Coach Wyatt's NEWS YOU CAN USE - AUGUST, 2008

"Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it." (Proverbs, Chapter 8, Verses 10-11)





FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2008-"Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy." Groucho Marx

*********** The Hyaks of North Beach High are still unbeaten. ("Hyak" is a word from Chinook Indian jargon meaning "Speedy," "Fast" or "Quick.")

What a great help Jack Tourtillotte has been. Lemme tell you - the guy can coach. He loves the game of football, he really knows his sh-- (he did, after all, coach four Boothbay, Maine teams to the state finals, winning two of them), he is enthusiastic and great with the kids, and he buys when it's his turn to buy!

Lameass excuse #1 - we'll go into game #1 against Morton next Friday night without benefit of a scrimmage or a jamboree.

Lameass excuse #2 - Our numbers are low as expected, and although we do manage to get a little scrimmaging in when we're on offense, we can't get anything done with a complete defensive unit.

Not that it would have done us any good to try to do any secondary work today anyway - for those of you who live in places where it is still August, it was November in Ocean Shores, cold and raining and blowing the entire practice. How many of you wore slickers to your practice today?

The day before, Wednesday, was glorious, and after practice, Jack, my wife and I just sat on the jetty at the end of our street and watched the whales and the seals out in the bay as the surf pounded on the rocks below us.

Here are the kids who are all cleared and ready to go for game #1.

We are beginning to make inroads - today, I met the lady who handles the in-school suspension. She said she was pleased to meet me, and pleased to know that she wouldn't be having any football players in her room this year. I asked her how she knew that, and she said, "They (the football players) told me!"

*********** I know bodies are thin, but if you have a student manager or something for the good of us young guys you might want to get a few hours of tape of The Masters at work. I'm sure it's fun to watch you guys at practice.

To be honest, some tape on how youi run a practice with that few bodies might be useful to some coaches. (I know I ran into that problem at Harker, with 15 JV kids to work with.)

Christopher Anderson, Arlington, Virginia (Great idea. There would be an awful lot of editing to be done, but you would probably enjoy hearing and seeing some of the stuff that goes on. HW)

*********** OMG. Army is going to unveil its new offense Friday night on ESPN Classic. I can't breathe.

*********** I've heard from quite a few coaches who evidently heard, on a web site run by someone who I am told has had some uncomplimentary things to say about me, about a new technique I have been working on for the last year called the "Hockey Stick." Now, considering that I've never even met this self-anointed Double-Wing expert, and considering that I've had almost no communication with him, I can't understand how he can know me well enough to take shots at me. If he knew me and didn't like me, that I could understand...

On top of that, considering that this guy has not, to my knowledge, ever stood on a sideline as a high school head coach, and has never put on any clinics or camps or coached anyone other than his own (freshman, I believe) team, you will perhaps understand why I consider him just another Double-Wing wannabe with a Web site, and why I never visit the site.

So it does trouble me somewhat that coaches are apparently on the site, exchanging information about something I have worked hard to develop, and then coming to me for information. I am tempted to ask, "Why the f--k don't you just ask the genius that runs the site?"

But that wouldn't be fair to them. They have a desire to know and they havea legitimate question.

So I will share the information in due course, but (unlike certain other Double-Wing "experts") not before first making sure that it's been thoroughly "field-tested" - in meaningful competition at several different places. It has always been my policy that when I recommend something to someone, you can be sure that I have "done it and run it" myself, and so, in many cases, have the handful of trusted coaches I work most closely with.

*********** Coach Wyatt, My name is John Behornar from New Castle, Delaware and I coach in the local weight defined Catholic League.My problem is I have a quick big center and a line about a 1/2 step behind I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank You


Not to sound flip, but if your center is big and quick, maybe he should be playing another position.  After many, many years of coaching this offense, at six different high schools, at more than 150 clinics and camps and in four foreign countries, I have found that while I like my centers big, they don't necessarily have to be quick. It sounds to me like you are describing a guard in my system.  I make sure to spell all this out in my playbook.  There's nothing we ask our center to do that requires him to run very far (although we would like him to lead the way when wedging a man on him).  I often say that it's a great sport for the really good, dependable kid who really wants to play football and probably couldn't play anywhere else.

Hope that helps!

*********** Welcome back to Adam ("The Artist Formerly Known as Pacman") Jones.

*********** I hope some of you noticed that South Carolina's starting tailback, Taylor Rank, was from Vancouver, Washington. He's no fluke - he helped lead his Evergreen High team to the state 4A (largest class) title a few years back. He chose SC because his family is originally from the South. His dad played at Georgia Tech.

*********** And speaking of Georgia Tech, ain't it great to see the Yellow Jackets running Paul Johnson's option offense?

*********** Vancouver, Washington just finished replacing the FieldTurf at Kiggins Bowl, where three of its high schools play their home games.

The $750,000 surface is expected to provide ten years' worth of use, and the warranty is good for ten years, provided...

There be no activities on it requiring "continuous, repetitive motion in one area."

This means that while bands can perform at halftime, they will not be able to practice on the field.

And, while soccer games (sorry - "matches") will still be played on the field, soccer teams will not be able to practice on it. Not lengthwise, at least. Hahahahahahahaha. Twerps.

The reason, as we already knew, is that after a number of soccer games have been played on a field, the goalkeepers will have managed to wear out the grass (or articifial turf) in front of the goal mouth.

*********** Good-bye black. Yesssss. Stanford has ditched the ghastly-looking black trim and once again looks like the Stanford of John Elway, James Lofton, Ken Margerum, Darrin Nelson, John Lynch and Jim Plunkett, among others.

Meanwhile, making a key interception (and returning it for a TD) for Stanford was a kid named Bo McNally, from Billings, Montana. His dad was the late Dave McNally, former 20-game winner for the Baltimore Orioles and a former fellow employee of mine at the now-defunct National Brewing Company.

As I post this, it is 9:45 Pacific Time, and Oregon State had just blown a chance to send the game into overtime. An OSU receiver, heading out of bounds at the Stanford 1-yard line with 47 seconds left, chose instead to make one of those dumbass plays that wide receivers love, reaching out to try to get the ball "across the plane." But whattaya know - he let go of the ball too soon and it went into the end zone and out of bounds for a touchback.

Damn, it's hard to like wide receivers.

*********** Coach Wyatt;
Hope this e-mail finds you and Connie doing well and in great spirits.....  Coach I don't where to start but the Good Lord doesn't want me to stop coaching; so as only He can do He's made a way for me .......  I've been named the Head JV coach for Calvin Coolidge HS here in DC.....!!!  As I mentioned to you a few months ago I was tired of coaching and my spirits were down .  A much needed break was what I had in store for the season and possibly many more seasons to come.   Last week as I was turning in some equipment from last season I ran into a good friend of the family.  After the usual chit chat he cut right to the point......" Coach Pierce I'm the new A.D. @ Coolidge and we need a JV coach and  YOU'RE GONNA INTERVIEW FOR THE POSITION"....    "You mean you'd like for me to think about it and interview..??"  "NO," he said - "as the A.D. I'm telling you you're gonna interview with the head Varsity coach on Friday @ 4pm."   Coach Wyatt;  Darlene was in the car with me at the time and said I should at least listen to what they had to say....   Ok I'll go but I don't want to coach and I'm wasting their  time..   Coolidge HS is one the top schools here in DC with all NEW facilities... New turf field, lockers with cable TV, press box, new equipment, all new uniforms...etc...etc...  After I peppered the Head coach with questions for an hour he showed me around and introduced me as the new JV head coach......Mind you, I hadn't even  said I'd take it.......  Me taking the job was contingent upon me finding  my own staff.   Coach Hall and Coach Royal who have attended your clinics before jumped at the chance and are now on board..!!   I've been with the kids for 3 days now and I've earned their respect and they are SO EAGER to learn and want to be Loved..... 
One final note....I spoke to the A.D.'s wife yesterday.  She asked me was I surprised..?  I said yes, but how did they or why did they choose me over some others?....  she said there were NO others.. and the hiring of me as JV head coach was in the works months ago..!!
Coach Wyatt I must say with conviction " What an awesome God we serve"...!!
Dwayne Pierce
Washington, D.C. (Coach Pierce has been with us almost from the start, back when it REALLY "took a set" to run the Double-Wing, and it's great to hear that he's back in the saddle again.

*********** Are there any drills you could suggest that would help the line get off the ball quicker,there slow on that first step.

Maybe their first step isn't good, and the first step is all-important.

Try the Bird-Dog drill (a drill developed at Delaware, as a matter of fact) - have them take their first step and freeze right there.  At that  point, they should have their "numbers on a knee." that means they haven't come up too quickly.

Try it.  You will be surprised at how few of them are able to take just one step and freeze.

*********** Coach,
I was at practice the other day when ---- Kid #1 --- stopped by.  His nephew was practicing with the 5th/6th grade team (seems like he's had a 5th grade nephew every year).  I talked to him for a few minutes while the team was working on special teams.  He said he came back from College of Siskiyous during his second season because he had things to take care of here.  He's now enrolled at PCC studying to become an electrician.
During our conversation Coach Duilio (a sergeant in the Portland Police Bureau) made a comment that --- Kid #1's ---- name had come up during roll call.  ----- Kid #1 ---- replied to him that "she's lying about that."
Come to find out that ------ Kid #1 ---- was arrested for Prostitution - Procuring (Pimping) and was released on bail while he is waiting arraignment.  I really hope "she's lying"
Saturday night we had our scrimmage.  I was sitting in the booth when ---- Kid #2 --- stopped by.  He graduated (somehow) from Jefferson last year.  I asked him what he's doing and if he's staying out of trouble.  He said he's not doing anything and trouble seems to follow him.  When he told me he was just hanging out with ---- Kid # 1 --- earlier that night, I told him it sounds like he follows trouble.
He did say after he takes this year off he's going to a JC to play football (LOL).  I then reminded him about all the good times we had together....him getting suspended Friday afternoon before games (twice) and then during baseball when he got into a fight with Meshaud in the dugout.
Just when I thought things were out of control I found out that --- Kid #3 ---- wouldn't make it to the scrimmage on Saturday because he and another player were arrested for shoplifting that day.  They tried stealing tights and gloves for the scrimmage that night.  -- Kid #3 ---- has been suspended for the first game and the other player, who spent all of last year in a youth corrections facility, was booted from the team.
Sometimes I wonder why I wind up back at Madison every year.
On a positive note, it sounds like things are going well at North Beach.  Great to hear that you've brought in some excellent coaches.  I'm sure you guys are having a wonderful time together.
Good luck this season, I'll be following the Hyaks,
Ryan White, Portland, Oregon


That is so sad. Kid #1 was one of my captains, and a kid I dearly loved. Kid #2 was a knucklehead, to be sure, on autopilot a lot of the time, but his heart was basically good. Kid #3 was my QB three years ago as a freshman. He was a good student and a very good kid. Unlike most of my kids, he had two loving parents, and he was an only child at that. I read Coach Miller's letterto my team today as a reminder that the pull of "friends" is strong, and it's often in the wrong direction, and that sometimes your "best friend" is really your worst enemy.

Go Senators! Go  Hyaks!

*********** Do you have anything to recommend to force backs not to turn their shoulders to the sideline on super power?

To get those backs right, try running them from Right and Left formation before moving them back to the wings.

*********** With the announcement by the LPGA that from here on all players on the ladies' tour will have to learn to speak English, now would seem to be the right time for the NBA to pass a similar rule.

FLAGTUESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2008- "It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time." Sir Winston Churchill

*********** Man, I wish you guys could have been here in Ocean Shores, Washington this past week. There were four of us old-timers living under the same roof, doing nothing but football 24-7.  Those kids couldn't possibly have ever seen coaching like they got this week.

They have completely bought in.

As a result, we are miles ahead of where we would have been if it had been just me.

And as it turns out, unexpectedly, we have TALENT.  We are low in numbers - we're now at 22 kids - but we have size and speed and athletic ability.  Our QB can throw and all of our "skill" kids can run and catch,

And after what we saw on Saturday, these kids HIT.

I really think that if we stay on course, we could go places.

*********** Coach, Was reading up on former UVA coach George Welsh and was reminded that we was hired as an advisor to help get football back at Old Dominion University.

Went to the ODU football site, looked at the roster, and it hit me. 2009 will be their 1st season.

Their ENTIRE football team is made up of freshmen. Duh!

A daunting task don't you think?

I think that is the right thing to do if they schedule properly.  It shows me that they are willing to be patient in order to do it right.

If a kid is an upperclassman at ODU, that likely means he isn't wanted somewhere else.

*********** Coach Wyatt,

In our end of training camp meeting, the players & coaches at Kansas State University unanimously selected senior Ian Campbell was as the person that we would recommend wearing the patch that honors Major Don Hollender & the members of the Black Lion Battalion.

Ian's honor, courage, self-sacrifice & “team above self” attitude have been on display each day of his career. This young man was a walk-on football player for two years. Upon arrival at K-State, defensive line coach Mo Latimore, a 20 year K-State staff member, recommended that we place Ian on scholarship. After our first spring together we did just that. Since that moment, Ian a first-team all Big XII/All-American defensive end (2006), changed positions to outside linebacker in 2007 and was first-team Big XII at that position also. We have moved Ian back to defensive line in 2008 and his only response was simply "what’s best for the team?", despite the fact he has an opportunity to be the first three time all conference defender in Kansas State’s 113 year history.

Ian Campbell has been voted team captain the last two years and now has been selected two years in a row as our Black Lion Award winner. He was instrumental in our team’s relief efforts here in Manhattan when a devastating tornado struck our town this summer.

We humbly submit Ian Campbell’s name to you and the members of the Black Lion Award board members for your approval. Ian will represent the men of 28th Infantry with distinction.

Ron Prince, Head Football Coach

Kansas State University

Coach Prince,

I hope you know how much we honor our association with Kansas State, and how much we appreciate your support of the Black Lion Award.

We also admire you for all the things you have done on behalf of the Black Lions at Fort Riley.

Ian Campbell wore the Black Lion emblem proudly last season and it would be a great honor for him to once again represent the Black Lions in 2008.

Our very best to you, to Ian Campbell, and the K-State Wildcats.

(As an aside - This is one high school coach who is pulling hard for you)

*********** Coach Prince and Coach Wyatt,

You have both inspired Athletes, Soldiers, and Leaders - your impact is felt throughout the entire 1st Infantry Division, not just the Black Lions - the reason is we share the same fellowship - a Warriors Ethos - we salute K-State's nomination of Ian Campbell as the modern Don Holleder / Black Lion Awardee (General Douglas MacArthur would enjoy watching K-State and Ian Campbell beat Texas almost as much as he enjoyed watching Cadet Holleder and Army beat Navy).

We stand behind Coach Prince and the Kansas State Wildcats as they take the field as a Team this weekend - on their way to the Big-12 Championship.


LTC Pat Frank

Fort Riley, Kansas

*********** Last issue I took a rural North Carolina staff to task because they were so f--king ignorant that they had been dissing the new high school head coach, saying that the offense he had run successfully at the middle school "won't work at the high school level."

I have to confess that here I am, coaching at a high school myself, trying to turn a 1-9 team into a winner, using the same offense that that poor former middle school coach is running. Oh, dear. I wish somebody had told me sooner that it won't work.

Meantime, in in Charlotte, North Carolina, a big city where they have TV stations and newspapers and everything, and where most football coaches are able to follow what's going on in their sport, South Mecklenburg, a real high school that actually runs the Double Wing, thumped Charlotte Catholic, picked Number 3 in the state in pre-season polls, 30-16.

Wrote Langston Wertz, Jr. in the Charlotte Observer, "the Charlotte Catholic-South Meck game was played at such a high level. It attracted an overflow crowd and the whole thing felt like a playoff game. South Meck parent Larry Kennedy Jr., a former Florida All-American, said it felt like "Friday Night Lights." There was an incredible amount of passion, from the players and the fans. Usually when I think of the best rivalries in town, West Charlotte-Indy, Indy-Butler and Country Day-Latin come to mind. Let's quickly add this one to that list."

It may take several weeks - if ever - for word of this big win to work its way back to those dolts who keep insisting that this here newfangled Double Wing ain't gonna work at the high school level.

*********** Still coaching 7 and 8 year olds, and yes, they pull.

Running 100% wildcat.

88/99 - 88/99 keep - 88/99 boot

6G - 6G keep

47C - 47CXX

That's it. No frills.

Thanks for all your help.

Dennis Cook, Roanoke, Virginia

*********** Hi Coach,first of all congratulations on your new job,I know those kids will benefit from your coaching.We had our Jamboree yesterday and we did okay,I invited Coach Norlock out to observe.My question for you is,when using motion,Rip/Liz,or later on Ripper/Lizzer,do you still use a snap count other than "Go"?When we were in Lathrop this year I was sure they used QB to kickstart the WB in motion.I put that in but both Mike and I agreed it seemed to throw the timing of the play off.He suggested either no motion at all or back to "Go Ready Hut"if we used motion.What do you think?

Thank You,
Kurt Heinke,Atascadero Ca.


I use motion for various reasons, and I find that more and more when we use motion we start the motion (any kind of motion) with the QB's foot and snap the ball on GO.

It seems to be working for us, because when we go on "GO" no one ever jumps.

But you should use what works best for you.  That doesn't make you wrong!

Of course, we still work on getting off on "FIRST HUT."

Best of luck-

*********** Coach,

Thank you for the tips. We ran two of our screens well in the pre-season scrimmage Saturday using your tip.

Our super power was excellent, but we need a good perimeter play to stop the off-tackle crashing. We have not run G-O in a couple years because we have run the sprint sweep. I prefer not to run too much. Our sprint sweep was pathetic this weekend, I think because a lack of raw speed. Do you recommend G-O reach as the best perimeter play? Thanks coach

Shane Strong
Pine Island High School
Pine Island, MN

Coach, I believe we have the best possible perimeter play.  It is called 88-G Reach/99-G Reach.  I apologize for being in such a hurry right now, but briefly - it is a toss play using "Ripper" motion, (more RIP - opposite is LIZZER) which we start with the QB's foot.  The QB calls fore the ball when the runner is directly behind him (about 1-2 yards deeper than the B-Back) and  tosses to the runner so that he catches it about back of the playside TE.  We reach playside with WB, TE and T, and our playside guard (G Reach) runs a tight circle and turns upfield for FS or Inside LB.  B-Back leads on the playside corner (or first to show).

That's it without getting into greater detail, but it will be our mainstay sweep.

It nicely sets up Trap, G and counter.

The trick in getting the B-Back out in front is to make sure that the wingback is deep enough when he gets the ball and doesn't turn up until he gets the ball.  He will be at least 5 yards deeper than the TE.

And you may have a timing issue at first with your QB calling for the ball soon enough because a fast wingback can cover a lot of ground once he's underway.

Let me know how it goes.

*********** Coach Wyatt, We are 2 weeks away from our first game, just wanted to send you a note, I have 9 players back from last season and 14 first year, all 8th graders, most of my "players" from last season are starting freshman ball!  You might have noticed a few orders for playbooks and videos out to Imperial and El Centro,  we are now running the double wing at 4 levels; jpw, pw, jm, and midget!  I am doing my best to demonstrate and answer all questions of the coaches, I am really looking forward to our jpw and jm teams as they have shown me the most commitment to the program!  I will keep you updated. keep this email between us,  just an fyi!
Matt Marrs
Imperial, Ca.
Mid Valley Sundevils
P.S.  When do you start your season?  Would like to keep up with you on the internet.  Our success last season has removed all doubt about the double wing in the Imperial Valley!!!

We open our season on Friday, Feb 5 against Morton, Washington. As soon as we finish two-a-days and I have some time, we will have a page up and running with news of the North Beach Hyaks.

*********** How one coach in an organization achieved success and now has managed to be the double-wing resource for his entire organization...

I had 1 clinic with video and whiteboard, and 1 on grass with players, it was well attended except for the pee wee coaches. When we started practice my team as well as the Jr.pee wee's and Jr. midget of course started install  right away while the pee wee coaches complained their kids weren't ready. I kept pushing them to get it going, finally they crawled over to me and I took 30 min of my practice time to install it for their team,  Same group of coaches that had our midgets lose every game last season. I tried to help, they would add their spin to it, and of course it didn't work.  I sure hope they stick to the program, it is so much easier when you start with the kids knowing the offense, for my players it was like getting right back on a bicycle, made the install to the new players much easier than last season!  I am real proud of the Jr midget coach Jesse Cortez, he was my DC 2 years ago, he is sticking right to the plan, safer and surer tackling, line drills - that team I feel will have the most success.  Unfortunately he lost one of his QB's last week to 2 fractured Vertebrae; he will be fine, but it was a real scare.  He was practicing Superpower, and had the LB's and CB's running around with shield bags, as the QB went for the block, the CB lowered his shoulder to absorb the impact, well his QB dropped his head!!!!  you guessed helmet to helmet, even when you are doing a low impact drill, using bags, bad things can happen, also I am sure that the QB was never corrected before by his previous coaches, and no matter what he had been taught this year, he reverted back to his muscle memory!

Just one more reason to get every coach in our organization on the same page,  I am looking forward to this year, but really looking forward to next season,  as we will be returning over 100 players with Double Wing experience!

*********** Coach, Congratulations on your new position, I'm sure like many others I will be following your success through the year. Finished with two-a-days and our scrimmage, I finally have a day and 1/2 to spend with family and refocus prior to the start of our game prep on Sunday and I jumped on your News page. One post reminded me of interesting events that occured at our scrimmage. Flint Carman Ainesworth a very talented and athletic school got in numerous fights in the JV and Varsity scrimmages, I was extremely proud of our boys as they were get pushed, shoved, and punched that the hustled back to prepare for the next play never saying a word. I could see it was pissing Carman off that we would not react, later in the scrimmage our left wing and free safety who rushed for 1800 yards last season and is a terrific athlete got injured. Our team after waiting for him to leave the field began saying "now someone has to step up" they kept talking about how it was
someone's opportunity. I'm just so proud of the character that our boys showed in these two instances, Ironically, our soccer team the very same day had an altercation and fight during there first game. Our AD is evaluating the video to see if any of our boys need discipline action.

Jason Mensing
Head Football Coach
Tecumseh High School

*********** Hi Coach, just some quick notes:
Two years in a row we won the championship. We won yesterday 53-36 against the second team of the Braunschweig Lions.
Although we really struggled on Defense this year we managed to outscore our opponents 402-272.
In 10 games we had a total of 4767 yards of which 4581 yards were rushing yards. So we really want to work on the passing game.
BTW our A Back Benni Meier rushed for 2097 yards in the season, with an average of almost 12 yards.
All the best for your team this season.
Thanks for everything.

 Mathias Bonner, Hamburg, Germany

*********** Coach, How long do your lineman hold blocks on screen release? We have been working B-screen left and right all week, but the timing is ugly. He has room to run if we can time it up better. Also we have a very small line
this year and we are having trouble with frontside push on super power.

Have you ever scramble blocked that with smaller athletes? Thank you for your time coach.

Coach, I would recommend scramble blocking if you have a little man against a big man.  You don't have to have a push if you can at least get a stalemate.  But your lineman has to keep his feet moving as he bear crawls.

On the screen, we tell a kid to say his name three times before he releases.  It seems o work better than counting.

Let me know if that helps.

FLAGFRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 2008- "Some people try to find things in this game that don't exist; but football is only two things - blocking and tackling." Vince Lombardi

*********** We are under way at North Beach High in Ocean Shores, Washington, and the season opened with what had to be the tail end of a typhoon blowing in from somewhere else in the Pacific.

Great news, though- we put the kids through a couple of very tough sessions, and my hasty but rigorous pre-season conditioning program paid off when only one kid puked.

The kids' willingness to work and eagerness to learn are astounding to me.

We have been teaching blocking with shields, exactly as I show it on "A Fine Line," and tackling exactly as it's shown in "Safer and Surer Tackling." And we've used many of the drills in "Practice Without Pads."

