As coaches, we all have own system of breaking down film. Some of us grade players and give them overall grades, while others grade efficiency or count correct assignments, knockdowns and loafs. We all have our own preference.
Charlie Weis uses a system of pluses and minuses.
“It’s basically a plus or minuses that average up to a percentage. You get one in the run game, one in the pass game and you get one collectively to see what your efficiency in the game was individually.”
After a win, the grades have a tendency to put everyone back in their place, reminding them of how much they can still improve after a win.
"They’re feeling really good, they got to eat with their parents and all their friends and everyone’s saying ‘Good game,’ and then you tell ’em how bad they stink. Trust me, you knock ’em back off their pedestal really quick.”
On Sundays Weis compiles ten good and ten bad plays into cut-ups to share with the team.
“I take the offense and I make a good-play / bad-play tape. Every game I’ll watch about 20 plays, 10 good ones and 10 bad ones. After a win, I always show the bad ones first. I say, ‘Yeah, you think you’re good, well let’s watch this pile of crap.’”
“Everyone’s telling you how bad you were, so let’s look at these 10 plays from the game. ‘Remember this one? Remember this one?" After a loss, you show ’em the good plays to bring ’em back to ‘OK, it’s not as bad as it all seems.’”
Weis explains the process for his quarterbacks as well.
“The first thing he gets is every play in the game. Then he gets it broken down into good plays in the run, good plays in the pass, bad plays in the run, bad plays in the pass, and, yes, (he) can get a minus (grade) on a running play, even though you’re just handing it off. Because if you don’t carry out your fake, it’s a minus.”
“When you have the clicker in your hand, it’s easy to nitpick because you can see every little thing,” Weis noted of the power that comes with holding the remote.