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SS Fe ) HOUSTON GAMBLERS" HOUSTON GAMBLERS QUARTERBACK MANUEL 1985 SEASON 4826 LOOP CENTRAL DRIVE » SUITE 400 - HOUSTON, TEXAS 77081 - (713) 60-6000 1984 USFL CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPIONS HOUSTON GAMBLER QUARTERBACK MANUAL TABLE OF CONTENT! BEGINNING PAGE: A. Preface.. B. QB Qualities........4. ©. Philosophy & Design of the Gambler Offense... D. QB's, S Back, & Receiver Terms & Abbreviations. E. An Examination of Defenses. 1. 4 Coverage... a, 4 Invert.. DL 4 Cleoreseseseeeene ce. 4 Buzz. a. 4 Across... pemeeeiiee 36) 2. 2 Coverage......, coer : 3. 5 Coverage. 90 wee 49 4. 1 Coverage... ceeeeen Secen sie 50) 5. @litz) Men. pena aoe 11169) Bocbocoeccn ode 6. Wing Combo. 7. Others in '85.., 95 1984 Opponents Defensive Confrontations with Gambler Offensive Plays & Results.....eeseseeee +297 G, 1984 Total Opponent Defensive Breakdown-Fronts & Coverages........106 H, 1984 Houston Offensive Breakdown 19 Games-Total Runs & Passes.....110 I, 1984 Houston $ Back Receiver Involvement. peed 3) seeeedld J. 1984 Houston Offense Game-by-Game Possessions & Results... K, Field Position Areas, Locations & Dimensions. songeee e135 L. Approach To Audibles. coeeee vaetes7139) M. Receiver Scramble Rules. +146 N, QB Guideline for the "urry-Up" offense. oo 0152 0. 1985 Offensive Goals..... f 66 aoe sree 2160 WOUSTON GAMBLER QB MANUAL PREFACE This syllabus is written eo that you may best prepare yourself for the responsibil of directing the Houston Ganblers offense. Obviously your preparation would not be complete without # total understanding and avareness of defensive confrontations, our play selection, your own position technique the basic premise upon which your offense was designed in 1984 and the direction that we must go in 1985 to stay ahead of the "defensive posse." This syllabus should not, however, be regarded as @ source of strict regulation and an exact unvarying set of rules that will restrict your own thinking. This will not reduce your initiative to a set of ¢lose minded principles. Naturally, the resourcefulness that is a major part of every successful quarterback cannot be directed by rule. This syllabus shall be used however, as a source of strong foundation, valuable information and as a mere point of departure for your imagination and creations as you deal with the various aspects of the gane. The obvious fact that all teammates will dépend on you as the quarterback for the entire field direction in battle naturally places a great responsibility with you. On every "snap" the results of film study, discussions, entire practice time and the skills each pleyer are at your disposal. And your reaction to this responsibility Will be the chief ingredients to the success of the offense. Being blessed with good God-given physical tools is a mere small percentage of handling the job with consistent success. A thorough knowledge of defense in realizing its strengths and weaknesses according to our offense is equally important. For any discussion or conversation about offensive football without the total understanding of the defensive approach against us is completely worthless. In addition, your emotional makeup, experience and relationship with the other teammates and coaches will result in your acceptance as a leader are equally important. The plays or check-offs that you execute must be enthusiastically accepted with great "electric confidence" by your teammates. Here, among the others, will exist a feeling of knowing that your plays will work. While other sports such as baseball or basketball are performed inpromptu offensively, the nature of offensive football makes an inter-dependant plen initiated by its quarterback so imperative. This dependancy of the quarterback flows through every muscle fiber and brain cell of his team knowing that they will continue to advance against any odds - no different than at Chancelloreville in the War Between The States when Jackson's soldiers marched 13 miles with great confidence and enthusiasm in a surprise attack against the enemy three times their eize, When they arrived at their point of attack, they smashed into the enemies weakness ripping through ite right flank end routed them fron the field. This great victory was accomplished because of the “electricity” of Field General Stonewall Jackson, as it was felt by each of his men. And it was all due to his "audible" or "check-off" through the original plan of General Robert E. Lee. In conclusion, your preparation for our continued success must be continual to avoid any type of "defensive cycle." Your dividend will obviously be proportional to the work you apply towards each assignment. And lets’ produce the end result to be a championship in 85. Quarterback Qualities In the Gambler Offense The overall importance of the quarterback position cannot be minimized in any fashion in relation to our offense. I'm sure that all of you have witnessed teams that possess adequate to superior quality offensive players and their efforts and skills be nullified by an inept or limited quarterback; or better yet, a highly skilled QB that makes numerous mental mistakes, poor decisions, poor audibles, reveals uncertainty that brings his team down to an inadequate level. On the other hand, seeing a mediocre team rise to the heights under the field leadership and brilliant execution of its quarterback is certainly a "thing of beauty." Currently, our Houston Gambler football team is stocked with many fine football players at a number of position areas.’ You, as @ quarterback, mist disregard any deficiency we might possess and perform through your own execution to convert into positive results. Our Director of Personnel and front office will work to, upgrade any deficiency that we as coaches feel that we-currently possess. Once again, you as a quarterback can not allow any "negative molecules" to filter into our offensive execution. Always present a positive frame of mind and attitude and you will be amazed how the fair players may start playing good and the good players start playing Great along with you. As a starting point, we must be total team conscious always. The best offense makes for the best defense and special teams & visa versa. Last’ seeson, our Houston Ganbler offense had its most productive days scoring and statistically speaking when our defense was "stuffing" the opposition and our special teams was producing, dominating turnovers, blocking kicks, or reeling off valuable return yardage. Case examples reveal below: A. Calvin Eason's record breaking kick-off return yardage providing excellent field position in our 45-36 over the Blitz in Chicago. Will Lewis's 2 key interceptions and total domination by our defense in our 32-25 win over Rew Jersey. Stiff defensive play allowing our offense to overcome a 20-0 deficit and finish fast in a 35-27 win over Oakland. Special teams terminating a late Arizona surge by blocking a field goal, scoring and extending the lead by a 13 point margin in the closing stage of the game. 37-24 Gambler victory. Dominating defensive play vs. Pittsburgh and Oklehoma enabling our offense to continually use the clock and run up the score. Special teams and defensive domination enabling our offense to run up 44 points in the first half vs. Jacksonville. G. Defensive control of Denver and Chicago allowing our offense to pull sway early in both games and ring the scoreboard at will. Clarence Verdins' blocked punt turns out a Gunslinger early rally as the gane shifts quickly-next play, touchdown pass by Kelly and momentum is on our sideline the remainder of the game. I. Scoring on special teams and 3 interceptions by our defense stiffs Memphis and permits our offense to step up to the shooting gallery once again. On the other hand, we may be forced to outscore the opposition in a high scoring fiasco such last years Ist Chicago game or last years Ist Michigan game. And this is our responsibility - score enough to win. When we are called on to put a great number of points on the board never allow yourself or any other offensive member to be criticel of our defense or teams. For in turn, we may win a low scoring game later on. The end result is all relative - WIN, whether it be by @ score of 6-3 or by 82-58. This attitude merely exists through unity and loyalty for the team. And this attitude will be upheld as long as I am the offensive coordinator and Jack Pardee is the head coach. You, as a QB must, in turn, have this principle instilled within you. It is most imperative that you continually work to improve yourself in each Practice, meeting and that you work to become the best quarterback in the USFL and in all of pro football. Jim Kelly is certainly on course and yet Todd Dillon must always prepare as a starter each day and be ready at all times. The #3 must prepare accordingly with a minimum number of reps. The emergency QB will work in the similar capacity and will provide versatile assistance to us in a variety of ways. My geaiune concern is that all of us work together in an unselfish manner. All of you possess the necessary physical capabilities for our offense. Each of you were signed due to your abilities in correlation to our Houston Gambler offensive scheme, In addition to a variety of specific physical skills that you all possess, I've listed a number of other qualities that exist within all of you. @. Courage and Toughness b. Character c. Highly competitive 4. Self-Confidence & Leadership Quality €. Cooperative & Coachable f£, Well-Conditioned g- Overall athletic ability h. Productive As listed, the previous ingredients certainly exists within all of you. And yet the most important specific one is the quality of