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This is a 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays review, detailing what author Keith Grabowski, offensive coordinator at Baldwin Wallace, has developed as part of his offense. I will start off by saying, and this is important, you can only buy this from the iBookstore, and it can only be used on the iPad (not the iPhone). That being said, this is the e-book that all football coaches have been waiting for. It changes the dynamics of what can be done for coaching books, no matter what the sport really.
101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays Review: Content
101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays itself, I doubt, actually really covers 101+ different plays. Maybe if you consider all the formation possibilities and small adjustments to one single play, you’ll get that. I say this because I often caution against the “101 plays” or drills books.
Now, to talk about why this book is a game changer and so great. First of all, Coach Grabowski describes his system in detail. In his book, he talks about how the read different defenders in their pistol option or how they can have a different blocker assigned to different defender. So you can easily block zone read, zone bob, zone with the FB blocking the backside end, etc.
101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays Review: Slideshows
The real game changer is the dynamic slideshows to describe each play. For instance, if I’m reading about inside zone, all I do is click the image and it will go to the next slide. So I can see a play as it develops. I can see the blocking rules. Pages aren’t wasted on diagrams, which is nice. What would take the average book another 50-100 pages to show (and you’d forget stuff along the way), he shows in a portion of a slide show.
101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays Review: Video
Finally, the addition of video right on the page is huge. Instead of having to call up the coach, hoping for film, you can see the concept in real time. You can visualize what the book is saying.
I guess, if I had to suggest one thing to Coach Grabowski, it’s that I wish I could easily go back and forth in the slides. Sometimes, you lose where your at, and there are 20 slides so you have to dig. But, once you figure that out, you avoid doing it. I think that’s also a testament to how much information is in each side.
Overall, I think Coach Grabowski’s book is awesome. This 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays Review gives it a high rating! Besides the fact that it has great features, the content and system itself are great as well, and it’s easy to overlook that. That alone is worth the $19.99. The features, if you consider how much film goes for, would add another $10-$40. You can order it at the iTunes Bookstore here.
101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays Review:Author
I’ve had this entire off-season to take a look at Hudl for the first time. I know a lot of coaches are just getting into Hudl because their program finally bought it… or the previously owned program for football video editing was bought by Hudl. I was always very interested in Hudl, but I never once had the opportunity to work with it. So I hope you enjoy this Hudl Review, and I hope it helps you make some informed decisions going forward on whether or not to use it. Just an FYI, this is NOT a sponsored message, just my opinion.
Hudl Overview and Applications
Overall, I feel Hudl, as a video scouting software, is very intuitive and easy to use. Unlike other programs that we used to have to work with, it’s straight forward, operates for the most part in the cloud (so you don’t have to install software to edit data), and you can give as many coaches as you want ownership of it. Huld is litterally on almost every platform too, so I can watch film in the car on my iPad, my Android LG G2x, on my wife’s Kindle Fire or on my iPhone if I actually had one. Of course, I can edit and breakdown film on my PC (editing uses one of a few programs).
Hudl Football for Mobile Apps
So for those of us who are mobile/tablet app users, Hudl is fairly good overall. The ONE thing I desperately want them to get working on the iPad is the ability to edit data. I don’t know why it’s not available, but it should be. I almost got a laptop just to get hudl editing capabilities, rather than the iPad. I don’t know the reasoning for no editing (if it’s a technological limitation), but that’s the one thing I believe is missing from the tablets. This one item is my biggest criticism, and it’s rather small when you look at the big picture of what they offer.
In regards to smartphone versions, Hudl works fine on my phone. Try to get on WiFi coverage when using it so you don’t up your data charges if you have a provider who limits data or charges you for going over (AT&T for instance). My 4G through T-mobile works pretty well when I want to watch some film.
Hudl Football Film Editing Software
Hudl has a few versions of their film editing software, one of which is Hudl Mercury and Hudl Video Editor. I know Hudl Mercury is a quicker service from my usage, though it has less features. They bill it as the “hand free” version. Personally, I like Hudl Video Editor though, because I prefer the additional options. Just as an FYI, Hudl Mercury is now available for the Mac as well.
Hudl Football Data Entry
Hudl, overall, is a terrific data entry program (even if they won’t let your tablet use it… they’ll let you see it, but not change any data!). Besides the lack of in-app editing of data, the best feature is the ability for multiple coaches to edit film at once on a PC or Mac. The best practice, I think, for doing this is to have each coach take ownership of one part of the data entry. Runningbacks coach is reponsible for down, distance, and hash, QB coach is responsible for coverage and other secondary items, OL coach handles run fronts and stunts. This can easily let you get data into the system quickly, which can mean more time for you to analyze the data.
Hudl Reporting and Analysis for Football
I will be honest, we’ve only had Hudl since the beginning of the off-season, and I have not done much with the reporting. I will edit this post when I do. I know they have tendency reports and a whole number of other goodies which look terrific. I know you can customize these to some extent as well.