After two days, I can say for sure that we will be able to block people. And we will tackle. On Saturday, the first day we can legally do so, I have no doubt that our kids will hit. And I am confident that they will know how to do so properly.

By the end of our first offensive session Wednesday afternoon, we had run, acceptably, 88 and 99 Super Power (duh), 47-C and 56-C, 47 Brown and 56 Black, 88 Brown and 99 Black (aka Red-Red and Blue-Blue), 88-G Reach and 99 G-Reach.

It's way too early to make any predictions, but to my great suprise, there are some talented kids here. There is some exceptional speed and some good hands, and our LG-C-RG go 285, 275, 255 - and they're not fat. If these kids keep working the way they have, we could be okay.

A major reason we have made so much progress has been the coaching. Helping me have been longtime friend Jack Tourtillotte, former offensive coordinator at Boothbay Harbor, Maine, who helped win two state titles there and is living with us for the season; Gary Garland, former head coach and AD at Washougal, Washington and Moscow and American Falls, Idaho; Mike Creamer, a former teammate and associate; and two men from the North Beach staff, Maynard Reed and James Vogler.

*********** Since I got off to a late start at Ocean Shores, and the kids hadn't been doing anything football-related all summer, I had to make up for lost ground.  That meant some fairly intensive conditioning (by their standards, at least) - a circuit workout of 31 different stations, 30 seconds each in duration with very little rest in between, followed by wind sprints.

If a player showed up after the start of the circuit workout, he would jump in on an empty station and then after the rest of the guys finished they would wait for him to finish his 31 before going outside to sprint.

One evening, Maurice showed up after the group was seven stations along. It was his first workout, and pretty soon he was struggling, as most kids did their first time through. Somehow, though, he made it until the other kids finished, but with seven still to go, he was really hurting.  I told the other kids in the room that here was a great chance to show a teammate what it's like to have guys pulling for him - that instead of standing around, they should encourage Maurice. Next thing I know, one kid drops to the floor next to Maurice and starts doing pushups along with him - that was his station - and with that, every other kid in the room - despite being finished their own workouts - began working along with Maurice.  He made it through that, and he made it through his sprints, and he kept coming back for more, and now in camp, from the looks of things, he is going to be a player.


*********** How sad it is to hear of the passing of Gene Upshaw, who regardless of one's opinion of his stances on NFL labor relations has to be considered a giant of the modern game.

*********** This Olympics is screwed up - from a 41-year old world record-setting swimmer who's gotten better from age 35 on, to a Milli Vanilli-ed opening ceremony song, to a coach of 16 year-olds who don't look anywhere near 16 questioning the age of opposing gymnasts, to making the west coast watch "live" on 3-hr tape delay to 1AM, to those pole dancers in beach volleyball. And consider how many of the T&F and swimming stars have already raced against each other in other international competitions.

At least Nigeria did us a favor and sent the U.S. soccer team home early.

Christopher Anderson, Arlington, Virginia

*********** Yes-s-s-s-s-s-s. By all acounts, Army is going to a "run-based, option offense."

*********** Sent to me by Don Shipley, of Falls Church, Virginia, son of my one-time semi-pro coach, Dick Shipley...Excerpted from the sports section of the August 18, 1968 Frederick News-Post:
"The new Frederick Falcons football team made its debut in the Interstate Football League a winning one as they bounced the Red Lion, Pa., Lions 6-0 on a hot and humid day.  Nearly 200 fans from Frederick travelled to Red Lion to see Dick Shipley's charges put on a tough defensive show for their first semi-pro victory.  (Quarterback Ron) Manges, who mixed his plays well all afternoon and was able to scramble with authority...went to the air and hit end Wayne Bowens in the end zone for the only score of the day.  Frederick put on its final drive with just minutes left when defensive back Hugh Wyatt intercepted a pass and ran 20 yards to the Lions 24.  The Falcons picked up a first and 10 at the 13 but failed to get in as they moved to the four yard line on fourth down.  Red Lion got off two passes that (defensive back Jerry) Ricucci batted down to end the game."
We would go 21-2 over the next two years. That would lead to my being hired by the owner of the rival Hagerstown Bears as their GM, which, when I couldn't find a coach, would lead to my becoming the coach, which would lead to what is now a 39-year career in football coaching and management.

*********** 1st day went well. Im sure you are too busy to respond but I had to tell you that we set a possible record today for the fastest puker ever - about 2-3 min. into practice ..... BEFORE STRETCHING ..... DURING FORM RUN (band step to be specific). Can we get in the Guiness Book for that.

John Dowd, Oakfield, New York (Could be a record. Nothing disgusts me more than a kid who's had all summer to get in shape - and a coach who's been there to help condition him - and blows it all off and then blows chips on the first day. Wonder what he was doing the night before. HW)

*********** Three blocks from my place is Washington-Lee High School, nicknamed the Generals. I believe Alexandria already took Gen. Lee off their Boy Scouts patch. Next I'm sure Arlington will drop him from the school name - but then they'll be the Washington Generals which won't fly with the coaches, and generals refers to war anyway, so they'll probably make it Falcons or Rainbows or something like that.

Christopher Anderson, Arlington, Virginia

*********** From Dick Stephenson, a former Army football great who as President of the Army Football Club was instrumental in getting the Black Lion Award established at West Point...

Twelve Mighty Orphans, is a book about my high school, the Masonic Home and School in Fort Worth, Tx.  It documents the huge football heritage of that school dating from its domination from about 1932-1942 where the program competed for the Texas State HS Football Championship routinely.  Most of the guys of note (DeWitt "Tex" Coulter, Gordy "Hardy" Brown, and many others, some 14 of whom went on to play at the NFL level) in those early days were still coming back to our games in the late 1940's and early 1950's. I left after five years (1948-1953) at the Home, in 1953. The real impact of such a strong legacy of football excellence carried into our own days, and I guess I told you all the story about my senior year when we had 38 kids, total, in the high school, 18 of them boys, including an interestingly named guy, Tully Strong, who was a midget.  Tully was our place-kick holder...and good at it. !

There is talk of the book being made into a movie, which I believe that it deserves, however obscure it was, if for no other reason than the vivid, imbedded examples of the magic of team contact sports as a metaphor for the lives of those fortunate enough to be able to play, football, in particular, with Lacrosse a close second. The Masonic Home opportunity  was a wonderful solution for my family upon the death of my Dad when I was 12 years old.

*********** Coach, I enjoy your website from time to time, my football coaches really do. I am an Athletic Director in a small town in Southwest Kansas in a school of about 300. Nearest neighboring school is 30 miles, no school our size in this part of the state participates in soccer due to the sheer numbers of having to travel HUNDREDS of miles to play a school our size. But..........wouldn't you know, the liberal mentality is slowing but surely filtering into this community. That coupled with a ever growing hispanic population has raised many questions by our school board as to whether we should add it to an already stretched school with Cross Country, Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Track!!!! My point is always that it will "water down" our mainstay programs. Can't seem to get them to understand that all we need is time and we will sway more kids to the greatest organized game on earth...........Football. Where else can a young man learn regiment, organization, performance under pressure, and just plain old guts? Besides football? Maybe the military. It is with all of this I thank you for taking time to show Dr. Ridgley's article, it totally sums up how I feel right now. It will really help me prove my point to naysayers who want to tear down the hard work my coaching staff puts into each and every practice, game and season. THANKS FOR THE ARTICLE!

*********** Football fans might be interested in Coach Paul Dietzel's soon-to-be-released autobiography.  In 1948 Coach Dietzel joined Coach Earl Blaik's staff at West Point as an assistant coach.  He was Army Head Coach in the early-mid 60's after winning a national championship at LSU. The book, entitled "Call Me Coach: A Life in College Football,"  will be published in early September by the Louisiana State University Press, and can be ordered at:

*********** Once an a**hole, always an a**shole. John McEnroe, whose deplorable and disgusting tantrums as a young player were, in my opinion, to a large extent responsible for the low state to which US men's tennis has sunk but who now serves as a very dignified TV commentator, couldn't make it past the opening round match in a reccent tournament in Newport, Rhode Island. He was disqualified for on-court swearing, arguing with the offiicial, and then, when fans hollered at him to get back on the court and play, making an obscene gesture at them. He is 49 years old.

*********** Coach - Just wanted to share a little something with you.  My good friend and I, Richard Scott, started something we call our "Jersey Ceremony" several years ago (has it been 8 years already?) when we coached together  in Northern California.   Our Jersey ceremony was last night.  What we do is after practice we hustle to my house for a BBQ and swimming.  The kids obviously love it.  At the end of the night (read: team building) we sit down, just coaches and players.  I encourage players to say something honest, sincere and from the heart about the week, their team or about another player.  These boys...young men now really, have been with me for 4 years now and it shows.  Though I encouraged them to say something about the team, several player continued to talk about me and thank me.   It was enough to make my eyes "well up", a grown man.  They thanked me for "finding them" and for teaching them.  For being a good role model and teaching them the game.  As a coach this is all I could really want.  In a past jersey ceremony, I can recall one player that was not very good, thank the team for letting him play on the team and that "he would try his best and not disappointment his family (the team)".  A very eye-opening speech to say the least.   I finally got the topic moved back to the team and we finished by handing out game jerseys.  The kids all put on their jersey and we made a big deal out of it, hugged and gave high 5's.  We took the obligatory photos for the Mom's scrapbooks and called it a night. 
Thought I would share with your loyal readers one of things we do that make me love football so much!  John Torres, Santa Clarita, California 

*********** Coach,

Some of your material shows an outside hand-off out of wildcat, but at the 2007 clinic, you put it in using inside hand-off.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

I assume you're talking about power.

I have found that the outside handoff makes it a tougher cut for the running back.

The running back's rule is when he is sent in RIP/LIZ lotion, it's an outside handoff (or fake)

Hope that answers it.

Yes it does.

So on 47C QB will turn his back and fake outside hand-off correct?


Same for 6G?



What does the B back do on Lead 47C from wildcat?


*********** I'm having to really restrain the other coaches from playing with the defense in practice.  They all want to blitz and figure out how to stop the offense and it's hard to make them understand that the teaching time is not the time for that.

You have got to get it across to those defensive guys that when it is offense period, it is not defense period.  They are there to service you.

And in return, when it's defensive period, you will agree not to run Double Wing when they want you to run spread.




FLAGFRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2008- "Beware of the young doctor and the old barber." Benjamin Franklin

*********** For those of you interested in purchasing materials during the season... I will be making periodic trips to home base during the season, but it might be faster for you if you were to mail orders to: Coach Hugh Wyatt - 1467 E Ocean Shores Blvd SW #E, Ocean Shores WA 98569

*********** It was gorgeous and sunny, about 70 degrees at our place in Ocean Shores, so I headed out for the 6 PM workout wearing only a tee shirt. But just seven miles to the north, at North Beach High School, it was chilly and blustery, and the cheerleaders were practicing with hoodies on. In mid-August. Such is weather, I am told, on our peninsula.

Not complaining, you understand. I hate hot weather.

It comforted me greatly to know that while I enjoy the cool weather, back "home" in the Portland area, they are expecting a high of around 100 on Friday. Unfortunately, I have to drive to Portland this weekend to meet some coaches at the airport.

*********** We have now had 18 kids make it through one of our pre-season conditioning workouts at North Beach High School. So if Larry Harrison can do it with that many down in Georgia, we're going to be okay out in Washington. Good kids, by the way. Hard workers and very coachable.

*********** Anybody catch the "crowd" at the Eagles-Panthers game Thursday night?

*********** Russia invades a sovereign nation, one of our democratic showpieces at that, and the best we can come up with is a "strongly-worded letter." Boy, we're all the way back to the days of the Soviet Union and Nikita Khrushchev, who loved to belittle the US. With the Russian assault on Georgia. we are once again a "paper tiger."

I'm with Senator Obama. He knows how to deal with tough guys. He says this is a job for the United Nations. Now, there's a place with balls. Yup, we should take it to the UN, and call for a "strongly worded resolution." Maybe even a "condemnation." Wow, That'll bring Putin to his knees.

