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My first season as a HC - Fall 2021

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CoachDP
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Won my first game as a HC on Friday 14-6 against a team we share a practice field with.

--Congrats on the win.

We did convert a PAT kick, which is worth 2 points in our league. That will be huge going forward. It really put the game out of reach for our opponent. 

--Those are invaluable.  Can the defense rush the kick?

We made the 2 worst in-game calls that I can recall in the last 10 seasons or so.

--What were they?

White hat had a very concerning melt down. 

--There's a special place in Hell for these guys.

--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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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Won my first game as a HC on Friday 14-6

Congrats Coach,    

That 1st win is special, enjoy it.  

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


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @coachdp

We did convert a PAT kick, which is worth 2 points in our league. That will be huge going forward. It really put the game out of reach for our opponent. 

--Those are invaluable.  Can the defense rush the kick?

Yes, they can. I'm struggling to communicate the concept of "best 11 on special teams" to my staff. We failed to replace a sub guard on our 2nd PAT attempt and his guy went through him like he was paper and blocked it. No failures, only lessons, right? Not to pat myself on the back too much, but I really feel like a coach when we make a PAT kick.

We made the 2 worst in-game calls that I can recall in the last 10 seasons or so.

--What were they?

1) Other team just scored and we are up 14-6. First off, I had told my staff during practice that I wanted our deep guys to scoot up to the 15 vs this team because I had scouted their kicker. I was confident in his distance. A coach that I respect replied "easier for them to move forward than backward, Coach". Meaning, "leave them back and let them run up to the ball. Ensuing kickoff, my deep back had to run forward to try to field it and didn't quite get there. It bounced at his feet, leaving him scrambling to recover it. Tried to return it, but only got the 10 yard line. We are about to go Beast and I see our "work in progress" snapper on the ball. During practice, he consistently launches the ball high and right, so I made the call that our consistent snapper would play in the game. (Right now, you're asking why this kid isn't always the center? He's too talented of a RB to snap footballs. I told the OC and OL coach that their homework assignment was to find a snapper as good as the first kid. Until then, first kid is the snapper.) I ran up to the OC and OL coach and asked "Do you see who is snapping?" Is that your guy? OC looked confused, but OL coach looked me in the eye and said "He's good, coach." So I yelled at him (he's my brother in law and one of my best friends) "MARK! WE ARE ON THE 10 YARD LINE WITH A NARROW LEAD! A BAD SNAP PUTS THEM A TD AWAY FROM TYING US!!!" Well, we got lucky. His snaps weren't great, but we were able to field all of them. Yesterday, I called Mark and asked why he made that change. Apparently, the first kid asked for a break. Okay, I have failed to communicate my wishes to my coaching staff. I will make them crystal clear tomorrow.

2) 4th and inches in their territory. We had overcome a false start or some other nonsense, so Beast Right was good for 4-5 yards a pop at that point. I told OC, "No brainer. Go Beast Right again." He said he wanted to go "Tank" (under center sneak/wedge). Based on the alignment, it probably would have worked, but he called Timeout and went to coach up the line and backs. When we broke the huddle, the defense had shifted into an eagle front. OC panicked and audibled to Beast Right, but our QB was the back and he runs like a tissue in the wind. He has a unique talent for turning a 6 yard play into a TFL because he is so afraid to get hit. I saw disaster, but the kid actually made the run of his life, turning a NG into +6. 

Both calls could have easily cost us the game and in both cases, we got extremely lucky.

 

Now that the victory euphoria has worn off, I am pretty mad about 2 personal fouls we committed on defense. First was the most blatant facemask tackle you have ever seen. Second was a horse collar tackle. We have invested a lot of time in form tackling drills. I do not recall running a drill where proper fit was fingers in the facemask or grabbing the back of a ball carrier's shoulder pads. So tomorrow, instead of 15 minutes of form tackling, we will do 15 minutes of up-downs because we are clearly wasting our time teaching form tackling. 

What really steams me is that in any game, I am bombarded constantly by "Coach, he's grabbing my facemask!" and "Coach, he's holding me", etc. etc. etc. These players know darn well what is allowed and what isn't. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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2 practices this week and a scrimmage on Thursday vs the team we just beat. No game this weekend.