Of coarse, you can export the file to Excel and use that as well. Quite frankly, I plan on doing this because I use excel everyday in my day job for things like this, so I’m excited to see how I can manipulate the data in there (for instance, using pivot tables).
Other Hudl Tools
There are other benefits to Hudl as well. You can text/e-mail all your players from within Hudl itself. You can use it as a recruiting tool. Obviously you can exchange video, which I can tell you we are all very excited about, because if your opponent also has Hudl, you can quickly exchange film.
Conclusions on Hudl
Hudl is a good buy for a staff, and I’d recommend it. No, you don’t own really any part of their products (unless you buy one of their remotes), but you will get some clear benefits out of using it, and it’s definitely cheaper in the short term that some of the other solutions we had as coaches.
Speaking of videos, ChiefPigskin.com has some good ones.
Reviewing Smart Football
I want to start with a few thoughts first before reviewing The Essential Smart Football. I’ve been reading Smart Football for a long time. Chris Brown is a tremendous author, and a thought leader really in the football community (including fans, “monday morning quaterbacks” who think they know the game, football coaches, and football pundits). His website alone has content that is relevant for all the parties mentioned above, which is extremely hard to do considering the language barriers for each.
When Chris announced his book, I was intrigued. Chris clearly is very intrigued with football history, which is a major area of how he appeals to us football coaches, although that also obviously works for fans as well. I was somewhat worried to buy it though, because quite frankly, I feel one of the best ways Smart Football works is Chris’ voice. Chris is very engaging with all of his fans, and that is just as much a part of his success as his blog itself.
You can order the book through Amazon by clicking here!
So I was concerned those elements would be lost in his book. But what I’ve found, before I even read the book, is Chris is just as engaged as any author I’ve seen, in regards to his book. And I’m not saying this as a casual observer or football coach, I’m saying this as the marketing web analyst that I am by day job who constantly looks at some of the top social campaigns out there. So, what I’m saying is you don’t just get the book, you get the whole “Chris Brown / Smart Football” engaging package! He’ll answer questions about the blog or the bog. So sight there, it’s worth the 9.99 Amazon Kindle purchase. You can ask him questions, etc.
Before I continue with the book review, I read other reviews on the book. Most have been very positive. However, there are some football “historians” who disagree with Chris Brown and the Essential Smart Football on some details. I can tell you, however, as a football coach that almost every principle has been invented and reinvented. Finding the true roots of the 4-3 defense may actually lead you to a high school in Texas. Maybe Billichek’s defense was stolen from a JUCO defensive coordinator. The bottom line is, unfortonately, due to so many variables at play, the originator of a defensive scheme or some specific play is very hard to trace back and probably not worth our time. I think what’s worth our time is to look at the success of teams who have used a scheme. This is the lesson the majority of the best football coaches know well. I’m not going to try and reinvent the wheel, I’m going to learn from the best and adapt it to what I do. It doesn’t matter if Bill Walsh, George Halas, or some freshmen offensive line coach created a blocking scheme. If it’s good, I’m willing to learn about it. I might not use it, but I will learn about it. This is what The Essential Smart Football provides us football coaches, on top of a lot of other great stuff.
Reviewing the Essential Smart Football Book by Chris Brown
Now, onto the actual book. The book, by Chris’ own admition, is about 1/3 original content. Quite frankly though, reading stuff over again and having some of Chris’ best stuff in the one spot, on paper (or on my iPad), is simply fantastic. I think reading The Essential Smart Football’s coverage of individual schemes, especially those over the last 10 years, was extremely interesting. I love his piece on the 3-3-5 defense, and I truly enjoy hearing his thoughts on it. Another area that’s interesting is how Rex Ryan’s defense essentially created Tom Brady’s current offense with two tight ends. There is a lot of other great stuff in there too that is just really interesting, no matter what your football “I.Q.” level is.
I don’t want to give all the information away, but I believe all football coaches should buy The Essential Smart Football. I only wish there was more to it! The book is just right for leaving you to want a little bit more, which is why you need to go visit his blog. The book is light enough to easily read and not dominate your time, it’s good enough to read in an afternoon, and it leaves you wanting more information in a good way.
You can order the book through Amazon by clicking here!
Free Football Coaching Videos on YouTube
So I just thought, for all those coaches who don’t know, that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. That means, if you’re looking for free football drills, football technique information, or football x’s and o’s or strategic insight, YouTube is a great resource. Heck, it’s even a great resource for getting an idea on a football video that you may order. Tog (from CoachHuey) posts some great youtube football video content through his Twitter Account. There are a lot of other great football coaches on YouTube who are putting out a ton of videos that can be useful for us as coaches.
Heck… Strong Football by CoachCP… yes, this blog right here, has a channel with 2 videos that you should be looking at! *Shameless Self-Promotion* Sorry, couldn’t help it.
