Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Roll Tide… Roll!

Posted by admin January - 10 - 2012 - Tuesday

Like many of you, I watched Alabama dismantle LSU last night! Some things came to mind as I settled into bed past midnight here on the East Coast:
1- Defense DOES win championships! but… you’d better have some Offensive out-put too (and an accurate place kicker!) or… you will lose 9-6 in OT instead of winning 21-0! Alabama’s willingness to “open things up” on Offense while LSU seemed content to bang their heads against that unbelievably solid Alabama defense was the difference in the game.
2- Be able to recruit the top athletes in the nation! Many of you don’t know but we played against the back-up QB at Alabama… Phillip Sims. Phillip was the most prolific passer in the history of Virginia HS football. And, he languishes on the bench. (Colorado State, here I come?!) That’s the quality and depth of talent that Alabama (and LSU!) recruit every year.
3- Develop a passion for running to the football (whether it’s defense or covering kicks— POW!) and get there with the desire to a- make a tackle… not just a “hit” (did you see any missed tackles last night…. like you do in NFL games?!) and b- arrive in a bad attitude and punish the ball carrier!
4- Work relentlessly on “run fits.” I learned this from my friend Bud Foster at VT and Kirby Smart obviously demands the same thing of his defense at Alabama. Everyone is a piece of the puzzle and the pieces have to fit. If you are not emphasizing this on your defense, you need to learn more about it.
5- Play your position and don’t give up the big play. No doubt that LSU has many “game breakers” on their offense also. Alabama just did not allow them any breathing room to make a play. The announcers kept saying that “Alabama is only pressuring with 4″… but they play a 3-4 defense! Which means that a LB was coming nearly all the time. Where he was coming from was the LSU QB’s problem!
6- Finally, my last observation. Did you see how many plays Alabama’s defensive tackles made behind the line?! They slanted and pinched and got pressure because they were coming off the ball and penetrating. On the high school level, I think this is even more critical. I can’t say that I’ve seen a defensive lineman in the state of Virginia who compares to anyone I saw on that field last night. A few maybe but so many on one field….wow! Again, the brilliant analysts kept saying that “Alabama’s defensive line just covers up for their LB’s so the LB’s can make all of the plays.” hummmmm?? Wrong again! Those linemen were exploding off the ball and getting penetration. We could learn a lesson in how to coach defensive linemen from what we saw last night.
Alabama certainly put into practice my 5 P’s of Success: Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. The meticulous preparation Saban and his staff ascribed to paid off in spades last night. I thought at times that ‘Bama’s defense KNEW the play before the ball was snapped! They were everywhere they needed to be whenever LSU tried something! THAT’S preparation. Congrats to all of you Crimson Tide fans out there! You have the best coach, best players and best fans in the country… THIS year!
Happy New Year everyone! and… how ’bout my man Tebow??!! Go Bronco’s!

One Response to “Roll Tide… Roll!”

  1. Joe Daniel says:

    I was so impressed by how Alabama ran to the football, and the defensive line play too. The way they were physically punishing LSU on both sides of the ball had to be completely demoralizing!

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