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Mara, an owner of the Giants whose family has been in the N. But what is lost if one of the most recognizable features of football becomes a footnote to the game? I know people wondered what was going on in there. Personally, I always found it fascinating that the crowd noise would be deafening but the huddle was usually a very, very quiet place.

Roger Staubach, the fabled leader of the s Dallas Cowboys and a Heisman Trophy winner, said the huddle was the best time to take the pulse of a team. You can take that all in, which can be powerful. Michael Oriard, a former center with the Kansas City Chiefs, an all-American at Notre Dame and the author of books on football culture, called the huddle a sacred place, because it belonged to the players and not the coaches.

Spencer Long, the center for the Redskins, said the terminology of the modern N. Defenses in general are growing more averse to huddling. Before each play nowadays, the middle linebacker simply shouts and signals the defensive scheme called by a sideline coach. The disappearing huddle is also a function of logistics. The N. The origin of the huddle appears to date to the s, when it was first used by players at a school for the deaf, Gallaudet University, where quarterbacks had been communicating to teammates using sign language. The practice spread throughout football, especially as teams left behind primitive, run-only schemes for more sophisticated formations that included forward passes.

I predict a victory. We don't preach winning to the kids at this level because Mighty Mites is more of a training division and there are no playoffs, but the coaches and parents sure like it winning. Thanks for writing and publishing these books. I recommend them to coaches that need some direction.

I know I did. Just one more thing I learned about little kids football without reading it in your book found it in the book after the fact and its kind of funny but needs immediate correction. A lot of times the offensive linemen make initial contact with their man, then turn around and want to watch the play. Most of the time the guy that they made initial contact with, makes the tackle in the backfield.

I have told the kids that if they would sustain their blocks instead of turning around and watching, they can watch the RB run for a touchdown instead of watching them get tackled in the backfield. They like that idea and it seems to work most of the time now. As I predicted, we won. Our defense scored a touchdown by interception and we also scored another safety.

That makes 16 points scored defensively this year. After talking to the head coach of the opposing team after the game, he informed us that their "star" running back almost gained yards this season. I think the coach thought he would get it against us. Well, we shut him down and the one and only first down they got the whole game was due to us jumping offside on a 4th and 4.

In fact, the "star" was the kid that got caught in the end zone for the safety.

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When I first started I was, like all coaches, lost. I searched everywhere for info about coaching. I finally found your book on some web site and promptly ordered it. We spoke about your son, my Navy career and, of course, football. You were very generous with your time and helpful concerning my new football team. Anyway, my New Canaan, CT Bulldogs finished this year and our first play-off game is this Saturday against the Danbury Trojan's who have, in the past, made it to Florida.

Honestly, I am not using the single wing but more a knock-off of Coach Freeb's offense. We stop the run and absolutely love it when they throw! More importantly I learned the lesson that it's not how you block but knowing who to block that really counts. We spend a lot of time on the "freeze" in practice and make sure everyone knows who to get. Currently the Panthers are 3 - 1 for the season. The gap-8 is working great.

I really like the way it stops the run, and the fact that the defensive line get in the backfeild quickly. John, thank you for the defesive help this year. Our first string defense has only allowed 6 points per game in our four games so far this year. We are half-way through our season at this ppoint and we have all ready played the real tough teams.

Thank you for the Gap - 8. With your books as the backbone of my coaching strategy we compiled a very sucessful record. It is interesting to note that I came across your website a year ago when I was scanning the Internet looking for information on the single wing. I was on a reference material hunt about this great offense, and having grown up in Menominee, MI, home of Coach Ken Hofer's single wing, I wanted to learn more. In someways it became an obsession. Along the way I came across your materials, I studied them, noted how much of a contrarian I was, how fascinating to learn you are an advocate of the offense for youth football.

