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SW, what can you tell me... ?


Coyote
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Good morning, Coaches

 

Out of the blue, HC asks me to look into the Single Wing offense.   At 1st I thought it was because we were so abysmal this past season, and was getting ready to defend our Wing T.  Turns out, he was talking to a guy who lives in another state, and runs it.  The guy’s enthusiasm and confidence in it impressed our HC.  So he asked me to dig into it, see if we want to come over to the 'dark side'. ? 

I like doing research, told him I’d happy to, and knew right where to start [right here on Dumcoach] so the next couple weeks I’ll be digging into it.  

 

Not that it has anything to do with it, but my Dad was the ‘spinning FB’ in the single wing in the early ‘50’s my Uncle was the “quarterback” [BB] back then.

 

I’m aware of articles on the various versions of the SW and will scouring them.  Esp. interested in why we should consider the SW.  But would like input from those of you who run it and/or have to defend it.   Why should we move to the SW, or why should we stay away from it?

Your thoughts on…

  • Unbalanced vs Balanced?
  • Sidesaddle vs straight aligned “BB” or keeping “BB” behind OT?
  • TB directly aligned behind C, or slightly off-set TB & FB?
  • Direct snap vs under C.
  • Plays for each of the Backs.

 

Esp looking for the blocking. And is there anything in particular we want to prioritize in the draft?

Thanx

 

This topic was modified 10 months ago 2 times by Coyote

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @coyote

At 1st I thought it was because we were so abysmal this past season, and was getting ready to defend our Wing T. 

--Abysymal is abysmal.  Changing scheme won't solve what ails you.  If he believes it was a talent issue, changing scheme doesn't solve that.  If he believes it was a coaching issue, changing scheme doesn't solve that.  There's nothing wrong with the Wing-T.  As is so often the case, the coach is looking to chase down a "better system" instead of looking at how to get better at what he does.  Clinics are filled with guys who don't perceive the problem to be them; but their scheme.  So they chase schemes like some married men chase women (they ain't happy with what they got and instead of improving that situation are looking for someone/something else to make them happy).  

--My suggestion?  Get better at what you do.  As a Double Wing coach, even when I struggled with DW I just endeavored to learn more from those who'd run the scheme longer, better or with more success than I'd had.  If we struggled running a certain play, who ran it well?  If we struggled with blocking, what coach blocked it well?  I looked to find these guys.  So I found them at the Double Wing Symposium, I found them through Coach Wyatt's clinics, I found them through talking with Phil Bravo, Steve Calande, Jack Gregory, JJ Lawson, Jerry Vallotton, etc.

Turns out, he was talking to a guy who lives in another state, and runs it.  The guy’s enthusiasm and confidence in it impressed our HC. 

--So his mind was changed without seeing it, but because another coach was enthusiastic about it?  I hope your header never goes car-shopping by himself.

Esp. interested in why we should consider the SW.  But would like input from those of you who run it and/or have to defend it.   Why should we move to the SW, or why should we stay away from it?

--We'll play a SW team tomorrow.  And I've lost to a SW team.  It's a great one-fisted offense.  But my pref is DW because I get to use both fists.  And to be really successful at it, you'd better be GREAT (Not "okay," not "decent," not "solid," not "good") but I mean GREAT at Power.  When we lost to it, we simply could not stop it.  And when we slowed it down, that made it even worse for us, because once the noose is around your neck and you're playing a team that's content to play slow ball, their drive just went from a typical 5-6 plays to 15+ plays.  We'd have been better off letting them score quickly, and then us getting the ball so we could do to them what they were doing to us.

--Cisar's SW is (was?) a great product because it's an "Instant Single Wing Kit."  Just open the box, read the book, watch the vid and voila...Instant Single Wing.  He gave you the what/why/how/when/where to do it.  Want to add more to it?  His kit can show you how to do that, too.  From there, want to branch out to Darlington or other SW coaches with great success?  Go ahead, there's lot of material (and clinics) out there.  But I think chasing a scheme (when you already run one) to fix your ills, is a bad idea.  Schemes don't win games.  It's how well those schemes are coached.

--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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ZACH
 ZACH
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Posted by: @coyote

Good morning, Coaches

 

Out of the blue, HC asks me to look into the Single Wing offense.   At 1st I thought it was because we were so abysmal this past season, and was getting ready to defend our Wing T.  Turns out, he was talking to a guy who lives in another state, and runs it.  The guy’s enthusiasm and confidence in it impressed our HC.  So he asked me to dig into it, see if we want to come over to the 'dark side'. ? 

