Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring 7 on 7

I apologize for not posting something of serious substance, but I'd just like to add our spring 7 on 7 events to this blog. My good pal Jesse Lira (Head Coach at Lindsay HS) and I put together a 7 on 7 team to help get some good kids recruited by competing in these spring tourneys. This is a great group of well behaved, hard working kids that excelled on the Varsity level last year. We last competed in the New Level Elite tourney in Vegas a couple of weeks ago and had a strong showing. Here is our team, along with a couple of videos. Enjoy.

"Central Valley's Finest"

Class of 2013
LB Zach Carter - Bullard High School
LB Fernando Castrejon - Farmersville High School 
DB  Angel Wirth  - Golden West High School (Visalia)
 Martin Gonzalez - Orosi High School
WR/DB Greg Wilson  - Washington Union High School 
Cody Hall  - Farmersville High School 
DB/WR Eddie Cisneros  - Farmersville High School 

Class of 2014WR/DB DeMelvin Stell - Washington Union High School  
SS/RB Jacob Hernandez  - Lindsay High School

Class of 2015
QB Sam Metcalf  - Farmersville High School 
Ath Anthony Shepard  - Washington Union High School 
MLB Darius Liles  - Woodlake High School 

Here are a few links to a couple of players. 

Zach Carter LB

Cody Hall WR/FS

Fernando Castrejon LB/RB

Sam Metcalf QB 

Anthony Shepard Ath

Greg Wilson WR/DB

DeMelvin Stell WR/DB 

Jacob Hernandez RB/SS

Eddie Cisneros WR/DB/RB

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shallow Cross- Best concept ever

Its been way too long since my last post. I apologize to anyone who cares. Luckily our season didnt end until December 17th, and I since went into a long state of slothful slumber. But I have awoken.

In this post we'll be diving into the pass game for the first time.
It's the Shallow Cross concept. Fun fact- its about 50-60% of my passing game in NCAA football 2012 for xbox. The more you know. Its impossible to call something "The best passing concept ever" but Shallow Cross comes close. Love it. Its a concept that works against all coverages and is one of the best dropback and PA concepts. It can be tailored and find its place in almost any scheme. Ambiguity is a beautiful thing.
So lets talk about it.

The Shallow Cross Concept
In short, Shallow Cross involves a deep Post, 10-12 yd Dig (Air Raid teams usually have the Dig settle vs zone), and a 3-4 yd Drag. The Dig and Drag must come from opposite sides. Those are the 3 routes you need but a wheel or vertical provides a great 4th route.

With only these 3 routes it is very easy from pro set formations, and again as a PAP.

This is what it would look like for an I team off of an ISO action-

Here is what it would look like from a more spread formation, with a wheel as the 4th route

The Reads

If youre doing a simple progression, it would be like this-
1. Wheel/Vertical (obviously this step is skipped in a 3 man concept)
2. Post
3. Dig
4. Drag

But if youre looking to read defenders, it'll look more like this-
Vs. 1 high-
  1. Free Safety. If the safety even thinks about the dig, throw the Post over his head for a touchdown. If he plays the post (as he should) go to read #2.
  2. 1st PS linebacker. If he drops to the Dig, throw the drag. If he comes up for the drag, play action, or blitzes, throw the dig. The dig is what ends up open most of the time.

    By adding the wheel, you throw the corner into the mix and he becomes the first read. If he does not cover the wheel, check the safety. The safety cant cover both the wheel and the post. Throw to where he is not covering.

    Reads vs. 2 high-
    1. Post Side Safety.
    2. Middle linebacker (or first PS in a 3-4). 
    note- If a team rolls into 3 a lot from a 2 high look, it will really turn into a read of both safeties to identify the coverage. 

    With a 2 high look, the wheel becomes a progression read since both the corner and the safety could be responsible for his route. If someone drops to the wheel, Qb moves on to his primary read (BS safety).

    Against man- whether from 1 high look or 2 high look, the reads should help the qb ID man and the safeties will tell him where NOT to throw. As long as the qb puts the ball in a spot where he leads our route runners, it is up to our receivers to run a good route and to get the ball.

    In a run first offense, the concept is easy as shown and does not need to be expanded on much. But there are several variations of Shallow Cross if you look to make it a mainstay in your offense. All the reads remain the same. The only thing that changes is who runs whaich routes, which can mess up a defense who is trying to cheat on route or concept identification. That is what makes Air Raid offenses so good- the run 4 Verts, Shallow Cross, Mesh, and a couple variations off of each with clockwork precision. Easy for a qb since the reads remain the same, but difficult for a defense because they see different routes.

    One effective variations is running the Post and the Dig from the same side. By doing this you put the drag and the vertical on the same side. The Vertical goes first, as shown.

    You can even switch the Dig and Post, having the slot run a skinny post while the Dig comes underneath him.

    From trips-
    Since the Dig and the drag have to be on opposite sides, the single side receiver has to run a dig or a drag. Both are shown below.

