A Look Back at a Unique Approach to Football Coaching


By the book, precision, follow the numbers and trends and you should be OK.  We all know this about football and play calls right?  We all sit at the games or watch it on TV and dissect every play and tell our buddies what teams should and shouldn’t do.

“If it’s third down and two anywhere on the field, play action would be great” or “Dan Mullen needs to quit running Prescott up the middle so darn much.”

Football is nothing more than one big chess board with big fast moving pieces, but what if someone bucked the coaching trend and what if someone did something that defied all odds – like never punting and kicking an on-side kick every time the ball was teed up?

Today we look back at a unique style of football coaching that took the nation by storm last year as high school football coach Kevin Kelly of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas not only defies all odds, he challenges the critical thinking football coach.

Kelly uses extreme “money ball” type numbers and percentages and what he come up with was a fascinating take on football and coaching football.

Kelly never punts and he always kicks onside kicks and all that has done is win him several state championships in Arkansas.  But, would this approach work in college?  Could this approach work in college and are other coaches taking notice?

Take a look at the article below by the Grantland Channel and this clip on Kelly’s offense and let us know what you think. Is this something that could give an advantage to teams like Mississippi State or is this to risky on the collegiate level?

Grantland Channel: The Coach Who Never Punts

"The numbers are on Kevin Kelley’s side. So why aren’t more teams following his lead?You might not know Kevin Kelley’s name, but you know who Kevin Kelley is. You’ve read about him in Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, the New York Times, and on ESPN. If Grantland had existed in 2005 — when Kelley first implemented his bold new strategy at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas — we undoubtedly would have toasted his budding cult celebrity status in our “Who’s That Guy?” annals.Kelley is the coach who never punts and almost always onside kicks. And while he hasn’t converted his high school success into a college gig like fellow prep sensations Gus Malzahn and Hugh Freeze, Kelley has managed something arguably more revolutionary: He’s caused us to question the way the game is played.The numbers support Kelley’s football philosophy, but even if you’re not a stathead, you’ll probably watch our Grantland Channel video and think, Why isn’t my team doing that? The numbers Kelley cites are that eye-popping. And he isn’t cooking the books: Cal professor David Romer concluded that teams should not punt when facing fourth-and-4 or less; NFL stats analyst Brian Burke has detailed the need to rethink fourth-down decision-making; Football Outsiders has conflated punts with turnovers. You’ve even read about it on this site. Most fans and analysts who are willing to accept that change is a fundamental part of life have embraced the idea that automatically punting on fourth down doesn’t make sense.Continue reading here:"