Category Archives: Book Reviews

Spread Offense – Spread Formation Football Book Review

Spread Formation Football Book Review

TCu Spread Book

Spread Offense Book - Dutch MeyerI just finished reading maybe the best Spread Offense book; Spread Formation Football by Coach LR “Dutch Meyer published in 1952.  Coach Meyer was the Head football coach at TCU in the 30s, 40’s and 50’s.  He and his staff created the original Spread Offense used today.  You can read his bio to the right.

The Spread Formation Football book outlines why the Spread Offense works and how it was effective for TCU.  Coach Dutch reviews the two base Spread formations; Basic and Normal.  Basic is a double to one side and trips to the other.  Normal moves the FB below the TB and looks like a traditional Double Double Spread.  What is interesting about this first form of Spread is that what we think of a Quarterback was really the Tailback.  The first Spread formations were what we call in the modern era Wildcat since a “true modern” QB is not used in this early variation of the Spread Offense.

Spread Formations from TCU Spread

Spread Formation Football Coach Meyer TCU

The TCU Spread Offense was a running offense but with equal parts of passing.  “The spread tailback must be a passer. As observed before, the threat of the overhead attack must be constant if the Spread attack is to operate effectively.” writes Coach Dutch in his section on the Tailback position.  The TCU Spread evolved from the wide Double Wing Offense into the Triple Wing into a passing triple and double wing.  The TCU Spread was not an Air Raid but lays the foundation for the upcoming passing revolution in modern football.

I have run variations of the Spread Formation a few youth football seasons over the last 24 seasons, when I had the right talent and skills to do it successfully.  I’ve run a Wide Double Wing in the Spin / Double Wing variation I call Speed and the Beast Jumbo is a overloaded Triple Wing Spread formation.  These Spread like formations have been effective for my youth football Offenses when I had tier 1 Speed at TB and or Wings and a very good shotgun Center.  I was not able to run Spread effectively without Speed and a great consistent Center.

In the book, Coach Meyer talks about the player profiles needed to effectively operate his TCU Spread.  First, the Tailback (Modern QB) must be rugged, fast, intelligent and a good passer.  He says the TB is the “soul” off the Offense.  Basically the TB is a stud because he  wants the TB to be a “natural runner” and a passer.  So you need a Sammy Baugh / Dak Prescott in your backfield to run the Spread effectively.  And I tend to agree.  Your QB / TB position must be a tier 1 stud to really run the Spread Offense.  He must pass and run like a man child if you want to run the Spread in youth football and for that matter in HS.

Spread Offense - TCU Spread Book

I was surprised to find out his Guards must be top linemen with serious speed to pull outside for sweeps.  “On them will depend the success or failure of almost every operation” say Coach Dutch.  He says he wants Guards that can MOVE and THINK.  Speed over strength in the Guard positions.

The FB must also be a pretty good runner for the Spread to work.  The FB is going to carry the short yardage plays.  Your Center must be a stud because sometimes he will pull.  His snaps must be perfect and know how to long snap, medium snap and short snap to the FB either Left or Right.  The Slots or Wings can be average but must be good receivers.  Tackles are basically regular tackles and the Ends must be able to block in the open field and catch the football.

The book goes over many run and passing plays from the TCU Spread against a 5 or 6 man front, which is great for youth football coaches since youth football coaches will see these fronts.  He also reviews the umbrella secondaries common for the TCU Spread at the time.

I loved the theory and strategy of the Spread Formation Football book  I think it outlines exactly what I have been saying you need to run the Spread effectively.  You must have a passing threat  to run the Spread effectively.  Just lining up in the Spread does not mean you have a passing threat.  I’ve watched a ton of youth, middle and high school football games, and the teams should never run a Spread formation the whole game since they did not have a stud QB, great pulling guard, stud FB or anyone that could catch.  There was no passing threat, so those offenses were shut down immediately by Defenses that did not respect the Spread.  I have also faced stud Spread QBs and receivers that shredded me and others for an entire season.  I have also shredded teams with my Spread when I had the talent.

Like Coach Meyer says in his final chapter, “The Spread Formation is no panacea. Football is still football and the team with the best and most skillful manpower will still have the advantage no matter what style of attack is used. As we say in the Southwest, you will have to “have the hosses” to win the race.”

If you are interested in the Spread Offense or trying to defend against the Spread Offense I recommend this book.  I enjoyed the book and the theory of the TCU Spread.  I will be using some of the info both on Defense and Offense.  The book is a little pricey since its out of publication.  I found mine on Amazon for $95.  Spread Formation Football by Coach Dutch Meyer, 1952.

Here’s a winning Extra Point from last Spring.  Enjoy

If you have read the book or run the Spread, I would love to hear your thought below in the comments.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner.

Thanks,
Coach Parker
Fort Worth, TX

 

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The Perfect Pass – Air Raid Offense- Book Review

The Perfect Pass

Great Book, Highly Recommend!

