Sunday, March 14, 2010

Zone Read Lead To The Open (Weak) Side | 2x1 Formation

One of Rich Rodriguez's favorite plays out of the classic 2x1 shot gun spread offense is the read lead run play to the open or 'weak' side of the set. As a result of the formation and Coach Rod's preference, this play is often run to the short side of the field or the boundary.

I found a great video of this specific play from last years Michigan vs Purdue game.

I know when Coach Rod was at West Virginia, he and Calvin Magee (Offensive Coordinator) loved running this play with Pat White, Steve Slaton, and Owen Schmitt.

Below is the play diagram for your reference. You'll see this is your classic outside zone blocking play, but what makes this play tough to defend a lot of times is the defense over defending to the 'field' and/or strength of the formation.

As a coaching point, it's important to stress to your quarterback (especially if he's a dual threat QB who can run well) that he still needs to read that backside end and if that end knifes down or collapses hard on the zone lead he should keep it and progress to the strong side of the formation where he has the #2 receiver running a bubble screen or pitch option.

Keep spreading e'm!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - Downloadable Playbook's

By popular demand, we present our first addition spread offense playbook's (offense and defense) for coaches and players.
These playbook offers over in depth running and passing plays out of the popular spread offense on the offensive side of the ball, and a detailed 'how to defend' the spread offense on the defensive side of the ball.

You'll see breakdown's and diagrams of specific offensive formations, pass protections, run blocking techniques, and defensive looks seen most often versus the spread offense in football.

This spread offense playbook will be beneficial to the beginner, intermediate, or advanced football coach -- from Pop Warner to the Pro's.

Gain immediate access to this playbook right now from your computer, there's no waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

For details on how to download our e-playbook and to purchase, select one of the purchase buttons below: - Offensive Playbook - Volume 1

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Looking to Defend The Spread Offense!

Defending the spread offense in football has become a difficult task. We have assembled what we feel is the best defensive playbook to get you on the path to successfully defending the spread offense.

We detail defensive alignments, responsibilities, stunts, and coverages out of the 3-3-5 stack.

For details on how to download our e-playbook and to purchase, select one of the purchase buttons below:

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Keep Spreading E'm!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Now Is The Time Coaches!

It broke 50 degrees today in NJ on this 4th day of March, 2010... and I got that feeling of football for some reason. Even though snow is still on the ground from the 20 inches we got last week, you can tell that the tide of the 2010 football season is on the horizon.

We got the NFL combine that wrapped up, Major League Baseball is in its second week of spring training, college spring ball is right at the front door, and during my football coaching days I always got this itch around now that it was time to pick it up a notch with our off-season stuff.

I pulled out my old favorite football quotes notebook (which I have saved now on my computer) and the first one, and my favorite still is:

"Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price" - Sun Tzu

To me, this quote wrapped up everything that off-season football preparation was all about... I couldn't put it into better words then Sun Tzu did in 6th century BC times.

My first year ever coaching high school football was 1993. That year, our team went 1-8. We had 5 seniors, 16 juniors, and 15 sophomores on the varsity team.

Immediately after our last game that year, a core group of about 25 kids made a commitment not to be embarrassed anymore, as I did ... not only as there football coach, but the guy running the off-season strength program.

Four days a week this core group of guys showed up in the weight room with a lot of enthusiasm, did everything that I told them to do, and continued to get better. They paid the price!

As the guy who had to be there at everyone of these sessions in the off-season, I too had to pay the price as a coach. It meant sometimes disappointing my wife (which was actually our first year married), missing family functions, etc.

In the end... the hard work and commitment paid off! That season (1994), we went 7-3 and made it to the NJ Group 1 state finals, hosted at Giant Stadium. The team we beat in the semi-finals (a triple overtime win) was a team from our league that we hadn't beaten in 13 years, they had a 21 game winning streak snapped that day, by the same team they demolished 38-0 the year before. We actually played them opening day in 1994 and lost 17-6, just itching for another shot at them in the playoffs.

