FNF Coaches Talk — Where Data Is Headed, Summer Conditioning, RPO Resources

FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coaches. Here are the stories for today.

1. PFF On How Data Is Changing NFL’s Present And Future (Pro Football Focus)

Pro Football Talk has a long story focusing on the impact data and analytics have had on the NFL. We found one particular section pertinent to high school football.

It’s the section on PFF mantras — things that are surprising but useful.

To predict quarterback play, look at how he performs when he’s in a clean pocket, not when he’s under pressure
Pressure is indeed important, and it affects every quarterback negatively. However, we find out very little about how good a quarterback is by looking at his pressured drop-backs. Indeed, we found that quarterback play (however you measure it) from a clean, un-pressured pocket tells you the most about quarterback play.

That’s surprising to us. We always think of successful quarterbacks as capable of making plays even when the designed play breaks down. Apparently not.

Here’s No. 2.

Coverage is more important than pass rush, all else being equal
Analytics have a way of upsetting your sensibilities and upending some preconceived notions. Growing up, we’ve been conditioned to believe that pass rush is critical. And for good reason—pressure reduces passer rating substantially (by about 30 points) and nearly halves a team’s yards per play average. However, we found that not only does pass coverage (as measured by PFF grades) explain team success better than pass-rushing, but predicts it better as well.

The third part is about which position teams should invest free agent money, so that’s obviously not applicable to high school football.

Which positions do you prioritize by shifting your best talent to those spots? Why?

2. Coach’s Corner: Summer is a great time for high school athletes to separate from the competition (The Frederick News-Post)

Here’s a good one to share with your players.

A word of caution, however, from the Old Coach: Don’t throw training rules out the window. Keep in mind that any undisciplined actions can have unintended consequences that could greatly impact your athletic success — and that of your team. Wise teenagers see it as an opportunity to separate one’s self from the rest of the crowd. The six to eight weeks that you have off can either set you back or shoot you ahead, based on how wisely you use your time.

Encourage your players to join 7-on-7 teams, AAU tournaments, and summer track series to stay in shape. Of course, the closer you can keep them to your program, the more you can monitor.

The best bang for your buck is probably the conditioning, strength training, speed and flexibility workouts that every high school offers; these serve the purpose of developing athleticism, regardless of the sport. Not only do these workouts help individuals improve physically, they also provide an opportunity for team building. Athletes who share the same commitment and effort to improve share a common bond that will pay dividends in the following school year.

What is the best way to motivate athletes to stay in shape over the summer?

3. Run-Pass-Option Resources for Offense and Defense (USA Football Blogs)

This is a great resource page for RPO teams (or teams that face RPO offenses) with links to various sources that talk strategy.

There’s at least 50 links to various sources, so we’re not going to single out one or two. Take a look yourself and bookmark this page if you find yourself spending more and more time preparing for RPOs.

What are some resources you use for X’s and O’s?

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!