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Using Players to present your Scouting Report

by Scott Cramer
Defensive Coordinator
Verona Area High School
Verona, Wisconsin

This article was first published in February of 2007 at www.footballcoachingsites.com

At Verona HS, we try to present to our players a Scouting Report and Game Plan that is usable in the heat of the game.

The manner in which we present relevant scouting report information players is an area that seems to be under constant review. The amount of relevant data our coaches accumulate between Friday night and our Sunday staff meetings, the amount of this data that we can ask our players to process during the week, and the crucial information that we need to help perform well on Friday night are things we try to continually address and improve upon.

We have found that as we increase player involvement in the scouting report and game plan, player interest and retention increases. Through use of PowerPoint, film cut-ups and other presentation media, we provide information to our players Monday through Wednesday. On Thursday, however, it’s the players’ day to present information about the next day’s opponent and our plans for defending the opponent.

We feel that we’ve developed a concise Scouting Report and Game Plan that presents relevant information to our players, without overloading them with multiple opponent tendencies. Below is the information presented on our Scouting Report. This serves as a guide for players and coaches while watching film and to review during the week. On Thursday afternoon, the information is presented to the entire team by one player from each Defensive Position Group (Defensive Line, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs).

Opponent Scouting Report

  • Opponent Offense Personnel (A listing of the Opponents’ players, jersey numbers, heights, weights, year in school, years starting, etc.
  • Characterization of Opponent’s Offense (Run or Pass, Power or Finesse, Multiple or Single Formation, etc.)
    • Opponent’s favorite Run Play type (Power, Option, Zone, Trap, etc.)
    • Opponent’s favorite Pass Play type (3-step, Drop back, Sprints, Boots, Play Action, Screen)
  • Opponent’s Base Personnel (2 Digit)
    • Primary Run Formation
    • Primary Pass Formation
    • Primary Goal Line Formation
  • Opponent Offensive Line
    • Do they tip play by stance?
    • What are their line splits? Do they tip plays with these splits?
    • Do they flip Offensive Linemen (strong/weak)?
  • Opponent Quarterback, Running Backs, and Receivers
    • How are carries distributed?
    • How are pass attempts distributed?
    • Do they tip play direction by stance?
    • Does QB want to carry on passes and/or option?
    • Is TE a blocker or receiver?
    • Are Receivers’ pass and run release efforts the same?
    • What are their personnel substitutions?
  • What should we look for in crucial situations?
    • 3rd and Medium
    • 3rd / 4th and Short
    • 4th and Long, Tricks
  • What should we look for when Opponent has the ball:
    • After a turnover?
    • In the Red Zone?
    • On the Goal Line?

In conclusion, we feel that providing a clear, interactive format for our Scouting Report and Game Plan has increased our players understanding of our Defense and helped our program. My next article will explain the information that our players cover in the game plan portion of their presentation.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments you have by completing the feedback form on this site and requesting that it is forwarded to me.

Scott Cramer
Defensive Coordinator
Verona Area High School
Verona, Wisconsin

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