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Football Coach's Complete Offensive Playbook Hardcover – 11 Aug 1987

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Indispensable 17 Jun. 2011
By Hugh Wyatt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a long-time football coach, I have long admired Homer Smith's work as a coach, clinician and writer. A detailed analysis of the offensive side of the game, this is probably his most important work. It will be an indispensable addition to the library of anyone who aspires to know football in depth.
Real-time Review Subject To Change 25 Nov. 2011
By Howard P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
So far, I'm not impressed. Perhaps this book is too advanced for me...I'm going to update this review as I read the book.

The book states that it is about playing with a "...two-back/three-receiver" formation, generally identified as the Pro, and playing against a great variety of defenses."

Chapter 1 "...follows the evolution of the problem of playing against variety."
Chapter 2 "...presents the system for identifying plays, communicating at the line of scrimmage, varying formations...holes are not numbered relative to offensive players as they are in most systems, and the snap count is one of a kind."
Chapter 3 "...the method of assigning players and is the most important in the book."

In the introductory "How this book will help you", I'm still trying to figure out how this book will help me.

The author also states in the introduction that "...coaches communicate best when their words are accompanied by pictures. Hence, there are 101 complete diagrams in these three chapters." (Chapter 1 - 3) Even if there were twice the number of diagrams, the author's communication is weak at best. Each diagram is simply an "x and o" of alignments with 50 or so words explaining each diagram.

Chapter 1 has 12 pages of these diagrams that lead to the author's thesis: defensive alignments have evolved over time and "...an offensive coach who is unprepared to deal with them all should not attempt to employ the formation...the Pro..."

OK, I'll concede the point that I don't remember any of the 12 pages of defensive alignments but I'm still going to use the Pro formation!

I had to read and re-read chapter 2 to even begin to understand "...communicating and formationing." Perhaps I should not have read this chapter in the waiting room at my doctors office...Anyway, he presents a number scheme for calling plays:


What is 7-7?

It is a play from a running family because the first digit is odd;
(even numbers are passes)

It goes to the right because the second digit is odd;
(not sure why odd numbers are right side...It seems to me, given the authors numbering scheme, which uses pairs of numbers, that left would be odd and right would be an even number: i.e.,
1/2 3/4 5/6 7/8 9/10 ...these number pairs are odd on the left side of "/" and even numbers on the right...anyway....)

It is a split-end side play because all 5/6 and 7/8 pairs go to split-end sides.
(2 paragraphs before stated that 5/6 and 7/8 plays are to the split-end side)

It is a pass because all 3/4 and 7/8 pairs, with odd first digits, are run-action (play-action) passes;

You got that?

The author then states the following:

"After this system is mastered, it is just as easy to remember that a 7-7 is a pass as it is to remember that a 26, in another numbering system, is a run."

It would be very helpful if the author actually included several examples using his numbering scheme. He did mention two special plays: "Fake 1-1/1-2 Reverse" and "Pass 15-1/15-2 Pass".
I suppose it's up to the reader to figure this out?

Again there are numerous "x and o" diagrams that, in my opinion, do little to clarify the material.

Chapter 3 is titled "Assigning Blockers."

Now, I'm thinking, great, perhaps I can learn something about blocking and per the introductory chapter, this is THE MOST IMPORTANT chapter! In this chapter, the author devises 5 categories to simplify blocking. Yet, once again, I am dazzled by the number of diagrams and find myself lost in my own men's room.

In all fairness, the author states that this is the actual offensive system used to direct UCLA's offense in three Rose Bowl victories. With that in mind, I will attempt to wade through the material and see if I can make sense out of this...who knows, perhaps I will start a blog site devoted to the interpretation of this book :)
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