After collecting other direct snap books through inter-library loan, trading video tapes, bookmarking websites, I came to the realization that I needed an outlet for my newly acquired knowledge. This past summer, I threw my application into the local Pop Warner coaching circles. To my surprise I was chosen as a head coach. I did not have a son playing, he's two years old, nor did I play high school football, but I wanted to give coaching a try. I felt like it was my responsibilty to show the Green Bay area that the single wing was alive.

I immediately poured over your two books formulating my plan. This became more than a hobby of researching the single wing, it became the responsibilty of a whole team of young players. It sounded great to me. Next I needed to figure out which version of a direct snap offense I wanted to use. After e-mailing back an forth with a few new coaching friends across the country I decided to give the direct snap, double wing with an unbalanced line offense a go.

I figured I wanted to spread the work load around, so two wingbacks seemed the way to go. With the help of a coaching colleague and the Tierny and Gray book, our 10 play offense was ready to go. My assistants were on board with everything I had in store. They must have thought you were coaching this team instead of myself at times because I referred to you and your techniques so often. The important thing was they were sold and we put into motion our plan.

Both the offense and defense created a great deal of havoc over the course of the season. I was approached many times about our offense, because most football people in the area have heard of Menominee's single wing it's 1 hr north of Green Bay and often play area teams and asked where I was from. I admitted my background with a smile. We scored points, averaging 28 points in our 5 victories.

We rotated our TBs and WBs every series to not only get them playing time, but not to get them banged up. Eight players scored touchdowns this season. Our no huddle, warp speed game plan worked to our advantage all season as well. One other note to youth coaches, utilize pulling linemen. The kids love it and it works well. Ironically the coaching staff needed the convincing, not the players. Defenseively, we as a team grew in understanding of what we were trying to do and the players and coaches got better each week.

None of our coaches had any defensive background, so we learned together. They were a stronger, bigger and well-coached team. We gave them everything they could handle, with opportunities in each game to actually win the ballgame. Those were actually my two favorite games to coach.

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We also scored two defensive TDs and had one safety. On special teams, we went with the squib kicking game and were lucky enough to recover 5 kicks too. We found that the other teams began to kick short, maybe because of our influence. We really never punted either, although we generated 4 turnovers on punt pressure. Teams stopped punting against our defense after that too.

We repeatedly reminded our team that this game came down to blocking and tackling and we practiced form tackling, bear crawling, blocking every practice. Like you have written the bear crawling takes time and it did get better every week, our oponents were unable to run insidenor outside due the great play of our disciplined ends. Again thank you for the great resource. I felt like a had a hidden gem in our corner the entire season. We are and average giving up about 40 yards per game.

You have been a great help. I have also bent the ears of Coach Aldrich qand Coach Racely all year long. They have also been of great help. That was kind of you. Our 10 year old boys team used your defense this past Saturday, after having time to practice it only one night.

Even with the minimal practice, it worked as advertised. The opposing team was unable to run the sweep, and rarely ran for positive yards. We did make one mistake, which was a missed tackle, that allowed a run up the middle for a touchdown. You had told me this defense would hold the other team's offense to minus 35 yards, and that our defense would score a touchdown.

That is almost exactly what happened.

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We won 18 - 8, despite being significantly smaller in size than the opposition. Thanks again John. It takes weeks or months of perfect technique daily drilling to achieve good tackling technique. Our offense ammassed yards while our opponent had ! We could have scored more but we emptyed our bench and used seven different halfbacks giving the reserves some invaluable experience. My Pee Wee Panthers year olds, lbs struggled most of last year with your and systems. Most of them were 9 and 10 and playing tackle football for the first time.

They finally got it by our first and only play-off game, holding the eventual Super Bowl runner-ups to 3 positive yardage plays from scrimmage before losing in overtime to a silent snap QB sneak. Well, 14 of them came back this year. My new defensive coordinator, who played Division I college ball, has embraced the system. The Defensive responsibility and alignment grid went out with playbooks as it always does in late June. I knew from our three pre-season controlled scrimmages that these kids were in tune and understood the philosophy of the D.

