Option Football Motivation for 2014!

Need some option football motivation to fuel your summer workouts as we march toward August? As always, Navy Videos are amazing. Below you will find the 2014 Teaser and the final Episode of the 2013 Brotherhood campaign. I’m definitely ready for some option football…Ride and Decide!

2014 Navy Football Teaser from Navy Football Video on Vimeo.

The Brotherhood – Navy Football Episode 14 ‘The Season’ (2013) from Navy Football Video on Vimeo.

Workout Recovery: 110% Offers Compression and Ice Simultaneously

110%’s Juggler Knicker’s seek to provide athletes with simultaneous compression and ice.

Workout recovery is a big deal. A football season can take a brutal toll on the body. Especially during the two-a-days of fall camp under the strain of the hot August sun.  When I played, following a grueling practice, there was always a mad rush by the offensive and defensive lineman to the large water troughs that lined the edges of our practice fields. Filled with ice and water, these havens served to give us what we believed were the many benefits of the ice bath.

While there is some conflict in whether or not the ice bath is helpful or not, many believe that ice baths are beneficial in terms of recovery. Additionally, we are all very aware of the RICE protocol. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Have an injury, whether it be joint or soft tissue; the prescription, at least early in the recovery process, is to RICE it.

To assist athletes with workout recovery, we now have access to 110%’s product line.

110%’s compression products have integrated ice packs throughout that provide the wearer with simultaneous compression and ice to help athletes with recovery. This help doesn’t come cheap as the kneel length product goes for $150 and the full length pair are $250. Price not withstanding, reviews are pretty good with comments like, “I feel like my recovery doubles and I’m not as sore,” and  “I couldn’t imagine training without them.” While anecdotal, these reviews seem to show that many people are happy with their experiences.  The following video is from the 110% website and provides a good visual of what the product is all about.

While the science behind ice baths is at least debatable in its ability to help recovery, as a player I always felt better during the practices after utilizing the ice baths. Perhaps it is a placebo effect.

As for the compression aspects of the product, I don’t have any personal experience to draw on, and the science is once again unclear, or at least limited in its reliability.

What are your experiences with ice baths and compression clothing? Do you believe either work? Do you use ice baths in your practices or compression products for your workouts? Sound off in the comments below!

Option Football Updates from around the Web


About a year ago, I wrote an article for Fishduck.com on some of the elements of developing the zone scheme offensive lineman and it has apparently resonated with their readership. It even got a shout-out from ESPN. I’m very glad that the article is being read and helping people!

Some other cool stuff around the web…


Navy Football Video: The Brotherhood – Episode 1

The Brotherhood: Navy Football Episode 1 (2013) from Navy Football Video on Vimeo.

Paul Johnson – Triple Option Discussion


The Citadel honors 2013 Standouts

GT quarterback Vlad Lee is transferring

Jay Gruden Open to Zone Read

Crossfit Football WOD’s

2013 Navy Football Motivation

The newest Navy football motivation video was put out a few days ago, and because I am a huge fan of their work, I am posting it for all of you to see. It was a great game and we can put another win in the bank for option football. I can’t wait for more.

Good luck to all football coaches in 2013!

2013 Navy Football Motivation – The Indiana Game from Navy Football Video on Vimeo.

Google Glass and Football?

Anybody see this segment from ESPN on Google Glass potentially being used in the NFL?

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the orginal video in this post was deleted. Here are a few other Google Glass football videos…including one from Georgia Tech.

This could potentially be a great coaching tool…being able to see what the QB sees in video format and breaking it down with them in meetings. Obviously this is a long way off from being feasible for obvious reasons (mostly cost), but it would be great to get video from this perspective when the mesh is occurring. The resulting discussion in the film session with your QB could be very productive.

Giuseppe Costantino
Photo by Giuseppe Costantino

Thoughts or ideas on using Google Glass as a football coaching tool? Please comment below.

Coaching Apps: Coaching Tools for Your Tablet or Smartphone

Mobile technology is everywhere. It is being used in our daily lives, and if applied properly can help improve a coach’s effectiveness and productivity. Below is a list of 20 coaching apps that I use to make my teams better and improve as a coach. Check them out and I think you will find some of them very usefull.

