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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weather Proof

Weather Proof
McCook is going to run the football, period. If an opponent allows them to, they will run it down their throat. Head Coach Jeff Gross has a very pragmatic reason for not having fallen for the glitz and bright lights of the currently in vogue spread offense that so many high school teams now run. The spread, which is a spin off of the west coast offense made famous by the San Francisco 49’ers in the 1990’s, is often run without a huddle and from the shotgun formation. It is dependent upon precise reads, disciplined pass routes and exact timing.

When all the proper ingredients align, it is a thing of beauty.

The spread offense has taken over high school football; it is run by a majority of teams in every section of the nation, turning many games into a gridiron track meet. The football is passed all over the field, with little concern for game factors such as down, distance and score. Scoreboards on Friday nights around the country, thanks to the spread, now spin like a Kansas windmill in a tornado. This sexy new way to win football games is fine, says Gross, but this is Nebraska.

“Our big games are in November and they are played outdoors,” Gross said.  Rain, snow, blistering winds; “we have played in some horrible conditions in the state playoffs.  No artificial turf, no dome.” Gross takes the approach that when it is 10 degrees outside, with a 40 mph wind blowing in from the north, then McCook’s veer offense is a better fit than a high risk passing scheme.  “Let’s just say,” Gross reasons, “that our offense is weather proofed and battle tested for Nebraska playoff weather.”

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