Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Triple Option

The Give
The Penn State, Jerry Sandusky saga comes to a bitter conclusion with the jury finding Sandusky guilty on all but three counts.  The question now is, where does Penn State go from here?  Hell, where does football in general go from here?  It's bad enough nowadays we can't give kids rides home from practice to make things easier for the mother working two jobs or the family struggling to make ends meet that have parents that work late.  No, we have to let them sit becuase of assholes like Sandusky. What bothers me even more is that this prick claims he's innocent.  Lose with dignity, you were caught and found guilty, go rot in your jail cell you sick bastard. 

So where does Penn State go from here?  I think there will be little to no drop off in recruiting, although I think their choice of a coach sucks, and I'm afraid the football program could be heading in the wrong direction.  In my personal opinion, I think Penn State is headed for darker days.  I know the school is already under the nation's watchful microscope, however the football program is on the downhill slide.  I'm sure when Penn State has a losing record next year, we will all hear about this scandal numerous times.  Again, I don't look for Penn State football to be very prominent for the next few years, but hey, I've been wrong before.

What do the victims do?  I can't imagine being involved in such a terrible act as what Sandusky put those kids through.  I've coached all age groups, from Pop Warner to the collegiate level and I can tell you, I could NEVER imagine doing what he did to those kids.  The man is a predator, plain and simple.  He used his influence to lure these kids in and then systematicaly destroyed their lives.  My hopes are that now that Sandusky is behind bars, the victims can breathe a sigh of relief.  However, this tragedy will surely haunt them the rest of their days.

What would you do had you seen Sandusky doing the things he did?  I'd like to think I'd act in a more appropriate manner than McQuerey did, however you just don't know.  I've heard all the comments on how the badass guys would have whipped Sandusky where he stood, but to be honest a small percentage of us would have actually done this.  The reason I say this is because what we would see is so horrific, the first reaction would be that of amazement or confusion as to what was being seen.  I'm sure McQuerey regrets walking in to that locker room, however it happened, and what he did afterwards was...not enough.  I love my dad to death, and lean on him for a lot of things, however, I think I would have called the police.  I'd like to think I would have anyway.

What about Paterno?  In all of this, the man, so adored by fans in Happy Valley, fell from grace in what seemed like almost and instant.  The sad fact is Paterno sealed his death warrant by not doing enough either.  That's the total shame of it all, is that a man so legendary could have done so little, in such a time of need.  Almost befuddling isn't it....?

What all this teaches us is, do what's within your powers to do to stop these kinds of acts.  How many times have we seen coaches try to sweep things under the rug, only to have it bite them in the ass in the end (Tressel!)?  If you see something terrible happen, do what you can to stop it, and don't just stop there, make sure the thing is followed up on.  In the end, a person who lets evil reign, is just as guilty as the evildoers themselves.

The Keep
A recent post on the Huey board (that died before I could read it), about the Flexbone Association camps really stirred the pot this week.  I used to be a regular on the FA website before they decided to start charging for their services.  The reson I left is plain and simple, most of us coaches make peanuts and scrape and scratch and claw to make money for our programs.  I don't think we should be nickled and dimed around every corner when it comes to coaching information.  Sure, I don't mind buying a book or a DVD here and there, but I do draw the line.  That's why I've tried to keep the information on my sites free and as available as possible (though I do have trouble answering ALL my emails).  I just think money is the root to the destruction of the greatest game in America, and I want no part of it.  I'm also against anyone who looks to profit off  amateur coaches (I do not include college coaches in this mix).  Most of us barely get by on our salaries alone and get paid a very meager salary (if you coach in Texas or Georgia, SHUT UP), to have to pay for information about the game is a bit low in my opinion.

