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Mexico 1997 AFCA Summer Manual In this day and age of college football, offenses have become very explosive and complex in the number of formations and plays used in a game. To combat this problem, defenses must have enough flex ibility in their scheme to limit offenses in their play selection, but be simple enough to be good at what they do. During a game we must look like we do a lot, but only do enough to take away what offenses do best. This leads me to our philosophy of , Multiplicity but simplicity. With every good idea, there has to be a sense of purpose to stand behind it. The purpose behind the 4-2 front, five spoke secondary is to give less-talented defensive units the flexibility to compete. T here is no more helpless feeling than to play bend but don t break defense, have the opposition turn up the level of play and have no answer to it. The other thought process is that the better the athlete we have, the more an offense must contend with our individual ability, plus the multiplicity of the scheme. We want offenses to guess what they should spend mos t of their time working on. Our job is to find out what their answer is and then use other phases of our package to cause new problems. At the University of New Mexico, we have five goals to playing great defense: 1. Out hit the opponent. 2. Stop the run. 3. Create takeaways. 4. Eliminate big plays. 5. Don t flinch. To accomplish these five goals, we use five basic principles within the 4-2-5 to give our players a chance to succeed: 1. Create offensive confusion at the line of scrimmage. 2. Play with great leverage. 3. Establish the eight man front. 4. Establish a pressure package. 5. The five spoke secondary. Create Offensive Confusion at the Line of Scrimmage To create confusion at the line of scrimmage we must direct our energy at the pr e-snap read. Offenses, as we all know, do a great job of exploiting weaknesses. As a defensive unit, we do not want to allow offenses this advantage if possible. For us, the 4-2 front, five spoke secondary gives us great disguise capabilities, pl us movement from all 11 players independently. This movement all happens because the front and coverage before t he snap can work separately from each other. The three safety system is the main reason all this can happen, because o f the natural alignments in leverage positions, this allows the other eight players to move freely. The first answer offenses use to combat our movement disguise is to use the quic k count. We feel this gives us an advantage because we are now playing the offensive coordinator not the quarterba
The main coaching point needed to make all our movement possible is we must be able to carry out our assignment s from where we end up. We also feel this limits the size of their game plan because we have taken away the audible possibilities at the line of sc rimmage. If not.ck. you must first do your job! .
Both thoughts are still impor tant rules to go by. If n eeded. the first obvious characteristic was the natural leverage alignme nts. . These alignments are made possible by the three safety system. The corners can just work on playing coverage. The 4-2-5 front allows us the multiplicity to always try to have one more player at the point of attack than the offense. What this does is cause a net effect to surround ball car riers. What we have hung our hat on at the University of New Mexico is establishing the eight man front. you have to have a great belief in what you do. To make the system work properly. 2. Another way to present the theory behind playing great leverage is telling your players once the ball declares ins ide or outside of you. The natural leverage of the 4-2-5 allows five points to give us a bett er chance to play great defense. they played with great leverage. Natural alignments to play assignment option football. They have been taught to not get beat deep and be safe. if they keep the ball inside and in front of them. but you must know what you are possibly giving up. This split allows the safety coach to work on leverage as a priority along with cover age. Establishing the eight man front 5. with a corner coach and a s afety coach teaching all three safeties. we must do a smart job of using the multiplicity part of the eight man front to our advantage. the reason we went to the eight man front is that we do not believe we will play with the same level of personnel as others do year in and year out. nothing else matters. We have one key phrase which sums up what leverage means to our players at the University of New Mexico.Play with Great Leverage Every good defensive team that I have ever watched play had one distinct charact eristic about them. never allow it to cross back across your face. When we first became interested in the 4-2-5 defense. If fewer players are needed to stop t he run. The reason for using the eigh t man front is that we believe you must stop the run first. The first people on your defensive staff that must buy into stopping the run fir st are your defensive back coaches. That phrase is: inside and in front. Remember. but as a staff we must free up as many secondary players as are needed to secure leverage and give run support. 1. Great leverage tackling angles. We decided to divide the defensive secondary differently than other teams do. this will help us to achieve the goal of eliminating the big play. In basic terms. Establish the Eight Man Front To be great at anything. this tells everyone o f our 11 players that no matter where they are on the field. we can play with nine players up. Great angles to help eliminate the big play. 3. good things will happen. If you can t do that. 4. Great alignments to run to the football. it is important how w e teach it. As a staff.
