Friday, December 28, 2012

Sports Illustrated Football: Offense by Bud Wilkinson

Heh. This book is so old there's no picture on Amazon to go with it.
I was talking with my friend and supervisor, Chip, at work the other day and mentioned that I'd always wanted to find a book that outlined basic football strategies. The following day, there were these two books laying on my desk, he said he found them in the break room - a fortuitous coincidence.

This book really has some good information on basic offensive strategies and technicques for the offensive team, including blocking, pass patterns, and the responsibilities of each position. It doesn't have a lot of info on the latest developments by modern teams, but I'm pretty certain that the basics haven't changed, and that teams that teach and practice these basics probably have good success.

Often, when I'm watching a football game, I note that much of what the announcers have to say is the same thing over and over, such as,

"Well, the offensive line really needs to protect the passer today."


"The amazing thing about wide receiver Smith is that he runs a very consistent pattern, so the quarterback can throw the ball before he reaches that spot on the field."

And I think to myself, "I could say things like that. Why aren't I making the big bucks announcing games?"

This book is filled with just those sorts of basic things.

In Blocking Techniques:

"The position of the head is of paramount importance. Most poor blockers fail to bull their neck. Instead of holding their head directly over their shoulders, they tend to tilt it to the outside and look at the ground. They lose sight of the opponent and consequently miss the block."


"As the ball is snapped, the blocker moves directly at his opponent, keeping his eyes squarely on the belt buckle. As he approaches the area of contact, he should be in a low hitting position and have nough momentum to meet and if possible overpower the defender."

There's some good description of proper positioning of the arms on a handoff, which could explain many fumbles, when it's not correctly executed:

"The outside hand should be curled in slightly just inside the hip to block the ball if the quarterbsack extends it too far. The inside elbow should be up, with the forearm parallel to the ground, opening the target for the quarterback...A good ball carrier takes the hand-off from feel, watching only the defensive players in the area he will hit. If he looks for the ball, he'll lose sight of the defense and miss the holes."

There are some more recent editions of this book out there. I'd suggest reading them for any student of the game.

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