Video

How to Coach Players on Rule Changes and Avoiding Penalties

In this video, former NFL referee Dean Blandino leads former NFL coaches Dirk Koetter and Chuck Pagano in a roundtable discussion about coaching players to avoid penalties.

Preparing the Team

Pagano speaks on how important it is to emphasize the NFL’s illegal contact rule to rookies because it’s not something they dealt with in college. He mentions how it starts the second they arrive with the team and how it needs to be carried throughout the preseason. Pagano also mentions how important it is for officials to come to training camp and educate the players. This allowed the coaches to share videos with the players and get the input of the officials right away.

Pagano then mentions at every Friday practice he would prepare his team with information about the officials for their upcoming game. The information would include which penalties they called frequently and which ones they didn’t.

How Illegal Contact Affects the Passing Game

Koetter then touches on the impact this rule can have on offensive players and coaches. He mentions how although the rule favors the offensive side of the ball, most offensive coaches don’t like the rule. Koetter says there is a lot of “gray area” between defensive pass interference, defensive hold and illegal contact. He also touches on how the rule makes the life of officials more difficult.

Next, Blandino mentions the NFL competition committee wants to emphasize illegal contact this season because the league’s overall passing numbers dropped last season. Blandino says there is a correlation between illegal contact and the passing game because the passing game is predicated on timing.

The panel also speaks about the first week of the preseason.  15 illegal contact penalties were called in the preseason’s first week, compared to 36 total illegal contact penalties last season. Blandino says fans shouldn’t expect 15 a week because officials are told to throw more flags in the preseason, and then reign it back if they have to.

Video

Jaquan Brisker Popped off the Film

In the video above, former Head Coach Chuck Pagano offered plenty of praise for Chicago Bears second-round rookie safety Jaquan Brisker. In the Bears’ preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Brisker was all over the field, and Coach Pagano took notice. Pagano took note of his athleticism, physicality, and versatility to play deep and in the box, and highlighted a great play Brisker had in pass coverage.

Video

Best to Name Starting QB Early in Training Camp

In this video, former NFL head coaches Marvin Lewis and Chuck Pagano discuss the importance of naming a clear starting quarterback in training camp. It’s important for the players to know will be under center in Week 1 so they can coalesce around just one player.

“I always wanted the football team to know who the leader was,” Lewis said about his 16 years as head coach in Cincinnati.

Lewis and Pagano discuss the battles going on in Pittsburgh and Seattle, and what each team will have to decide. Lewis believes the Steelers need to get back to running the football no matter who is under center. Pagano reminisces on some of the younger quarterbacks he worked with while coaching, and how Joe Flacco and Andrew Luck seized the competition early in camp. He also touches on the quarterback battle he oversaw between Jacoby Brissett and Scott Tolzien following Luck’s retirement.

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The Browns Can Win With Jacoby Brissett at Quarterback

When we acquired Jacoby Brissett in 2017 while I was in Indianapolis, he was not fully prepared to start for us.

We acquired him late in the offseason. He missed out on OTAs and training camp with us and had basically a week with us to learn and digest our playbook. He took it all in stride, and that’s part of why I believe he’ll be successful with the Cleveland Browns in the six games he will start due to Deshaun Watson’s suspension.

Unlike his time in Indianapolis, Jacoby will have had that time in Cleveland. He’s been there since March. With Baker Mayfield not practicing with the team and Watson’s status up in the air, Jacoby has had most, if not all, of those reps. He’s had time to learn the system and build chemistry with his teammates.

Jacoby is a phenomenal, phenomenal teammate. His energy and competitive toughness when he was with us on the Colts were both striking, and he’ll certainly have brought that with him to Cleveland.

From a talent perspective, he can really do it all. He’s got an NFL-caliber arm. He can hit all the windows on the field. He’s mobile. He’s smart. Jacoby’s started 37 games in the NFL and he’s seen it all during those starts. That will only help him during this six-game stretch.

The best thing is that, while Jacoby is talented, he doesn’t have to do it all. The Browns have built a talented roster. They run the ball extremely well with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Kevin Stefanski does a great job scheming and drawing those receivers open. He’ll do a good job of putting Brissett in the best possible position to win. Pair that with an elite offensive line and weapons on the outside like Amari Cooper and David Njoku and this offense is ready to help Jacoby shoulder the load. With a defense with top-5 potential, the Browns have built a team capable of ensuring they can win these six games while Watson is suspended.

When Jacoby Brissett was our starter, we went 4-12, but he gave us a chance in every game—we just didn’t have the roster around him to do so.

In Cleveland, he has the roster to succeed as a starting quarterback.

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