Only one problem. Just as in the days of the Soviet Union, one single veto in the UN Security Council is enough to kill any action, even a "strongly-worded resolution," and since Russia seamlessly inherited the Soviet Union's old spot on the Security Council, we are assured of a veto, and left with the option of throwing cream pies at the Russkies.

In fact, by the time the UN is done "deliberating," it will probably authorize billions in humanitarian aid. For Russia. And as we all know, "UN money" is synonymous with "US money."

*********** Coach We play against 2 DW teams each season-the key to stopping it is not a defensive scheme ( I am amazed you even respond to those coaches -they do not run it they want to stop it and are not having any luck ) If we are to beat a DW team we need to control T.O.P. and cash in inside the 20s.
Jay Zackular
North Reading, Massachusetts

Coach, I'm past the point of being offended by people who ask me how to stop it.

Yes, it helps to be able to control the ball yourself -  we can beat a pass-first team that isn't able to pass effectively enough to control the ball.

*********** Tony Melendez is amazing ---

*********** Two Nebraska wrestlers, including one who won an NCAA championship in 2007, have been dismissed from the team after posing naked for videos and photographs on, a Web site featuring naked or semi-naked male athletes.

"The history of behavior of these men, including the current matter, does not reflect the standard of excellence we aspire to on and off the mat," coach Mark Manning said in a statement. "We have outstanding student-athletes in our program and we will move forward in a positive manner toward our goals.

Jordan and Donahoe both had a number of run-ins with the law in Lincoln.

John Marsh, who operates and two related Web sites catering to gay men, said he's spoken with Donahoe and Jordan and that both indicated they want to continue as college wrestlers. Calling Donahoe a "dynamite" wrestler, he said, "If Nebraska is going to be pigheaded and kick him off unreasonably, there has to be another wrestling program that's going to want him."

Sure. Who wouldn't want a guy like that in his program? Who wouldn't want a little "exposure?"

Marsh acknowledged that while there are crusty old farts (like me, for one) who think this is disgusting, that's not the vase with the younger generation. "The kids, the generation of the student-athletes, don't have that stigma," he said. "They really don't care.

"They've come from a Paris Hilton, Tommy Lee-Pamela Anderson sex tape generation, Myspace pages," Marsh said. "The shame and stigma aren't there for them. They're mostly worried about what their parents are going to think, because their parents think it's horrifying."

Yuk. That last sentence about the Paris HIlton deal sums it up.

We live in a society that's crummy and cruddy on its fringes, and the fringes are growing crummier and cruddier every day.  And our young women are every bit as depraved as our young men.

Now, if those guys stand naked in a dorm window and expose themselves to young girls it's a crime, right? But if they post naked photos on the Internet - where far more young girls might see them - it's just the Facebook Generation acting naturally?

Actually, if they'd stood in a dorm window in Lincoln and exposed themselves, I imagine there'd be a dad or two getting out the shotgun.

Not that wrestling itself should be blamed, but hasn't college wrestling suffered enough? With  Title IX chopping off wrestling programs right and left, maybe something else should have been chopped off.

*********** Anybody else think those Olympic swimmer guys are a little creepy looking, a little extra-terrestrial, with those smooth, hairless, bodies, those mermaid-type tights and those eye-cup goggles? I wish one would have enough of a sense of humor to add a Groucho nose and mustache to the goggles.

*********** Hugh,

I was reading a fellow coach's blog and he says the officials' society in his state of NC has issued a discussion on the A-11 and calls it a blatant violation of rule 9-9-3A concerning loopholes:

His post is here:

"9-9-3A player or nonplayer or person not subject to the rules shall not hinder play by an unfair act which has no specific rule coverage."

An official's statement that my friend quotes on the blog is below. The pertinent part is that the NCHSAA has instructed officials to assess flags on the coach for running the A-11 "offense."

of course, now that this jerk in Piedmont has pulled this, the trouble now is that unrelated, totally legal misdirection offenses will also feel the fire of the opponents' indignation to the refs.

"It is not "very legal" in NC.The offense calls for 11 players with eligible numbers on the field, using the scrimmage kick formation numbering exception.The snapper lines up over the ball with other 10 players off the line of scrimmage.Prior to the snap, 6 of the 10 players move up to the LOS, set for one second and the ball is snapped.When in a regular formation, the defense knows what 6 players are eligible and what 5 players, numbered 50-79, are ineligible. In the A-11, the defense has no idea which 6 of those 10 players are
going to step up to the LOS until 1 second before the snap. That places the defense at a huge disadvantage, NOT intended by the rules.The scrimmage kick formation is designed to allow athletes onto the field in a kicking situation. It's an exception to the rules for KICKING situations, not a formation to build an offense around. As I said, the NCAA rule already requires that the scrimmage kick formation only be used in obvious kicking situations. I expect the NFHS to re-word their rule if the offense becomes very widespread.9-9-3A player or nonplayer or person not subject to the rules shall not hinder play by an unfair act which has no specific rule coverage.When I inquired of the NCHSAA concerning the A-11 last spring, I was told that we will penalize use of this offense as an unfair act. The penalty for violation of 9-9-3 is USC (unsportsmanlike conduct) on the head coach. A second USC flag in a game results in a disqualification."

I don't worry about its impact on us.  Misdirection has long been a part of the game.

This A-11 guy has simply misused an act of charity - a misguided act of charity at that. There should never have been waiver of the ineligible number requirement, no matter how well-intentioned - you should have to punt with the guys who are on the field. And unless it is what a reasonable person would call a "kicking situation," there should be no such thing as a "kicking formation." But who could have foreseen that some hair-splitter would pervert the intentions of the rulesmakers and turn our game into a padded version of 5th period PE?

It seems to me that there is a provision in the rules covering "a travesty of the game," which says it all. Or a "palpably unfair act," which stepping 11 potentially eligible receivers up and back just before the snap certainly is.

Hurrah for the officials on North Carolina, the first to spot a sham for what it is.

*********** Hello Coach,
My dad made an honest man out of me a year and half ago by giving me your Dynamics tape and playbook for Christmas!
I apologize for the timing of this question (so close to football season).  I am culling my list of plays for my 5th/6th grade team and decided the 5X Lead looked like one I wanted to include this year.  This was one of my favorite plays when I coached middle school Wing T, but I’m not sure how to adapt your play to block an odd (5-2) defensive front (NG with a DT heads up on our OT and DE lined up outside eye of our TE).  Our Wing-T version ran it to the short (split end) side between our G & T, so I seldom saw the alignment I expect to see in a balanced double wing.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Coach, We save 4-x/5-x lead (and also 44/55 x lead) for even fronts.

We rarely see a 5-2 (or 5-4) front, but if we did we would not run 4-x/5-x against it. The combination of Trap (if your tackle can release on the backer), or 6-G/7-G (if the defensive tackle reacts to your tackle's down block) is more than enough.  Maybe that's one reason why we seldom see the 5-2.

Had to send these clips to you as they are highly relevant to many of our discussions from the Beloit Camp.  This coach thinks he has it all figured out on how to "stop the doublewing".  This clip is everywhere right now and it drives me nuts.  For my own knowledge growth I am curious if you will see the same things I saw on the clips. 
1. The team being "stopped" runs 1-2 plays 80% of the time and only runs 4 plays as their base offense.  Trap is very poorly exectued and ran the wrong way nearly every time. 
2. Their pulling linemen never "run the circle" correctly.
3. Their feet stop early.
4. They are very predictable in thier motions.
5. You can key the direction of the run play or QB boot based off of the depth of the wingbacks heels.  The wingback with the deeper feet is getting the ball moving across the formation, if not the QB is keeping and booting backside.

The "defensive genius" is simply reading the wingback depth to key the play and running the majority of the D to the key while bringing backside pressure to stop the play action.  What's so genius about this?  My take on the clips are that once again anyone can stop a piss poor doublewing.  What do you think?

Gabe McCown                                         
Piedmont, Oklahoma

Coach- Apart from the fact that Youtube is a sorryass way to have to "analyze" football and the football stuff on there seems mostly just to be a grownup version of show-and-tell, I am not impressed by the offensive team, either. Truly, the best defense against the Double Wing is a poorly-run Double Wing.      

*********** Jack Rockne, the last surviving child of College Football Hall of Fame head coach Knute Rockne, died Sunday in South Bend, Indiana. He was 82.

*********** What really bothers me about the way the DW is getting raked over the coals here is how a buddy of mine is being treated by anonymous posters on a message board.  Offensive scheme aside, he took a team that had a very casual HC with a loose approach to practice and made them crisp by organizing the team's time more wisely.
The sentiment here is that you have to have a CFL-style offense to be able to win in the playoffs.  My experience as a JV DC shows me that the best teams run the fewest plays.  They are actually easier to analyze on video because they keep at a few things until they get good at them, instead of throwing together a bunch of different plays.  Oh well, they'll learn.

I doubt they'll learn.  Few people, except for those who are truly interested in learning and growing, will ever admit they were wrong.

But as for being raked over the coals... your buddy shouldn't pay any attention to the fools who inhabit message boards.

You shouldn't listen to anyone you don't respect, and how can you respect anyone who hides behind a stage name?

*********** One last question, coach.  How do you keep the spark of interest alive?  I'm only asking because you're double my age (35) and my wife jokes that I'll retire from teaching before I retire from coaching.


I have always loved the game and always wanted to be a coach but I married young and had a family young and as an Ivy-League grad it was just expected of me to go into business and strive to rise to the top.

When the chance to coach finally came, I was 32.  That was minor league pro. And when I finally got a chance to be a high school coach, I was 38.  So I did get a late start, and maybe that's why I haven't had enough yet.

But I will always remember how lucky I felt to finally be able to say that I was a coach.

And, fortunately, my wife has been there all the way.

Keep coaching!


FLAGTUESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2008- "Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong." Ronald Reagan

*********** Today, I finally got Internet (and cable) service, so I'm writing from Ocean Shores, Washington, where I've been putting together a great staff and rounding up the players. As I write, I look out the window and see flocks of pelicans flying by.

And I've already found a great pub that serves good food.

*********** Answers to "Anybody out there know why Babe Ruth wore Number 3?"

I believe it's because he hit third in the batting order. I think he was part of the transition from baseball players wore no numbers on their uniforms to wearing them. Lou Gehrig hit 4th in the lineup and wore #4.

Adam Wesoloski
Pulaski, WI

Prior to the Babe wearing the number 3  , baseball  teams/players were not numbered.
The Babe received because he batted 3rd in the order Gehrig 4 for 4th.
Tim Brown
Jackson TN

He batted three in the lineup
Dennis Cook, Roanoke, VA

Batted 3rd
Coach Kaz- Mark Kaczmarek - Davenport Iowa

He batted third in the lineup.
(Phoned in by Tracy Jackson - Hood River, Oregon)

the babe batted third.....wore number 3.....go hyaks... Kevin McCullough, Lakeville, Indiana

Hi Coach
I'm just trying to catch up on "News you can Use".  I took my home lap top to the computer store for a check up in May and I picked it up yesterday (8-9-08).  Ah what service!  First of all are you coaching again?  Secondly,  you had asked why Babe Ruth wore number three.  The Yankees were the first MLB team to use numbers on their jerseys back in January of 1929.  He wore #3 because he batted 3rd in the line up.  They felt it would be easier for fans to follow players if they put their batting order number on their jerseys.
Norm Barney
Chiloquin Oregon

Ryan White,
Portland, Oregon (I knew Ryan would chime in - he's a hard-core baseball guy. He was an assistant of mine at Madison HS in Portland and he's won back-to-back state baseball titles at Portland Christian HS)

*********** Not that I ever thought that John Edwards, a man who loved identifying with the common folk but lived in a giant house paid for by his sleazy dealings as a plaintiffs' attorney and loved to duck the tough questions by letting his wife campaign for him, was anything other than a slimeball... but you do realize how close he came to being President of the United States, don't you?

The worst thing is, the mainstream media knew he was screwing around and sat on the story, until... tada! - it was Olympics time on NBC, and ABC needed something to air on Nightline.

