I will never forget my first big playoff game as a quarterback coach. We were on the road in a hostile environment. Down by 7 late in the 3rd quarter, we called a simple Curl-Flat concept against Cover 3. I had drilled this read with my quarterback a hundred times. If the flat defender runs to the flat, then hitch up and throw the Curl. If the Flat defender drops to the Curl, then throw the Flat. It was the simplest read a quarterback will make—but something broke this simple process in that game. The pressure of the game, combined with the flat defender not doing what he was supposed to, forced my quarterback into a tailspin.
The cause? The flat defender didn’t move.
He just stood there and my quarterback threw the ball right to him for an interception. I will never forget the look on his face as I met him on the sidelines. He was the most confident under-pressure player I have ever coached, but the look on his face after this play was one of fear and desperation.
He looked at me and said, “I have no idea what I’m seeing out there!”
That is the most isolated I have ever felt as a coach. In that moment, I was exposed and I had no method to bring him out of his despair. It was a moment that I never wanted to be in again.Read More