I like doing research, told him I’d happy to, and knew right where to start [right here on Dumcoach] so the next couple weeks I’ll be digging into it.  

 

Not that it has anything to do with it, but my Dad was the ‘spinning FB’ in the single wing in the early ‘50’s my Uncle was the “quarterback” [BB] back then.

 

I’m aware of articles on the various versions of the SW and will scouring them.  Esp. interested in why we should consider the SW.  But would like input from those of you who run it and/or have to defend it.   Why should we move to the SW, or why should we stay away from it?

Your thoughts on…

  • Unbalanced vs Balanced?
  • Sidesaddle vs straight aligned “BB” or keeping “BB” behind OT?
  • TB directly aligned behind C, or slightly off-set TB & FB?
  • Direct snap vs under C.
  • Plays for each of the Backs.

 

Esp looking for the blocking. And is there anything in particular we want to prioritize in the draft?

Thanx

 

Wing T is the evolution of SW.  If you can't run or coach wing t effectively I doubt aw will help.  

 

Anywho, I like "short punter" triple spin material. Looks nasty

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


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rpatric
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For starters, the is no THE single wing offense. There are so many variations of SW that your head will spin trying to research all of them.

What age group do you coach? In my opinion, this makes a huge difference on which flavor of SW you may choose to implement.

If your offense was "abysmal" last season, installing SW will not change that. Every offense out there is a good offense, problems occur when we get into situations where we stall and don't know what to do to get moving again.

Assuming you are coaching kids under 12, Dave Cisar has a really well thought out, informative Unbalanced Single Wing system. There are tons of resources on it as well as coaches, myself included, who have used his system and would be glad to help you in any way we can.
Even a system as detailed as Cisar's still only gives you about 75% of what you actually need to keep things rolling along. The other 25% is for you to figure out through trial and error. Cisar knows the other 25%, but that's locked up in his "vault".

Balanced vs Unbalanced:

Unbalanced:
1. Many teams don't adjust to it, or simply don't recognize it, giving you a numerical advantage
2. You have "pre-pulled" your backside tackle on Power helping the play to hit quicker.
3. If you have MPR issues, you can afford to start 3 or 4 of these players on your O Line at LE,LG,IT, and possibly C. 90% of your plays are going to the right.
Biggest disadvantages are the ability to attack the left side are greatly hindered by formation and even more importantly, the ridiculous defensive alignments you will tend to see, especially after establishing success running to the right. You really need to know the offense inside and out to counter all the crazy defensive adjustments you will see during the game.

Balanced:
1. Gives you much more predictable defensive alignments
2. 1 pretty much covers it
Just be aware that if you go balanced, you are going to have different blocking schemes. You will now have to pull backside linemen to gain numerical advantages on Power, Counter, etc... It is very similar to Shotgun DW in my opinion.

BB Alignment:

Regardless of you approach, I would recommend keeping your BB in the gap between RG and IT, this gets him closer to his kick out on Power and still keeps him in position to receive a snap on Wedge or Trap. There are situations and formations where he changes alignment, but this is in reference to the base alignment. He should be very tight to the o line and preferably in a 3 pt stance so he's hidden. Should also be the toughest kid on your team, again in my opinion.

TB/FB alignment:

This is going to be largely based on which variation of the SW you decide to implement. We typically had the TB/FB split the Center at about 3 to 4 yds depth. The snap would be a low snap, at the inside knee of the player NOT getting the ball. We did this so that the back getting the snap would be moving in the direction of the play when he received the ball. They don't wait for the snap, they attack it.
There are several different alignments for these players depending on which system you choose, this is just how we did it.

Direct Snap:
I believe that the direct snap is the best approach in this offense, particularly when going unbalanced. For starters, it eliminates the handoff, which takes time and steps.
It also allows the C to snap to 3 different players. Couple that with some motion or other backfield action, good luck finding out who has the ball.
If you train the backs to attack the snap and "Track" properly, the plays hit faster than any other offense I've ever seen.

Plays for Backs:

This all depends on your specific approach.
1 Common denominator is QB/TB Power. Direct snap to the 1 back who follows the pulling guard and the 2 back (FB) to the 6 hole. It's the core play of SW Football and must be perfected and adjustable to any and every defense you see. If you can't make Power work, you will not be successful.
Our FB typically runs Wedge, Blast (Trap to unbalanced side) and sometimes Sweep.
The 3 (BB) runs Wedge and Trap (weakside)
Our 4 (WB) runs Counter, Reverse, and catches Sweep Pass

These are just some examples of things we have done, there are literally dozens of different SW systems out there. This particular approach is effective at the Youth level.

