Entry #14: Film Session
One of the first times I watched film with my UNC recruiter and tight ends coach Allen Mogridge, he said “First, let’s watch this video.” It was some of the craziest clips all mashed into one. It was like videos from “America’s Funniest Home Video.” I think it had a clip from “Dancing with the Stars.” But the clip I remember the most was he had Bo Jackson on a Madden video game – it was so old that it looked like little checkerboard pieces moving around. Bo Jackson was just running back and forth, and everybody was trying to tackle him but missing him. Coach Mo’ said, “This is all I want you to do: make them miss like that.” Coach Mo’ was giving play-by-play saying, “He juked him. He could score…” He had me cracking up.
That video’s intent was really to break the ice. Instead of going right into tight end film, he wanted to make sure I was loose.
After I was loose, Coach Mo’ pulled out the UNC film and we got down to business. He was showing me cuts on Zack Pianalto, Ryan Taylor, and Ed Barham. He said, “This is all I want you to do: see this little hitch route, we’re going to have the backside taken with a drag or a post route, have the outside receiver fly this guy off.” It was the design of making plays by opening up things. He said, “When Zack found the open area, he looked, caught the ball, tried to gain a few extra yards, and lived to see another play.”
The main route he showed me was the seven-yard snag route. You run about seven yards, stop in an open area, and turn around inside or outside wherever you feel like the defender is playing you off at. You get those little bitty yards that are going to move the chains.
UNC uses two types of tight ends in its offense – the ‘Y’ and the H-Back. He was showing me more clips of the ‘Y’ because I’m just so lengthy and I can run. And I have the ability to create mismatch problems for the defense – to have someone that’s so big and so fast that can catch so well is kind of rare.
The first film session happened during or before football season. So it really helped me understand the tight end position a little bit better and I had a better idea of how to adjust to certain defenses. A lot of what I learned I was able to apply to my high school season.
I’ve also been in a UNC tight end meeting. In the meeting, Coach Mo’ is the same ole Coach Mo’. He’s laughing and having a good time, and that’s how he bonds with his tight ends and earns their respect. He may goof off a little with you, but he knows when to get to work.
I remember on a film, Ryan caught a pass, ran over a defender, and then tapped his shoulder pads twice. Coach Mo’ paused the film and started cracking up.
Coach Mo’ really interacts. He’s not just saying, “This is what you need to do.” He’s back and forth with his tight ends.
The tight ends respond very well – obviously because it shows on Saturdays. UNC’s tight ends caught the most passes and are up there in yards, so obviously the way he coaches and the techniques he uses works.
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