The most difficult variable for an offensive coordinator to get the ball to his best playmaker is assessing how the defense will play him post-snap. But using a pre-snap audible system with a series of options that automatically gets the ball in the hands of your best player alleviates any check the defense can make. It’s this kind of system that Cameron Anderson, the head coach at Gooding High School (ID), has used to address space deficiencies in zone coverage and personnel deficiencies in man-to-man coverage. It’s a check made simply by the QB and the playmaker and Coach Anderson reveals the drill work he uses to practice the system. Read the report here.
By Cameron Andersen
Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Gooding High School (ID)
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First of all, just like all successful coaches, this stuff comes from the concepts of great football minds and we adjust them to fit our scheme, philosophy, and athletes. That being said, our “win” concept, was one of the more effective tools we had to combat a variety of situations. It helped us against adjustments to our top wide receivers, a loaded box, a blitz happy team, and most importantly, matchups where we felt we had better athletes.
In the end, we found this concept more than acquitted itself on the field. This season we had enjoyed a 2nd place state finish. In the playoffs we averaged just over 40 points per game, and in the game where we used this concept the most, we scored 87 points. The “win” concept never resulted in negative yards, and scored a touchdown in all but 2 of our 11 games.
The win concept is based on getting the ball to your guys as quickly as possible in a check situation. It is never an original call, it is an audible to defensive adjustments on the fly. First, I must say that this works better with tempo, especially fast tempo, because you can catch defenses in a predictable repeat look. To master the concept, you must rep it every day in practice; the quarterback and his receiving options have to be on the same page with what they see in front of them.
When to Use “WIN”:
This being a concept that is used as an audible and not an organized play, the only people on the field aware of it happening is the QB and whatever receiver he or I have signaled. In time, the running back and receivers in the area will hear the call and even adjust or check to blocking the MDM, but we tell them to stick to the play called unless they see the ball in flight to the “win.” We can use either a verbal call, literally yelling out “Y win” or give a hand signal that we have predetermined for each game.
We call it a “win” because we want to rapidly defeat all space and man-to-man situations where we feel we have a superior athlete. We first look for uncovered defenders, we then look toward the slot defender’s alignment (usually the SS or OLB) and last we check the alignment of the FS. These factors help us determine when to use this audible, and are outlined below.
Practicing the Concept:
We have a rule that we don’t run a play or a concept unless we have practiced it at least 10 times during the week. This concept is based on timing and film/tendency studies of the other team; you will practice it more than you use it. We maybe used it 3 times a game, but it NEVER gained less than 5 yards and often was a big play.
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- The audible concept that Coach Anderson will use when the playmaker is an outside receiver against tight man-to-man matchups.
- How he teaches the receiver to read the reaction of the defender and adjust his stem accordingly.
- The audible concept that Coach Anderson will use when the defender is head up or inside shade of the playmaker when he is in the slot.
- The drill work that Coach Anderson uses to train his QB to make the right pre-snap decision based off the structure of the defense.
- Plus game film of all these concepts.
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In conclusion, remember that football is a simple game that gets over complicated. Athletes love situations that create easy yards, without having to over think the process. The “win” concept is not complicated, but it changed the way defenses came at us. It made them defend the entire field, sideline-to-sideline, accounting for all offensive players even immediately after the snap which opens up opportunities in your run and deep vertical game. It is also very useful, because the situation in Clip 5 was in the State Quarterfinals, and that touchdown came with under 1:00 minute left and sealed the win for us. I hope you find it as a useful way to get the ball to superior athletes in your system.
Meet Coach Cameron Andersen: Coach Anderson is from a small town in Idaho called Murtaugh. Both of his grandfathers were coaching legends in the area and becoming a head coach was all Anderson ever wanted to do. Coach Anderson worked as an assistant at Murtaugh out of high school and got his first head job at nearby Hansen at the age of 24 shortly after. When he turned 27, Gooding High School, a 3A school in Idaho handed him the reigns to their program and he turned the program around winning 3 state trophies in 6 years including 2nd this season. Anderson and his wife Dacia have 3 kids; Zoey, Slade, and Jaeda.