Again, I think that's why forums like the Huey board exsist, so we can share ideas, network and become better coaches overall as a profession.  Not many coaches think this, because we are, in fact, a pretty competitive lot.  The idea that one coach has to be better than the other is what creates this information disparity and leads to dissention amongst fellow coaches (such as that shown on the Huey board).  The fact is, we are ALL COACHES with one goal in mind, getting our players better, and winning.  Sure, not everyone is a winner, but the information to be able to be a winner should not be the determing factor here.  There are so many other factors that go in to winning and losing, that the sharing of information is basically "white noise" in terms of what effects the outcome of a game or season.  So why the fuss then?  Well, I guess there are just some coaches out there that think they have to step on the little man to get ahead.  Oh well!

The Pitch
We have a playoff system in college football!!!!  I would say it's about time, but I'm sitting in the back row waiting for college football to, yet again, screw this one up.  Again, money is the root to why the rest of the NCAA sports look at football as the retard of the bunch.  Football is the only NCAA sport without a playoff, and what they are proposing doesn't seem all that "real" in terms of being a true playoff.  First off there are too many bowls to begin with, but why not have a system where the bowls are the playoff games?  Sure, there would be less teams, but you would still have the pagentry and money-making opportunity of the bowl atmosphere.  We'll have to see how this plays out, but for now we will be stuck with the BCS for one more year.  I don't think the bowl system will ever die, but this playoff setup is a step in the right direction for the face of college football.

How would you set up the college playoffs?  Send me an email at and if you have a good idea I will share it with everyone.  I think that's fair enough.  Hell, maybe us little people can make some noise on the grand stage known as college football!

The Two Point Conversion
Since I will be out of town next week, I'm going to add one in here (there will be no Friday Triple Option for next week-sorry got get some much needed R&R!), so I will call it The Two Point Conversion!

Recently here in Florida the Florida High School Activities Association handed down sactions to Seffner Armwood High School.  First off, the penalites were nowhere what they needed to be and in my opinion shows the absolute lack of respect for discipline the FHSAA actually has.  Yes the fines are large, but a little fundraising and you've got that covered, so not really as big a deal as many may think.  I think, if you really want to hit these teams where it hurts, hit them with a post-season ban.  However, in today's world, that would mean Armwood would have a roster of about 30 kids instead of the 60 or so they put on the sidelines every Friday night.  What I don't get is why cheat?  Is it that much to win?  I'd hate to win knowing, I had cheated.  I wouldn't feel complete, there would always be that question of "What if?".

The fact is, there's way more of this crap that goes on than people care to mention.  I know here in Florida cheating is rampant, and the reason, a gutless administration.  The FHSAA has several complaints (damn near visible ones) staring them in the faces daily.  Many private schools in Florida, as elswhere recruit, and do a damn good job of it.  The FHSAA claims that this recuiting is difficult to catch, and hard to track down, which is complete BULLSHIT!  All you have to do is look at a roster from year to year.  Most teams should have a fairly constant roster size and turnover rate.  You can track this by looking simply at new players that were not on the roster the year before that are upperclassmen, AND that moved into the school.  Where did these kids come from and why are they here now?  Sure it's tough, but the FHSAA has got to grow a pair when it comes to handing out these sanctions.  Fines are fine (no pun intended), however post-season bans and even "death penalties" are on the order here.  Remeber the age old saying in the military "Without fear, there is no discipline".  Maybe we need to type the FHSAA a  memo saying just that...

Have a great weekend!

Where's this party at?


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Friday Triple Option

Damn Triple Option again...

Sorry for the delay, I've had to be away from the computer until today.  Here's a delayed Friday Triple Option.