    And just as was done before, you can have a slot run the post as shown below/

    Another variation is putting the Drag and Dig on the same side, with the Dig coming from a receiver inside the Drag. To make things simpler, I call it a different concept- "Drive". But the read remains the same, and it can also be done without the wheel.

    Here is how it looks-
    And one way to run it from trips-

    Thats about all I got. Glad I could actually get something done. Hope you enjoyed it. feel free to ask any questions. I plan on having my next post relatively soon. It'll be on either 4 verts or the flash/flow jet and option series. You'll just have to check back again later and find out. Thanks for your time.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Pay for Play

    Its been too long. I apologize. And a real X's and O's post is on its way. I promise. Spoiler alert- its on the passing game (GASP!). Believe it.

    Anyways, a lot has been goin on lately in the college football world regarding payments and benefits of athletes. Some are suggesting to just pay the players. I say no.

    I am against the straight-up payment of the players. A college education is plenty of payment. You will find plenty of people (many involved in education) that completely oppose giving scholarships to student athletes. I disagree with them, as I believe athletic scholarships reward hard working people and benefit a University.  I think the biggest reason people believe these athletes should get paid is because we have this idea that college is a human right and that we need to send as many people to college as possible. Thats an economics rant for another time but as a society we need to debunk this notion that college is for everyone. We accept way too many people into colleges and pay way too much for them. If Joe Schmo can get his education paid for just because he has average grades, what about the person who has the same grades but also dedicates themselves to athletics? Common sense would suggest that the person in athletics be rewarded with more than the other. Im suggesting that we need to reward average people less. If there weren't so many grants for minimal accomplishments (if they can even be called that), a college education would be accepted as sufficient payment for athletic participation. It should be. A college education should be a valuable tool and an investment. Having one paid for should be a big deal.

    Those that do endorse the payment of players- how much will they get paid? what will it be based on? position? skill? touchdowns? wins? Are all schools going to have different amounts or will there be a cap? will there be revenue sharing or will the big universities have an even bigger edge over recruiting because they can pay players more? do field hockey, golf, or tennis players get paid?
    I love college football. And i have been a Texas football fan for a long time. Allowing the universities to pay the players would make Texas an absolute powerhouse (no other program currently generates as much $). Yet I am still strongly opposed to this concept as it would ruin competitive college football as we know it. It would be just like the days before scholarship limits where the Texas', Alabamas, Michigans, and Florida states of the world would merely outbid the Boise States, Northern Illinois', and Hawaiis of the world. It would resemble the MLB and the NBA but much, much worse. The recruiting world is a damn circus now! it would be an absolute nightmare if monetary bidding was involved (more than it apparently already is...)

    I see it only leading to much worse problems than we already have now.
    Disclaimer- this is the least amount of time i have put into a post. Sorry if it sucks. I hope I at least gave some food for thought. Even if it was value menu. I am going to publish this post now but I will probably fiddle with it and add new things to it as I go since I will most likely never be content with what I have written here.

    So feel free to leave your 2 cents in the comment section, the collection basket at church, or in a street performer's hat. But not in the hands of a student-athlete.

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Draft preview- D

    Part 2 of the draft special extravaganza.

    Interior DL (all 3-4 DL, 4-3 DTs)
    1. Marcell Darius, Alabama
    2. Nick Fairley, Auburn
    3. J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
    4. Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple
    5. Cameron Jordan, Cal
    6. Christian Ballard, Iowa 
    7. Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
    8. Drake Nevis, LSU
    9. Stephen Paea, Oregon State
    10. Phil Taylor, Baylor
    11. Corey Liuget, Illinois
    sleeper- Colby Whitlock, Texas Tech.

    I'm doing this analysis in new time-saver format. Dareus is an absolute beast and is a very safe pick. He will produce and be great. Fairley was great last year but wasn't very big before that. His dirty play is notorious, and it will be interesting to see how that carries over to the NFL. I'm really high on Watt. He's a tough, sound player. His ambiguity is also a plus, as he may be able to play End in a 3-4 or a 4-3. Wilkerson is a tank and was absolutely dominant at Temple. . Cameron Jordan is also a bit of a tweener but he's polished and sound and should be able to make an impact. Ballard is a very powerful player that can also play in a 4-3 or a 3-4. Cameron Heyward got lots of press at Ohio State and is a solid and well rounded player. I rank Nevis a lot higher than others. He's undersized, but he makes plays. He is an absolute rhino in the trenches. I'm also high on Paea. His size is a bit of a knock, but he plays tough and he plays low. Phil Taylor is fat large and is tough to move. Liuget is a pretty good athlete but ho-hum play makes him a not too intriguing pick. Whitlock is the sleeper. He's not physically dominating but caused major problems for the Big 12 offenses while playing at Tech. This a pretty good position group in this class though.