In each section, the apps are listed in the following format: App Name – Platform (iOS or Android) – Price – Notes

Coaching Apps

Video Apps

  • Ubersense – iPad/Coming Soon to Android – Free – Similar to Coach’s Eye
Ubersense screenshot.
  • Hudl – Multi – Free but Need Hudl Subscription
  • Coach’s Eye – Multi – $4.99
  • Youtube – Multi – Free
  • NFL Game Rewind – Multi – Free – Needs subscription to NFL Game Rewind

Social Networking and Forum Apps

  • Twitter – Free but there are some good paid apps as well (Falcon Pro, TweetCaster, Hoot Suite)
  • ProBoards – Multi – 2.99 – I use this app to access the Huey Forums
  • FlipBoard – Multi-Free – Information aggregation is also possible with this app.
Flipboard screenshot.

Information Aggregation Apps

  • Zite – Multi – Free
  • Tune In Radio – Multi – Free and Paid Versions – Awesome app for podcasts
  • Feedly – Multi – Free
  • Pocket Multi – Free

Sports News Apps

  • CBS Sports – Multi – Free
  • College Football Scoreboard – Multi – Free
  • Bleacher Report – Multi – Free

Productivity Apps

  • Evernote – Multi – Free
  • Any.Do – Android – Free
  • Box/DropBox – Multi – Free

Playmaking/Drawing Apps

  • Tackle Football PlayMaker – iPad – Free
Tackle Football Playmaker screenshot.
Tackle Football Playmaker screenshot.
  • Show Me Interactive White Board – iPad – Free

Show Me Interactive White Board Example

Other Notable Apps

  • USA Football – Heads Up Football – Multi – Free
  • Football Game or Practice Log – Android – Free
  • NFHS Football 2012 Rule Books – iPad – 5.99
  • iTouchStats Football – iPad – Free to Try – 15.99

Featured image by Sean Macentee.

Building the Flexbone Offensive Line

GT Flexbone Offensive Line by HectorAlejandro
The Flexbone offensive line should be built from the inside out.

Flexbone offensive line play is predicated on technique, angles, and a high level of tenacity. With tenacity, in my opinion, being the most vital for success. These attributes become increasingly important when considering that many coaches choose the Flexbone (or other option offensive schemes) because they do not have a great deal of size and conventional ability in trenches. It isn’t a coincidence that the service academies run the option. Option football helps to reduce the need for a physically dominant offensive line and also offers a few other advantages for the boys in the trenches.

Flexbone Offensive Line Advantages

One advantage from an option perspective is removing the need to block one or more players at the points of attack. If done appropriately, as outlined on my option football theory page, this creates a fast break situation on the football field. With a triple option play (Inside Veer, Outside Veer, etc.) we get a 3-on-2 fast-break where the defense must defend three offensive players with only two defenders. On a double option play (Midline, Speed, etc.) it becomes a 2-on-1 situation  The offensive line no longer has to physically move the specified defenders all over the field. They are blocked by the quarterback’s read.

Leaving players unblocked effectively inserts one or more players into the blocking scheme. This gives the flexibility to get a double team on a key defender or to gain an extra block at the second or third level. Both of which are desirable outcomes when your offensive lineman are undersized. Option football also causes uncertainty in the defense on nearly every play. Uncertainty in the defense leads to slower reactions times, which again reduces the need for physically gifted players up front.

The Flexbone offensive line also takes larger than average splits to help create a horizontal stretch and widen running lanes. This further reduces the need to move defenders and allows for techniques that wall off defenders rather than pushing them large distances. Once again, this is ideal when dealing with smaller offensive lineman. Still, it is essential to develop the afore mentioned tenacity and nastiness in each of your starters. This is true for football players in general, but is essential for success in the Flexbone.

So with these factors in mind, here is how I try to build my offensive line with respect to physical ability and size.

Flexbone Offensive Line Attributes

When thinking about fitting the pieces together for a Flexbone offensive line, it is important to consider the defenses you will face on your schedule. For instance, if you are playing against a 50 front every week you might need to put a larger, stronger player at Center. Currently I see mostly 40 fronts, and therefore I implement a slightly different strategy. I want athletes with a strong work ethic and a desire to get the job done by any means possible.

