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Hey! Football's Almost Back!: an ATVS Study Guide for August

We are less than 30 days from the start of the 2013 football season. Five days y'all. We'll be in full-bore season preview mode soon enough around here, but in the meantime, I thought I'd provide a link dump for anybody looking to brush up on some X's and O's football knowledge, or any new readers.

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Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, the addition of Cam Cameron to LSU's staff will be the dominant story line this August. Here's a chance to review this season's offensive prospectus, otherwise known as "I Believe They Can Fly," parts One and Two:

"I still believe the offense is not as far away as some want to think. Mettenberger was an improvement over [QBs redacted], and gameplanning, by and large, wasn't horrible in 2012. The Tigers scored points on their first or second possession of almost every game, which indicates that the staff usually came in with a good idea of what they wanted to try and do. They just got lost in the flow of the game too many times. Good playcalling is about understanding an offense's strengths and weaknesses and how they fit to the opponent amidst the changing circumstances of a game. And LSU struggled with the last part of that equation too many times last season. Cameron's arrival will not mean that LSU will never call another bad play ever again. But he does bring another voice to the table. One that Les Miles brought to town with something specific in mind, and one with some pretty strong credentials. It's going to be exciting to watch."

"Cam Cameron: Whaddya Know, Whaddya Say" in which we delve a little more into Cameron's background and his departure from Baltimore:

"Is he a perfect coordinator? No. But if you know one of those, by all means, do pass his name on. A true fact we never really think about with coaches, is that they're hired to get fired. Coordinators have a thankless job. Offense or defense, we tend to ignore their successes and focus on their failures. Did Cameron have some in Baltimore? Sure. But the truth is, the Ravens have been a franchise built around defense, and Cameron began to change that with Flacco, Rice and Co. In the entire history of the NFL, only a handful of running backs have had more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage in an entire season, and Cameron has coached two of them (Rice and Tomlinson). Did things go bad? Sure. But they always do. Not to pick on Bruce's criticisms, but they're no different than the complaints every fan base has about their coordinator. You're only as good as your last game, and coaches fall out of favor, or make mistakes, all the time."

More passing game nerdness:

Here's a couple of other relevant post topics:

Links relevant to the 2013 schedule:

Some reading material, if anybody's looking for some new books to read:

  • Blood, Sweat And Chalk by Tim Layden: I talked about this one last summer, and it's a great read for some background on a lot of the most influential schemes in the game, from the single-wing through the spread/zone read.
  • The Essential Smart Football, by the aforementioned Chris Brown. His best work condensed down into a simple book that is not only readable, by very re-readable.
  • Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look, by Pat Kirwan. I finished this one in the spring. If you're still trying to learn about who and what to really watch during a game, and the mechanics of how an organization, particularly an NFL one, works, Kirwan breaks it down very well here. Newer editions of the book are spiral-bound, for easy reference, and come with a DVD that's a very helpful visual aid.
  • Study Hall: College Football, Its Stats and Its Stories, by our own Bill Connelly. I haven't read it yet, but I damn sure plan on it. Anybody that frequents Football Study Hall should be interested.