If you are coaching High School kids I would recommend looking into Rick Darlignton, Bronson Bradley, or if you want information on balanced SW, Bruce Eien. All 3 are masters of SW!

For Middle School or younger I would look at both Dave Cisar, as well as Coach Nathan Keen. Coach Keen has put together a really wonderful scheme and system and has always been willing to help anyone in need. He is 32 Wedge on the forum. Great dude!

Hope this helps

Ryan


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @coyote
Overall, I'm a fan of the UBSW. I tried to run Cisar's with a team who hadn't won a game in 3 seasons. I was unable to get them a win in their 4th season. So, it was no magic bullet for me.  Given time and experience, I think I could make it work. I spoke with a HS buddy who ran the table running Cisar's SW in a higher division. His advice to me was to forego the straight power series and go straight to Mouse (1/2 spin), then you really don't get things going until you go to the Full spin series. I think a lot of guys with experience would disagree with that.
 
We probably run Beast Blast 85% of the time, so we're basically a UBSW team minus the wedge, trap, sweep and with minimal deception. We have just gotten so good at Power, that we're comfortable selling out to run it.
 
Some say that one of the biggest advantages to running the SW is that you don't have to train up a QB. Unless you are only planning on running Power, Sweep and Wedge, I'd call BS on that. 
  • Unbalanced vs Balanced?
  • I'm a big fan of going unbalanced, but as I said, I'm willing to sell out to run the ball on the long side. Short side has limitations. Those can be overcome, but it takes time.  The biggest limiting factor is your snapper. If he can snap and play like a long guard or even long tackle, you can now run anything to the short side that you can on the long side. For us, we just wanted him to concentrate on the snap.
  •  
  • Sidesaddle vs straight aligned “BB” or keeping “BB” behind OT?
  • Big fan of sidesaddle. So much to gain and so little to lose. When I dabbled in it, my mistake was "dabbling" in it. It takes work, but I think the work is worth it.
  •  
  • TB directly aligned behind C, or slightly off-set TB & FB?
  • No opinion either way. We had them slightly offset, but that was because Cisar's manual said so.
  •  
  • Direct snap vs under C.
  • Ah. That's a doozy. I'm of the opinion that we can be just as effective at Beast Blast under center as direct snap. Averaging 4 bad, "drive killing" snaps per game, I just banned direct snaps from my team. Mahonz disagrees that out blast is just as effective under center, but he cherry picks the disasters that were not caused by being under center and ignores the disasters caused by direct snaps. What we agree on is that you are 1000% more deceptive under center than in "gun". But . . . I've run thousands of reps in Beast. If I'm an expert in anything, it's Beast Blast. Just because I can run it from under center doesn't mean anyone can. Steve Parker, who I credit with being the founder of Beast runs it under center by default. He's one of the few guys that I think are more qualified at running Beast than I am. Not trying to toot my own horn. Just saying that I've run a lot of beast over 15 seasons or so.
  •  
  • Plays for each of the Backs.
  • Definitely an upside to me. My "workhorse" back is good for 6 consecutive carries at most. We have 3 backs who are now extremely good at running Beast, all with 3 very different running styles. However, 3 of them are good to go on Beast Blast. Only 2 I would trust running Counter. So that's only 2 plays for us. With the SW, you have MANY more plays to get the ball to other backs and you can place them based on their ability/inability to run certain plays.

 

Esp looking for the blocking. And is there anything in particular we want to prioritize in the draft?

When I ran Cisar's it was "Gap on Down" on the play side with the long guard pulling. BB had the kickout. WB had the first backer inside. FB blocked iso. I struggled with Gap on Down. The better push our double team got, the bigger "hole" we created for linebackers to spike us. Cisar told me after the season that I should have bought his "303" manual that said to push the DT down the line to close those gaps rather than "Drive the DT vertically and into the lap of the LB". I also struggled with my long guard. It's a lot to ask to tell him to fly through the tunnel at full speed while first checking for leakage and then looking for a LB to block. I dabbled in TKO, but couldn't figure it out with the long guard pulling.

Today, I think I could make UBSW work with our TKO/Part and Gap on Backer schemes, but why bother?