    Edge Players (4-3 DEs, 3-4 OLBs)
    1. Von Miller, Texas A&M
    2. Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
    3. Aldon Smith, Missouri
    4. Sam Acho, Texas
    5. Justin Houston, Georgia
    6. Brooks Reed, Arizona
    7. Chris Carter, Fresno State 
    8. Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
    Sleepers- Ugo Chinasa, Oklahoma State.

    Miller is a player. Good athlete, but he's an absolutely incredible player. Great motor and great reaction. Anyone who questions his ability to play OLB in a 3-4 doesn't know their stuff about football, as that is what Miller played last year in Tim DeRuyter's system. Bowers is a solid pick with lots pf playmaking ability and potential, but needs to become more consistent. Aldon Smith was another great Big 12 pass rusher. Questions arise regarding his play against the run, but his pass rush skills give him great value and show his potential.I have Sam Acho rated this high for what he does off the field. Aside from being a talented player technically  with a very high motor, Acho is a very smart guy who has excelled in academics his whole life, and is active in the community and will be a guy like a Steve Nash or Kurt Warner. His work ethic brings tremendous value to a locker room. Justin Houston is a wrecker. Real disruptive player. Brooks Reed is a poor man's Clay Matthews. Chris Carter is undersized and his stock isnt that high because of that. He's an absolutely incredible player though. You know those Wisconsin linemen that become NFL linemen? Carter made them look silly. He has a ridiculous first step and is an insane pass rusher. Clayborn is big, but doesnt play as big as he is. He also has a chronic shoulder issue. Im not too big of a fan. Ugo Chinasa is the sleeper, as his inconsistent play scares people. But he shows flashes of greatness and is a good athlete, so if he puts the pieces together he good be real good.

    Interior LBs (4-3 LBs and 3-4 ILBs)
    1. Akeem Ayers, UCLA
    2. Martez Wilson, Illinois
    3. Kelvin Sheppard, LSU
    4. Dontay Moch, Nevada
    5. K.J. wright, Mississippi State
    6. Greg Jones, Michigan State
    7. Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
    8. Bruce Carter, North Carolina
    Sleepers- Mark Herzlich, Boston College and Obi Ezeh, Michigan

    Ayers is a solid athlete and a very complete linebacker. Martez Wilson is a real talented downhill linebacker. Sheppard is athletic and a real good player and I think that he will be a steal for whoever takes him. Moch is a tad undersized but is a real good athlete who plays pretty sound football. Just needs to get used to the physicality of the NFL. K.J. Wright was a solid linebacker, but wasnt spectacular. After Moch, the talent drops off pretty steeply and im not a fan of any of the guys after K.J. Wright. Greg Jones made plays at Michigan State and fills in the run game, but many say hes weak and hes not as good of a tackler as you want your LBs to be. Sturdivant was an above average player, but is a sub-par athlete. Bruce Carter was all athleticism when he played and needs to polish his skills. He also had knee surgery this year, which may neutralize his greatest attribute. Im sure you've heard the story of Herzlich's remarkable comeback from cancer. That toughness and strong will is intriguing and could lead to a productive NFL career. Herzlich will definitely be a player to watch and to cheer for. Obi Ezeh is the opposite of Herzlich. Ezeh was a real good player but has lately been described as lazy and lacking desire for the game of football. He has the potential to be a good player though if he decides that he wants to. Also look for Ben Jacobs from Fresno State. He was a great linebacker but is a subpar athlete. It'd be great to see him succeed though.

    1. Jeron Johnson, Boise State
    2. Rahim Moore, UCLA
    3. Chris Culliver, South Carolina
    4. Marcus Gilchrist, Clemson
    5. Eric Hagg, Nebraska
    sleeper- Chris Prosinski, Wyoming and Winston Venable, Boise State

    This is a real weak safety class. I like the Johnson the most. Hes a gamer who played in Boise's advanced quarters scheme. Smart player who reacts well. He's the man. Rahim Moore is not the best athlete but he's a player and he's a physical guy. Could be a real good SS. Culliver is athletic and fast, and he played corner last year. Gilchrist is similar to Culliver in that hes athletic and played corner last year, and he needs to work on strength and physicality.He's a more natural safety though. Hagg is a physical, slower safety and could be alright at a Strong position. Chris Prosinksi isnt real athletic, but he is a hunter for the ballcarrier and is great in the run game. He's a blue collar guy who could become a valuable member of a franchise's special teams. Venable is listed by some as an OLB, but he played in Boise's nickel position last year and could adjust to being a real valuable SS. Hes a great player with good reactions and flies around the field.

    1. Patrick Peterson, LSU
    2. Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
    3. Jimmy Smith, Colorado
    4. Aaron Williams, Texas
    5. Brandon Harris, Miami
    6. Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
    7. Curtis Brown, Texas
    8. Johnny Patrick, Louisville
    9. Shareece Wright, USC
    10. Brandon Burton, Utah
    Sleeper- Marcell Gipson, Wyoming.

