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Old 09-29-2010, 04:32 PM    (permalink
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Default Game Planning and Play calling

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http://corner.bigblueinteractive.com...&thread=386116

Quote:
Just reading on various boards and you normally hear about how a coach didn't adjust or how play calling is predictable. Maybe how we should have ran this formation or not ran another, but I was curious why game planning and play calling aren't talked about more from how coaches normally do it.

So I thought I'd try my best to explain some of it. If any other coaches, specifically Dorgan can throw in their 2 pennies, that would be good too.


Game Planning:

Normally after a game on sunday, you tend to re-watch film and grade your own players for your position. So usually on a sunday, I would have grade my TEs on their effort, assignment and technique. Same for passing plays, adding routes and how their supposed to be ran too.

Usually after you go over the previous games, and talked to the specific players you get film from the other team. This usually happens by tape exchange from the coaches. In the NFL, you have access to ALL the games ever played. So your video games, can create a cutup for that position coach.

Organization of Duties:

Usually the OC gives each position coach a task. For instance, The OL coach may just focus on DL fronts. For example, the Bears run a 43 defense. So how many fronts have we seen them run against the formations we run in our offense.

Ie.

43
43 over
43 Under
43 wide
43 swim
43 wink

Goal line

Nickel

Dime

So that OL coach checks out the front, and then you get a good look on how they line up.



The TE coach usually will see where the LBs are lined up specifically the SAM and where he is in relation to the TE.

You're WR coach may be checking out CBs and any their alignment.

QB coach and OC could be tallying and drawing out their blitzes they run by down and distance.

RB coach may be focusing on Lbs and safties.


So basically after they watch film you get a sense of how to attack that defense. The video guys and scouts also give you a player scouting report so you may target specific players too. But keeping this to scheme and the general ways to game plan, is my goal right now.

So basically now you are breaking everything by down and distance, and have it all over the offensive meetings room on the dry board.

So you see ok, they run a lot of 43 over. The OC may ask the OL coach what pass protection should we use for that. How many protections and concepts do we want to install? How many concepts have been successful out of the 3 games that will be carried over on in the game plan and eventually your call sheet.

So you may get the OL coach saying. Ok on a 5 or 7 step drop let's run BOB protection. Who knows you have that successfully installed anyways? If so, then because of specific blitzes they run, you may tweak some things just for them. Ok they blitz couple Lbs. So let's move the RB there, and then have the LB come as the "hot" Lb, where Eli can see, and get the ball out. We can also have the line slide as well.

So during this phase you install protections and concepts. So because Peppers is a beast let's run more quick game, and 3 step passes. We can install rollout, bootleg, and sprint out protections, while adding more slants and screens this week. On the other hand, the staff may say let's add more 5 and 7 step concepts because we feel our Wrs can take adv. of their secondary.

Xs and Os:

Now you get an image of how their defense lines up. So you may add new plays to install in the gameplan or install plays existing in your playbook for this defense.

Ie.

4 Wide Set: Dime personnel, 43 front. That 43 front is typically a 43 swim front and they bring a sky safety with single high on top.

We feel that Smith and Nicks can High/low the safety, D. Manning by running C1 beaters such as NCAA concept on them, which is a 3 level vertical stretch that high/lows the single high.

SO something like that is the next step. Except you install your formations and then use how they line up in previous games as a guideline.


Practicing:

During the week now, you create cards and show how you want your scout defense to lineup based on the cards,and run that play. You may have installed new plays for this week, so this is the time to rep it. You do this during walkthrough, inside drill(running plays) and Pass skelly for passing plays.


Play calling:

So now you have all these plays and formations installed. So during the week you are creating a call sheet for this game. A call sheet is basically the Xs and Os in play terminology broken down by the OC to how he calls the game. Normally the standard way to do this is break everything by down and distance. On this call sheet you have timeouts, personnel packages for this game, opening scripted plays, half time adjustments, and so on.

Packages installed may be 4-10. For example:

NASCAR Personnel( Fast Wrs)

X: Nicks
Z: Manningham
Y Smith
H: Cruz

So that's our 4 wide fast WRs...

Regular: 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB

X Nicks
Z Smith
H Manningham
Y Boss


So you could have any amount taking adv. of individual players on their defense. Maybe NASCAR is effective vs them, so you use that personal more. For example before the play. NASCAR, NASCAR, Double Slot Strong Left X return all 9s on monday. That could be one of the successful plays we run.


