In this episode of The Season, host Keith Grabowski goes into his coaching notebook to talk about practicing special teams, specifically running an entire scrimmage around third down offense/defense and the kicking game.
This rarely used practice script demonstrates the importance of special teams and how to rep specific situations the team may see in the game. Coach Grabowski implemented the kicking scrimmage format, the idea for which he first heard from the late Wally Hood, at the high school and college levels.
>Origins of the Kicking Scrimmage
>Setting Up the Scrimmage
>Choosing Teams Using a Draft Format
>Preparing for the Scrimmage with Specific Units
>Getting Players to Buy In with an Evaluation Process
>Making the Scrimmage a Fun Event for the Community
>Evolving the Format to Include More Third Down Plays
>Putting the Emphasis on Third Down Execution
>Utilizing a Halftime in the Scrimmage
>Practicing Fair Catch, Free Kick, and Taking a Safety
The kicking scrimmage begins with a kickoff. While offense and defense can be completely eliminated, you can use the kicking scrimmage to work third down situations. Start with the following number of repetitions in each third down situation:
3rd & 1 (2); 3rd & 2 (2); 3rd & 3 (4); 3rd & 4 (4); 3rd & 5 (2); 3rd & 6 (6); 3rd & 7 (4); 3rd & 8 (4); 3rd & 12 (2); 3rd & 15 (2)
Mix up the order as follows:
3rd & 1; 3rd & 15; 3rd & 2; 3rd & 12; 3rd & 3; 3rd & 8; 3rd & 3; 3rd & 8; 3rd & 4; 3rd & 7; 3rd & 5; 3rd & 7; 3rd & 5; 3rd & 6; 3rd & 6; 3rd & 6
Each team attempts to move the ball down the field with one offensive play. If the offense converts, then it moves to the next third down on the script. However, if the next offensive play results in another first down, the down becomes fourth and ten and part of the kicking game must be executed. Again, the emphasis is on the kicking game, so we do not want the offense on the field for more than two plays in a row.