How to Watch a Football Game

So, how do you watch a football game? Whether watching at home on television or watching from the stands there is a lot to concentrate on. Do you just follow the ball? If you do, you miss a lot. We put the question to Tommy Tuberville.

"When I'm watching the other team on offense against our defense, I normally watch the center, ant the two guards, and the two tackles. I try to watch their inside people because they can usually tell you what the play's going to be and how they're trying to attack you. Whether they're running power plays, or play action pass, or whatever. So that's where I start because your ball game is won between your offensive and defensive lines in each game.

"Are we getting good penetration on their offensive line? Are they...knocking us off the ball? If we're getting good penetration, I'll pat our guys on the back on the sidelines because I know we're doing well. No matter what else happens, I know we're doing well. If they're pushing us off of the line of scrimmage, I can tell and we have a little chat with our defensive linemen because that's where it all starts - in the trenches."

How can you tell if a team is playing man to man coverage or playing zone coverage?

"You can tell by alignment before the snap. What I do is I just look for the free safety. Normally if the free safety is moved on top of the receiver, close to him 8-10 yards, but over the top of him, then it's more likely man coverage. If he's lined up in the middle of the field, then that coverage is most likely zone coverage."

"That's just basics for all quarterbacks. When they come to the line of scrimmage, the first thing they try to look for is where the free safety is lined up. Again, if he's lined up over the quarterback or somewhere in there, it's normally zone. If he's to the side of that on the right or left it's usually man coverage."

"I have the worst seat in the house on the sideline. People will sometimes look at me andI'm not looking at the play, I'm looking at the Jumbotron. I can tell more of what's happening looking at what I see on the big screen than I can by looking directly at the field. "

"If you're watching it from the stands, you have the ability to watch several areas. I would suggest watching the interior line of scrimmage, one or two of the receivers or the backfield set. That's about all you can focus on. Trying to look at any more than that at the same time, you kind of lose the focus of what's going on, who's got the ball or what kind of play is being run, how you're being attacked and how things are really going in the game."