- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"Forget him!" Rote shouted. It was frustrating for Rote to try to tell a kid something he knew how to do so well himself. "Look for your secondary man! As soon as you see those linebackers dropping off, look to your right. Who's your key on Halfback Rim?"
"Mike," Gadd said.
"All right. And if Mike is dropping back, what are you going to do?"
"Go to the right to Y."
"Then why aren't you doing it?"
Gadd shook his head. "I don't know, Coach. He doesn't seem to be just dropping straight back. It looks for an instant as if he's going sideways."
"Oooooh!" Rote said in disgust. "All right. On the ball! Let's get over the ball and run it again."
There was another key on Halfback Rim. As the tight end left the line of scrimmage he was to look and see if the linebackers were blitzing. If they were he was to cut immediately to his inside and yell, "Hot, hot, hot!" Then the quarterback was to dump the ball off quickly to him.
Consistently, Gadd was getting confused and taking too long to release the ball. It finally brought Bill Peterson storming down out of the stands. He came stalking up and read off the linemen for not blocking, the receivers for not running the proper routes and the quarterbacks for holding the ball too long. "You've got to throw it!" he yelled, his eyes wide and angry. "You can't complete a pass until you throw the ball! Are you scairt to turn loose of it!"
The formal scrimmage was very bad. Or at least it was very bad from Peterson's viewpoint, which was the offensive viewpoint. The first-team offense could not move the ball against the second-team defense, and the first-team defense completely overwhelmed the second-team offense. The only bright spots were Stahle Vincent's running—which he did almost singlehandedly—and the play of Larry Caldwell. Caldwell several times caught short passes and turned them into long gains with superb moves downfield. He'd catch the ball, then, holding it with one hand, he'd slide back from a tackle by a linebacker, cut away from the smashing charge of a cornerback and, twisting and turning, dance his way downfield for 15 or 20 yards before he would finally be hemmed in by more men than he could get away from. The way he was playing reinforced Bill Peterson's thinking about running the Z-up for their first offensive play against Houston. He was already starting to call it the Houston Special.