Defensive Game Planning – Genealogy

While I was at the University of Central Missouri and William Jewell College, I had the opportunity to work with and learn from some very good defensive coaches –  Terry Noland, Mike Foster, Mark Thomas, Mark Hulet, Rich Jahner, Corey Batoon, Jackie Shipp, Mike Armstrong,  Cornell Jackson , Joe Grubb, and Bart Woods to name just a few.  Coupled with the fact that we were also fortunate to have some very good athletes play on the defensive side of the ball, this lead us to a string of some very good defensive units, perennially ranked nationally in many categories.

One thing that also helped was a process for defensive game planning that we developed and refined during the 10 years I was at UCM.  During my time there I presented this information many times at clinics, sharing the process and tools that we used putting together our weekly defensive game plans to combat some of the best offensive units in the country.

A year ago I was attending the Glazier football clinic in Kansas City, and during one of the breaks, was visiting with several of the vendors.  I walked by the Hudl rep and there was a young coach visiting with the rep and showing him the defensive call sheet that he used… the same defensive call sheet (see below) that we developed at UCM and that I will share in this series of posts!  I was honored to know that some of the tools and procedures we developed are still being used successfully.


This series of posts will detail the entire process, from organization, to film breakdown, computer entry, staff and practice organization, call sheet development, and game day procedures.  Some of the information I will be sharing is probably nothing earth shattering for most coaches – much of it is pretty basic.  But there are a few tools and procedures that we developed that may be new to some readers.  If that is the case, and it helps a few coaches, then these posts will have been worth it.

In order to make it easier to read and process, I am going to break this up into several posts, each one dealing with a different aspect of defensive game planning.  This first one will detail the genealogy and history of the procedures we developed.

When I became the defensive coordinator at the University of Central Missouri, one of the first things that we did as a staff was to visit other good football programs who were known for playing good defense, and pick their brains on everything from scheme and technique to drills and game planning. 

The one thing that I was trying to figure out was what would be the best way for me to make calls during a game.  A few concepts that drove this process for me…

  • I am not particularly good at doing things “off the cuff”…
  • I like to be organized…
  • I like things based on data…
  • I needed a tool that could be used effectively during the “heat of the battle” on game day.

The quest for that perfect tool was what drove my conversations during the spring of that year.

The process and the tools that we came up with have their roots in several programs and coaches.  Mike Foster was the defensive coordinator that preceded me, and many of the things that we did were a continuation of processes he implemented.  We also took pieces (most notable a variation of the call sheet that we used) from John Smith, the long time defensive coordinator at Eastern Illinois University.  Finally, we took pieces from what Billy Miller, who was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State University at that time, was doing.  Coach Miller’s defensive pedigree can also be traced back to Dave Wannstedt and Jimmy Johnson. 

As is usually the case, the coaching fraternity came through for us with a wealth of good information to get us headed in the right direction

Tomorrow – General Organization and Weekly Workflow

You Can Do More… your brain is lying… don’t believe it!

Jeff Floyd –

14 thoughts on “Defensive Game Planning – Genealogy

  1. Pingback: Defensive Game Planning – Film Breakdown and the Ready List | You Can Do More!

  2. Pingback: Defensive Game Planning – The Ready List | You Can Do More!

  3. Pingback: Defensive Game Planning – The Play Grid | You Can Do More!

  4. Pingback: Defensive Game Planning – The Call Sheet | You Can Do More!

  5. Pingback: Defensive Game Planning – Game Procedures | You Can Do More!

  6. Pingback: Defensive Game Planning – FAQ’s | You Can Do More!

  7. Pingback: Follow-up: Advice to young coaches taking on a (Defensive) Coordinator Role | Coach and Coordinator

  8. Pingback: Defensive Game Planning – All Posts, Forms, and Video | You Can Do More!

  9. Pingback: “Top” posts … “Best” posts | You Can Do More!

  10. Pingback: Staff Continuity | You Can Do More!

  11. Pingback: The Most Productive Spring Breaks | You Can Do More!

  12. Pingback: The Process is the Key | You Can Do More!

  13. Pingback: Your Creed | You Can Do More!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.