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Bob Goodman
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Sorry I haven't gotten around to game reports yet.  We're 2-0 on the field but 2-1 on the books because we had to forfeit our opener to a team we probably would've walloped, because our team was quarantining for CoVId-19.  We have a different HC from last time (2019) who was a year behind us, but when we merged into 2-year teams we got him (Coach Adam) and a roster that makes us championship contenders.  (We have a few scrubs too, but no minimum play rule.)  Since Coach Adam didn't know me from Adam, and both our old HC and OC are gone, and since I think they sense my physical fitness is lagging -- I had a heart attack in the spring of last year, but our season was canceled anyway -- I feel less engaged than previously.  I think I'm being treated as the old sage who stands back and then tosses in some occasional wisdom, and I don't mind that.  Other coaches occasionally ask me if a certain tactic is legal.

Last night Adam says he wants a half hour at the end to put in some new plays after we worked on some live and sled drills.  I asked him what he was putting in, and he gave me a cute, impish answer, like it'd be a surprise.  The first thing he put in was a pat-on-the-tush-call quarterback sneak for use against the odd fronts we usually see.  (I'd suggested recently a QB jailbreak for if we face an even front.)  So far, so good.  Then he puts in an end-over formation like one I'd suggested based on a mistake our players made twice (and also in warmups) in our game last Sunday, when it was obvious both live and on HUDL that our opponents did not adjust correctly to our mistaken formation.  So far, still good.  But the play is a pass play, and he's got a split end, slotback, and who is then an outside tackle (I guess) in the pattern downfield.

Get it?  Unbalanced line with our tight and split ends to the same side.  So after we walk thru that once I run in and say, no, he (who usually lines up at TE) can't go downfield, he's now an interior lineman.  "But he's our tight end!"  But look, you also have him [pointing] on the line as an end.  "But he's a wide receiver!"  Sure, whatever you want to call him, he's still on the end of the line.  Which means our erstwhile (no, I didn't use that word) TE on this play is in an interior line position.  In the NFL they would say he's "covered" by the split end.  Another coach: "How many eligible receivers can we have?"  It's not about total number, it's about where they line up.  "So you're saying that's illegal motion?"  No, but it's an ineligible receiver downfield on a pass downfield, and if you threw it to him, that'd definitely be illegal.  Eventually I convinced them it's not an illegal formation or illegal motion, but the play's still illegal.

"What if we move one of them off the line?"  Then they're eligible receivers, but you have 5 in the backfield -- count 'em.  So illegal formation, unless you move somebody else onto the line.  OK, so then our HB.  I assumed the idea was to unbalance the line and flood one side with trips receivers, but instead Adam has HB Joey move to TE on the opposite side of the line, balancing it.  I think Adam decided we'd need the back side pass protection.  Play looks legal, but it's just an ordinary trips look.  Adam's satisfied with execution on air and semi-opposed, and what the heck, why not, huh?  There's another consideration I might post about but I just wanted to write about the rules aspect here and how it influences tactics.

Back in the Bronx we worked on a trips bunch series that split a tackle in an unbalanced line together with an end and a flanker, but we never installed it for the season.  Maybe I'll show Adam the things you can do with that, with forward passes to the eligible receivers behind the line (the others blocking downfield) and lateral passes to the ineligible receiver (the others going downfield).

All that said, I read all the time about teams getting away with ineligible receivers and receptions downfield like that, but not consistently.  We have 4-man officiating crews this year (used to have 3) so I don't think we'd've caught that break.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @bob-goodman

So after we walk thru that once I run in and say, no, he (who usually lines up at TE) can't go downfield, he's now an interior lineman.  "But he's our tight end!"  But look, you also have him [pointing] on the line as an end.  "But he's a wide receiver!"  Sure, whatever you want to call him, he's still on the end of the line.  Which means our erstwhile (no, I didn't use that word) TE on this play is in an interior line position.  In the NFL they would say he's "covered" by the split end.  Another coach: "How many eligible receivers can we have?"  It's not about total number, it's about where they line up.  "So you're saying that's illegal motion?"  No, but it's an ineligible receiver downfield on a pass downfield, and if you threw it to him, that'd definitely be illegal.  Eventually I convinced them it's not an illegal formation or illegal motion, but the play's still illegal.

