Category Archives: Strategery And Mechanics

Things Kirby and Saban hate, from someone who ought to know

Don’t know how I missed this clip before, but it’s Mike Bobo talking about what Alabama and Georgia were up to on the opening series of the national championship game.



Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Strategery And Mechanics

Executed by poor execution

David Wunderlich is taking a look back at Dan Mullen’s playcalling at Mississippi State to get a handle on what’s in store for Gator fans this season.  I know you’ll enjoy this Twitter thread about the Georgia-MSU game as much as I do.

If it makes David feel any better, Florida looked worse against Georgia than Mississippi State did.  Nowhere to go but up, at least.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Not all penalties are created equal.

Interesting Twitter thread from David Hale:

Quick answer there would appear to be defensive penalties are more costly, but wait…

There’s a fine line between aggressive and undisciplined.  That’s what good coaching is for.

Unless you’re Georgia Tech, in which case it doesn’t matter.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

More than one way to skin the “Just win, baby!” cat

When it comes to preparing players for the next level, Mike Leach couldn’t be more different than Nick Saban (or Kirby Smart, for that matter) in his sales pitch to recruits.

JM: As a collegiate coaching staff, how do you balance winning games with developing players for the next level?

ML: I pay no attention whatsoever to developing them for the next level. That’s somebody else’s job. Why would I care? We coach them the best that we can. We worry about putting them in the best positions they can be put in here at our school to accomplish the things that we need to accomplish. I do think it goes hand in hand though. I think if they’re in a good place and they get the proper coaching, then the better their chances are at the next level. We’re not gonna sit here and monkey around and worry about the next level. There’s no point in me sitting around trying to guess what they want at the next level. That would be a bunch of foolishness.

A lot of that can be chalked up to perspective, of course.  Unlike Leach, Saban has coached in the NFL, and thus likely has a better feel for what the pros look for.  That gives him a different message to sell recruits.

And that’s a second difference.  Leach, up in Wazzou, doesn’t have the rich vein of talent that Saban has to tap into in assembling a recruiting class.  Rather than accumulating gobs of talent with which to bludgeon opponents, Leach has to go out and find kids who best fit his system, however many stars they may have.

Ironically, there is one sales pitch Leach does have at his disposal, and it may indeed be another reason why he can be so dismissive of being a production factory for the NFL.

JM: I’m curious to get your overall thoughts on the NFL’s shift towards incorporating more spread principles on offense.

ML: It seems like they’re more conscious of how it could benefit their offense nowadays. I’ve been doing it since the beginning. Everywhere I’ve been, we’ve always spread it out. I guess we’re credited by a lot of people for kind of starting that. It’s reached the NFL level now. It’s just a more efficient way of playing football. It’s about attacking all the space available to you. I think it’s a very efficient approach.

No, he doesn’t have any rings to show for it, but there’s little doubt that the Air Raid has been one of the most influential offensive schemes to come down the turnpike in the last two decades. Maybe that’s what gives Leach the confidence to say, “I think if they’re in a good place and they get the proper coaching, then the better their chances are at the next level.”


Filed under Mike Leach. Yar!, Strategery And Mechanics

History repeating

Dawg fans will hear a familiar echo, echo, echo in this piece.


Filed under ACC Football, Strategery And Mechanics

The Saban Rules, a continuing development

The NCAA has approved a rule limiting the number of people who can communicate through headsets during a game to 20 per team, including 15 coaches.

I figure it’s only a matter of time before the University of Alabama begins ramping up studies on mental telepathy.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

“I don’t mind saying I’m not the biggest fan of the rule.”

What happens when player safety and coaching strategy clash?  Coaches grumble, albeit softly.

The idea behind one of the NCAA’s most controversial rule changes for 2018 — awarding a touchback on any kickoff that’s fair-caught inside the 25-yard line — is to make the game safer. What football coach wouldn’t want that?

But Stanford’s coach doesn’t necessarily like it.

“I don’t mind saying I’m not the biggest fan of the rule,” Shaw said. “I understand and appreciate the purpose and the intent behind it. Anything that is in an effort to make the game safer, I understand and to a certain degree applaud.

“(But) field position is the basis of this game. To fair-catch a ball and automatically move the ball up is difficult for me to take. We probably won’t take advantage of that.”

Of the five Pac-12 coaches interviewed, only one, Washington’s Chris Petersen, is in favor of the change and even he thinks there’s more to come.

The NCAA did not release injury data when it announced its change. The organization did point out the obvious, noting that “fewer injuries occur during kickoffs that result in touchbacks than on kickoffs that are returned.”

“When they do studies, and it’s a higher percentage chance for injury on a certain play, we need to take a hard look at that and figure out how to help that situation,” Petersen said. “I think they have, and I think this is the first step towards it.

“It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out. It’s all about making this game safer for the kids. If that’s one of the plays that’s going to help us, it’s a good rule.”

I don’t know how this will play out, but I suspect Petersen’s on the right track to suggest this is but the early stage of an evolutionary development.  Similar to things like the way the targeting rule has been enforced, I don’t think we’ve reached the final version of what kickoffs will look like.  One thing’s for sure, though — those concussion lawsuits aren’t going away any time soon.


Filed under Pac-12 Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple