but this staff is rapidly taking me back to that wild side of life. I appreciate the overall coverage we see from our crack set of writers but most of all it’s the little inferences we catch from them that bring that bacon home for me. It’s such a pleasure to read how well this staff regards the teaching aspect from the various sources. Onlookers and recruits alike preach the same sentiment—we are all in this together after watching this staff work the roster on the field.
There is a fine line between constructive criticism and negative personal for a position coach although coach Herman is quickly spreading the gospel without sugar-coating a damn thing. Is there any doubt players respect learning from instructors that are willing to get dirty explaining the proper technique needed for any given situation? Does it really have the same effect coming from a backed off, arms folded, and whistle attached to his mouth sponsor yelling “run it again” as his way of correcting a mistake?
We had over 1,000 coaches attend the clinic this weekend. That is terrific.
I remember Bobby Bowden taking us thru part of his passing game (Florida State was the standard back then). He said they didn’t want a ton of terms for the QB to recite in the huddle just to get a play called so they just named each combination route after a car. They had Cadillac which put the free safety in a bind under and over. They installed Thunderbird for a flood route. Corvette was a go route with wings flying outside (wheel anyone). You get the picture—one word call (a car) and all 11 instantly knew what to do.
He kept pounding away at the fact that you can call any play whatever you wish as long as you teach the damn thing from the ground up. Teach the basics and keep it simple. You can’t go wrong if the players understand what you want from them and can play with confidence because they know their assignment and how to get the job done.
I still remember attending a clinic early in my career when an all-pro QB (Y.A. Tittle) spoke to a group of us about his life in football. He was asked about the biggest difference between pro ball and H.S. Most probably believed he would mention the speed of the game along with the brutal roughness that went along with it. We couldn’t have been more wrong.
Tittle was a tough Texas kid. He quarterbacked Marshall high school way back when. He said the 49ers and Marshall High School ran the same exact sweep play and both did it extremely well. He said the difference was in the huddle call. The 49ers sweep was called “red right x flex, Charlie, tango, bingo, G-O-T, crack, on two, ready break”.
This 49er call broke down to red right (split backs and TE on the right). X flex (SE cuts split to 4 yards to affect alignment for WLB and F/S). Charlie is the center blocking back for the backside pulling guard. Tango is the RT blocking down for the onside pulling guard. Bingo is the TE taking the DE where he wants to go (preferably hooking him). G-O-T is both guards pulling (G is lead guard kicking out—O is the backside guard turning upfield) T is the LT sprint and sealing the backside for the pulling guard . Crack is the flanker cracking back on the inverted safety or SLB. Two was the snap count. Just your basic pro call in those days.
Tittle never cracked a smile. He said at Marshall High School we called the same play with the same assignments and blocking scheme twenty years earlier. The biggest difference between the two levels was how we called that play.
We simply called it “end run right” and everybody knew what to do.