I really knew because even our second team defense was able to handle our high powered Wing-T offense pretty well during regular practice. Last Friday was opening night. They were not told to do this. They did their job all right. The opponents only gained positive yards on three plays all night.

Statistically, they were minus yards on the night. While I only have one true minimum-play player on this team, there was almost no drop off when we had mostly second teamers in the game. We were sloppy on offense, two TDs called back for clips long after the runner was past the infraction spot and two lost fumbles inside the opponents You know the defense had to be outstanding to overcome the turnovers and mental errors.

Our victory was much easier than the score indicated. Feel free to quote. I never had a huddle so we did not do any such thing. But it shows the kids understand their roles in a team sport. Last year i purchased,Coaching Youth Football, Defense,and time management books. Since then with Gap 8 defense and some of the other strategies learned from your books our youth football team has been Only loss was in the championship game. Teams shut out Castro Roanoke,Va. Reed this is Coach Thomas Garcia we won our first game and i wanted to thank you I'm the defensive coordinator and my defense killed the other team the Buccaneers team we played got only maybe 5 yards once every other time it was all for losses.

We won Thanks again Mr. They are so complete and to the point. I am in my third year as a youth football coach. I only wish that I had your books for my season as head coach last year! We were with a 13 kid team. It was my rookie head coaching season and I made plenty of mistakes - although those around me were thrilled. I'm already envisioning the defense!! It makes so much sense for youth football, but no one has the guts to run it! Thanks for writing your books. When I introduced this defense to the kids after the 3rd game of the season , we stopped a lot of those plays running to the outside of our defense by bringing more personnel to the line of scrimmage.

This year, a friend of mine is coaching in that league. He asked his son and the son of his assistant coach what team name they wanted. They asked to be the Eagles, because of our success the previous year. Plus, they asked their fathers to please run the same offense and defense as we did.

The two kids in question had to play against us three times last season.

Our team went from the previous year to last year. I was the Head Defensive Coach last year and we implemented the and defenses. There was some resistance to this at the start from the other coaches. But - as the Defensive Coach - this was what we were going to do - because it made perfect sense to me. It worked.

This year, I'm Head Coach and I will continue to implement your philosophies. So - once again - thank you! Sincerely - Skip Brown. It has been passed around my coaching staff. We employed this defense last season and found it very effective. It was an integral part of winning the championship at the 8-year old level in the North Georgia Youth Football League. In eleven years of coaching it was the most demoralizing defense I had seen. Having played ball in school, I thought no problem. Well playing and coaching are two different things.

We went , scoring only two TDs all season and giving up almost points. Then one day I found your books and wow. Using a lot of your ideas plus getting a better grasp of the wing-T offense, we turned it around in In '98 we still went , but we made it into the championship round. Many thanks to you for your help. Your books really made the difference.

I have just put in the at the half-time of our last game, and you guessed my defense scored 4 points We haven't scored on defense the whole season and the minute I put a rough-shot version in, we shut them down completely. My players love it, because it allows them to not have so many reads and basically charge upfield instead of waiting and reacting. We have a record of on the year, giving up over 30 pts.

In our season end jamboree this past Saturday we were slated to play the best team in our League, they had a record of with a reputation of running the score up. I knew that offensively that we could not touch them I am not the Head Coach or offensive coach anyway I informed my team that a. This was the 1 offensive team, big strong and fast kids.

All their coaches thought they had to do was line them up, give them the ball and say run.. If you could only have heard their coaches and parents saying how this was the best game that their undefeated team had played, that no other defense played them as tough If there are any first year coaches that are wondering what to do defensively, how will their undersized, undermanned, slow, inexperienced players can compete and keep you in the game, call me and I will sure tell you about the and how easy it is for your kids to do what they naturally like at these young ages..

Run and go I went through 9 games before I had had enough and went over my Head Coach's head and implemented what I wanted to run all year long.. As one of our assistants said at the end of the game, I should've put the in along time ago.