The Give
Early in the week Urban Meyer's contract was released with some interesting provisions about reporting NCAA infractions.  Obviously we can see the sting is still being felt in Columbus.  Looks like "the" Ohio State University is trying to keep the ball in their court.  What's astonishing is the amount of money that dude is going to make after the disaster he left at the University of Florida.  I know, I know, he does a have a very proven track record, however I judge coaches on how they leave things.  To me, Meyer's not much different than Petrino or Tressel in this situation.  Sure, they are all bright minds and have done great things where they've been, the staple is how was the place when they left?  In Tressel and Meyer's case, not so good, and the jury's still out on the whole Petrinogate thing in Arkansas.  Many feel though, Arkansas' run at the SEC West title, crashed on that rural road along with Petrino's hot girlfriend and his "hawg".  Anyhow, when I think of a good coach I think of one that turns things around and when he steps away, the next guy has an easier time.  There is no better example than the ol' ball coach himself, Steve Spurrier.  He came into Gainesville and took a down-in-the-dumps program and put it in the national limelight.  The reason Gator fans are the way they are and things are like they are at Florida now, can be directly traced back to Spurrier.  Sure, he didn't do so well in the NFL, but the Redskins haven't done well since, leading me to believe there's more going on there than Spurrier could have corrected. 

Look at Spurrier's latest gig, at South Carolina.  Holtz did a good job bringing USC from the depths of the abyss and Spurrier picked up the torch and has USC as an SEC contender year in and year out.  I'm sure if he walked away tomorrow things would be much better than when the ol' ball coach threw his first visor on the sidelines in Columbia. 

Anyhow, my point is, the value of a coach should be looked at in it's entirety.   Contracts are finite as are relationships and coaches.  What an A.D. really needs to look at is not only track record while the person they are thinking about hiring was on the job, but how did they leave the place where they left?  In Meyer's case, for the most part he's done a great job, although none of his previous schools have done much since he left.  How you ruin the University of Florida I have no idea, but Urban Meyer found a way to do so, AND managed to have a motley crew getting arrested 32 times under his tenure.  The decision by OSU and the contract laid out to Meyer prove that it's a win-at-all-cost mentality and the future is only the length of a contract, or how quickly can you get us in the National Championship Game.  I think that is being short-sighted in my opinion, but then again, what the hell do I know?!

I'd like to kick Urban Meyer square in the ass!

The Keep
Brophy is back!  Well, he never was gone, only busy.  Anyhow, the last part of his latest post has been something that has been buzzing in my head all week.  The future of the game.  I think Brophy has hit the nail on the head here, and I think he's exactly right.  The spread is here to stay, and will continue to evolve as guys like Urban Meyer, and Chip Kelly stir the pot.  I think the answer on both sides of the ball is evolution of the hybrid player.  Dogs, cats, bats, falcons, or eagles, whatever the hell you call them in your defense are the swing players that are going to make a difference.  Just as the H and F players on the offensive side of the ball are going to do the same.  This point is also illustrated in one of the chapters in the Essential Smart Football (which if you haven't bought this book please insert a hammer into your right hand and repeatedly bash your forehead until you order the damn thing), which talks about the evolution of the New England Patriots offense.  The two tight end spread offense this past season turned NFL defense end-over-end and really is something that should be studied in greater detail. 

Offensively, these hybrid players are of two types.  First they are a freak athlete such as an Aaron Hernandez who not only can block, but puts linebacker-types in jeopardy because of his athleticism, thereby leaving the defense with no immediate personnel answer for this player.  Do you put a defensive back on him?  If you do, you run the risk of Hernandez "bodying up" or going for the jump ball, or worse yet blocking on the edge for a screen or sweep type play and overpowering a much smaller player.  Oh, so I put a LB on him.  Well...not really, the linebacker might help against the run, but players like Hernandez are much too athletic for a typical linebacker to handle.  Oh, all I gotta do is double cover him then.  Ehhh...not so much either.  When you double one player, you leave yourself vulnerable to leaving Welker or Gronk one-on-one and that ain't my cup of tea either. 

The second type is the smaller-than-usual speedster.  The best example is Darren Spoles of the Saints.  Sprolles is as explosive as they come, but in a pint-sized frame.  At 5'6" tall and 190 pounds (in your dreams, he's 180 at best), he doesn't present the match up issues with blocking so much as he does with what defenders are forced to cover him in space.  Match up one of your linebackers with Sproles and you're in trouble.  His speed and quickness in the open field makes him extremely dangerous and a match up nightmare for opposing defenses.

