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• Kentucky Offensive Staff • Coaching Clinic • Wednesday • January 13 •

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The quarterback reads high to low: cor- Kentucky's Air Raid


It's an I honor
~today. would to
like speak in front
to discuss three ofof you
the' ner (Z) NO.1, mesh NO.2, backs NO.3,
Offense
b-;;stplays in our offense. while taking a 5-7 step drop.
The first play is our Mesh play that is Another great play for us has been our
diagrammed for you (Diagram 1). The "V," V-cross play (Diagram 3). We use this play
which can be a tight end or a wide receiver several times a game from a variety of for-
is responsible for working to a depth of no mations.
deeper than six yards when he reaches the Diagram 3
center. As he crosses the center, he will
settle V$. zone
settle in the open area which we call Tony Franklin
"grass," and face the quarterback ready to
receive the ball. Runningbacks
Diagram 1
r:~:"
\. o,lio"
oed, i! 17 yd, M
OY ~4.~ I Coach
z
x O!O~O $ University of
3 yds. deep J:;~S settle in grass
settle in grass 6
H i F
Kentucky
NUM$EAS ~~)

4-7yds.
z The X is responsible to run an up route Lexington, Ky.
$
~._-----o
H 0 ~ 0 0F--~'"
Y and get deep as fast as possible. He will be
NUMBERS

the quarterback's first read, and 3-5 times


a year, we will hit this for a big play.
The V works under the Sam linebacker
The "X" will be responsible for the and climbs over the Mike linebacker. If he
"mesh" with the V and will go under V at the were to reach the opposite hash, he would
center. When X crosses V, he will settle in be at a depth of 17 yards, and if he made it
'he open grass. X and V both will continue all the way across the field, he would be
Chris Hatcher
o run if they feel man coverage and slight- approximately 22 yards deep. Once he
ly bend their route up field (Diagram 2). climbs over the Mike linebacker, he may
Quarterbacks
settle in the open "grass" vs. zone cover-
Diagram 2 Coach
age, or continue to run and snap off his
route vs. man. He is the second read by the
quarterback.
The H will release outside the defensive
~
~6bye;~:~:~~"up:/
~ end and press up the field to 3-4 yards and
run an option route. He will stick his toe in
~o 0 <8>0 OY Z the ground and break hard outside or
H F 1"
inside vs. match-up zone or man, and he
will settle in the "grass" vs. zone. It is crucial Guy Morriss
The "z" will run a corner route to a depth to have a great option route runner. We've
- somewhere between 13-23 yards been fortunate to have Anthony White for Offensive Line
Jspending on where the best "grass" is. He two seasons to run option routes, and we Coach
ust read the coverage on pre-snap, and have him back one more season in '99. He
~s the route develops, be on the same has caught 59 and 78 passes the last two
:,age as the quarterback. seasons.
The "F" will run a swing route, and must The Z will run a post-curl at 14-17 yards
;8 as wide as the numbers. If the ball is on on the backside. He will settle in the open
:.~s near hash, he should get a little wider grass vs. zone. He is our fourth option on
::-an the numbers. He must work hard to the V-cross route.
:: .'lays get to the numbers or he will clog up The F will check release and run a
--9 mesh area. The F should also work swing as he did on the mesh route and will
-;, d not to gain ground upfield as he runs be the fifth option. Both backs will check on
-8 swing. all our 5-7 step drop back passes.
he "H" runs a shoot route to a depth of The quarterback will read X on the up
= /ards when he reaches the numbers. He first, V-cross second, H-third, Z-fourth, and
~ must widen if the ball is on the near F-fifth.
The last play today is one of our quick
30th backs will check-release the Sam screens. This screen is good versus press
::.:-j the Will before releasing. If they blitz, or soft coverage. The University of Montana
'=' Nill stay and protect. has been great at running this for years,

