If you had control of everything in your football program, how would you set up your work week with regard to the organization of in-season practices? What would be the ideal way to marry the biological needs of the athletes with their game day needs (individual and group drills to implement and execute your game plan for the week)?

Here are my thoughts on the subject. You're not going to get anything specific here, but there's a reason for that. This is what I think about when I’m setting up my week.

1. This is going to sound a little too honest, but I HAVE NO IDEA how I'd like things set up ideally. This is because it's never been done before. No American football team in the history of the sport has ever balanced all that stuff out perfectly, because EVERY American football team has always been in the same situation, with coaches whose goals, egos and opinions don't match up. Since it's never been done, I honestly don't know how the hell I would do it. All I know are things I can try to improve and correct one by one.

2. As a strength coach, I'd love to see my athletes do TONS more restoration work during the week. I would provide blocks of time for this and enforce it because you KNOW they're not going to do it on their own. As it stands right now, I don’t have the blocks of time I need to have them do what they need to do.

3. I'd lift them twice a week, which is what we did for most of the season -- one upper and one lower, ALL designed strictly for maintenance. Ideally, I'd have another capable coach working with the kids who don't play so we could have them on a different program, but this isn't feasible. We don't go over 80% during the season, and we're usually using considerably lower percentages -- and we NEVER change exercises in order to avoid soreness. I got this from The Thinker.

4. As a football coach, I would have cut our offensive playbook in half coming out of camp, and spent more time in practice doing the same football-specific fundamentals OVER and OVER and OVER again. I flipped out in pre-game in the eighth week of the season when a couple of kids form tackled with their heads on the wrong side of the ball. I would try to re-organize every practice of the week to strictly work on preparing for the upcoming game, as opposed to the hour of BS, including punishment crap, we did every day. I had NO say over the drills certain positional coaches were doing, and I'd look across the field while I was working with my guys and shake my head every single day.

Why the f--k did our receivers coach have our receivers doing mat drills 7-8 weeks into the season? Why? Why? WHY? What the hell could they possibly get out of that?!?

I remember one practice kind of late in the year where a coach took a beat-up two-way starter and gassed him out doing up-downs on a Monday after a game. WTF is the point of that? Now what the hell am I going to do with him for a two hour practice where we have to install a game plan? I'd rather just take a kid into the office and rip him a new a-hole verbally. If you have to take kids out on the field and make them puke to get your point across about some disciplinary issue, you're an asshole. Learn how to SPEAK.

I'd rather get all that superfluous crap out of the way and spend the first 45 minutes of every practice teaching linebackers how to tackle, running backs how to hold the ball, receivers how to catch, QB's how to take drops and throw, linemen how to kickslide, punch and use their hands, and so on...

Then I'd spend the last 3/4 of practice teaching them how to win the damned game we have coming up.

There's nothing radical about this, and I'm pretty much only venting about my own program here, but there was so much stupid shit that went on this year I don't know where to start. I'd estimate a good 75% of our practice time during the week this year was completely wasted because of poor planning, bad ideas, poor organization and lazy-ass coaches who came on the field without a plan.

Everything comes from the top down, and if the kids suspect their coaches are a bunch of slapdicks, you'll lose them. Start with a foundational philosophy and ENFORCE TEMPO in practice, every single day.

I’ll be honest here and tell you that this is probably a shit year for Dave to have put me on the EliteFTS Q&A, because this year was a monumental disappointment in a lot of different ways. Although, come to think of it, this was a good year to get on the Q&A, because now I’m running into a lot of problems that every coach runs into. We were going pretty good for a couple of years, and I can assure you that winning solves everything. I piss and moan a hell of a lot less when we’re winning every week.

This year was a rough one because of all the stupid off-the-field crap that went on with our team. It was all stuff that was pretty much out of our control as a staff, and I’m not even talking about grades. I don’t really want to get into it too much but some guys got really good lessons this year about how taking one stupid, selfish action can have a negative effect on an entire group – not just you. The trouble this year was that we had way too many of those stupid, selfish actions, and not just by our players. We should have been contending for a state championship, and instead we ended the year thinking a loss in the district semi-finals was some kind of moral victory.

At least it was a close game. We were playing a heavily favored team, and if we had the ability to kick a damned extra point or pull off a conversion we would have won. That’s how close it was. Let’s just say the other team didn’t even come close to covering.

Now we switch gears and give the kids a month off. Do I want to give the kids preparing to play in college a month off? No, I want them to do a restoration block. Am I allowed to do this? Not really, because the school administration is full of idiots. Will the kids do it on their own? Most won’t, so I’m collecting the ones who will and having them come down to my gym (which is commercial) and putting them through some stuff privately.

Then, after New Years’, we start the process of:

1. Righting the ship, getting rid of coaches who need to get the f—-k out of our program, and starting to prepare for 2009.

2. Getting our college bound kids ready to play at the next level, which is something I REALLY enjoy. Even though this has been a frustrating year, I have a solid group of guys who’ll be playing on Saturdays next year, and I’ll get a solid 6-7 month commitment out of them, which makes things worth my while.

All things considered, this year will be considered the “one that got away.” We had more talent than we’ve had since I started coaching – more than maybe anyone in the state – and we f----d it up. Lesson learned.