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Yes, I know I should've But I can't wait till next season and I know what I am going to run defensively, and I owe this turn around in my attitude and my players to you. You have given us a chance to compete and win, and we rolled with the big dogs and gave them all they wanted.. They might have won the game, but the coaches know there is a new scheme in town and they call it the and it's going to cause them fits next season. Thank you John and I'm sure to be bugging you with more stories, but this Saturday made the whole long hard season worth it for me and the kids and it is something that I think I won't forget, I learned a lot of lessons personally this season, about not giving up and keep pushing and just because people think your out of it you never are Can you believe there is a coach out there that is this happy over a loss The head coach and other assistants reluctantly agreed to let me 'try' the Gap Let me me also state that last year we had the absolute worst team in the league and a defense that gave up the most points in the league.

I was told that the first time we got beat on a long pass play Does that ever happen in a 9 yr. Well, we stayed in the Gap -8 all season. The ONLY time we were scored on was when when we had an assignment breakdown or minimum play players in the game. Our defensive ends were tough and disciplined and completely shut down the off tackle plays, allowing our lineman to pursue and tackle as the runner turned back inside. My son, our strongside DE led the team in total tackles, sacks, caused fumbles and was the defensive lineman of the year and overall defensive MVP.

Unfortunately our offense was terrible, but our defense got us to within 5 points of the league championship game. I will be the head coach next season and I am already starting to prepare. I have recently ordered two more of your books. Thanks for all your help and thanks for making me look like a defensive genius!! Yes, I did give you credit. We were terrible. Quite a few teams in our league use this set up. It only worked well for one team because there coach was smart enough to get his fastest players, rather than just the biggest, on the field.

They flew to the ball and were pretty good. He ran the gap-8 at times, not knowing he was doing it. After playing, and losing to us, he did ask for the details and I turned him on to your book. I suspect he will use it next season. I do have one suggestion you might want to pass on. I our league, and a lot of others, we have a maximum weight limit for running backs. If a boy is over the limit, he must wear a 90 number and play on the line. On defense I used two of our bigger, stronger but still pretty fast boys as the defensive ends These boys would be linebackers and fullbacks if the rules allowed.

On off tackle plays and sweeps, most youth teams use a flanker or running back as a lead blocker. These boys were at least 15 pounds lighter that our ends. A HUGE weight difference at this age. If leagues have this type of rule, using a "lineman" at defensive end is a big advantage. It is unfair to the heavier players and not a problem generally if they are allowed to play in the backfield. If almost every kid in the league is afraid to tackle a particular big, fast player, this rule should be invoked on an ad hoc basis to prevent that player from destroying the games in which he plays.

I saw that once.

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Pittsburg Mallards junior pee wees John T. Though I was one of your described 'incompetent' coaches, I recognize my limitations and coach accordingly. Three years as a mediocre high school player and watching NFL is my background. I bought your book to prepare, based only on its obvious title. I was expecting only a basic introduction with lots of drills and play diagrams, and had no idea how much wisdom was really in it. At first, the unspoken agreement was that my duties would be largely administrative.

But whenever the opportunity arose, I would inject some Reed stuff, like insistence on low hitting and blowing the whistle on lousy tackles. We saw our tacklers improve and our line started beating some much larger lines. When next asked, I suggested walking through plays that were burning us, moving more players up on the defensive line seven seemed like a lot , and using scrimmage plays to double as hitting and conditioning drills to conserve practice time. I wasn't single-handedly turning this team around or anything like that, but this head coach did begin to think I might know something, and was warm to 'my' ideas.

I was reluctant to tell him about Reed, because I didn't think he or the experienced assistant coach would be too hot on coaching out of any book. After a couple more weeks of him seeming to like ny input, I finally gave the head coach your book. He read the intro about the typical junior coach, then took your self-test, and you gained another fan.

