprised their offensive coordinator, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, by shaving their heads in solidarity.

One by one, players on the Lyon College squad lined up to share a hug with coach Kris Sweet.

Sweet was hired to be the team’s offensive coordinator just this past offseason, but already players are establishing a lifelong bond.

What is the most touching thing your players have done for you?

2. The best pass defenses tend to rank better against routes that move receivers to the outside of the field, not the inside (Football Outsiders)

The best pass defenses of 2018 performed better by rank against popular pass routes that moved receivers away from the middle of the field — out and flat routes — than on routes that moved receivers toward the middle of the field — curl, slant, and dig routes. Those teams universally had strong outside corners, including Kyle Fuller for Chicago, Tre’Davious White for Buffalo, Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr for Baltimore, Denzel Ward for Cleveland, and Jalen Ramsey for Jacksonville, who all prevented offensive play success 54 percent of the time or more — top-30 at the position — on big target volumes. Their excellent pass rushes didn’t hurt, either.

Most of the pass defense trailers struggled across all of the most popular routes, so they can be optimistic that their offseason changes can dramatically improve their defensive fortunes. Among last year’s worst pass defenses, the Lions, Packers, and Raiders made the biggest efforts to that effect, respectively signing cornerback Justin Coleman and safeties Adrian Amos and LaMarcus Joyner to a combined $44.7 million in guaranteed money.

Former Eagles and Browns executive Joe Banner attributed part of the Patriots’ success over the last decade to the recognition of this trend.

What part of the field do you attack most in your passing game? Why?

3. Strength training for student athletes increases ability, safety (Ponte Vedra Recorder)

Over the past 25 years, coaches, parents and student athletes have seen a rise in the understanding and prominence of the role proper strength and conditioning plays for all sports. Research has proven again and again the importance of a well-structured strength program for the athletes themselves, and the results on the field.

The value of proper strength training in the sport of football is clearly visible. Football relies heavily on speed, strength and power in order to perform at the highest levels.

Yet it is also a collision sport, so the contact dynamic must be accounted for within the strength program in order to minimize injury risks as much as possible. Having more muscle size for athletes is not just about their on-field performance itself, but also plays a critical role in their safety.

It’s a worthwhile story to share with your players, who may be less motivated to lift in-season.

What are the biggest benefits you see from your strength program on game day?