• Proceedings • 76th AFCA Convention • 1999 •


113
• Kentucky Offensive Staff • Coaching Clinic • Wednesday • January 13 •

along with many other screens. Their offen- Coach Franklin has already discussed a Settle/Noose Drill: This is the first drill
sive coordinator, Brent Peace, is one of the few of our base patterns, and now I would that our quarterbacks, receivers, tight
sharpest minds in the country. like to talk about how we actually teach ends, running backs, and centers partici-
The play-side receiver (wide) is respon- these routes and the fundamentals that are pate in once they run onto the field. Placing
sible for driving up the field three hard steps needed to execute them properly. two dummies ten yards apart on the side-
to sell the vertical route, before sticking and One can describe our offense as a well- line sets up this drill. The receivers will line
retracing his steps behind the line of scrim- coached backyard team. We firmly believe up behind one dummy while the quarter-
mage and back towards the hash mark and in throwing the football short first, long sec- back and center line up on the line per-
quarterback. He should receive the ball ond, and then run the football when the pendicular to the sideline. (Diagram 5) The
before reaching the hash and turn up the numbers in the box are favorable. Another receiver will start in a good stance, and
field inside the play-side guards kick-out belief of ours is to keep things simple and release on the quarterback's cadence. He
block (Diagram 4). It is important that he put our players in a position to succeed. We will proceed to settle closer to one dummy,
trusts the guard, set up his block, and get never want to ask an athlete to do some- than the other. He will then face the quar-
straight up the field after the catch. thing that he is unable to do effectively. In terback with his hands in the noose posi-
our offense, the quarterback is the key to tion (thumbs together and index fingers
Diagram 4
#4 our success. Since this is the case, we together) ready to catch the football. Once
keep our schemes very simple because we the ball is caught, he will then turn straight
can run only what he is capable of compre- up field.
C $! M S $ c
hending. So in our dealings with the quar-

