You ask me my opinion the most devastating pitch in baseball is a change up. It looks like it’s a fastball and suddenly the bottom disappears faster than the initial drop of your favorite roller coaster. One can only hope that you didn’t look foolish swinging 17 feet on top of the damn thing.
Rhett Lashlee’s offense is a fastball. Make no bones about it. It’s a tempo driven speed demon that is burning down the track. The offense will initially look quickly to the sideline, get the play and go. It is that simple. Ruthless simplistic efficiency wrapped in a cloak of tempo.
But then there is this occasional hiccough. Suddenly after getting the initial play and lining up at the line of scrimmage, there is a second glance at the sidelines simply referred to as a “check with me.” I have heard a coach once mention that he didn’t trust a 20 year old’s ability to call an audible over his own. Thus the check with me was born.
This was the focus of this week’s Student of the Game video exclusively for The State of The U faithful. I wanted to focus on the seen an unseen with this mechanic. What did the coach see that caused him to change the play or keep it? We take our best shot at reading the defense and making the right call.
Recently with distinguished co-contributor for SOTU John Michaels, I was honored to jump on his podcast the @StateofMiamipod. One thing I mentioned was that if I was ever fortunate enough to have my son play college football, I would never let my son play in an offense that didn’t either A) Audible or B) Check with me.
Because if you don’t do one of those two things, you signal an immense ego that I can’t ignore. You simply admit that the play you called will work no matter what. That is blatantly false. That is egotistical and maniacal devastation at its finest. The last two coordinators were not audible or check with me aficionados. Both are no longer with the program.
So let’s get our popcorn and our pencils and play the “check with me” game. While not being the ultimate prerequisite for a successful offense, having components of adaptability is like a pitcher who has mastered multiple pitches. And keeping your opponents off-balanced is an avenue you simply can’t afford to ignore.