Searching for Coaching Football Videos on Youtube
Searching on YouTube is a little different for us coaches. You have to be specific in what you’re looking for. Nothing is worse then seeing a video named the right way… and it turns out to be a video from the Madden or NCAA Football Video game… and worse yet, it’s the game from 6 years ago so it’s even less realistic than it is today! I will say though, it is quite humourous to hear them speak about some stuff. Mainly because I’m sure they work in the video game, but won’t work for the real world. I mean… I wish I could run the option well and have the most dynamic passing game in the world.
Other Things to Be Careful Of When Searching For Football Videos
Some people who claim to be football coaches don’t know what they’re talking about. Some I think are new to football coaching and don’t just provide quality information. Now, I’m sure some of you have accused me of this from time to time, and you were probably right about me! But there are some videos on YouTube, although I’m not willing to point them out, w are just way off, or are done probably by that Madden Guy who wants to be named the Defensive Coordinator for the Patriots (aside: A guy once did apply for that position and cited his Madden record… no joke).
Be Specific When Looking For Football Videos
Be specific, but not too specific. The reason I say that is because YouTube depends on the video creater typed in. Now, YouTube is smart and if something is way off, it will see that people leave the video and drop it down. But, at the same time, don’t be too specific because very few people who make videos know this aspect of YouTube. So don’t type in “5 step pass patterns out of Red Formation” … because guess what, that’s not going to give you any relevant results. One, they don’t know your formations. Two, they probably just typed in “I Formation 5 Step Passes” or something a lot simpler. Instead, search for “I Formation Passes” or something along those lines. Heck, the easiest way to find my videos is by typing “Cover 4 defense” or “Split back Veer”. Yes, you have to sort through some BS, but you’ll know the good stuff when you find it.
However, you can’t be too general either. You can’t say “football drills”. You’ll get way too much stuff. Try “offensive linemen drills” or something like that. If you leave it at “football drills”, you’ll get all that other crap… and maybe even some soccer drills (*gasp!*).
Looking for Non-Free Football Video Information/Reviews
Sometimes, e-commerce stores like Championship Productions will post a clip of their videos on YouTube. If you wanted to get a better idea of what the content is on a video before you buy it, you should see if their is a clip of it on YouTube. Maybe even research the topic for some non-related videos as well, which can help you see if it’s an area of interest before you buy.
Conclusions on Searching For Free Football Coaching Videos on Youtube
Football videos on YouTube is worth your time. You may find a new football drill or some other golden nuggest of information. I strongly encourage you to do a few searches and figure out what you can find. Also, another great source of videos is ChiefPigskin.com.
Ron Vanderlinden Bio
Ron Vanderlinden seems like an exceptional defensive football coach, and his book, Football’s Eagle and Stack Defenses is great as well. I’ve heard him speak and spoke to him at a clinic and he seems like a genuine good guy. I have no idea about any knowledge he may or may not have had surrounding the Sandusky case, so I will leave this as a football only review.
Ron Vanderlinden – Co-Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach
Ron Vanderlinden is currently co-defensive coordinator and a Linebackers coach on the Penn State staff. He’s excelled by producing great talent at the position over his tenure at Penn State. He’s also been a head coach at Maryland, and served a stint at Northwestern and Colorado, running his famous Eagle and Stack Defenses.
Ron Vanderlinden – Football’s Eagle and Stack Defenses Book Positives
The book, Football’s Eagle and Stack Defenses itself is one of my favorites. I probably need to replace my original copy because it is so beat up. He’s done such a terrific job covering a number of areas. He spends just enough time covering the details of each position and how he “role played” players in his Eagle and Stack defenses. He starts out by discussing the the Eagle, and going through the alignment details, the coverages, and blitz calls. In Football’s Eagle and Stack Defenses, he finds a way to blend the Eagle defense with the Stack defense (traditional tight end strength aligned), in order to help combat certain formations. Vanderlinden believes that the Eagle defense is better suited for 22 personnel teams, ones that will line up and hit you in the throat. On the other hand, he believes the stack defense handles the spread looks of today better than the Eagle defense.
Ron Vanderlinden – Football’s Eagle and Stack Defenses Book Critiques
I wish Ron Vanderlinden had covered nickle packages a little bit more in his book. I think it’s a big part of defensive football today and it’s hard to tell if he’s just in support of bringing an extra defensive back in or something else. Also, I feel a little more emphasis on drills would have been nice. However… he does cover the football drills aspect in Football’s Eagle and Stack Defenses more than others do in most of their comprehensive scheme books.
Conclusions on Ron Vanderlinden’s Book – Football’s Eagle and Stack Defenses
Overall, I feel like Ron Vanderlinden’s Football Eagle and Stack Defeneses book is a great buy, and something every football coach should have in his library. If you’re interested in ordering it, you can get some great deals on Amazon. If you’re interested in getting this book, please use this link and order Ron Vanderlinden’s Football’s Eagle & Stack Defenses. Also, make sure you visit ChiefPigskin.com.