Well, the “game that should not be played” won’t be now, and that’s a good thing. We’ll have practice tonight and again Sunday before hitting the road for our final two games against the Pacific Warriors and Central Cal War Angels, both of which should be bruising affairs. We’re on the backstretch before getting to another playoff run, and we need to be better than we’ve been to make it through.
If you’d like to see an excellent playoff preview, please go here: Neal Rozendaal’s preview. I think Neal is pretty spot-on.
We had our first men’s practice of the year Thursday. It went *very* well from an offensive standpoint. We ran very limited routes, and only one run play out of a bunch of different looks. I was very pleased with how quickly the guys caught on to the tempo and adapted to the formations and some of the formation tags. We were able to run all of our base formations, plus a couple of tags, all without a huddle. We ran two cadences and a few motions. All in all it was a great introduction and more than enough got accomplished for a “Day One” practice.
I just received word that the DVD’s of the annual COOL Clinic are now available….there goes another $100…..sorry, Travis, no new clothes for you this month, and more Top Ramen for both of us. LOL……I’m looking forward to this edition because it features a talk by Jim Schwartz, the former HC of the Lions. He talks about how defenses scout and game plan for different offenses. There was a similar talk by Rex Ryan from 2009 that was pretty good. I always like to gain insight about how the “other side” may prepare for my offense.
My best sounding board is the HC of the Bears, Winston Martin, who has been around the block a few times. In most cases I can draw something up for him and he’ll describe exactly how he’d defend it. He’s also acting as my RB coach this year, so if I come up with something weird, he’ll immediately alert me to a problem I may not have foreseen. Guys like that are a valuable resource!
Speaking of resources, I can’t talk up X and O Labs enough. I just renewed my annual membership there for $39.95. They have staff memberships (up to 8 coaches) for I think $99.95. I just printed out 87 pages of Run Pass Option (RPO) information. Online, they also include game film in their articles. I’ve got a binder filled with their articles. Unlike the COOL Clinic, which features speakers from mostly the top-tier colleges and NFL (and only offensive line coaches, by design), X and O Labs features articles from guys that you’ve probably never heard of. That doesn’t diminish the information at all, and only serves to highlight how many outstanding coaches there are at all levels across the country. At this point, I’ve probably “borrowed” more stuff from D-II, D-III and high school guys than I have from NFL guys.
Articles on offense, defense, specials, S&C and program development are all included.
About those RPO’s……the number of teams that are running them has quadrupled in the past year. If you thought the advent of the Pistol offense was big, well, I think this will eclipse it. My main problem is that with the men, using NFL rules, they’re a bit pickier about getting the big guys downfield. At the women’s level, this stuff is gold, since they use collegiate rules. But no worry – the Bears will be taking full advantage of whatever we’re allowed!