FNF Coaches Talk

FNF Coaches Talk — RBs in the Passing Game, a Preseason Hype Video Like No Other, Dabo Swinney’s Ups and Downs

Welcome back, Coaches. Here are today’s stories.

1. Throwing to running backs: The latest craze that doesn’t make any sense (The Athletic)

Coaches — Do you like to get your RBs involved in the passing game? This article suggests there are more efficient ways to move the ball downfield.

That being said, there are plenty of examples (Andy Reid’s Chiefs) of coaches efficiently working the screen game into their respective offenses. Many teams seem to make the mistake of sending their linemen in the opposite direction of the pass to “fool” the linebackers. In most cases, it’s a waste of energy as the linemen can’t work their way back to the play side in time.

In other instances, the offense as a whole can improve its technique.

What is your philosophy behind getting your RBs involved in the passing game?

2. A preseason football video unlike anything in this universe, we’re in the End Game now. #ThisIsMingo (WesWilsonProductions)

Some programs release a schedule poster or preseason program to get the fans excited about the upcoming season. The more tech-savvy teams might try a hype video.

The staff at Mingo Central High (W.V.) decided to utilize video to create some hype and share their season schedule.

Their inspiration? Marvel and Avengers, and they got the whole coaching staff in on the action in costumes for some fun.

What are you doing to get your fans excited about the start of the season?

3. How Dabo Built Clemson Into a Monster (ESPN)

This is a great story about Clemson coach Dabo Swinney because it highlights the fact that even the top coaches go through adversity throughout their respective careers. In fact, Dabo Swinney was — at one point — a real estate agent after being fired from Alabama.

Dabo Swinney lost his dream job in 2000, when the entire staff at Alabama was axed. So he started … selling real estate. And his old boss says if Swinney had stuck with it, he could have been a millionaire property mogul. But he wanted to get back to coaching, and that has turned out OK, hasn’t it? Swinney drove to see Tommy Bowden speak at an Alabama church function in 2001, which led to a job on Bowden’s Clemson staff.

Swinney’s defensive coordinator, Brent Venables, went through a similar low point in 2012 when Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops hired his brother, Mark, to share the DC responsibilities at Oklahoma. It all worked out OK for everyone involved.

Brent Venables’ wife might be the true architect of Clemson’s rise. In January 2012, Venables was sitting in the Oklahoma City airport, waiting for a plane he wasn’t sure he wanted to board. A week earlier, Clemson’s first ACC title under Dabo became overshadowed by a 70-33 Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia, and the Tigers were looking for a new defensive coordinator. Bob Stoops had hired his brother, Mark, as co-defensive coordinator a few weeks earlier, which nudged Venables toward testing the job market. But leaving the Sooners was a big move, and Venables isn’t the type to make big moves. So it wasn’t until his wife called him at the airport and scolded him for his ambivalence that Venables finally made up his mind. He flew to Clemson, he took the job, and the Tigers’ defense has been among the nation’s best ever since.

What was the lowest point in your coaching career? What helped you turn the corner?

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!