This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
n behalf of the Southern Oregon football staff, I am honored and privileged to be able to share some of our defensive ideas in the 2003 AFCA Summer Manual. I hope that what we are presenting will help out other coaches, even if they only can take one thing from the article. With the game of football ever changing, and the evolution of offenses progressing at a feverish pace, we feel it is important for us to always try and stay one step ahead of the competition. We feel that this can be accomplished by being very multiple in our schemes while keeping things as consistent as possible for our players. We will always think about the players’ ability to comprehend what we are doing before we implement it into our defense. Raider Philosophies Before we get to our defense, there are several philosophies we preach to our players on a daily basis. Play Fast: There are several factors that can contribute to this, such as having a total understanding of your job in every situation, as well as a desire to get to the football. Cause Turnovers: We don’t want our players to think about causing turnovers, just in critical situations or when we are behind. We want them to think about creating turnovers on every snap. Put Yourself in Position to Make Plays: This can be achieved by proper alignment and pursuit angles to the football. Our defense is predicated on speed, so our base alignment, which we will adjust everything out of, is a 4-2-5 scheme. We feel with the way offenses are trying to attack people, it is important to have as many versatile athletes (players who can stop the run and play both zone and man coverage effectively) on the field as possible. With our 4-2-5 personnel grouping, we feel good about lining up in our three base fronts and making offenses adjust to what we are doing instead of the other way around. Front Progression We start everything out of an eight-man front (which we call Invert) and adjust to our other fronts from there (Diagram 1). From our eight-man front with our base coverage being a robber coverage, we will get to a 4-3 look by dropping our H and playing a quarters or halves coverage behind it. We can also accomplish this by walking the H out on the snap of the ball to play quarters, which will give the offense an eight in the box look. In reality, however, we
only have seven and are more sound vs. the vertical passing game (Diagram 2).
We also blitz the H and/or the B quite a bit from this front. So it is imperative that they disguise and stem on every snap. In this front, our H and B are the D-gap defenders, R is our C-gap defender, and the Mike and Will are responsible for strong A and weak B. It is important to note this point to tie the entire scheme together. The next step in our progression is to introduce our Under front, which is a fiveman front with the ability to show seven or eight in the box to confuse and put as much doubt in the quarterback’s mind as possible (Diagram 3 and 4). In this front, we are giving the offense a completely different look than we had previously yet the assignments for the players have changed very little.
We have kicked the defensive line over one man and walked the B up onto the line in a loose shade over the tight end. By doing this, we now have changed the offensive line’s blocking schemes by covering the strong side tackle and the weak side guard, while keeping the tight end covered. We have also kept gap responsibilities and reads consistent for most of the players on the defense, which allows them to think less and play fast. Our Under front also allows us to run our entire blitz package and all the same coverages we call out of our Invert front without any adjustments. The third front that we will get into is our Double Eagle, which we refer to as our Flex Defense. In our Flex Defense, we are able to set the flex backer (our Mike) to three different alignments and give the offense three different looks from essentially the same front. We can call Tight Flex which will set the Mike to tight call, Split Flex which will put the Mike away from the tight call, or just Flex which puts the Mike in a zero alignment off the ball. We do not have to make any substitutions to play this front. The only extra teaching we have to do is with Mike backer. The Mike’s alignment is a yardand-a-half off the line of scrimmage, in his normal linebacker stance, in whatever alignment we have predetermined for that week. We feel the Flex gives the offense another look that changes their blocking schemes, makes them decide how they are going to treat the Mike who is at the flex position, and makes them use invaluable practice time during the week on another front (Diagrams 5, 6 and 7).
practice time trying to adapt to all the different things we are going to show them, which is going to force them to shrink their game plan down to the very basics of what they do. By doing this, it allows us to practice all of our fronts and coverages, knowing we are going to get a limited number of looks from our opponents. Conclusion This is not a comprehensive look at our defensive package. We hope, however this article contains some thoughts or ideas that can help your program. If there is anything that we can provide for you or your staff that will improve your defense, please make us aware of your needs. We will gladly make anything from our program available to you. We would also like to thank the AFCAfor the opportunity to share our ideas and for all the work they do to continually improve this great game we are a part of. Good luck on the upcoming season!
Again the ability to keep assignments the same, or at least very similar, allows our players to do very little thinking and play fast at all times. In our Flex front, we are still able to run our full compliment of blitzes and the majority of our coverages with one or two exceptions. Stem and Disguise Philosophies The other part of our defense, which I alluded to earlier, that we feel makes us very multiple is our ability to stem and disguise our front as well as the secondary. We take the approach of letting our kids have fun with this part of the game by allowing them a lot of freedom, with a few parameters that they must follow. 1. On the snap of the ball, be in position to take care of your gap assignment and/or pass responsibility. 2. Work in unison with the player in front of or next to you. We call this, “working on a string.” Every player is attached to an imaginary string, which is either attached to a person in front, back, or beside you. This allows players to have freedom of movement, but gives looks that we will actually be in. 3. Show alignments in which the offense must always account for you, always be a threat to blitz. Within these parameters we really allow our players a lot of freedom, which makes them feel that they have a vested interest in what we are doing schematically on defense. Many coaches have a different philosophy when it comes down to being multiple, “we don’t have the time” or, “it’s too much for the players to handle.” We feel that with the ability to keep alignments and assignments very basic and consistent, we can give the offense many different looks and cause a lot of indecision in the quarterback’s mind. We also take the same approach that many defensive coaches take when they have to defend the option from a team that is not necessarily an option team. We want offenses to have to spend their
Double-Dipping Affects July to July Contract Recommendation
Coaches who are fortunate enough to have July to July contracts, or the equivalent, as recommended by the AFCA, should not abuse the privilege when moving from one job to another by accepting salaries from two institutions during the transition. Be ethically responsible to your profession by notifying your former institution’s athletic director immediately when you are hired by another institution. Don’t jeopardize the contracts of many of your fellow coaches by being selfish.