Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2009-09-22

September 22, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

The show started with Lee and Coach Jones joking about having enough time to get ready for Army Prep. Coach Jones likened it to getting ready for a bowl game, which Lee pointed out would not be too far in the future. Lee also mentioned a pep rally this evening at Bel Air Mall from 6-7pm plus a pep rally on campus, probably at the Mitchell Center on Friday.

Mentioning the need for game time experience, Coach Jones said that game experience is invaluable. The team can practice for weeks on end, but game experience is needed to reinforce what they have gone over on the practice field. They understand why they ran something 45 times the last week when they see and understand it on the field during a game.

Speaking about Army Prep, coach Jones said they are very disciplined, more so than Hargrave but probably not as athletic as Hargrave. As we have mentioned over the last two week, Army Prep runs the triple option (defending the triple option, Jags continue Prep).

Army Prep copies the varsity team down to a T. Everything from Offense, defense, and special teams are all the same between the two squads. Coach Jones mentioned that it will be a challenge and the Jags must match their discipline but that he felt really comfortable about his team.

Lee asked about the triple option and Coach Jones answered that the quarterback can give the ball to the full back up the middle or keep it around the end or pitch to the back off the end. Its just like the wishbone offense except they line up in the double split formation. This is where they have two split ends that line up about a yard outside the tackle.

Lee called Army Prep and was told by their athletic director that these kids can not and will not be recruited by South Alabama. They were very secretive about any information about the players. All of these players have been tagged for West Point Academy. Coach Jones said he has heard it both ways, that they can and they cannot recruit their players. But he decided to be on the safe side and not recruit any Army Prep players.

Coach Brian Turner came in for the second segment. Lee introduced him and congratulated him on his defensive lines work against Hargrave in the first game.

Lee then turned to recruiting since Coach Turner is the recruiting coordinator for the Jaguars. Coach Turner said that they can make 42 evaluations as per the NCAA. So they have six coaches traveling seven times during the year to make their number of 42 evaluations. The coaches are still evaluating players and their board has about 100 players that they are watching or have already offered scholarships to. Coach Jones said that they ahve to re-evaluate and re-rank players from time to time to make sure they do the best with their resources. They have been doing that over the last week. Coach Jones said that when you have two scholarships for defensive linemen or a receiver, you want to make sure you use those two scholarships wisely.

Lee asked about Coach Turners thoughts on kids verbally committing early and the possibility of an early signing period. He said No if its in December. He thinks it would hurt schools like South Alabama if it were to be in December. But if the early signing period was in May he would be for it. Lee asked what if it was in September? Coach Turner said he possibly would be for it.

Lee asked how many scholarships can USA give in February? Coach Jones said they have about 25 scholarships to give, but they also have some gray shirts commitments so they probably have about 20 to sign actually in February.

Beginning segment three, Lee mentioned again that Coach Jones will be at Bel Air Mall this evening from 6-7pm signing autographs and attending the pep rally scheduled there.

Lee and Joey talked about some college football happenings around the nation briefly and then asked if USA could play any Sun Belt schools earlier than their first full year in Division-I. Coach Jones said yes, they could but in 2012 they would still be a Division I-AA school and that Division I school can only schedule one per year. Most of the schools already have one scheduled but that they are also still working on the schedules that far out.

Lee then asked Coach Turner, how many defensive line players are in the rotation during a game. Coach Turner said that they have nine players in the rotation. During Hargrave they had 10 but due to a knee injury one will be out for Army Prep. He also said that is a good part of being a young team is having the ability to rotate a large number of linemen into the game.

The fourth and final segment started with the injury report. Coach Jones said they are very healthy except for John Mark Patrick, who went down late in the Hargrave game with a knee injury. They think he should be back this season and hope to have it back for Georgia Military.

Lee asked about transfers from other schools. Coach Turner said that the player has to initiate the contact and then before the coaches and talk and try to recruit the player, they have to have a release from the school. Coach Jones said that if a player transfers between schools in the conference, they have to sit out a year but Coach Turner said that he would not want a player transferring to another school within the conference.

Lee also brought up how he liked how the Auburn players were coached to give the ball to the officials, even in the end zone. It makes for a more speedy game and it seemed more classy. Coach Jones agreed, he does not like kids to showboat or toss the ball around. USA also runs a more up-beat offense but they have taught the players to hand the ball to the official especially during the hurry-up drills.

Defending The Triple Option

September 15, 2009 · Filed Under Commentary, Football · 5 Comments 

A very crude diagram of the triple option. It gives the quarterback three options: hand off to the fullback, pitch to the tailback or keep it himself to run.

The Jags will start preparing this week for their game against Army Prep on September 26. Army Prep, like Army, runs the triple option offense. In both teams first game of the season, Army gave Ohio State a handful before the Buckeyes sealed the win when an Army two-point conversion attempt to tie the game was intercepted and returned for two points for the Buckeyes, for the final score 31-27.

The triple option is a very tough offense to prepare for and defend from a mental standpoint. Blitzing and stunting can easily be punished by an observant and well run offense by taking advantage of personnel being out of position. Its pretty easy to rack up yardage on the ground playing sound triple option football.

The best philosophy, which is really what any defense wants to do against any offense, is to limit production on first down and to try to keep the offense in third-and-long situations. Basically against the triple option, keep things vanilla and play assignment-sound football.

One popular way to defend the triple option is by modifying the base 3-4 defense into a 5-3 type defense using the 5 technique for the defensive tackles and the 0 technique for the nose guard. The 5 technique aligns the defensive tackle at the outside eye of the offensive tackle, keying first the tight end then the offensive tackle. Typically this technique has four duties or uses: 1) keep the offensive tackles off of the linebackers, 2) the defensive tackle cannot be blocked singularly by the offensive tackle, 3) to check for the trap, and 4) rush the pass. The 0 technique has the nose guard line up directly in front of the center and he will read and react to both of the offensive guards and the center.

In this scheme, the five defensive linemen line up against the five offensive linemen with their assignment being to tackle the fullback in the dive play and to keep the offensive linemen from getting to the linebackers. The two linebackers line up about five yards off the line with their outside leg splitting the crotch of the 5 technique linemen, basically lining up half a body to the inside. This way they can play the B-Gap and the fullback on the dive play or they can scrape and play the quarterback on the pitch. The outside linebackers, if a tight end is present, will use a heads-up technique on the tight end, which will allow them to play the quarterback or the pitch.

That only accounts for seven of the eight players in the box. The biggest adjustment is moving the strong safety into the box seven yards behind the nose guard. This allows him to scrape inside out on most plays. His deeper alignment allows him to move without running into the linebackers. His job to pursue from the dive play to the quarterback rolling out to the pitch.

Obviously, this puts a lot of pressure on the cornerbacks who will be in man-to-man coverage most of the time. They will normally line up about seven yards off the line and either straight on with the receiver or one to two yards inside so they can use the sidelines as an extra defender. The free safety plays the deep middle with his job to get depth and play the ball on the pass or give run support once the ball has passed the line of scrimmage.

Obviously, with the free safety playing deep middle with eight in the box, the seven yard cushion by the corners is to protect from a receiver engaging the corner and getting the inside position for a quick pass with a long run for a big gain or touchdown.

I do not know if this is what the South Alabama defense will employ for this game. It will be interesting to see what Coach Jones and Coach Clark put together to defend Army Prep’s triple option.

Here are some videos demonstrating the triple option in use.

Nebraska running the triple option in the 1995 Orange Bowl. Quarterback keeps the ball.

Florida running the triple option with Tebow pitching to Harvin.

Highlight video of Navy running the option.