Little Things That Win Big Games - My 45 Years of Coaching by Rich Erdelyi


It has been my privilege to coach football for 45 years on every level and my honor to speak at Glazier Clinics for 25 years. Here are some of my thoughts and coaching points that I will be sharing at Glazier Clinics in 2018. I’ve found that football is a Down and Distance game and is driven by situations and personnel match-ups:



Goal line and short yardage situations are critical moments and should be practiced daily.

Practice Ideas

  • Place ball at the 3 yard line and show the constricted field so QB and receivers adjust their patterns
  • Practice part of your QB/WR/TE individual period in the Red Zone so they can adjust their depth and space relationships

When you’re in a 1st and goal situation on the 3 yard line – RUN YOUR BEST PLAY

  • No trades; no check with me’s; have a simple cadence; avoid dumb penalties
  • Gap control plays in this situation
  • I’ve always liked a lead back for my ball carrier
  • Unbalanced usually got us a bubble with a misaligned defense
  • We loved play action passes with the wing blocking down to secure the flank and providing a “false run key” for the corner giving the QB a run/pass option



Always have 2 plays called when the clock is stopped.


  • When the 1st play is successful and the clock is running just yell “2nd Play” to keep time contained
    • Have personnel in the game that allows multiple formations without subs (We ran the Buck Sweep so we were able to run this from many formations)
  • You want favorable personnel matchups
    • Make sure you have a vertical concept, a crosser concept, and a wheel concept where you can get your best back on an LB, a screen, a quick pass, and your best run (for us that was Buck Sweep as an RPO)
    • Utilize the spike and clock stoppage on 1st down to your advantage


I believe in scripting our first 4 series of plays based on Down and Distance, which is about 20 plays with 15 different formations and motions. Make sure you allow your coaches to have input. The relationships you build with your coaches and players are critical to your success as a whole.  The daily interaction, especially with the players, is what I miss the most.

As coaches, when it’s time for us to meet our maker we will not be judged by wins and losses but by “how many men we make from the boys we coach.”

I am here to pay it forward. Please email me if you have any questions.

Rich Erdelyi

Retired OC/QB Coach, Carnegie Mellon University


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