The Advantages of Scripting Plays-Part 2

March 1, 2018

In part one, we looked at some of the reasons that scripting can help the offensive play caller.  Here are some more ideas that might help the offensive coach in his thinking if he decides to script plays.

  1. Try a 25 play script- A longer script for 1st and 2nd down plays can allow you to get your run/pass ratios, wide/short ratios, and inside/outside ratios more accurate. It allows you to set up plays, add trick plays, and check your misdirection plays over the course of the entire half.  In most situations, a 25 play script will get you through the entire first half easily.
  2. Add to the script at halftime- Most offensive coaches will get a plan of how they want to attack the defense to begin the second half. An easy way to do that is to list those plays at the bottom of your script.  Pick one to start the second half and then go back and forth between those plays and what is left of your script. Remark some plays that have been successful and pop a few of those as well in the third quarter. Five or six second half openers added to your script will easily get you through the third quarter.
  3. Mark plays in your script that are successful and come back to them shortly.  You can run the exact same play or slightly change the formation a few plays later.  Some coaches will come back on the very next play and call the exact same play.
  4. Look at plays as a 3 play block. Instead of just calling the next play, look at the next three plays and pick the one you think is best for where the ball is on the field at the time. Then come back to one of the other two.
  5. Make notations by the play. Mark a play as wide or short, deep shot, middle of the field play or a misdirection play.  You may want to run a play away from motion. You may want to run this play on a 1st down or from the left hash. Sometimes you may want to sub a guy in to get the ball to him and you can write that by the play. Notations can help you to quickly decide which direction to run the play.
  6. Mark your RPO’s.  There are certain times and places for the RPO and other times when you want to just call a power play.
  7. Give yourself rules about running trick plays.  A great way to run a reverse or some other trick play is to write it at the top of your script with a note to run it “the first time you cross the 50 yard line.”
  8. Scripts can be especially helpful to run tempo.  If you only run tempo after a made first down, you can go with a separate short script of those plays and practice them.
  9. Don’t talk yourself out of running a play on the list. You spent time doing the script and thought it through, go ahead and throw the deep ball, run the screen or run the reverse without questioning yourself.
  10. If you don’t want to get to play specific, just list a play as quick game, RPO or boot pass. Then go to the list of those plays and pick one quickly.

Over time coaches get their own way of calling plays and running their scripts. Do what works best for you.  The more time you put in preparing your script, the easier the calls will be for you in the game. But the play caller must remember that if you don’t block, don’t execute or turn the ball over, your script want matter as much on that Friday night.