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Psycho Fronts: It’s Not Crazy to Use Them

29 Oct

"Psycho" Front

You’ve probably seen them: defenses in which the D-linemen are upright and in a two-point stance.  They might have one or two DL with their hands in the ground or none and if you’re an old school coach bound by conventioanl thinking, you might wonder if the opposing DC is simply crazy and turn your O-linemen loose on them.  Turns out they are “psycho” and they probably didn’t know it.

While there are very few “new” ideas about how to play defehnse, there’s a variety of ways to hide or disguise a scheme. One way that has gained significant leverage among NFL DC’s is the “psycho” front.  That’s a defense that packs it in along the line of scrimmage and has one or two or maybe even zero defensive linemen with their hands on the ground.

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Defending the Power-O

21 Aug
From Barking Carnival
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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.
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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).
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Off-set I vs. a 4-3 Defense

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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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Terminology: Bump and Run

3 Jul

A successful passing attack is routinely based on the timing between a Quarterback and his receivers.  However long it takes him to set up and throw equals the time it takes the receivers to work their routes.

Bump and run is about disrupting that timing.

The “bump” part is when the Cornerback “jacks” the receiver at the line to prevent his clean release.  The “run” part is the man-to-man defense he plays after.

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How Safeties Interact With Cornerbacks

2 Mar

By Steve Nichols
MHR University

First, let’s define the safety position.  While safeties vary in types, assignments, and uses, their primary job is to stop the big play.  They are primarily “goalies” in the hockey sense.

The free safety (FS) is often lined up on the weakside, and almost always plays a deep zone and plays his own assignment based on what he is seeing develop (we call this a “true free safety”).

The strong safety (SS) lines up on the strong side, and is often the “lesser” safety, though no less important.  A majority of his time is spent in deep zone, but he can also be used to cover a receiving TE.

Teams prefer to use a SAM linebacker to cover TEs to keep their safeties covering the deep field, but if a team has a slower, run blocking SAM, or if the TE is particulalry fast, the SS gets the assignment.  Because SSs are usually a little bigger (but not as fast), they have developed reputations as being the heavy hitters.

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Terminology: Backside Contain

22 Feb

Backside contain is protection for those times when an offensive play changes direction – like a reverse, or counter, or bootleg.

Like containment on the playside, backside contain is about keeping the ballcarrier bottled up in the backfield and allowing the pursuit from the interior defenders to catch him before he breaks “outside” into the perimeter where the defense is weakest.

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Defending the Double Wing

27 Jan

By Tim Fox
Football Core Values
January 12, 2011

I want to discuss some fine points we, as a staff and team, focused on when facing the Double Wing.

1. Our first priority, like usual, was aligning properly. The weeks prior to our match-up with the DW opponent, they revealed a number of interesting formations and change ups to their foot-to-foot, traditional 2-TE, 2-Wing look. They came out in the “Beast” package a few times (we’ll get into that later) and various spread formations. They had little success utilizing those formations in the preseason, but it was still important that we be able to line up and defend their favorite plays out of those formations.

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Defense: Learning to Use a Zone Blitz

16 Jan

By Joe Daniel
Football Defense Report
January 12, 2011

You should have a little bit of an idea about why we want to use the Zone Blitz in our defensive scheme now. But we have not gotten into exactly what the Zone Blitz is.

Zone Blitzes are a 5 man rush package that features a zone coverage behind them. The starting point for a zone blitz package is a blitz with four defensive linemen and a linebacker (if you are an even front) or three defensive linemen and two linebackers (for odd fronts).

Most Zone Blitz packages use a 3 under, 3 deep zone coverage behind them. This creates safety because you always have players behind the receivers to make a tackle and line up again if the offense does have success.

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