🙄 🤣 

--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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Bob Goodman
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I doubt this confusion came up often 60 years ago, before the term "wide receiver" became popular.  Don't get me wrong, it's a very useful term in coaching, and overall it's good that we have that as a blanket way to refer to eligible receivers positioned out wide.  But back when people said "split end" and "flankerback", they noticed that "end" was part of the first, and "back" was part of the second.  Now they don't even realize what an "end" is an end of.

But that's no guarantee of understanding, since our wing T playbook does label positions "tight end" and "split end".


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gumby_in_co
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Sadly, I've had that very conversation . . . more than once. One time, I pointed out "You can't throw to him because he's covered". Another coach's response, "They can try to cover him. Good luck!"

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
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HC Adam still doesn't get it.  I don't know what's so hard about the geometry of "backs and ends".

Upthread you can see that last week with my input we moved Joey from HB to TE and had twins (split end and flanker) on the other side, and that seemed to satisfy Adam for a while, although I thought he really wanted to create trips.  Last night at practice while the kids (13U, what the Morris County League calls "Varsity") took their warmup lap, Adam asked me what about putting Joey on the line out wide on the same side as the twin receivers.  I pointed out that whoever the interior one on the line, no matter that he was out wide, was ineligible.  So we lined them up, and seeing that we then had 8 on the line, I asked why not move one of them a step back into the backfield?  We'd still have a bunch of 3 out there, all eligible to receive forward passes.  But Adam said we were going to run bubble screens and have the ones on the line as blockers.  Like that extra less than a yard forward was going to make a difference in blocking out there?

So we line it up and run it, and, yeah, it's legal.  The pass is completed behind the line, so the ineligibles can go downfield ahead of it.  But I still think it's a waste of a potential eligible receiver.  So Adam says he's going to go over and ask Bill, club president, who's coaching a younger team practicing in the park, what he's seen, while we worked on defense.  Adam comes back and says Bill said he saw Newton HS's varsity run wide trips with 2 on the line, and they all went downfield, completed passes downfield, and didn't get flagged.  I wouldn't doubt that they could get away with this some of the time (4 officials), but Bill also might've seen it wrong, with a slot or flanker close to but not on the line.  If a wing official counts less than 4 in the backfield and sees a bunch of receivers, he's going to figure they're not trying to take advantage and will just assume one of them was supposed to be a back.

So we put in that bubble screen and a quick draw off it, both ways.  What took the most time was making sure, with each of 2 quarterbacks and two receivers, that the pass was forward, in case it's not completed; it's close.  Adam does promise more plays in the future from that formation, however.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @bob-goodman

Adam comes back and says Bill said he saw Newton HS's varsity run wide trips with 2 on the line, and they all went downfield, completed passes downfield, and didn't get flagged. 

Well, you know how many idiots want to copy something without any understanding of why or how, much less if it's even legal...  

This season, we've outscored our opponents, 191-0 in 4 games.  Our players aren't 191 points better than our opponent's players, but that's what happens when you compete against coaches who are trying to copy an offensive scheme they don't understand how to teach or why it works.  They simply try to mimic something.  It's like being in school and copying off of someone else's paper:  you don't know the correct answer so you copy it from the kid sitting next to you (when that kid has it wrong, as well).  

--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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CoachDP
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Last week, we played an opponent who had a wide-out who was really athletic.  They flexed him out wide and our Cornerback (who was about 12 inches shorter) looked over at us and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "How the heck am I supposed to defend this guy?"  The kid was tall and fast.  But he didn't touch the ball once because they couldn't complete a pass to him.  On the few balls that ended up coming his way, if he'd caught them they'd have been touchdowns.  But the passes were underthrown/overthrown/knocked down or the QB was sacked.  Kid should have had at least 15 touches and had zero.

