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How to best utilize and place MPPs  

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bdjackson
(@bdjackson)
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Joined: 6 years ago
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August 15, 2019 3:23 am  

Good morning coaches,

So our season is under way and we have had two days to get our offense a defense up and running for a scrimmage this evening. So far I have managed to get a rough draft of power, counter and wedge in. Obviously nowhere near great, but the parts are moving in the right direction. 

However, this shirt timeframe for scrimmages have led me to fail in my development of the MPPs. Now I truly do want to get the MPPs to starting positions (or improve to solid  second team), as I’m a firm believer of making a 2 a 6, instead of an 8 a 9. However, I feel that I may have been so worried with getting the offense installed that the MPPs were not being coached into positions for our scrimmage. Really I’ve got 2 that I need to coach the hell out of to get that aggressive mentality. One I coached last year, and clearly left room for improvement, the other is a brand new player at the U10 level and is one of the most timid kids I’ve ever seen.

So I guess what I’m looking for is experience from  coaches here to help me further develop these two. My plan right now is to continue running drills such as the executioner, towel/whose ball drill, 10 yard fight along with blocking and tackling on bags and our typical practice. My hope is that they will come around with times as we continue to coach them up.

Do any coaches here work individually as the HC with these types of kids. Or do you refrain from excluding them and just continue to develop them with the team.

-Bring

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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Wing-n-It
(@robert)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3872
United States
August 15, 2019 4:06 am  

Where do you plan on putting your MPPs.

The excuse of being so focussed on installation ignoring the MPPs is not really an excuse, many coaches would ask why they were not involved with the installation. Sorry to be so blunt but you could have asked for a better plan to install and involve the MPPs. You say you would rather make a 2 a 6 than an 8 a 9 so be about it. We're on the same page with that and I did just as you did early in my coaching career.

The easiest way I have seen and done it is to make a starting line and an MPP Line (except the center)  that only wedges and the whole line can get their plays while working together both in practice and in the game. They will most likely wedge better than your "a" line
I made my MPPs half time players by the 2nd to 3rd game they were half time players. They must NOT feel like the are second best and they must not be second best cause if they are it will cost you drives and or games

These are just my thoughts and its just what we did

help is right here

2 Things my offense will always have is a Wing and a Wedge


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bdjackson
(@bdjackson)
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Joined: 6 years ago
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August 15, 2019 5:01 am  

Bluntness appreciated. I agree, and didn’t mean for that to come across as an excuse which is why I said I failed in my original post.  It’s more my complete acknowledgment that I poorly planned to properly incorporate the MPPs in the install over the last two days. And not having you guys on my sideline led me right back to figure out how to fix my deficiencies and move forward with a better plan for them.

Believe me, 15 years in the military there is almost nothing that could be said in this board that would really offend me. I love the fact that most of the coaches are no BS and speak their mind. Truth hurts, but it’s rarely wrong.

-Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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SingleWingGoombah
(@singlewinggoombah)
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Joined: 7 years ago
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August 15, 2019 5:14 am  

Killer Bee and double wing from your profile still accurate?


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bdjackson
(@bdjackson)
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Posts: 260
August 15, 2019 5:26 am  

Killer Bee and double wing from your profile still accurate?

It is not, I will adjust that today. DW and were running a 44 this year

-Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9406
Coach
August 15, 2019 5:41 am  

Practice is for the coaches, games are for the players. They have to play the game to get better.

Coachem up best you can and get them on the field.

I put more effort into matching up my mpps on scout film then anything. Esp if they play defense. This may help you on getting them optimal playing time and remain competitive at all times.

Wing n it has the right thought with the wedge group.  If you can bring that unit success that will pay off dividends.

If you only have 2 mpps, ide surround them by much better players. Either on the line or behind them or match them up to equal or less players on game day. Play the matchups

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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Joined: 2 years ago
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United States
Head Coach
August 15, 2019 5:49 am  

My advice is to find one thing that they do well and have them do it over and over and over again.

Here's how I had some success with some of my weaker players last year:

1. Two of them were under 50 pounds, but didn't have much speed. However, they were quick off the ball. I put them at DT and had them drive the bigger offensive lineman nuts. One of those guys could only go to his right, so I moved him around and put him in position to use his strengths.

2. I had two more kids that were initially afraid to block in the preseason. I rotated them at Quick G and had them pull on every play. While it took a little while, they eventually started hitting people.

