Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Overcoming the Advantage of Run-Pass Option Offenses

Much has been made of the advancements of offenses in this 'modern age' of football.  There are endless articles on these new spread plays, but what of the defense? What can a defense do to not only adapt but limit the seemingly endless advantages of these offenses?  

Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 Offensive Trends

In the past few seasons, we’ve seen spread offenses evolving at a quicker pace using no-huddle quick tempo, run-pass options, and nontraditional personnel groupings (for a spread offense) to befuddle defenses and tip the scales in their favor.  Defensive coordinators have been challenged to keep up with these attacks and adapt their own philosophies to the changing times.

Even with this advantage, some offenses are doing their best to push the envelope even further to remain on the bleeding edge of efficiency.  Many teams such as the Philadelphia Eagles, Ohio State Buckeyes, Baylor Bears and the Cal Bears are leading this charge.

This season, we will explore these variations, the challenges they present, and what defenses can do to swing momentum back in their court.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pass Rushing Coaching Points

Coach Ron Roberts and staff have been busy beefing up their website offerings of late.  Be sure to check out their latest perspective of how to teach a dangerous pass rush

1. Pass Rush
2. Set Line Principle
3. Edge Rush
4. Power Rush

Also, their video selection has been improved...there is a Demarcus Ware hand fighting training video (for pass rush) that is worth checking out.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Art of Smart Football

With The Essential Smartfootball, it was satisfying to see Brown's selection compiled and presented to a larger audience. This time around, The Art of Smart Football, takes many of Brown's contributions from his blog, Yahoo Sports and Grantland and presents them as he typically does, with a welcoming dialogue of mature reflection and clear analysis.  The content of this book is a complete package of contemporary football trends to afford the fair-weather fan to seasoned coach a competent perspective to fully appreciate what you'll see on the field this season.

As we explored when assessing his last book, Brown is the pacesetter of intellectual football discourse today.  There is no reason sports analysts should continue in the morass of the old media storylines (dumbing down what is delivered to their audience), when Brown has been showing how it can be done without losing the reader's interest.  The book is not heavy on football jargon or diagrams (though there are some great illustrations), so it is an easy read that one can digest quickly or casually pick up at their leisure.  This would be a great read in the coming weeks as everything he covers here, will be the narrative every weekend from the college to pro level.

There's no reason you shouldn't have this offering in your library.  Grab it at Amazon today....the electronic version (Kindle app for mobile) is as easy as it gets.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sideline Technology: Leg Up Analytics

Even before the NFHS rules changed allow electronic communication devices on the sideline, coaches knew there were real-time tools they wish they could have to a competitive edge to help manage their gameplan.  Now that this restriction has been lifted, it begs the question, "what is really needed and which product can deliver it consistently?".

If you're doing your job correctly through the week, you know exactly how you intend the game to play out on Friday night.  Whether or not you can assess if it is going according to plan before the clock runs out is the insight all staffs strive for.  For years before electronic devices, we would rely on a slew of clipboards charting plays, tallying stats, and tracking performance.  It usually wasn't until halftime that you could get out your slide rule, run the numbers and come to any meaningful data to figure out what needed to be changed or identify what isn't going right.

Recently, I was made aware of a product that does everything I was doing in the booth and on the sideline in one little platform.....AND it packages all the calculations into a clear dashboard.  What's cool is this can take all your real-time data and import it into your HUDL account, saving your staff hours of game breakdown on the weekend.  Check this out

Below is a guest post from Anthony Blake, CEO of LegUP Analytics detailing this extremely helpful product.

To steal a line from my Pastor, I am peacock-proud to introduce and announce the next iteration of the LegUP product line, Prime. Prime is the culmination of 9 months of customer visits, strategy sessions, design reviews, bug fixes, influencer meetings and other activities by the members of the LegUP team. We’ve toiled over run-pass options, play calling methodologies, football rule books and more, all in the name of building not only a great product, but a great experience for all of LegUP’s customers and other stakeholders. 

Like many startups, we were our first customer. LegUP was formed to find a solution to a problem that we faced under the lights on Friday nights in the fall – the lack of reliable intel in the midst of a live football game. We had our pencils and stacks of paper for recording positive plays or managing substitutions. And sure, we spent hours before and after each game pouring over the numbers on our and our opponent’s prior performances. But that stuff is insufficient in the 3rd quarter when our opponent deviates from what we believe to be their tendencies. Or our go-to plays aren’t so potent. 

LegUP Prime provides coaches and players with useful insights during real, live games to help them improve the performance of their team. Those insights are based on data recorded throughout the game about the players, play calls, situations and results of each play. With Prime, decision-makers get immediate, play-by-play feedback on their calls rather than waiting until halftime to confer with the rest of the staff. 

Prime is our second product. Our first, dubbed The Basics, launched in October of last year. It played an invaluable role in our market by proving we could chart football games with an iPad rather than pencil & paper. With Prime we’re pushing the envelope further by providing teams with the first instance of real-time performance analytics. 

 We started LegUP to improve the quality, safety, and understanding of sports – starting with amateur football. Prime will become available on the Apple App Store in early August and we'll continue to share more about Prime on our website at I look forward to hearing how LegUP Prime helps teams elevate their game day performance. 

Anthony Blake 
CEO of LegUP Analytics