The Indianapolis Glazier Clinic was a medium sized clinic with a small but enthusiastic contingent of youth football coaches. It was great to see guys from all the way from Cincinnati there that ran my system last year for the first time.
I got to the clinic just in time to see some excellent speakers including a Special Teams guru that had sent a number of kickers to Division I and NFL teams. I got the chance to listen to an Illinois Hall of Fame High School coach, Mike Rude talk about the nuances of his famous Shotgun ‘T’ Series as well as hear a former 11 year NFL vet speak about connecting to players. I had breakfast one on one with a High School head coach from El Paso whose team set numerous Texas Passing Records. I had the pleasure of sharing a ride with fellow speaker David Tennison, the Defensive Coordinator from Jenks High School in Oklahoma and got a chance to talk with him on the 40 minute trip to the airport as well as when we waited for our flights. Jenks as many of you know is a perennial USA Today Top 10 Program. It was non stop football for 3 days and 2 nights and as usual I came away the better for the experience. We don’t go to these things with the idea we are looking for new football plays or new schemes, just better ways to accomplish our goals and to see how other successful coaches and programs do things.
One area I thought we needed improvement on was our kickoff coverage. We onside kick with a mob or pooch kick until we are leading by 3 touchdowns, then we kick deep. Our onside and pooch kick coverage has been very good. In the last 8 seasons, we have yet to have a return for a touchdown and our recovery rates have ranged from about 5 %-30 %. Our theory is, why put the ball in the hands of the other teams best player “in space”, when no one is holding a gun to your head to do so? They want the ball in that guys hands, so why do I want to give the other team exactly what they want?
What hasn’t looked so good for us has been our deep kickoff co