Morale: Never trust anybody who pays more than $200 for a haircut...

*********** Hugh,

The kinky multi-cultural frisson of the Olympics is going on here on west coast
television. GW sitting next to Vlady Putin, whose country is now at war, is a
strange item, but I was struck by the following: word from NBC is that defiant
tyrant Robert Mugabe tried to enter China via Hong Kong and was blocked by
Chinese authorities.

When the world's premier totalitarian regime denies you entry, things must be
pretty bad.

(Zimbabwe has a world record holder in swimming - go figure, a white woman who
trains at Auburn University.)

Christopher Anderson, Palo Alto, California

When (if) she returns to Zimbabwe, Mugabe will honor her by taking only half her family's farm.

CORRECTION:  On Thursday I called China the greatest threat the world faces. I apologize. I had no idea that my selection of China as Number One would so enrage Vladimir Putin that he would invade Georgia just to prove me wrong.

*********** And the networks wonder where their viewers have gone...NBC paid millions to televise the Olympics on a delayed basis (in the US only), while people went to the Internet to watch them live on foreign TV Web sites.

And the newspapers wonder where their readers have gone... newspapers spiked the John Edwards story while bloggers had a heyday with it...

*********** I wrote... We make sure that our pulling backside linemen "stay in their lanes" - they are told to run only in the "inside lane," looking upfield (not to the outside) and turning upfield at the first opportunity.  A lot of times, they are the problem, not the back.  They all have a tendency to "drift" out into another lane, and that lane happens to be the one the ball carrier is supposed to run in.  The drifting of the linemen can forces the runner wider.
We found another helpful tip;  We have our pulling G and T drag their inside hand  (after they do the imaginary "pull by" ) along the butts of the down blockers.  This keeps them tight to the "Wall" and in step regardless of how far down the 8 or 9 get.  As you know we like to run 88 and 99 as tight inside as possible, to set up our Reaches and Fade passes.
I finally got a chance to catch up on the News,
Frank Simonsen, Cape May, New Jersey

*********** Coach Wyatt,
I am a huge PJ fan and a huge fan of option football. 
I was in Atlanta this past weekend and was able to attend a GT practice.
The practice was extremely intense and amazingly efficient. However, you can tell the offense is struggling to pick up the speed at which this offense takes place.
What are your thoughts on how long it will take GT to be effectively running PJ's offense? 
Love the website. Please keep up the great work.
Best, Stephen Prather, Nashville, Tennessee

Dear Stephen,

My guess is that even in Coach Johnson's first year, Georgia Tech will pull off some surprise wins and lay the groundwork for the sort of success he regularly enjoyed at Navy.

First of all, not to knock the players at Navy in any way, there are two reasons why I believe he will be successful...

(1) If only because people seldom see it, his offense WILL work.  He will be able to recruit more talented players who either couldn't get into a service academy or didn't care for the regimen or the service commitment.  Remember, with Navy's talent, Navy was still playing - and beating - some decent teams.  How much better will Paul Johnson be able to run it with BCS-calibre talent, once they figure it out.  (The wild card here is that service academy kids do tend to be very intelligent and highly disciplined, exactly the kind you need to run Coach Johnson's offense. But Georgia Tech isn't exactly a knucklehead school, either.)

(2) Navy's lost some games against more talented teams not be3cause of its offense but because of its defense, again a factor of the talent you can recruit to a service academy.  At Georgia Tech, with BCS talent, his defense should be a lot better.

Glad you like the site.

*********** Re: Brett Favre...

My suspicion - not playing tabloid reporter or anything -  is that the problem that he had early in his career may be showing signs of resurfacing.  How else do you explain (1)  his erratic behavior and (2) the Packers' determination to ditch him?

I know that Aaron Rodgers may be the QB of the future and all that, but what NFL team in its right mind passes up a chance to win right now by  signing a proven winner, a sure Hall-of-Famer at that - unless there's something we don't know about and they don't want to talk about?

*********** Two women were playing golf. One teed off and watched in horror as her ball headed directly toward a foursome of men playing the next hole. The ball hit one of the me, who immediately clasped his hands together at his groin, fell to the ground and proceeded to roll around in agony.

The woman rushed over to the man, and immediately began to apologize.

"Please allow me to help," she said. "I'm a Physical Therapist and I know I could relieve your pain if you'd allow me."

"Oh, no, I'll be all right. I'll be fine in a few minutes," the man replied.

But he was in obvious agony, lying in the fetal position, still clasping his hands there at his groin, and finally, after she persisted, he allowed her to help.

Gently taking his hands away and laying them to the side, she loosened his pants and put her hands inside. After administering tender massage for several minutes, she stopped and asked, "How does that feel now?"

"Uh, great," he replied. "But my thumb still hurts and I think it's broken."

*********** John Mark Stallings, son of former University of Alabama head football coach Gene Stallings, died last Saturday. He was 46.

John Mark, some of you older guys might remember from TV spots from long ago, was born with Down syndrome.

In his book “Another Season: A Coach’s Story of Raising an Exceptional Son,” which Coach Stallings co-authored with writer Sally Cook, he discussed what it was like to raise a child with Down syndrome.

“Things were different back then," John Mark's mother, Ruth Ann Stallings recalled. "People didn’t know how to react to the news. Some didn’t acknowledge his existence; others would look away in his presence. I’d dress him so cute, his blonde hair shining, blue eyes so excited when he’d meet someone. Often, they’d compliment the girls, never looking his way. You remember the people who stepped forward and those who didn’t.”

*********** Harry Christopher "Skip" Caray Jr. was born in St. Louis on Aug. 12, 1939. His parents divorced when he was young, and as a boy he listened to his father announce St. Louis Cardinals games. Around 8:30 each night, Harry would tuck his son into bed by saying over the air, "Good night, Skippy."
The on-air acknowledgment was "one thing I'll never forgive him for," Caray once said, because he got teased for it throughout his school years. He recalled his days as an all-city linebacker at a suburban St. Louis high school.

"Some guy across the line from me would say, 'Good night, Skippy.' I'd get mad. Then the guy would knock me down and run right over me."

Sent to me by Ed Wyatt
Communications Manager
Crazy John's South Dragons

(Crazy John's, sponsor of the South Dragons of Australia's National Besketball League, is a large Australian mobile phone dealer. In Australia, it's pronounced MO-bile, as in bile duct)

*********** Coach,
We participated in our first scrimmage last night, and the results were
encouraging. The super power back to the SE side worked well against
their defense. We got that double team block by the tackle/WB and twice
we broke it for TD runs of 70 yards. (And this was against a team that
has a chance to win the 3A State title.) I know we have the advantage
because they didn’t game plan for us, but our line came off the ball and
our Wingbacks ran it to perfection. It was hilarious to watch the film
and see that their LB’s had no idea where the ball was several times on
the Super Power.

Formation Question:
We want to install the “Tight Slot” look in time for next week’s
scrimmage. How far does the TE split out? What are the TE blocking
rules for the super power in this formation?

Thanks again for all of the help.


With the flex or tight slot or "nasty" look we start out our TE at 3 yards from the tackle.  I go back and forth between playing him up or down.

Better run Super O - better not try Super Power because if you pull your tackle and they chase you have no backside tight end to cut off.

The TE comes off at his angle taking the first thing in his path.  It might be a lineman on his inside (in which case he will probably be doubling with the wingback) or it might be a backer if, for example, your wingback and tackle wing up doubling on a "5" tech and there's a man head=up on him.

The TE must never block a man head-up.  That is the B-Back's man, and part of the reason we're in slot is to move that guy farther out.

Sometimes we'll try to see how far that guy will go out with us.

Best of luck

*********** Written a year ago...

Back in 2001 a young 7th grader signed up to play football in the Deerfield
young Warriors program. As head coach that year, I was very impressed with the
young man's athleticism. I did a little investigation and he was already an
accomplished tennis player. His father happened to play a little college
football at Northwestern and also for the Bills and the Patriots. Figuring
that my eyes weren't wrong, even though this kid had never played football
before, he became my starting QB running the Double Wing. We finished 5-3 that
year and he was the biggest reason why. What I remember most is how he relished
leading the Super Powers. Anyway, that young man had a terrific HS career
running the Northwestern style spread offense. He also won a state tennis
championship his junior year. The kid must have done pretty well in the
classroom, because now he's a freshman QB on Stanford's football team. So if
Stanford's staff would like to put in the DW, they need look no further than
#15, Alex Loukas, to find a QB who has experience running it! Keith Babb,
Northbrook, Illinois"

Now, from Christopher Anderson, who follows the Stanford program closely, comes word that Alex Loukas is in the thick of a three-way battle to become Stanford's starting QB.


FLAGFRIDAY, AUGUST 8, 2008- "Football games are decided from the 20-yard line on in. All that other running and panting out in the middle of the field is just entertaining spectators and wearing out grass." Darrell Royal, legendary Texas coach

*********** Today's exclusive Olympics report:

Considering that Communist China is the greatest threat the world faces, and the Olympics outlived their usefulness long ago, they are made for each other.

And that's it for today's opening (and closing) Olympics report, direct from - cough! cough! hack! Hack! - Beijing.

************ There was a time when they'd put $5 worth of gas in your car, then check your oil and water, and wipe your windshield, too. For free. When you were done, if your tires looked low, you'd pull away from the pump and off to the side and inflate them. Maybe you'd have to wait a minute or two until the kid with the bike was done with the air hose. But maybe, if the attendant wasn't busy greasing a car, he'd check your tires for you.

Now, I hear that someone who'd like to be President has been saying that we can save gasoline - lots of gasoline - simply by properly inflating our tires.

Nice idea, maybe. Except recently, I took one of our vehicles down to the nearest convenience store to put some air in one of the tires. It cost me three quarters. 75 freaking cents. For air.

Which leads this old cynic to suspect that this person who's calling for tire-pressure checks (hint: he calls himself the "Candidate of Change") will soon begin calling for an investigaton of Big Air, and once he's installed in the White House, we'll all be required to go once a week to a Federal Air Center to have our tires checked. And for a weekly "fee" (not a tax, they'll assure us) of $20 a week ($5 a tire) we'll get a "Yes We Can" sticker for our windshield, good for another week of driving.

As always, the "working poor" will be hardest hit, so they will be eligible for Air Stamps.

*********** Remember the sad story of Caleb Campbell, the West Point football player drafted by the Lions? Right before the Lions camp was to open, the Secretary of Defense welshed (sorry if that offends any Welshmen out there) on the deal that originally allowed West Point graduates such as Campbell to pursue a career in professional sports while serving on active duty. The idea seemed to be that having a player in the NFL might be good for army recruiting.

The Air Force Academy and Naval Academy deplored that original policy, known as the Alternative Service Option (ASO). They undoubtedly felt that it gave Army football something of a recruiting advantage, although not enough of a one, I would argue, to offset the fact that a West Point football player is far more likely to wind up in combat somewhere than a graduate of the other two main service academies. Their official argument, though, was that in a time of war it wasn't appropriate to excuse officers from duty simply to play a sport.

I didn't completely disagree with them.

But then I opened up today's paper and read about a local Olympian who, the headline said, is "a medal favorite in epee." (That's a type of sword, if you didn't know.)

And then I read on. And I couldn't believe my f--king eyes.

The story read, "A 2003 graduate of the Air Force Academy, he is currently active in the Air Force World Class Athletes Program, which allows athletes to train full time."

Whoa, I thought. Wait a minute. A f--king fencer? In the Air Force, training full time? Weren't the Zoomies the guys who reminded the Army that we're at war?

To think that a couple of weeks ago we were debating the recruiting value of a service academy graduate playing in the NFL in front of millions, when all the while we've been cosseting fencers - and for all we know, rhythmic gymnasts and synchronized swimmers - in some bogus "World Class Athletes Program" that gives the American taxpayers absolutely no recruiting bang for their bucks.

*********** Anheuser-Busch, the newly-acquired crown jewel of Belgian-Brazilian brewing giant InBev, ran a full page ad in USA Today this week, telling us what a proud American company it is, and listing the 12 American breweries it operates. Bastards. They should have listed all the breweries they've squeezed out of business over the years, along with all the brewery workers who lost their jobs. (And, of course, the beer drinkers who lost their favorite brews.) I won't even mention all the Anheuser-Busch workers due for pink slips over the next couple of years as InBev puts on a squeeze of its own.