Now play calling is based on what the OC is getting upstairs in terms of information. Usually after the first scripted series OR 2, the position coaches down stairs ask the players. IS what we studied or game planned for the way they are lining up? Now you get two answers.. YES or NO. If yes, we are fine, if no, you make adjustments and ask. So I would ask my TE player. When we line up in I pro left, is that LB at a 70T? If he says no, he is more ally, then we tell the guys upstairs.

But once the game is flowing the guys upstairs may see certain trends. But in terms of specific play calling Gilbride or any other OC would read from his call sheet.

For example:


3rd and (1-4)

1. Passing Play 1. Running play
2. Passing Play 2. Running play
3. Passing PLay 3. Running Play
4. Passing Play
5. Passing Play

So exchange the terms "passing play" or "running play" with specific terminology. Like I pro left 36 power. Shotgun-Double Slot right, 24 draw.

And basically now you are doing this for each down and distance, AND irregular down and distances too. So you may have a section for any down or 20 yards. So when we go 3rd and 30, we may have a few plays broken down in for that situation. Some really good OCs organize their call sheet in much detail.

But that's why as fans you may see some bread and butter plays ran over and over. Fans call this predictability, however the way the call sheet is broken down you see plays will repeat themselves in some fashion.

One aspect for creating a call sheet is also the statistics of what's going on offense. For example, how many total plays do we avg a game? Let's say 100 plays. Now in our system I want it to be 50-50.

SO 50 running plays and 50 passing plays. Now how many 3rd downs did we face this year. From there you keep breaking your call sheet down accordingly. Then that's your frame work. You then tweak it depending on opponent and your game plan.


But just thought I'd try my best to explain some of things going on behind the scenes on how coaches game plan. I am sure if anyone else who coached has something to add please feel free. I know Dorgan has a lot of experience, so maybe he can comment on a few things.

But game planning and play calling is more involved then what it may seem. Also, due to the dynamics of play calling you WILL get plays repeated. Remember your call sheet is finite, so in a course of a game you may get a down and distance to come up often for some reason. So that means you may see more plays from that section come up.

Hope this helps though.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:05 PM    (permalink
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Great thread, Boss (or Shocking!). It's amazing how complex these offenses are. It's no wonder they can install anything with one weeks time. It makes sense that most teams coming off a bye week really do well with all that extra time.

I'm curious, if you think someone is a "bad" playcaller does that mean they're poor in the implementing of their offense in that weeks time or that they actually just don't call the correct play for the given situation during the game? Or maybe a combination of both. Or their overall play concepts aren't as good as say..Mike Martz.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:26 PM    (permalink
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I steal feel like the limitations of having to work on a call sheet could be worked around, at least for more foreseeable "****'s going wrong" scenarios, but strong post anyway and why I love our board.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:29 PM    (permalink
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Great post!! As Rosebud said this is one of the reasons I love the Giants fans here.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:01 PM    (permalink
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I get this on offense as the offenses are far more complex than defenses. However I still get upset when defenses don't adjust. Bill up in New England is famous for reading the opposing teams offense the first drive of the game and reacting to what they think they have for a gameplan. I feel like Fewell didn't do that at all in Indy when after 10 mins it was pretty damn clear what he had going in wasn't going to work.

As much as I don't like the guy, it's pretty clear Rex Ryan is similar. No call sheet. He just calls it as he sees it.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:02 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, Jug brings up a good point. I'd like to see if defenses do the same thing or not.

I never see Bill or Rex with a call sheet. This is a great thread, really gives you insight to how much preparation goes into each game.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:23 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
Yeah, Jug brings up a good point. I'd like to see if defenses do the same thing or not.

I never see Bill or Rex with a call sheet. This is a great thread, really gives you insight to how much preparation goes into each game.
Don't know about that. I usually keep to my side of the ball. THat's the thing with football, when it comes to offense and defense. It's kind of like us and them sort of mentality. Defense works together and form bonds, and offensive players form bonds.

During lunch, defensive coaches would ask us about a certain play we ran in practice against them, and we'd explain, but other than that, it's kind of divided, not in a bad way of course.