3 practices next week preparing for a VERY bad team. 

Plan is to spend the next 6 sessions working exclusively on the passing game. Have to make sure OC understands that our running plays from Empty and Quads are a vital part of the passing game. We MUST get the secondary moving in the wrong direction when we throw.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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mahonz
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Won my first game as a HC on Friday 14-6 against a team we share a practice field with. Wasn't that close. Should have scored twice that. We did convert a PAT kick, which is worth 2 points in our league. That will be huge going forward. It really put the game out of reach for our opponent. 

We made the 2 worst in-game calls that I can recall in the last 10 seasons or so. Talked it over with the ACs to ensure we keep our heads out of our rear ends.

White hat had a very concerning melt down. This is a guy we're very familiar with. The one who picked up 2 players by their face masks last season and had an assault investigation for that. It was really bizarre and best described as a temper tantrum. Oh well. It's either him or no one.

 

That was a glorious win. You got the Golden Shoe back! 

Film isnt terrible. Common problem with your rookies stopping when they dont know what to do. They will get there. 

You need to the get the Offense into hair-trigger mode. Do that and you hang 30 on the Spartans. 

Kicking PATs is impressive ! 

Defense played well. Levi has really stepped up this season. 

Nice job. Very happy for you Lar. 😎 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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gumby_in_co
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Thanks Mike. We'll get them there.

Forgot to mention a little more drama. My special teams coach quit in immature fashion. He hadn't been at practice all week. a) his attendance was spotty at best b) we didn't miss him at all. Saw him in a folding chair on the sideline in pre-game, so I ran over and said, "C'mon. Let's go."

He mumbled a response. Mike was there, maybe he can make sense of what the guy said. Never really finished a sentence. Something about having one simple request, but I decided to go in a different direction??? He wouldn't tell me what that request was or what my direction was. Then, something about "replaced my son". No idea what he's talking about. Honestly, it was like talking to my 22 year old son. Anyway, I said, "Okay. Cool" and walked away. I don't care if I ever have another conversation with him again.

The only thing I can think of is that I didn't consider his son (our MVP from last year) as a captain. I have my reasons for that.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @coachdp

White hat had a very concerning melt down. 

--There's a special place in Hell for these guys.

--Dave

 

Update on this guy: Opposing coach asked for my support in reporting this guy. I told him I'd be happy to tell whomever what happened, but that I doubt anything would be done. This is the white hat from last year who picked up 2 kids by the face mask. He was investigated for assault for that, but still allowed to officiate. No idea what came out of the investigation. Our league is desperately short on officials, so it's "this guy or no guy" unfortunately. This is 100% a result of sideline behavior. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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Like to give updates before and after games.

No game on Labor Day weekend, although I did have one with the 1st/2nd grade team that I'm helping with. Ended up reffing that game, but that's a whole other story.

Offense: Spent last week and this week working 100% on the passing game. We have a rare weak opponent on Saturday, which to me is a perfect time to go pass heavy. Passing game is looking very sharp. I will try to finish my passing game manual and share it here.

Defense: Focused on our weak areas. ILB and OLB. Really went hard on the reps in controlled drills/situations. Seeing improvement, which is what I want. In the past, I was focused on "fixing" problems. If a kid was struggling at a position, I would explain what was going on, explain what he needs to do to fix it, maybe demonstrate once or twice, then keep an eye on him during live reps.  As soon as I saw that he was doing it, I'd check it off my list and move on. Then, I would be "surprised" to see him struggling in the game. With this "long game" approach that I've shifted into, I'm focused on "building". There are 2 kids playing key positions that my DC wants to replace. I've planted my flag and won't let him replace them. I've provided him film clips of his preferred players making the same mistakes (or worse). I think he sees these guys with "higher ceilings". I see it as it's easier to get these guys to their ceiling.

Other:  The girl on my team hasn't been to practice since 8/17. It started with a "got too busy with dental appointments, etc". Then she got sick. Dad is a bit of a hypochondriac, so that plays into it. "She's 100%, but we're giving her one more day". I have at least 4 messages with "She'll be there tomorrow". That's 10 practices missed and I have no reason to expect her tonight. My initial thought is to tell Dad that she's off the team. Going to socialize this with the staff first and probably get Mahonz' take. Now that I've actually typed this out, it seems like a no-brainer.

