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ARIZONA DESERT SWARM 4-3 UNDERSHIFT/FLEX DOUBLE EAGLE FRONT

(Coach Homer Smith:) Draw up a formation with a flanker, a tight end, a split end, and an I or Pro backfield. Put eight frontal players on these positions: - an outside linebacker/strong safety/Rover outside of the TE and back 3 yards - a 7-technique - a 3-technique - a LB over the tackle - a "neck player" on the center's weak side (he plays into the center's neck and will not be blocked by the C on weakside plays) * a B-gap flex player, off two-yards -- he is one-half lineman and one-half LB - a LB behind the flex and off 5 yards - an End-of-line player on air, outside of the tackle AND, - a three-deep.

PROBLEMS FOR THE OFFENSE: 1) You can't flow strong because the deep Will LB and the flex go over the top of the neck player. 2) You can't flow weak because the Center cannot block the neck player. 3) You can't run straight ahead because the TE cannot get the 7 technique. 4) In pass pro you cannot assign a lineman to flex because the Center cannot handle neck alone. That is the Arizona that evolved out of the 46. -----------------------------------------------------------------(A high school coach in Ohio:) Flex player reads the guard: - Down block...fill off guard's butt, looking to wrong-arm - Base on you...squeeze guard into A gap - Pull...follow on our side of LOS - Pass set...drop or rush, according to coverage. Original coverage rules had the Mike aligning pretty much over the #3 eligible receiver. Some guys have the Rover/SS as the adjuster, keeping Mike in the box. (This is if you decide to play Man coverage -- otherwise you can play pure Cover 3 zone.) Problems for O (in my opinion): *what to do with the flex guy *double eagle messes with schemes *8 man front for run teams *Unique look I know a guy who was the DC at Ohio State who believed it is the best runstopping front in football. Not that that makes it gospel, but the guy does have some credibility, so it makes you think there may be something to it. ------------------------------------------------------------------(Me:) Against 1-back or Spread offenses the Double Eagle Flex can have some problems matching up; but against a two- or three-back look it is almost impossible to block. The possibilities off this look are nearly endless. You can bring the SS/Rover up to the LOS like the Buddy Ryan 46 used to; you can zone blitz; you can man blitz with press coverage by the Corners; you can run Man Free (Cover 1) with the FS playing center field; or you can stay in plain vanilla Cover 3 and watch the offense try to block your Flex Double Eagle front.

The strong side will play pretty much like 46 teams always do with the Double Eagle/TNT front and the 40 and 7 tech LB’s disrupting blocking patterns and fast flowing to the ball. Run responsibilities are pretty simple -- everyone fills their gap, locates the ball, and goes to it. The strong A gap is Mike’s responsibility, with Will playing cutback. The Flex tackle fills the weak B gap or else flows to the ball. I have has success playing him in both a 3-point and a low 2-point stance. The 3-deep play the pass first, and only have secondary alley and pursuit responsibilities. I don’t want them worrying about run fits, they are there to stop the pass and clean up on the run. Pass coverage: Cover 0: Press man for Corners on #1 to their side; FS plays soft man on #2 strong; Will has #2 weak and Mike has #3 wherever he goes. Sam blasts TE to prevent inside or look-in release, then blitzes; SS/Rover blitzes from 3 yards back, either inside or outside Sam, wherever he sees a hole in the pass pro. If one or both backs stay in to block, Will and Mike drop back and clog the short middle, walling any crossers who come their way. End, Nose, and both Tackles fill their gaps and rush the passer. Cover 1: FS plays deep middle zone; Corners play soft man coverage on #1, SS/Rover covers #2 strong, Will takes #2 weak, and Mike takes #3. Again, if the receiver doesn’t release, the defender should drop back and play a short zone looking for crossers to wall off. Sam rushes the passer outside-in and contains the ball. Flex Tackle can rush through different gaps based on scouting or game plan. One good variation is to send him wide around the weak End to contain while the End crashes and rushes the passer. Cover 3: Corners and FS play deep 1/3’s; Will drops through weak Curl to Flat; Mike drops to the short middle and walls off crossers; Sam chucks the TE and drops through strong Hook to Curl; SS moves through Strong Curl to Flat. Strong Tackle must rush outside in and contain the ball as he squeezes the QB. Weak End will have contain responsibilities unless Flex Tackle loops outside him. Any questions, contact me at seayee@hotmail.com