I guess that's something you can observe throughout the season.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:27 AM    (permalink
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Don't know about that. I usually keep to my side of the ball. THat's the thing with football, when it comes to offense and defense. It's kind of like us and them sort of mentality. Defense works together and form bonds, and offensive players form bonds.

During lunch, defensive coaches would ask us about a certain play we ran in practice against them, and we'd explain, but other than that, it's kind of divided, not in a bad way of course.

I guess that's something you can observe throughout the season.
My question that isn't really answered based on the call sheets is, why are some coaches so much better than others at making half time adjustments?

It seems like you live and die with that call sheet and can make minor adjustments to it, but nothing major.

And it makes sense too, because I was begging for screen passes vs Indy, and didn't see any. But then we saw a bunch vs the Titans. So my guess is they didn't have many screens on the call sheet bc they didn't anticipate that kind of pass rush, but then implemented it into their call sheet the following week just in case.

But why do some offensive coaches do a much better job than others at adjustments? Is it just them doing a better job of building up their call sheet during the week in anticipation of certain situations that arise during a game?
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:45 AM    (permalink
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I thought it was a bad idea at the time but whatever. The problem is we only have 4 DT's on the team so on any given day probably only 3 of them will dress anyway.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:47 AM    (permalink
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I thought it was a bad idea at the time but whatever. The problem is we only have 4 DT's on the team so on any given day probably only 3 of them will dress anyway.
I don't think the DTs were the problem. It took Fewell forever to even put LBers on the field. Having Kiwi or Tuck at DT with Canty isn't terrible but we stayed in nickel and dime way too long when they were constantly gashing us. Sure if we adjusted earlier, Peyton may have torched us earlier, but I would have taken a shot with that unknown rather than what was happening on the field.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:04 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, but I am sure the defensive staff kept waiting for Peyton say ok, enough running, let's throw the ball and attack this defense. However, he stayed extremely patient and stuck to the run. 42 times they ran or something. He hasn't done that since his rookie year!! That's amazing! That was a tendency breaker in it's own right. Now it's on film, and makes DCs weary because it can show that he has the patience to stuck to something he may not want to do. So now what? Die by the run or die by passing? That's like asking someone electric chair or lethal injection? That's VERY tough now when you play that team. He showed he is fine running the ball. And we all know he can kill you through the air. So now what? Excellent the way they responded. Again, can't fault our game plan. Logical gameplan, but we got beat and undone. You tip your hand to the other team and shake your head in a surprised manner for that one.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:56 AM    (permalink
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Bump. I moved this thread to the main forum so everyone can see what goes into a week's preparation by an NFL team.

Boss did an excellent job explaining what an offense does during the week and why our perception of playcalling and adjustments are not accurate.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:03 AM    (permalink
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Bump. I moved this thread to the main forum so everyone can see what goes into a week's preparation by an NFL team.

Boss did an excellent job explaining what an offense does during the week and why our perception of playcalling and adjustments are not accurate.
Hey BBD, I was wondering why this was in the main section. I thought I must have hit something by mistake. But I see you have the power of moving threads!


This is just a general way of how coaches go about their business of game planning and then play calling. Obviously depends on the staff, and OC, and how he runs his meetings. So things are obviously slightly different depending on the team, HC, egos, staff, and personnel. But this should provide some insight on the general way of how coaches actually go about game planning week to week, and then call plays. This holds true for all levels of the game. Though HS might be very watered down and less detailed as the college and NFL ranks.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:13 AM    (permalink
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Hey BBD, I was wondering why this was in the main section. I thought I must have hit something by mistake. But I see you have the power of moving threads!


This is just a general way of how coaches go about their business of game planning and then play calling. Obviously depends on the staff, and OC, and how he runs his meetings. So things are obviously slightly different depending on the team, HC, egos, staff, and personnel. But this should provide some insight on the general way of how coaches actually go about game planning week to week, and then call plays. This holds true for all levels of the game. Though HS might be very watered down and less detailed as the college and NFL ranks.
I'd love to hear a defensive coach's perspective on this too. Im curious to see how they approach their gameplan.

My guess is some DC's focus more on attacking protection schemes (the blitz heavy guys) while other DCs might favor an approach that focuses more on coverage (Billichick/Crennel).

I know they put a lot of time into both, but Im sure some guys will focus their game plan more on pressure while others want to disguise their coverage more than disguise their rush.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:18 AM    (permalink
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I'd love to hear a defensive coach's perspective on this too. Im curious to see how they approach their gameplan.