The euphoria after that win was intoxicating, the smiles on the faces of this collective group that gave the ultimate sacrifice to turn it around from 'worst to first' was unforgettable.

That's what it's all about coaches... paying the price now for victories in the fall. No matter what situation you're in now... trust me, it can be turned around if the commitment is made.

Keep spreading e'm!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Running Barefoot Is Great Conditioning For Football Players

I know this is a bit off topic... but if you're reading this blog you're likely a football coach or player who is looking to get better.

We all know how important that off-season training is for building strength, speed, power, flexibility, and injury prevention.

I picked up a book today at the book store ("Born to Run: a Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen" ) and it reminded me of my days working at the Parisi Speed School in NJ.

Martin Rooney (Twitter account: @martinrooney1), the lead trainer and NFL combine preparation coordinator at Parisi's first introduced to me the concept of training athletes barefoot to help improve the strength and flexibility in their feet and lower extremities.

I came home and Googled the concept to try to find out a little more... and I found this interesting article that just came out today.

Go to:

Keep your athletes conditioned and injury free (and obviously be careful doing any barefoot running training - it should be done only on clean artificial surfaces or exceptionally well groomed natural grass) ... and keep spreading e'm!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Defending The Spread Offense with a 30 Zone Blitz - Cover 4

We recently posted a new article on our main site diagramming a 30 Front Zone Blitz with a Cover 4 (quarter, quarter, half's) versus a 2x2 shot gun spread offense.
This is a nice scheme when the defense has the offense in a throwing situation (needing 7 yards or more for a first down).

To view the entire article, go to:

Keep spreading e'm!

--Mark (video sharing platform)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tim Tebow Looking To Improve His Throwing Motion and Delivery

Just as you expected, Tim Tebow is doing whatever it takes to become a successful NFL quarterback, and this video shows him working to make himself better.

You gotta love the 'Rambo' beard that Tebow is sporting during his re-building process... "He drew first blood, he drew first blood..."

Keep spreading e'm!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Videos: Nevada Pistol Offense In Action

I found a nice series of videos with slow motion shots of the Nevada Pistol Offense in action. The pistol offense was created by longtime and current head coach of the University of Nevada Chris Ault, and first implemented in 2004.

Coach Ault has credited the inspiration for his invention to the 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers' performance at the Fiesta Bowl versus the University of Florida, where they ran the option from a spread offense and crushed the Gators, 62-24.

Tommie Frazier was the quarterback for the Cornhuskers in that game.. one of my personal 'dual threat' quarterback all-time favorites.

Read Option - Dive (RB)

Read Option - QB Keep

Half-Back Smash (outside zone)

Counter Reverse - Pitch

Read Option - Dive (RB)

Keep spreading e'm!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Clemson Football In 1999 - Coach Rod's Spread Offense

I found this great video below of Clemson University during the 1999 season. The Offensive Coordinator at Clemson was Rich Rodriguez, now the head coach at Michigan.

The quarterback for Clemson at the time was Woody Dantzler, who was just a fantastic dual threat quarterback.

You'll notice the last touchdown of the video shows Dantzler running the 'Tebow play action' play, where the quarterback runs play-action with himself, faking a QB ISO into the interior line (freezing the middle linebackers), then pulling back into the pocket for a seam pass.

This really proves that Rich Rodriguez is one of (of not 'the') pioneer of the current spread offense we see so much now in high school and college football ten years later.

You can bet Urban Meyer and Dan Mullen borrowed that one from Coach Rod way back from 1999.

Keep spreading e'm!

--Mark (video sharing platform)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Video: Blocking Techniques By The Center

I found this short video below that gives some good insight on how the center should block (or at least his thought process) when the left guard is pulling (left to right).

I personally always thought the center is the most important position on the offensive line. This is not only your ignition point, but usually your communicator to the other linemen in regards to fronts, blitz looks, etc...

How an Offensive Line Center Does a Choke Block -- powered by

Keep spreading e'm!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Pro Spread Offense Will Be The 2010 Super Bowl Offense of Choice

Back in the summer, I wrote an article on the Long Tail Of The Spread Offense, and the various styles of the spread offense we see throughout all levels of football.

