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click to open the Internet's Finest Online Football Playbook..........
Award Winning Online Play Book.......
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Introduction
Philosophies
Practice
Coaching Jobs
Scheduling
Organization
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Section Index for Das Book
Start Page
Download
Interactive
Credits
Links
E-MaiL
Author's Home
Administration
Playbook
Defense
Formations
Philosophies
Pass Plays
Running Plays
Special Teams
Glossary
Sign the Guest Book
Das Book is divided into eleven hypertext files or sections.  To print Das Book in book format, simply print the files or sections in the following order:
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 1. Das Book
[dasbook]
Das Book's Main Page
 2. Philosophies 
[phil]
Basic Strategies and Philosophies
 3. Playbook 
[playbook]
Index for Offensive Plays and Position Techniques
 4. Formations 
[forms]
Offensive and Defensive Formations
 5. Run 
[run]
Running Plays {Text and Diagrams}
 6. Pass 
[pass]
Passing Plays {Text and Diagrams}
 7. Defense 
[defense]
Defensive Philosophies and Position Specific Techniques
 8. Special Teams 
[specialteams]
Synopsis of Special Teams Play, Formations, and Techniques
 9. Glossary 
[glossary]
Alphabetical Glossary of Terms with Linked Examples
10. Credits
[credits]
Das Book Credits (complete with hypertext links)
11. Administration
[admin]
Administration Page (Bibliography, and misc. topics)

Introduction
....Das Book is the Senior Special Project of Joe Hutchison who graduated from The University of Memphis May 1998 magna cum laude with a degree in Professional Studies through the University College titled Coaching and Athletic Leadership.  Hutchison graduated with honors with a Grade Point Average of 3.693.  He also served a full season Internship with the Trezevant Bears under Head Coach Lynn Lang. The Bears advanced to the second round of the TSSAA play-offs.
Coach Hutchison can be visited on the web at http://joehutch.tripod.com.
....Das Book is a written intensive expose of Coach Hutchison's philosophys, strategies, on and off the field behavioral guidelines for student athletes and staff, organizational methods, recommended practice procedures and drills, and field management.  Das Book also includes an online play book detailing some basic running and passing plays, and offensive and defensive formations and tactics.
Das Book is not intended as a "how to" book for aspiring football coaches, rather it is intended to display acquired knowledge and insight into the complex world of organized, competitive football.  It is the hope of this author that Das Book might serve as an adjustable model for those who find it useful.



Organization(Coaching Staff)
   Delegation is the cornerstone to successfully controlling or managing any large, detailed organization.  As much as a coach might want to be a "control freak" (and I am certainly self included here), the delegation of responsibilities among a staff is crucial.  As an Intern for the Trezevant High School Football Team (Memphis, TN), I was one of eight coaches managing 48 players.  Although most of the teams we played had fewer coaches, I really don't see how they did it.  At Trezevant each coach had multiple responsibilities.  No one was dead weight.
Ideally there should be a head coach, an offensive and a defensive coordinator, an offensive and a defensive line coach, a backs and receivers coach, a special teams coach, a team trainer, and an assistant to the head coach.  Each coach is to have specific responsibilities related to his or her field(s).  In my system, the head coach and offensive coordinator work in unison to determine the mode of attack for the upcoming game.  Together they will co-write the script of opening plays and determine the run to pass ratio.  During the game, the offensive coordinator is responsible for play calling, with the head coach (and hopefully the quarterback) able to override on a play by play basis.  A similar method of cooperation should prevail between the head coach and defensive coordinator.  The different possible responsibilities for practices and drills are too numerous to detail here, but the main idea is for each coach to be responsible for certain aspects of the practice.
   The coaching staff should have regular meeting separate from the players to discuss in detail any differences in philosophy or procedure for the purpose of presenting a unified front during practice.  Of significant importance is the player evaluations the coaching staff  should routinely perform.  As a player improves or excels within his specific group, all coaches should be aware of the situation so that the player of note may be fully utilized.


