Find out how Coach Good utilized this common drill to help his team lead DIII in turnover margin and Red Zone Offense in 2014.
By Jim Good
Associate Head Football Coach/Offensive Coordinator/QBs
University of Redlands, California
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The majority of our run game contains an option component. Part of our offensive philosophy is to “Protect the Defense.” It is imperative we maintain possession of the football and either score or set the defense up with great field position. The Mesh Drill has been critical in helping us achieve success in this area.
The Mesh Drill will involve only the QBs and RBs at the base level. Later we add TE/Hs and offensive linemen as schemes become more complex. A high number of repetitions are demanded in our practices. The drill will allow us to focus on the QB/RB mesh, each player’s “reads” and the spatial relationships between players on each run play within our offense. We will work the Mesh Drill for 5 to 10 minutes per practice depending on the following variables:
- Time of year (pre-season vs in-season)
- Day of the week (more time spent early in the week)
- Game plan (play selection for the week)
- Number of players involved in the drill (TE/H’ and/or OL)
Spacing is imperative in this drill. We use an “offensive line strip” to maintain consistent alignment and landmarks for the players involved. To keep a quick pace, the quarterbacks will rotate from center to quarterback to defensive end to out. The running backs will rotate from running back to linebacker to out. If we have a TE/H involved, he will rotate from TE/H to safety or outside linebacker to out. See below for position descriptions for the drill:
- Center: snaps the ball and gives a read to the RB by emulating the movement of a
- Quarterback: execute the called offensive play.
- Defensive End: give the QB a give or keep read.
- Running Back: execute the called offensive play.
- Linebacker: give the RB a read forcing him to use an escape skill.
TE/H: execute the called offensive play.
- Outside Linebacker: plays defensive force and gives the TE/H a person to fit up on.
Once the players master the drill, to maximize reps, we will run two drills at the same time facing one another. We will work every run play in this drill with the main focus on option plays.
Watch Drill Video…
Login to X&O Labs’ Insiders (an exclusive membership-based website) and get the full-length version of this clinic report – including drill video. Here’s just a short list of what Coach Good reveals in this exclusive report:
- Tweaking the mesh drill for the Inside Zone concept, including coaching points and video.
- Modifying the mesh drill for the H Read concept, including coaching points and video.
- Fine-tuning the mesh drill for the Zone Bluff concept, including coaching points and video.
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Whether you use the Mesh Drill during pre-practice or during practice, it is time well spent. Our goal is for the QB/RB mesh and footwork to become second nature. Using the Mesh Drill has helped us execute at a high level and “Protect the Defense”.
Meet Coach Good: After originally joining the University of Redlands football staff as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator/QB coach and recruiting coordinator in the spring of 2011, Jim Good added the title of Associate Head Coach in 2012. Good arrived at Redlands after a four-year stint as the head coach at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In addition, this member of the American Football Coaches Association brings significant coaching experience from his time at Texas Lutheran University, Illinois College, and Linfield College (OR). This Washington native completed his Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Science at Oregon State University after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science from Linfield.