*********** In case you rely on TV and radio news folks to shape your opinions, I should tell you that an awful lot of them have the sort of education that America seems willing to settle for in its schools. Exhibit A was a guy Wednesday on KPAM, Portland, talking about protesters in China carrying signs reading "Free Ty-bet."

*********** Coach, Glad to hear you are back in the saddle again. I have gone around and around on this subject since I went from the wing-t to the DW in 2001. Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be better to go 60 minutes of team and coach technique on the run as we are running plays because there are times when I go individual time and the players can do the technique yet when we go team I don't see the transfer from the individual time to team time so I think why not teach technique on the fly. Here is an example of a 65 minute offense practice plan (the coach sent me an excellent plan with five five-minute periods leading up to a 10-minute seven-on-seven period and 30 minutes of full-team work):
I feel it is important to break down the parts of the offense but I don't know if it wouldn't be more effective just to go team, what is your opinion coach? Thanks

Coach, That looks like an excellent plan, and I guess the thing that keeps most of us from doing it that way is that we simply don't have the quality staffs to allow us to get out of team for any great length of time.  Maybe that's one reason why it's perceived as a "small school offense."

As a result, most of us resort to a group period - linemen with the line coach, backs and ends with the backs and ends coach.

But for sure, if I had the assistants, I would look at what you're doing at least one day a week.

*********** Hey Coach, Just wanted to ask your advice on something we have noticed on the Super Power. Several of our WB's want to get too wide when we run the super power.

What kind of advice would you have for fixing this?


We have cured this by combining several steps:

(1) NO motion.  NONE.  It's not needed, and keeping the runner on course is just one of the benefits
(2) Make sure that the B-Back has his helmet in the hole and that his feet don't stop after contact
(3) We make sure that our pulling backside linemen "stay in their lanes" - they are told to run only in the "inside lane," looking upfield (not to the outside) and turning upfield at the first opportunity.  A lot of times, they are the problem, not the back.  They all have a tendency to "drift" out into another lane, and that lane happens to be the one the ball carrier is supposed to run in.  The drifting of the linemen can forces the runner wider.  Our solution to this has been the "Circle drill," an 8-10 foot diameter hoop which they repeatedly run around (I am enclosing a clip). You may need QuickTime player to watch it - it's a free download at
(4) We tell the ball carrier to get his inside hand on the back of the pulling tackle and push him through the hole.
(5) We coach the runner to look for the cutback off the tackle's tail

Here's a great example of what we want:

*********** Nice!  I had an interesting night.  I visited the local youth league practices at the request of the director to give test and insight...and got challened to a coach-off of sorts.  They asked my thoughts on their blocking and tackling drills and I shared our approach.  They said it seemed a little ridiculous not to block with hands and challenged me to prove it works.  So, since they were running Oklahoma Drill, I asked for 10 minutes with their worst linemen.  They gave me their worst three and we practiced blocking hand shields the same way we always teach blocking.  After 10 minutes, they drove the three biggest linemen out of the drill 4 plays straight, and made one cry.  It was great!  Then I explained why it worked and they said they would order your Fine Line and Safer and Surer Tackling videos and implement the teaching methods.  Nice Huh!

Gabe McCown                                         
Piedmont, Oklahoma

*********** From the Internet... this letter was supposedly written to the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch by a Cuban-American...

Dear Editor, 'Times-Dispatch',

Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I celebrate
my independence day, and on July 4 I celebrate America 's. This year is
special, because it marks the 40th anniversary of my independence.

On June 30, 1968 , I escaped Communist Cuba , and a few months later, I
was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in
Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.

I've thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year
rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there.
In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they
were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least

When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the
old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his
friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he would help the
farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all,
everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all,
everyone said, 'Praise the Lord.'

And when the young leader said, 'I will be for change and I'll bring you
change' ; everyone yelled, 'Viva Fidel!'

But nobody asked about the change , so by the time the executioner ' s
guns went silent, the people's guns had been taken away. By the time
everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the
time everyone received their free education, it was worth nothing. By the
time the press noticed, it was too late , because they were now working
for him. By the time the change was finally implemented, Cuba had been
knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the
change was over, more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and
inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in the
world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I ' m back to the beginning of
my story.

Luckily, in America we would never fall for a young leader who
promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out?
What will it cost America ? Would we?

Manuel Alvarez, Jr

*********** Army is going to put numbers on the helmets, and as well as names on the jerseys.

For the first time since 1971, Army’s players will feature uniform numbers on their helmets. The Black Knights utilized black numbers on gold helmets from 1959 through 1971.

In addition, Army head coach Stan Brock chose to return players’ names to the backs of their game jerseys this fall. The players names came off when head coach Todd Berry elected to utilize the “anonymous” look in 2000, and Army has gone nameless ever since.

On somewhat the same subject...

Anybody out there know why Babe Ruth wore Number 3?

*********** hello were absolutely right when you said I'd have doubters. I had one of my coaches quit already because he doesn't see this offense working but he was the doubting thomas we spoke of. He wanted to run the wishbone offense they had run for the last 5 years, that had gotten them to the playoffs every year but lost in the first round every year. I also have def coordinators from all the other weights looking at what we're doing and coming over after practice saying. that's going to be hard to teach and you should do something a little simpler. I laugh and say easy to teach, easy to stop. I will say you have this whole thing mapped out cuz you said this would happen. On another note the team that I face on the season opener are the champs of the past 5 years, and they went all the way to Disney and won 2 years ago. They mainly run the 3-5 defense. I don't think it should be a problem, just keeping you updated coach, and I have complete confidence in what I'm teaching. Another thing is we are very small this year. A complete drop off in talent from previous years, so that's a challenge also. But I'm up to the task...thanks coach..just keeping you in the loop.. 

Coach, Can't say I didn't warn you - I've been through this oh, at least a couple hundred times with coaches just like you.

What you are experiencing is the old truism, "It's lonely at the top," but it sounds as if you have the stones to persevere.

My trademark saying is "It takes a set" - it takes a set of stones to decide to run the Double Wing, and it takes a set of stones to stand up to all the doubters.

And guess what?  Even when you are successful, none of the doubters will ever admit that you were right.

You are just going to have to be content with seeing your kids be successful - which is why we're all supposed to be in coaching in the first place.

The 3-5-3 defense is designed mainly to stop spread teams with wide splits.  It is not so good against teams with two tight ends and tight splits.

Thanks for the update.

********** Coach Wyatt.....I am interested in stopping the Double Tight /Double Wing Offense.....what did you find gave you the most trouble...any direction you can give will be greatly appreciated.....Thanks


There's a little post about this on Tuesday's NEWS.

There is no particular scheme that causes more problems than others.  There are a lot of guys on the Internet claiming that they've found the poison pill, but they are all full of sh---.  If they were right, everybody we'd face would run that defense, and we'd all get shut down,  and that would be that.  The Double-Wing would be just another footnote in a football history book.

Not to be a wise-ass, but the defenses that give me the most trouble are GOOD defenses.  They have good people at every position and they're well-coached, and their coaches understand the Double-Wing inside and out.

The problem with most defensive coordinators who try to stop the Double Wing is that they start out from a base of disrespect.  They don't take the time to try to really understand what makes it tick, and, dismissing it as a "Pop Warner offense," they cheat their kids by not properly preparing them.

You have to know any offense at least as well as the guy you're playing, if only because you have to put together a presentable scout offense.   That will be your biggest challenge, especially if you don't understand what we're doing.

Actually, there are a lot of people who think they're really running the Double Wing who are doing the same thing.  They take a handful of play diagrams and try to run them without  really putting in the effort to deal with all the fine points.

The Double-Wing is easy to teach, and it's deceptively simple in appearance, but it is not maintenance free. There is a lot more under the hood that a lot of coaches don't take the time to understand.

Best of luck

*********** Joe Yonto's playing career at Notre Dame was cut short by a leg injury. But given a chance to work as an assistant coach of the freshman team his senior year, he found another career, a more lasting one, as a coach.

Coach Yonto, who died last Monday at the age of 83, would go on to serve as an assistant at Notre Dame under Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Lou Holtz.

He coached the Irish defensive line for 17 years under Parseghian and Devine, and was Devine's defensive coordinator from 1977-80.

Coach Yonto was on the staff of three national championship teams (1966, 1973 and 1977) and among the All-America defensive linemen he coached were Alan Page, Mike McCoy, Walt Patulski and Ross Browner.

*********** A recent study found the average golfer walks about 900 miles a year. 

Another study found that golfers drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol  a year. 
That means, on average, golfers get about 41 miles to the gallon. 

*********** Coach Wyatt, I enjoy your news, and I have read it religiously for the last two years. I coach football in the State of Idaho. We went to our mandatory rules clinic last night to be instructed by our officials about rule changes and points of ephasis for the upcoming season. The officials discussed an NFHS rule change making it illegal for the OL to snap their hands down pre-snap (De la Salle style). They said such shifting by the OL must now be slow and deliberate, and that if the motion is quick, and a DL enchroaches, it will be a false start penalty against the offense. We asked them to define slow and deliberate, but they could not, and basically told us it will be a judgement call by the officials. I was just wondering what your thoughts were regarding the "snapping" down of the hands. It seems to me that this is usually done by running teams, as it gives them the ability to make the defense hesistate slighty before the snap, and I had thought in the past it was legal as long as the offense was set one second before motioning back or the snap. I personally like the idea of the hand "snap down", as it sets an aggressive tone for the OL.

Brandon Dahle
Caldwell, Idaho

Hi Coach-

Nice to hear from you.  I think it is a stupid rule, a solution in search of a problem, but since they've all but taken shifts away from us (any time we shift and the defense jumps, it is no better than 50-50 now that the call will go our way) I guess I should have seen it coming.

I personally believe in coming right to the line and getting set right away, but that's me. 

I can see the benefits of snapping down. I have seen teams that really shave the "one full second" for which they're supposed to remain motionless following the snap down, but not many, probably because there aren't many veer or wishbone teams anymore.

They wouldn't dare call for a crackdown on holding now, would they?  Why no, because that would be aimed at passing teams.

FLAGTUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2008- "People ask, 'Why is there poverty in the world?' It's a silly question. Poverty is the default human condition." Jonah Goldberg, editor, National Review Online

*********** Random observations about a trip into the Heartland... This is the third year in a row I've driven to Kansas instead of flying. Yes, it's about 1600 miles, almost to the exact geographic center of the Lower 48. It takes the better part of three days (with a stop to visit kids and grandkids in Denver). But flying has become a royal pain in the ass. Even more important, though, I really look forward to that drive. If you haven't made the drive, through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Kansas, you are in for a real treat. I can't begin to describe the magnificent sights you'll see. America is truly an awesome country.

Random observations... After hundreds of miles of driving 75 miles an hour (okay, okay, maybe 80 or so) , it is really hard to return to Oregon and its 65 speed limit. I can only imagine driving across the wide open spaces of Wyoming at 55!

Ogden, Utah has one of the most spectacular settings of any city I've ever seen. Directly behind it looms 10,000 foot Mt. Ogden, which appears to shoot directly up from the city and seems to change colors depending on the time of day.

As you drive through Wyoming, you will probably be going very fast. Too bad, if it means you miss the scenery. There's a lot of it. There are places where you can look for miles and miles in any direction an not see a tree, which may freak out an easterner, but the vastness is awesome. And at 80 miles an hour you may not notice the pronghorns grazing in the fields. The little buggers are everywhere, but you have to look for them.

Maybe it's the price of gas, but driving across Wyoming, I said, "I'll be there's as many trucks on the road as cars," and we started to count, and damned if it didn't turn out to be so. There is a special place in hell for truckers who pull out to pass on an upgrade and hold up other traffic while going exactly one mile an hour faster than the one they're passing.

