You guys asked for it, so I interviewed coach Big Pete Leinweber on is playing experience, what Deep Dish football is and how it works.
Please Note: I am not affiliated with Deep Dish Football in any way. I am impartial and unbiased to all scouting/recruiting/training services. If you are a service and would like to have your own Q&A please DM me on Twitter @lemminginsider for more information.
LPI: Tell our readers a little about yourself. What is your playing and coaching background?
PL: My name is Peter Leinweber, I am 30 years old and I have been around football all my life. My brother Fred Leinweber played football and he was heavily recruited at the ripe age of 9 so I had to go with him and my parents on recruiting trips. I have been to Michigan State, SIU, EIU, Western Michigan, Ball State, Illinois, Etc. My brother got a lot of media guides in the mail so for the 3-4 hours every day I would memorize the schools, players and coaches. Unfortunately, it didn’t help my studies much lol. I played DT/OT/TE for Westmont High School and trained for one month till I teared my knee to crap. I was an undisciplined player with an anger issue and used to choke, punch, poke eyes, even DDT’d a player trying to break his neck.
When you played for Westmont football you knew you were going to lose, but you always gave a fight no matter what. After high school, I started on the fan bus for pro and college football, but never high school football because I held a grudge for a long time. I would memorize player’s names, stats, history, schemes and would draw up plays in my free time. From 2008 – now I would say that I had about 28 friends that coached high school football and would always beg me to coach. Finally, in 2013, my friend coach Sible from Westmont called me and informed me that Westmont hired the legend Otto Zeman “Father of the Five Wide”. I took the job for one reason and the only reason I never trusted Zeman and listened to all the stories about him and I felt that I needed to protect my friend. You got to understand I was raised under the “COOK COUNTY BLUE COLLAR FOOTBALL” and when my brother played for Nazareth the kids from Cicero, Forest Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Berwyn that played for Naz, would fight the R-B kids. Nazereth and Riverside Brookfield was a great rivalry as RB was coach Zeman and Naz was coach Moran. Hell, both squads got into a fight after the post game handshake. I really hated Otto Zeman before I met him. However, I realized that he is just a great guy and he was very supportive when I had cancer. I coached defensive line and offensive line for 3 years and 1 year as a JV Head Coach.
LPI: How did you get started in the high school football business?
PL: First off, I helped out a local “Fact finding Company” some years back find info on recruits and their families. We were paid by big name boosters from big name programs to find any dirt. Then, I was approached in 2015 at a Glazier Clinic, by two friends that I knew who coached in college. They said that the “Levee Guys” – the original name for panel- were a little angry with the way high school football was going and they wanted do something about the greed and abuse of power. They were looking for panel members to join a social group to look at players and rank/vote with an old school rating system. It was free beer, pizza and a chance to pick the brains of the best and brightest coaches. So I started as Coach X/D-line and also talked some about offensive lineman. When I retired from coaching, the deal was I would be 1/3 of a publisher while two other retired coaches from Springfield and Peoria would takeover. They tricked me because I wasn’t going to agree to do it alone, but I sucked it up and did it.
LPI: What is Deep Dish Football? How does it work?
PL: Deep Dish Football used to be an old group of coaches in the 50’s that would hang out at a Southside Neighborhood Bar Saturday night and talk about their week in coaching. Soon these coaches got old and retired and passed on the tradition to other coaches (i.e. Sons and other younger coaches). In 2014, disgusted with what was going in Illinois High School football, with greed, too many middle men, parents, coaches not fit to coach, forums and message boards trashing kids and talking about injuries and people making a profit to gain on kids dreams to be playing college football. The Panel is from a varied backgrounds, race, economic backgrounds that make us so special. So a couple of times a year the panel meets up to vote and rank things such as the three top college schemes used in college football. I oversee the vote and cannot vote or rank. Besides the clinics, we also meet 3 times a year and talk kids around the state of Illinois. We have been blessed to have coaches from all around the state recommend players to us.
LPI: When watching a player’s film what are the biggest things you look for in a player?
PL: I look for the small things: A WR’s ability to block and run a perfect hitch, Linemen hand speed and ability with the footwork to make a key play, QB I look at throwing mechanics and what type of scheme they are in. Scheme is BIG and again the spread offense makes average talent look like great talent.
LPI: Off the field, what are the biggest things that you look for in a player?
PL: Work ethic, being a good teammate, grades, and any vices that might hurt a school. Dads that gamble with bookies are a huge turn-off to a school and a coach. When daddy doesn’t pay and is about to get his knees broken he will tell his son to cut some points or even lose the game.
LPI: What other advice can you give high school football players to help them in their recruiting?
PL: Do not pay for a recruiting service, watch what you put on social media, be a good student. Don’t have a high school girlfriend because I have seen and heard cases of talented players being dragged down because of their GFs.
LPI: If you could do anything you want in life besides football recruiting what would it be?
PL: Nothing, I can finally say for the first time in my life that I am fully happy and doing my dream. Football is my bae lol.