The answer in the NFL is, the hybrid defensive player.  These are players that are safeties in linebacker bodies.  Very difficult to find, but the nice thing about finding hybrids on defense is that the offense must also find these players too.  There is no doubt offenses are in control of the game right now, and the answer for defenses right now are hybrid players and playing with more nickel and dime personnel groups. 

No, not that kind of hybrid!!!!

Other answers for the defense are the art of confusion.  I think blitzes will become more exotic in nature, more one and two man defensive lines and the sort as defensive coordinators nation-wide scramble to stop the vaunted spread attack.  Again, hats off to Brophy, his post got my mind to rolling, and it's certainly good to see him back on the gridiron again!

The Pitch
Pop Warner came with their new rules on contact and it has stirred the youth coaching boards in to a viral frenzy.  The problem is, these rules were needed ten years ago.  I can remember some of the shit I had to do as a Pop Warner player such as Bull in the Ring, two water breaks for a two hour practice, and hours and hours of running plays against your defense full tilt.  No wonder my body hurts so damn bad when I get up in the morning!  If you think those things are archaic, so is scrimmaging a large amount of the time in live situations.  Basically put, it's pointless. 

Enter Dave Cisar and his Winning Youth Football (WYF) program.  Dave, though a tad big arrogant at times, has really revolutionized the world of youth football.  Yes, that was a shot at Dave, but ultimately the guy's a great football mind, and who can argue with his track record?  In Dave's system, practices are fast paced, not very long, and low impact.  Most importantly they are fun.  Youth football is still very pure in nature, despite the fact that they are now broadcasting Pop Warner games on television.  The idea is to make practices fun so the players will want to keep coming back for more.

Cisar's practice system is the new model for Pop Warner organizations across the country.  I highly recommend buying his material, it is well worth the money for the time Cisar has invested in creating it.  One thing you will see common in how Cisar practices is the lack of full, all out contact.  This is hard for some of us ol' fogeys out there to grasp, but much like the spread offense, this trend is here to stay.  Nobody likes to be told for the last twenty years they've been doing it wrong, but for a guy with as many wins under his belt as Dave has, I'm willing to switch.

Practices consist of what Dave calls "form and fit" drills.  In these drills, plays, reads, reactions, and blocks are broken down into their most basic components and installed step-by-step until each phase of the technique is mastered.  The final piece of Dave's puzzle is the live contact, however he does very little live contact and for two main reasons.  First, live contact over the period of a season becomes more and more detrimental for athletes.  The body can only take so much, so the added collisions in practice are one less game rep down the road your player has in his body.  Secondly, players should relish contact.  When players are bored with hitting, or get too much hitting in practice it becomes the norm and they do not "want" to hit as much anymore.  The more you keep them from hitting, the more the players will want to hit.  The reward is the game, where the player can finally tee off, yet do so under control with the valuable skill set he has learned in a step by step, work to perfection manner throughout the week. 

My hat is off to Cisar, I was very skeptical at first (and no this isn't a plug for the man), but I have since bought in and the team I coach this upcoming season will be adopting a larger portion of the Cisar practice model. 

That's Friday Triple Option, hope you enjoyed it.  Have a great weekend!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Whole Peyton Manning/Tim Tebow Thing...

Tim who?

I don't normally care much for Pro Football, but with this topic (and being a Gator fan), I have to say, it looks like John Elway got this one wrong.  Now, I  may eat these words in a few months from now, but just looking at things from the outside, I see a hollow deal here.  First, I've never been impressed with paying 96 million for five years on a QB that, frankly, I don't think has five years left in his contract.  Does anyone else NOT think this is a huge blunder?  I mean, Manning has had two neck surgeries in his career already, so who's to think this spinal issue is over?  I think Elway is mortgaging the teams future on a bad debt.  I may be wrong, and only time will tell.