    Draft starts in 5 minutes. gonna make this short and sweet. This cornerback class is ridiculously good. Patrick Peterson is the best player in this draft. He has an incredible combination of gameplay, technique, and athletic ability that i cant remember ever seeing. He is the best corner prospect ever. Prospect. Hopefully he lives up to the expectations. Aaron Williams is the man. If your team drafts one of these corners, you should be very happy.

    Forget punters.

    Enjoy the draft fellas!

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    NFL draft preview

    For the first time in a long, long time i havent been excited about this years draft. It may be because it doesnt look like there will be a season, or it may be because the draft class doesnt look that good. Either way, its still the draft. So i'm gonna give my 2 cents.
    So heres my rankings of players by position. Now, understand that I am a bigger college fan than pro fan, and my rankings will reflect that. I am assessing players mostly on what ive seen from their play in college. Im not an expert on what NFL teams look for, so take it for what its worth- absolutely nothing. enjoy.

    1. Cam Newton, Auburn. He's a freak. Big, strong, and he has a great arm with a fast release that is required in the NFL. I was disappointed though in his performance in the Natl Championship game. Probably unfair to Cam, but I was comparing him to VY and I was expecting a VY-esque performance. You know, big players in big games. But apparently that doesnt matter too much (VY in championship game vs. Bradford in championship game...). Despite his troubles when he was younger, i like his demeanor and attitude. It appears as though he strives to get better all the time and he enjoys playing football. I dont care if he is a project. His potential is impossible to ignore. And besides, you know the money and fame wont bother him. He's been a pro athlete for at least a year now...
    2. Jake Locker, Washington. I was talking with someone who said that he was essentially being punished for being the best player on his team. And I believe thats true. His year this year wasnt spectacular, but his physical ability is. Great size and athleticism and a real good arm. He's not quite as gifted as Newton, but he is still good and makes plays that he shouldn't be able to complete. He looks better in the pocket than Cam, and thats a big deal. Also could be considered a project but I like Locker a lot. Too much potential to be ignored.
    3. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas. Mallett's a scary pick. He's huge and has a great strong arm and good mechanics, but makes a huge amount of questionable decisions. These kinds of player have a tendency of becoming busts (see Ryan Leaf, Jeff George, JaMarcus Russell). Watching Mallett you see 2 players- one that is absolutely incredible and on that is subpar. He needs to work on consistency and cut down on errors. He is a risky pick but could yield a major reward.
    4. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri. I'm not as sold on Gabbert as others are. He has size and an arm. But he never impressed me at Mizzou. He was great for the system but still made many bad decisions (watch the bowl game this year). He has a lot to learn about the pro game to reach his potential. 
    5. Andy Dalton, TCU. He's probably the best ginger football player. Ever. Somewhat undersized, but he is a calm, smart player with a quick release. I can't stress enough the importance of a quick release in the NFL. He's great in the quick passing game and would be an amazing fit in a west coast system. He's a winner. That will carry over.
    6.  Colin Kaepernick, Nevada. Solid athlete and a proven winner. Great arm and mechanics. An esteemed colleague of mine who is very educated in passing mechanics said Kaepernick was his 2nd favorite qb in the draft potential wise (behind Locker). Thats a big deal. It may take some time, and he shouldnt be thrown into the fire immediately. But Kaepernick could develop into a very good NFL qb.
    •  Sleepers- Pat Devlin-Delaware, and Greg McElroy- Alabama. An NFL talent evaluator I talked to had real high praises regarding Devlin, and watching film of him showed great arm strength, mechanics, and footworks. He also has the measurables you want for an NFL qb. Greg McElroy is incredibly smart and is a great game manager. He played (and won a ton) in a pro-style offense. He lacks the complete physical tools that are admired in drafting a qb, but worst-case scenario results in McElroy being a solid career backup.