This post was modified 1 month ago by gumby_in_co

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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Well, this may be a non-starter. We have a possible Covid case. Kid was tested today. If he's positive, everyone on the team has to "consult with healthcare officials".  Before I sort out the rules, I will wait for the results. We may not play Saturday.

Girl did not show today, so I will let the parents know that she won't be allowed to practice until we have a conversation. That conversation will determine whether or not she is allowed to continue with the team.

Got word that there will be no refs for the 4 Rookie Tackle games this weekend. League says they will use parents and/or assistant coaches to referee. Org addressed this in a meeting last night. Our league pays refs more than the other large league and even pays more than the HS games. Refs simply do not want to officiate our games based on sideline behavior. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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terrypjohnson
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Refs simply do not want to officiate our games based on sideline behavior. 

This might be valid. When I was on my oldest son's sideline last year, our kid threw what was unquestionably a blind side block. Our sideline went beserk until I told them that everyone of them that would be turned for a sportsmanship complaint (meaning I would coach the team in the next game). It took a few minutes to restore order, but we eventually got it sorted out. 

And did I mention, our sideline was *dead* wrong... as in 2+2 = 15 wrong.

Simply put: there are way too many coaches that don't the rules, yet parade around like they're Dean Blandino.

I wish I lived out there... I'd ref for you!

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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Posted by: @terrypjohnson

This might be valid. When I was on my oldest son's sideline last year, our kid threw what was unquestionably a blind side block. Our sideline went beserk until I told them that everyone of them that would be turned for a sportsmanship complaint (meaning I would coach the team in the next game). It took a few minutes to restore order, but we eventually got it sorted out. 

And did I mention, our sideline was *dead* wrong... as in 2+2 = 15 wrong.

Simply put: there are way too many coaches that don't the rules, yet parade around like they're Dean Blandino.

I wish I lived out there... I'd ref for you!

100% valid. If it was just verbal stuff over bad calls (right or wrong), we wouldn't be in this mess. People are confronting, threatening and even assaulting refs in the parking lot. The police are called to at least 1 field every single weekend. There was a brawl in an 8U baseball game involving coaches and parents that made the national news. There have been several more that only made local news and a handful that didn't make the news at all.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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Won 38-18 against a very poor team. New team, new coaches, most players are rookies. Only 15 kids on the roster. We play on 60 yard fields and penalties are 3, 6 and 9 yards instead of 5, 10 and 15. We also go on a play count, 24 per quarter rather than a clock. We knew they were a weak team, so this was going to be the "Air Gumby" showcase.

Opening kickoff, we ran our newly installed reverse for a TD. The kid who scored is one heck of a story. Tiny kid, but has evolved into a ball player. It's his last year with us and he's moving to Texas as soon as the season is over. Watching him score is one of my top 3 moments coaching.

PAT failed because we were kicking a through a full end zone on a regulation HS goal post. Just a bit out of our range. There was only one goal post on the field, which meant if we scored on the non-goalpost end, we'd have to run down to the other end to kick. I said heck with it and decided to go 1 point conversions after that failed try.

6-0

They recovered the onside kick. They moved backward on 2 straight plays, then gained it back on a QB sneak/run/sweep. They are a 1 man show and their QB is a stud, so we expected this. He's just very hard to take down. We have them at 4th and long, but jumped offside a number of times to give them 1st and 10. Had them at 4th and 5, jump offside two more times giving them 1st and 10 on the 10. They hit on a nice out route that was right between our zones. Failed PAT

6-6

We return the KO to about the 30. Long throw to a very talented, but lazy WR was picked off in the end zone. uh oh. Now they started jumping on their varied count. They ran their QB 4 straight plays, picking up a first down, but fumbled on our 12 and we recovered.

End of quarter 6-6 and did NOT expect to be in a ball game. We stayed calm and went back to work.

