Monday, November 17, 2014

Flexbone, Your Author and a Preface

Here we go!!!

It's here folks, it has begun!  For the next SEVERAL posts I will be putting all my Flexbone stuff out there.  Well, since some of you may not know me, I thought a preface was in order to get the ball rolling.  Be ready, I'm hoping to get these posts rolling at a fast and furious pace as I've had several emails from my defensive colleagues who are quite aggravated that I've decided to talk about, of all things, OPTION FOOTBALL!  Yeah, I'm kinda disliked in some defensive circles right now.  Anyhow, on to the show!

No, not option football...

My Experience
I've been coaching now for over 15 years on both sides of the ball.  I've been a head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, position coach, and "hey make me a dub of all their 3rd and 10 plus plays" video guy.  I've been around every level of football except for the professional game.  I've coached and played in Pop Warner, high school and collegiate football.  I even have middle school, or what some call junior high school football coaching experience too!  Point is, I've been around this game now for some 26 years, and I can tell you this, I LOVE IT.  I study it, I breathe it, I sleep it, and if I could, I'd eat it.

I have always relished the "chess match" involved with not only attacking your opponent, but the motivating of young people, and running an organization.  Let's just say I like a challenge.  Now, I don't have the stellar records some coaches have, and I have zero rings to show for my accomplishments, but I've coached in some of the toughest places to win around, and I'm still here.  Many that know me can attest for this.  Many that know me also know, I'm an absolute student of the game, who has become very, very fond of now becoming a teacher of the game.  I have seen the highs the game can bring, and I've seen the utmost bottom of the canyon that the game can put you in.  The old saying, "Been there, done that" could never be more true.  I've been 10-0 and 0-10, from the foot of the mountain to the mountain top.  Hopefully, from reading this blog many can gather that.  I also hope that you understand this blog has never been intended to be like those that simply regurgitate clinic speak, or tactics that they've broken down to from Coaches Choice DVD sets.  No, my blog has always been centered around taking what other coaches at the highest levels of competition are doing, and adapting it so your little Johnny can be successful on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.  Now, I'm not knocking the guys that right about college and professional schemes, please don't take that as a slight, but I always figured, like Apopka's Head Football Coach Rick Darlington said "You can either be better, or you can be different.  Being better is tough, it's easy to be different.".  I have chosen to be different, which leads us into the next segment of our preface, my history.

The History of Duece
To summarize, I have played football all my life, mostly in some sort of gap or pro scheme.  It was not until my collegiate playing days that I had my taste of triple option football.  I came across the offense as a sophomore in college, and we were actually Broken Bone.  However, the flex was one of our formations.  Later, as a G.A., I learned to coach the offense, and the rest was history.  What really caught me about the offense, as a player, was just how fun it was.  Being an OL, and all the double and triple teams you had, it really got to be something of pure joy frustrating opposing DL.  As a coach, the nature of not having to block someone, yet read them to be successful was something I'd never been a part of.  Couple that with learning under one of the best teachers of triple option football out there, and I was hooked.

Upon becoming an OC, the flexbone was mine.  The first place I installed it, it worked instantly, tripling the offensive output we had in our first season with it.  What was really beautiful was how the players embraced the offense.  I have to pat myself on the back here, because when I teach and offense, or a defense, I'm much like a car salesmen, selling you that car you think you want, but can't afford.  Kids nowadays see the Oregon's and the Auburn's and they wanna run "The Spread".  In reality, there is no better spread than the flexbone.  Once you teach kids what this offense is capable of, you quickly see how excited they  become to run it.  The first day we installed it, there were tons of naysayers, wanting to question why we were going to such an archaic offense.  By the time we scrimmaged, all mouths were shut.  The first game we rushed for over 300 yards, the most we'd rushed for in two seasons, everybody was on board.  "Fear the Veer" became a constant motto among our football players, especially the OL.  I have to say, I've had a lot of fun coaching the flexbone offense.

Being a defensive guy from the get-go, led me to really adopt the offense.  I know just how hard it is to defend.  I added no-huddle and pre-snap shifts to our repertoire and really gave opponent's fits.  I remember our OL coach asking me one time why I did that stuff, because Navy didn't do that.  I told him, that I hated that crap as a DC, and I know most DC's already hated flexbone anyways, might as well just go ahead and make them miserable while we were at it!

Anyhow, that's just a brief glimpse into some of my flexbone experiences.  Like any offense it's what you make of it, how you execute and how the schemes are taught and implemented.  Any offense can succeed, just like any offense can fail.  The idea is to get your players to believe in the system by being honest and teaching the "why's" to what you are asking them to do.  Once the players by in and believe, the rest of the offense will go into place quite nicely.

The Setup
The posts will go pretty fast and furious as most of it is already written.  I may not go chapter by chapter, as some chapters get pretty lengthy and others are quite short.  I'm going to break things up into bits, that way there is no "reader overload".  Expect the first post to come pretty soon after Thanksgiving, and then roll after that.  To be honest, I'd really like to get all these out of here before New Year's so I can concentrate on the other side of the ball.  As always, direct any questions to or follow me on Twitter @FballIsLifeBlog.  Fear the Veer!!!