    1. Mark Ingram, Alabama. There are reasons that he might not succeed (some dont like his heavy workload in college, some say he lacks breakaway speed, many say he doesn't have great agility), but I dont see anyone in this class that looks like a better pick. He is a proven player and a powerful runner with great vision. Still a solid pick.
    2. Daniel Thomas, Kansas State. Most dont have Thomas as the #2, but this running back class isnt that great. And Im really high on Thomas. I am really high on Runningbacks that play for otherwise subpar team much better than they should be (see Arian Foster at Tennessee or Rashard Mendenhall at Illinois). Thomas is a gamer and a game-changer. They say he lacks great speed, but he plays fast. He makes things happen and if your team drafts him you should be stoked (unless they use a 1st round pick on him).
    3. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State. I thought he was the greatest running back ever after he shredded Texas his sophomore year. But after watching more games of his I became grounded. But he is a very shifty runner and can be a good lil scat back. He has great quickness and agility and outstanding vision. He is great and finding the smallest holes and getting good yardage. Hunter lacks that power and strength to make him a great everyday inside the tackles kind of runner but could still be a good back for a team.  
    4. Mikel Leshoure, Illinois. Tough, tough runner. Similar to Daniel Thomas in that he made a subpar team a lot better. Similar to Ingram in running style. Not the shiftiest runner but good in between the tackles and a safe, solid pick. 
    5. Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech. Great, great runner. Natural runner and great in traffic. He lacks great play in the open field and is made of glass. Serious health issues need to be looked at, as he missed several games during his career. If you dont think thats an issue, see Ryan Mathews.  
    6. Shane Vereen, Cal. Outstanding vision and a patient runner. Had a good 40 time but doesnt play as fast as he speed would suggest.
    • not sold on- Jordan Todman- hes soft. I dont think i have seen him break a tackle. Maybe because I've only watched maybe 5 mins of a UConn game. But you have got to be tough and be able to run through tackles and  make extra yars. DeMarco Murray- For lack of better word, Demarco Murray is a pus. He doesnt run people over and if he gets hit hard early he runs tentatively for the rest of the game. His pad level is terrible and he runs very high. Sort of like a poor man's Darren McFadden. But I'm not sold on Todman or Murray.
    • sleepers- DaRel Scott, Maryland. He's ridiculously fast. Like, Raider fast. Not completely functional speed though as he lacks good ability to change direction. Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech. real tough runner and good inside the tackles. Interesting to see how he adjusts to a pro-style offense, and he may slide a bit because he played in the flexbone. Bilal Powell, Louisville. Powell was a big key in Louisville's turnaround season. Hard runner who just gets yards. Baron Batch, Texas Tech. I am always impressed by Batch. He runs well despite playing in Leach's Air Raid for most of his career. He may not have gotten the press he otherwise mightve had he played in another system, and could be a big sleeper because of it. Matt Asiata, Utah. Big, strong, and scary. This guy is a mean S.O.B. powerful runner inside and a PHENOMENAL pass blocker. I watched a good amount of Utah film and his pass blocking is ridiculous. Could be a great 3rd back for a team.

    1. Owen Marecic, Stanford. This guy is a freak. Besides being the best fullback in college football last year, he also started at linebacker. Owen is a great guy with a tireless work ethic. Very bright guy too and will be succesful even if this whole football thing doesnt work out. But it will work out because he's a real good lead blocker. Playing in Harbaugh's pro style system helps him a ton too. The knock on him is his limited speed and minimal ballcarrying/receiving skills. But his lead blocking and toughness make him impossible to ignore and he will make a team and a runningback very happy.
    2. Stanley Havili, USC. Havili is undersized and may not be your typical NFL style fullback. But he is a very good receiving threat and puts the defense in a tremendous bind with his athletic abilities. He could have a very bright career as an H-back.
    3. Anthony Sherman, UConn. Sherman is receiving very high marks. But people are saying his lead blocking inside the tackles needs to improve. If it does improve, he could be a real good prototypical fullback. If it doesnt, Sherman could still find a good role as an H-back.
    4. Charles Clay, Tulsa. Tulsa doesnt really have a fullback in their system, but thats what Clay is being projected as. He's got the size and athleticism to be real good, but obviously his lack of blocking in a pro-style offense is a concern. He is extremely athletic and saw action at just about skill position last year for Tulsa. I think we'll see good things out of Clay.
    5. Kevin Cooper, Tennessee. Cooper is a real good blocker inside the tackles but is limited in his receiving ability. His size and speed are also a detriment, but Cooper could still find himself a good role on a team.

    Wide Receivers
    1. AJ Green, Georgia. Green is an insane receiver. His ball skills and route running are top notch, and he is an outstanding athlete. He deserves all the hype he's getting. He's the best receiver in his draft and i hope he falls to the Browns so they can get McCoy a target.
    2. Julio Jones, Alabama. Debate regarding Jones vs. Green and who is better has existed since HS. Both are solid and Jones will make a team happy on draft day. And Sundays.
    3. Greg Salas, Hawaii. I'm really high on Salas. He's a damn good receiver. he catches everything thats even remotely near him. And hes ALWAYS open. Outstanding route runner. A NFL talent guy I talked to described him as Wes Welker with 20 pounds. Salas will be a pick and will be a bargain pick, as he's a projected 2nd rounder. That will be a good deal.
    4. Randall Cobbs, Kentucky. This is where things mix up in the wr class. Its a deep wr class and wr is probably the best position in this draft. He's a small, fast, catch everything type. And with the growing influence of slot receivers in the NFL, Cobbs could find himself as a major contributor for a team.
    5. Jon Baldwin, Pitt. Some like Hankerson more, but Baldwin has the perfect size and speed for a receiver and has the tools to be a real good receiver. All the tools, all the potential. Just gotta make it happen.
    6. Leonard Hankerson, Miami. I'm pretty indifferent on Hankerson. Havent seen anything spectacular and he hasnt wowed me. Solid size and speed though. And everyone else is saying this is about where he is. So i guess i'll agree.
    7.  Jerrel Jernigan, Troy State. Those Jernigans. Real good football players. And thats what Jernigan is. A player. He plays bigger and faster than he is and changes games. All out gamer. Could be a solid slot at the next level.
    8. Armon Binns, Cincinatti. In a draft full of slot types, Binns is a game changer with the size of a #1 receiver. He has skills and is a talented receiver. Knocked down a little bit by not being blazing fast, but Binns is a solid receiver and has real good hands and a good amount of potential.
    9. Titus Young, Boise State. Hes also another one of these slot types. Small, quick, and fast. If youre team doesn't have a good slot receiver, this is the draft to pick one up.
    10. DeMarco Sampson, San Diego State. Some people have Vincent Brown higher, but i like Sampson beacuse he has the ideal size and speed for the NFL, and Brown doesnt. Brown was close to making the top 10 but just missed the cut, as did Young's teammate Austin Pettis.
    11. Aldrick Robinson, SMU. This wide receiver class goes to 11. I forget what hip word my cousin used to describe the SMU receivers, but it meant good. And Aldrick Robinson is abolutely sick. Ran a 4.3 and he runs real good routes. That means he'll be open. 
    Sleepers- DeAndre Brown, Southern Miss and Shaky Smithson, Utah. Brown was a pretty highly touted recruit in the same class as AJ Green and Julio Jones. Hes freakishly big and has crazy hands. Injuries limited his productivity in college, but Brown is definitely worth a shot. Aside from having one of the sickest names ever, Shaky Smithson also has incredible punt return skills. He'll get a shot with someone just for his returns, but could contribute as a receiver becasue of his quickness and good hands.

