clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Gobbler Country Football Playbook: Concepts and Purpose

It’s summer series time, and what could be more interesting than looking critically at strategic, tactical, and situational game planning. It’s a part of the playbook that most folks really don’t pay much heed. It’s also the entire point of all of those plays.

Practicing the exchange for the Read/Option
John Schneider - SB Nation

If you’ve been reading my articles long enough, you’re aware that I am a full-fledged football geek of more than a half-century. This means that I have seen most everything from what I call the face-mask era. I’ve seen and studied offenses as diverse as the Wishbone to the Dallas Cowboys’ shotgun. Did you know that Joe Namath was an interception machine, and brutally inconsistent? How about the fact that Terry Bradshaw spent his first three seasons running in the ‘awful’ category. Did you know that Vince Lombardi’s offense was more finesse than brute force, and the Packer Sweep was run with both smallish halfbacks as well as big Jim Taylor? Well, I got to see them live not from old NFL Films highlight reels viewed on a boring day with nothing else on TV.

Well, there is nothing really else on TV so maybe we’ll just break out our own “films”. The summer months are my big excuse. I get to spend a bit of time with Gobbler Country fans talking about various aspects of football. We’ve visited pages from playbooks, Fuente’s offensive style and Foster’s base defense.

Back in the Stinespring days I even talked about how an Offensive Coordinator needs to have a “Theory of Offense”. What I didn’t go into in big depth is building and executing a playbook, how best to do that, and where football is going in that respect. What’ we’ll discuss in this series of articles are the functions of Strategic, Tactical, and Situational Game planning. There are two levels of the former two, and one amorphous cloud that depends on what’s presented during the execution of any individual game plan.

Later we’ll do some of the same for defense, but this series I’d really like to concentrate on the offense. It’s traditionally been Tech’s weak spot, and there are some signs that old condition is about to change. However, there aren’t always smooth paths from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’. Our road was a really rough one last season, and the coaching staff didn’t make it any easier on itself concerning the potholes and gravel.

The next article will concentrate on the Strategic Planning aspect. It’s the thing that most fans see at the season to season level. The follow-on will be an examination of the Tactical Planning (yes, you can plan for tactical situations) and execution issues. The third article will cover the situational execution that often makes the difference between winning and losing (entire seasons can hinge on less than 15 minutes of actual play). The final article will do a little comparison shopping, as it were. We’ll look at past Hokie offenses that worked, and also peek into the pros to see what the best do as well.

As the title says, there is a purpose to this. Hokie Nation is frustrated and more than a bit disappointed with last season. There is more than a current of confusion and in some limited sectors a distinct lack of any patience for transitional flow. The hope is to give some level of knowledge that lets the Hokie fan sort of roll with and understand what’s happening; or not happening when things get sideways. Uncomfortable Reality Warning: At the Strategic level we are going to go into money and program strength. It’s a critical topic that shapes everything. It’s also about something that Hokie Nation doesn’t often want to hear the truth.


What’s your "bread and butter" play, the go to opener, the one that forms the basis for your offense?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Halfback ISO (22/23 Dive)
    (9 votes)
  • 32%
    Read/Option off the ‘A’ Gap - Linebacker read
    (17 votes)
  • 7%
    Halfback/Fullback Counter through the ‘B’ Gap.
    (4 votes)
  • 43%
    Three second drop 8 yard Tight End/Slot dig-out/dig-in hot read.
    (23 votes)
53 votes total Vote Now

The first Strategic piece will be out for prime time, Friday; Strategic Game Planning and Preparation for the Season.