Archive | August, 2011

Coaching Linebacker Stance

22 Aug

By Joe2
Football Defense Report
May 30, 2011  

Some coaches are so detail oriented. They can see every little mistake and need everything to be perfect. Others are results guys. They don’t car how the job gets done, as long as the result is good.

Nowhere on the defensive side do these differences become more obvious than linebacker stances. Some teams will have 2 or 3 linebackers standing at exactly 5 yards looking like a picture out of a manual. Others have guys at different levels, different hip height, foot width, and anything else you can think of.

For me, I guess I am a results guy. I don’t care what he looks like pre-snap if he’s making plays. There are only a few guidelines my guys need to follow, and one rule not to be broken.

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Defending the Power-O

21 Aug
From Barking Carnival
Like every good base play the Power O is not just a play the offense runs well, it is also a vital diagnostic tool. The offense will be paying close attention to how the defense is keying and defending the Power O.
More specifically the offense will pay attention to what level of the defense is actually making the stop against the Power play: on the line, at the linebacker level or at the secondary level. This information will help the offense diagnose how to modify their attack to be more successful with the Power and alert them to other areas the defense might be vulnerable to complementing plays.

If we are really going to gain an appreciation for how to complement the Power play, we need to examine what the defense is up to. So let’s take a brief trip to the other side of the ball.

Playside Defenders

The primary pressure on the Power O play is on the end man on the line of scrimmage (usually the defensive end, this player is often abbreviated EMOL) and the two/three other key defenders in the box (usually the Sam and Mike linebackers and possibly the Strong Safety).

Off-set I vs. a 4-3 Defense

I am calling these defenders in red “playside defenders” because they are the players that can attack the kick out blocks and leading guard on the power play
rather than being blocked down.  These defenders can respond in a variety of ways but the responses usually fall into two categories.

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Training: The Perfect Push-Up

19 Aug

We found the below article at Men’s Health on-line magazine and thought it perfect for a youth football team’s training program because you get great results using little or no equipment.

Most guys abandon the pushup for the bench press sometime around puberty. That’s a shame—pushups have a lot going for them. You can do them anywhere. They don’t require any equipment. And they’re more effective at building rippling muscles than you probably realize.

In fact, researchers recently discovered that performing pushups as quickly as you can is one of the best ways to build explosive upper-body strength, according to The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. This pushup method was more effective than doing plyometric pushups (think: clapping between each pushup), and fall pushups, where you drop from a kneeling position and try to push your way back up to the starting position.

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Terminology: Shovel Pass

19 Aug

It’s “shovel” pass.  Not shuffle or shuttle, but shovel!

“Cactus” Jack Curtice is credited with developing the nifty little pass play that has so many coaches and fans alike confused as to what to actually call it.

Because of the pass play’s unique throwing motion — a kind of hybrid overhanded, pitch forward — the term “shovel” pass was the first name assigned the technique some decades ago.  It was later twisted into the erroneous nom de guerres presently associated with the play because some people either can’t spell or pronounce the word, “shovel”.


Now there’s some disagreement as to who first developed the pass play.   Some say Walter “Bug” Bujkowski and others point to “Cactus Jack Curtice as the play’s principal architect. We’ll let you decide who deserves the credit.

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Pass Blocking: Moves and Countermoves

14 Aug

Former NFL OL Ricky Siglar discusses pass blocking.  A little long winded but some good stuff in there.

Part 1:


Part 2:

Sprint-Out Pass – QB Mechanics

5 Aug

A sprint-out pass play requires the QB to do exactly that: SPRINT OUT!

He should be sprinting to a specific point about ten yards laterally and seven yards deep before turning and attacking the perimeter. With few exceptions, he
should not look at the defense or his receivers until he turns upfield at that point.

Many times what you see instead is more of a roll out in which the QB either drops too deep or runs too slowly.  Either deficiency allows the defense time to
adjust and pursue, which reduces, if not eliminates, the QB’s threat to run the ball.

That’s what makes the sprint-out so dangerous: the QB’s threat to run the ball.  It’s what puts the perimeter defender’s in conflict: do we lay off and cover the pass or do we attack and contain the run?  When the QB reaches that magical turning point, he MUST turn and ATTACK the line of scrimmage (LOS).

Too often what you’ll see, though, is a QB running toward the sideline instead of toward the LOS.  That is not a sprint out.  It’s not even a roll out.   In this case, the QB is doing the defense’s job for them: he’s “stringing the play out” toward the sideline.

When run properly, the QB should be running TOWARD his receivers and not the sideline.   So how do you get your QB from under Center to that turning point where he’s attacking the LOS?  We have found two methods.  One is the traditional sprint-out technique and the other involves faking a 3-step drop.

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Technique – Defensive Backs

2 Aug

Five minute video on stance, backpedal and replacement steps.   Homegrown video but good stuff.

Defensive Back Techniques – Backpedal, Slide Step, Jam

1 Aug

Shakin’ the Southland

There are a few basic techniques that a DB will use on any given play to get into pass coverage.

At the snap of the ball, a DB will either jam a receiver and or he will drop immediately into coverage.  There are typically two techniques to dropping into coverage: the backpedal and the slide step.  These concepts apply to all pass defenders even though we will mainly focus on the defensive backs (DBs).


Backpedaling is usually the first move that a defensive back (especially a Corner) will make when the ball is snapped.  A straight backpedal is extremely common for man coverage techniques.

In a backpedal, the DB’s body is squared up with the receiver.   He will try to maintain as low a center of gravity as possible and still keep his weight over the balls of his feet.   This allows the defender to move quickly backwards yet still be in a position to change direction either forward or laterally.

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