Reddit Reddit reviews The Essential Smart Football

We found 31 Reddit comments about The Essential Smart Football. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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The Essential Smart Football
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31 Reddit comments about The Essential Smart Football:

u/MKactus · 77 pointsr/nfl

That's one of the contributing factors of Football IQ, and the very basics. Other than that, you have to know what defender is going to do what in which system.
There are QBs who also determine blocking schemes for their line. They say which blocking scheme to apply for which play, and switch them up if need be.
Very, very basically, a spread offense spreads out the defense across the width of the field, instead of bunching everything together around the ball. If you spread the defense out, there are bound to be more holes. That could mean putting 4 or even 5 WRs out away from the Oline (hence, wide), for instance.
A lot of the times, they add in the read option in that play. If a certain defender goes into coverage or for the HB, the QB keeps the ball and runs through the gaps of the defense. If the defender stands pat, the QB hands it off to the HB (or throws).
There are some great books that explain a lot of these things. A few I would definitely recommend are (in order of how deep they go into stuff):

u/NobleHeavyIndustries · 22 pointsr/Patriots

Read Keep Your Eye off the Ball. Read The Essential Smart Football. Pay for NFL GamePass. Watch the Coach's Film (All-22). They've archives going back to 2011. It's especially helpful if you watch a game (or series of plays) you're already familiar with. Get pen and paper out and take notes. Watch what each player is doing, both before and after the snap, and be ready to rewind over and over and over and over.

There's a lot of good analysis on YouTube too, if you are a learn-by-watching type.

>Start here, on Brett Kollman's channel. He's a former NFL Network production assistant. Most of his videos are story heavy and analysis light, but that video is about how to watch film.
>Sam's Film Room, with Samuel Gold, a writer for the Athletic. Good for beginners. I think he started out at r/nfl.
>The QB School, with former Patriots QB, JT O'Sullivan. Focuses on quarterback play, both good and bad.
>Dan Orlovski's Twitter has a bunch of quick analysis videos, usually focusing on QB play.
>Peyton Manning's Detail is wonderful show, but is stuck behind a paywall at There are two short videos free on YouTube. Resourceful people can find it elsewhere as well.
>Strong Opinion Sports, with Division III NCAA QB Zac Shomler. He has a lot of football video podcasts, but also a QB film analysis playlist.
>Baldy Breakdowns, with former Cowboys OLineman and current NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger. No true focus, but has great insight into offensive line play.
>Gamepass Film Sessions. NFL Players and coaches analyze their own plays. The full version is on NFL Gamepass. I'm a particular fan of the one with Joe Thomas.
>Voch Lombardi. Focuses on talent evaluation and line play. Funny as fuck.
>The New England Patriots YouTube channel has Belichick Breakdown and Coffee with the Coach. Breakdown is the more analysis focused of the two.

If you're REALLY interested, the resources are out there. Good hunting.

u/hythloday1 · 12 pointsr/CFB

None, I've never coached or played a snap.

I recommend The Essential Smart Football by Chris Brown. I literally couldn't put it down. A lot of my education comes from reading as well, which is obviously Oregon-centric but the videos and graphics help with understanding any scheme.

u/Jurph · 11 pointsr/nfl

I usually find this Wikipedia article very helpful. Your English is excellent so I don't think you need to worry about finding a translation. Scroll down to "offensive formations" and the sections on "running plays" and "passing plays" to understand the terminology and how to understand what you're seeing. The great part about that is that if you then search for those plays on YouTube you can find video of the play working well.

I also like to recommend Take Your Eye Off the Ball to new fans interested in Xs and Os. It's an excellent book about how to watch football and understand what's happening -- it explains how an offensive formation is like a "bid" or "bet" in cards, and the defense's formation is a reaction to that bid, and how either side might be bluffing. It goes into excellent detail about almost every aspect of the game.

Give this article a read as well. Chris Brown helps the reader understand the fundamental shift in the current defensive era, which I think will really help you understand what (for example) the Seahawks do on defense. If you like Brown's work, he has also published this book of essays (edited and expanded from his blog) which explain many of the strategic and tactical nuances of the modern game of football in a style similar to what you see in the above article.

u/IsaacTM · 11 pointsr/CFB

Two easy recommendations: The Essential Smart Football from Chris Brown and Study Hall from Bill Connelly. The former is the easier read but both go in-depth without being too confusing. When I was done reading them I felt smarter, for whatever that's worth.

u/ALeapAtTheWheel · 9 pointsr/nfl

Mike Tanier (formerly of Football Outsiders, the Fifth Down Blog, and elsewhere, soon to be of Sports On Earth) is far and away the best wordsmith. He's one of the best analyzers, too.

