Football has changed since I played high school ball in the mid-1970s. Back in the good old days, the game was one of power and ball control. Many high schools and colleges didn't throw more than five or 10 passes a game. Anyone who averaged 15 or 20 passes a game was living on the edge.


Football has changed since I played high school ball in the mid-1970s. Back in the good old days, the game was one of power and ball control.



Many high schools and colleges didn't throw more than five or 10 passes a game. Anyone who averaged 15 or 20 passes a game was living on the edge.



Back in that day, Bear Bryant was winning Southeastern Conference and national championships running the Wishbone, triple-option offense at Alabama.



Players weren't as big as they are today; coaches lined them up and ran the football.



From what I saw of new Crestview High School football coach Tim Hatten's offense this spring, nobody will mistake the Bulldogs for an old Alabama team.



Crestview likely will average 15 or 20 passes a half, and twice that many passes a game. The thought of keeping up with Hatten's offense has me thinking about checking to see if my health insurance policy covers oxygen at halftime.



I'll be hoping the Bulldogs score a lot of quick touchdowns and the other team's offense can hold onto the ball for a few plays so I can catch my breath. I know it's going to be a wild fall.



Things won't be so breathtaking at Baker School, where Matt Brunson will play the old ball control football that he loves and has embraced throughout his coaching career.



The Gators will be more likely to score on a long run by D.J. Thomas than they will on a long pass from Jon Beck or Ben Crowson.



The truth is there is no right way of doing things. Each coach must develop his philosophy and decide how he can implement it with his players.



Fortunately, for Hatten, the Bulldogs have skill position players that can stretch the field. And Brunson has the kids that take pride in power football.



Last week at the Southeastern Conference Media Days, University of Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema complained about no huddle, spread offenses. He rightfully pointed out that up-tempo offenses don't allow for defensive substitution.



He argued that a player wonít be as fresh on the 15th play of a drive as he was on the fifth play. Thatís just common sense.



Of course, what Bielema didn't address was the defense can get off the field by stopping the offense on three downs or forcing a turnover.



It seems as if Bielema is still living in the 1970s or 80s.



I still prefer a physical game of smash mouth football ó in which a player can test his manhood with bone-jarring collisions ó but I understand the game has changed.



Today's players love fast, high-power offenses. It's their game now, and I hope they will love it as much 30 years from now as they do today.



Love of the game and memories of time on the field stay with you forever.



Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletinís sports editor. Email him at randyd@crestviewbulletin.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.