Powerful Tyler Lee + Carthage Passing Games Took Center Stage At Clinic
LONGVIEW — It’s always nice to have the head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in your corner.
Tyler Lee quarterback Chance Amie will have such support to begin his senior offseason. The all-encompassing Clayton George made that abundantly clear Saturday as the final speaker at the Piney Woods Football Clinic.
Amie drew nearly as many references as former George pupil and current TCU quarterback Kenny Hill during the ‘Tyler Lee QB School’ segment. It was a concept George wanted to pitch to other quarterback-oriented coaches in attendance.
“I’m super excited,” George, an Athens native, said. “I was really excited coming in last year knowing Chance was the quarterback at Lee. We’ve had him a year now and watched him grow. He had a really good season and, now going into year two, we’re expecting him to take his game to another level. We’re expecting him to build upon his leadership status and make those around him better. We’re going to need that this year.”
Lee was the king of heartbreaks en route to a 2-8 first season under George. It lost three consecutive games by one possession in the back half of an eight-game losing streak. Reversing the outcome of the one-possession losses would have kept the team in playoff contention through the final week of the regular season.
Amie — who led an offense that averaged about five touchdowns per game and hit more than 55 points twice — picked up his sole football scholarship offer to date from Bowling Green as the team opened the campaign with wins against Class 5A programs. He had five varsity starts at that point in time and is still the only local 2018 signal-caller prospect with any Division I offers.
The negative streak may be what is keeping other schools away from the 6-foot-4 and 215-pound prospect.
A strong offseason for Amie once Lee’s basketball season ends could begin to thaw the recruiting stalemate. Furthermore, there are eighteen spring practice sessions available to get Amie in top shape for the summer recruiting camp circuit.
George revealed what the offseason aspect will look like for Amie and the rest of the Red Raiders quarterbacks at the clinic. It was created by legendary high school coach Todd Dodge, the coach George is proud to admit he mimics, and the duo jointly played a hand in the development of current Washington Redskins backup quarterback Chase Daniel at Southlake Carroll.
Lee’s current coach left Carroll after Daniel graduated to become the head coach at Dallas Hillcrest in 2004 and Haltom City in 2006.
In 2007, Dodge hired George as a positional coach just after being named the new leader at the University of North Texas.
George went back to Carroll as offensive coordinator for the 2010 season and inherited Hill all to himself. He then helped send the next Carroll quarterback to San Diego State and left for Lee one year into the following player’s two-year career as the starter.
George told the clinic he will first make Amie and the rest of his quarterbacks take a drawing test. It covers the offensive formations Lee uses, the passing plays and the depth of each route, the running plays, the offensive line’s blocking schemes and all aspects of varying defenses the Red Raiders will see this year.
Amie is expected to score near 100 on the test to retain his starting position into on-field work.
Beginning the next day, George’s quarterbacks will be taught what a quarterback means to the team on the field and in the Lee community.
George will next make the quarterbacks identify the 10 types of passes Lee utilizes. The quarterbacks then start to draw Lee’s offensive plays in a notebook, and it will ultimately become their playbook.
If all goes to plan, the primary process takes four days.
Amie and the group will then move to the field and begin working on mechanics.
“There are challenges to it,” George said. “It’s the head coach job and not the offensive coordinator job. There are more responsibilities, but I try to balance my time. We’re going to place such an importance on quarterback play that I’ve got to devote and have that time available for all the quarterbacks if we’re going to put that much emphasis on it.”
Surratt Reveals Carthage Concept
Carthage coach Scott Surratt was the sole East Texas coach to speak ahead of Clayton George and delivered perhaps the most technically intense lecture of all 14 clinic segments over two days.
Surratt, just a month off his fifth state championship game win as the Bulldogs’ headman, detailed one aspect of the offensive system he utilized to escape a very strong East Texas field of Class 4A Division I teams.
“It was our top three-step and five-step passing concepts,” Surratt said, “and our number one play-action passing concept.”
The Bulldogs’ coach added commentary to four seasons worth of video clips of his receivers cutting to the open field at designated points along their routes. Decisions were based on how the defense closed in on them and success depended on the quarterback quickly going through a series of complicated progressions.
Enhanced options on routes have been around at least 20 years and were first effectively used by Hal Mumme and Mike Leach at a highly visible level of football.
But Carthage is a high school team. To see the receivers’ decision making and the quarterback’s anticipation on film was impressive nevertheless and an extremely difficult concept for 14 and 15-year-old freshmen to begin working with on their way to the varsity roster.
No wonder four of the five quarterbacks Surratt has coached at Carthage are coaches or intend to be after completing college coursework. The list includes current senior quarterback Kason Davis.
Factor in Surratt’s work with NFLer Ryan Mallett while the offensive coordinator at Texas High, the coach is expecting to be five-for-six with former quarterbacks pursuing football careers.
“I think it does a lot for them,” Surratt said. “All five (Carthage) guys we’ve had — Si Blackshire, he’s a coach now. Anthony Morgan, he won two championships, and Anthony’s daddy is a coach for us. All of them are kind of involved in the game and I think all of them are going to be coaches except for maybe Anthony.”