Well on Sunday, Super Bowl XLIV will feature two pro style spread offenses. Both Indianapolis and New Orleans run a multiple set, pro style spread offense that features a lot of throwing the football and timely runs and screens.

You'll be seeing two of the best quarterback's in the NFL executing these offenses, with precision passing and exceptional route running by both teams receivers.

What I love about both of these teams is how they attack the seams in the passing game... that area on the NFL field between the numbers and the hash marks.

Don't forget about the offensive lines... both these teams have excellent O-Lines that give these quarterback's enough time to throw.

Enjoy the game... and keep spreading e'm!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Senior Bowl 2010 - Tebow Grabs The Spotlight

We are on the eve of the 2010 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. The game will kickoff Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 4pm (ET)/3pm (CT) and will be nationally-televised by the NFL Network.

A lot of the buzz as you can imagine has been around Tim Tebow, the dual threat spread offense quarterback out of the University of Florida. Tebow will be one of three quarterbacks for the South team, coached by the Miami Dolphins staff.

It'll be interesting to watch Tebow in action as he begins his professional career. During the week leading up to the game, we've heard a lot about Tebow's passing ability, his 'non-traditional' NFL arm release, his ability (or lack of) to take a snap from under the center, etc...

All I know is this... the guy is a WINNER who works hard and will always do the right thing. You give me a bunch of those guys on my team, and we'll be very successful.

Here's a video I found on Tim Tebow leading up to the Senior Bowl this Saturday.

Keep spreading e'm!

--Mark (video sharing platform) (main website)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Urban Meyer: Execution and Personnel Trump The System You Run

I found this great video (and interview by Todd McShay of ESPN) below of Urban Meyer after the 2007 BCS National Championship Game vs Ohio State.

I have always said that the offensive system you run is only as good as the players running it and their execution. The same is true at NASA in regards to aerospace, Goldman Sachs in regards to investment banking, and so on, and so on.

Now a lot of you reading this don't have the advantages that someone such as Urban Meyer has, being able to recruit the top football players in the country. So what's your plan? How are you going to make those players you have better players who 'execute' on the football field?

Well my friends... that is what makes the winning Pop Warner, high school, and lower level college coaches so good?

What I used to do is do my best as a coach to control what I can control... meaning I couldn't change the genetics of my 5'9 165 lb QB, but I could make him faster and stronger (off-season conditioning), smarter, create a good game plan for him, and as prepared as possible for the games.

See the video below... and keep spreading e'm!


Monday, January 25, 2010 - Business Plan and Investor Introduction Deck

Two years ago I began the website and like any other new endeavour I was optimistic, yet unsure how it would be received by the public.

I'm happy to announce that it is now time to take this endeavour to the next level, as the response and feedback I've received over the last 2 years has convinced me to 'Go For It'!

I present to my loyal fans, coaches, and players the Business Plan. As you will see in the presentations below, we are looking to rapidly expand the franchise both online and offline.

My goal is to bring on either one individual (be it a single person or company) or a group of 2 to 4 people to join me as an investor and more importantly a strategic partner to help the business grow.

I invite you to read my plan below, send me feedback, or forward it on to anyone you feel might be interested in partnering with me based on my vision to help 'spread the word' about the spread offense in football.

If you personally cannot invest, but may know of someone (individual or a group) who would consider it, please feel free to contact me (mark at as I'm willing to offer a referral fee to you in company equity for any leads that become investors.

Business Plan

Investor Introduction Deck

Keep spreading u'm!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Spread Offense - Speed Option To Trips

I found this great video below of the University of Michigan executing a speed option out of a trips, open (3x1) spread offense formation.

Two things to notice:

1) Watch the offensive line really sell the zone play left on the snap, this freezes the inside backers and gets the front 6 of Iowa moving left.

2) The perimeter (stalk) blocking by Michigan is very good (notice I didn't say 'excellent', or the play would have went for an even longer gain) on this play, I can't stress enough the importance of blocking by your receivers on all run plays out of the spread offense, this is critical for success. It must be worked on in practice just as much as catching the ball.