This part of our package is designed to frustrate offenses and make them use their audible game plan. By following this philosophy we end up with an overall faster. which gives us a chance to pin point speed as a priority. Yet. Many staffs do a great job with pressure within their schemes. We. we recruit is the first big reason we have changed to the five def ensive back system. year in and year out. The simplicity of naming personnel (Mirrored players). we would like to cause offenses to change from what they like to do be st on game day. The possib ility must exist that we can bring five to eight defensive players on any given down. athletic defensive unit. There are many reasons that we like using the 4-2-5 scheme to blitz. With the addition of the three safeties. The second reason we like this system is for disguise purposes. but there are always certain personnel groups that cause four man secondaries disguise problem s. We believe that you recruit corners who might be safeties and better athletic safeties who grow into linebackers. The Five Spoke Secondary Who. Each player can basically work independently from the . 2. 3. We feel as a staff that the threat of the blitz to an offense is oftentimes worse than the blitz itself. Because of the fifth secondary player in our scheme. Below are a few of the major reasons: 1. Natural alignment positions. This thought process makes an offense accou nt for all eight players on all run and pass plays. Our blitz package must be simple enough to handle all the different formations used in a game. What we must do is find ways to bring more players to create mismatches. the disguise factor is already built into the system. This principle alone sets up the disguise movement thought process that we need for m ultiplicity. the more pressure that can be applied. Establish a Pressure Package Establishing a pressure package may be the most important principle for us to ac complish within our philosophy. All coverage pac kages have their positives. w e can be consistent and successful. The safeties leverage allows us to stunt or slant any way we ne ed to control the line of scrimmage. Coverage simplicity Mirror Alignment: Simple count system for the free safety versus the variety of formations we play against. and how. the bett er the athlete. This philosophy allows us to recruit a certain body type athlete. this gives us the possibility of nine player s playing the run against a two-back set. can t assume that we will line up with better athlet es.The philosophy behind being able to play the run with only six in the box is tha t we want the ball to get pushed to the outside safeties. we must be multiple enough to take advantage of an opponent s weakness. as a defense. This is the only way. The easy alignment against two-back or no-back sets (seven off-the-line coverage players). If possible. Usually.
The outside blitz position by our safeties makes offenses account for th em on all run and pass plays. As we have continually discussed throughout this article. we want to limit how much game plan they are putting in. they all must move together. The third reason is the natural leverage and blitz alignments that the three saf ety system gives us. . we are able to move our front six around without risking leverage problems. because of the leverage positions of the safe ties. Again. This allows our linebackers to show in their gaps without worrying about being an overlap player. This allows our disguise movement to be totally independent from four man coverage alignments.other four players. we can actually show blitz to one side and zone to the other side without losing contin uity. because once one of their secondary players moves. With the five spoke secondary.
Without the wisdom of Coach Franchione and the abilities of our defensive staff: Mark Parks. We break down teaching pass coverage like we have always taught run progression. then we go to half zone and follow this up with full pass skeleton. linebacke rs. just like we do in practice. Success can not be accomplished alone. We start out with individual. have helped us grow in this profession. through the years. .The fourth and final reason for using the five defensive back system is the mirr ored teaching in practice. defensive line. we would like to thank the AFCA for inviting us to contribute to this year s Summer Manual. The reason there is better overlap t eaching is the mirrored look of the safeties and linebackers. the reason this is able to happen is the fifth safety. success would be impossible. We believe this give s our coverage players a higher confidence level because they are only in charge of their half of the field! On behalf of Head Coach Dennis Franchione and the rest of the University of New Mexico football program. but must be a group effort. Again. corners and David Bailiff. The f ree safety allows us to be able to teach half the field coverage in a ball game. We w ould also like to thank all those coaches who. Kasey Dunn. Being good teachers and believing in each other as a staff helps i n achieving this goal.
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