That should serve as a warning...

Also, why trade Tim Tebow?  Sure, you don't need two starting QB's, but is Tim really a starter?  Doesn't look like he's going to be one in New York either.  I really like what they plan for Tim in New York, and I think somebody could win a lot of games with this guy on their roster.  Mainly because his attitude and work ethic is contagious.  Who the hell wouldn't want that on their roster?  I think a dangerous weapon would be to have had Manning running the Bronco's conventional offense and then move to the Wildcat/Spread stuff to keep the defense off balance.  For those that think the ego thing wouldn't work, stuff it!  Both Peyton Manning and Tebow are very humble individuals.  I think they could co-exist.  So why is Elway such a jackass?  Why?  Well, John Elway is really no smarter than Terry Bradshaw, and this "moving of the cards" shows why. 

Tim Tebow has been a champion EVERYWHERE he's been.  Two state tittles in high school, two national titles in college, two SEC championships in college.  I'd want that guy on my roster.  Sure, he was surrounded by great players, and good coaches, but any guy who plays the second half of a game with a broken leg and throws two TD's and runs for one more while coming in on goal line defense as a tackle, can line up and play SOMEWHERE for me! 

Peyton Manning on the other hand, is damn near the modern day Dan Marino.  Thank God for Manning that he does have at least one Superbowl ring, because if not, the "Curse of the Marino" would be hanging over his head like the fog in San Francisco Bay.  Manning never won a National Championship, only played for and won one SEC Championship, and for some reason....NEVER beat the Florida Gators.  In the NFL, Manning has had a brilliant career, but the "big game" scenario has not always suited him well.  What I'm hinting at here, Peyton doesn't bring with him the intangibles that Tebow does.  The other thing is that by having both of them on the same team, you get the best of both worlds as far as "intangibles" are concerned.  Manning is a charismatic leader whereas Tebow is fire-and-brimstone.  Who wouldn't want these two guys on their roster.  Oh yeah...Johnny, Elway. 

I will never understand some of the moves made in the NFL, nor do I want to, remember this is just my opinion and you've read this far!  Anyhow, I think Elway goofed, and Denver is one injury to Manning away from NOT seeing the playoffs this year.  New York has added quality to their roster, and only time will tell if the likes of Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano will f#@k this up or not.  Anyhow, I think I would still feel better knowing I was wearing green and white this fall as my uniform.



Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Triple Option

I'm going to try, every week, to post my Friday Triple Option segment where I discuss any three topics in the world of football with my brief opinion.  We'll see how it goes, and this will be the inaugural Friday Triple Option.

The Give
Well, Jerry Sandusky's accusers in the Penn State scandal have come forward with some pretty damming testimony.  I can only imagine what those folks are going through, as much of the testimony is graphic, and I'm sure very hard to speak of.  My question is, how can you sit there and defend this guy?  I know, innocent until proven guilty, however in this case, if Sandusky gets off, I think the folks in Happy Valley should riot.  In football terms, the biggest sham of the whole thing is the firing and then death of the legendary coach Joe Paterno.  I just don't think he deserved what he got, and it was too much for his ol' ticker to bear.  Lord knows college football will miss you Joe Pa!

The Keep
The Auburn shooting has opened the nation's eyes, in a negative way, to the sport of collegiate football.  What a shame, young people these days feel the need to use a firearm to sort out there problems.  Like Craig's dad said in the movie Friday, "Kids these days just afraid to take an ass-whoopin'".  There is more truth in that statement than many will know.  I can remember what Randy Shannon used to tell his players, "There's nothing good that happens after midnight", however, Randy would have been wrong on this one as the shootings happened just after 10 P.M. in the evening.  The travesty is three young people are dead, and Auburn is a town right now that can't catch a break.  Lest we forget the Toomer's corner incident and for the die hards out there, the loss of Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State.  So, from the 12th Man to the victims of those involved in the shooting my heart goes out to you, keep your head up, as with anything, time heals all wounds.

