Most of you probably do this, but I know that not all of you do.  If you do not, you’ve GOT to start this year!

Using a “Live Drive Sheet” on your sidelines is KEY to being able to call an effective game offensively specifically.  I have this form in my OUTSIDE THE LINES MANUAL, along with 100 other forms for you to use.  Take a look at that here.

If you don’t have a form like this and want it, please email me with DRIVE SHEET in the subject line.  I’m happy to send it to you.  My email is coach at

I usually use my backup quarterback for the purpose of keeping the Drive Sheet.  Obviously, if he is in there playing a different position, he won’t be doing it.  In that case, I will have the JV quarterback do this. I use it as a learning tool for him.  Whoever it is, I have this kid stand “in my hip pocket all night.”  I tell the kid, “if you miss a play, it’s your fault.  If I’m giving the play to be ran in to the huddle, or if we are in a no huddle situation using signals, I don’t care what it is, YOU are responsible for making sure to keep this up to the minute accurate!”  He learns VERY quickly not to talk to me, not to bother me and ask what I just said, what the play is, etc.  I’d say after the first quarter of the season, he never asks me again!  It’s a great way to piss me off as the signal caller.


The goal is to be able to study your play calling and your drives as the game goes on.  I refer to this sheet after EVERY single drive.  I take a look at it, make some notes right on it.

For instance, looking at old Drive Sheets, you will see sometimes where I circle two plays in a row very largely.  This shows me that these two companion plays worked well together.  Maybe I will come back to them later in the game, in the very same order.

Listen, I have used a Drive Sheet that went for a touchdown in the VERY same game for another drive!  Now, that is fun to be able to do.  I’ve literally just followed that drive.  The same exact drive, just called those same plays.  In fact, twice I just stepped aside and had my JV QB who was running the Drive Sheet that night call the plays in to the offense.  THAT is when you know you are having a great game, and things are clicking on all cylinders!

Here is what the form looks like, I use an Excel spreadsheet:


Base Left Jet Sweep 5
Base Left Jet Sweep Pass Inc Overthrew Z; wide open
Base Right Sap Weak Keep 0 Blitzed LB

I have a form with three columns.

As you can see, the first column has the PLAY NAME, the second column has the RESULT.  The third column is for any NOTES.

I will tell the person on Drive Sheet duty what notes I want written down.  Sometimes we have a note for every play, sometimes we don’t.  Usually it is just stuff that will help me later in that game.  Anything else can come from film.

Again, after every drive I will take this sheet and just make notes on it, and on my play call sheet.  I make note of every single incomplete pass.  I try to figure out why that pass isn’t working.  I take notes on the negative rushing plays.  Try to figure out if the play calling is leading to a play not working, or if we need to fix the blocking scheme.

I take note of the plays over ten yards.  If we run something a few times and notice it’s getting over 10 yards a few times in a row, you can certainly bet that we are going to be coming back to that play!!

At half time, I will gather my offensive coaches, and we will talk through this.  We might take some plays off of our Play Sheets for the second half.  We will try to find patterns that are working, plays that are looking great one after the other, etc.

This Drive Sheet is KEY to our entire half time breakdown.  I will take it right to our offensive players and say “Hey, what happened on that Strong Trap the first drive of the second quarter?”  Sure enough, the kids usually have an answer, they remember the specific play when you are able to pinpoint exactly when it was.  “Hey, remember after we scored on that long pass in the second quarter, the very next series we open with Base Right Strong Keep and it went for 18 yards, what did you guys see, why did it go so well?”

These are the things that you can bring up right to the kids if you have a Drive Sheet.  If you don’t, you are lost.

More on drive sheets later, and what I do with them after the games.

Here is the rest of the game’s drive sheet from the one I showed you earlier:

Base Right Strong 12
Aces Right Strong Pass Z go inc
Base Right Strong 16
Base Right Strong Waggle 29
Base Right Strong 3 TOUCHDOWN
Base Right Dead Strong 4
Midway 7 12
Base Left Strong Waggle Screen inc
Base Right Jet Sweep -2
Base Right Jet Split 12
Base Left Jet Split 1
Base Right Strong Keep Out 8
Base Right Weak Keep 13
Base Right Strong Trap -2
Base Right Strong Pass inc
Base Right Strong Keep 5
Base Right Strong Waggle Keep 10 TOUCHDOWN
Base Right Strong 3
Base Right Strong Keep 13
Wing Left Strong 5
Tight Right Strong Pass WX Switch 25 TOUCHDOWN
Over Right Strong Flood Y Screen 22 TOUCHDOWN