Clairton High School (PA) sat atop the national high school scoring list last season, totaling 958 points (59.8 ppg) on its way to a 15-1 record. While the Bears utilize Fast, Slow, Key and Double Screen concepts, Offensive Coordinator Shawn Liotta has compiled the elements of each of these screens to fit into one drill. The pace is hectic; he’s able to get as much as 80 reps in a 10-minute period. If the Screen game is a functional part of your offense, finding ten minutes a day to rep them could make a tremendous difference. Clairton averaged 12.75 yards per play on these concepts last season. Coach Liotta details the set-up, coaching points and video in this exclusive clinic report.
By Shawn Liotta
Clairton High School (PA)
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In 2014 the Clairton Bears led the nation in scoring and finished second all-time nationally with 958 points scored on their way to a 15-1 record. The Bears “No-Huddle, No-Mercy” offense totaled 8,162 total yards and averaged 12.75 yards per play with a balanced attack 3,249 yards passing/ 4,913 yards rushing.
The screen game is a key component of our offensive attack at Clairton High School. We employ a diverse and effective screen package that makes up one third of our total offensive attack. We place great emphasis on the fundamentals and execution of these concepts. That means treating screens in your offensive package the same way that you would with your running game or pass attack. Too often coaches employ screens as an exotic or off-tempo type of concept that they maybe get four or five reps of the concept in practice often during team drills. These same coaches will get frustrated when they call the Screen play in the game and it does not work due to poor execution and timing. By utilizing this screen drill daily for 10 minutes, you will greatly enhance the success of the screen package in your offense.
We utilize screens as a way to get the ball to our playmakers in space and force the defense to defend our offense sideline to sideline. We enter each game with the following screen concepts.
- Fast Screens
- Slow Screens
- Key Screens
- Double Screens
- Screens Packaged with our Run Game
- Suckers and Gadgets
We are an up-tempo, no huddle offense with the goal of getting the ball snapped within five seconds of the ready for play signal. This philosophy carries over to our practice schedule as we attempt to set an extremely fast pace in practice so that our games appear to slow down. This allows us to get the maximum number of quality snaps during our practice sessions, however this also necessitates our coaches to coach off of film or during our group periods such as our screen drill so that we do not slow down our pace. Our screen drill provides us with an opportunity to teach each of our screen concepts in a team setting during each practice session. We use this drill to allow us to rep each of our screen concepts in each direction during a ten-minute session where we can average seven to eight snaps per minute during this period.
Objectives of the Drill
The screen drill allows us to practice our execution and timing of each of our screen packages against the defensive front and coverage structure that we expect to see from our upcoming opponent. We use this drill to stress our timing and release angles for our offensive line and perimeter blocking of the most dangerous man by our receivers and running backs. Our quarterbacks have the opportunity to work footwork and ball placement on each of our screen concepts. It also serves as an excellent complement to the emphasis that we place on the positional techniques of our screen packages during our individual periods at practice.
Practicing the Screen Drill
The screen drill can be implemented into any practice session and can have a positive application to any screen game regardless of offensive system. I will typically use this drill following our group inside run period. It also works in the pre-practice period if we are looking to stress our technique and timing or when we are installing a new screen concept or variation for that week’s opponent. Through this 10 minute segment, we will get 60-80 reps of our screen concepts in addition to the 10-20 reps that may be scripted during team and situational sessions during a single practice schedule. It is imperative if you want to perfect your screen game and make it a true weapon in your offensive arsenal that you effectively practice and drill the fundamentals necessary to make it successful.
Watch the Drill Video & Get 4 FREE Books…
Join X&O Labs’ Insiders (an exclusive membership-based website) and you’ll receive up to 4 free books shipped directly to your front door. Plus, you’ll also get the full-length version of Coach Liotta’s clinic report – including video. Here’s just a small sample of what Coach Liotta’s clinic report includes…
- The set-up of the Screen Drill
- How Coach Liotta meshes perimeter screens with middle screens.
- How slow screens and key screens are built in to the set-up of the drill.
- VIDEO: Watch practice video of Coach Liotta’s Screen drill.
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Regardless of what type of offensive system you employ, this Screen drill will improve the efficiency of your screen package. By dedicating a ten-minute period of your offensive practice to executing this drill, your players will refine their techniques and timing necessary to execute your Screen game at a high level.
Meet Coach Liotta: Shawn Liotta is the Offensive Coordinator at Clairton High School (Clairton, PA) and the Head Coach of the Erie Explosion of the Professional Indoor Football League. In 2014 Liotta's no-huddle, no mercy attack shattered nearly every school record for the Bears as they led the entire nation in scoring 958 points and finished with 8,132 total yards of offense. In addition to serving as a Head Coach at the professional indoor level for the past nine years, Liotta has spent 16 years at the high school and collegiate level as a Head Coach or assistant in the State of Pennsylvania.