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Video: Northwestern's "Coaches in Cars Getting Coffee" is back for Episode 2

On Friday, Northwestern debuted a new web series entitled "Coaches in Cars Getting Coffee". If that sounds like a direct adaptation of Jerry Seinfeld's new web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee", that's because it is.  

Episode two is, shockingly, just as simple as the pilot. It's head football coach Pat Fitzgerald and head basketball coach Chris Collins driving around Chicago and swapping stories. While the first episode centered around Chicago and its status as "the best sports city in the world", as Fitzgerald proclaimed, this time around the conversation centers on family, sports, and how they intertwine in their incredibly sports-centric lives.

This series likely plays better with the 40-plus crowd than the 17-and under crowd, but it's a great way for Northwestern to show the personality of its two most prominent employees, let out-of-towners get a glimpse of Chicago at its peak and, as the Darren Rovell's of the world say, it's a fantastic way to take care of a sponsor. 

John Madden on the youth Heads Up program: "You can't learn to be a coach in an hour and a half"

Truth be told, I am actually too young to remember John Madden as a head coach. Madden's tenure as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders spanned from 1969-1978 (nearly eight years before I was born), but his brutal honesty during an NFL Total Access round table discussion on the Heads Up Football program with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, moderator Mellissa Stark, Michael Irvin and Chris Golic (the wife of Mike and a member of Heads Up football) makes me wish I was born decades earlier.

You can watch the full round table discussion here, but to sum things up, after Godell, Irvin, Stark, and Golic all praise the efforts of the Heads Up program (an organization aimed at making football safer) being adopted by youth football leagues and high schools around the country (750 are currently signed up) Madden drops the hammer.

"How long does it take to get certified?" Madden asks the panel, to which Roger Goodell reluctantly answers, "An hour and a half."

Then Madden makes his point in defense of all the quality coaches out there.

"With all due respect to the program, I don't believe in it." Madden explained. "I respect coaches, I respect what good coaches do. I know that you don’t learn to be a coach in an hour and a half.”

Then he takes it further, noting that (in his opinion) there's no reason six and seven year old kids should be tackling anyways.

“I’m a firm believer that there’s no way that a six-year-old should have a helmet on and learn a tackling drill. There’s no way. Or a seven-year-old or an eight-year-old. They’re not ready for it. Take the helmets off kids."

"They can play flag football. And with flag football you can get all the techniques. Why do we have to start with a six-year-old who was just potty trained a year ago and put a helmet on him and tackle...we’ll eventually get to tackling.”

As someone that grew up with a football helmet on (nearly permanently) at age six and seven, I can't say that I fully buy what John Madden is selling, but he does bring up some interesting points that should perk some ears of a lot of guys in our profession.

Watch the full discussion here.

Florida State is the latest school to offer loss-of-value insurance. Could your school be next?

It started with North Carolina basketball player James Michael McAdoo, and then spread to the football programs at Texas A&M, Wisconsin and now Florida State. And, if you want to be in the market for top talent on the recruiting trail, it could soon come to a program near you.

The Seminoles have become the latest in a growing trend of schools to purchase loss of value insurance for star players, this time for reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. Whereas Texas A&M offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi's policy was a straight loss-of-value insurance, Winston's policy is split between loss-of-value, covering him in case of a slip down the draft board, and permanent disability policy, should he lose the ability to play football altogether. Wisconsin did the same with prized running back Melvin Gordon, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

ESPN's Darren Rovell has placed the value of the policy at $10 million.

According to Tomahawk Nation, Florida State will pay a premium between $55,000 and $60,000 to secure the policy.

The money, like with Texas A&M and others like it across the country, comes from Florida State's Student Assistance Fund. The NCAA describes the Student Assistance Fund as such: "shall be used to assist student-athletes in meeting financial needs that arise in conjunction with participation in intercollegiate athletics, enrollment in an academic curriculum or that recognize academic achievement."

Typically, this fund has been used to cover unexpected costs student-athletes may incur, such as a trip home for a funeral, or to purchase business attire to attend media days.

The Student Assistance Fund is a limited pool, and responsibility lies with the conferences to administer the funds and interpret how they may be dispersed. For instance, Ogbuehi's nearly $60,000 premium accounts for nearly 20 percent of the $350,000 SEC schools received last year.

Florida State is just the latest of what is sure to be a growing list of schools offering this perk. What began as a tool to recruit players already enrolled to remain in school could quickly become a carrot offered to high school players during the original recruiting process. As with anything else in recruiting, once one school does it, many others will feel they'll need to hop aboard or get left behind. With such a limited fund - that must be shared with the entire athletics department, mind you - it will be up to coaches to manage it. 

From coaching high school football to an NFL video staff in one year, the story of Bryan Chesin

Had it been left up to him, Bryan Chesin never would have entered the contest he would later win. A 27-year-old running backs coach/video coordinator at his alma mater Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., Chesin was equally invested in the running backs coach as the video coordinator parts of his dueling job titles. The videos were made for the team, he says, and he intended to keep it that way.

A player's mother urging piqued his interest, but he only consented to entering the 2013 FootballScoop Video of the Year contest when his head coach at the time told him he'd be an idiot not to enter. Chesin didn't even choose his submission. He gave head coach Dave Huffine a list of four videos and told him to choose. 

Huffine selected Chesin's motivational video for the Saguaro game, the Manchester City to Chaparral's Manchester United.