moving the offense and putting the bell in the end zone with consistency. It would be puzzling to all numbers of highly intelligent scientists why a football team reacts to one QB's direction and differently under another leadership. And this is the most vital function of a QB and is the criteria by which his value to the team will be judged. As mentioned previously, working into training camp and throughout the season, it 4s most necessary to exhibit loyalty with an unselfish attitude toward each other and toward all of your teammates. It's anazing how much a team can accomplish when all players and coaches do not care who gets the credit. PHILOSOPHY & DESIGN OF THE HOUSTON GAMBLER OFFENSE Our offensive system 4s a rather simple one and yet poses to be extremely complex to defenses. When executed properly it is unstoppable. And with #11 11 position areas functioning together it is totally dominate vs. any defensive structure and system. This is obviously brought about by the direction and execution of the quarter- back. And with a proper analysis of defenses and a total understanding of what we are confronted with,the quarterback has the chance to engineer this dominate force through his own reads,decisions, and reactions. As a result of defenses not being able to reveal the same "look" each snap and be consistant, they in turn will vary their defenses and take certain risks. Consequently, they will leave themselves "hanging out" as our receivers and quarter- back read and react accordingly. And by being able to take great advantage of each defensive weakness by reacting properly to your read at quarterbacksit is obvious why you mist know our offense in addition to the oppenents defense equally as well as any coach on our staff. ‘The quarterback must be confident and exact in reads, decisions, and being able to audible with great end results. You are behind the steering wheel and will make it go. THE FOLLOWING PRINCIPLES ARE TRUE OF THE GAMBLER OFFENSE 1. It will pressure a zone defense and threaten it in the horizontal areas for 53 1/3 yards wide. With this presentable threat the defense must be conscious of defending the entire width of the field and not merely a small portion of it. And as a result of the horizontal zone stretch, passing lanes open up inside. If these lanes are condensed and squeezed down from outside-in then the defense becomes out- flanked by our-outside threat on the outside. 2. It will pressure a zone defense and threaten it in the vertical areas and lanes of completion. And with this presentable threat of a 3 deep or 2 deep zone the stretch of vertical lanes are opened up downfield. These lanes are generally hhuge when the timing is on schedule. 3. It will pressure a man under with zone up top. (1 Cov. & 5 Cov.) Here the threat is that of creating separation into an open area underneath vs. 5 Coverage. The same threat exists vs. that of 1 Coverage in addition to the seperation upfield vay from the single freed-up safety taking some "big dirt” or ringing the schedule in one toss. 4, It will pressure a combination man coverage. Over-under man combo or Wing- Gnside/outside) man combo are the obvious looks here. Our threat now reveals double moves, crossing routes, or spliting the double coverage with disciplined routes and precise passing. 5. It will pressure man coverage combined with maximum pressure blitz to the quarter- back. Here the threats and execution reveals separating away from a one on one confrontation with the great possibility of going the distance in one toss. 6. 10. ll. 12. 13. ua 15. 16. 7. Screens, draws, and the traps are an integral part of our offensive attack. The run plays reveal such deception and present such disillusion to the defense so often that we will break easily into the secondary because of their front structure being spread so thin or due to their being coverage conscious of the pass and thus being "soft" on the run. Our misdirection and counter run plays will take advantage of any quick, aggressive, and physical run supporting defense and in turn will neutralize what speed, quickness, and aggression that we face without having to challenge them "head-up" . While defensive pursuit is cut dovn our production adds up. Our personnel and basic alignment certainly exhibits the best formation to create the biggest and most exciting plays in all of football. While some offenses running attacks attempt to control games our passing attack and total offense will break them wide open. Our constant motioning,fluctuant,enap counts and use of audibles will commit a defense to declare to us early thus permitting us to always react properly and causing the defense to always be in a disadvantage. ‘The minimium number of assignments, techniques, and actual plays will keep mistakes to a minimium as well. Play action passes will be easily executed off of our frequent