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1. Each individual MUST believe in OUR defense. Each individual MUST have confidence in HIMSELF - “I, personally, will not let the ball over the goal line.” 2. On every offensive play or pass, eleven defensive men MUST have an assignment to carry out. If one man fails, all eleven fail. 3. Pursuit and gang tackling are the two most important parts of out team defense. a. It is difficult for the ball carrier to get lose when 5or 6 players are trying to tackle him. b. Punish and demoralize the ball carrier. 4. Aggressiveness MUST be developed and maintained. Learn to play aggressive; learn to stay aggressive. 5. We MUST stop the THIRD DOWN play. 6. We MUST stop all teams inside our 10. They shall not score! 7. Overall team speed, quickness and lateral movement MUST receive top priority. 8. Each defense has its strengths and weaknesses – Know Them! 9. When a Sudden Change or Hurry-Hurry situation occurs, we MUST mentally arise to the occasion. • • • • • • • • MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. TAKE CHARGE OF THE SUDDEN CHANGE AND HURRY-HURRY. NEVER ALLOW THE BIG PLAY AGAINST US. MAKE THE GAME BREAKER. PROPER KICK-OFF COVERAGE. NO MISTAKES ON PUNT RETURN. TEAM UNITY. PRIDE AND POISE
Reacting to the Sudden Change Sudden Change is the real test of a great defensive team. The score is 7-7 in the fourth quarter and we have just stopped our opponents on our own 28 yard line. We have just sat down on the bench; we feel good and relieved. We have just stopped them after a long drive. We can sure use the rest. As our offensive starts to drive the ball out from the 28 yard line, a fumble on the first play occurs and our opponent has the ball on our 24 yard line! This is a Sudden Change situation. The Sudden Change is ours!!! We can do an excellent job in this area if we are mentally ready for it. What you MUST do! 1. Always huddle before you go back into the game. 2. Gain control of your thoughts and get yourself ready to play defense again. 3. Realize that you must get yourself and your team up mentally. 4. Go all out to make the big play yourself.
5. Now is the test of our defense. Accept the challenge. 6. When we stop them now, we will have an even greater psychological advantage. How you do it. 1. Pay attention to their huddle. Know where their people line up to determine strength quickly. 2. Be ready for a No-Huddle when the offense is down with short time. 3. Be aware of splits, cadence, down and distance, and most of all – Watch the ball. 4. Know who the ‘Go-To’ guy is in a clutch. 5. Watch for the home-run play after the Sudden Change. 6. Know how substitutions affects play calling – especially the QB. 7. Bring our substitutes up to speed on what’s happening. Watch for the offense to capitalize on substitutions for injured players (i.e. 2nd string CB). 8. ECHO all calls, talk it up – make sure everyone is on the same page. THE WINNING EDGE 1.Critical Situations Third Down is the BIG DOWN. 1st and 2nd down Offense trying to set up 3rd and short. Defense trying to force 3rd and long. Third down means ‘Great and Intelligent Effort.’ When the defense is behind 2nd & 5, for example, someone MUST make the BIG PLAY. Talk them out of screen and draw. Everyone MUST recover and make the play on the ball carrier on these plays. 2.The Kicking Game There is Offense, Defense, and the Kicking Game. This is about one-third of the game (This is why we work on it first in practice). Coverage Team: Bust a gut for 30 to 35 yards under control. Kickoffs FIVE (5) DON’TS OF THE KICKING GAME: Don’t be offside. Don’t rough the kicker or holder. Don’t clip. Don’t block below the waist. Don’t let the ball hit the ground. 3.Save Time Ball carrier taken out of bounds In and Out of huddles Save one Time Out for field goal 4.Kill Time Get up slowly 5.Ball is lost on fumble, INT’s, fail to score after a drive, or any other bad break MUST be doubly tough on defense to overcome psychological letdown 6.What does “Peter” mean? 7.During a punt return, make sure the ball is kicked before peeling back for the return.
