Irish: 1-1 on the season.
How the heck do you motivate 7 and 8 year old kids?
We asked our team to be at the field at 5:45 so that we could have some time for warmups. At 5:45 we had less than half our team at the field. The kids were jacked up and extremely hyper… not a good thing before a game. At 5:52 we had 12 players so we decided to start warming up. I ran them through the warmups and people started showing up. We took them over to the actual field (turf) and ran through kickoff/kickoff return, some basic defensive lineups, and 5-6 plays with the first and second team offense. Every kid on the team seemed to want to play. That’s when we learned that the other team had a guy who would jump every snap and not be called offsides.
That kid was in our backfield before the ball was even snapped. The refs seemed oblivious to this and it got our team out of their rhythm. There was no swagger. There was no confidence. I made a line adjustment and told the RG to start calling for the double team. It was no use. The guy was offsides the entire first half and we couldn’t move the ball. IIRC, we had about 3 plays that actually got off but we were unable to get forward progress. The O-line was showing no heart. At halftime it was 19-0 and we were really struggling.
Before I review the 2nd half, I want to post the definition of a horse collar, as shown by Wikipedia:
The horse-collar tackle is an American football or Canadian football maneuver in which a defender tackles another player by grabbing the back-inside of an opponent’s shoulder pads.
One of our wingbacks got the ball and was running outside. The defense was pursuing and one kid grabbed him by the back of his shoulder pads to get him down. While doing so, the guy making the tackle fell to the ground and caused our WB to trip over his feet, falling to the side. The Irish coaches, including me, were adamant that this is a horse collar tackle and the refs should call a penalty. The ref said that it was NOT a horse collar tackle because the offensive player did not fall straight backwards. WHAT???? That set the tone for the rest of the game for us coaches – well, that and the fact the opposition was offsides on all our offensive plays in the first half. We will review the video and file a complaint with the NRCC. This was blatant “home cooking” by the refs.
Third quarter comes and I make a few more adjustments and substitutions. Our guys continue to hold them on defense but the offense cannot move the ball. The wrong plays are being called and NO ONE is executing. We decided that since the D was still offsides, we’d put our full back in at guard for a few plays. Well, that stopped the penetration because our FB is one of 3 or so kids who actually care and WANT to make the play they are assigned. The fourth quarter is more of the same.
Right at the end of the fourth quarter there is about 40 seconds left and the opposition has the ball. They break a big play and get down inside the 5 yard line. With around 25 seconds left they call a timeout. Now, this upsets us coaches. They’re up 19-0 and they call a timeout to try to score again! They didn’t even have the courtesy to let the clock run out on a team they’ve dominated all night (because we weren’t executing). Luckily, our defense held on the last 2 plays and they didn’t score. Good stop, Irish!
Things to work on:
Offensive line – Block or get to the 2nd level and hit someone. We didn’t fire all of the ball at all. DO NOT JUST STAND UP. HIT SOMEONE!
QB – run the plays that are called. If you get hit, so be it. RUN THE PLAYS THAT ARE CALLED.
Defensive line – DE’s: keep contain, then rush. DT’s: You have to get penetration.
LB’s – Watch and flow with the ball.
DB’s – Same as above. CB’s need to keep contain.
Entire defense – shed the blocks, go after the ball, and TACKLE LOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You cannot tackle around the shoulder pads and expect to bring them down!
Coaches – Get in the ear of the refs early. I will be kicked out of games if we get no calls again.
I’m very “not happy” at the way our team performed. There was no “I want to make this play”. There was no “I WANT to make this block”. There was no desire. Be prepared for Thursday, Irish. It’s going to be a tough one.