Saturday, July 9, 2016

Game Planning For A More Explosive Offense: GAB Concepts

One of the most important aspects of being explosive on offense is detailed preparation. And one of the best ways to be explosive is to get your best athletes opportunities to touch the football. We have all had games where our best athlete was limited in touches. I learned this lesson early in my career when we had a tremendous athlete who was not getting touches. Kindu Brown was his name, and he was a receiver. We knew he was explosive and could change games, but we weren't getting him enough touches. We had a very good stable of running backs, and Kindu was a receiver for us on offense. We were running the ball 85% of the time, which limited touches for our receivers.

One lesson I learned early on is that players win games, not plays. You can have the best play in the world drawn up, but if the best player isn't touching the ball, the play may not work. Average players can screw up well blocked concepts. Conversely, great athletes can turn a poorly blocked play into a touchdown. When our best players aren't getting touches, we are not going to be as explosive as we can be on offense.

We knew if we could get Kindu 8 touches on offense, that he would find a way to turn 4 of those touches into explosive plays. The problem was, we were not getting him those touches. He was getting more touches on defense through interceptions than he was on offense. As a young offensive coordinator I was doing a bad job of getting him the ball.

After three games we were undefeated, but we hadn't gotten Kindu enough touches. We were missing some big play opportunities. As our schedule got more difficult, we knew we had to get him the ball. The answer we came up with was very simple. We added a section to our offensive call sheet we simply titled, "Get Athletes Ball," or GAB. 

This addition of GAB was the most important part of our call sheet. If we have one great athlete, we have selected plays for this athlete. We typically will have 3 to 4 plays that we feel give this athlete a great chance to score a touchdown. If we have 2 athletes we want to get touches, we will list 3 or 4 plays for that athlete. Below is an example of our get athlete the ball column of my call sheet.
In the box I am going to list the plays we like best for the athlete. For example, if left side inside receiver is our best athlete, we might put bubble as a concept to get him the ball. The second play might be a jet sweep to that player. The third concept might be a reverse where he is going to get the football. Whatever concepts you run that ensure that athlete will touch the ball is what you list. Maybe you have 2 plays that guarantee he will touch the ball. Then you put those two plays.

Typically are GAB concepts are pretty consistent week to week. However, if we see something we can exploit against a particular opponent, we will adjust that call. As the game goes on, I will put a check each time we call these plays. Next to the check I write the result in pencil real small. I want to know who many times we got our best athlete the ball and how many yards we gained. 

The result of adding this section to our call sheet was that our best athletes got more touches, and we scored more points. We were much more explosive. I remember we had a concept we called to Kindu that the defense had taken away by alignment. In my head I knew we should call a timeout. As the ball was snapped I said, "this ain't good." Then Kindu got the football. He made the first two defenders miss, broke a tackle, and turned a 1 yard loss into a 60 yard touchdown. Great athletes make great plays, and players win games, not plays.

I know this seems simple. But in the heat of a game cooler heads often don't prevail. We want to be able to be methodical in our play calling without regard to emotion. By adding a section where you have plays ready to get your athletes the ball, you will get them more touches and you will score more points. 

To help coaches in preparation, I have created an Offensive Game and Practice Planning Resource Packet. This packet consists of 9 downloadable documents that are already formatted, saving you hundred of hours recreating the wheel. These are the documents I used at the high school and college level to prepare our offenses. Included in this packet is our offensive call sheet in excel format. It is a two sided color document formatted for legal sized paper. It is a very detailed call sheet that will help you be a better play caller on gameday! This resource packet is available for instant download! Click here to order yours today: Offensive Game and Practice Planning Documents  These documents will help you SCORE MORE POINTS!

Additionally, I have a defensive packet available for defensive coordinators. These are highly coordinated with the offensive packet, helping your program as a whole to be on the same page. Click here for the Defensive Game and Practice Planning Packet: Defensive Game and Practice Planning Documents

A few months back I published a couple of iBooks that can help your program with X's and O's. The first is on Installing RPO's into any offense. Here is a link to the iBooks version: The ibooks version includes explanations, diagrams, and video clips on multiple RPO Concepts. It will give you a simple process for implementing them into your offense.
If you don't have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can order the Amazon version for the Kindle. It has everything except the embedded video. You can order it here:

I also wrote a book on Tempo. It will greatly help you build a multiple tempo system with simple communication that will allow your kids to play with confidence. It also had over an hour of video clips! You can order the ibooks version here:

Order the Amazon Kindle version here:

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