The Pitch
I have to say, the signing of Chad Ochocinco to the Miami Dolphins makes my stomach turn.  First, a team that passed on a chance at Tim Tebow for David Gerrard was borderline retarded.  Second the gamble on Tannehill, is yet to be seen, though I gotta say I like the kid, so the jury is still out on that one.  However, Ochocinco...really???  I have to throw up the proverbial WTF on that one?  Ochocinco brings nothing to the table, and in my opinion, has the potential to wreck havoc in a locker room.  Hell, my father, who can't stand Pro Football made the comment (off the cuff) "He'll wreck that locker room worse than Jerry Sandusky!".  Yes, I know too soon, but my old man has no quoth, so give him some leeway here.  My dad is spot on, however.  Ochocinco left the only place where he could be properly managed, and now, he's off to the Dolphins, this could get interesting.  To say the least, I would say this is like a hibernating parasite that has awoken and found a new being to latch on to.  Before long, the downtrodden Dolphins will be a hot mess, and we'll all be standing here saying "I told you so".  Oh well, all we can do is wait and hope!

Wait til' they get a load of me...

That's it for this Friday's Triple Option.  Hit me up with an email for suggestions at or follow me on Twitter @theduece02.  So long and have a GREAT Father's day weekend!  I know I will!!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Huey Board

When I first joined the Huey board in 2006, I had no idea what I was in for.  Since then, I've had over 4700 post, 2000 private messages and I can't seem to NOT keep going back. Of course that was Coach Huey's idea when he started the site, and his marketing genius has definitely targeted me and kept me coming back for more.  I've been wanting to write a piece about the Huey board for a while, because in my opinion, that forum, is the the number one resource we as coaches have going for us today.  I have gotten so many schemes, met and networked with coaches, shared my knowledge of the game, and occasionally pissed off other members (only have had one post deleted though, so I guess that's the same as only going to the Principal's office once in your lifetime).  In all those years using that forum, I can't tell you the value of a tool that is available at our fingertips everyday.

Probably the top reason I like, no LOVE the site is that I have met some really good coaches on there.  The first guy I really interacted with is a crazy old-schooler, who's user name is outlawjoseywales.  OJW, to those that know him, helped me cut my teeth on the under front, and showed me the light when using it to defend the wing-t offense.  Since then, he and I have actually met, and have had numerous phone conversations, none of which has been any shorter than an hour!

Another guy I met on there is Coach Hoover, who has an awesome football blog as well.  I got into blogging because of Coach Hoover and another guy on there, Brophy.  Hoover asked me to write a piece on defending the flexbone offense, with my topic being middle linebacker play in the 4-3 defense.  I was honored to say the least, and to be honest (I'm sure Hoov doesn't know this), that one post kicked off my writing career (though I would use the term career loosely).  Since then I have developed the Football is Life blog, and now this blog The 12th Man.  Where else can you meet folks like this that not only give you schematic advice, but can inspire you to make a move in your career to switch directions.  Most don't know this, but at the time I wrote that post on defending the flexbone, I had been let go at a school and didn't know if I was going to be coaching anymore (thankfully I am).  I was in a place I'd never been before, and writing helped to ease the pain.  So for that, I have not only Coach Hoover to thank, but also have Coach Huey to thank.

Speaking of Brophy, he and I couldn't stand each other at the beginning, and have now become friends.  You won't find a site full of more information about the game of football than Brophy's site.  Brophy turned me on to Nickel defenses and helped me make the move from the 4-3 to the 4-2-5.  I have to say, some people find Brophy's bluntness a big turn off, but I can tell you this, he's helped me on way more than one occasion.  Again, if it weren't for Coach Huey's ingenious forum, we would probably never have met.

Another coach I've networked with on the Huey site is Vassdiddy.  Vass, as we call him, messaged me about defending the flexbone.  He called me one night and I think the conversation lasted around four hours!  This past November we met up in a small town outside of Orlando and me, Vass, OJW, and Coach Hoover cliniced for the better part of a day (Hoov and I didn't leave until around 11 that night, after getting there around 11 that morning).  Once again, none of this would be possible if it weren't for the Huey Board.  Vass has given me a ton of information and has some great insight as well as a unique drive to him that makes him a successful coach.  I'm glad to have met him, and without a forum to do that on, I wouldn't know him.

Another member on the Huey board is jgordon.  J is the guy that pushed me to write my book on the flexbone (still in the works, but getting REAL close).  Jgordon and I have shared ideas on defense for quite some time now.  Even though he and I have some differing points, we always seem to conclude we agree to disagree, and move on.  Our discussions are good ones and he's led me to some very interesting topics via our discussions.  His book, on the Under front defense is second to none folks, I highly recommend you pick up your copy TODAY!  If it weren't for folks like jgordon, who have the ability to see insight and a way to motivate, I wouldn't have EVER written a book, much less a blog, so for that, I am truly in debt.  Once again, the Huey board was an open door that I would have otherwise not had, if that forum wasn't available.

I know there are others on there I've met and talked to such as bigduke6, chibears3454, 46defense and many more that have been very insightful and informative (forgive me if I'm forgetting anyone).  The stories above are exactly what the Huey board and similar sites are good for.  The exchange of ideas and most importantly the networking of coaches.  Networking is an often overlooked, yet important component to being a good coach.  You never know when you will need some help get your ass out of a jam, and you might just find your answer online. 

This is not a post to "brown-nose" Coach Huey, this post is to thank the man that created such a wonderful site that has allowed coaches, not jut in the states, but throughout the WORLD share ideas, and network to a level not seen before the advent of the Internet forum.  What does the future hold?  Only Coach Huey will know the answer to that, but I certainly think that with the way information is passed along today, the Huey board will do nothing but expand and get bigger and better.

So to all those that have used the Huey board to better themselves as coaches, why don't you drop the man a line and thank him for the hard work he's done developing such a great site.  I think he deserves it, and I know he would appreciate it.  I did not write this with Coach Huey's permission, but I think a post like this is LONG overdue, so here's a special THANK YOU from The 12th Man, keep doing what your doing coach!

Now some news:

Magic LB Keys to Fit Any Defense...good read, and very interesting over at Becoming a Man for All Seasons.

Coach Hoover's Pursuit Drill Post...good to go along with my post on the same topic (here).

Latest in the Auburn shooting tragedy.

Smart Football talks about the favorite way to run a wide receiver reverse.

Hal Mumme Part I and Part II.

Canadian kicking records.

Single Wing Playbook, great resource for youth coaches.


Is Money Ruining High School Football?

I would say yes.  Look at the landscape of high school football compared to just ten years ago.  There were relatively few high school games that were televised back then.  Twenty years ago, I'm not sure they even televised state championship games, let alone regular season games between two good high schools.  Now we are seeing teams playing across the country, and they are not always playing teams in their state.  Hell, I even watched the Pop Warner National Championship games the other night!  The reason all this is happening, is quite simple, the American public cannot get enough football.  Advertisers know this, and pay large sums of money to advertise at events such as the ones mentioned above.  At the root of it all is money, the only thing football is not strong than.