Chris Brown is also great. Here is his "essentials" book. A great place to start if you don't know his work.

u/Gauchoparty · 8 pointsr/argentina

Una amiga viaja a NY y me va a traer estas dos bellezas:
Take Your Eye Off the Ball y The Essential Smart Football así que voy a tener para hacerme una panzada!.

Por otro lado, mañana PARTIDASO de la NBA, Boston vs. Golden State, no puede fallar.

Finalmente, este fin de semana hay PPV de lucha libre y no puedo estar más hypeado, hace tiempo que no venía tan manija y encima cierra todo con un lunes feriado, fiesta loca. Ah y WARGAMEEEEEEEES BAYBEH.

Perdonen que vengo atrasado con el post, pero estoy con tanto laburo que se me re pasó, mil gracias /u/blackfinwe !

u/StoutsWilly · 7 pointsr/nfl

Also by Chris Brown from Grantland.
He also wrote a book, which is on the short side but talks a lot about not only different strategies/formations but also the history behind them. Great deal for the kindle ($3).

u/atchemey · 7 pointsr/CFB

Yes and no. It will help you learn to read teams, but it won't help you understand why they do things and adjust.

I recommend Chris Brown's books, like The Essential Smart Football.

u/TBB51 · 6 pointsr/CFB

Read smartfootball by Chris Brown (he now writes for Grantland). His book is also cheap at $10 and totally worth it.

If you're okay with team-specific fan sites, head over to Eleven Warriors and read everything ever written by Ross Fulton and Kyle Jones. While, obviously, focused on OSU X's and O's they also delve into their opponents. They have, in my opinion, the easiest-to-read and best introduction to Nick Saban's pattern-match defensive scheme.

u/skepticismissurvival · 5 pointsr/nfl

I would recommend, in order:

Take Your Eye Off the Ball by Pat Kirwan

The Essential Smart Football by Chris Brown

The Art of Smart Football by Chris Brown

Blood, Sweat, and Chalk by Tim Layden

u/whitedawg · 4 pointsr/CFB

I highly recommend The Biggest Game of them All: Notre Dame, Michigan State, and the Fall of 1966. Despite being about two of my least favorite teams, the book does a magnificent job exploring that era of college football, touching on subjects like the beginnings of national recruiting, television coverage, race, and politics.

Also, if you're remotely interested in football strategy, The Essential Smart Football is, well, essential.

u/SrWiggles · 4 pointsr/CFB

I'll always upvote SmartFootball. Dude is fantastic at explaining schemes and plays, both offense and defense. This article from Grantland about the Michigan State defense is just about the best thing I've ever read about defensive football. Also, his book is a must read for any other football nerds out there.

u/VanFailin · 3 pointsr/CFBOffTopic

A while back I bought a book in Kindle format called The Essential Smart Football. Reading Kindle books on PC is supported but unpleasant, so I recently bought a Kindle paperwhite, remembered a couple days ago that I wanted to read this, and am now about 3/4 of the way through the book. It's apparently copied from the author's blog, but that sort of thing doesn't bother me as much as it bothers some (I'm paying $3 for formatting and convenience).

Smart Football is a collection of essays about innovative coaches in both college and the NFL. Each essay describes one successful coach at the time of its writing (the essays are all dated, none newer than 2012) and most include play diagrams to illustrate the concepts he's discussing. It's a really engaging read, in part because each essay is short enough that I can't get bored. The topics don't feel repetitive or trivial, even though there's often a sentence or two to explain that, e.g., Cover 2 is a coverage with 2 deep safeties.

Highly recommend if you're looking for something to read while you're supposed to be working.

u/the_EDJ · 3 pointsr/Huskers

A common answer I've seen given is Chris Brown's Smart Football book. I think it's slightly overrated for what it offers, but I still really enjoyed it.

I also like to follow the Breakdown Sports blog. I use Feedly as an RSS feed to keep up with news stories.

u/Gyhy · 2 pointsr/nfl

(I think your post was delayed because it got caught in the spam filter.)

The Essential Smart Football. More of a collection of essays, but very informative for the price ($3 kindle/$9 paperback).

u/DemonDes · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

This bad boy:
Hey boils a lot of high level concepts down to readable levels. Focusses quite a bit on college offenses though.

u/BLeighdat · 2 pointsr/CFB

Went through the same thing a couple years ago. [This is a good place to start.] ( Give it a thorough read; it is much easier (although still not easy) to find film without coaches' commentary. Best of luck!

u/who-hash · 2 pointsr/AskMenOver30

The speed of the game and athletic ability of the players goes up 10-fold.

