FNF Coaches Talk — The Back Shoulder Fade, Concussion Numbers Down, Making a QB Change

Good afternoon, Coaches. Here are today’s stories.

1. OFD Film Room: One Play, Back-Shoulder Fade (Old Film Room)

The author of this article is a former college football player, Phillip Gough, who is trying to get more into explaining the X’s and O’s of the game. He breaks down a game-changing play from Georgia’s big victory over Notre Dame last week.

The Play

Georgia comes out in 11 personnel (1 back, 1 tight end, 3 WRs) with a bunched formation to the field. The Irish come out in Dime, with Kyle Hamilton and Jack Lamb entering the game, clearly anticipating a pass play here.

Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm identifies the man coverage at the top and gets the ball out asap, and Hamilton misses getting a hand on the ball by such a small margin (The white line is the gap between the ball and his hand).


What type of matchup between WR and CB on the outside would inspire you to call a back-shoulder fade?

2. What They’re Thinking: Concussion numbers down for UI clinic (The Iowa Gazette)

Some good news on the concussion front: Andrew Peterson, a clinical associate professor at the University of Iowa and founder of the UI Sport Concussion Program, said his clinic is seeing fewer concussions as Iowa laws improve and schools and teams step up their safety.

They’ve gone down quite a bit. When I started the Sport Concussion Program in 2010, we were very full very quickly. We’d typically have 10 to 12 new concussions per week. Now I’d say I have more like two or three new concussions per week. But they tend to be much more complicated cases.

Coaches — We all know how important it is to identify concussions as soon as they occur, and then remove the players from competition so as not to incur further damage. But it’s a message that we can’t hear enough.

So here it is one more time, from Dr. Peterson.

here is clear danger in the second-impact type of a concussion or second-impact syndrome — where someone gets a concussion and gets another one on top of that while they’re still injured. The basic science of that is pretty well understood. We understand why the brain is so vulnerable during that period. Those injuries can be much more severe. They’re usually longer-lasting, their symptoms are usually more severe, and they’re dramatically more likely to lead to long-term disability.

What is your process for identifying concussions during a game?

3. Inside Clemson’s switch from Kelly Bryant to Trevor Lawrence, one year later (ESPN)

This is an interesting story about a coach making a quarterback change at midseason. It just so happens it was at the highest level of college football.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney made the switch from Kelly Bryant to Trevor Lawrence at midseason last year. In retrospect, it’s a change that was due and absolutely looks like the right decision now. But it’s interesting to look back at the mechanics of the move.

The next day, Bryant was summoned to Swinney’s office. The coach delivered the news.
Bryant talked through his options with his coach. There was a new rule in place that allowed players to appear in up to four games and retain a redshirt, meaning he could sit out the rest of the season and play elsewhere in 2019.
Later, Swinney would be applauded for giving Bryant that option. Had he waited another week to make the change, Bryant would’ve been stuck at Clemson. But Swinney insists the timing was purely coincidental.

Obviously, communication is important, and you want to let the man who lost his job hear about it first. We’ll give Swinney credit for admitting that he wasn’t making the move entirely to help Bryant gain another year or eligibility. He was just making the switch at the right time for his team.

It’s also interesting to consider how the switch took a toll on Lawrence, who seemed to be unfazed by the drama on Saturdays.

Those first nine months on campus had taken their toll on the freshman. He’d split up with his girlfriend. He was mobbed everywhere he went. He said all the right things, both in and out of the locker room, but it was difficult to battle Bryant for a job amid such a glaring spotlight. And so, Christian Wilkins invited the new QB out to breakfast.
Swinney later called the meal evidence of Wilkins’ tremendous leadership, and Clemson fans have chalked it up as a line of demarcation in a season of destiny, but Wilkins doesn’t want to overstate its impact.

What is the first thing you must do when you decide to make a quarterback change midseason?

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!