Utah is dominated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which forbids consumption of alcohol, so its liquor laws are not exactly designed to encourage production or sale of alcoholic beverages, which makes it somewhat amazing that something as good as Squatter's Pale Ale can come out of Salt Lake City.

Last Thursday, Denver was embarking on its 20th straight day of 90+ degree heat. If it were Philadelphia or Baltimore or Washington, DC, people would be dying, but Denver's lack of humidity means that even in the 90s, days are tolerable. And the evenings are fairly cool.

One of my very favorite restaurants in the US is the Castle Cafe, in the heart of Castle Rock, Colorado. Nothing fancy. It once was a Wild West saloon, and now it's a saloon//restaurant that serves good, old-fashioned comfort food. Most of the entrees come with mashed potatoes - with a lake of gravy in the middle, like I used to make when I was a kid. They even serve meat loaf, although it is made with buffalo meat. God help us all if the people working to keep fast food out of poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles ever discover the Castle Cafe.

I was carded in a private club in Kansas. They insisted on a driver's license. My AARP card wasn't good enough.

Despite the "Rocky Mountain High" image, fostered in large part by Coors ads, there's an awful lot of Colorado that's a lot like western Kansas - there's not a mountain in sight in any direction.

Kansas is a beautiful state. It's rolling country in spots, vast prairie in others, but a real symbol of what made America great. It may be hard to believe now, but as recently as the 1920s, more than half of all Americans farmed for a living. On a Sunday afternoon, we drove a couple hundred miles from the Colorado-Kansas border east to Beloit, Kansas, near the middle of the state, on a two-lane highway, and scarcely saw another car.

Next time you're in Cawker City, Kansas, be sure to stop and see the World's Biggest Ball of Twine. You'll scream. You'll gasp. Your life will never be the same...

The rural Heartland is not yet beervana (as Portland is sometimes called). Typical selection (I am quoting a waitress): "Bud, Bud Light, Coors, Coors Light, MGD."

*********** After a three-hour drive to Ocean Shores, I had barely backed up the Expedition and begun to unload my furnishings when a trash truck drove by. The driver slammed on the brakes, backed up to where I was standing, and asked if I needed any help. I would call that a warm welcome to the place where I'm going to be coaching. (As a matter of fact, I did get him to help me with one heavy piece.)

*********** An ad on Sunday night's NFL game said, "USA Football is the governing body of youth and amateur football."

Say, "Governing body?"

Whoa, guys - who made you king?

Well, since you asked...

From Wikipedia: "USA Football was launched in December 2002 and received initial funding from the National Football League and the NFL Players Association, through the NFL Youth Football Fund."

Initial funding? You telling me they're now making it on their own, without any further subsidy from Big Football?

If you believe that, you'll believe anything. Face it - USA Football is another arm of the NFL octopus , a front for Big Football's scheme to take over every aspect of our game.

You talk about arrogance. There's a whole lot more to youth football than Pop Warner, which is associated with USA Football. Somebody really ought to tell all those people who want nothing to do with the Pop Warner bureaucracy that they're nowunder the control of USA Football.

Not sure whether the BCS would agree with that "governing body" claim. They barely answer to the NCAA.

But since high school football is, for the moment at least, "amateur football," I guess that means that the NFL has taken us over.

*********** From a friend in New England... Summer has been going well. I'm getting together with my coaches next week to go over the defense and offense. I've put together some packets for them to look at before the meeting. I had to chuckle and thought of you when I got an email the other day from one of my assistants...."are you planning to throw much this year...because we have a kid who can throw"....mind you, I'm coaching 3rd graders. I wrote a long expose on my philosophy, how if a team can't stop my power then they're going to see a lot of that, etc. but then I erased it and just told him that kids at our level usually don't get enough time to throw, and even at the 8th grade level that I coached at last year, no team threw more than 4-5 passes per game (any team that did, we crushed, but I didn't say that)....I closed by saying that if we have kid who can throw and more importantly, one who can catch, we'll find a way to hook them up. My most successful passer so far was my A back in the 6th grade...he completed a number of half back passes, and had 3 games where he both scored (ran) for a TD and threw for a TD.

*********** From a reader... "Jim Brown is suing EA sports for creating a black player with no name other than RB#32 and putting the created player, with no name, on the All Browns team... Hmmmmm if this is not a sign that Jim Brown needs money, I don't know what is. I will prepare myself to see the 80's and 90's NFL stars soon suing whoever and whatever in the year 2030."
Jim Brown, who for my money may be the greatest American athlete of all time, may or may not need money, but I'll bet he's savvy enough to know how much EA sports is making off those @%&ing video games in comparison to how much he was paid to run the ball, and I do think that he has earned the right to decide who gets to use the image of a black player in a Cleveland Browns' uniform wearing number 32.

I don't think there's any question that if/when this happens to today's players, few of whom compare to Jim Brown, there will be lawsuits aplenty.

(According to Daniel Kaplan and Liz MUllen, in Sports Business Journal, "The NFL Players Association has allegedly conspired since 2001 with Electronic Arts to alter the images of thousands of retired football players in the popular Madden video games in order to avoid paying licensing fees, a lawyer for 612 of those athletes charged during a federal court hearing late last month.")

*********** A coach wrote me asking about running the option because his QB is a good runner...


Nothing wrong with having the QB run.  The problem with getting involved in option football is all that time you'll spend working on the option when what you really want to do is just get the ball in your QB's hands.

Fortunately, almost any play we have can be run by the QB by adding either "follow" or "Keep"

For example - Rip 88 power keep... 88 g-reach keep... Ripper 88 G-Reach follow... Rip 6-G keep/6-G follow... Rip 3 Trap 2 keep... Rip 47-C keep...44x Lead keep

Hope that helps

*********** Coach Wyatt:  I recently ordered your playbook and several videos.
I think the offense will work with a youth (7-9) football program I am going to coach this year.  I have coached at the University level , the high school level as a head coach in two different programs but never with the little guys...but I think it will work. 

My questions for you:  What basic running plays would you put in first that you think these kids can handle?  If I had to do this without advice I would put in 88, 88 power and the mirrors 99, Wedge, 2 trap at 3 , 3 trap at 2, 47 c, 47 criss cross, 6-G/5-G, andI need the bootleg because we have a good QB who can throw very well for a 9 yr old.  Do I need to run 38 to set up the bootleg?
What two pass plays would you put this level it is 90% run.
I hope to hear from you soon , our practices start next week.
Thanks,  this is a ole 67 yr old coach coming back to coach his grandson...Im never too old to take good advice..

What basic running plays would you put in first that you think these kids can handle?  If I had to do this without advice I would put in 88, 88 power and the mirrors 99, Wedge, 2 trap at 3 , 3 trap at 2, 47 c, 47 criss cross, 6-G/5-G, and I need the bootleg because we have a good QB who can throw very well for a 9 yr old.  Do I need to run 38 to set up the bootleg?
What two pass plays would you put this level it is 90% run.

You need to run 88/99 so defenses have to balance up.  If you run Power and not Super Power, you have the possibility of a bootleg off either one.

And you should teach the counters (47-C and 56-C) because they are identical on the frontside and now you have real misdirection.

Then you need a pass both ways - Red-Red/Blue-Blue are the easiest to do.

And finally, 2 Wedge.  Don't try running it both ways. It really takes a lot of work to get it down just to one side.

You don't need to run everything both ways. 3 trap at 2 and 6-G are great plays, but you only have so much time, so it's okay to run them just one way.

*********** We've completed our first 2 days of practice, and things are off to a pretty good start. The kids are responding well to the offense, and we are getting tougher! (Both mentally and physically)

The question I have for you is about the "team" offense part of practice. I'm looking for ways to make it more efficent. We have gone to the wrist band system (I had my wife laminating at midnight before 1st practice!) and that seems to work well. The kids are forced to think and react quickly at the line of scrimmage. Of course after 2 days of practice, (and going against the 3-5) there is some confusion. The problem we have is that we kind of get bogged down after about 7 or 8 plays.

I read the article in AFM last month about making practice better, and the coach had a good point about the team offense not having any "20 minute drives" during games. After that I started thinking about how we could make our practice better.

By the way, the kids think they are hot stuff with the new wrist bands during team! They try to tackle me to get a wrist band.


That was probably written by a passing coach. He probably doesn't have any seven minute drives, either.  Doesn't even know what one is.  But we do.

We don't have many three-and-outs during games, either, and that's because if we can perform flawlessly in practice for 20 or even  - gasp! - 40 minutes, our kids look on a five or six or seven minute drive as routine.

I think that at this point you are  dealing with your kids' focus, and it simply has to get better. They have to understand that in the pursuit of excellence in any field there is going to be boredom and drudgery.  A lack of focus will kill a drive in a  game, too.

They have to get the sense that they are achieving something.

One thing that we will do is to make sure that we do drive in practice.    Put the ball on the 40. Give the offense the yardage that they make.   Bring the ball back to the 40 on any penalties,  turnover,  or failure to get the necessary yardage.  A certain number of plays must be passes.

When they get good, make them a deal - you will go until the time is up or you get X number of touchdowns, whichever comes first. (Make sure that the defense doesn't conspire to help the offense by giving them some sort of reverse reward if the offense makes it).  

When we make that deal, though, we SUBTRACT a touchdown for every turnover.

Hope that helps.

*********** Question: How many plays do you have on your practice script? (not different plays but total plays)
Question: Do you mix in any special teams or anything different to break up the team portion?
Question: How often would you sub in your 2nd group?

If you mean total number of plays, I don't know.  When we are repping, I might run the same play a half dozen times or more in a row. ( It doesn't bother me if the defense knows it's coming.  That makes it tougher for our offense, which is what we want in scrimmaging anyhow.)

But I do want to make sure that we successfully rep everything on the play list.  Certain plays are "must runs," and I make sure I look at them first.  If for some reason I don't get to a play, that play goes to the top of tomorrow's list.  And if we don't get enough successful reps in a week's practice, it doesn't go into the game plan.

I don't want to interrupt offensive practice for anything other than a punt or a field goal (yes, if I have a kicker - who doesn't also insist on playing on the soccer team - we will practice field goals).

As for subbing...I will sub in players, during the session, because that's what I'm more likely to have to do in a game, rather than sub in an entire second unit. I could see a time where, if I had two units, I might run them, rapid-fire, one right after the other, at the defense, toward the end of the session.  No way, though, would the second unit get close to the number of reps of the first unit.

*********** Coach, I have just took over a new HS team I am introducing the DW I have coached this at my former middle school team for six years and have had nothing but good luck with it. My question to you is this, the school that I coached at before is in the same conference as my new team and were state champions last year ever since we started the DW we were pretty much unstoppable.
How ever how do you defend it??? We had some very good defense in the past and the hardest thing we had to do is defend our own offence they killed us we could run the DW but we could not defend it. What would you suggest for a defense to stop the DW???


Years ago, I used to be offended by non-Double Wing coaches who would dare to write me and ask me how to stop MY offense!  The effrontery!

I used to let them know in no uncertain terms that stopping my offense was THEIR job, not mine.

But as the Double Wing has become, if not popular, at least a bit more widespread, I find myself asked this question by fellow Double-Wingers, and I don't take offense.

My first question usually is, "WHICH Double Wing?"

If it's the kind that believes it only needs four or five plays from just one formation, the kind that thinks it's effeminate to pass - it's a whole lot easier.

Then, you might be able to devise something other than your base defense that you could install in a week and run passably.

I wouldn't advise that against me.  I would advise not getting too far from whatever you normally run on defense, because you I intend to force you to make adjustments to various motions and formations, including unbalanced lines and backfields.

I advise Double-Wing coaches to make sure that they "stud up" at the fullback position, because if they don't, and I am a defensive coach, I am going to put my two toughest dudes at defensive ends, with instructions to crush the fullback any time he approaches them.

I am going to set up to try to take one or maybe two plays from them.  Bo Schembechler called it "sticking a knife in their best play."   I want to force them to play me "left-handed" - to use weapons they seldom use and probably don't practice much.  I'd like to see if they'll throw the ball more than four or five times.  

Just talking in generalities...  

