Monthly Archives: February 2012

Me vs. The O.S.B: The Grammar Grade

Fifth Grade at the CTK Catholic School meant one thing, The Eleventh Commandment. You know it, “Thou shalt not abuse the basic rules of grammar”. By God’s Grace or hours upon hours upon hours of work , you would know the basics of a sentence, you would know nouns and verbs and adjectives and adverbs and prepositional phrases and blah, blah, blah blah blah blah.

And fifth grade at the CTK meant English with Sister Verene. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Sr. Verene. She was awesome. She was (and I know this is nearly impossible to believe) a nice human being who liked kids, but she was also perhaps the most insect-like human being I have known. She was a small, nervous creature. She had a skinny, pointed face. Her small hands were always in motion, grasshopper-like in concerted movements with her metallic voice.  Of course, this could maybe be the faded memory of a boy of the 1970’s, who maybe watched too many Saturday morning sci-fi monster movie marathons, but I digress. Sr. Verene plain, straight out LOVED grammar. It was her vocation. Most of the other nuns probably prayed rosaries and such, but I am pretty sure Sr. Verene broke down grammatical errors in the Roman Missal and diagrammed the Bible as her contemplation.

I know this is a major surprise to my wife (a.k.a The Grammar Police), my editors at MuseItUp Publishing, my former players and fellow coaches, but at one time (5th grade) this backward, redneck speaking (yeah, that’s speakin’) bubba boy  was a minor grammar god. I was mesmerized by the science of it all and drawn into the world of grammar by Sr. Verene. We diagrammed sentences like madmen. I would even volunteer to go to the board to diagram sentences. The best time was when Sr. Verene set up elimination-style speed diagramming tournaments. She was too cool.

Do people still diagram sentences in school? I don’t think they do it anymore. Too bad, it helped me. I should pull out the old grammar books and brush up on my sentence diagramming. It has to be like riding a bike, you never quite forget how to do it. Maybe it will make a comeback and become an Olympic sport someday, who knows?

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Reads, Writes

The Wingbuster Story Finale: Shut ‘Em Down Boys!

The planning is done, the presentation is done, the preparation is about as far as we can take it and now we’ve run out of time. It’s time to take it to the field.

I could never sleep much the week before playing the double wing offense. Around Thursday night and all day Friday, it was tough to even eat. I’d worry about everything. Did our kids know their jobs? Were they physically, mentally and emotionally ready for how tough this game is going to be? Then the litany of “What if’s”. What if they come out in some funky new offense? What if they spread it out? What if they break tendencies? What if, what if, what if…

But the biggest one, what if the Wingbuster doesn’t work first time and our kids lose confidence? That’s is the question that bugged me the most. If it didn’t work, I would have totally let the boys down. And letting the boys down was always the fear which drove me to go the extra mile as a coach.

So it’s game time. I honestly cannot tell you one detail of any of the days we played Rock Creek. Too nervous, too many different brainwaves fighting in my head. My head is about ready to explode, then Rock Creek lines up for their first offensive play.

Here is a clip on the Toss play from my final presentation of the Wingbuster. It will give you and idea of how dangerous the play can be, followed by how the Wingbuster performs. The bad defensive examples are Rock Creek (Black) vs. Royal Valley (White). The good defensive examples are Rock Creek (Gray) vs. The Tiger Wingbuster (Black).

I can’t tell the emotion felt when we made the Wingbuster work like this. I don’t have the video from the first time we played them in 2004, but the first play was just like the second good defense clip above. Here we were, coming off an 0-9 season, playing this powerhouse of a team, pressure is cranked to MAX and we just knock the living $h!t out of them on the first play. I seriously could have cried right there on the sidelines.