--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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terrypjohnson
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Posted by: @coachdp

This season, we've outscored our opponents, 191-0 in 4 games.  Our players aren't 191 points better than our opponent's players, but that's what happens when you compete against coaches who are trying to copy an offensive scheme they don't understand how to teach or why it works.

I'm running into this myself -- and it really irritates me. No one seems to understand why they're doing what they're doing, how to adjust when the defense takes something away, or even how to coach the offensive line (e.g. don't just block somebody). But, they'll scream and holler that the kids "don't want it" when they lose 60-0 (yes, this actually happened to one of our opponents last night).

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


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gumby_in_co
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I have a magnetic white board on a tripod with a bunch of circular magnets in different colors. Every year, when we introduce pass pro, I explain to the team who the eligible receivers are. The white board was a great help. Got a lot of "Ohhhh!" responses.  Start here:

1) You MUST have at least 7 on the LOS.

2) Only backs and ends are eligible (Split end or Tight end)

3) If a forward pass crosses the LOS, only eligible receivers may be downfield. No one else may go more than 1 yard downfield until the ball is touched.

4) You may put more than 7 on the LOS, but for every person you add to the "line", you are losing a back, and thus losing an eligible receiver.

I tell my players that and have them replace the black magnets with red ones to identify the eligible receivers.  Once my 2 minute pitch is over, I congratulate them and tell them they now know more than most youth coaches when it comes to eligible receivers.

Use crayons with AC Adam if you have to, but make sure he doesn't try to eat them.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

3) If a forward pass crosses the LOS, only eligible receivers may be downfield. No one else may go more than 1 yard downfield until the ball is touched.

No, actually they may release when the ball is thrown.  Considering how little zip is on most youth passes, that can make a difference.

Most of the guys who coached offense where I was in the Bronx didn't need crayons for this sort of thing.  Kenny had a good trips bunch package, and Tim quickly grasped my concept.  Here in NW NJ it seems many don't have as much imagination or understanding, but try to copy what they see their local HS doing.  Considering the success of the Newton HS Braves varsity, the coaches in our club try to emulate them all the way thru, in an age-appropriate way.  The year after the HS teams changed the QB's buck sweep footwork, so did we; as you may know, I'd like to change it again to restore some of the lost deception but not as much of the difficulty.


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @bob-goodman
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

3) If a forward pass crosses the LOS, only eligible receivers may be downfield. No one else may go more than 1 yard downfield until the ball is touched.

No, actually they may release when the ball is thrown.  Considering how little zip is on most youth passes, that can make a difference.

Most of the guys who coached offense where I was in the Bronx didn't need crayons for this sort of thing.  Kenny had a good trips bunch package, and Tim quickly grasped my concept.  Here in NW NJ it seems many don't have as much imagination or understanding, but try to copy what they see their local HS doing.  Considering the success of the Newton HS Braves varsity, the coaches in our club try to emulate them all the way thru, in an age-appropriate way.  The year after the HS teams changed the QB's buck sweep footwork, so did we; as you may know, I'd like to change it again to restore some of the lost deception but not as much of the difficulty.

From the 2021 NFHS Points of emphasis:

Copying them is fine, I suppose, but you have to start with an understanding of the rules. Like I said, I've had this conversation more than once and more often than not, the other guy walks away thinking I'm an idiot. In my 2006 2nd grade experience, the HC had the offense in double tight with a split end always to the right. When I explained to make his son in law eligible (playing 3rd lineman right of C), he would have to back the Split end a yard off the line to make him a flanker, the WR coach lost his mind and literally screamed at me that he wants his receiver (who is always lined up on the right, regardless of any other factors like play direction, field/boundary, sun, wind or earthquakes) "ON THE LINE!!!"

