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tennessee defense

tennessee defense

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Published by Michael Schearer

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Published by: Michael Schearer on Nov 16, 2008
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It is a tremendous honor for the defen-

sive staff to represent The University of Tennessee here at the A F C A N a t i o n a l Convention. We appreciate your atten- dance and look forward to spending the morning with you. I will cover our base 4-3 alignments and linebacker reads, Coach Dan Brooks will follow and talk with you about our front play and Coach Larry Slade will wind up the session talking about our secondary alignments and techniques.

When we began seven years ago, we decided our philosophy would be aggres- sive and multiple but we would stay simple in our techniques. We want them to know what to do, how to do it and therefore allow them to play with UNBELIEVA B L E EFFORT. Scheme doesn't win, EFFORT does!

We will also share something we feel is very important to everyone in our program. We do checklist for everything we do and it is always good to go back and check our- selves to make sure we have covered everything we do.

We believe that in the end \u201cscheme doesn't win\u201d ... we work scheme all day but with time restrains it\u2019s tough. It\u2019s not what you as coaches know, it\u2019s what your kids know. We focus in three major things for our success:

Fundamentals:we want to be funda-

mentally sound as a football team. From day one we stress fundamentals to our defense and work to maintain this area throughout the season.

Technique:We demand our technique

be sound at all of our positions. No matter whether it\u2019s a Defensive Lineman, Linebacker, or Defensive Back, technique will be the No.1 determinant of your suc- cess. Poor technique will get you beat every time.

Execution:We don\u2019t ask our players

to do a lot but we do ask that they exe- cute our schemes. If we play each play with sound fundamentals, good tech- nique, and overall execution we feel we will be successful.

We want to be a defense that gets an extra man in the box to make it tougher on the offense. We'll rock one of the two safeties down 70 percent of time. We\u2019re a gap control defense.

Our coaches and players have to be on the same page with what we\u2019re talking about. We have a standard consistent ter- minology system for what we call. We try to make this simple and not too wordy. Our

numbering system for our defensive line
and linebackers is pretty standard.

Before every play we declare the offen- sive formation strength in order to set our defense. Our Sam linebacker makes a strength call and our Mike linebacker calls the formation for our defense. We have set terminology for all formations we see from offenses. We also have a play numbering system for runs and passes. We use a numbered route tree for passes and a num- bering system for our runs.

I want to talk a little about our teaching progression for our linebackers. Our pro- gression begins with:

Stance: Good football position, eyes up
with ability to move in all directions at snap.
Alignment/Responsibilities:This gets

back to our numbering system and execu- tion. The player must know what technique he\u2019s lining up in and what all of his respon- sibilities are, run or pass.

Keys:Our Linebackers must read their
keys and use them to get to the ball.
Initial Movement:This is a critical part
of every play. Being able to read your keys
immediately and take the proper first steps.
Blow Delivery: We want to be a physi-

cal defense and deliver an aggressive blow every time. Good knee bend, head up, full hips and drive up through tackler.

Dis-Engage:I t \u2019s critical that our
Linebackers be able to dis-engage off
blockers and get to the ball.
Pursuit: This is one of the most impor-

tant parts of defensive football. \u201cA man\u2019s value to his team can be measured by his distance from the ball when the whistle blows.\u201d Swarm to the ball by taking the cor- rect course to the ball.

Our best defense is out of a 4-3 Alignment. We change up our fronts quite a bit but in the end we get back to our base 4- 3. In this our callside end is in a 9 Te c h n i q u e and our callside tackle is in a 3 with B Gap responsibilities. On the backside our tackle is in a one technique and our end is in a 5. Our Sam and Will are in a 50 technique and our Mike is in a weak 10 stack look. The Mike linebacker has A Gap with flow to and has the B Gap with flow away (see Diagrams 1, 2 & 3)

Again, we are honored to be here before our peers this morning. Hopefully, you can take some of this and incorporate it into your defensive system. I want to get Dan Brooks up here now to talk to you about defensive line play at The University of Tennessee.

P r o c e e d in g s
7 9 th AFCA Convention
2 0 0 2
\u2022Tennessee Defense
John Chavis
Defensi ve
Coor dinator
University of
Knoxville, Tenn.
Dan Br ooks
Defensive Line
Lar r y Slade
Defensive Backs
P r o c e e d in g s
7 9 th AFCA Convention
2 0 0 2

Thank you for the opportunity to stand before you today and talk with you about Tennessee Defense. Also, I want to thank Coach Teaff and the AFCAfor all they do as well as thank Coach Phillip Fulmer and Coach John Chavis for this opportunity.