y~ Yz!
Diagram 5
terback, we follow four basic objectives:
II:r~Slajc~(~
#1 #2: ~3 Fs T (; /1 1. We try to be fair with him especially
~'de'erde:'1""
Relrace
3sIeps ,,+(: . j ~
".
O~F"
cui
y the way we treat him in front of the other o OWR WR WR.

~~~
Q (fake - flash ball) players. The worst thing one can do with a
Throw on Rythym I
quarterback is to destroy his confidence Center
QB
The inside play-side receiver will drive and the team's confidence in him by
vertical for half the distance of where the degrading him in public. I
defender will end up who is guarding the 2. We must also be firm with him. We
ball-catching receiver. He will then stick and allow our quarterbacks to check plays at
plant his inside foot, break sharp toward the the line of scrimmage when needed. The quarterback will work with the cen-
defender, and kick him out at approximate- However, by allowing this, we must let him ter on the exchange, and then take his
ly the time of the reception. know that he better have good reason to specified drop (e.g. three-step, five-step,
Both tackles will lock on and pass-pro check out of plays called from the sideline. and seven-step). Once he hits his last step,
the defensive ends. The play-side guard will In other words, we handle our quarterback he will step up in the pocket waiting for the
pass set for 1001 count, and then release with an iron fist and a velvet glove. receiver to face him. When the receiver is
flat to kick out NO.2 (Diagram 4). 3. We try to make football as much fun as ready, the quarterback will release the foot-
The center will pass-set for 1001 count, possible. We do not stretch or run sprints. ball aiming for the receiver's number that is
and release, to block the Mike linebacker. Everything that we do is geared towards farthest away from the nearest dummy. This
The fullback's fake will help hold the Mike playing football. In fact, recently I had the tells the receiver which direction to turn.
until the center can get there. opportunity to hear Coach Spike Dykes give (Diagram 6) This process is continued with
The backside guard will pass-set to a lecture. He summed it up in one sentence,- each receiver taking turns. If you have more
1001 count, and release to block NO.4 or 'We do not work football, we play football." than one quarterback, several stations can
attack any lagging "trash" along the way. 4. The most important objective is be going on simultaneously.
The Y will check the Sam blitz, and release putting emphasis on the importance of fun-
Diagram 6
to block Sam. The outside receiver away damentals. We work hard daily on football
will fake quick screen, and then release to fundamentals and feel that our attention to
T
block his corner. detail has allowed our offense to be among o WR (_mm mnnn 0 WR
The quarterback will flash the ball and the nation's best the past two years.
quick fake his fullback; he will glance to the Our offensive schemes are very simple, \\ I
\ Center
opposite side, set his feet, and throw on but we try to become very good at the few
rhythm. The fullback will fake and block the things we do. This is accomplished by get-
man over the playside guard. ting as many repetitions as possible in a
\",,3
This has been a great play for us for two very short period of time. The two drills that
seasons. Thanks for giving me this oppor- I would like to share with you today are the This drill is done at one-quarter speed,
tunity to speak. basic cogs that make our offense go. Both and allows many things to be accomplished
the Settle/Noose and Routes on Air are while warming up. In a ten-minute period,
Chris Hatcher, Quarterbacks
drills specifically designed to make the our receivers are catching balls while loos-
This is a great opportunity and privilege most of your time while on the field. ening their legs. Our quarterbacks are
for me to speak to you today about the Remember that time is one thing that can- working on the quarterback/center ex-
University of Kentucky "Air Raid" offense. not be replaced. change, drops, and accuracy.

• Proceedings • 76th AFCA Convention • 1999 •


114
• Kentucky Offensive Staff • Coaching Clinic • Wednesday • January 1 3 •

Routes on Air: This particular drill sive line which tells them whic direction
Diagram 8
involves everyone on offense except the they block (Diagram 10).
inemen. Our receivers and running backs
Diagram 10
'ine up in a base formation. All five of our
uarterbacks line up side-by-side in a pre- B B
, ,
snap position. If you do not have five quar- -"'" E \. T TiE /
:erbacks, just insert a coach or manager.
cross from the line of scrimmage (35 yard
ine), seven dummies are aligned to repre- ~ ~d
····,···,.P
H
f? ex "0,'
~/// "ROGER"
F
CALL

sent a particular coverage that we will see


(H-READS HIS WAY OUT)
. the game that week. (Diagram 7) The This drill has been very important in
",xtra receivers will line up behind their developing our passing game. In fifteen
-espective positions and wait for their turn minutes, we can run everyone of our plays If the halfback stays and blocks and the

:0 run the pattern. at least five times. Again, this drill allows us fullback is in the route, the halfback makes
a lot of repetitions in a very organized short a "Louie" call to the offensive line which
Diagram 7
period of time. tells them which direction to block (Diagram
o 15yds. 11).
Guy Morriss, Offensive Line
i
Diagram 11
07yds. 0 o 07yds. It is a great honor for me to be here
01 0 today. Our offensive linemen must develop B B

o a passion to become the very best pass ""', EfT T/ E


~ 0H QQQQQ~
z protectors they can be. Becoming a good
o \"..,p/p ,C{' ~/,'/
F

Once everyone is lined up correctly, the


pass blocker requires hard work, study,
concentration, dedication, strength training,
and most of all, patience. Repetition must
"LOVIE"CALL"d
H
~ F
(F-READS HIS WAY OUT)
ach will then call a play. All the receivers be accepted as a way of life for the pass
n their routes while all five quarterbacks blocker. We spend 85-90% of our time
-'" e their drops. Each quarterback will teaching our linemen how to block, rather The scheme applies to three-step, five-
- row to one of the five receivers. Each than figure out who to block. step, and seven-step protections. The base
-eceiver will catch the ball, turn straight up The beauty of our system is just how rule is the same, the only thing that
" e field and sprint to the end zone. Our simple it is. We have only one protection at changes is the depth of the set by the offen-
-eceivers are taught to never settle behind Kentucky. We do not slide, turn, or zone sive line.
2. dummy, and our quarterbacks will never protect. We use a man scheme and strive I see that we are out of time. Remember
:;)row over a dummy. to be one well-coordinated unit, as well as that any lineman can become a better pass
During this drill, the receivers will work exceptional one-on-one individual pass blocker if he has the courage, determina-
proper alignment, stance and starts, blockers. The scheme is easy to learn, easy tion, strength, and willingness to work hard.
- d running good routes. Also by making to teach, and easy to adjust during the heat Please allow us to be of any assistance
em sprint to the end zone, the receivers of a ballgame. by calling the University of Kentucky
are being conditioned. The quarterback's Our base rule is as follows: The offen- Yootball Office at (606) 257-3611. 1':9
play is probably one of the most important sive line will block the four down linemen
aspects of this drill. The quarterbacks will and the Mike linebacker. The fullback will
read each route in a certain progression.
For example, the quarterback with the first
check Sam to any strongside edge player,
and the halfback will check Will to any weak
Improve Your
read will throw his ball once he hits his last side edge player (Diagram 9). Professional
step. The quarterback with the fifth read will
Diagram 9
look at the first four receivers before he Image
releases his ball to that receiver. In W M S
essence, the balls will be released in a i : ; /'
. E\T: TIE / Ask your sports infor-
typewriter fashion. (Diagram 8) After this
play is completed, then the next group of mation director to men-
receivers will line up and replace the
receivers who just participated. The quar-
\"\~f ± 'X ~/// tion your membership
terbacks will rotate and throw to a different H F and involvement in the
receiver. This process will be repeated five
times, so that each quarterback will throw If defenses play our base set with six "in
AFCA in your biography
all five routes. If the balls are not being the box" we must define where the Mike in your school's media
released in the proper order, then I know linebacker is. If the fullback stays and guide.
there is a problem with one of the quarter- blocks and the halfback is in the route the
backs knowing his progression of reads. fullback makes a "Roger" call to the offen-

• Proceedings • 76th AFCA Convention • 1999 •


115