He implemented as much as was practicable immediately. Our expansion team, incidentally the lightest in our division, went since then, and finished , which I'm told is unheard of for a new team in our league. These two coaches have a lot going for them, so of course it wasn't all Reed that did it, but you can't argue with the record. I couldn't get my book back until he ordered two more, which was fine with me. Other Reed techniques we started working on immediately were: more walk-throughs real eye openers , less collision and more tackling drills, putting them on the dummy when they didn't tackle right, 10 minute drill time limits, better use of precious practice time, reducing the number of offensive plays, use of no-huddle offense to help comply with minimum play, kicking tough-to-field kickoffs, gap-8 defense, recognition of the low percentage of pass plays, and weak player strategies especially the weak wide receiver, who was covered by a decent player most of the time.

All had varying degrees of effect, and some obviously take more time to learn than others, but no Reed method we tried was unsuccessful. Just wanted you to know your methods are effective and fun to use. Keep writing! South Attleboro WhiteHawks Jr. We played the same team twice. Back to back games. Up until this week we were and unscored upon. We ran into an unbelievable team this week and lost They killed us all day with off-tackle plays.

Have them slide along the line of scrimmage to contain the sweep and just stay put to stop the off-tackle play. This was explained in my book Coaching Youth Football. This coach confirmed to me that he was boxing his ends all day and had only read my defense book.

One of which the receiver fumbled and we recovered after our LB gave him a jarring hit. By the way, we only have 16 kids on our team. Game 7 White Hawks 12 Edgewood 0 Eagles held to just 25 yards Game 8 White Hawks 12 Pawtucket 6 This was my first year using the Gap-8 and my team went while giving up only 28 points all year. In 6 games we had shutouts. Thank you and please write a Gap-8 book soon Regards," Steve Jerauld. Thanks and keep up the good work. I'm a huge fan. We won our division championship this weekend, defeating Northfield They only had about 20 yards in total offense.

Their best offensive play was the penalty flag. We were assessed over yards in penalties roughing the passer, "hitting the punter too hard after a blocked punt," etc. Northfield returned the opening kickoff down to about our 10 yard line, and it took them four plays to score from there. I don't believe they earned a first down after this.

Our team played Atlantic City this weekend. I haven't watched the film yet, so these are not official stats, but I believe Atlantic City only got two first downs the entire game. We scored a touchdown on defense when our end hit the QB in the end zone, and recovered the fumble. We also recovered 3 or 4 other fumbles. I also think they probably had negative yardage for the game. They were obviously very frustrated by our defense. One of their coaches said to me after the game 'that defense was awesome.

During the first half of the game we had yards, to their -3 yards. Their longest gain of the day was nine yards. One of the referees told one of our coaches that he's never seen Atlantic City shut out before. We also sacked their quarterback many times. Our third quarter was weak. But no harm done, since A. Our team won yesterday, ! We beat Galloway Township, who was previously undefeated, and had only given up two TD's all season. One of our cornerbacks returned an interception 70 yards to open the scoring for us.

Our records is now , and we head into the playoffs next week. We play for our conference championship, and then advance into the the next round of playoffs. I'm sure that if we hadn't been playing the yesterday, we would have lost the game. If we had been playing the , as we were earlier in the season, we would have been chewed up yesterday. There would have been too many soft spots in our defense to contain Galloway. They are extremely fast, their backs have great moves, they are well coached, and the QB throws very well for this level.

We won , but the game shouldn't have been that close. Our defense played fabulously.

We only allowed two first downs, and our opponent only had about 20 yards in total offense. They attempted to "jam it down our throats" for most of the game. They only attempted four passes, all incomplete. Once when we attempted to punt from our own ten yard line, we had a poor snap which the punter bobbled, and instead of punting the ball, he ran, which resulted in a loss. Our opponent failed to score from there.

On our next possession, they stripped the ball from our best running back, and recovered the ball on the one yard line. Even from the one yard line, it took them three downs to score. Let me tell you. Since we installed the , our defense has been superb. The breakdowns have not been from the scheme, but the kids not doing what we teach them to do, such as; not staying low, not jamming the tight end at the line, not playing tight man-to-man in the secondary.