    Tight Ends
    1. DJ Williams, Arkansas. DJ is a freakish athlete and pass catcher. Just needs to work on his blocking to be an elite NFL tight end, but he's definitely a threat when he's on the field.
    2. Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame. Rudolph is a very well rounded tight end. Solid at many things, not really great at any. 
    3. Jordan Cameron, USC. He's a wide receiver that gained weight. Thats what you'll get, and maybe more. 
    4. Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin. Pretty weak TE class. He's the only other one i really like.
    Sleeper- Jonathan Massey, Southern Miss. I was always impressed with Massey, but they say he won't be an offensive threat at the next level. He's a big dude and a solid blocker though, and I'd say he's worth a shot.

    1. Tyron Smith, USC. He's considered the #1 tackle because of his athleticism. Hard to ignore. He's got the tools. I think Sandra Bullock would agree with me. <3.
    2.  Nate Solder, Colorado. He's a former tight end, and the athleticism shows. Played against good edge rushers in the big 12. The term "upside" is used to describe guys like Solder. I put him higher than Castonzo because I think Solder has a higher ceiling.
    3. Anthony Castonzo, Boston College. 4 year starter with the measurables.
    4. Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin. 4 year starter at Wisconsin. Nice.
    5. Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State. Real good pass blocker but not the best run blocker. Pass blocking is the hard part though. 
    6. James Carpenter, Alabama. Real solid Left Tackle. has knocks on his athleticism, but he could be a fine NFL tackle.
    Sleepers- Joseph Barksdale, LSU and Clint Boling, Georgia. Both have started for forever. And they played in the SEC, seeing good defenses week in and week out.

    1. Marcus Cannon, TCU. he's freaking huge. Cut weight since this last season though. He's really quick though and as long as he is conditioned to play every snap as a guard, he could be really good for someone.
    2. Danny Watkins, Baylor. The 27 year old canuck is real fundamentally sound despite not playing football too long. Watkins will definitely be an intriguing story to follow.
    3. Orlando Frankiln, Miami. The scouts say Franklin shows signs of greatness, but those signs arent nearly as consistent as they should be.
    sleepers- Andrew Jackson and Devan Cunningham, Fresno State. Both were all conference players in Pat Hill's pro style offense. They have a lot of experience running zone and power. Jackson is a real good blocker fundamentally but he isnt the biggest and wont be the most powerful guy on the line. Cunningham is strong and also pretty fundamentally sound, but im sure the NFL coaches would love to see him get quicker.

    1. Michael Pouncey, Florida. He struggled with snaps, but last year was his first playing center. His brother is doin alright, and he's a good blocker. Someone will find a place for him.
    2. This class is weak. And its no fun talking about centers. Heres the sleeper- Zane Taylor, Utah. Great blocker, but may not produce in the NFL because he's not a great athlete. I was impressed with him every time I watch Utah though.

      Its hard to project how kickers will do in the NFL. The narrower posts magnify the importance of accuracy, meaning that stats from a kicker's college career does not translate into the NFL. Art Carmody (Loyola High School, Shreveport, Louisiana. Holla!) won the Groza award at Louisville several years back. He now plays for the Shreveport Battlewings. Home town hero. But here ya go.
      1. Alex Henery, Nebraska. He's got the biggest leg.
      2. Josh Jasper, LSU. Solid strength, very accurate.
      3. Kai Forbath, UCLA. Supposed to be really accurate. And he was his Junior year. But that Senior year worries people.

      Hope that was mildly entertaining. Sorry its so soon. Hopefully I'll finish the Defense before draft time tomorrow. No guarantee.

