Matt Canada’s First Play

First plays of football games – after the specials – are often much bigger deals then you might think.

I remember back in my grad assistant days in pre-game meetings where we would go around and share what we thought the first play of the game should be!

In those moments I used to think, come on…does it really matter?

It took a while for me to realize that it matters more then I thought.

The first play of the game is your first look at the defensive strategy you will see the rest of the game. 

Up until that point, every single thing you practiced against was an educated (and scouted) guess.

If you practiced against a 4-3 and they came out in a 3-3 stack, you had better recognize it and adjust.

The chess game of football boils down to two simple things:

1. Recognition of your opponent’s strategies.
2. Adjustment of your own strategies to best attack your opponents.

That first play of the game is just the first step to getting to #2 as fast as possible.

Consider just how much your first play can show about a defense:

  • Defensive fronts
  • Linebacker alignments
  • Secondary alignments and coverages
  • Personnel match-ups
  • Blitzes or stunts

Elite coaches think very carefully about their first play of the game.

Want to see what Coach Canada ran his first play against Clemson?


Interested in learning more about this offense? Check out more videos here.

Master of Disguise: The Matt Canada Offense–>

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