You will have one VERY big advantage over most guys, though, and that is that you'll be able to run a respectable scout offense Double Wing. I suggest that your defense get a look at it, even if only a brief one, every day!

*********** If you want to get an idea of the kind of kid West Point - and America - produces, check this out...

Watch that and you'll feel better about America!

*********** At West Point, a place that thrives on toughness, Army coach Stan Brock stood out from the pack last week. Earlier in July, during a routine checkup, Coach Brock was diagnosed with prostate cancer; last Tuesday he underwent surgery; on Friday he was out on the field - in a golf cart, of course - for the team's opening practice session. Meanwhile, the team is in the experienced hands of offensive coordinator Tim Walsh, who before coming to West Point was head coach at Portland State, and defensive coordinator John Mumford, who has been a head coach, too, at Southeast Missouri.

*********** Sure hope a certain service academy's listening.

"The wishbone is not a dead offense, I promise you that. You give me a wishbone offense and I could win. There's no question about it. It's a great running offense. In the 16 years I coached, no one won as many games as we did as players and coaches." Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, who was 157-29-4 in 16 seasons of running the wishbone.

*********** Q. When setting up for right and left formations, does the halfback set up behind the end?

A. The back sets up directly in line with the tackle. He is in a two point stance and his toes are slightly deeper than the b backs heels

*********** How about a nice article about the Durham Eagles youth football, in which my friend Dave Potter plays a major role: About the Durham Eagles

*********** I had the pleasure of working with Alan Castro last night on installing 88/99 super power. The high school always sends us players to help with our clinic.

As you know, Alan ran the double wing for at least 7 years under his father Armando.

Believe it or not, we were able to teach both plays to 7 and 8 year olds in about 30 minutes. Dennis Cook, Roanoke, Virginia (Alan Castro, son of my good friend and long-time Double-Wing coach Armando Castro, will be a senior this season at Hidden Valley High and is a Division-I prospect as a quarterback. I think the world of the Castro family and I know that Alan is a good person as well as a good quarterback.   To hear that he is also a good coach is in character! HW)

*********** Nice offer Green Bay made to Brett Favre - $20 million to work in "marketing." Uh, exactly what kind of "marketing" is needed by a team that has sold out every game for years?

Actually, if they wanted to bribe him to stay off the field, they should have offered him $20 million to serve as Director of Gulf Coast Scouting, and then he could stay home in Kiln, Mississippi and hunt and fish, go to an occasional college game, and cash the Packers' checks.

Just don't think that any of this has gone unnoticed by the NFL Players' Association. It's going to be hard for them to keep a straight face listening to the poormouthing of the team owners when the smallest of the small-market teams is willing to offer a former player a $20 million sinecure. (From the Latin "sine", meaning "without" and "cure" meaning "care," a sinecure is a job that doesn't require a whole lot of work.)

FLAGFRIDAY, AUGUST 1, 2008- "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear." Mark Twain

*********** I write this from a hotel room in Ogden, Utah, on my way back to the Pacific Northwest from an outstanding three-day Double-Wing camp in Beloit, Kansas...

*********** A hearty G'day Mate! to me youngest grandchild, Samuel Thomas Wyatt, born on August 1, 2008 in Melbourne Australia (when we got the news, it was still July 31 here in the US) to my son, Ed, and his wife, Michelle.

For Ed and "Shelly," Sam's their first.

For my wife and me, little Sam makes seven grandsons and four granddaughters. If you're counting, that's ELEVEN - the perfect number for a football coach.

Ed said that as we were talking, Sam was kicking his legs and thrashing his hands. I said to put a ball in his hands. Not on his feet.

*********** Coach -
Congratulations on the new position.  I am sure you will do well.  A coach I know went to WA recently (other end though) and really loved the change.  If I could ever talk my wife into it, we would move to Oregon, Washington, or Idaho.
There's been some debate in our parts about the whole A-11 offense.  In my opinion, it is very much against the spirit of the rules.  My main beef is the 11 kids with eligible numbers.  I personally think this is a loophole that NFHS needs to close.
On that line of thought, I am not really against everyone going to modified NCAA rules like TX uses.  From what I have heard, this offense is a non-starter in NCAA rules.  Plus, automatic touchbacks are stupid and give a little bit too much advantage with those teams with keeeckers.
I don't have a problem with crazy formations, per se.  Heck, look at most 1940s offenses and you'll see a few.  It's the intentional referee deception I have a problem with.  BYU uses some crazy formations without bending rules.  I don't believe for a second that the A-11 people don't try to sneak a throw to an ineligible receiver now and then.  But, maybe that's just because I was a DC before I moved to the dark side.
Mike Burchett
Dean / Athletic Director, Lindsay High School
Lindsay, California

*********** Noted author John Feinstein's analysis of why Army football is where it is now

"Not only did (former Army AD Rick) Greenspan arrive having already decided to fire football coach Bob Sutton (who had led Army to a 10-2 record in 1996), but he had also decided to bring his own guy, Todd Berry (whom he had previously hired at Illinois State). He fired Sutton, who had worked at Army for 17 years, on a street corner in Philadelphia, then hired Berry while ignoring others who were interested in the job -- including Jim Tressel and Paul Johnson.

"Three years later, Johnson's first Navy team -- which went 2-10 -- crushed Army 58-12 in a game in which it was apparent that the Cadets had quit on their coach. Why? Perhaps they were tired of hearing Berry publicly blame them for his failures.

"But both Greenspan and the military brass refused to fire Berry. That led to the worst college football season in history -- 0-13 -- a year later. Berry was finally fired midway through that season and Greenspan mercifully left for Indiana a year after that. At Indiana, instead of destroying a football program, Greenspan blew up the basketball team. Army football, meantime, still hasn't recovered from the Greenspan-Berry era.

"In the meantime, Johnson, who couldn't get an interview with Greenspan, took Navy to five straight bowl games, five straight Commander-in-Chiefs trophies and six straight wins over Army -- the longest streak in the rivalry's history."

Not that most football fans could care less, but everything's been top-secret about this year's Army offense - all practices were held indoors, and everyone involved has been sworn to secrecy. There have been no leaks, either, a record that our regular armed forces would do well to emulate. Spying? Forget it. Between the fact that first you have to get onto the post, and then you'd have to get inside the secureindoor practice facility - at an Army base, yet - it wouldn't be a simple matter to spy on the Cadets.

There was a story released back in the Spring that Army would be going to the wishbone, but I didn't believe it for a minute then and I still don't. I think the story was a red herring, designed to get everyone off the real scent.

Very simply, I don't believe that the Army coaching staff is comfortable running the wishbone. Back in 1984 Army coach Jim Young made an adrupt decision to dump what he knew and install the wishbone, an offense that better suited Army's talent, and in his first year of running the 'Bone, Army went to its first bowl game ever. But there are no Jim Youngs on this Army staff, steeped as it is in West Coast/Pro-I football.

I'm not on the inside here, but I do have my sources, and they lead me to conclude that Army will open up against Temple in a spread, no-huddle offense on the order of what's currently being popularized and promoted by Tony Franklin, now the OC at Auburn.

If true, my initial reaction is to say that I doubt that Army will ever be able to recruit the talent to run that kind of offense successfully. Todd Berry had a solid record as a passing coach and he couldn't get it done at Army. I fear that a move to shotgun spread will be just one more in a long list of examples of trying to do what everybody else does, but with lesser talent.

If I weren't already convinced by Jim Young's and Bob Sutton's Army teams that the Wishbone was the way to go, Navy's (and now Georgia Tech's) Paul Johnson certainly closed the deal. His version of the wishbone proved conclusively that it can help build a consistent winner at a service academy.

I am pulling for Army regardless, and whatever Coach Stan Brock has decided to do offensively, I will reserve judgment until I see it in action.

*********** Coach Wyatt,
On your first day of practice at your new school, what is your process for finding a Center?

Good question.

I'll be looking for a kid with decent size who appears to be very responsible and reasonably intelligent and willing to please.

*********** Just a tip --- I have been working hard on enforcing a one-yard split between the wingback and the tight end (or tackle).  It greatly improves the wingbacks' angle of approach when they are walling off a backer, and it keeps them (and the tight ends)  from being jammed on pass plays.  You have to watch this, because if you don't stay on them, the wingbacks have a tendency to keep moving in until their inside feet are almost in line with the tight ends' outside feet.  I tell them to leave room between them for one full man.

*********** I did receive the playbook and dvds. They're very easy to follow.  I'm not sure if 7-8-9 year old boys can learn this offense. I will see how the first two weeks go. if not I will save it for next year and beyond 
Thank you

Coach- Glad you got them.

If you can understand the system, you can teach it to kids.  Lots of coaches around the country are teaching my system to 7-8-9 year olds.

Go one play at a time, very slowly.  Do not run it at full speed until the kids are very confident - until they can assure you that they can run it well. Be patient.  It's far better to run one or two plays very well than to run a whole bunch of them poorly.

The most important thing is that you determine that this is what you're going to do and that you're going to remain focused on succeeding.

But it does sound as if you're not resolved to  seeing this thing through, so I predict that you will wind up "saving it for next year."

Best of luck in any case.

*********** Double dutch will become the newest of 35 varsity sports played in New York City schools.

I am not kidding.

As part of an effort to increase the number of students — particularly girls — participating in competitive athletics, New York City will create coed double-dutch teams at 10 of its high schools, many of them in predominantly black neighborhoods like Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Harlem where jumping rope has long been popular on playgrounds.

Only about 10 percent of New York's 33,000-student high school population plays on varsity or junior varsity teams, compared with more than a third in a typical suburban district, so in an effort to increase participation, school officials are going creative.

The last sport to be added was cricket, and officials said they are also considering cycling, badminton and netball as varsity sports. ("Cycling?" Whoa. I'd pay to watch bicycle races through New York traffic.)

It's nice that New York cares about exotic sports, but it seems to me they could do a better job with what most of us would call real high school sports.

You may remember reading here that it was mainly thanks to the efforts of businessman and former Princeton wrestler Michael Novogratz that wrestling is even offered as a sport in the city's high schools.

************ Just watched a little of the USA-Turkey basketball game. All I can say is "whew." We have got an amazingly talented group. But they will have to play as a team, because the days when we could send a bunch of all-stars and whup the world are gone forever.

*********** Simply because I had been watching the US Olympic basketball team on ESPN and didn't bother to chaneg the channel, I caught about two minutes of poker.

Am I the only one who finds it really offensive that ESPN refers to a poker player named Chris Ferguson by his nickname - Jesus - and doesn't even bat an eye at the sacrilege?

*********** It was great talking to you and I always enjoy our talks even the quick surface ones. I do very little on line stuffanymore with the forums etc. because of the camps that get developed and passion for the camps that some take. I consider the DW an offense that many people run and tweak to fit their style of coaching. They seem to be preoccupied with are you a Markham, Wyatt, Vallotton, Calande, etc. etc. guy and its kind of bone-headish. I obviously have been influenced by all these guys and have my little twist as well, but When I’m asked how I got the DW, I always tell them Hugh Wyatt, for I can still remember parts of our first conversation before I bought the tape. You have probably been my biggest influence from the start and I still have your terminology, for the most part, as well as blocking rules. I owe a lot of gratitude to you for your influence in getting me to try this thing even though all of my football philosophy was there on your tapes and when I saw them, I knew I was toast!!!!!
Thanks for everything and I’ll be in touch!!
  Coach Larry Harrison
the Heritage High School
 "Home of the HAWKS"
   Head Football Coach
     Newnan, Georgia

*********** Many Stanford fans are conflicted - turns out Barack Obama's nomination speech will be taking place during the second quarter of Stanford's opener. If you can believe this, someone floated a proposal to broadcast the speech on the stadium screen or the concourse TVs.

(I've already decided which one I'll be watching.)

Christopher Anderson (Wow, what a tough choice. A college football game or a political speech. Maybe they should just stop the Stanford game so that everybody can look at the jumbo screen, jaws agape. Actually, maybe we should just interrupt all football games, and while we're at it, bring all other human activity to a standstill as well, so that the Great Man can send thrills up and down our spines with another Sermon on the Mount. HW)

*********** It had to happen...