My most recent "clinic" was with the OC of our scrimmage partner this Spring. He also couldn't get past the "But he's a TE" logic. I told him that if another player is on the line outside of him, he's not an "end" at all. About the third time around, I said, "You can call him anything you want. You can call him 'first chair violin', but that won't make him an eligible receiver." He was looking for a quads formation, but didn't want an empty backfield. His HC said he didn't think it was right and suggested he ask me.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
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We didn't practice on Friday, but then in warmups before our game last night, HC Adam told me he'd just watched a game on TV and Oklahoma or Alabama or some similar sounding football powerhouse varsity used trips, and that apparently I was right.  So he had our offense run thru the plays with 2 of those wideouts off the line, this time including a downfield pattern.  We wound up hitting the deep one on that in the game.

Jean Shepherd and others remarked years ago how people now take what they see on TV as more real than what they experience live in real life.


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @bob-goodman

We didn't practice on Friday, but then in warmups before our game last night, HC Adam told me he'd just watched a game on TV and Oklahoma or Alabama or some similar sounding football powerhouse varsity used trips, and that apparently I was right.  So he had our offense run thru the plays with 2 of those wideouts off the line, this time including a downfield pattern.  We wound up hitting the deep one on that in the game.

Jean Shepherd and others remarked years ago how people now take what they see on TV as more real than what they experience live in real life.

Just means he doesn't respect you. Simple as that. He respects the coaches at AL or OK, so when they do it, they must be right despite the fact that he knows almost nothing about them. Sadly, he might see them run a play and cut block the CB 10 yards downfield, then decide "we're doing that because Georgia did it." NFHS Rule book is $6.99 on Kindle or Apple Books.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Just means he doesn't respect you. Simple as that. He respects the coaches at AL or OK, so when they do it, they must be right despite the fact that he knows almost nothing about them. Sadly, he might see them run a play and cut block the CB 10 yards downfield, then decide "we're doing that because Georgia did it."

--This ^.

--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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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co
Posted by: @bob-goodman

We didn't practice on Friday, but then in warmups before our game last night, HC Adam told me he'd just watched a game on TV and Oklahoma or Alabama or some similar sounding football powerhouse varsity used trips, and that apparently I was right.  So he had our offense run thru the plays with 2 of those wideouts off the line, this time including a downfield pattern.  We wound up hitting the deep one on that in the game.

Jean Shepherd and others remarked years ago how people now take what they see on TV as more real than what they experience live in real life.

Just means he doesn't respect you. Simple as that.

I wonder why that is.  Everywhere I've coached, I felt like I had to work with someone a year or a few before they'd trust me, no matter how many years I'd coached with others.  It's like I'm always starting over again as the new kid.  As I wrote, Adam doesn't know me from Adam.  We've seen each other a bit over the years we've been coaching in the same club, though on different teams.  I don't know if the other ACs feel the same way working with him, but they've never told him, no, you can't do this, it's not legal.

I could imagine a situation as a coach where one of us might say, "What you have in mind is too advanced for our players," but that hasn't happened with Adam, who is fairly conservative in terms of ambition for the kids.  So the eligible receivers issue is the first where a flat-out, "No, this doesn't work," has come up.

Anyway, lest a negative halo develop here, I'd like to repeat that Coach Adam is really good overall, as are most of the other coaches here.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses in certain areas, but overall the level is higher than I've been used to.  The organization I started with in 2007 was pretty bad staffwise, albeit with some bright spots.  The Gun Hill Rebels I wasn't with long enough in 2008 to really tell.  The Warriors, 2010-16 was organizationally excellent, had some very good coaching, but also some real clunkers.  One of Adam's great strengths is making efficient use of our coaches' and players' time.  We're practicing fewer hours than Dan had us doing (2017-19), but I don't think our preparation has suffered a bit for it, which is remarkable considering 2020 was a year off, and no spring training this year.

This post was modified 5 days ago by Bob Goodman

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