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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Norm Chow on Playcalling

Grabbed this from this article here. But this was too good so it got its own article. We all like to discuss coverages, etc but this is extremely true:


We are going to try to take advantage of what the other team is doing on defense. During the course of a game, with the sophistication of defenses, coverages are disguised and the use of zone blitzes and fire blitzes become very hard to beat. We’d be lying if we said we sat up in the box and knew what coverages were being run. What we try to do is take a portion of the football field, the weak flat for example, and we will attack that until we can figure out what the defense’s intentions are. Then we try to attack the coverage that we see. It is very difficult to cover the whole field. We are not going to try to fool anybody. We are going to take little portions of the field and try to attack them until the defense declares what it intends to do.


That is wisdom right there. First, to admit that you can't stand back and make magical judgments about what the defense is doing or what its intentions are. Second, the proper response is to try to turn the game into something manageable--i.e. attacking these "portions" of the field with mirrored reads, flood routes, etc.

Here's another good one:

Number one, we are going to protect the quarterback. If you decide to rush seven, we will block seven. If you decide to rush 10, we will try to block 10. We are going to try to protect the quarterback. Lance and Roger spend a lot of time picking up blitzes and that is the basic tenet that we have. You may be better than we are, but schematically we will try to protect the quarterback.


How often is this forgotten! I am a spread guy, I have roots of the pro-spread, the run and shoot, and there is a fact that the defense can always bring one more than you can protect, but protection first is the proper mindset. Hot routes are not what you build your offense on and you do not declare that you are a four wide team and that this fact is immutable. You have the ability to adapt to different defensive responses and protect your kid back there who is trying to find receivers without getting his head taken off.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

My first comment would be to get the defense into the what he is talking about in his second comment! If you have a successful running game then cover 8-16-22, or whatever does not matter! A run game like with a wing-t offense with play-action will always win out over the spread shot-gun/pistol or whatever is the fad at the moment! Of course Jimmie and Joes win out over x's and o's regardless of scheme!

Ted C is Me said...

Chris: Gee, that first comment was very nearly in English...maybe next time.

I am in the process of fusing Chow's theory with the old stuff I have from Homer Rice on isolating two receivers against one defender. You can utilize those Rice-style passes as an interim game plan until you can ID the coverage scheme being used against you, at which point you can start to focus on those route packages which are the most useful against those coverages...

Homer Rice's Air Option Football remains an extremely valuable read...

Chris said...

Anon,

While I agree that a strong run game is important, a quick survey of the local HS championships, the BCS games, and certainly the NFL doesn't show any wing-t teams. Lots of ways to skin a cat.

Ted, as always, I'm looking forward to the Wild Bunch stuff. We discussed it before, but having guidelines of essentials v. experimental stuff, etc, mini-wild bunch packages depending on each coach's personality (pass first, misdirection run first, youth, etc) might be a nice way to show its applicability within the overall wild bunch framework.

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Anonymous said...

It's not the X's and the O's but the Jimmies and the Joes, that is the most ignorant comment ever. Norm Chow has made a living proving that coaching has SOME degree of success in the game. You give me Denver's Oline, Marvin Harrison, Ladainian, a top notch fullback, Tony Gonzales and Dan Marino in his time and I can show you how coaching matters. Make Dan run the option and suddenly coaching matters more than Jim and Joe. You may say, nobody would ever do that with a guy like Marino but I have seen some idiots with Drew Bledsoe size QBs call the option play. Coaching is 30% of the game in my opinion.