Many people in the sport think that the exposure is great, I however have a differing opinion.  My first coaching experience was at the collegiate level, where I found, there's no money unless your "big time", and if your big time, then theirs a TON of pressure.  So I opted out, and looked at coaching youth sports.  The reason, the pressure is lesser, and I felt I could have a greater impact on young people than I could the collegiate.  What I've seen is the change we've all seen, football is becoming more and more about an avenue somewhere than the game it's actually intended to be.  With success stories such as the one told about Michael Ohre in the movie The Blindside and the ridiculous NFL contracts being signed these days have more and more youth dreaming about walking across that stage getting their name called and having the NFL commissioner hold up their new teams jersey.  The sad fact, is that the percentage of youth that make it to that level is ridiculously low, yet they ALL think that's what's going to happen to them.  Somewhere along the line, usually about the time a kid is a sophomore in high school, I was seeing kids leave football, or at the very least lose the drive they had as freshmen.  Why you ask?  Well, they saw the light at the end of the tunnel and most figured "Why am I doing this?", and either quit or at the very least quit working hard.  When the game is a means to an end, the player is going to do more, work harder in the weight room and will have a general "focus" about how they prepare for the game.  The player who is playing just to play, doesn't have the same commitment.  Again, this is all observations, so take them for what they are worth, but money, again is the driving factor behind these observations.

Coaches duties are greater now more than ever.  I even see high schools with a "video coordinator" position whose job it is to get cutups out to college coaches.  Look at the advent and explosion of Hudl in the past few years.  When I was a head coach, you made a couple of VHS tapes and sent them out and you were done.  Now you have coaches who coach on Friday night and by early Saturday morning the cutups are already on the net via Hudl or YouTube.  Why the change?  Money.  Players want that million dollar contract and high school coaches are the mice sitting below college football's table wanting to pick up any crumb of notoriety that falls.  Frankly, it's sickening, and the want for fame and money and notoriety has taken an ugly turn.

Look in the great state of Florida, at Seffner Armwood High School and their recent scandal involving players changing address so they could go to Armwood instead of other local schools.  The reason, a chance to be seen, or recruited, so they can have the fame, the glory and at the root of it all...the money.  What a sickening situation that may or may not involve the coach.  Is this what we've lowered ourself to?  There is another private school local to me, that I will not mention the name, but they play for championships year in and year out.  I have first hand knowledge that a local farm equipment dealership pays for "feature athletes" to go to school there.  How do they get these athletes you ask?  They recruit them from other student bodies.  Here's the kicker too, the coaches don't do it, although they encourage it.  The players do the recruiting.  With all the social media outlets out there, kids know what teams are winning and doing good, and they talk about it.  Well, all it takes is one "You should play over here", and there you go.  Trouble is, this kind of recruiting is hard to catch, and until states find a way to curtail it, this issue will continue.  Problem is, stopping this recruiting is bad for business, and since business is good, most state athletic associations aren't going to do anything but give a slap on the wrist.  Quite frankly, it's gotten to the point it's getting ugly, but yet those of us coaches who aren't cheaters stand by and simply let it happen.

So what to do about this issue of money and it's effect on the game is beyond me.  Remember this is just a piece on my opinion about the situation, not a solution.  Hell, I'd have a better chance of getting on American Idol than figuring this one out.  I don't think you can change the fact that ESPN is going to televise Pop Warner games as they think they are showing Americans the next Barry Sanders.  I think that trend is here to stay.  I also think you can't change the cheating, until the state associations want to do something about it.  However, the thing to remember, is to coach your ass off and make a difference in the kids YOU coach.  I don't think you should sit around worrying about what everyone else is doing.  Focus on what you do, and the kids you coach, and the rest is just "white noise".

This was THE guy...



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mission Statement

Those that know me, already know I blog over at Football is Life, however I wanted to create a blog that was a little more about football opinion and less on scheme and overall X's and O's.  So, I'm adding the 12th Man Blog to my blog list so I can basically show my ass without it clogging up all the football insight on Football is Life!  Just kidding, this will be a way for me to express some opinions about college and pro football as well as other sports and coaching in general.

I need one of these in my yard!

I hope you find this blog informative, but to be honest it will really be more opinionated than anything I've done before.  Basically since I can't coach for shit, I've decided I like writing and I'm moving more in that direction.  Well, as with any good company or organization I think you should have a mission statement and this one is mine. 

Take care!