When It Counts Goal Line Defense: We’re All There!

n behalf of C.W. Post College coaching staff and players, it is truly an honor and privilege to have this opportunity to contribute to the AFCA Summer Manual. After a long drive, after a big play, after a turnover with your back to the wall, how will your defense react when it counts? Someone must come up with a great play: • Throw opponent for a big loss. • Get a big hit — causing a fumble. • Recover a fumble. • Intercept a pass. When putting together a goal line package you must be aware of the following: 1. The probable mental and physical state of your defense has just changed due to the occurrence of a big play or a long drive. 2. Your defense is as far away from you as they can get on the field. 3. What is your opponent’s personnel and play calling tendencies down on the goal line? Philosophy We believe that to have a great goal line defense your package must be consistent with your upfield package. It will not be the same obviously, but your players should be familiar with the alignments and techniques they will use. The techniques the players will use are similar to one of our outside blitzes in our eight-man front. Your goal line defense also has to differ from your short yardage package. Everything about goal line defense is different from upfield short yardage. Your players must understand this. In order to play with their great goal line technique and attitude, they must have a special feeling of pride and confidence in this special package. Our plan of attack on the goal line will be structured in the following manner: • Establish a new line of scrimmage by executing a low explosive type of penetrating charge by the down linemen. • Having attacking linebackers who will make the stop for no gain or loss of yardage. • Perimeter stunts, which are necessary to force big plays on sweep and option plays. • The ability to play zone and man to man coverage in order to stop the running and passing game. We will play with our base personnel on


the goal line regardless of the personnel the offense will use. We will not substitute extra linemen. Our fronts and coverages will be packaged according to the offensive personnel but our personnel will remain the same. The reasoning behind this is: 1. If he is not good enough for you to play him on the 50 yard line, he can’t play for you on the one yard line. 2. The shifting of offense from three backs to empty back and the resulting changes in your run- support and coverage. 3. Another reason would be the long sprinting on and off the field of the players lead to confusion. We want our players mentally ready with their feet set, aware of pre-snap tendencies. The Base (91 Man) This is our base alignment versus two or three back, double tight end personnel (22 or 32 personnel) (Diagram 1). We will play both five across zone and man versus this personnel.

Diagram 1

Bryan Collins Head Coach C.W. Post College Brookville, N.Y.

T and N: Align heavy inside shade of offensive guard and as the offense gets closer to the end zone, heavy shade of center to prevent quarterback sneak. S and E: Heavy outside shade of offensive tackle to head up, strike through shoulder of offensive tackle on up field charge. B and M: Downhill player in B gap. Man (No. 3 strong or No. 2 weak) or zone coverage. ST and W: Will use two-point stance in “up” technique. Key near back to deep back and read through outside hip. Cage quarterback and force versus outside run. Slow play pitch versus option. FS: Adjuster versus motion- alley fill. Man (Banjo #1/2 with SC) SC/BC: Secondary contain. Man (SC Banjo #1/2 with FS. WC banjo #1/2 with M) With this front we have line stunts to give the offense different looks. The inside linebacker will read flow for gap responsibilities. Our coverage will remain either a five across concept or man with a free rush from our outside linebackers. (Diagrams 2,3,4)

• AFCA Summer Manual — 2001 •

Diagram 2: 91 “In” Man

ST/W: Tight end man-to-man. If there is no tight end, reduce line and blitz near back. (Diagram 8) B/M: Backs man-to-man.

“build boxes” and secondary contain the quarterback with our No. 3 cover man to that side (Diagram 10).

Diagram 10: Up G7 vs. Roll

Diagram 7: 91 Bullets vs. Wings

Diagram 3: 91 “Out” Man
We review our goal line installation in our Sunday practice. This is the only package we will see with our players that day. Many opponents have their goal line package consistent from week to week. We are able to present this to our players with a good understanding of our opponent’s goal line philosophy. On Wednesday, we will review goal line defense in a 10-minute block. At the end of practice, our offense and defense will align on opposite goal lines. Our respective scout teams will huddle on the sideline at the four yard lines. The scout team will review four plays while our first unit will run four sprints. Then it is first and goal at the four versus our fresh scout teams. We will do this two different times. We feel that we need to practice our goal line packages when we are gassed. This is usually the physical state our players will be in. Our philosophy is simple. Each player must hold himself responsible for keeping the ball carrier out of the end zone. Each player must: • Give super effort on every play- Never concede a point! • Believe in our ability to stop the offense. • Execute his goal line technique with savvy. • Make the big play WHEN IT COUNTS!

Diagram 8

Diagram 4: 91 “Pinch” Man

We can also send our corners in “Bullets” and play man coverage (Diagram 5).

Diagram 5: 91 “Bullets”

Hug G 7 You must have an answer for shifts to spread sets. In our goal line package our 11 best players were on the field and they were all using techniques they are familiar with our upfield package. That is the way we will be successful. In addition, when the offense shifts into spread we will have the personnel to counter with. We will be in our “Hug G” front and play a seven across zone. We believe in zone versus the spread to take away the pick patterns (Diagram 9).

Diagram 9: Up G7

SC/BC: If there is no width to your side, you are the bullet. FS: If corner to passing strength is removed, you become the bullet otherwise, you have the first back or the wing (Diagram 6,7)

Diagram 6: 91 Bullet with No. 1 Removed

SC/BC: The “numbers”. Bail to fade area — keep leverage on No. 1. Squeeze any inside route by No. 1. ST/W: Hash mark to top of numbers. FS: Goalpost to hash mark M (ILB): Middle of goal. B (ILB): Goalpost to hash mark. Note: Never get any deeper than two yards into the end zone. Keep distribution. “Hard read” the quarterback’s front shoulder for great break. On any rollout with flood patterns we will

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• AFCA Summer Manual — 2001 •

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