Tony DeMeo


Situations to Practice in Pre-Season

Situations to Practice in Pre-Season

By: Tony DeMeo

Every coach is diligent in practicing obvious situations like Red Zone & Goal line Offense, Two Minute Drill, Down & Distance Situations etc. But during pre-season camp is the time to practice less obvious situations. The following is a checklist we always touched on during the Pre-Season and then reviewed during the season on Friday (before a Saturday Game)

1. Taking a Safety – there might be a time when you are kicking from your own end zone and rather than risk a blocked punt or a great punt return you simply have your punter step out of the back of the end zone.

2. Kick Return After Safety – the key is to have your punt returners in the game to field the free kick.

3. Kick Off After Giving Up a Safety – you must decide whether to punt it or kick off. You coverage guys have to practice covering if your punter is taking the free kick.

4. Two Point Play – Always have a couple ready to go. Know which hash mark to set up on, the formation, even the cadence should be rehearsed. If you can draw the defense off side with a long cadence, the play has a greater chance for success. If they don’t jump go for one, you just add 5 yards to the normal P.A.T. attempt.

5. Two Point Play to Win the Game – try to draw the “D” off sides but use a time out if they don’t jump.

6. Take A Knee – end of the game to kill the clock. First know when you can take a knee. Secondly, practice the execution. We stayed in the Gun & had the QB go to a knee only when he was threatened.

7. Last Play on Offense – The “Hail Mary” situation. Pick a last play & practice it. We worked on it every Friday. I liked the hook & lateral concept.

8. Last Play on Defense – Bat it Down – Bat it Down – Bat it Down

9. Little Rascals Kick Return – last play KOR – keeping the ball alive & pitching it backwards. Fun play on Friday.

10. Tight Punt – we practice punting from our own end zone. We also practice vs an eleven man rush to win the game.

11. Run the Field Goal Team on the Field – if you did a lousy job of clock management or you had to use all your timeouts on defense, you might have to run your Field Goal Team on the field to kick the game winner.

12.Surprise Onside Kick off & Onside to win the game – both must be repped. The surprise onside is something to catch your opponent napping. The onside to win the game will come when everyone in the stadium knows its coming.

13. Fake Kicks – the fake field goal & fake punt can be valuable additions to the Offense. I was especially fond of using the Fake Punt to keep drives alive.

14. Pooch Punt – downing the ball inside the 5 is a super weapon & starts our opponent in the hole. This must be practiced if you want it to happen.

15.The Nick Saban Drill – covering every FG attempt – arguably the best coach in the land missed on this one.

This is a short list of some things that might get overlooked and cost you the game, just ask Coach Saban.