      And now, a word from our corporate sponsors-

          Tuesday, April 5, 2011

          The Zone Read- creating multiple plays by using tags

          Its been a busy month. And i know youve all (all 3 of you) have been anxiously awaiting my next post so here it is. 
          The Zone Read. Creating multiple plays by using tags.

          As I mentioned earlier, in this system there are 5 schemes (I added one this month) for the OL to learn. IZ,OZ, Power, Counter, and TED. Simple. The complexity comes from the Power series that I explained earlier (here), the Flash/Flow Jet series (to be explained in a later post) and the Zone read series.

          I love Outside Zone. 
          And I love giving the quarterback an option to keep the ball on the BS.
          Having the ability to create plays on the backside of OZ as well as IZ creates an incredible bind on the defense. The horizontal stretch of the zone read demands that a defense plays fast and smart. They must be able to move laterally. It also requires all players to play their assignment soundly on every play. I will show you multiple backside tags for IZ/OZ, and show you how it puts pressure on the D and what player it puts pressure on in particular. All of these reads can be on the BS of IZ or OZ, so I will just show the rules of the BS linemen.

          • "Solo" 
          Solo means the BS option is the QB keeping it by himself. This is your old fashioned read of the EMLOS. Easiest read to install and most simple.
          Read ("Dead" player)- EMLOS. 
          BSG- 1st Live player
          BST- 2nd Live player

          This video has a ton of em.

          "Gun Rt Slot 20 Solo" vs. Even look

          "Gun Rt Slot Flex 20 Solo" vs. Odd look


          This option puts pressure on the edge player, as he must either play the Runningback on the zone or the QB keep. It also puts pressure on the first backer inside the read. If he gets caught up with the play fake to the back and the QB keeps it, it can be an easy 6.

          • "Option"
          The Option tag is also simple, as it is just the solo tag with a pitch man. This pitch man could be from the slot or the backfield.
          1st read is the EMLOS, 2nd read is 1st defender past the EMLOS.
          All the OL blocking for Option is the same as Solo.

          West Virginia did this a ton with Rich Rodriguez, Pat White, Steve Slaton, and Owen Schmitt.
          That was a fun team to watch.

          "Gun Rt Slot 20 Option" vs Even look with option back in slot

          "Gun Rt 20 Option" vs Odd look with option back in backfield.

          Including a pitch back puts a bind on the force player. If he plays qb, lots of yards gain be gained on the pitch. And no kid likes to take the pitch man and watch the ballcarrier run downfield untouched.
          • "Bubble"/"Smoke"
          Bubble and Smoke are quick screens to receivers. Bubble goes to a slot and Smoke goes to an end. By tagging this onto the BS of a zone, it creates an extended pitch.

          Read is exactly the same as Option, but it becomes a throw instead of a pitch. 
          Blocking also remains the same. This is a great thing about these first 3 reads- only 1 blocking scheme is used. Easy on the big guys.

           "Gun Rt 20 Smoke" vs. Even look

          "Gun Rt 20 Bubble" vs. Odd look

           The Bubble/Smoke read puts an even bigger bind on the force defender. Not only must he play it as he would play the pitch on option, but it is more spread out and it makes him play in a much wider space, which can make a defender very uncomfortable.

          • "Mid"
          The Mid read isolates a defensive tackle as the read, creating a Midline look on the BS. This is the first tag that changes the blocking for the OL
          Read- 1st player past a 2i tech.
          BSG- 1st live player
          BST- 2nd live player


          "Gun Rt Slot 20 Mid" vs Even look

          "Gun Rt Slot Flex 20 Mid" vs Odd look

          Mid puts a lot of pressure on the defensive tackle. Generally speaking, he is not as used to being a read key as an end. It also is hard for a defense to gap exchange when a defensive tackle is being read. 

          • "Triple"

          The Triple tag creates a triple option look on the BS. 
          The 1st read is the same as on mid, and the 2nd read is the first defender past the mid read.
          Pitch back is same as option. 

          "Gun Rt 20 Triple" vs Even look

          "Gun Rt Flex 20 Triple" vs Odd look

          The triple read creates a quick hitting play that reads a defensive tackle and an end. The only thing I dont like about it and something to be weary of is that the force player isnt being read, which could cause a problem in the pitch phase. It could also be a way to demand that the force player be able to tackle your pitch back in space.

          • "Loco"

          The Loco option reads a linebacker and how he flows to the zone. It is better with OZ, as it creates a big horizontal stretch on the PS that makes the backer declare his actions.
          The read is the first BS linebacker. As with the other reads, the BSG has the 1st live player and the BST has the 2nd live player.

          "Gun Rt Slot 28 Loco" vs Even look

          "Gun Rt Slot Flex 28 Loco" vs Odd look

          This read puts just about everyone in a bind. The D tackle and the end get base blocked (another blocking style of them to read and prepare for). The linebacker is in a difficult situation as he must either flow with the back or stay at home to defend the QB. 
          This play exemplifies the beauty of the option- damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          • "Switch"

          The Switch read and blocking is the same as Solo, but the routes of the QB and the A-back switch. The QB runs the Zone, and the A-back runs the keep track.