What to prioritize in the draft? Pulling guard/FB. They are essentially the same player and you need them to make this work. Honestly, though, if it were me, I'd just get better at Wing-T.

 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coyote
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Topic starter  

Thanks coaches, appreciate the input.  Hoping for more.  

HC is not chasing a system, he said he was intrigued by what his childhood buddy was doing, and wanted me to give it a fair look, to see it'd be better than what we're doing.  And I will.  At present, I'd be surprised if we'd abandon our Wing T.  We know it pretty well, and I fully intend to get better at it, to a degree we consider last season as the odds catching up with us on absentism (both parental choices = Holiday World, competing with baseball, and excessive quarantines due to exposure at school)  no system will work if you don't get to coach the kids.

I think he's more curious than anything else.   But, who knows, maybe we'll see something that suggests we can do what we like doing better with a variation of the SW. 

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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rpatric
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@coyote

If you feel like talking SW don't hesitate to hit me up. I'm not the caliber coach of Dave or Larry, but I love talking ball and I can definitely give you some solid input on SW


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @coyote

At 1st I thought it was because we were so abysmal this past season, and was getting ready to defend our Wing T. 

Abysymal is abysmal.  Changing scheme won't solve what ails you.  If he believes it was a talent issue, changing scheme doesn't solve that.  If he believes it was a coaching issue, changing scheme doesn't solve that.  There's nothing wrong with the Wing-T.  As is so often the case, the coach is looking to chase down a "better system" instead of looking at how to get better at what he does.  Clinics are filled with guys who don't perceive the problem to be them; but their scheme.  So they chase schemes like some married men chase women (they ain't happy with what they got and instead of improving that situation are looking for someone/something else to make them happy).

My suggestion?  Get better at what you do. 

But what if it works like the movie version of the Wizard of Oz?  That is, what if changing schemes is a placebo, but it leads psychologically to the coach improving the players' basic skills?

You're probably thinking that's kid stuff, not worthy of mature adults.  That we should be above needing a psychologic boost, that we should be able rationally to look at the situation and determine what needs fixing, and just go do it.  But what should be isn't necessarily what is, and sometimes it helps if you can influence people by cynical means.


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @coyote
  • Unbalanced vs Balanced?
  • Sidesaddle vs straight aligned “BB” or keeping “BB” behind OT?
  • TB directly aligned behind C, or slightly off-set TB & FB?
  • Direct snap vs under C.
  • Plays for each of the Backs.

If I wanted to run a fairly pure single wing system, either classic or Cisar style, with the snapper looking thru his legs as he snaps, I'd have direct snaps to the FB & TB, and the BB wouldn't necessarily even be in position to take the snap unless I were running a balanced line version.

Sidesaddle is for if you want to combine single wing and wing T in one formation, especially with jet series.  The only practicable ways to run both wing T and single wing plays from one formation are either to have the QB/BB sidesaddle or to have him face forward and be able to snap between his legs (spin T style).  What you have in sidesaddle is like wing T with the QB already a quarter turn into his reverse pivot for belly, buck sweep, power, and jet series -- although I recommend he not continue his turn on jet series but do his ballhandling from the position he's already facing, because it's faster and almost as deceptive.  If you're going to have the QB sidesaddle or snap between his legs, then you should have the snapper's head up and have the TB & FB "split" him.

If you want to make a clean break from wing T, then do it as suggested in the first paragraph.  As single wing evolved away from box, sidesaddle, etc. systems, it evolved in the stated direction, moving the QB away from the ball.  Coaches wanted to take advantage of the "hidden bunch" of receivers that Ted Seay labeled as such, with the QB/BB, strong E, and WB close together.  With the snapper's head down, you can cheat the alignments of the deep backs and still lead them with the snap.  I'm only passing along knowledge of "pure" single wing from study, since I haven't run it myself.

Another deciding point is that if you very much want to run jet (or fly) series, it looks like a rather clunky marriage with classic single wing, but an elegant one with sidesaddle.  If you're having the FB or TB take the snap and hand or fake to the motion back, you're having to secure the pass from center first, then hand in front, so it can't be timed as neatly without a lot of practice, nor will it be as deceptive as any version where the QB takes the snap and the motion back goes behind him.  Sidesaddle it can be really bang-bang between the snap and the jet exchange.  If you didn't run jet in your wing T, I don't see why you'd want to install it with single wing unless it was because of the enticement of sidesaddle.