I just finished reading S.C. Gwynne’s; The Perfect Pass; An American Genius and the Reinvention of Football.  The Perfect Pass is a brief history of football’s passing game and the development of the Air Raid Offense by it’s iconoclast alchemist Coach Hal Mumme. ESPN called Mumme one of the most influential football coaches in the last quarter century. Coach Mumme wanted to create a passing first offense and buck the system of run heavy offensive systems prevalent in football prior to the 1980’s.

Many people might be more familiar with Mike Leach.  Texas Tech’s ex Head Coach Mike Leach coined the term Air Raid Offense while an assistant to Coach Mumme at Valdosta State College in 1992 and helped Coach Mumme revolutionize the modern passing game of football.  Coach Mumme was the actual inventor of the Air Raid Offense and taught the concepts to Coach Leach.  Over their years coaching together at Iowa Wesleyan, Valdosta and Kentucky they developed and honed Mumme’s  progressive wild far-out passing concepts and ideas into the Air Raid Offense of today.

The book is a great history of the modern passing game.  The book reviews the early football era and the passing rule changes helped along by President Teddy Roosevelt.   The book introduces The Spread Offense, The Run and Shoot, West Coast Offense, No Huddle and Two Minute Offense and the teams and coaches that made them great.  Some of the names you will remember like; Pop Warner, Knute Rockne, General Eisenhower, Dutch Meyer, Sammy Baugh, Norm Van Brocklin, Otto Graham, Sid Gillman, Ken Stabler, Jerry Rice, Roger Staubach, LaVelle Edwards, Jim McMahon, John Elway, Joe Monata, Bill Walsh, Don Coryell, Dan Fouts, Mouse Davis, Tiger, Ellison, Jack Neumier, Warren Moon, and Dennis, Erickson.  I had heard all these names and seen them play but to understand how they all intertwined to influence the modern passing game was very interesting.

The book is also a very good biography in the life of a football coach and the trials and tribulations that they must go through to become a NCAA coach.  It was very eye opening to learn about the salaries, time, recruiting, etc that it takes to be a high school or college coach.  This book should be read by anyone that is thinking about becoming a professional football coach.

The book also has some interesting technical passing concepts explained in the book.  A few of Coach Mumme’s favorite plays are reviewed and discussed in detailed about the development, tweaks and game results which influences how the final version of the plays come about.  The book also discusses drills and how he runs his practices.

And finally in my opinion The Perfect Pass is an adventure story, much like  Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer trying to find the pirate treasure. Coach Hal Mumme with the help of  Mike Leach set out to find the Perfect Pass.  They found it in the Air Raid.

“Now and then we had hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.”  Mark Twain.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  I highly recommend it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  If you read it please leave me a comment below.  I would love to hear your opinion of the book.

Remember to play for fun and winning is funner,
Coach Parker


 

 

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Youth Football Coach’s Reading List

It’s almost a new year, 2012.  Can you believe it?  No, me either.

If you are like me, you are starting to think about your next youth football season and developing your plans. Since we play Spring ball here in Keller, TX, we’ve already had a few coaches meetings .  What did we do right, wrong, and should have done?

It seems like each season after these meetings and before tough games, I will pull out one of the books below and reference one or two things, or just re-read or scan the book again for ideas and or answers.  I probably have 50 or so books in my youth football library, but these are my favorites and trusted stand bys:

  1. The Toss by Jerry Vallotton
  2. Coaching Offensive Lineman by Dave Christensen
  3. Coaching Team Defense by Fritz Shurmur
  4. Directory of Football Defenses by Drew Tallman
  5. Complete Book of Drills for Winning Football – Michael D. Koehler
  6. Coaching Youth Football by John T. Reed
  7. Winning Youth Football – Dave Cisar
  8. Coaching Football by Tom Flores
  9. Football Scouting Methods by Steve Belichick
  10. Football; principles and play by David M Nelson

Check out my youth football coaching books too…. Click here…..

I usually buy these books used on Amazon.  I wait until I can get a good copy for around $10 plus shipping.  Many of these books are out of print and sometimes demand a high price.  Wait a few months and you may find a copy on Amazon or Ebay.  Also, Google the author and they may have an old copy for sale or an ebook copy.

Yes, I know many of these books are older books.  But think about it, youth football is mainly a running game like football was in its early days before passing became so popular in the mid 1970’s.  Trust me these are great football books.  This is my top 10 best coaching youth football books as of today.

Other good web resources that I frequent are Gregory Double Wing , DumCoach Boards and USA Football.

Have a great New Year.

Cheers,
Coach Parker
Keller, Texas / Ft. Worth, TX  / DFW


Buy My Youth Football Playbooks

Power Wing Beast Offense Playbook

62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense Playbook


 

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What is the most you would pay for a 200 page Youth Football Coaching eBook?

I just finished my first rough draft of my youth football coaching book for youth football players 6-12.  I am trying to decide what is a good price for an ebook.  Please help me decide what’s a fair price and what you would pay for a 200 page Youth Football Coaching ebook.

POLL Closed

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Thanks for your help in advance.

Coach Parker
Fort Worth / Keller Texas

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