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Practice
   A team plays like it practices--Period!  No exceptions.  If a team practices soft, it will play soft; if it practices hard, it will play hard.  If this person or that is excused from contact, drills, or conditioning, the younger players learn through conditioning that such behaviors are acceptable and are likely to emulate them.  If a player shows disrespect or contempt for ANY member of the coaching staff and is nevertheless allowed to play in the following game, underclassmen again learn bad behaviors are tolerated, even encouraged.  Adversely, if such behaviors are dealt with swiftly and harshly, players learn not only that bad behaviors limit playing time but that good behaviors can increase it as well.
   As is evident in the preceding paragraph this coach believes good practices begin with good attitudes.  They also involve good contact and strenuous conditioning.  A team should practice in the rain and snow if they might play in it that weekend.  To practice moderately indoors all week, then expect a team to take the field in sub zero temperatures and perform to its peak is, simply stated, poor coaching.  However, to practice in freezing sleet, exposing players to the rigors of the elements when the weekend game is in sunny Florida is counterproductive as well.  In this instance outdoor activity should be confined to short and intense scrimmages.  Surely, all else can be reformatted for an indoor environment.
   It is very important to have a routine in place for daily practice sessions.  Of course these routines are adjustable, but the main advantage of having one in place is it tends to deter wasted and unproductive time.  Generally speaking I would recommend the following daily practice schedules for the various levels of play:
Level Sun Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Sat
Pro
Game
Off
film, weights, conditioning, short scrimmage
position drills, special teams, scrimmage, offensive inference
weights, conditioning, scrimmage, defensive inference
special teams, substitutions
Off
Travel
College
Off
film, weights, conditioning, short scrimmage
position drills, special teams, scrimmage, offensive inference
weights, conditioning, scrimmage, defensive inference
special teams, substitutions
Off for Travel or repeat special teams, substitutions
Game
High School
Off
film, weights, conditioning, short scrimmage
position drills, special teams, scrimmage, offensive inference
weights, conditioning, scrimmage, defensive inference
special teams, substitutions
Game
Off
   As demonstrated in the above table, I strongly believe in contact and full speed scrimmages.  Many coaches prefer not to dress out their team the day before a game.  I feel that is unfortunate.  A quarterback will never be allowed to throw the football in a game without his shoulder pads and helmet on or mouth piece in.  Receivers should catch every pass with their hands, and with their helmet on.  I do believe no contact, scrimmaging, or weight lifting should take place the day before the game.
   Below are brief descriptions for terms in the above table:
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Conditioning:  Conditioning refers to any (usually) physical activity used to improve the physical strength and stamina of an athlete.  Conditioning is one of the major components of gridiron success.  Conditioning can be used as a punishment for a particular player or the team as a whole.  It can also be intertwined with special teams.  Running excessive punts, kick offs, and returns "live" can serve as punishment, enhance conditioning, and improve special teams play all at the same time.
Defensive Inference: Refers to the tendency to perform or emphasize special preference or attention to the defensive aspects of a setting.
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Film: The coaching staff will screen the film of the previous game and determine how much (if any), and which parts of the film are to be played for the team.  Film footage of the next opponent should be viewed at this time as well.  The entire time spent in the film room should not exceed one hour, and emphasis should be placed on the next game, not the last one.

Offensive Inference:  Refers to the tendency to perform or emphasize special preference or attention to the offensive aspects of a setting.
Position Drills: Drills specific to offensive and defensive positions are practiced and demonstrated in half speed and full speed settings.  The offense and defense are split into groups with perhaps the linemen kept together if necessary.    Defensive drills might include ripping, swimming, bull rushing, pass rushing, reading blocks, tackling, fumble recovery, and tip drills.  Offensive linemen work on their various block types while the backs work to improve their specific skills.
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Scrimmage: A good scrimmage should last no longer than one hour and there are many possible recommended guidelines.   One I recommend is the no contact below the waist rule.
Some coaches adhere to the rule of zero contact against the quarterback.  I think this is unfortunate because I pose that it breeds a soft quarterback who is more easily injured or rattled if suddenly exposed to the rigors of contact.  Instead, I simply add a few provisions.  No contact to the back other than an open handed slap.  No other hand contact, no pulling or grabbing.  No launching (leaving the feet and diving for the quarterback).  No contact with any player's helmet or face mask.  This basically exposes the quarterback only to contact he can see coming, administered with the arms, shoulder pads, or torso.  I believe this will minimize the quarterback's risk to self inflicted injury while still preparing him for hostile contact.  All other players are encouraged to initiate and sustain contact at full speed for the entire scrimmage.  The level of intensity can be modified as needed--even gradually diminished as the week progresses.
    On the first practice after a game, the scrimmage should be shorter than other days, perhaps thirty to forty-five minutes in length.  However, these scrimmages should remain intense.  At this time the defensive coaches can introduce, modify, or perfect various strategies and techniques that will be used for the upcoming game.  Likewise the offensive coaches can begin to prepare for the upcoming opponent by introducing various tendencies and strategies that will be employed.
   Normal, full length practices are usually team specific with the offense, defense, or special teams receiving particular emphasis.  On the day of defensive scrimmage, the starting defense opposes the 'scout' offense.  Both squads use the formations, techniques, and strategies that are expected to be employed in the forthcoming game.  The defense will run the sets it plans to use; the offense will run the upcoming opponents offensive formations and plays.  However, the scout team should not be limited solely to this formula, and should adapt to the situation in order to provide the maximum amount of competition for the starters.  This should, of course, imply that all starters for the team of non emphasis (in this case the offense) should participate in the scrimmage with regular, liberal substitutions.  In this manner, starters don't "take the day off" and substitutes can be assured of practice playing time in the hopes of catching a coach's eye.  In the process, substitution drills are practiced.
    Scrimmages should be the basis of deciding who will start and/or receive substantial playing time in a game.  If non starters know that playing time can be won with excellent play in scrimmages, a higher level of intensity should prevail for all scrimmages.
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Special Teams: Special teams are addressed each and every day of practice.  Punts, punt returns, kick offs, kick off returns, field goals, and extra points are all incorporated into the daily conditioning rituals.  This exercise comes immediately after team warm ups.  The day before a game, special teams are given extensive coverage in full pads with zero contact.