Keep spreading e'm!

--Mark (video sharing platform)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What's Next For Pat White Of The Miami Dolphins?

Pat White, the 2nd round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2009 out of West Virginia University had an up and down rookie campaign. He showed certain flashes of that explosive dual threat athlete that we all watched during his days at West Virginia, like in the first New England Patriots game.

In that game, White frequently substituted for Chad Henne at QB in the 2nd quarter, and lead the Dolphins to a touchdown drive, mixing in some nice pistol spread option plays that showcased White's ability to get to the perimeter alley on the speed option (one play he ripped off a 33 yard run) and on the final play of the drive execute a perfect option pitch to Ricky Williams for a red zone touchdown.

In other action throughout the year, White came into games during some very important moments, like in the final drive of the Dolphins/Jets first game, where he ran a QB draw for an important first down, and the Tennessee game, where he came in on an important game tie-ing two point conversion and executed the wildcat for the score (handing off to Ricky Williams) with under a minute to play.

A lot has been made of Pat White not completing a pass this year out of 5 total attempts, but on the flip side he also did not throw any interceptions. Now to the 'fan' of football, this may sound terrible, but to a 'coach' of football, I'd rather see a guy not throw an interception and not complete a pass as opposed to say completing 2 of 5 passes, with 2 picks!

Pat also never turned the football over in his 13 game appearances in 2009, with the only 'bad' play I saw being an option pitch in the 2nd New England game that was deflected when he got hit, resulting in a 15 yard loss as Ricky Williams fell on the ball.

I think it's obvious that the Miami coaching staff likes Pat's work ethic, intelligence, athletic ability, and knowledge of the situations he was being placed into, as knowing Tony Sparano, he doesn't take anything for granted in regards to player preparation on the field.

I personally feel that the following needs to happen with Pat White in the future to ensure success in the NFL.

1) Get Bigger - I know Pat was quoted as saying he's been trying to gain body weight since birth, but it is critical that he come in next year at 6'0 205 lbs (as opposed to the 190 lbs he is now). Obviously he needs to maintain his speed, agility, etc... with the added muscle. Basically he needs a nutritionist and the Miami strength program to help him accomplish this.

2) Call Steve Young - 'If' Pat is going to remain as just a quarterback, he needs to spend some quality time with Steve Young, the ex-BYU Cougar, Tampa Bay Buc, San Fransico 49er and hall of famer. Some may forget, but Young had it rough when he entered the league out of BYU. In addition, he's physically the same as Pat White (6'0-6'1 ish, great runner/scrambler, lefty thrower, strong football IQ, nice guy, etc..).

Use the off-season to get with Young for days at a time, learn his techniques, field tactics, training methods, throwing motion as a fellow lefty, throwing on the run, situational stuff, field general ship, etc...

Parcells worked with Young during his ESPN stints, I'm sure he could make it happen.

3) If #2 (being a full-time QB) is not in the plans... If the Dolphins feel the QB experiment is over, then Pat needs to work in being a 'slash' guy. Watch film of Josh Cribbs, Brad Smith, get bigger (as #1 explains above), get reps catching passes, punts, kick-offs, taking reverse hand-offs and pitches, continue throwing the ball, etc..

I think it's safe to say that the 'wildcat' position is here to stay, I still feel Pat could be the "WildCat in HD" that the league still has not seen. Pat White can throw the football, I think you'll see that next year.

The ironic part of it all is that Ronnie Brown (of the Dolphins) in my opinion is the best WildCat runner in the league, he has such a sense for that position, especially on the runs. Pat has a great guy to learn off of.

Finally, as some of you may know Pat took a nasty helmet to helmet hit in the final game vs the Steelers. Nothing was dirty about it at all, Ike Taylor was just playing hard, and Pat was tripped up prior to contact, placing him in a vulnerable position.

He seems OK, and you couldn't find a better time to get that injury, with the off-season starting the next day.

Below is a nice interview with Pat White by Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel website.

Keep spreading e'm!