OC Office Hour with Terry Shea: Executing Trick Plays

OC Office Hour with Terry Shea: Executing Trick Plays

We dip into the archives for this week’s episode of OC Office Hour and revisit a conversation with Terry Shea, former Offensive Coordinator of the Chicago Bears and Head Coach at Rutgers, who breaks down how to conceptualize, practice, and execute trick plays.

Listen On:

“When you install a trick play or a special play into your offense, you should give it several weeks for it to evolve, for the players to start to feel the small details of the play.”
– Terry Shea at 2:11

Terry Shea is a former offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and head coach with over 50 years of coaching experience at the college and professional levels. His NFL résumé includes stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, and Chicago Bears where he served as Offensive Coordinator. He was twice a head coach at the college level, at San Jose State and Rutgers, as well as the OC at multiple schools, including Stanford where he coached under the legendary Bill Walsh.

“There is a lot that goes into making special plays work. But when they do, they can help you turn a game around or help you beat a team that has a little more talent than you do.”
– Terry Shea at 17:47

Show Notes:

(1:55) How To Gain an Edge with Trick Plays
>Give the Play Time to Evolve
>Spend Several Weeks Preparing the Play
>Players Need to Feel the Small Details of the Play
(4:05) Managing Expectations
>Run “Special” Plays, Not Trick Plays
>Communicate Special Plays to Your Team
>Out-Execute the Opponent, Don’t Expect to Win with Tricks Alone
>Four Yards Is a Positive Play
(6:52) Practicing Special Plays
>Spend Time with Perimeter Players Once a Week
>Don’t Need OL, Don’t Use Special Blocking Schemes for Special Plays
>Gain More Reps
>Establish Better Timing
>Minimize Moving Parts
(11:18) Creating a Special Play with the Right Personnel
>Leverage Special Skill Sets
>Allow Yourself Another Down
(15:30) When to Call Special Plays
>Communicate the Philosophy to the Players
>Don’t Surprise Your Players
>Know the Field Position You Want to Run the Play From
>Complement an Existing Play
>Break Tendency
(19:57) Great Opportunities for Special Plays
>After Long Scoring Drive
>After Sudden Change
(22:34) Defending Special Plays
>Run Special Play for First Play of Practice Script
>Be Ready for Complements of Plays Seen on Film
>Expect Special Plays in Overtime
(28:00) Final Thoughts
>Have Players Draw Up Their Favorite Special Plays
>Coach Grabowski’s Special Play: ESPN’s #4 Play of 2015

“In the overtime period, sometimes the emotion of the game gets so revved up that you tend to lose some of that discipline that creates your defensive foundation.”
– Terry Shea at 27:17

More Trick Plays Episodes and Resources:

Planning, Practicing, and Calling Trick Plays
Building Character, Halftime Adjustments, Trick Plays – Mike Rowe, Former HC Rocori HS (MN)
Trick Plays on CoachTube

Additional OC Office Hour Episodes:

Defense with DC + OC Office Hour Crossover Episode: Playing Complementary Football
Jeff Mullen: Creating Explosive Plays
Charlie Eger: Winning on Third Down