Ever wonder what it would be like if a 12-year-old Madden enthusiast was given the opportunity to be a high school football head coach? You know the one: the video game fanatic who never punts, spends hours concocting insane trick plays and throws aside any conventional wisdom to do whatever they so choose. Kevin Kelley, head coach of Pulaski Academy, is that young Madden player, but the methods to his madness are actually quite sound.
Kelley's philosophy is enough to make a grizzled coaching veteran have a stroke. He doesn't punt, refuses to have his players return punts and chooses to onside kick every time his team lines up for a kickoff. And his playbook -- both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball -- resembles something drawn up in the sand.
Take punting, for example. He has statistics he uses to backup his decision to never punt and sticks to his guns.
According to Kelley's statistics, when a team punts from near its end zone, the opponent will take possession inside the 40-yard line and will then score a touchdown 77 percent of the time. If it recovers on downs inside the 10, it will score a touchdown 92 percent of the time. "So [forsaking] a punt, you give your offense a chance to stay on the field," he said. "And if you miss, the odds of the other team scoring only increase 15 percent. It's like someone said, '[Punting] is what you do on fourth down,' and everyone did it without asking why."
I can't recommend this article, from Sports Illustrated, enough. If that still hasn't sold you, check out his numerous onside kick formations: