QB- Vectoring or Dynamic Geometry

Posted January 4th, 2011 in Blog by jwestenhaver

Vectoring or Dynamic Geometry

vector is defined in the second edition of the american heritage dictionary as follows: “A quanity completely specified by a magnitude and a direction”. i am more familiar with this term as it applies to the interception of one aircraft with another. for the purpose of this discussion, i will apply speed for the term magnitude as that is the contex for which it is intended.

dynanic geometry is a term of my own invention. a descriptive term depicting two objects the receiver and the ball. these two objects have the goal of arriving at the same place at the same time. vectoring is the process required to achieve this goal and dynamic geometry is the visualization of this process.

think back to your high school plane geometry class where we were give three points of a triangle [a,b and c] and were asked to figure out the distance from point “a” to point “c”. now visualize point “b” moving on a plane from its’ origional point to a moving point “c”, with point “a” being stationary or moving. this moving of points is the dynamic gemetric picture that we need to consider.

let me put this is simpler terms. have you ever gone bird hunting? if so here is the sequence of events. the hunter is standing at point “a”. he spots the bird at point “b” but the bird is moving to a point “c”. the hunter aims his gun at where he thinks the bulett and the bird will intersect, point “c”. he must consider the speed of the bird, the speed of the bulett, and the point at which to aim. if all of his calculations are correct he will have his prey and the hunt will have been successful. for him to be the best hunter in the fields his calculations [speed 1, the bird; speed 2, the bulett; and the aiming point] must be consistently accurate. a mis-calculation of any one of these factors will result in a missed bird and the waste of a bulett.

the point of all of this:

as i observed the qbs at the recent nfl combine i witnessed most of the players throwing behind the out, the slant and the post routes and i began to wonder why. i knew that it wasn’t because of a lack of power or ball speed and in most cases was not due to the poor timing of the delivery. as i pondered this delema it became very clear to me.

there were two basic factors. one, a lack of understanding of “vectoring and dynamic geometry” and two, looking at the receiver [a false “c”] and not to the intersection point [the true “c”]. a failure to execute one or both of these will always result in a ball thrown behind the receiver.

poor vectoring is, mechanically speaking, caused by a failure to achieve proper front foot stepping which results in a failure to get the hiips “open” to the target. this coupled with an aborted “dominant arm” follow through produces the observed result. You see, when a hunter fires a shot at the bird, it is aimed at a point where the bird will fly through the barage. looking at the receiver and not to the intersection point contributes greatly to the above factors. THESE BRING up another point, the importance of the qb knowing the speed, cut point control and burst, and the uniquness of each receiver.

as an aside, most of the passes were also high on their arrival at the target and this is due to a low elbow position. with a low elbow position it is virtually impossible to throw a pass on a desending trajectory.

i would debate anyone anywhere who maintains that passeng mechanics are not important and that they can’t or should not be taught and emphasized.

QB-3 Things

Posted January 4th, 2011 in Blog by jwestenhaver

the quarterback: Must have these 3 things

1.The arm motion of a tennis  serve

 2. The foot quickness of a boxer

 3. The hips of a golfer

Overlooked

Posted January 4th, 2011 in Blog by jwestenhaver

These players were all overlooked by the big schools. Do you recognize any of these names?

LYLE ALZADO – YANKTON [S.D.]
KEN ANDERSON – AUGUSTANA [ILL]
DON BEEBE – CHADRON STATE [NEB.]
MEL BLOUNT – SOUTHERN [LA.]
L.C. GREENWOOD – ARKANSAS PINE BLUFF
JIM HASLETT – INDIANA U. OF PENNSYLVANIA
JACK KEMP – OCCIDENTAL [CAL.]
JON KITNA – CENTRAL WASHINGTON
MARK MURPHY – WEST LIBERTY STATE [WV]
WALTER PAYTON – JACKSON STATE [MISS.]
JERRY RICE – MISSISSIPPI VALLEY
GENE UPSHAW – TEXAS A&I
ART SHELL- MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE
ANDRE REED – KUTSTOWN STATE [PA.]
LEON LETT-EMPORIA STATE [KAN.]
MARK GASTINEAU – EAST CENTRAL [OKL.]

IF

Posted January 4th, 2011 in Blog by jwestenhaver

“if”

The Goal = create exposure & expressing a desire

 

if you……[fill in the blank]………………………………………………your problems are compounded.