NFL defenses are fast. D-linemen and edge rushers get to the QBs quickly. DBs cover the field better. Offensive schemes are usually more complex and most successful college QBs simply can't adapt.

Although I have a home team that I root for I love watching any good team play. Unless it's your thing I wouldn't get caught up in any of the drama which is what most mainstream media headlines will contain. It ruins it for me.

  • I found a couple of books that helped me: Take your Eye off the Ball and The Essential Smart Football
  • I'd highly recommend against going to r/NFL unless you want memes and sh1tposting. I can only handle it in small doses. There is an occasional good analysis but you've got to wade through a lot of garbage to find it.
u/CursoryComb · 2 pointsr/nfl

You have to be careful with some analysis you find online, but two that I've seen that are usually spot on are:
This guy also wrote a book that can walk you through a ton of football jargon.

There are several magazines we get including American Football Monthly and American Football Coaches Association.

If you're really looking to dive into some things, go on Amazon or even to the local library and check out books on specific topics you find interesting. Even reading "outdated" books you'll notice the pillars and fundamentals of football today.

Defenses have been changing pretty drastically the past two years, but this book was a great introduction to how many NFL teams were playing their defensive fronts.

Lastly, I have a great benefit of attending coaching clinics and networking events, however, go to your local college and watch a practice. Many of the practices are open to the public and the coaches, usually, are a very open bunch. Spring is usually the best time since that's when all the other coaches are trying to tweak routines and see what everyone else is doing.

u/mshm · 1 pointr/CFB

Websites (Most are not active):

  • Inside the Pylon - Videos may not load embedded, but you can copy the url. Pretty good look at base plays, position responsibilities, and other terms you run into.
  • Breakdown Sports another place for looking at the above, less available though covered deeply. See article on Cover 1 for example.
  • Football Study Hall More on the statistics side of football (old stomping ground of Bill Connelly), a bit more all over the place.
  • Dan Casey's Twitter If you want to see clips of fun and interesting plays past and present, he's a good'un.
  • Playbooks - Historic coaches' playbooks. You can get a pretty good understanding of things like read progression and play goals from these, as well as what the purpose of each player on the field for each play by reading through some of these.

    Books: These are the books most people recommend starting from.

  1. David Seigerman's Take Your Eye Off the Ball This is a really good book for understanding the game holistically. From positions to managing a season to how you can pay attention to a play, a drive, and a game.
  2. Chris B. Brown's The Essential Smart Football and The Art of Smart Football (read in order of printing) Fantastic book set for anyone ready to dive a deeper into how the game has and could develop. Seeing everyone raving about the wildcat is always a chuckle though.
  • Tim Layden's Blood, Sweat & Chalk. Definitely worth the the purchase. Would recommend the above first, but this is a great go for the stories behind the plays. How they came to be and why.
u/BosskOnASegway · 1 pointr/CFB

The Big Scrum is my go to recommendation for a history style text. You have a players flair so I am not sure The Essential Smart Footbal will be meaningful for you to read, but its a great book nonetheless.

u/hells_cowbells · 1 pointr/CFB

Another one not by a coach, but check out Smart Football. I haven't read the book yet, but his blog is really good, and it has good reviews on Amazon.

u/glatts · 1 pointr/nfl

First, look on YouTube for basic info. You can find videos about positions and plays and even schemes like the spread pretty easily.

Second, I recommend looking up some film breakdowns. Bill Belichick does them weekly (I think it's weekly) on a local Boston channel, but you can find some of them on YouTube by searching for Belichick Breakdown.

Third, try to find some guides for how to watch football and how to breakdown a game. Articles like this can provide you with a greater understanding of what everyone is doing during a play.

Fourth, do some reading.

I highly recommend Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look to help you while watching the game, but be sure to get the paperback version so you get all the diagrams. It will teach you the progression of the reads, the route running, the blocking and everything that happens on defense as well.

To help you cut through some of the jargon announcers use, I recomment Blood, Sweat and Chalk: The Ultimate Football Playbook.

If you want to learn more about strategies, try The Essential Smart Football.

To learn more about evaluating players, Football Scouting Methods is a must read. It will take you to the football of another era, but with the foundation from all the other info I've provided you will be able to start putting the pyramid together and learn how the game became what it was today.

u/jack_spankin · 1 pointr/nfl

Steve Belichick: Football Scouting Methods

This should get you started.