The only other thing that I would stress is that you have to focus on the positive. Make sure they know what you think they do well and remind them when teaching a different skill. E.g. "Young man, you're so quick that these offensive linemen can't catch you. Make sure that you stay low so that you present even more problems for them".

That is what worked for me in my first year. This season, 16 of the 27 players on my roster have never played before. I'm sure that I'll have something to add to this in a few weeks 🙂

Coach Terry

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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August 15, 2019 6:21 am  

2 pronged approach. First, develop these kids in to heart breakers and life takers. Second, find a spot for them.

1: Develop them
The problem that many over look with "Mojo" drills (executioner, who's ball, towel, etc) is that they can work both ways if you're not careful. Kids are naturally afraid of contact before they ever experience it. Without the right guidance, these drills can easily reinforce that fear. So yes, work with them individually. Doesn't have to be the HC, but has to be a coach who understands. Trying not to toot my own horn, but turning "Timid Timmy" into a serviceable ball player has sort of become a specialty of mine. Mahonz always makes fun of "Gumby's lost puppies". Tuesday night, we started "meat grinder", which has become a ritual of ours. I even stupidly suggested we do away with it because some of our old players told us they hated it. Really dumb of me to suggest getting away from it, but whatever. My brother in law is our least experienced coach and he had the line with the big boys. 4 rookies and a seasoned vet (and absolute terror). I could see from 30 yards away that this line was struggling. Last night, I took them. Seasoned vet was missing due to a Dr. appointment, but was replaced by our girl (another seasoned vet and terror). My focus was to get them excited about the opportunity to hit. I hyped them up, reinforced any attempt to get out of their comfort zone. I gave one kid a dollar for his effort. Are they killers? Not by a long shot, but at least they are now excited about the idea of hitting. Baby steps. Point is, yes, develop their Mojo, but don't take the approach of throwing them in the lake to teach them how to swim. If you take that approach and it works, it was not because of you. It's not really coaching.

2) Find a position. Easy. Back side TE in the DW. Superman, shoeshine, cut, cutoff, wash down . . . whatever. Here's a DW secret. Many moons ago, we created a split end position in our DW. We simply split out the back side TE and didn't bother with the cutoff to fill for the pullers. If your action is fast enough, you don't need a cut/cutoff block. If you're interested, I have some drills that will make your pullers and WB faster through the POA.  Or keep the backside end in tight and teach him to cut off pursuit. There are many options available, but we used to put "one taskers" there. Play side guard is another place, provided your C and play side T are solid.  I make Mahonz itch with this, but I am a HUGE proponent of cut blocking for undersized o-linemen.

Defensively, we rotated 3 tiny and scared players at NT. Mahonz called them "Root Hoggers". They were in 4 point stances with their nose 2 inches from the ball. We repped and trained so they would launch after that football as soon as it started to move. They could swat at the ball or grab the QB's ankles. Those 3 were probably responsible for 50 fumbles last season. I always told them that after they've made their play on the snap, get up and play football. It's not ideal, but it's a way to give a meaningful and achievable job for a kid who can't make an open field tackle. MPP? How does 1/3 of all defensive snaps sound?

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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bdjackson
(@bdjackson)
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August 15, 2019 6:40 am  

2 pronged approach. First, develop these kids in to heart breakers and life takers. Second, find a spot for them.

Working on the development, failed miserably at placement. But I will be making a conscious effort to change this today.

Point is, yes, develop their Mojo, but don't take the approach of throwing them in the lake to teach them how to swim. If you take that approach and it works, it was not because of you. It's not really coaching.

Agree 100%. I try to run drills to avoid running a baby giraffe into a rhino. Its a discussion I have had with Dave and other coaches, along with seeing the negative side effects of (GET TOUGH" types of practices as an AC and parent.  Obviously as the season progresses, given proper coaching, that divide should shrink considerably.

Find a position. 

Easier said than done for one kid, the other 3, not too bad. Right now were at a point where if I put him at BSTE he would stand and high five the defender as he ran by on his way to stick his foot up my WB's rear end. Now its not that I have given up on this kid, in fact he is one of my favorites because he wants to play, just hasn't realized that he's capable of more. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about him in a game/scrimmage this early.

MPP? How does 1/3 of all defensive snaps sound?

Sounds fantastic. Dave had made this recommendation in our previous discussion. Since we run a 44 stack, and our backers are highly aggressive, DT may not be the worst place for two of them to sub to get some defensive experience.

