Your Best 11 Mailbag: On Spring Ball, 10-Second Rule and Favorite Offensive Play

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterFebruary 21, 2014

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 30:  Head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers and head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide shake hands prior to their game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 30, 2013 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Following a crazy snowstorm, it is 60-plus in Charlotte and that is how February is supposed to be. It is Friday and that means the weekend is here, folks. So, before we get to the part where the drinks are flowing and the parties get going, we are going to get into these questions.

Great question from a great question asker.

I think my answer here has to come in two parts. First, I like the overall physical nature of spring ball and how critical beating each other up is to the process of growing together as a team. Second, I like position battles a weird amount.

Being a physical team is central to my heart, as far as football goes. Other people love to talk about outscheming folks and installs but for me, if you can get your football team to believe in being physical at the point, you can teach them anything. With that in mind, spring is about beating each other up, so that a team learns how to beat up the opponent.

Position battles go hand in hand with the physical aspect of spring. Through sparring for positions, teams can discover who really and truly understands the scheme and gets the installs. And guys show it all while trying to out-battle a teammates who wants the job just as bad.

Everyone worries about quarterback battles, and those are nice and cute enough, but the ones to watch are in the trenches; especially when positions on both sides are up for grabs. A guard fighting to crack the starting lineup against a 3-technique pushing to do the same is what spring ball is all about, to me.

Honestly, I don't mind the rule, but it must be said that the "safety" excuse holds no weight. The fact is, I do not mind seeing the defense get thrown a bone. I do not think the rule would alter the game tremendously, the exception being quick QB sneaks and some two-minute scenarios. In those instances, as a defense-first guy, I do still do not mind the rule.

I think a lot of the outrage has to do not with the actual impact of the rule, but the fear of how great the impact could possibly be. Everyone goes straight to the offensive side of things, thinking about what if their team is trying to make a comeback or how will the offense run a quick sneak to get a first down.

No one thinks about how this rule will help their defense get fresh bodies into the game. No one thinks about what if the opponent is trying to mount a comeback and how this rule will allow their team to get better personnel into the game. No one thinks about that and I'm convinced it is because no one thinks about defense when they hear any sort of football discussion.

The rule will not pass, all will be saved and the offensive guys who huffed and puffed will go back to their castles built of points. Meanwhile, the defensive minds on their respective staffs will have to combat more uptempo attacks without the relief that would have been greatly appreciated.

Oh Ben, this is a good one. I'd go with this order: bowling, pool, golf, ping-pong, darts and curling. Although, to be fair, there's a massive drop after pool and then another sizable drop following golf. Plus the final drop where curling is not even scored because I, in no way, have any interest in a curling experience, ever.

Bowling and pool are both inside games where I do not have to sweat and that plays a very critical role in my desire to be good at something. Now, you'd think darts would be in that mix, but the fact is, I am already pretty good at darts and have a dartboard in my garage and still avoid playing it like the plague. So, that is why darts is not up high for me.

Now, when it comes to golf, I'd like to wow my friends a time or two, like at this bachelor party that I'm going to in April. However, the problem with being good at golf is that people will always ask you to go and that just does not fit into my schedule. I like to be inside at home and not outside in the sun. When I do go outside, I prefer to use that time to smoke pork butts or use the grill.

I love bowling and enjoy shooting pool. They are inside, largely sweat-free games, and when you can smash someone at bowling, out of the blue, it is a great feeling. Oh, and ping-pong is low on the list because of all the moving around you have to do when you play, no thanks.

I'd say a sack probably. On a weak-side cowboy blitz from the cornerback or the iso blitz from a nickelback.

Ah, changing the mix on me, huh?

Alright. I see what you did there. I'll play this game with you guys.

At first I was going to go with some pass concepts maybe talk about spacing routes or levels or even the Y-pop at the goal line. But, the truth is, I cannot really even get to those plays without mentioning the Power-O. It is the best play in football and when it is ran correctly it is a testament to what being physical can do for a football team.

The down blocks washing the defensive tackles out of the mix and bodies climbing to linebackers to hit them in the mouth. Then the fullback getting out in front to kick out the end while the guard gets on his horse and rumbles around to look for anybody else who wants problems. Finally, the running back hitting the hole running to daylight.

It is beautiful, glorious football.