Substitutions: The depth chart should be common knowledge--public domain.  Proper substitution should be adhered to throughout the week and intensified the day before a game.  A player entering the game will yell out the name of the player he is "calling out."  Since all non-asked-for substitutions are coaching decisions, the exiting player departs without question, relaying any necessary information to his replacement.  A good drill is for coaches to call for massive individual substitutions during the running of all plays on this day.
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Weights: The team should lift weights together at least once a week for at least 45 minutes regardless of time restrictions.  Players are to have charts of their respective progress which they maintain themselves and which are monitored and kept by the coaching staff.  Numbers validating progression of strength and endurance are expected and a failure of such progression should be seen as a lack of commitment to the process and brought to the attention of the head coach immediately.  It is important for the team to interact together in the weight room both to build camaraderie and maintain a sense of competition.



Scheduling
   To be the man, you have to beat the man.  To beat the man, you have to play the man.  A soft schedule can train a team to excel only to predetermined levels of necessity.  It also provides woeful preparation for contests against the elite teams.
   Playing good--even great--teams, especially early in the season, on the other hand, can be extremely beneficial for a team, especially for a young or inexperienced one.  Victories in these games can build enormous confidence and set the tone for early maturity and over achievement.  Contests against the elite teams can also add a strong boost to recruiting efforts.  Expose, often National exposure, can also build name recognition.  Contained within this specified genre is the only instance where a "moral victory" can be achieved.  A team or program which has had little success for several seasons can lose to a "better" team 24-21 and still reap some of the benefits normally associated with winning.  It should be noted however, that it is quite possible to over schedule.  Losing 56-0 three years running can have an equally adverse effect, so some expertise in scheduling is called for.
   In other words, a good coach or scheduler should try to schedule an upset.  An example of this would be for a "lesser" team to schedule a more prominent team, say for two years even if  both games have to be scheduled at the established school's home.  Is this a good scheduling move?  It is if the scheduler noticed that half of the more powerful team's roster consisted of seniors.  Although this might prove rough going the first time around, it also means that the second game would be minus all those seniors.  Posing that the smaller school had lost the first game, the motivation for revenge for the second game combined with the loss of so many seniors might influence the latter game.  This is what I mean by trying to schedule an upset.



Philosophies
   Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams philosophies are discussed in detail in the Das Book -- Philosophies section.  Here, a very general outlook is provided.
Offense: Basically, as I see it, a good offense is capable of both running and passing the football.  The key is balance.  I believe a good team should run the ball 60 plus percent of the time, yet gain 60 plus percent of its yardage via the passing game.  This is possible only if the passing attack is aggressive in throwing the ball down field.  When the ball is put in the air, three things can happen, and two of them are bad.  Completions therefore must outweigh incompletions and interceptions.  The goal of each and every offensive pass play should be at the minimum a first down.  In other words, I do not support a short passing, ball control offense featuring 3 or 4 yard passes.  The defense should be stretched and forced to defend the entire field at all times.  This can only be accomplished if the offense is a perpetual threat all over the field.  The running game should attack between the tackles with quick hitting plays designed to minimize defensive pursuit.  In general, a good offense should seek to run the ball against a pass defense, and pass the ball against a run defense.  This is an important concept designed to limit the linebackers' and defensive backs' effectiveness.  When the run sets up the pass, and the pass sets up the run, and the defense is kept on its heels and spread out defending the entire field, an offense should be able to move the football.
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I do not support the philosophy of "taking what the defense gives you," rather I believe in taking what I want.  My offense will not wildly fluctuate each week to fit my opponent's defense.  Instead, my offense will only slightly modify each week in an effort to expose weaknesses in the opposing defense.  Only by maintaining both aspects of the offense can one be expected to carry a team if need be in a particular situation.
Defense: Again, I do not believe in making wholesale changes in defensive schemes to match an opponent's offense.  Nor do I support the "bend but don't break" philosophy in place at so many institutions today.  A defense can learn to "bend" too much.  It can prove difficult and is quite unnecessary to revamp the overall defensive scheme every week.  I support an excessively aggressive, physical defense of multiple formations designed to be unpredictable to the opposing offense.
Special Teams:Special Teams are not merely key to a team's success, they are crucial.  The kicking game can reverse the outcome of a game often on a single play.  Also, the more prominent special teams play, the more an opponent must take up valuable practice time to counter act it.  In an effort to maximize special teams performance, I will incorporate special teams preparation with conditioning.  In this manner special teams can be practiced each and every day of practice.
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Das Book on the Internet
Sign the Guest Book


Start Page
Download
Interactive
Credits
Links
E-MaiL
Author's Home
Administration
Playbook
Defense
Formations
Philosophies
Pass Plays
Running Plays
Special Teams
Glossary

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