Back in May, I did an article where an NFL assistant had done the math to figure out that there are 437,514 possible alignments that the offensive line must deal with. That’s just the pre-snap information.
After the snap, Michigan offensive line coach Ed Warinner explains that (to him) there are really 6 possible situations, conservatively speaking, that his guys are going to encounter, and it’s an impossible task to effectively prepare them for all six of those in every situation they’re going to encounter during the course of a game.
So what does he do?
Warinner explains that in order to get his guys to play fast, he puts more responsibility on himself to prepare his guys for the two most likely situations.
“There are a lot of things that can happen on every play, and nobody knows before the play starts, which one of those are going to happen.”
“Realistically, I know that there are six things that could happen. If I give all six of those to a player, he won’t play very fast. So I have to simplify it out – What are the two most likely things to happen on this play, in this situation, and it’s A or B, and we have to react to one of those two, and if he’s right 80% of the time, we win.”
“But if I give hime five or six things that could happen, and now he grades out at 50% because he’s worried about too much, thinking about too much, then the play slows down, the reaction slows down and you start chasing ghosts, so to speak.”
“So it becomes incumbent on me to explain, ‘Here are the two most important things on this play that you need to do. It’s A, and if it’s not A, then you’re reacting to B. Anything else that happens, we’ll live with the result and play the next play.”
Hear Warinner lay it all out in the video.
Breaking down the complex into simple is the key to teaching and coaching. Athletes play faster, play harder, and play confident when their job is automatic.
— Danny Schaechter 🦅 (@CoachDShack) October 11, 2018