Work On Your Game Day Adjustments Now

By FirstDown PlayBook on May 21, 2021

As a very young coach, I can remember a game where we were getting hurt in the weak side B gap. I was coaching on defense and the other team was wearing us out on the ground.

Our defensive coordinator was a young coach too. We were trying to essentially stop their weak side run game and staying base defense. I remember our head coach getting on the head set mid drive and simply calling a pirate stunt.

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The open side defensive end slipped under the offensive tackle’s block hit the running back creating a fumble. I will always remember thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?” it was so simple but yet so effective.

The truth of the matter is that having experienced coaches on the staff helps. Our head coach, John Palermo had coached at Notre Dame when they won the national championship. He had 20 years or so years of experience under his belt so he knew exactly what adjustment to make in that situation.

Over this past week we have been back and forth with the question about how best to handle half time or game day adjustments. We have looked at both sides of the coin.

2 days ago we looked at the philosophy that says you stand pat and stay with your game plan.

We also looked at the camp that says make the adjustments you need to regardless of how drastic they may seem at the time.

So to finish this topic up, today we want to just emphasize that regardless of your philosophy, you can hash out a lot of these things right now. This is a good time of the year to sit down as a staff and talk about the “What ifs?”

What if they go to a hurry up offense and they never have before? Or if the corner fire is creating a problem for our boundary run game? What if they line up in a punt formation with the quarterback on the field?

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It is even a good idea to get your entire staff together to exchange ideas across the offense and defense. It can be very educational to hear from the other side of the ball about the things that worry them.

All coordinators go into the game with a call sheet. If you take the time to hash out these things in the spring you can also create an adjustment sheet. It is also good to take this adjustment sheet into the game. “If this happens then go to this” kind of thing.

So over the next few months find a little time to sit down as a staff to hash some of these things out. These meetings don’t have to be long drawn affairs. You can get a lot done by being organized and talking about specific situations. Decide what situations you are going to talk about before you get in the meeting.

If you do this then when it’s halftime of a game that isn’t going as well as you want it to will be easier to manage. You will have the answers already decided if and when you want to make that game time adjustment!