Video of the “Spread Jet”. This is what we want to do next season on offense!
The groundwork for the spread jet has already been laid in 1st grade!
We’ll be running a “spread” formation with a fullback in the “sidesaddle” position which will enable us to snap to either the FB or the QB. We dabbled with this with 1st graders so i know it works. The problem with 6 man rules is the receiver of the snap cannot advance the ball. This changes at 2nd grade. Check out this video of the “sidesaddle”:
More Spinner Stuff…
The “No Punt Philosophy”. I know, I know, but just think about it for a moment. Do the math. I think it is reasonable to expect that 10% to 20% of youth punts will probably result in a mishandled snap and/or a disastrous blocked punt, netting you a negative 15 yards. The odds are probably similar for a punt return resulting in a touchdown for your opponent. So that leaves 60% to 80% of your punts pushing your opponent’s field position back.
A proper punt at the youth level DEMANDS that you punt away from the returner so he does not field it. But that is not so easy to do with pressure. How many youth punts will go 40 yards? It better be a perfect “worm-burner” to do that. How about 30 yards? 20 yards? 10 yards? I’ve actually seen youth punts go BACKWARDS! If a punt goes 30 to 40 yards then you greatly increase the likelihood of an ambitious returner chasing it down and running it back. How far will he return it? 10 yards? 20 yards? Will he make a TD out of the chaos?
In summary (these are just guesses based on my memory but I bet they’re pretty close to reality):
15% of punts are blocked which is a disaster for the punting team
15% of punts are probably returned for a touchdown which is, again, a disaster
20% of punts get off but are returned for a net field position advantage of 0-10 yards.
20% of punts get off but are returned for a net field position advantage of 10-20 yards.
30% of punts get off and are not returned yielding a net field position advantage of 20-40 yards.
So, your field position advantage related to punting, if you don’t give up a score or block, is a 70% chance of a whopping 13 net yards. Big whoop. All that practice time devoted to a 70% chance of 13 yards. What a waste. What’s more is you have a 30% chance of an unmitigated disaster (a block or return for a TD).
This is not the kind of risk/return tradeoff that is conducive to winning youth football games. I say just GO FOR IT! And if you’re pinned in deep, take the 2 point safety and free kick it out of there. The beautiful thing about free kicks is that they can also be ONSIDE KICKS! But I’ll save that discussion for another post.
Two huge influences on me are: John T. Reed and Dave Cisar. They both advocate for efficient practices (no sadistic rituals or time wasters), emphasis on blocking and tackling, they run contrarian offenses and simple, aggressive, gap-control defenses.
The Greatest College Football Coach of all time? Paterno? Rockne? How about John Gagliardi. His attitude about football is what we aspire to. John (as he insists on being called) wins with 63 rules beginning with “No”! No brutal practices. No scholarships. No endzone celebrations. No sadistic rituals. “There is no single way to coach football,” says Gagliardi which means that flexibility is the key strategy. Check it out.
Common Mistakes Youth Coaches Make (Full Disclosure: I’ve made most of them)
Single Wing Football (An awesomely executed, tight-formation, low-profile, hide-the-ball version. Looks like a Dave Cisar single wing)
More Single Wing Football (One split end, multiple “snap-to” backs, innovative use of multiple formations)