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Friday, July 24, 2009

What I'm reading

1. 2009 Coach of the Year Clinic Manual. Nothing revolutionary, but some good stuff. Chip Kelly of Oregon has a good article (which is actually available here), as does Monte Kiffin, now of Tennessee (about his famous "Tampa Two," of course). Paul Johnson of Georgia Tech has a good one too, which includes this gem:

We give teams that play that kind of front [i.e. try to read the A-back's block to give them cues on what kind of blocking scheme Georgia Tech is using to block the various defenders "assigned" to the different possible ballcarriers in the option] something a little funky. When they play the eight-man front on defense, they tie the safety and outside linebacker to the release of the playside slot. They tell the linebacker if the slot runs straight up the field, the strong safety takes the quarterback and the free safety runs for the pitch. If the slot arcs, the linebacker stays outside on the slot and the safety runs the alley for the quarterback. That is not a bad way to play and is probably smart. If we find them doing that, we automatic with a safety call. We run the slot on the inside release, but he passes the linebacker and blocks the safety. [In other words he basically fakes blocking one guy and blocks a different guy, though it is subtle and designed to defeat what the defenders were taught all week to look for as a blocking tendency.] The defense has two defenders on the quarterback and no one on the pitch. We did that a bunch against Georgia in our last regular season game.

Yup. The insight here is that it's not necessarily that Georgia didn't know the option, it's that they maybe overthought the whole thing, trying to guess and calculate what was coming when. Sometimes the answer is just to keep it simple, read and react, and play football.

2. Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays, by David Foster Wallace. The guy could write.

3. Harper's Magazine. Just got a subscription.

4. The Most Of P.G. Wodehouse (Collection of P.G. Wodehouse stories). Another guy who could flat write. Many of these stories are ridiculous but that's often where their fun lies.

5. In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic, by David Wessel (the Wall Street Journal's economics editor). It's not out yet, but looks good, and I will be reading it. I've avoided most of the new books on the economic collapse, but it appears this is the one to read (at least so far). I've also always enjoyed Wessel's work.

7 comments:

jgordon1 said...

UMMM, if Ga was really playing it that way..it sounds to me they were short one man to the play side.. what would have happened if the slot back fake blocked the lb and instead of blocking the safety just kept going straight up for a pass??...who would have covered him. sounds to me like GA need to hire a good HS coach to stop GT LOL

Anonymous said...

Ok, so let's discuss how to stop that option then. I was always told to use assignment football, but I know GT finds out and dismantles that. Do we just say who shows first, picks up QB? Whoever can get to the pitchman takes him if you see the QB accounted for? I see trouble there too...

Aaron Nagler said...

You don't have kids, do you....

Rob said...

jgordon1,

Check out the first play of the GT-Miami game. The A-back fake blocks the LB, then runs right past the safety, who lets him go. The play was a reverse, WR pass, who hit the open A-back, but he had to make a sliding catch or it might have gone the distance.

Doug said...

P.G. Wodehouse and Bill James are my two favorite authors of all time.

Ted C is Me said...

Chris: Wodehouse was the perfect writer at the perfect moment to capture the between-the-wars last flowering of the British class system.

Besides, anyone who can't appreciate Gussie Fink-Nottle has no soul.

As far as the 2009 Nike COTY manual goes, my favorite takeaway (apart from Glanville's special teams stuff) was Tim Brewster's discussion of the inside A-gap power play. I've designed an offense around it for overseas club teams and older youth teams in the U.S.:

http://savefile.com/files/2136266

Finally, the Wessel book. The problem is really very simple. Because the Fed exists, politicians will always be tempted to offer voters the kind of bread-and-circuses packages that win votes. This involves making money the old fashioned way: printing it.

The Fed is the problem. You can't blame politicians for being politicians, but you can certainly blame the Fed for distilling and marketing the booze that the alcoholics on Capitol Hill crave...

Ted C is Me said...

Chris: More on Bernanke and his fearless predictions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ79Pt2GNJo