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AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Bennett favours balanced offence
SWINDON Storm head coach Steve Bennett is keen for his quarterbacks not to steal the limelight as the club gears up for its first season of competitive action.
While the quarterbacks, led by the likes of Joe Flacco, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, dominate the NFL in terms of money and exposure, Bennett wants to build a balanced offence where each and every player is as important as each other as they embark on their first season in National Division South.
Work is ongoing to ensure everyone at the club is ready for their debut campaign, and while the Storm are a world away from the likes of the Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, Bennett doesn’t want the focus to be all on the man taking the snaps.
“The British quarterback is a different animal to the one you see in the NFL, and is more like the sort of player you will see in high school football where he is more of another player in the club,” he said.
“It’s not as if he is the superstar in the club like in the NFL, because we don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing from thousands of players like they do to find the best players around.
“Every year 20,000 or 30,000 players take part in College Football, but then only 200 get drafted into the NFL.
“Then out of those players in the draft only 20 or 30 per cent will still be on rosters two or three years later.
“The NFL has a spectacular demographic of players to choose from, and we obviously don’t, but we don’t want too much focus on one person because it’s a team game.”
Bennett and his fellow coaches have spent many hours designing their new offence, which will allow players to learn as they play and also give the team increased flexibility.
“We have designed our offence in a way so that it is made up for utility players, with five guys on the line and then the six backs,” he said.
“We go from one to six, and back one has got to know everything that is going on and is the QB, and he will be able to coach and correct other players on the field.
“I would like every QB that goes out onto the field for us to also be a qualified coach as well, so that he can help out every player out there to learn the game as best he can.
“Then from two to six the skill set gets less and less, meaning number two, the strong side receiver, will pretty much need to know as much as the quarterback.
“He will move around for every play and know why he is doing it, and then you move to three and four who are the full-back and the half-back.
“Then it goes down to the weak side receiver, who will be a talented rookie with lots of rotation. Every drive we will change it to give them a chance to show us what they have got, and we will try and throw a ball out to them once per drive to find a guy who can make something happen.”
The Storm hold their training sessions at Swindon RFC’s Greenbridge Road, starting at 6.45pm. All are welcome.