Defensive Team Goals
The main overarching goal of our defense is to STOP the other team from SCORING. We will not stop every 3rd and long play, and we may give up a big play or two per game. We MUST direct all of our effort to KEEP THE OFFENSE OUT OF THE ENDZONE. Other goals that we set as markers for GREAT DEFENSE help us in the overall scheme, but when we are backed against our own goal, individually and as a unit, we MUST be determined to PLAY WITH INTENSITY and PREVENT the score. The eleven areas that we want to focus on after our main goal are: 1) Win the turnover ratio; 2) No running plays of more than ten yards; 3) No passing plays of more than 15 yards; 4) No off-sides, personal foul, or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties; 5) Offensive 3rd down percentage of 35% or less; 6) Score on Defense or set-up our Offense to score; 7) Average 3.0 yards per carry or less for the game; 8) 30% passing efficiency or less; 9) Average less than 2 yards after the catch; 10) No scores in the 1st and 4th quarters; 11) Win the time of possession battle. If we can accomplish seven of the 11 goals, we should be able to win the game. The goals are not easily accomplished, that is why we have to practice like we intend on playing. We will attain these goals by: 1. SWARM DEFENSE – This is the First and Foremost principle of our defense. Great swarm prevents scores. In the final analysis, the effectiveness of a team’s defense is measured by the number of points scored against it. Swarming is also the best way to intimidate an offense. 2. “OUT PHYSICAL” THE OPPONENT – Every Friday, our opponents must fear playing against a tough physical defense. This correlates directly to our swarming ability. This also pertains to being a great tackling team. MUST tackle in an aggressive, hard, wrapping fashion. Missed tackles will not be tolerated. 3. ASSIGNMENT EXECUTION – Each man MUST know his individual assignment responsibility on every defense and execute, to the best of his ability, every play. 4. CONFIDENCE – When we break the huddle we are confident in what we are doing. Confidence is contagious. We have a confident, fearless attitude about playing this game. We WILL be a great defense. In order to have a great defense, you know we must have great pursuit and gang tackling. What will we need to do in practice to have great pursuit and gang tackling? 1. We must be in top condition physically and mentally. This will mean a lot of running and film viewing. a. We will run a lot of sprints for endurance and speed. b. You will get mad – but you must force yourself. c. You may hate us for making you run, but still you will run, run, run. d. Every time you run a sprint, you are running for a better or poorer team.
2. We must swarm the ball and be sharp in practice. a. Everyone is required to break the huddle sharp. b. You play the way you practice. 3. We must practice tackling, especially open field, every day. 4. We must play the ball on pass defense. 5. We must have great pride and confidence in each other an in our RAIDERS DEFENSE! A Raiders Defender: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Never taunts an opposing player. Asks the coach a question if he is not sure about something. Never lacks confidence in his teammates. Is an obsessed, competitive athlete in every drill, every day in practice. Works on his ability to concentrate every day, on the field and in meetings. Weight trains when he is supposed to. Acts like a Raider off the field and in public view. Ha s a great camaraderie with his teammates and leaves the words “I,” “Me” and “Mine” at home. 9. Only worries about issues that pertain to him. 10. Never panics in a game when he sees something new or unexpected. 11. Never is guilty of an ignorant foul. DOWN AND DISTANCE THEORY As a defensive unit, we must at all times know the down and distance situation. Our opponents will, in most instances, classify themselves according to down and distance as to the formations they will use, and the type of play (pass) or run (inside or outside) we should be expecting. With this in mind, you should memorize the following down and distance chart to better help you understand how we try to act our defenses up and help yourself prepare for the situations that will present themselves. 1 & 10 2 & 3+4+5+6 (Normal) 2 & +7 or more (Long) 3 & +1+2 (Short) 3 & +3+4+5 (Medium) 3 & +6 or more (Long) A. 1st Down and 10 We must expect in this instance either pass or run and use one of our combination defenses which gives us an excellent running defense plus a strong passing defense. At times, de to calculated frequencies through our scouting system, we may concentrate more emphasis on one phase of their attack rather than the other in this particular down and distance.
B. 2nd Down and 1 or 2 – Waste Down Many teams have a tendency to go for a home rum play on 2nd down and one or two. C. 2nd Down and Medium 3, 4, 5, 6, Yards to go In this situation percentages tend to show that most teams will favor their running attacks, although this not eliminate the possibility of a pass. Due to such a percentage, we would tend to select one of our running defenses that is designed to impair our opponents’ running game, but still gives ample pass coverage. D. 2nd Down and Long 7 or more yards to go Due to high frequency of pass plays by most teams in a 2nd and long situation, we will concentrate our defenses on stopping the passing game. Good time to rush passer. E. 3rd Down and Short 1 or 2 yards to go We must expect our opponents to select their best offensive play in this situation. We will definitely concentrate on stopping their best play with our best running defense. Our theory is to meet strength with strength in this situation. We must stop their offense for no gain or a loss in this situation. F. 3rd Down and Medium 3, 4, 5 yards to go We regard this situation in theory the same as 2nd Down and Normal, but whatever the offense selects to run against us, we must hold them to less than 6 yards to force them into a kicking situation. G. 3rd Down and Long 6 or more yards to go In this situation we find through percentages that most of our opponents tend to rely upon their passing game more frequently than their running game. With this in mind we will select one of our defenses that is designed to give us maximum pass coverage. In other instances, we may select one of our blitzing defenses to cause the opposing quarterbacks to suffer from undue pressure, thus disturbing the timing of their passing attack.
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