Football Core Values

Football Core Values

Posts Tagged ‘Tom Smythe

Great Defense

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In all my years participating in, watching, and coaching football, I’ve been attracted to the way great offensive coordinators and offensive systems dismantle terrific, disciplined defenses. Paul Johnson outfoxing Bud Foster. Chip Kelly outmaneuvering Pete Carroll. By the way, those two defensive coordinators are my heroes in coaching.

Like most defensive coordinators, I relish the opportunity to face great competition. In my young career, I’ve seen and faced just about every offensive system imaginable from Spread Option, Split Back Veer, Wing-T, Double Wing, Air Raid, Run-n-Shoot, the list goes on. Each one of these offenses pose such unique challenges that you have to be willing to adapt and tweak your scheme to fit your personnel and game planning needs. [Ed. – notice how I say tweak your scheme – more on that in a later post]

One of my proudest coaching moments was facing Tom Smythe and his Run-n-Shoot offense and actually beating him the second time around. It wasn’t only the honor to go toe-to-toe with this legend that made the event memorable, but it was great seeing our defense execute our plan to perfection.

An eye-opening experience for me was facing the Double Wing this season. A new coach moved into the area from Las Vegas where he had tremendous success running this offense. When I found out about the hire and read up on his credentials, I immediately began researching the Double Wing. I bought books, snuck into DW clinics, read countless articles, posed as a DW coach to get information from other DW coaches…these guys act like they went to a Tony Franklin clinic with the secretive way in which they act.

I did everything I could to prepare my players for the offense they would face. Going into that prep week and watching film, I was really impressed by what I saw from my next opponent. They were not athletic, big, or strong, but they were disciplined and obviously believed in their system. I had read about Power Hour where the offense would run their “super power” play for an hour straight. And how they would put 15 guys on the scout defense to build confidence in this one play. I loved it! As a former Marine, you train for the worst possible scenarios, and this was it! They ended up running the “power” play over 30 times.

We would end up losing that game on a PASS in the waning moments, but I will never forget the number one lesson I learned from that game: you do not win with just great offense, defense, or special teams…all those aspects of the game must come together. It did not come together for us that night and it was an experience I will never forget.


Written by footballcorevalues

January 28, 2010 at 9:59 AM