"That one was for our big rivalry game. We play a high school that's like three miles down the street that's always very, very good, and our rivalry is real deep-rooted so it's always kind of cool to get the kids pumped up," Chesin said. "I actually saw a video that Colorado did and it kind of sparked an idea, interviewing old players and trying to get them pumped up. Our whole mantra was 'The Champ is Here', that whole thing where it doesn't matter who is there, we were the defending three-time state champions, so I kind of had the whole Muhammad Ali thing mixed into the pre-game warm up mix. The kids really loved that whole thing. We'd yell it before we ran out and stuff. I found a quote from Dana Holgorsen, 'This is the game that you're going to be remembered by.' All the old alumni really harp on the only thing that matters is the Chaparral-Saguaro game. We ended up going out and blasting them like 38-20, so it was a pretty cool feeling."

The Colorado video that Chesin describes is this one, called "Shoulder to Shoulder", which the Buffaloes' video department produced before their 2012 win over Washington State. 

While Colorado provided inspiration that eventually won Chesin an award, the Colorado director of sports video Jamie Guy used an outside inspiration that would eventually win his department its own award. 

Like the coaches he works with, Guy watches films to improve his own films. This time, it was "Life Cycles", a 2010 film by Derek Frankowski and Ryan Gibb. "It basically was a story of a life of a bike, the people riding it, it told their story as a child as they grow older and how the bike was always a part of their life," Guy said. "They showed great visuals and things that represented the passing of time. New, old, things like that. We really liked. We said we could do that with football for sure and that's where it spawned from."

The genesis for their idea to turn Life Cycles into a football film began in February of 2013. Ten months, 300 man hours, 14 Terabytes of footage, and more than 10,000 photos later, Colorado had "Seasons". Beyond the planning, the shooting, the editing and the sheer tonnage of the work, Guy says finding a writer was one of the most difficult portions of the production process. "

The first thing we did was we tweeted out looking for writers because we really weren't sure how to do that. We got a few responses that way. Then I did a few Google searches to find writers that way. There are some websites that have freelancers in different skill sets, whether its computer programming, writing, or filmmakers, there's all kinds of things. I placed an ad on a site and we had applicants and we were able to select a writer that way," Guy said. 

Colorado hired Albuquerque-based freelancer Bryce Emley, who wrote the words that Chris Fowler later read. 

The Colorado video team applied for the Heartland Emmys in January, and won the award for "Sports - One-Time Special", beating out KTUL-TV in Tulsa. On Monday, Colorado was named the winner of a much less prestigious award, the 2014 FootballScoop FBS Video of the Year

Chesin and the Colorado video department - whom Chesin reverentially describes as "the best in the business" - are no longer cosmically linked by an idea and a football coaching site's awards process. They now live just 45 miles apart on opposite axises of the Denver metro area.

While Chesin's video was in the FootballScoop awards process, he was interviewing for a production internship with NFL Films. A week after winning the award, Chesin moved to Mount Laurel, N.J., to work on "NFL Playbook". "I had a producer internship with 'NFL Playbook', so I just worked 24/7 on that show," Chesin said. "The producer on the show was just unbelievable. I learned unreal things about football, the television business, and football business in general. I couldn't have asked for a better experience being there."

The internship ran from August through the Super Bowl in early February. Chesin had accepted a job with NFL Network in their production department. "I was a producer/editor. They call it a predator." Then, a friend got him an interview for a spot in the Denver Broncos' video department. 

His first day was two weeks ago today.

One year after coaching running backs at a high school in suburban Phoenix, Chesin is a video/operations assistant for the Denver Broncos.

"Kind of a whirlwind and still pretty surreal to me, the path life as taken," he said. "To think a year ago today I was coaching high school football and loving it, and a year later I'm working in the video department with the Broncos. It's pretty cool."

Reviewing video of the last series...while on the sideline

Back in June we wrote about how NFL teams (through a sponsorship with Microsoft) would be able to use Surface tablets this season while on the sideline to review still images of pre and post snap positioning (similar to viewing the old book of polaroid images). 

Well, over the past few days it seems that either Microsoft's PR department or perhaps the league's PR department has been telling the same story. I read a few of these last night, and kind of had to laugh. "Yippee, we now get to look at polaroids on a tablet. [sad trombone fail noise]" 

This morning I awoke to a text from a high school coach who apparently had the same thought I did, "Hey Scoop, tell your NFL buddies to take a look at SkyCoach! C'mon man"

Yes, as I'm sure most of you saw on here last week, we ran a few mentions of a software / package being used by a number of high school programs to practically instantly watch video of plays on the sidelines. This isn't new technology; but a smart group took existing over the air technology and adapted it to football needs (at the request of some local high school coaches). 

SkyCoach is pretty easy to understand.

    • Plays are recorded using an iPhone with a $40 lens added on

    • Plays are tagged by the filmer (with just the basics for easy & immediate review)

    • Using either wifi or over the air technology, plays are then viewable nearly instantly on iPads on the field

After watching the videos above (especially that third video, just above this) it's really easy to see the value in the SkyCoach system. I have a feeling that within the next few weeks 1,000+ high school teams will adopt this system. Once that gains enough momentum, I have to think college programs will find a way to get this approved for their use...and then maybe, just maybe, in a few years, Microsoft PR will be telling the world about their "groundbreaking" new sponsorship with the NFL in which they tout a revolutionary new system that allows [wait for it]... "players and coaches on the sideline to watch actual video replay of plays that just occurred! [gasp]"

Anyway, really not trying to knock the touted technological advances the NFL is making; but do want you all to know about SkyCoach

 

Disclosure: SkyCoach is an advertiser with FootballScoop; but they had no role in creating this article. 

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