Before speaking at the New England Nike Coach of the Year Clinic, I had the pleasure of speaking with football legend Johnny Majors. But when we shared contact information, I came to know that he refers to himself as John T Majors, not Johnny.
The former All-America, Heisman Trophy Runner-up, two-time SEC MVP, and national champion coach went into great detail on two different punting techniques his father taught him over 80 years ago. He then informed me that punting was an option for the quarterback on any down and distance back in the 50s. When I told him that we are a 4th & Go team and try to never punt, he shared a story about playing Georgia Tech. With time on the clock waning, Tennessee (Coach Majors’ team) had the ball on their own 15 facing a 3rd and 3. At his Single Wing Quarterback position, he noticed the Georgia Tech Safety playing deep for the punt so he called a run, rushed for 4 yards and got a fresh set of downs. On the next play, with 1st and 10 on the 19-yard line, he saw the Safety up close to the line of scrimmage so he decided to punt it away. 69 yards later, he had changed field position and secured a 6-0 win.
Punting on 1st Down?! It is amazing how much the game has changed. Coach Majors informed me that in his time, field position was much more important than possession of the ball. Philosophically, we do not care where we get the ball on the field as long as we gain possession. We believe that we can score from anywhere on the field. When a team wants to punt to us, we gladly accept it. We do not try to block the punt and often tell our returner that if he cannot catch it cleanly just get out of the way. Do not do anything to allow them to regain possession of the ball by jumping offsides, roughing the punter or muffing the punt. If they want to give us the ball, we will gladly accept it. What has not changed over the years, is the willingness coaches have to share their knowledge and expertise.
A teacher, coach, and mentor to NFL Hall of Famers like Tony Dorsett and Reggie White, Coach Majors still makes time to share insights, experiences, and understanding after all these years. As Coach Majors shared his insight with me, I gladly shared two presentations to the coaches in attendance at the New England Nike Coach of the Year Clinic.
We’re only a few weeks away from the 2019 OLine Clinic in New Jersey and a month from the clinic in Vermont!
Get your brochure here: 2019 OLINE CLINIC BROCHURE.
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends.
Thanks for your time!