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Saturday, June 26, 2010

June Jones Goodwill Mission hosts clinic for coaches and refs

Five coaches and referees took part in yesterday’s free coaches and referees clinic held at the Veterans Memorial Stadium, offered as part of the Third Annual American Samoa June Jones Goodwill Mission. Southern Methodist University Head Football Coach June Jones arrived Thursday night with NFL stars Jessie Sapolu, Mel Purcell and Nate Ilaoa.

Also along for the trip is Gerald Austin, a retired NFL official and SMU Wide Receivers Coach Jeff Reinebold.

During yesterday’s clinic Austin spoke to participants about how officiating in the NFL is different from the college levels and high school levels while Reinebold shared techniques with coaches.

Attending the clinic were: Fagaitua High School Head Football coach Sua’ese Pooch Ta’ase, Fa’asao Marist High School Head Football Coach Filoiali’i Langkilde, Leone High School Head Football Coach Pati Pati, Tafuna High School football coach Antonio Tupuola, coach Vanu Moe, and high school official Ene Kapisi with the Department of Education.

Chairman of the Samoa Bowl Committee Peter Gurr and Vice Chair Melila Purcell were also in attendance.

Austin explained to attendees about the job of referees in a game, and went over Game Impact Calls.

“The referees are there to manage the rhythm of the game, and to keep the flow of the game going,” he said. “The officials have to develop a rhythm, in order the game to run smoothly, and safely.”

Austin says that high school level football utilizes only five officials to manage a game while at the college level and NFL level seven officials are assigned to manage a game. He pointed out that each official has an assigned zone to cover during a game, so that they can capture every penalty and play from different angles.

He emphasized that an official should not go looking to make penalty calls, but to let the plays make the calls for them, going into demonstrations on restrictions in a tough called play, which he referred to as running plays and holding on passing plays.

He told participants that the worst blockers in the world in a football game, and the most mouthiest players on the field, are wide receivers.

Austin also included a film session for the clinic, so that the coaches and officials could have a real understanding of what is being brought to them, and what he is explaining from his point of view, throughout his career as a NFL official.

He also discussed personal fouls and how to spot these types of fouls in the game during action on the field. Unsportsmanlike conduct and the relationship between officials and coaches were also discussed in his officiating session.

Austin noted that in order for them to have a great bonding on and out of the field, is that they have to have a firm relationship with each other. Coaches have to have a relationship with the officials in order for them not to argue and get into personal issues during a game, he said.

Reinebold covered several areas with coaches including the job of each player and explained to the coaches how to visualize the attack, and how to come out with great defensive schemes, without the offense reading it.

He said that each player on defense has a purpose and a meaning as to why they are on the field. Each player represents something and a threat against their opponent in every move they do, he added.

Defensive Linemen are players who are typically strong and able to demand double team blocks. They can win within  the scheme as a smaller and quicker player, however, the ideal situation is to have a big body, particularly in run down situations.

About defensive ends, Reinebold shared how these players must be techniqued and leveraged, sound players. He said they can also win inside the scheme with “less than elite talent,” but they must be “unselfish and willing to play within the scheme.”

The role of linebackers was also covered. For outside linebackers, he says they are typically bigger and more physical and must posses physical ability to play over a tight end, and rush a tackle and drop into coverage.

The buck position linebacker, says Reinebold, must be able to play in the space, and the best of your coverage linebackers. The buck should also posses good pass rush and blitzing skills.

Middle linebackers, leaders of the defense, also known as the “Mike”, can be the least athletic of the linebackers he said.

“Football intelligence is important, but they must be able to play well between tackles,” said Reinebold.

Jones and his contingent of NFL players and coaches will visit three high school campuses today and depart the island tomorrow.

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