Saturday, January 29, 2011

4-3 vs. the Flexbone - CB Play


The CBs or the Safeties can be the Force player in the 4-3 defense depending on your coverage philosophy and personnel.  Most teams ran Quarters coverage vs. the Georgia Tech Flexbone in 2009 and utilized their Safeties as the Force players.  The CB in Quarters coverage is is a pass-first defender who is man vs. his WR unless he runs a Shallow route or unless he cracks the Force player, the Safety.  When the WR crack-blocks the Safety, the CB will then become a run-first defender.  If he does not, the defense will have nobody on the pitch back, allowing the Flexbone offense to make big plays on the perimeter.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

4-3 vs. the Flexbone - FS/SS Play


The CB or the Safeties can be a Force player in the 4-3 defense depending on your coverage philosophy and personnel.  Most teams ran Quarters coverage vs. the Georgia Tech Flexbone in 2009 and used their Safeties as their primary run players.  My next guest writer is already an accomplished author and an expert on the 4-3/Under front Defense, having written the book Coaching the Under Front Defense, which you can get here Coaching the Under Front Defense if you haven't already.  Ladies and gentlemen, Jerry Gordon...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

4-3 vs. the Flexbone - OLB play


The OLB position vs. the Flexbone has a lot of keys and reads compared to other positions in the 4-3 Defense, so I got a great coach to explain it.  My next guest writer is a man who needs no introduction.  He is an outstanding football coach that has taught me a ton about football and technology over the years.  He is the author of one of the best articles written on defense (here), and he has the best football coaching blog on the Internet (here).  His site has more posts than days of the year and they contain a wealth of information for fellow football coaches.  Let me introduce the one and only Brophy...  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

4-3 vs. the Flexbone - Mike play


I have learned a lot about 4-3 defensive fundamentals from my next guest writer.  He has tremendous knowledge and experience on defending the Flexbone from the 4-3, and he has been amazingly gracious and patient enough to answer all my questions over the years.  The keys for Mike LB play in the video are simple enough, but the position requires a high level of instincts, physical ability, and fundamental skills to execute effectively, as my friend from the "Darkside" will discuss. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

4-3 vs. the Flexbone - DE play

Introduction - Evolution of the DE

The keys and mistakes video cut-ups for the DE are the longest for any position group in the 4-3 defense, likely making it the most complicated position to play vs. the Option.  This position usually has a good athlete playing it (e.g. the basketball player who just came out for football), but Option teams historically have been able to take advantage of the lack of discipline and proper coaching at the DE position through the years.

What we are now beginning to see today is the athletic and well-coached 4-3 DE who can really wreak havoc on the Option offense—as a result there are many plays that are designed to confuse and slow him down.  Urban Meyer talked about how much of what they did in their Spread Option at Florida was designed to control the DEs, because they are such tremendous athletes that they can take over a game by themselves.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

4-3 vs. the Flexbone - DT Play

Introduction - Defending the Flexbone with the 4-3 Defense

The Flexbone is a difficult offense to slow down, much less stop.  Defensive players must be disciplined and fundamentally trained to be automatic in their responses to what the offense is doing.  This automaticity that is required to defend this offense does not occur in one week of practicerather,  it  must be practiced against at the beginning of the year in spring football, fall camp, and in small segments throughout the year.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

4-3 vs. the Oregon Spread - DB Play / Coverage Fundamentals


Chris Vasseur will write this piece at a later date, but I wanted to add a couple of diagrams to go with the video.  The FS destroying the QB on the Gun Triple Option is a beautiful thing, as you will see when you watch the cut-ups.  However, it is a bit susceptible to Play-Action as you will also see.

Friday, January 7, 2011

4-3 vs. the Oregon Spread - Defending Bash and Midline


Bash and Midline are two plays in the Oregon Spread offense that are giving a lot of Defensive Coordinators headaches.  Both plays have recently burst onto the scene, but they both have actually been around for some time.  I saw Texas A & M run a form of Bash in their 2006 bowl game and North Alabama ran the Midline from Gun as far back as 2003.  I will talk about Bash and Midline, but I will talk about defending Midline only.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

4-3 vs. the Oregon Spread - LB / Nickel Play


How you defend the Spread formation depends on what kind of Spread formation you are facing.  Some teams are better at throwing the ball than running the ball.  The Oregon Spread of 2010 is a more dangerous beast than earlier versions in that it can beat you both running the ball and passing the ball.  Still, the explosive Oregon run game is what opposing DCs must stop first.  Most 4-3 teams play Quarters coverage vs. the Oregon Spread to help to defend the run.

LBs like Quarters coverage because it allows them to run and play fast.  The safeties will be involved in run support and they will take care of the cutback, which allows the LBs to attack and play downhill.  The Quarters Safeties will also take care of Gap Exchange and scraping to take the QB on the Zone Read play, allowing the LBs to only to focus solely on the RB and the Dive portion of the Gun Triple Option.

Monday, January 3, 2011

4-3 vs. the Oregon Spread - Fire Zones and Blitzes

I cut up all the Fire Zones and Blitzes vs. Oregon from the Boise St., Arizona, and USC games from last year.  I don't have time to diagram and talk about each and every blitz right now, but I will try to get more in-depth analysis at a later time.  Meanwhile, make sure to check out Blitzology's blog, which is back rocking and rolling again if you want to learn about the science of getting after the QB.  Some of the blitzes were ran from more than one front and I named these blitzes without naming all of the fronts as I made the video, so I hope the nomenclature police doesn't get after me too bad. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

4-3 vs. the Oregon Spread - DL Play

The Oregon Spread - definitely "blurrier" this year

I am starting a five-part series on defending the Oregon Spread offense that will run up until the National Championship game.  This series was inspired by watching the DL play of Arizona and Boise St. vs. Oregon last year.  I have always heard that the 4-3 DL's top priority was to not get reached.  This made sense since the 4-3 is a gap-control defense that is dependent on each defender playing his gap.

I heard a different viewpoint of 4-3 DL play last year on the Coach Huey site.  Coach Currier said that he taught his DL to work vertically vs. a reach block.  He also mentioned that this is the way that Nebraska teaches their DL.  I looked at all the Oregon Stretch plays from 2009 vs. Boise St. and Arizona, and these words came back to mind as I saw this same technique being used very effectively.