21 Ways to Improve Your Offense

Ways to Improve Your OffensePart A=1-10
By Dave Bosko, Quarterbacks Coach,Springfield High School (OH)

I’ve worked for 10 Head Coaches, plus 8 more different Offensive Coordinators running everything from  the Wing T, Full House, Pro-Split Backs, Spread, to the 5-wide “Air Raid” as well as Gap/Man/Zone Schemes. You name it.    I’ve worked with numerous play calling systems, and various tempo, formational and personnel styles. I’ve been a part of 10-0 and 0-10 staffs. 
From my experience, here are 21 ways to improve your offense:
#1 Spend more time preparing your PRACTICE each day than you do on your GAME.  
 Have a precise plan for WHAT you want to accomplish, and HOW you want to achieve it.  Butremember,  the WHY is always the most important thing.  Spend off-season hours with assistant coaches to plan your practices NOW.Start SMALL, add something every day, and PERFECT one thing each day. Every day you add to your foundation. Ignoring (or not seeing!) the small things WILL lead to your eventual demise. (There are NO small things.)
#2 Coordinate game day communications BEFORE game day.
Working with 10 different Head Coaches and 8 additional offensive coordinators in 18 years I’ve found this area to be one of the TOP 3 PROBLEMS in game day production. Who’s talking and to whom? Why are you talking? What are you saying?If you DO – better judgment, more accurate intel, clearer messages, better execution of plan.If you DON’T- chaotic sidelines, unproductive halftime adjustments, misdirected anger toward kids, and PANIC sets in!
#3 More formations, fewer plays. (And get creative)
More formations requires more practice early in the year, but it forces defenses to think quicker. Prepare more. Make more adjustments.  Play a little slower with more base defenses…. All which increase chances that the defense lines up wrong to their original plan.The defense can’t read tendencies as easy and may miss big play/trick play coming. NOW ADD it to your arsenal of plays.
#4 Use some form of NO HUDDLE.
There are many ways to do No Huddle. Start with ONE way, and start YOUNG. (as young as possible). Use a lightning- all out attack. Freeze/check- all out attack and freeze. to check defensive alignment.Bingo- After a big play, setup a predetermined attack play.Geronimo- After a big loss, setup a pre-determined attack play to immediately reverse momentum. (takes courage!)Whirlwind- call 3 plays called in a row, already pre-determined.
#5 Be as multiple as possible, and keep it simple for your kids.
Make defenses stop the QB run game. If your QB just can’t run, install a “Wildcat” package. (Put your QB at wide receiver and a skill guy at QB- you can do this without changing personnel).Use multiple formations, shifts and motions as well as unbalanced look and quick hitting pass game. Use your FULLBACK/H-back in multiple sets for multiple purposes.
#6 “Share the load” as an Offensive Coordinator
Set up situations for different assistant coaches to call a play. Have an assistant prepared for a play call for third and short, and another assistant for third and long. Insist they have a REASON for their play call.Have all your offensive coaches work on this to better understand the offense and prepare each week. Also, they can become “experts” at a certain down and distance. And they need to “buy in” to what you’re doing.
#7 Always use defensive leverage and numbers in the box to determine play calls.
Is the defense overplaying one side? (Go the other way). Are there 5, 6, 7, or 8 men in the box? (5- RUN – 8-THROW!, if 6 or 7, you have a decision to make).In your preparation try to determine when you will see a “loose” or “packed” box based on formation, down and distance, personnel and tendency. Then plan accordingly.Be prepared with a run or pass for every play.Teams still ignore this and end up working against the current.
#8 Make sure you have 5 plays that EVERYONE can run from ANY spot. (3 runs, 2 passes)
There’s always times for emergencies, crazy substitutions, injuries, etc…Great to have plays everyone knows.This teaches kids the importance of teamwork, each position, execution and how to learn as well as having fun.
#9 Identify YOUR core values, and build your offense/program with your values as the FOUNDATION for everything you do.
Values like family, leadership, team first (chemistry), mental toughness, sacrifice, serving others, having fun, kindness, maximum effort, high energy and tradition.Don’t just preach your values, live them!Hire coaches based on your values. Not based on X’s and O’s.
#10 Don’t hold on to your “special” plays. 
Fire away! Especially in the first half be courageous with your play calling, concepts and program.Many times people leave “trick” plays unused. Sometimes that’s ok. (save them for later). But there is tremendous value in using them.1. They can work.2. They are exciting and fun for the kids.3. Fosters the aggressive attitude you want.4. A reputation for aggressive play calling is as important as being aggressive.
Part B 11-21 will be published tomorrow.