A much bigger decision than most of the above is what line splits you want.  Are you interested in installing wedge, and if so, the looser kind of exploding wedge DumCoach has described (as part of wing T), or a tighter kind?  That in turn influences preference between balanced and unbalanced line.  Aside from wedge, if I recall correctly, to put it mildly, your blocking schemes were unsophisticated compared to many wing T implementations; you won't need much more sophistication for a successful single wing system.


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co
 
Overall, I'm a fan of the UBSW. I tried to run Cisar's with a team who hadn't won a game in 3 seasons. I was unable to get them a win in their 4th season. So, it was no magic bullet for me.  Given time and experience, I think I could make it work. I spoke with a HS buddy who ran the table running Cisar's SW in a higher division. His advice to me was to forego the straight power series and go straight to Mouse (1/2 spin), then you really don't get things going until you go to the Full spin series. I think a lot of guys with experience would disagree with that.

Heck, I don't even have the experience and I'm flabbergasted!  Like, why would you forfeit what single wing is best at?  The half and full spin are supposed to be change-of-pace pitches to keep the fast ball good.  (It's like how I feel about going on offense on sight of the ball instead of a snap count, or flipping the personnel in a supposedly symmetric system like double wing.)


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @coyote

Thanks coaches, appreciate the input.  Hoping for more.  

HC is not chasing a system, he said he was intrigued by what his childhood buddy was doing, and wanted me to give it a fair look, to see it'd be better than what we're doing.  And I will.  At present, I'd be surprised if we'd abandon our Wing T.  We know it pretty well, and I fully intend to get better at it, to a degree we consider last season as the odds catching up with us on absentism (both parental choices = Holiday World, competing with baseball, and excessive quarantines due to exposure at school)  no system will work if you don't get to coach the kids.

I think he's more curious than anything else.   But, who knows, maybe we'll see something that suggests we can do what we like doing better with a variation of the SW. 

In that case he might want to look at what I wanted to do in my club's wing T system: offset the FB a smidge to the strong side and move him forward, change "choreography" of the 20 (buck sweep) series so the QB turns slowly in one direction over the sequence, and add some plays snapped between the QB's legs to the FB or a motioning HB.  And if that motivates the staff to make the blocking more purposeful and coachable, great.

By the way, I forgot to mention regarding single wing positioning, that if the deep backs are only as deep as Dave Cisar aligns them, then the details hardly matter, because the snap has such a short distance to go that you can barely lead them anyway.  He says this too.

I should also not have been so dogmatic that sidesaddle and between-the-legs snapping are the only ways to reliably combine wing T and single wing plays in one formation.  It's also possible to offset the back with his feet together, facing forward or at an angle toward the snapper, so he can reach under or get a snap from around the snapper's near hip, and there's still space to snap the ball past his near foot to the deep backs.  These may be considered halfway compromises between sidesaddle and snapping thru the legs.

This post was modified 10 months ago by Bob Goodman

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C-Rob
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@coyote we have been running Cisar Single Wing with a few tweaks or our own for a while now so if I can be of any help please let me know.  

On-line Youth Football Coaching Clinicshttp://www.coaches-clinic.com/


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @coyote

I think he's more curious than anything else.   But, who knows, maybe we'll see something that suggests we can do what we like doing better with a variation of the SW. 

In my experience, the best Single Wing offenses are the ones who commit to it, in its entirety.  Not those who dabble with it, as a package.

--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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Coyote
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Topic starter  

Coaches,

So, I pulled some SW articles from the “net”, Youtube, and from this site to share with the HC.  Also shared with him your comments about just getting better with our Wing -T.   We went over what I’d picked up and talked it over, but he agreed, we just need to do a better job with what we already know.  We’ve won a lot of games with the Wing T, it does what we believe in, and so… 

we’re recommitting ourselves to mastering the Wing T.  

Appreciate your thoughts

Thanx

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @coyote

Coaches,

So, I pulled some SW articles from the “net”, Youtube, and from this site to share with the HC.  Also shared with him your comments about just getting better with our Wing -T.   We went over what I’d picked up and talked it over, but he agreed, we just need to do a better job with what we already know.  We’ve won a lot of games with the Wing T, it does what we believe in, and so… 

we’re recommitting ourselves to mastering the Wing T.  

Appreciate your thoughts

Thanx

My thought is, you do whatever your "heart" is in, or you'll never feel comfortable.  Actually there's no guarantee you'll ever feel comfortable anyway, but as long as your heart is in it you have a chance to get comfortable!


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