Before I begin, allow me to tell you I believe we have the best job in the world. Coach is a big word and never take it for granted. We are working in the best game in the world and paying the way for all the other sports in all our schools and universi- ties. Each time you speak to a group (Civic Clubs, etc.) speak up for football.

As Coach Chavis pointed out our Base 4-3 defense allows all four players up front to align in on outside technique. We will break this down and talk with you about our teaching progression for multiple fronts. Give the player some thing to hang his hat on. What is his job when the lights come on and the fans are loud. Our players learn inside technique, outside technique and movement. We will break down the three techniques Coach Chavis alluded to.

What\u2019s my job \u2014-TASK?
T: Technique
A: Alignment
S: Stance
Three point stance
K: Key
ball to man aligned on
R: ResponsibilityGap/Option
Weapons for the 3 technique include:
Feet: accelerate on contact
Eyes: read on the run
Hands: stab hand grab hand

We have been very basic but this is where the game begins. Our job is to get our players to know, not to convince them how much we know. Always know little guys are watching you and telling their mom, \u201che\u2019s the coach and I want to play for him some day.\u201d

Thanks for your attention and we are limited with time and Coach Larry Slade will now come to share with you.

The University of Tennessee
Defensive Backs:
Preparing for Battle in the SEC

It is an honor and privilege to speak before you today. The A F C A has over the years pro- vided great clinics for its members. I hope that we can share some information with you that will benefit you and your program.

It is very important to be fundamentally
sound and have a great teaching sequence

to get all of the necessary things done in preparing a successful defensive secondary. Our meeting schedule and practice schedule a ffords us the opportunity to be very eff e c t i v e t e a c h e r s .

Daily DB Checklist
I.Position Meeting

A. Academic discussion
B. Practice tape
C. Opponent tape
D. Coverage drill

1. Adjustments
2. Formations
3. Shifts

4. Tricks

Chalk talks, chair drills, walk through, expect players\u2019best. Keep meeting positive and lively. Get the players involved.

II.Individual Time
A. Release Drill vs. wide receivers

1. Bump and run
2. Hammer flat technique
3. Cushion man

Emphasize finishing drill. This drill is done without a ball. Teach technique ver- sus speed in your face.

B. 1 on 1 Field and Goal Line
C. Block Protection/Tackle
D. Footwork Drills: Emphasize short
distance quickness
E. Ball Drills: Emphasize high point
and reception point
F. Phase Drill vs. Deep Ball

1. In Phase\u2014DB in dominant posi- tion\u2014look back for ball and intercept it at its highest point.

2. Out of Phase \u2014 defensive back is behind wide receiver\u2014Do not look back: Play receivers hands and eyes.

III.Half Line Option Drill
A. Strong Side
B. Weak Side
C. Rapid Fire \u2014 get reps
Rotate formations on a daily basis.
Day 1: I PRO
Day 2: Twins
Day 3: I Tight
Use your base coverages to teach proper
run support: vs lead option and dive option.
IV.Half Line Skeleton

Strong Side
Weak Side
Rapid Fire: get reps

Strong Side (See Diagram 6)
Weak Side (See Diagram 7)
*Run basic routes vs base coverages

V.Inside Drill (9 on 8)
A. Proper Alignment
B. Proper Fit: Flow to and Flow away
C. Corners vs Tight Formation
Teach Proper Safety Fits (See Diagram 8)
Teach Corner Support (See Diagram 9)
VI. Pass Skeleton
A. Versus Offense: Emphasize
Good vs Good
B. Versus Scouts: Emphasize route
and formation recognitions
VII.Post Practice
A. Spend time with 1 player per practice
1. Talk academics
2. Talk life skills

3. Get to know as much as you can about what\u2019s going on in player\u2019s life.Get extra individual work with the player.

Assign. & Tech.
Callside End
Callside Tackle
Backside Tackle
Backside End
Weak 10
Run Category
Flow To
Flow Away
Reverse & Restrict
B-Gap Restrict
Reverse & Restrict
Daylight or Dark
Pull Block Off

Flow Angle

Daylight or Dark
Pass Category
Flow To/Drop Back/Flow Away


Diagr am 1
Dan Br ooks, Defensive Line
Lar r y Slade, Defensive Backs

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