          Auburn did this a good amount this year. They did the Dash concept more (check out my power blog for that concept), but the zone switch was used a good amount. Hard to find the video of one isolated play, or a high quality video, but it can be seen at the 0:43 mark of this video.

          "Gun Rt  20 Switch" vs Even look

          "Gun Rt Slot Flex 20 Switch" vs Odd look

          The switch and the dash concept really screw things up for a defense. It plays with the end's head as he must understand whether he is playing quarterback, runningback, contain, or pursuit. If linebackers flow heavily to the back movement instead of the offensive line movement it will set up the zone blocks really easily and give the qb great space in running the zone. 

          Thats the zone read series. Hope it was worth the wait. Obviously, theres lots of things you can do with it and lots of ways to attack and react to the defense.
          One way a defense will combat the zone read or any other kind of option is to slow read it. Another way is to attack the mesh. These should not be problems, but if they are run counter and put your guard in the end's earhole until he decides that hes gonna close and look down the line next time his tackle down blocks.

          again, feel free to ask any questions or to rip me to shreds. your call.

          hopefully the next post wont be in May. The next post will be an analysis of the Texas Spring game, followed by the flash/flow jet series. Or maybe special teams or D. probably not. who knows.

          of course, the zone read always works better when you got a guy like this-

          Thursday, March 10, 2011

          Clinic Speakers

          I've been extremely busy this week with creating a ton of football resources and school and blah blah blah blah. But I had to get something posted so here is a quick list of great clinic speakers I have seen and recommend.

          For those of you that know me well, you know that clinic season is one of my favorite seasons of the year. Early football season, late football season, bowl season, and the thanksgiving season (the wednesday through sunday) are my favorite seasons of the year.
          So for the fellow clinic season enthusiasts, here are some of the speakers i recommend seeing.

          Duane Carlisle, ex- S&C coach, 49ers. Carlisle had some good S&C stuff. But what I got most out of him was the way he carried himself. Coach Carlisle was extremely genuine and humble. His first slide on his presentation was a list of people he thanked for the great opportunities he has been given in life. I had never seen that and it had a great impact on me. Great guy, great coach.

          Blake Miller, OL, Utah. Outstanding info and he also had great film and resources. I picked up my pass pro vs even defenses (which will be explained in a later blog) from him.

          Mike Sanford, OC, Louisville. Clever, clever stuff. Like Miller, he also had good film to accompany his material. 90% of my flash/flow series (will also be explained in a later blog) is from him.

          Billy Best, OL, West Texas A&M. arguably my favorite clinician ive seen. Dont think ive ever laughed so hard in a clinic session. But he also had great material and was very informative. Very personable guy and was very interactive with the audience.

          Will Hewlett, QB Academy. Hewlett was a great speaker. And the QB academy stuff is top notch. Definitely recommend the QB academy to anyone working with qbs.

          Nick Rapone, DC, Delaware. Great coach, answered questions well, outstanding teacher of his material.

          Will Plemons, DL, Fresno State. I only got to see him for a little bit, but coach Plemons was outstanding. Everything i liked about Billy Best was also present in Coach Plemons. The two are very alike, and very good clinicians.

          Marcel Yates, DBs, Boise State. Mind-blowing. Coach Yates showed us the ins and outs of Boise's quarters coverage and it was awesome. Amazing stuff. He was also very personable and helpful.

          Scott Huff, FBs & TEs, Boise State. Great, great stuff. good info, good films. My buddy next to me was so excited and jonesing to work with olinemen during Coach Huff's session i thought he was gonna stand up and yell "HALLELUJAH!"

          Steve Broussard, WRs, Arizona State. Great combination of scheme and practice stuff. humorous, insightful, solid.

          Greg Jones, HC, Kearny HS, Missouri. This guy was phenomenal. Everyone who came out of his session was raving about his stuff. He's a bayou boy from southern Louisiana and is full of million dollar quotes. Great guy, high energy, loves chattin with ya, great, great clinician and coach.

          Rick Stewart, HC, Porterville. Although I haven't sat in a full session of his, I have hung around the guy enough to know that he is a great man and a great coach. He's probably the hottest coach in the Central Valley right now, as he turned around a mediocre program into a force.

          Although i didnt see his sessions, i have met Dub Maddox and he is a great guy and i hear even better things about his coaching. And again, all of the qb academy guys are good.

          Those are some I recommend (that ive seen). I also hear of many other coaches to see but havent yet. I hear Coach Jerry Campbell and Tim Murphy are phenomenal, but i have yet to see either. I probably should, seeing as we live in the same neighborhood.
          Hope this was helpful and I hope you take the time to see anyone I mentioned.

          And hopefully things will slow down here in a week or two and i can get a really insightful post out. someday.