Here we go with Round 4 of Ashley’s Rookie Season! If you’ve missed any of our previous sessions, you can find them all here:
Ashley has two great questions today. Let’s dive in!
Q: The coaches have microphone headsets – who are they talking to and why?
A: There are lots of answers to this question, but we’ll start with the most relevant one first. The head coach is usually talking to coordinators who are up in the box (a press box up high in the stadium). They can see things from a much different vantage point than the head coach can and make different observations and play calls based on what they see from above. The coach can also get up-to-date stats on how effective the team is in any number of contexts – third down conversions, running plays on first downs, passing plays, etc – and makes decisions for future play calls based on those numbers. Basically, the head coach is engaged in a constant conversation with his staff in the box in order to collectively create the most effective game plan possible.
Another important microphone/headset scenario is the communication that takes place between the sidelines and the designated “live” helmet. One player from each team is allowed to have a live radio in his helmet through which he receives play calls from a coach – usually a coordinator or position coach, not the head coach, since he is in communication with the coordinators upstairs. On offense, not surprisingly, this player is almost always the quarterback. He usually gets the calls from the offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach. On defense, also not surprisingly, this player is often a middle linebacker, who is like the quarterback of the defense. Similarly, he usually gets the calls from the defensive coordinator or linebackers coach.
The “live” helmets are designated by a green dot sticker on the back of the helmet. The lines of communication aren’t always open – during the 40-second play clock, the coaches have 25-seconds to communicate with the player wearing the live helmet. It automatically shuts off in the last 15-seconds.
Q: Is there an offensive player that is most-likely to score a touchdown?
There are lots of answers to this question, too! Most Likely to Score a Touchdown is a Football Superlative that anyone can win. There is no one position amongst the offensive “skill” players – wide receivers, running backs, tight ends – that is more likely to score a touchdown than any other. It is completely dependent on the team, the players, and the style of offense they play.
Let’s take a look at the 2012 season offensive scoring statistics. Arian Foster, running back for the Houston Texans, had the most touchdowns with 17 total – 15 rushing, 2 receiving. His skill set, combined with the Texans offense (and offensive line), made him most effective as a running back scoring rushing touchdowns.
The player with the second-most touchdowns was James Jones, wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers. He had 14, and they were all receiving touchdowns. Why? That’s the style of offense Green Bay plays: it’s a heavy-passing West Coast offense manned by the league’s best passer, Aaron Rodgers. At that time the Packers had one of the worst running games in the league. Passing was the name of the game, and James Jones is really, really good at that game, so he had a lot of receiving touchdowns as a wide receiver in a pass-happy offense.
Make sense? If you have any followup questions – or any completely unrelated questions! – feel free to leave them in the comments.