Prep coaches will be watching the big game
Millions of Americans will tune in to Super Bowl XLVII tonight for whatever combination of football, commercials, Beyonce and a fine excuse to party with friends they like.
Larry Brock, head football coach at Western Harnett, and Tim Karrs, head coach at Overhills, are looking forward to the 49ers versus the Ravens as well, but they’ll be doing some homework at the same time.
“As a coach, I like to watch the games with a pad and pencil beside me,” Karrs said. “I’ll see things I like, things we can use.”
Since the two coaches are dedicated to their Eagles and Jaguars, they don’t see as much of the NFL season as a casual football fan might get to watch.
Brock and Karrs, who both live in Sanford, make church on Sunday morning their first priorities. After church, it’s time for coaching staff meetings for Western Harnett and Overhills.
“We have our coaches’ meetings at 2 p.m. every Sunday,” Brock said.
While also saying he’s a bigger fan of the college game, Brock DVRs Carolina Panther games.
Brock, a former player at Appalachian State, coached in the Charlotte area before coming to Western Harnett. Growing up in North Carolina, plus being able to go to a few Panther games while in Charlotte, makes him a loyal Panther fan. Still, Brock has a coach’s focus while watching the recorded Panther games. He’ll flip quickly from play to play and he’s taking notes, similar to breaking down game tape for the next Cape Fear Valley Conference game ahead of Friday.
Karrs and his Jaguar coaching staff also meet each Sunday through the high school season. He’s watched a good amount of the playoffs though.
He’s noting pass routes, goal line and two-point plays and plays he might adopt, tweeking a little for the high school level, to fit his system.
Karrs, who’s been in coaching for 42 years, is a lifelong Steeler fan as a Pittsburgh native. He’s picking San Francisco — but not out of any animus for the Ravens, Pittsburgh’s chief division rival for the last 15 years.
Karrs likes watching both quarterbacks, Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, play the game and lead their teams.
“Flacco throws a great deep ball,” he said. “And they throw a lot of deep balls. He always puts it right there. He’s always on the money.”
About Kaepernick, who became the Niner starter late in the regular season and quickly became one of the league’s most exciting players, the combination of football skills and great athleticism is special, Karrs said.
“It’s gutsy what Coach Harbaugh did with him,” said Brock, about the San Francisco coach’s decision to make Kaepernick his starter over Alex Smith after Smith was briefly sidelined due to injury, and although Smith took the Niners to the playoffs last season and had a good start this season.
Brock’s been paying extra attention to San Francisco’s offense, too, but to Jim Harbaugh’s running game. Whether with Kaepernick or running back Frank Gore, the Niners run the ball quite differently than the NFL norm.
“We run the wing-T of course, and I’m not saying (San Francisco does) that, but a lot of what they do, we can learn from, from the traps and powers to their blocking schemes,” Brock said.
“They’re shaking up the NFL and it’s pretty innovative,” he said.
Brock’s rooting for an entertaining game, but slightly for the Niners, as fellow Appalachian State alum Daniel Kilgore is in his second year as an offensive tackle with San Francisco.
Super Bowl Sunday is a big day and a big game but no partying will interrupt Coach Karrs and the halftime show is far from the main event.
“Basically, I like being with my family and just enjoy watching it,” he said. “The football game is what it’s all about.”