1. attend a rural school

2. attend a small school

3. don’t have protypical height, weight, speed numbers

4. play on a team that in not very successful

5. play on a team that traditionally does not produce college talent

6. have played a position other than your best projected position

7. play for a coach that is not willling to work for you in the recruiting process

8. are relying on internet marketing schemes

9. are relying on the impact of a highlight tape

10. have set unreasonable goals

11. don’t have impressive stats

12. have yet to mature physically

13. have a “perceived injury history’

14. have a questionable injury situation

15. don’t get noticed early enough

D-1 The Only Goal?

Posted January 4th, 2011 in Blog by jwestenhaver



For many football players and high school coaches, if it is not D-1 then there is nothing. Let me explain what I mean. Too many players set their goal of playing at the next level strictly on D-1 schools at the exclusion of any other option. Similarly, there are too many high school coaches who consider a player a college prospect only if they are D-1 material and will not help players who want to play college football but are not meet major college standards. Maybe you are one of those players who have a passion to play beyond high school but are lacking in the qualities that distinguish a D-1 prospect from all the others. Cheer up; there is a place for you.

First of all, let’s look at some of the reasons why you are not considered a major college prospect. You are too small. You are too slow. You played at a small school. Your academic achievements are insufficient. You have gone unnoticed by the “big programs”. You didn’t know how to get yourself noticed. These are just some of the many reasons for being overlooked by the major schools. Let’s consider some of these and a few other reasons why you might be better served at a smaller college.
I have known and if I had the time and space could identify many players who were judged too small, too slow, too something to play D-1 football. The fact is that at the time of their recruitment or lack thereof they were. But people mature and grow at different times. A player to small at 18 may well be ideal at 19 or 20. Here’s another, and I have heard it at the college and pro level enough times to make you sick, “he can’t play because of the level of competition he has faced”. It has been my experience that a good player will generally be a good player regardless of who he has played against.
I could go on and on but consider these realities:
1. Not every player who gets recruited to play at the D-1 level is good enough to play at that level. They spend 5 years on the sideline or the scout team. There are many, many recruiting mistakes made every year. A “real” player would rather play than watch even if that means playing at a D-1a, D-2, D-3, NAIA, or Junior College. It is many times better to be a big fish in a little pond than it is to be a little fish in a big pond.
2. When I look at the high school, college, and pro coaches I find that many, if not most, of them come from “small school” football experiences. It is the unique experience of college football that far exceeds the level of any particular program.
3. You may have not taken your high school academics seriously, or you may have not gotten the exposure that maybe you deserved, or maybe you failed to have a plan for your football and academic future. Those situations are not uncommon. Many D-1 schools, every year stock their rosters with juco players. This could be your ticket to the college of your choice.
4. Finally, you may have the dream and passion to play at the pro level. I have in my files the names of 850 players who have played in the NFL from NAIA schools [many of these schools have now been absorbed into the NCAA D-II and D-III programs].
I strongly suggest that as you attempt to realize your passion to play at the next level that you do the following:
a. Have a plan for getting notices and recruited
b. Work to be the best player you can be
c. Train your body for maximum performance
d. Keep an open mind as to what is available and best for you

Recruiting 101

Posted January 4th, 2011 in Blog by jwestenhaver

Recruiting 101

1. If a player is not a “Blue Chip/Super Star” High School football player and he lives in a rural area, off the beaten path of college recruiters, how will he ever get recognized let alone recruited?

That is an interesting question and one that should be of grave concern to anyone in that position. Why? Consider the reality of the recruiting process. Division -1 colleges are severely restricted as to their ability to get out and see games and evaluate talent. They are limited as to the number of visits they can have with any given player. They prioritize their agendas so as to maximize their efforts. They spend most of their time recruiting in areas where there are the greatest number of prospects, the metropolitan areas.

Division-1AA institutions are under the same general restrictions as their D-1 brothers but with smaller recruiting budgets and are more likely to concentrate their efforts to a more limited search area.

D-2 colleges are also subject to most of the same restrictions but with even smaller recruiting budgets than the D-1AA schools. This puts real limitations on them as to where they can effectively do most of their recruiting. In addition, they have , generally, much less scholarship money and are rather selective as to who they award scholarships to. They are most likely to go after players from their local area, whom they know the most about.

D-3 schools have no scholarships and do most of their recruiting via the telephone, e-mails etc.

So now, we are back to the question. The player from a rural School who has a desire and passion to play college football, regardless of the level, has a lot of obstacles to overcome. He must find somehow, someway to get noticed, to get on their “radar screen” and to do so with the required information and to do so in a timely fashion. He needs a plan and can’t simply wait for the recruiters to come to him. Those are the facts and the reality that he and his family must understand.

2. What real value are the recruiting services that rate players and how important are they to college coaches?

The scouting of football prospects is a complicated process. It is not an exact science and is in fact a “crap shoot at best”. There are so many elements that must be factored into the evaluation and so many of them are hard to pin down.

These services, you know who they are, normally watch a highlight “clip” that lasts about 4-5 minutes and base their opinion on that source alone. Sometimes they may actually see a player perform in a game but that is rare. They may see him in a camp if he happens to be there. I personally know of an individual who works for one of these services who was charged with evaluating some 400 offensive linemen and then ranking them. That task is quite simply a pipe dream.

Another thing that bothers be about these services is the fact that they only see a players highlights. Have you ever seen a “highlight” tape where the player actually looked bad. Have you personally ever given a potential employer a reference list that contained someone who would say anything but wonderful things about you, of course not. The evaluation process is a multi faceted function. Seeing a player on tape is only part of the puzzle. Seeing him in person, multiple times, is another. I, just recently, returned from my yearly trip to the NFL Combine where I study the QB prospects. There was one particular player who I really liked from the tape that I watched. When I saw him perform live it was a completely different story.

One more thing I just thought of, there are several programs which are constantly listed as having recruiting classes ranked in the top 5 in the nation, yet fail to be ranked in the top 20 at the end of the season. What’s with that? These players are ranked as 5 Star, 4 star etc. The colleges seem to be chasing the “stars” and not truly evaluating a player’s skills and abilities let alone their potential. If you don’t believe me check out last year’s 1st round of the NFL draft and see how many selections received NO stars coming out of High School.

Player evaluation is complicated. Just look at the process that NFL teams go through: individual and game observations; countless hours of game tape study [of a single player]; interviews with coaches, trainers, teammates, doctors etc.; psychological testing; Wondrlic learning testing; weighing, measuring, timing; the Combine; and then Pro Days where they do it all over again. The Pros rely on as much “accurate” information as they can accumulate. Then there are the High School Rating Services. I have already explained how they arrive at their predictions and yet they have the audacity to rank a player. “He is the 38th best LB in the nation”. It is Fun for fans and alumni. It is as excuse for the media but realisticly useless and fraudulent.

3. Height, weight, 40 yd time, agility scores, standing broad jump distance, vertical jump, the bench press, what do they really mean? How important are they?

They are important but only relatively. Let me explain. The results of these “numbers” are only and simply indicators of potential ability to play at the next level. They are a part of the complete picture and not the picture itself. There are many at all levels of player evaluation who are what I term “numbers people”. They permit “the numbers” to dictate a prospect’s success at their level and ignore, for the most part, all the other factors, namely, is he a football player.

I was once in a rather heated conversation about this very thing with a pro personnel executive. I told him this, “if you want only great athletes then send me to the Olympics. The problem with that, of course, is that half of them are women”. My point being that a great athlete is not neccecarly a great football player. Athletic ability is certainly a factor an indicator but not the bottom line.

I have been to the NFL Combine many times and have witnessed many “workout warriors” who impressed scouts with their “numbers” and who turned out to be great disappointments as players. These numbers are, when you think about it, are related to football only to a degree and are, in many ways, unnatural. Here are a few examples. Running the 40 yd sprint, players will strip down to very light clothing and change into the lightest shoe available. Not the kind of attire one would see on a football player. They also perform all the drills in gear that is not a football uniform. I have seen players put up the bench press a phenomenal amount of times but who shied away from contact or failed to translate their strength in a functional way. Also, there are many great players who fail to meet the prototypical standards for their position. Look, for instance, at the WRs in the Hall of Fame. How many of them were known for their speed ? Let’s look at a few examples of these kinds of players: Lynn Swann, 4.60/40, Jack Lambert.205/MLB, Sam Mills 5’8””/MLB. Rejects by “the numbers”. I could go on and on, but I think that you get my point. I have seen many really fast WRs who couldn’t catch a cold let alone a ball. I have seen many fast “track speed “ types who were much slower wearing a uniform, who lacked functional game speed. I have seen many who played well in their shorts when no one was hitting them, but they had “good numbers”.

Let’s have a history lesson about the 40 yd sprint time, which has become, for many, the end all and beat all. In the early 1950’s, the legendary coach of the Cleveland Browns Paul Brown was looking for a way to determine which players to put on the punt coverage team. What would be a fair and objective way to determine this? He calculated that the average punt traveled 40 yards and so began to time his players in the 40 yard sprint. Thus was born the” Holy Grail” of football evaluations. It has become perverted to the point that many ask this question off the bat when talking to a prospect, “What is your 40 time”. It is interesting to note that the 40 time was not the basic factor in determining who would be on Coach Brown’s team. I am sure, having known Paul Brown personally, that his primary concern was how good of a player was the candidate. In twelve years as a pro scout, I can tell you that I can count on both hands the number of sub 4.40/40s that I have timed.

All of “the numbers” are pertinent only if the prospect is first and foremost a “football player”.

4.Are recruiting services that provide a player profile and highlight tapes of any real value?

This is another real sore spot with me. There are several reasons for my strong negative feeling about this subject. One: the material is subjective in its entirety . First of all a player profile is too similar to a resume and is never a true picture of the prospect. It is compiled by the parent(s) who can never be completely objective about their son. Secondly: The vital information [size, speed, etc] are all estimates. It is verified information that is important to college recruiters. Thirdly: a highlight video is what it is, a highlight . As a college coach, I would like to see the lowlights as well. My Mom used to tell me, “Don’t by a pig in a poke”. In other words know what you’re getting before buy it. That is Pretty good advice for me and for the coach as well. Fourthly: college coaches are inundated with so many of these reports that they are just not paid much attention to. I was talking with two college coaches the other day and ask them that very question. One said, “I get so many e-mails downloads of prospects , sometimes 100 a week, that I don’t pay any attention to them. I don’t have time to critically study each and every one of them’.

It really breaks down to several points: lack of objectivity, credibility of the source, and the volume of enquiries.

5. What about a player who has dreams of playing pro football, does he have a chance if he is not recruited by a major college?

Look at any NFL roster and note how many players are from other than major D-1 programs, why? That question give rise to other pertinent questions. Let’s take a look at them. Why were these players not recruited by the “big boys”? How could so many of them be overlooked? How can so many of them be deemed not good enough to play for the major programs and yet be able to excel at footballs highest level?

A. Not recognized- Many High School players go unnoticed by the major college programs. They are unknown.

B. They may have not matured physically by the time that they are High School Seniors.

C. They may not fit the “prototypical” description that the D-1 programs look for.

D. They may not qualify academically at the time of recruitment.

E. They may simply wish to be a “Big Fish” is a little pond instead of a “little Fish” in a big pond. There are a countless numbers of High School players who choose to attend a major program and who never get to play.

F. There are many recruiting mistakes made at the major level.

G. Scholarship limitations eliminate some pretty good players.

H. Maybe they were left off of the “rating services” lists.

It seems to me that this list could go on and on and further that each individual case has its own reasons. This I know from personal experience. If a player is good enough the pro scouts will find him and they find them in the most obscure places. Places like Kutztown State, West Liberty State, Columbia, Tarleton State, St Ambrose and many such colleges. I have in my files a list of over 800 former NFL players who came out of NAIA programs. As I said earlier, just look at any NFL roster and see how many players there are from non-major programs.

What seems to me to be the most important things are a passion to play college football and the desire to have the college football experience.

Recruiting Points

Posted January 4th, 2011 in Blog by jwestenhaver

Recruiting Points: comments from college coaches/cfsr’s response

 

  • “the big problems with recruiting services are that they are not personal and are usually run by business people rather than people with athletic backgrounds.”

 

the college football scouting report is a one-on-one personal relationship and is operated by a former college coach and pro scout!

 

  • “the source of the service must be credible.”

 

the report is compiled by a former coach and scout with over 35 years in the football business!

 

  • “a service tends to be less objective and partial to the player from a purly marketing standpoint”.

 

The “cfsr” is an objective, third party evaluation which includes varified information, strong points, weak points and limitations!

 

  • “there are so few scholarships out there, that the player who has a plan will have a better chance of being recruited.”

 

the “cfsr” is the plan and is made relevent by continued support!

 

  • “some services make elaborate videos of players, with little content and more emphasis on flare. Though seemingly entertaining, music and backdrops do nothing to help the player get recruited.”

 

the “cfsr” contains no fluff. It is not entertaining. It is the way nfl players have bee evaluated for years!

 

  • “accurate persosnal, accademic, and athletic information are manditory.”

 

recruiters want real, verified and reliable information, that is what the “cfsr” gives them!

 

  • “certain coaches do not use the internet and would rather see a personal communication and a video that he can view that contains accurate depictions of a player’s ability.”

 

The “cfsr” is unique. there is nothing like it available anywhere. it grabs the recruiters attention. The “cfsr” is offered on a limited basis!

 

 

 

  • “many recruiting services charge a minimum of $2500 and send out mass emails with a players bio and highlight tape. this nonpersonal information is overwhelming and ineffective.”

 

The elite “cfsr” package costs far less, is very personal, and you the parents send it only to colleges that you and your son are interested in!

 

  • “If a coach receives 100 emails from various services, do you think he is going to review each and every one of these profiles with care and importunity?”

 

the obvious answer is NO. the uniqueness of the “cfsr” will cause the coach to notice it and consider it!

 

  • “college coaches receive hundreds of communications from potential prospects, most of which are not even read. a personal letter, in the proper format and containing all the vital information probably will be read and considered.”

 

one like a thousand or one in a thousand, the choice is yours!

 

  • “regarding internet recruiting, most of the information put on websites are done by the individual and are not truthful or accurate, or are in the least nonobjective.”

 

the “cfsr” is truthful, accurate and objective, period!

 

  • “there are more scholarships offered to those who work hard at their sport and have credible resources.”

 

the “cfsr” may in a way make you work harder. it will for sure give you the most credible resource possible

The Recruiting Board

Posted January 4th, 2011 in Blog by jwestenhaver

The Recruiting Board & Overflow

the board: it hangs in every college football office

position QB [ for example]

1. joe blow

2. BILL brown

3. john smith

4. bud johnson

5. ben jones                                                                                                                                                                                                           

overflow:

take # 1 if they can get him

if #1 goes elseware – take #2 etc.

if they take #1 then the others become overflows and go to other teams and/or other divisions.

they will recruit you until they don’t want you anymore!

 

the moral of this story:

don’t put all your eggs in one basket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

where are you on “the board”?

By the Numbers

Posted December 30th, 2010 in Blog by jwestenhaver

by the numbers

height, weight and speed these are what are reffered to as “the numbers”. what do they mean? how are they applied? what real significance do they really have? of course, for certain positions and various levels of football, there are minimum standards arbitrarly determined by coaches, recruiters, scouts and administrators. I say arbitrarly because that is just what they are and also because there are exceptions to every one of them.

i see and hear of players who are constantly most concerned by their numbers and for good reason. many football evaluators are mioptic in this regard as they evaluate a prospect’s potential to play at the next level. if a player does not fit into their perameters then he is judged not to be a bonified prospect. but “the numbers” are only an indicator of what a player’s abilities may be. they are not the end all and beat all in the evaluation process. In fact, they are only the very beginning of the process.

if a player falls outside of “the numbers” that should not automaticaly eliminate him from consideration. how do i know that? i know it because i have scouted and observed too many players who were too small and too slow to play the game. yet, these same players excelled at the next level [college and pro].

the bottom line is this, can he play the game? the following was related to me by a very close friend and former scouting chief of a dominant nfl team. in a rather heated discussion with the head coach, it was pointed out to the scouting director that the number one criteria was a player’s athletic ability [the numbers]. the director’s heated response to the head coach was, “if you want great athletes then i will scout the olympics, those are the greatest athletes in the world. the problem is half of them are women”. the point is, great athletes are not all great [or even good] football players.

as the head scout for pittsburgh total scouting [division of the pittsburg steelers] i had the opportunity to scout a highly rated lb from the u. of florida. he was rated by everybody and i mean everybody as a high first round draft choice, everybody except me.

he in my mind was a great athlete but not a football player. he had all the “numbers’ and he had them is spades but he did not play the game the way his numbers might indicate. i gave him a “free agent” grade. as fate would have it, the steelers drafted him as their number one selection and i was immediately called into art rooney jr’s office the next morning. “the trouble with you john”, art siad,”is that you think your’e right and the world is wrong. how could you give him a free agent grade and everyone else thinks he will be a dominant pro player?” This player played only briefly as a rookie and was cut during training camp in his second year. Hours before the news of his release i got a call from mr. rooney, “we wanted you to be the first to know, we cut ————– this morning. you were right and the world was wrong”.

what does this say to the player who is not big enough, not fast enough, not tall enough, does not bech press enough? simply this, make yourself the best “football player” you can possibly be and if you are passionate about playing at the next level work hard to make that dream come true.