Keep It Simple…

Football is a complex game often made more 2020-03-05 Rich at Nike New England2complicated by coaches trying to prove how brilliant they are.  But the key to prolonged success in football is keeping it simple so the players know it almost as well as the coaches.  One of the greatest compliments I received was from Mike Kuchar, Co-founder and Senior Editor of, when he said, “the clarity of your teaching simplifies the game tremendously.”

Two of my three clinic sessions at last weekend’s New England Nike Coach of the Year Clinic were about simplifying the game.  I shared how we do this in our passing and screen game by compartmentalizing receiver routes and quarterback reads.  In the last session, I shared our always popular “4th & Go Offense.”  I look forward to working with the dozens of coaches who have reached out by email to continue the discussion and trust they will be willing to share something with us.

A personal highlight happened on the first night of the clinic soon after I arrived.  I went into the Marriott Member Lounge to grab dinner before my first presentation.  I was eating alone until Kirk Ferentz, Head Football Coach at the University of Iowa, asked me to join his staff for dinner.  I never met the man before, but it became abundantly clear why he has been so successful.  I wound up sitting next to QB Coach and Offensive Coordinator, Ken O’Keene, (who I had previously met when we were both Division 3 football coaches.)  The night ended with them inviting me out to Iowa during Spring Ball.  While I do not think I will make the trip this year, I will most certainly maintain contact and look forward to a future opportunity.  In the meantime, our focus turns to keeping it simple for our players and coaches as we begin Spring practices in St Johnsbury this week.

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 and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!

Click here for your 2020 “Alercio OLine Clinic Brochure.”

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