It's a good thing our defense is playing so well, because our offense, which we thought would be our strength , hasn't been playing well. Since installing the , no team has marched down the field and scored on us. All scoring has been the result of poor field position. We installed the six games ago, and our defense has scored a touchdown in four of those games.

By the way, each of the scores has come when the other team has been attempting to pass. Two were long interception returns for touchdowns. One was when we sacked the QB in the end zone, and the QB fumbled. The one yesterday, was when we sacked the QB, and our defensive end picked up the ball and ran about 30 yards for the score. After reading about the defense in your book, I was able to see A.

Moore at a clinic in Dallas. He went over the defense in a little more detail. I was much impressed with this defense that makes perfect sense to run in youth football. We are apart of the Pineywoods Football League which contains five area cities. The first year we use the two defenses, we won the league championship ! The following year, we were defeated by two tuff teams on the league During this successful year, we had 28 players to play with, which made it tuff to compete against some teams.

We did hold our first four opposing teams to negative 37 yards! This year , we have started off with a record. One of the wins was against the team who beat us last year. I really appreciate your interest in youth football and look forward to upcoming books.

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We have some fine tuning to do, but I'm confident that this team can use it to win our remaining 4 games and the division. I'll send you a game jersey. The mistakes we've made were not the fault of the defense, but rather MY mistakes as a coach. Sub errors, drilling on coverages, etc. Your defense works, Coach, and works very well. By the way, of the six head coaches in the Kodiak Football League, two of us are using the straight from your book, one Junior Division and my team. The other coach is running your single wing He was smart enough to order BOTH your books before the season began!

We're the only two undefeated teams in the League. They work. Just a comparison that you might want to put on your web site: There are six teams in our league, three in the junior division year olds and three in the senior division year olds. One team in each division uses your methods straight from your books. Both teams using your methods are undefeated. Both teams using your methods have not allowed a touchdown in their last two games and the Bears have only allowed three all season.

Both teams have been penalized fewer times than any other team in their division. Both teams have made at least one score in their last three games on defense. Both teams have not allowed a complete pass in their last two games. Both teams have allowed a total of five first downs in the last games played. The Bears allowed three, we only allowed the Chiefs to get two yesterday. This makes the third consecutive game that our defense has shut out our opponents, which was darn lucky, because we fumbled on first or second down on every one of our first five possessions.

They also put four guys shoulder to shoulder in front of my center and nailed him right at the snap on every play. It took a while for the adjustments to take hold and we were then able to get outside on some sweeps that scored in the third and fourth quarter. We also had some great tackling turned in by one of our players that at the start of the season couldn't tackle his way out of a damp kleenex.

Coach, you would have screamed your throat out to see this little guy run a picture perfect DE route and just absolutely smash the running back on a sweep. I don't think I could have performed that play any better. It looked like it was choreographed. After the game we had a pizza party at the local Pizza Hut.

I was late because I was talking with the league coordinator about a schedule change. When I walked in my team gave me a standing ovation. It actually brought tears to my eyes to realize how much faith these kids have in me as a coach. Most of that I owe to you. Between your books and this patient dialogue we've had I have learned more about football in the last month and a half than I learned in five seasons on the field.

But when done effectively, the huddle is a powerful tool for any team. Will you take the huddle concept and apply it to your family, work or team? If you do, I believe you will see great success on the scoreboard as well! Love the principles Mark shares here. Huddles are an intentional means of gathering to collaborate, not cooperate.

There is a difference. Love this! Thanks Mark. Thanks for this insight from football. The Bible tells us to gather together as much as we are able. What a grand huddle in the Body of Christ. Thank you brother Maxwell for your faithfullness. May God bless you as you minister and discipline us. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. But it got me thinking—what else sets football apart from other major team sports? But no matter what type of huddle, it serves several purposes: 1. To establish teamwork. To take action.