My guess is some DC's focus more on attacking protection schemes (the blitz heavy guys) while other DCs might favor an approach that focuses more on coverage (Billichick/Crennel).

I know they put a lot of time into both, but Im sure some guys will focus their game plan more on pressure while others want to disguise their coverage more than disguise their rush.
My friend Dave is a defensive coach. I will ask him. If I ever get to talk to Coach Campo, then I can ask him to give me some insight.

I am not sure how defensive players really go about it. I know they count formations, down/distances, running and passing concepts. That I know for sure, the rest I am not sure.

My guess is that they have concrete ways they line up against each formation the offense throws. I say that because that's what we look for. If we play a defense next game, I want to see how the Lions line up against each formation that the Rams used, and prior teams. From there then I go on and find weakness and install from there. So conversely, I am guessing the defense checks out the formations we use, and line up based on what they like.

Well the DC may, but the other position coaches have duties too. Not sure about those, but we on offense, have specific tasks when it comes to reviewing tape, and what to look for. Then in a meeting, we pool it all together, and the opposing team's defense starts to take shape, and then we go from there on how to attack it.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:29 AM    (permalink
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My friend Dave is a defensive coach. I will ask him. If I ever get to talk to Coach Campo, then I can ask him to give me some insight.

I am not sure how defensive players really go about it. I know they count formations, down/distances, running and passing concepts. That I know for sure, the rest I am not sure.

My guess is that they have concrete ways they line up against each formation the offense throws. I say that because that's what we look for. If we play a defense next game, I want to see how the Lions line up against each formation that the Rams used, and prior teams. From there then I go on and find weakness and install from there. So conversely, I am guessing the defense checks out the formations we use, and line up based on what they like.

Well the DC may, but the other position coaches have duties too. Not sure about those, but we on offense, have specific tasks when it comes to reviewing tape, and what to look for. Then in a meeting, we pool it all together, and the opposing team's defense starts to take shape, and then we go from there on how to attack it.
All the studying during the week really shows the casual fan how important it is to have intelligent players if you run a complex scheme.

I personally favor schemes that are simple for the players to digest, but complex in nature, like Rex's scheme. The complexity comes from the formations and blitzes, but the responsibilities for the players are simple so they can just go out and be athletes.

But when you look at a scheme like Bellichick/Crennel run, its very complicated. The checks the defenders have to make based on formation and coverages really makes it difficult for a dumb player to thrive in.

That's why they go after smart guys and not necessarily the athletes everyone else wants.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:40 AM    (permalink
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My friend Dave is a defensive coach. I will ask him. If I ever get to talk to Coach Campo, then I can ask him to give me some insight.

I am not sure how defensive players really go about it. I know they count formations, down/distances, running and passing concepts. That I know for sure, the rest I am not sure.

My guess is that they have concrete ways they line up against each formation the offense throws. I say that because that's what we look for. If we play a defense next game, I want to see how the Lions line up against each formation that the Rams used, and prior teams. From there then I go on and find weakness and install from there. So conversely, I am guessing the defense checks out the formations we use, and line up based on what they like.

Well the DC may, but the other position coaches have duties too. Not sure about those, but we on offense, have specific tasks when it comes to reviewing tape, and what to look for. Then in a meeting, we pool it all together, and the opposing team's defense starts to take shape, and then we go from there on how to attack it.
Here's how we did it:

Break down every play the upcoming team has run so far this season (and some from last season if it's early in the year). Plays are broken down by down and distance, formation, hashmark, and what play is run.

The most important thing is trying to narrow down the run/pass percentages out of certain down and distances (first and possession, first and ten, 2nd and 7+, 2nd and 3-6, 2nd and -3, 3rd and 7+, 3rd and 3-6, 3rd and -3, etc). Then you get the percentages of what plays are run out of certain formations and hashmarks.

Like offense, each position group will also be assigned to analyze personnel for their position group. D-line coaches will look at their pass protection schemes, do they tip off run/pass by their stance, do they give away pass on play action by popping up high instead of firing out, etc. Secondary coaches analyze WR formations/groupings and route combinations as well as quarterback tendencies. The linebackers coaches do a little bit of everything. They analyze pass protections, formation groupings, runningback substitution tendencies, etc.

