American Football has been through tumultuous times in Britain. Since the end of the NFL Europe franchise and the teams in Scotland and England, American Football has survived as part of a British league due to the hard work of many around the home nations. Recent events such as the Wembley NFL games and talk of an NFL franchise in London, as well as the drafting of Lawrence O’Koye show that American Football is enjoying a homecoming in Britain and indeed Scotland.
A former Head Coach of the Claymores is also having a homecoming of sorts…
On 22 June 1996, Coach Jim Criner sat down with his Scottish Claymores coaching staff, a single malt for company, to prepare them for the biggest game of their season.
The next day on the 23rd he coached the Scottish Claymores to a stunning victory in the Claymores home stadium of Murrayfield bringing the World Bowl to the football daft Scottish fans.
Jump forward 17 years and Coach Criner is once again in his second home, Scotland, preparing for a very different opponent.
On Saturday June 22nd at Stirling University Coach Criner and Coach Lynn Stiles (former assistant coach to Utah, Iowa, UCLA, San Jose State, Philadelpia Eagles, San Fransisco 49ers & St Louis Rams) are holding a coaching clinic for the British American Football Association.
Registration is at 9 am and the clinic will finish at 5pm with a break for lunch.
The agenda has been set by the attendees and it will cover;
Defending the spread option offense, including coverage – Coach Stiles
Spread option with Load, including the coaching and teaching aspects –Coach Criner
(incs the inside/outside zones plays as they fit the spread option.)
Game film tech./angles w and w/o elevation – Coach Stiles
Put in auto system/no huddle and up tempo systems – Coach Criner
Game planning, preseason organization, practice organization – Coach Stiles
Play Action/ screen game in spread option – Coach Criner
As a bonus Coach Criner has organised that each attendee will get ONE YEAR FREE membership to USA Football & FREE Jacksonville Jaguars Merchandise
The following day Coach’s Criner and Stiles will attend Edinburgh Wolves practice to help the coaches and players of the youth and senior team improve their game.
The weekend is capped off by a free entry Claymores fan forum at Sportsters on Market Street Edinburgh, there is a free buffet and the chance to talk to the Claymores coaches about the old days and that memorable win exactly 17 years ago to the day…
It is undeniable that American Football is on the rise in Britain, perhaps the next Lawrence O’Koye or indeed, a better player will come from Scotland?
Perhaps the NFL will return to Scotland? Who knows, the only way to ensure the continued growth and support for the sport however, is to show your support.
Edinburgh Wolves Head Coach