Everybody to the Football

We talked about Assignment Football yesterday and for the past couple of days on my morning runs a drill we used to use back in the HS practices has been playing around in my head, and I don’t know why the coaches don’t use this drill more today and why we don’t see this approach more in the games becasue it will eliminate, forever, all forms of lazy defense.

The drill is called Everybody to the Football and it’s like “All Hands On Deck” on the football field.

The coach has a scout team runningback stand on the other side of the defense and he tosses the back the ball and the defense from their proper alignment(5-2,3-4,4-3, whatever), when the back gets that ball, the entire defense has, we will say 15 seconds, to get to the ball carrier and everybody must get to the football.(The back is running at steady speed to left or to the right.)

Eleven hands and bodies must get to that runner in the given time frame or you’ll hear the coach yell those infamous words, “LINE ‘EM UP”. As a player you never want to hear those words, “LINE ‘EM UP”. You know what “LINE ‘EM UP” means, it’s time to run. Run till you get it right. And this approach really works. Everyvbody to the Football.

Can you imagine being in the game and being the opposing runningback and you look up when you get tackled and you see eleven bodies standing above you in the breakdown position. You are getting up from the ground and look up and see eleven men standing there with fists clenched in the breakdown position. That would leave a lasting impression on any ball carrier.

You have to avoid late hits with this approach but that’s the least of the coaches worries. You take a few late hits if your players are showing all-out hustle and they are getting to the ball. That’s what the overall scheme should be these days, “GET TO THE BALL”. How many times have you heard a coach say that? Get to the ball, “I want to see everybody get to the football”. And how about the players standing there in the “Breakdown Position”. Fists clenched, and ready to pounce and kill.

It’s a beautiful sight, and there’s nothing like seeing those lazy defensive backs get to the football and be in there on the play with the linemen and linebackers. Not a bad lesson for the day, “Everybody to the Football”.

The question for the day from Tuesday comes from Kevan who asks, “How’s Coach Fritz gonna do with his guys down at Southeast Guilford this year”?

Coach Fritz loses Justin Venable who is now at East Carolina on a full ride and he also will have to go with a new quarterback since Luke Stewart has graduated. Jack Shultz out of Grimsley is also down in Greenville at ECU trying to latch on as a walk-on with the Pirates. Back to Southeast, they will have one key ingredient that will have them on the map, “Team Speed”. We mentioned the Tyrell Anderson kid last week with his 4.3 speed in the 40 and Brian Webb runs with 4.35 time.

Big defensive end James Peguese(6’3/225/4.65 40) is back for his senior year for the Falcons and he might see some time this season at tight end. Terrence Topps. last year’s punter/field goal kicker, will be the new QB and Trey Artis should be available as a backup, that’s what he was doing last year, therefore he has some experience. When Tivon Clark joins the team, assuming that he does now that his baseball season is complete, he will provide more team speed, because Clark is strong and he can fly.

The Mid-Piedmont Conference should come down to the game of the year with Southeast Guilford and Ragsdale at SEG on September 26. The Ragsdale-Southeast game has become one of the premiere games in our area, right in there with Page-Grimsley, Dudley-Smith, and HP Andrews-HP Central. The Ragsdale-SEG contests are very competitive and this year Ragsdale will seek to counter SEG’s team speed with BIG linemen.

Ragsdale has Joey Finison 6’4/280 who is headed to Duke. They also employ Darrion Doleberry 6’1/ 240 with 4.8 40 speed and Daniel McNeil 6’2/225 4.75 40, Walt Sparks 6’2/200 4.8, Cedric Ellison 5’11/290 and tight end Ian Jenkins 6’2/220 4.8 and a hot college prospect, he’s also back.

The question for Ragsdale is who is gonna be the quarterback?

Ragsdale is loaded with talent and deserves to be the early favorite for the Mid-Piedmont Conference title. DeSean Anderson could play QB but he can also go at wide receiver and he can punt. Kasey Redfern who is also a soccer player, is a kid that was around last year that I really like. This kid is outstanding with kickoffs, field goals, and PAT’s. RB Josh Clark is back as is RB/DB Nick Mearite and Billy Stone is built like a rock at linebacker, checking in at 5’9/180 with a 4.8 40 and the colleges are looking.

The colleges are looking at a load of those Ragsdale players; Jenkins, Sparks, Ellison, McNeil, Anderson, Redfern, and others like Antonio Gilyard a defensive back listed at 5’7/150 but he has 4.5 speed in the 40.

We are going to have some great matchups this season and we will try and keep you up to date as the big day of August 22 approaches with the first games of the 2008 season.

We could still use info on last night’s Page and Grimsley scrimmages and others you may know about, if anyone has any news.