When you break down every single play of an offense, you get a pretty good idea of what they're going to do in almost every conceivable down and distance, as well as who they like to go to in certain situations, what kind of pass protection you'll see out of certain formations (which is huge if you're a blitzing team), etc. I'd imagine a team like the Jets focuses on that almost exclusively during the week, since they run so much man anyways. They want to find the holes in their protection schemes, and which ones they run out of certain formations.

Personnel groupings are so, so huge too. You'll find things out like in 2nd and 3-6 they've got a 50-50 split between run and pass and they like balanced sets. But they're 80% run when they've got a fullback in as opposed to 35% run when they're in double tight, single back.

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Old 10-12-2010, 10:30 AM    (permalink
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The D definitely lines up based on the offense if only because Dlineman line up based on the OLineman. Thus depending on the formation you're facing you'll adjust where you lineup, or not, depending on the formation.

As for the play calling I don't know enough about that, I can only speak to how DL are taught since that's what I played in high school, that's what my buddy played at UB and that's what I know most, although I suspect that BBD is right in that the defense, just like the offense, groups its plays by down and distance as well as by formation.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:38 AM    (permalink
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I know it was much simpler at the HS level. We literally had 5 formations, 43, 43 under, 43 over and base nickel and base dime.

And we ran the same 10 plays out of each formation. Very simple.

Coach wanted us focusing more on our individual technique and spend more time improving our athleticism and didn't want to overload our brain with too much reacting. He just wanted us to perfect our technique, show up as athletic as possible, and just play.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:22 AM    (permalink
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Wow. Sounds like our system was too basic.

I just assumed every HS system was basic like ours.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:25 AM    (permalink
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Wow. Sounds like our system was too basic.

I just assumed every HS system was basic like ours.
Haha bum! : P
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:26 AM    (permalink
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Haha bum! : P
Haha. To be fair, my team was filled with idiots.

He just wanted a bunch of dudes who could run fast like Al Davis.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:25 AM    (permalink
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Wow. Sounds like our system was too basic.

I just assumed every HS system was basic like ours.
Eh, basic is better at the high school level. I always felt like the offense at the school I coached at was perennial crappy because it was way too complicated for HS kids and we tried to do wayyyy too much. We spread ourselves way too thin and never spent the time to get GOOD at one particular thing. We had no identity and we were average in all facets. When you only have three hours of practice time a day and you're dealing with 16 year old kids, KISS.

I LOVED the offense at the school that I played at. Two formations: I pro and I twins. High diddle diddle, we're coming up the middle, try and stop us.

We had about seven running plays, and we could execute every single one of them perfectly against any front or blitz you could throw at us.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:29 AM    (permalink
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Eh, basic is better at the high school level. I always felt like the offense at the school I coached at was perennial crappy because it was way too complicated for HS kids and we tried to do wayyyy too much. We spread ourselves way too thin and never spent the time to get GOOD at one particular thing. We had no identity and we were average in all facets. When you only have three hours of practice time a day and you're dealing with 16 year old kids, KISS.
Yeah, that's why I appreciated its simplicity. Honestly, most of my teammates were complete morons. We barely could run any zone bc guys just couldn't understand zone concepts.

We played fast though bc we knew our assignments and did what we had to do. If the other team was more athletic, so be it, they won. But we hung our hat on our speed overcoming any scheme issues.

Our offense was like 20 plays max.

He just wanted us perfecting technique, improving our athleticism, and hoped the repetition would let us perfect our technique within the system.
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:34 AM    (permalink
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Yeah, that's why I appreciated its simplicity. Honestly, most of my teammates were complete morons. We barely could run any zone bc guys just couldn't understand zone concepts.

We played fast though bc we knew our assignments and did what we had to do. If the other team was more athletic, so be it, they won. But we hung our hat on our speed overcoming any scheme issues.

Our offense was like 20 plays max.

He just wanted us perfecting technique, improving our athleticism, and hoped the repetition would let us perfect our technique within the system.
Some of the HSs do funny stuff. I worked at the HS I went to, and they didn't have enough offensive coaches in the booth. Also, they don't document plays during the game, which was VERY surprising. How do you know what play worked or doesn't work if you don't write it down? LOL. I took one good look at that and thought if I was on that staff I'd go crazy! I'd have to say something or I'd insane.
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