We took over on our 12. Quads right, QB right for 8 yards. Same play for 5 yards. Quads right, WB reverse for 8 yards. Trips right, flanker sweep for 10 yards. Quads left, fake WB reverse, QB left for 2 yards. Trips left, bubble screen right for  -2 yards. (3rd and 11). Trips left, flanker corner incomplete. 4th and 11. Trips right, flanker reverse left for 7 yards. Turnover on downs. UH OH.

They take over on their on 11. 2 straight false starts. QB right for 2 yards. 2nd and 12, they attempt a pass that ended up being a sack. Stud QB gets MOJO'd for the rest of the half. 3rd and 15. HB right for -2, but gave him the LOS. 4th and 15. They punt about 10 yards and our FS fields it at the 15 and returns it to the 7.

Our ball on the 7. Trips right, TE arrow incomplete TE was out for a stroll. Trips right, QB right for an easy TD. Trips left, QB left for the PAT.

13-6 us.

They recovered the onside kick again. Their ball on their own 25. They really have nothing without their stud QB. One run for -2, then 3 straight passes, all nearly picked off for a 4 and out. We take over on the 23 with 2 plays in the half. Trips right, flanker fade incomplete. Trips right, WR fade incomplete. End of half.

OC lost his voice from yelling and asked me to take over. I decided we needed some points on the board if we are going to continue our passing experiment, so I decided to go Beast in the 3rd.

They recover the onside kick again to start the half at their own 23. False start. Reverse for -8. Another reverse for -10 or so. Then their stud QB returns to the game. He drops back to pass and takes off running for about a 50 yard TD on a 60 yard field. PAT failed.

13-12 us, but UH OH!!!

They kick to our 2nd line and our rookie returns it to midfield, but we had a block in the back. We take over on our own 15. I put in a kid who has had his own journey. He's a year younger than everyone else and it showed emotionally since 2nd grade. He grew quite a bit between our last game in 2020 and our banquet and really came alive in Spring Flex. Mahonz and I always knew he'd be a dude some day. I decided to see what he could do and he did not disappoint. Beast right blast for 22 yards the hard way. "MAGIC" (our call for "same play"). False start because our center did not snap the ball. New guy calling for snap and all. 1st and 13 from their 25. "MAGIC". Our boy fumbles the snap and is hit 3 yards in the backfield, but carries 4 defenders to get back our 3 yards from the penalty. 2nd and 10 at the 22. "MAGIC". Our boy drops the snap again, but still manages to go for 12. 1st and goal from the 10. Beast right, counter left. FUMBLE! our blocking back hit the ball out of the QB's hands with his running arm swing. We recover. 2nd and goal from the 11. Beast right blast for 11 yards, but our boy fumbles into the endzone. They take over on their own 12 (by rule). Our boy is crying hysterically and actually goes into a panic attack, unable to breathe. Dad says this happens quite a bit. I calmed him down and told him not to worry. He'll get plenty more chances.

Still 13-12 us, dang it.

Their QB is out again and they go 4 and out. 

1st and 10 on the 17. Beast left blast for 7 yards. MAGIC. 2 yards. 3rd and inches. Beast right blast for 4 yards. 1st and goal. MAGIC for the TD. MAGIC for the PAT. 

20-12 us. A little breathing room. 

They recover the onside kick by the skin of their teeth. 

End of the 3rd quarter. Their ball on their own 20. Stud is back in the game. False start, HB run for 1 yard, incomplete pass, then snapped it over QB's head on 3rd down. Stud QB is MOJO'd again in the ensuing gang tackle. 4th and 21 from their own 9. Punt is terrible, going wide left and landed 4 yards past the LOS, then took a friendly (for us) bounce. Our OLB tried to scoop and score (we practice this daily), but scooped and fell. 

1st and goal on their 9. OC asked me to run 2 flexbone option plays. Both were disasters, but watching film, weren't actually far off from being good plays. Experiment over. I went to Trips right and saw an alignment that I liked so I called a 72 combo to the right. Flanker running a 7 (corner) and WR was supposed to run a 2 (quick slant), but blocked instead. Anyway, 9 yard TD on a corner route. Called a play action TE slant. Our TE caught it, then dropped it. 

26-12 us.

