FNF Coaches Talk — Ohio State’s ‘Bullet’ position, Empathizing with Officials, Explaining the Virginia Tech 5-Star Ratings

FNF Coaches Talk

Good afternoon, Coaches. We’ve got three more stories for you!

1. Ohio State turning to the ‘Bullet’ position to be more multiple (247Sports)

College football is an ever-changing game. Each year, maybe even each week, coaches are coming up with new schemes to try and beat their opponent. As soon as one catches on and teams try to adopt it, coaches look for the new plan or wrinkle that might give them an advantage.

For the most part, when people think of new, innovative schemes in college football, they think of offense. But the defenses also change. It’s the only way to keep up with the ever-differing offensive schemes.

To help do that, the Ohio State coaches are attempting to make Ohio State’s defense more multiple by using what they call the “Bullet” position. This is essentially a hybrid outside linebacker/safety role, similar to the “Viper” Michigan used with Jabrill Peppers and Khaleke Hudson or how the Buckeyes used Darron Lee in 2014 and 2015. Sometimes this player will be in coverage like a safety, sometimes they will be in the box like a linebacker.

Because the Buckeyes want to be multiple and not predictable, Hafley is hoping to teach all of the players the various roles in order to have them comfortable at any spot when on defense.

“Free safety, strong safety, Bullet, we’re kind of rotating all of the guys through those spots right now,” Hafley explained. “Sometimes you’ll see them in the middle of the field, sometimes you’ll see them in the half, sometimes you’ll see them down in the box, sometimes you’ll see them lined up over the slot, so really all three of those guys are pretty versatile.”

What are you doing this spring to make your offensive and defensive schemes more versatile?

2. Find it tough to empathize with college football officials? Try being one of them (CBS Sports)

CBS Sports writer Dennis Dodd took an an assignment to help officiate G-Day, one of the University of Georgia’s most cherished traditions. The SEC extended an invitation to a few media members to mix with an its officiating crew for an afternoon — sort of walking a mile in their (turf) shoes.

One of the things that helped Dodd empathize with officials — and it may also help you empathize — is the meager pay checks they bring in even at the SEC level.

One official told me he netted $8,000 last year officiating a season’s worth of SEC games. That includes game checks that can range from $1,900 to $2,225, according to 2018 figures obtained by CBS Sports. That doesn’t include unpaid film study during the week done on each individual’s time.

Replay has made the official’s job even more thankless. Now coaches and fans can see within seconds if and when they make a mistake.

It’s harder than ever to officiate. Tempo offenses have caused officials to make quicker decisions. Never mind having a Skycam looking over their shoulders. Shaw is scared witless about the specter of gambling. He brings an FBI agent in each year to speak with his officials.

How could you expose some of your assistant coaches and team parents to the thankless side of officiating so that they could show more empathy?

3. Explaining the Virginia Tech 5-Star Helmet Rating System (FNF Coaches)

Coaches may find it difficult to know what to believe when it comes to evaluating helmet safety performance standards. The Virginia Tech 5-Star Helmet Rating System is one of the most reputable models. A total of 18 helmets were rated using the STAR evaluation system in 2018.

Through a series of impact tests, helmets are evaluated using two fundamental concepts: 1) each test is weighted based on how frequently players experience them and 2) helmets that lower head acceleration reduce concussion risk. The impact conditions and weightings are sport-specific, and inclusive of the broad range of head impacts that athletes are likely to experience. These methods have been published as peer-reviewed articles in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering.

Take a look at the story to see the latest helmet ratings.

What factors weigh into your decision when picking a helmet for your team?

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!