Overall, the feedback has been phenomenal and I really appreciate all of the advice. I guess the first part to becoming a better coach is realizing when somethings not working. And that's what this was really about. Me addressing a deficiency as a coach and coming to the greatest resource on earth for help.

-Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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August 15, 2019 8:01 am  

Right now were at a point where if I put him at BSTE he would stand and high five the defender as he ran by on his way to stick his foot up my WB's rear end.

Can you expand on that? Specifically, what does he do at BSTE?


Since we run a 44 stack, and our backers are highly aggressive, DT may not be the worst place for two of them to sub to get some defensive experience.

Rule of thumb is closer to the ball is better for newer players. Give them a space they have a chance of controlling. You'd be surprised how many coaches put the scared little guy at safety or CB.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coach E
(@coache)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1101
August 15, 2019 8:29 am  

They have to play the game to get better.

Coachem up best you can and get them on the field.

^
This exactly. Barring safety issues, this should always be the thing you're aiming for. I am not a fan of the MPP idea. I've heard about coaches bragging about getting a kid his 8 minimum plays on 4 KO returns and 4 XP plays so they don't "hurt the team". They've come out to play, so let them play. 

2) Find a position. Easy. Back side TE in the DW...Or keep the backside end in tight and teach him to cut off pursuit.

What we did in the past is work real hard for two things on these guys playing in tight on the back side: cut off pursuit (just get in the way and keep your feet under you) and catching the ball. In just about every game, we would set up a sweep action to one side and throw back to whoever just slid off his block. They were ALWAYS open, most caught the ball. One even scored.

Gumby and I went back and forth a while back about the MPP concept and he explained how he does things. He's a great resource to start with on how to help these kids help your team.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.- Marcus Aurelius


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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Head Coach
August 15, 2019 8:51 am  

Last night, I took them. Seasoned vet was missing due to a Dr. appointment, but was replaced by our girl (another seasoned vet and terror). My focus was to get them excited about the opportunity to hit. I hyped them up, reinforced any attempt to get out of their comfort zone. I gave one kid a dollar for his effort. Are they killers? Not by a long shot, but at least they are now excited about the idea of hitting

May I ask how you got them excited about it? I was able to pull it off last year, but I'm always looking for better ideas.

Coach Terry

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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COCoachKC
(@cocoachkc)
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Retired
August 15, 2019 8:53 am  

Right now were at a point where if I put him at BSTE he would stand and high five the defender as he ran by on his way to stick his foot up my WB's rear end.

I used to coach with Gumby.  We put our softest players at BSTE and PSG.  Like Gumby stated, since we couldn't expect some of our BSTEs to block anybody, we decided to split them wide and teach them how to catch a football.  That is basically what these kids did during our offensive session -- run their two/three routes and catch passes.  Were we concerned that we didn't have a backside TE?  Not at all. 

We NEVER blocked the BSDE when running power.  You can't block everyone.  Plus, bad habits develop when a player goes unblocked.  A chance to take advantage of them via WB/FB counter, sweep keep, sweep wheel (we would have the WB throw back to the QB running the wheel route).

To keep the BSDE off our WB we expected our backfield action to be quick and crisp.  Gumby is probably speaking of our "towel" drill.  We would put a towel in the back of the pulling T's pants (yes, we pulled both even with our BSTE split wide).  The WB was expected to pull the towel from his pants as he entered the funnel.  We would leave the BSDE unblocked and encourage him to get to the WB.  If the WB got tackled by the DE, we either fixed his backfield action OR replaced him with a player who would hit the hole faster.

You are spending WAY too much time worrying about how their play will hurt your team rather than what they may do to help your team.  Were we ever able to get the aggression up on those kids we put at BSTE?  NOPE!  Did we make them an important part of our team?  You bet!  They caught their fair share of PATs and touchdowns.  Usually when a defender would abandon his responsibility at corner because for the 6th play in a row all the kid did was run a route (and not get hit which is exactly what he wanted), we would throw the open route.

Coach the kids for THEIR success.  Not what YOU perceive as success.

Kent


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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North Carolina
High School
August 15, 2019 8:54 am  

I gave one kid a dollar for his effort.

So you either just ended their amateur status, or you now have professionals on your team.  Your choice.  😉

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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August 15, 2019 8:59 am  

So you either just ended their amateur status, or you now have professionals on your team.  Your choice.  😉

--Dave

;D

The best part of the dollar thing (Mahonz gave out about $4 on Tuesday night) is watching the kids who are already knocking the snot out of everything get pissed off and start hitting even harder.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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