They recovered the onside kick again and took over on the 25. Another 4 and out. We take over on our own 28. I told the OC to watch while I set up a pass play with our flanker sweep, then run the same action, but a PA pass. Flanker had other plans. 32 yard TD. This time, I called the same PA pass, but to the WR on a corner route for the PAT. QB had other ideas and hit the TE on a 2 for the PAT.

33-12 us.

Decided to kick deep, but since we don't practice it, or have a call for it, I was yelling at our kicker to kick deep, but keep it away from #5 (their stud). Opposing coach thought I was up to Shenanigans, so he had #5 run up to the front row. The took over at their own 18. I put all the kids who really shouldn't be playing defense on defense. Their stud took full advantage and scored from 30 yards out. PAT failed.

33-18 us.

We have a kid who broke his arm at the start of practice (celebrating a hole in 1 in putt putt). He just started practicing Monday. I put him in KR and coached him up to run our reverse. The player who fielded the ball didn't field it cleanly, so the reverse was off. He took it to the house instead. Ran Beast left with a kid who has never really run the ball. Almost made it.

39-18 us.

Going to replace one of my ILBs. I fought for him and fought for him, but he hasn't held up his part of the bargain. Not sure what I'm going to do with him. Also need to have a faith revival with my WR. Other than that, we are physical and we swarm to the ball. 

Next game is against a team who has never lost. OC and DC are out, so it's just me on both sides of the ball. Game plan is to Beast them to death and keep the ball away from their offense. If it's close in the 4th, we open it up and air it out from Quads, which is easy to disguise as Beast. 

 

 

 

 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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Playing a team who has never lost. They've been together since 2nd grade. We have never scored on them in 3 seasons of tackle football, but we scored on them 3 times in a Flex game through the air.

I'm taking a risk tonight because a) it feels right and b) what do I have to lose?  I scrimmaged our friendly neighbor last night and cobbled together their upcoming opponent's defense in about 30 seconds. It absolutely destroyed them. I don't think they made it out of the backfield. When I went back to our 4-4, we did "okay". Bend but don't break, etc. It kept nagging at me that this shift in alignment did so well, so I talked it over with the AC's who were there that night. They had the same observation. I called the HC of the friendly neighbor coach. He had the same observation. On my 30 minute drive home, I pondered the "why" and came up with this.

404 front allows me to get one more fire-breather on the interior line. Extremely fast and aggressive 9 techs coming hard off the edge either killed the play or disrupted it so bad, it made everyone else's life easier, especially my OLBs. Their job in the 44 is to set the outside of the alley come hell or high water. There is tremendous pressure on them to be perfect on every play. We are far from perfect, but improving. Stacking them behind the 9 techs took a ton of pressure off them and let them play football instead of methodically doing the job. 

The team we were scouting for had the CBs wide and on the LOS. That team was shredded through the air last week. In the scrimmage, I had them there to give our opponent the right look, but will move them to 5 yards deep. 3x3 off the OLBs with no wide threat, 7 yards off the ball and split the difference if there is a wide threat in an inverted Cover 2. I can easily move an ILB to FS and go cover 3 and in certain situations (end of half/game), I can move both back and play quarters.

Offensively, Beast, Beast and more Beast with an easy dance into quads for a passing threat if the situation dictates.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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Lost 40-0 or thereabouts. Gave them a game though. They never drove the ball on us. All big plays, plus a pick 6.

Beast moved the chains, but not consistently enough. A few untimely penalties or a missed block here and there killed drives. Had  25 yard completion wiped out by an illegal motion or illegal shift, which I thought was a dead ball, but what do I know?

Down by 3 scores at half, I went into full sub mode and worked on the passing game. 

I don’t regret changing defenses last minute and I knew we were unsound against their weird formation going in. Gambled and lost. Will look at film and clean it up.

We aren’t that far off. Need to start fine tuning Beast. Timing and BC paths are too inconsistent, making it harder for blockers than it needs to be. I have a plan for that.

Positives: we played with passion and fire to a man and to the bitter end. We caught their stud from behind 3 times. We made some TD saving tackles on big plays. We won the Mojo score 1-0. Unthinkable a year ago.

On to a tough, big, but beatable team next week.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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