1. If you are on offense and you throw a deep pass that’s incomplete, remember, they start the 35 second clock right away after the play. In other words, after the incomplete pass, hustle back to the huddle.
2. If you are behind by 14 points or more in the second half, learn to engage in the hurry up offense. It might help your offense get into the groove and might even throw the defense off stride.
3. Teach your punter to hit the sidelines close to the goal line. If you punt from the opponents 40 or 45 yard line and it goes into the end zone, you’ve gained roughly 20 yards. Go for the 5 or 10 yard line—if your punter can’t do that, hire or draft someone who can.
4. Even if your field goal kicker is not pro bowl caliber or goes through a rough patch, be very positive with him. Field goal kickers often have fragile egos so you want to remain positive to ensure you can get the most value out of him later in the season.
5. Sometimes, the hurry up offense can work especially if your offense is sputtering.
6. If you blitz 4 players and can’t get to the quarterback or don’t create enough pressure, maybe blitz 5 or 6 players. Throw different defensive looks at them to try and through the quarterback off stride. This will work against most quarterbacks except for guys like Peyton who’s extremely intelligent about the types of looks you throw at him.
7. Trust your eyes when watching the NFL. Things are often missed by the announcers or they’ll not often comment on controversial topics. It’s corporate TV interests supporting the corporate NFL.
8. Eliminate the 10 yard measuring sticks in the NFL. With 21st century technology, couldn’t something virtually be added to the field so all players know where the first down marker is located.
9. If a coach and your team needs to be refocused and is not playing well, don’t be afraid to call a timeout. Sometimes, that can shake up your team.
10. If you’re on the opponent’s 35-45 yard line and your field goal kicker is ineffective from that distance, plan ahead of time to use this as 4 down territory. So when it’s 3rd down and 6 on their 40 yard line, try at the very least to gain a few yards so if you don’t get the first down, the 4th down attempt will be more manageable instead of 4th and 7 or 4th and 9.
11. If your team is behind by 14 or more in the first half, don’t panic. Resist the urge to throw on every down to get back in the game ASAP. Some announcers may say you have to throw most of the time in this scenario but remember, it’s the first half. You have plenty of time to get back in the game. Your defense might be gassed so a longer, sustained drive might work out well for your team at that stage of the game. In addition, many defenses may expect pass when you’re down by that many points so mixing up the offense could catch them off guard.
12. If the announcer says the clock stopped as a result of a player going out of bounds and it’s not less than 2 minutes in the first half and less than 5 minutes in the second half, don’t believe them. If the clock is stopped, and it does not fit these criteria, it’s a temporary stoppage of the clock!
13. Don’t throw your challenge flag unless you’re fairly sure the call will be overturned – especially in the first half. Maybe trust 1-2 quick thinking and bright analysts to give you that quick feedback when applicable.
14. When starting or developing your team, build around your offensive and defensive lines in your drafts and also in free agency. Teach blocking and tackling and stress fundamentals as football is a very simple game. With an average quarterback, you’ll have success 80% of the time with this approach.
15. Draft the best football player available unless you are desperate to fill certain holes on your team. Sometimes, trading down in the draft can get you more draft choices to help expedite building your team.
16. When assessing a player, don’t worry about their 40 yard times, vertical jump or how much they can bench press. Look for real football players who have good character and can make things happen on the football field. Do they have passion for the game? Do they hate to lose? Do they have a high football IQ? Look for that type of football player.
17. Teach your defensive lineman to try to deflect the ball when thrown by the quarterback. You’d be amazed at the kind of success you can have which can disrupt the quarterback’s rhymn.
18. Even if you’re a quick scoring team, have the ability and flexibility to sometimes grind out 4-5 yards per attempt. If you can get on a 6-8 minute drive from time to time, it can really help out your defense in key situations.
19. If playing a big game at your opponent’s stadium and you win the coin toss, consider deferring to receiving the ball until the second half. You’re excited and amped up, you may be too excited on offense. Better to play defense at the start where your emotional state can be more of an advantage.
20. It’s sad, but work the officials. If you see holding by the opponents or a late hit on your quarterback, assertively make your point to the officials. It plants the seed where the official later in the game may be aware of this occurring again. You never know when this might pay dividends.
21. If you’re kicking a field goal or punting and the play is blown dead, have your kickers still kick the ball. This becomes a practice kick and helps test the field conditions immediately before kicking again.
22. Practice the fake punt and fake field goal. Why not? Why not use it a few times a year? You never know when you’ll need it and having this in your repertoire forces your opponents to practice one more thing when defending you.
23. If it’s 2nd down and 1, why not throw a deep ball to keep the defense honest and not just putting too many players in the box to guard against the run? Even if you’re not successful with the deep ball, you’re still in good condition to get a first down with 3rd and short.
24. Using timeouts in the first half when your defense is not set or the 35 second play clock is ready to expire is not necessarily crucial during the first half of the game but wasting timeouts in the 2nd half due to disorganization or lack of focus can really hurt the team in crucial situations.
25. Teach your defensive players to use the sideline as the 12th defender. There are times where you can position yourself on the field ready to make a tackle to your advantage – forcing the ball carrier in a less advantageous position.