Thanks to all the coaches who I begged, borrowed and copied from to design the Wingbuster. Thanks to my fellow Tiger coaches for holding the line and teaching the skills and duties at such a high level. Finally, a bubba-sized THANK YOU to all the Tiger Wingbuster players, from the superstars, to the role players, to the substitutes and especially to the Black Dog scout team players. Without your belief in the system and without your dedication to learning and performing the system we would have failed. Your tremendous level of individual and team pride would not accept defeat, no matter how difficult the challenge.

The Wingbuster: Every man do their job on every play.

Tiger Football.

EVERY MAN, EVERY PLAY

Leave a comment

Filed under Reads, Training, Uncategorized, Writes

The Wingbuster Story: Part 3

So, the research is done and the planning is done, now it’s time to go to work. It is time to try and convince 60 young men that if they pay attention, if they listen, if they work their tails off and if they stick together as one, they can beat this challenge.

But, they are teenage boys.  So, I know we have to sell this thing to the kids to get them to buy in hook, line and sinker. For this I turn to the expertise of Coach Paul Lane. Up to this point in my football coaching career, I went from an idiot with a football strength and conditioning book to a football coach who, under the tutelage of Coach Lane, could now walk and chew gum at the same time. One thing I learned from him on getting the boys to buy in to something is to come up with a cool name. I thought and thought of names. The Mustang? No, not the right ring to it. Dam the Double Wing? Nope, too hokey.  Bust-A-Wing? No, too 80’s break dance. Wing Stopper? Not bad, but Wing Stopper needed go talk to the 80’s break dance name. Bust-A-Wing Stopper? Hey, that’s closer. Wing…wing…wing…WINGBUSTER! Houston, we had a name! And a good name it was, too. The kids bought into it, the coaches bought into it. Now time to go to work.

Prep Week

Monday – Show team a video mash up of the double wing running over us in the past. Let the kids see the formation and see the basic offensive plays run at their very best. I wanted the video to scare them; use it to get their attention. I gave a short powerpoint on the WingBuster to introduced everyone’s alignment and assignment, then I talked animatedly about how we were going to shut this offense down. After the presentation, we went out for practice where the focus was on defending the Toss, the basic play in the double wing offense.

Tuesday – The focus was on teaching and getting repetitions on the proper physical techniques at each position. D-Line driving through blocker’s thigh pad to make a pile of humanity, D-Ends attacking a spot 1.5 yards behind offensive tackle, inside linebackers reading wing motion and being a wrecking ball to fill hole, the outside linebackers reading their wing and sifting and the deep corners reading their TE window then reacting to pass or run. The main plays we worked on Tuesday were the counter plays off the Toss, the Reverse and the Spin.

Wednesday – More repetitions on technique. Talk about oddball motions, flat motion for Buck Sweep; quick, long motion for fullback runs and play action passes.  More full speed team reps against scout team offense than technique reps.

Thursday – Review all plays in scout script. Hold back on contact, but try to keep full speed reaction repetitions against scout offense. Talk and ask questions and yell and scream and threaten to get everyone  focused on our EVERY MAN DOING THEIR JOB EVERY PLAY philosophy.

Check back for Part 4 finale, the Friday under the lights experience and my absolute coach-love for those underclassmen scout team offensive players, the true heroes of the success of the Wingbuster defense.

Leave a comment

Filed under Rants, Reads, Training, Writes

The Wingbuster Story: Part 2

Wingbuster: The Plan

Research – I used two invaluable resources. Former Tiger assistant football coach Wayne Link let us use his double wing offense book. Formations, plays, blocking schemes; this book had it all. It was like taking a college course in the double wing.  Always helps to know the offense as well as possible before trying to find a defensive scheme to stop it.

The second resource I found on an internet search was a coaching site hosted by a football genius, Coach Bruce Eien, from California.  His BC Warrior Coaching site had a plethora of resources on offense and defense. But, there was an obscure little document he wrote called Defending the Double Wing that is football intellect at its very best.  Whatever success we had implementing the Wingbuster defense grew out of the principals in Coach Eien’s article.