I always try to build the Flexbone offensive line from the middle out. This means starting with the Center. In many coaching circles it is conventional wisdom to put your worst starter in this position. I have even heard some coaches say the only thing they need from their Center is to get the ball to the quarterback. I disagree with this and try to put my best athlete here.

My reasoning is simple. I ask this player to scoop to the Mike backer on nearly every play. The Mike backer is usually the opponents best player, or at least their best linebacker. I want to be able to get a body on him and win that battle as often as possible. This is essential for the Inside Veer, which is our most commonly called play.

Next I try to put my strongest and heaviest players at guard. They need to be able to get vertical movement at the point of attack and sometimes must block a 2 or a 3 technique on their own. Keep in mind that heaviest in this regard is relative. My guards still need to be able to run well and execute the scoop block effectively. Again, I want athletes.

Finally, I put my next two best athletes at tackle. I want these players to run well, execute the scoop, and execute the necessary blocking technique for our Rocket Toss play. Tackles in the Flexbone run the alley and need to block the force player in space. The defensive force player is usually an Outside Linebacker or Safety, so I want my tackles to have the ability to work in space. My tackles are often converted Fullbacks or TE’s.

Teaching Tenacity and Tempo

Once I get the type of athlete I want at each position, I strive to teach them to be physical and aggressive at all times. This is accomplished with high expectations on practice tempo and ball get off. I want my offensive line to be chomping at the bit for contact and movement.

Final Thoughts

Flexbone Offensive Line Stance
The Flexbone offensive lineman takes a heavy-handed stance and keeps his feet in a relatively narrow base.

Obviously, as coaches, we must work with what we have. The means the above recommendations may not be entirely feasible every year, but it is always important to base evaluations on the skills needed to execute the Flexbone. As I said, earlier, this may need to be adjusted to fit the schedule and the defensive schemes that will be faced on a weekly basis. Sometimes it is essential to adjust blocking schemes in order to put your players in position to be successful. This, in a sense, is the core of what we do as coaches. We are always looking for ways to help our players find a way. Some of the other things I work to develop are:

  1. Hustling to the LOS – I want my players to sprint to the LOS on every play. They are setting the tone for the offense. Once the huddle is broken, they must sprint to the line and get set. This puts them in the right mind-set and, in my opinion, has a psychological effect on the defense.
  2. Aggressive Stance – We use an aggressive stance in the Flexbone. It closely resembles a defensive line stance and helps to build speed into the get off. I want my offensive linemen to have a small stagger, toe to instep, and about 60% of their weight on their down hand. The feet are no wider than their arm pits. I also teach high hips and allow a four-point stance if this is more comfortable for them.
  3. Get Off Speed – I want my players to have two steps in the ground before the Defensive Line even moves. I teach my linemen to move on the sound of the first letter of our cadence. We snap the ball on the word “GO” and I emphasize movement on the sound of the “G”. Along with this, we practice our footwork on a daily basis. We drill the first two steps of each of our blocking techniques constantly and I demand perfection. We also spend alot of time in the off-season on speed and agility work out of a bunched sprinters starting stance.
  4. Aggressiveness – I spend a lot of time in practice demanding aggressiveness and tenacity in EVERY drill. Players execute at full speed. If the rep is bad, they do it again. Every time.
  5. Finishing – I teach my players to execute through the echo of the whistle. Along with this, I utilize a variety of drills that emphasize finishing blocks and following through. We teach our players to “Finish through the throat.” The key is to teach your players that quitting is NEVER an option and that the play isn’t over until the echo of the whistle stops.

How do you build your offensive line? What criteria do you use when trying to put the pieces together to put your best offensive line on the field? Let me know your thoughts and techniques in the comments below.



2013 Navy Football Trailer

The 2013 season is fast approaching and that means previews of the upcoming Navy football season. It’s no secret that I love these productions from the Midshipmen football program. Enjoy the newest video. Also look for upcoming posts on my top mobile apps for coaches and Flexbone offensive line play.

Know the option. Run the option. Love the option!

2013 Navy Football Trailer from Navy Football Video on Vimeo.