run plays. The occasional option runs will outflank and break down defensive responsibility with ease. ‘Long gains are capable on any down and on any portion of the field, thus not al- lowing our own offense to "self-destruct" with foolish mistakes such as penalties, turnovers and busted assignments because of having to continually produce 16 play drives or so. And as a result, we will force a defense to try and beat us and not beat ourselves. For in defeat, 4 out of 5 games are lost because of "self- inflicting wounds" rather than from the opponent. Our numerous methods of motioning,while running the same plays, merely puts added Pressure on defenses rather than added learning for us. Houston Gamblers Balanced Attack? While some offenses strive for a 50-50 run-pass balance as far as play selection, our balance will merely be directed towards production. And while some teans run to open up the pass,we will pass,pass & open up the run. Case examples reveal in our expansion year, as Fowler and Harrell are number 1 and 2 in the league history for yards rushing in a game with 208 and 200 yards. In addition, the S Back position accounted for a near 2000 yards which is obviously more than any one position from our opponents. The emphasis of balance will merely be placed on Total Team Concept and directed to the end result WINNING. With the forward pass three things can happen. And only one is bad with our offense - the interception. For with our offense mere incompletions do not kill our drives. One completed toss puts us back on schedule easy in contrast to many teams which lack the consistent capability and confidence to covercome a 3rd and long rather than the defense ever being able to dictate to us. 18. Our "fast break" offense "will in turn enable our defense to pin their ears back” , ad attack the opposition with full force. And our fast break offense will set the stage for our special teams and defense to produce the "game breaker" and put the icing on the cake. This will be our Total Team Concept. Houston Gambler Football. 19, At quarterback and Field General of the Houston Gamblers your continual effort to always improve in every aspect will enhance, solidify and ensure our chances to win. Remember, regardless of what level and regardless of what stage of a career a player is in, if he is always working to improve and continually exhibits that Will To Win, then he will always have that chance. AN EXAMINATION OF DEFENSES Any conversation of offensive football without the consideration and complete understanding of the defensive confrontation 4s completely useless. This statement certainly applies to our situation more so than any other team in football today. For with our sight reads and coordinated option adjustments on the move the defense is virtually placed in a helpless state. In simpler terms, whatever the defense does should be wrong. And this is merely due to our ow proper decisions and has nothing to do with the defensive strengths or weaknesses. In determining a particular defenses specific strengths and weaknesses, there are many things to consider. Let's first acknowledge some general defensive principles that are in direct relation to our offense. 1, Excluding our short yardage & goal line attack, we present an offensive threat, with 4 wide receivers inserted, that will never be confronted by @ pure 8 man front. San Antonio, which operates from a base 8 man (Tight-Tackle-Six) defense generally employs a 4 man rush, 4 underneath linebacker unit with a true 3 deep secondary coverage. However, with our. obvious receiver threats, even a base 8 man front team such as San Antonio must adjust personnel to a nickel or dine situational substitution constantly against us to avoid glaring mismatches. Any coverage can be easily recognized by our receivers and quarterback due to constant motioning and sight reads upon the snap. a. Coverages will obviously reveal a pre-snap disguise and even attempt to "cover themselves up" to a . degree with motion being presented. b. But upon the snap the true picture unfolds and we merely "take what we want" from a particular coverage by our own reads and proper reactions. 3. Defenses must stay "honest" in staying balanced whenever we reveal a doubles formation to them. a. Any front or coverage overshift would obviously constitute a mere “opposite” check audible or whatever we wish to select will leave them short-handed. 4, From the standpoint of coverages, zone coverages offer vertical ani horizontal lanes of completion at our disposal. Whereas vs. any type of man coverage would constitute our separation from them with “break backs" and "hot reads." Listed and diagramed on the following pages are various coverages that we were confronted with in the 1984 season, And some of their apparent and possible strengths and certain weaknesses are labeled accordingly.