THE PLAN

Double Wing Defense  

Alignments

            Mike 4-5-2

            Dog 5-4-2

 

The Jobs 

Defensive Tackles

The main cog in the defense is the DT. He might not make one play all night but he is vital to the defense. He rips through the OG/OT gap trying to get into the backfield. Most likely he will be double teamed.  Both DT’s will cut through the knees of the OL and cut the double team. Drive low and through causing a pile up. The DT on the pulling side should try and cut the pulling OL. Minimally, he needs to impede the pulling OG/OT.

If he does not get the cut, pursue down the LOS looking for cut back. Keep an eye out for the TE blocking down or trying to cut you.

Defensive Ends

The DE lines up in a 9-technique and will cut through the outside knee of the tight end to a point 1.5 yards behind B gap.  Drive through and cause a pile up by taking on the FB or pulling lineman.  The DE must cause the pulling lineman and backs to loop around the pile they create.

Inside Linebackers

Alignment: 5 yard deep over the DT.

Assignment: Cross read the opposite wingback

If the cross wingback goes in motion:

Blitz C gap, wreck havoc, stay low and find ball.

If the cross wingback blocks down:

Drag the anchor and slow pursue looking for cutback right back at you.

If the cross wingback delays

Look for Reverse/Spin to your wingback coming right back at you. Blitz C gap and wreck havoc.

If you can, get a read on direction of the pulling OL helmets, they will take you to the play.

MIKE/DOG

 The MIKE/DOG can play a vital role in disrupting this offense.

As the MIKE, he plays B gap to B gap, disrupting everything in his path.  He will put a stop to the FB running plays and the Wingback on the cutback.  MIKE will need to see the field and learn to read the pulling O-lineman’s helmets.

As the DOG, he might not make one play all night but he is vital to the defense. The DOG plays head up on the center and cuts low through the knee of the center to the play side A gap.  We want the DOG to be as disruptive as humanly possible to the pulling lineman and backs. We determine play side by motion, best back, or tendencies.  He rips through the center trying to get into the backfield.  Depending on their blocking scheme he may come untouched into the backfield. Most likely he will be double teamed.  Minimally, he needs to impede the pulling OG/OT.

OLB

The OLB are the key tackler’s in this defense.  We want to funnel everything outside of the alleys in which they want to run. The design and strength of the play is inside behind a wall of blockers, so any back running outside is by himself , defeating the purpose of the play. The OLB uses a OLE’ technique, like a bull fighter, avoiding all contact.

The OLB needs to read the motion of the wing to their side.

If wing BLOCKS:  Here it comes right at you.  OLE to sift through bodies to find ball.

If wing MOTIONS:  Slow blitz with a tight path and look for reverse or spin.  If no reverse, scrape, looking for cutback. If reverse comes, use the OLE’ technique.

If wing DELAYS:  It is reverse all the way to the other side.  Yell “Reverse” and try to chase play down from backside.

Corners

 The Corner reads his TE.

If the TE blocks: He becomes an alley player, filling the alley and containing RB if RB is forced wide.

If the TE cut blocks inside: Run play is going the other way, slow pursue looking for reverse/spin or cutback.

If he reads a pass release from the TE: He covers the deep ½ jumping a corner route by the TE, staying deeper than the deepest route in zone.

The two corners are the only players on the defensive unit that think:  “Pass first, run second”.

This is a normal Toss play schematic, the toss is the foundation of the Double Wing offense.

Defensively, if every one does their job, this should happen.

We have a RB that has no where to go, running into his line.  He ends up trying to bounce outside or falls over his own man.  Sometimes, the RB bounces out to a open space. While this is usually a problem it is not with a double wing team.

The RB’s in the double Wing are used to running behind people. They are not open field runners. A usual scenario has our line taking out their line and the OLB’s end up making the tackle.

 *Tg and R are OLB’s

 


Leave a comment

Filed under Rants, Reads, Training, Uncategorized, Writes