I often get asked about my fascination with football strategy and understanding what each team is trying to accomplish and how they are going to get there.
Well, It is just inside me. I want to know more. There are enough people in my business that focus on the ball and watch football from a fantasy football perspective. Meanwhile, I want to know what each player is supposed to be doing on each play and how it all fits together.
I want to know. I want to understand. I want to feel like I comprehend the idea behind the Jason Garrett offense and how that differs from the Norv Turner offense.
So, how does someone who never played 1 down of football go about trying to learn the sport from a coach's perspective?
Luckily, in 2010, there are a few places where football dorks can find this sort of thing. The best is to speak to those who know what is going on (but that might not be practical for the average person). The rest are open to all:
1) Sirius NFL Radio - Moving the Chains - Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan (2p-6p) - I realize in the business of radio, it is poor form to plug the competition, but I have never learned more about a topic than what these two guys have explained to me and their audience over the last few years. Kirwan is amazing in explaining terminology and coaching points. Ryan is so good as a Fox commentator (even though he gets buried as their 3rd or 4th team) that I often Tivo his games just to have him explain more football to me.
2) Smartfootball.com/ - this blog is about the strategy side of football and I find it wonderful.
3) Football Outsiders.com - The brother site of baseballprospectus.com doesn't really explain coaching points, but their statistical analysis is invaluable when you consider what a team does well. So, I consider it an essential part of the total package.
4) Matt Bowen's inside the Playbook - Matt is a longtime NFL Defensive Back, and because of this, he actually knows how to break it down at the National Football Post website. Below, I want to show you his Inside the Playbook features. I love them:
Inside The Playbook
May 13 - The Tampa 2
May 19 - Cover 3
May 21 - Zone Blitz
May 25 - How to Defeat the Tampa 2
May 27 - Brady to Moss
June 1 - Defeating Man Pressure
June 4 - Peterson runs on Cleveland
June 8 - Defeating 2 man coverage
June 17 - The Miami Wildcat
June 23 - Porter's Super Bowl INT
June 29 - Defeating 2 man in the redzone
July 1 - The “Spot” Route
July 6 - Complex blitz schemes
July 8 -Red Zone passing concepts
July 14 - Play Action Game
July 22 - The Tebow Impact
Aug 19 - Redskins Swap Option
They used to call Bowen's feature "Scheme Session" last season, so here are those features, too.
Scheme Session -
Oct 6 - The Zone Blitz
Oct 13 - Ed Reed's Pick 6
Oct 29 - Beating the Minnesota Blitz
Nov 5 - Big Play Eagles (DeSean Jackson
Jan 16 - Romo vs The Vikings
Jan 18 - Favre lights up Dallas
Jan 26 - Favre's INT vs Saints
Jan 28 - Peyton in the Redzone
Feb 2 - The Darren Sharper factor
Feb 4 - Big Play Saints
By the way, none of this means I actually do understand football more. It just means that I have fun trying.