or the University of Montana coaching staff I would like to thank the AFCA for this opportunity to share some

of the things we do with our defensive front. I appreciate Head Coach Joe Glenn for asking me to write this article. One year ago after being hired from Northern Colorado, Coach Glenn organized his staff in the middle of recruiting season. Our first task was to secure an outstanding class of recruits. After the national signing day, our defensive staff started to work on our defensive package and to get ready for spring practice. Our staff consists of Mike Breske (coordinator), Dave Doeren (secondary), Chris Knutsen (linebackers), and Lance Robinson (whom I work with on the defensive line). Our defensive philosophy is for 11 play ers to work as a single unit. Each player must carry out his responsibility so the entire unit can execute the game plan. We are an aggressive defense, which is based on HUSTLE and DESIRE. We like to bring a lot of pressure with our zone blitzes. Our players like this attack tempo and believe in it. This allows them to play very aggressive, make plays and have fun. There are five things which we feel we need to do to win: 1. Be more physical than our opponent. 2. Be intelligent, know our assignments and game situations. 3. Hustle, we are a swarming defense, great effort on every play. 4. Be mentally tough, don’t let little things interfere with our focus. 5. Desire for team victory, personal sacrifices for team success. Montana Grizzly football for the past 15 years has been known for its explosive offense. During last year’s spring practice and this past season we could feel the excitement and the rise in prominence of the defensive unit. The media, school, community, and entire state started to talk about the Griz “D”. With record-breaking crowds, our fans became very vocal when the opponents had the ball and showed their appreciation with standing ovations when the team came off the field following a three and out series. All this was very motivational for our players. Here are some defensive statistics, which our team achieved for the regular season. Rush Def. 76.6 1st Big Sky/2nd I-AA Pass Def. 188.4 2nd Big Sky Scoring Def. 19.3 1st Big Sky Pass Eff. Def. 107.7 1st Big Sky Total Def. 265.0 1st/Big Sky/8th-AA


Sacks: 51 1st Big Sky Third Down: 30% 1st Big Sky 4th Down: 41% 2nd Big Sky For the entire season we had 172 tackles for a loss, 55 sacks, and 20 fumble recoveries. Assets Needed to Play Defensive Line 1. Aggressiveness, may be the most important. 2. Quickness off the ball. 3. Be physical, dominate your man on his side of the line of scrimmage. 4. Great conditioning. 5. Use of leverage. 6. Quick feet. 7. Get off blocks. 8. Use of your hands. 9. Stay on your feet. 10. Full speed from the snap to the whistle on every play. 11. Work hard in practice. 12. Be a team player. We talk about these assets all the time in practice and drills. The Basic Fundamentals Stance Alignment & Responsibility Charge and Reaction Escapes Pursuit Tackling Alignments and Gaps for Defensive Fronts

Bear Attack: The Grizzlies’ Front Four

Tom Hauck Defensive Line Coach University of Montana Missoula, Mont.

Diagram 1: Alignments & Gaps

Cub Front

Diagram 2: Cub Front

• AFCA Summer Manual — 2001 •

N: Nose Tackle is our larger tackle who faces more double teams inside (One tech). Against the run the nose gets flat down the line of scrimmage. Our three. The drawback is they must learn both a left and right hand stance. they are wrong. Techniques for the Front Four We are a one gap responsible front and our alignment tells us what technique we use. On pass. Now he adjusts to the blocking scheme of the offensive tackle. If the offensive tackle pass sets. Our three. If our end has a wide alignment called. and nine techniques play the down block or inside release with a spill technique. E: End is our larger end who plays on the tight end side (Five tech). T: Tackle is our quicker. He will take a short lateral step. and nine techniques are very similar in how they play blocking schemes. We encourage our pass rushers to make plays but if they lose their rush lane leverage.Buck Alignment: Loose 5 Technique: 5 Key: Tackle Run To: C Gap Run Away: Shuffle Pass: Contain Tackle Alignment: 3 Technique: 3 Key: Guard Run To: B Gap Run Away: Gap Pursuit Pass: Inside lane Nose Alignment: 1 Technique: 1 Key: Guard Run To: A Gap Run Away: Gap Pursuit Pass: Inside lane End Alignment: Loose 5 Technique: 5 Key: Tackle Run To: C Gap Run Away: Shuffle Pass: Contain B: Buck end aligns on the open-end side. At Montana we play most blocking schemes like any other team. If the play is going away our five or nine technique ends use a shuffle technique. We flip our linemen so we can place them where they match up best against the offense and also it reduces the number of techniques they must learn. He attacks the man on the other side of his gap. he will move to a 4I alignment and use a jam technique. Now he must get across the face of the offensive tackle and slam the tight end. He is our most athletic end who rushes on the edge and is the coverage end on zone blitzes (Five tech). but he is the inside lane rusher on that side (Diagram 8). If the tight end releases the three tech turns tight upfield for his contain rush. We talk a lot to our players about their role and responsibilities. then take a lateral jab step and get across the face of the center and rip up field through the A gap.way rush on the blocker. He now sees and feels the offensive guard block. the three tech attacks his outside shoulder and contains rushes the quarterback If the offensive tackle sets up outside to block the Buck. our end gets back outside towards the sideline the best he can. Here the tackle steps to and punches the offensive guard and then rips the A gap. If it is a run scheme he already has his head in the B gap. Diagram 3 has the option to drive the man wide and get up field and contain the quarterback by releasing inside (Diagram 5). Also he could take a false (bite) step outside and quick swim to the inside. he now is a chase player and has bootleg responsibility first. If bootleg occurs. He is the contain rusher and uses a slam technique. For some gains there are some risks. by closing the gap and taking on the next blocker with our outside shoulder. We then square upfield and spill the ball carrier. he has a two. If the tight end blocks we play him the same way we did the offensive tackle in slam tech. better pass rush tackle. the three tech Diagram 5 Our nose tackle uses a cross face technique on many of our zone blitzes. When the three tech must contain rush on the tight end side. he uses the punch and rip technique. He will align in a shade. five. Our five tech end uses a loop technique on some blitzes. five. who contain rushes on zone blitzes (Three tech). but also give them some freedom to make decisions and make big plays. Diagram 6 Diagram 4 When a blitz is rushing the three tech’s B gap. We make a number of tackles on the zone play. where they shuffle flat down the line of scrimmage and check for the hand off or bootleg. Diagram 7 In zone blitzes our three technique tackle has some variations to his normal charge. then a large crossover step. Once we teach a technique it can be applied to all of our fronts and adjustments. He knows that he has help from the Mike linebacker. His third step is a plant step with his foot pointed up • AFCA Summer Manual — 2001 • .

