10 Golden Rules for Offensive Football

  • Script the opening plays. The number of plays predetermined is not important, only that there is a set offensive game plan in place. These plays are usually a combination of the plays a particular offense has had success with and ones that are expected to produce results against a specific opponent. Using a script can also keep a team from getting rattled if the opening moments do not go as planned.

  • Improve the offensive line. The offensive line is the heart of a good offense. Without a sound offensive line all other aspects of the offense collapse. An offensive lineman needs a combination of size, speed, strength and, most importantly, intelligence. Regardless of how good the line play is, there is always room for improvement. Strengthening the offensive line play during the course of the season is a key for postseason success.

  • Take chances. No guts, no glory! All teams find themselves behind at times, and in need of a quick score. It is necessary to practice the quick strike if a team wants to be capable of scoring quickly when the need is present. Throwing the play-action pass on first down 30 or 40 percent of the time is a good start (at least during the running of the script).

  • Be disciplined. Know what it takes to be successful and prepare beforehand. Know specific responsibilities and duties and be sure to carry them out. When things are not going well, this is most important. Very rarely does an undisciplined, unconfident team have what it takes to overcome adverse conditions in a hostile environment. Players learn the necessary traits to overcome adversity in practice. Discipline can be rehearsed through substitution drills and special teams drills. Confidence can be gained through rigorous scrimmages and positive reinforcement.

  • Be prepared. Staff and players should prepare for a specific opponent with a specific game plan. The coaching staff needs to scout the next opponent via film or in person. Preparation for the next game begins at the final whistle of the previous one. There is no such animal as "game preparation." Game preparation is merely a reflection of the week's practice preparation.

  • Basically, a good offense is capable of both running and passing the football. The key is balance. I believe a good team should run the ball 60-plus percent of the time, yet gain 60-plus percent of its yardage via the passing game. This is possible only if the passing attack is aggressive in throwing the ball downfield.

    In general, a good offense should seek to run the ball against a pass defense, and pass the ball against a run defense. This is an important concept designed to limit the linebackers' and defensive backs' effectiveness. When the run sets up the pass, and the pass sets up the run, and the defense is kept on its heels and spread out defending the entire field, an offense should be able to move the football.

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