We have a low heavy sled with a small rectangular pad on the front of a large spring. On run plays he will react to the block of the offensive guard. The tempo should be quick and intense. This ends up being a gap responsibility exchange with the linebackers. Team Defense: Work against different personnel groups and down and distances I hope this has given you an idea about what we do and some information you can use. he is the curl first. Our tackles rush the edge of their man and try to get him out of his pass set. both the nose and the tackle employ a cross face technique. The players drill a quick hand strike and escape. We work a quarterback scramble and draw play drills. Diagram 10 We use these techniques when a single or pair of linemen varies their charge. he will drop to his coverage. where the first man drives the defender and sets up the second man’s rush. Pass Rush: We work on line stunts and techniques. We run our two man line stunts with three different tempos. On a run play there is no exchange of responsibilities. Pass or set up tempo. as recommended by the AFCA. 3. where the linemen exchange responsibilities on the snap of the ball. Each drill should have a start. the first man gets up field and makes his exchange move underneath. Early in the season we were causing fumbles but not recovering them. Practice and Drills We want our drills to relate to things that our players will see and do during the game that week. execution. Circuit Period: We do a tackle circuit or turnover circuit. It was fun and our fumble recovery rate improved. Diagram 11 In pass rush techniques we stress getting off the ball and driving up field. We like to keep a checklist on what drills and techniques we practiced during the week so that cover everything. If we don’t beat the defender by quarterback depth. Don’t jeopardize the contracts of many of your fellow coaches by being selfish. Our ends work from a wide alignment and speed rush on the edge. Nine-on-Seven: Work on inside run. We put a station in our turnover circuit where we throw a ball in a pile of bags. Run or quick tempo. Diagram 12 The Buck end will take his normal charge and attack the offensive tackle or tight end for the run first. finish. 2. works on get offs and hand quickness drills. A lot of our sacks were a credit to good secondary coverage. Individual Period: We drill techniques and work on blocking schemes. If it is pass. 1. he then rips the A gap. Sample Practice Schedule Walk Through: We review insertions made during position meetings earlier in the day. Our linemen were not very big. and delivering a blow. or the equivalent. We work hard on Be ethically responsible to your profession by notifying your former institution’s athletic director immediately when you are hired by another institution. We also go oneon-one pass rush against our offensive line. we will power rush to the quarterback or club and rip under to the quarterback. Double-Dipping Affects July to July Contract Recommendation Coaches who are fortunate enough to have July to July contracts. On our “nut” call. • AFCA Summer Manual — 2001 • . Diagram 9 defeating the blockers hands. ver sus run or pass. but we stressed quickness and speed. 2 receiver. should not abuse the privilege when moving from one job to another by accepting salaries from two institutions during the transition. We do these drills almost every day. Our drills should relate to our basic fundamentals and emphasis our asset list.Diagram 8 field. and rotation to insure maximum number of repetitions. Team Defense: Work on zone blitzes. agilities. The second man then covers the first man’s job. We try to start a drill with a green ball or lineman movement and finish with a tackle breakdown. finds the ball and recovers it. Easy tempo. Special Teams: This is an extra period for the defensive line which we used for footwork. Specialties: Defensive line warms up. stretches. His angle is toward the route of the No. Have a good summer and a great fall. then a flat player. Team Defense: Work on our run fits. A player dives into the pile. We then work on the jerk and rip or swim to get by the defender. Our front four were experienced and aggressive.

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