Friday, June 17, 2011

Levels - part 2

I didn't go into the Trips variations with the Levels concept in my last post, so here are some notes on Levels that I took at a clinic from former Florida QB Coach Scot Loeffler.  The numbers underneath the WRs in the first drawing represent the WR splits from the OT:

Here is Levels vs. Cover 3.  It is similar to Double Slants in that it is not a great play vs. Cover 3 because the routes are running right into the underneath coverage.

Levels can be run out of Trips, too.  The first variation is with #3 on a Seam route.  The QB should peek at the Seam route first and then read the Sam LB.

Below is the most common way that teams run Levels out of Trips.  The QB will now read the Mike LB to throw to the Dig or the 5 yard In route and then the 5 yard In route by Z will be the third option.

Alright, I'm taking off on vacation for real this time.  Here's more film:

Levels - Dubs and Trips from Barry Hoover on Vimeo.

There is some good information here on a variety of topics: X and O Labs.

Deuce with Off-Season...Summer Workouts.

Spacing article by Jim Jackson from Southern Illinois here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Levels is one of the very best pass plays to attack the Cover 2 pass defense.  Smash (Hitch by the #1 outside WR and Corner by #2) is most people's weapon of choice vs. Cover 2, but Levels has a shorter and easier throw than Smash and the Dig route to the field has better leverage on the hash safety than a Corner route does.  Safety Leverage is one of the most underrated aspects of the passing game IMO.  Also, on Levels your QB is reading the OLB vs. Smash where he is reading the CB, who is generally the defense's quickest and best pass defender.  Smash can be dangerous vs. a CB who is good enough to play both the Hitch and the Corner route.

The Cover 2 defense was built upon taking away the shorter throws with its five underneath pass defenders.  Bill Walsh said that Cover 2 was his chief opponent and what he spent most of his time trying to combat.  There were teams who liked to use the passing game as a means of ball-control who found it difficult to stay on schedule (check out Dubber's posts here and here) by having to attack the deep seams of Cover 2 with lower percentage throws.  I believe Levels is a higher percentage play vs. Cover 2 than Smash, making it well-suited for teams that want to control the ball with the forward pass.  I like both plays and I don't think you need to get rid of Smash, but I like Levels just a bit better.

Smash - H has better leverage vs. the Cover 2 Safety than Y.

Levels - Y has better leverage vs. the Cover 2 Safety than H.

Now, not all Cover 2 teams will play their Safeties exactly on the hash marks, but in general, Smash will be a better throw to the Boundary and Levels will be a better throw to the Field.

I like to call the Levels concept Indy for a couple of reasons.  First, is that the play was popularized by the Indianapolis Colts.  Second, the concept consists of both WRs running "In" routes.  The Colts are running Levels (cover 2 beater) to the left and Houston (cover 3 and 4 beater) to the right.  The Z WR for the Colts runs a Go route, but this is supposed to be a 16 yard Curl.

I said that Levels was not good to the Boundary, but the Colts are running it to the Boundary, so what gives?  First, the TE as the #2 receiver is further inside than a WR would be.  Second, the Titans' Safety is wide, so the TE has sufficient leverage on his Dig route.  Third, remember that the pro hashmarks are much more narrow than college and high school levels, so they are not as limited in the passing game with Field and Boundary concepts. 

The Titans are actually playing Tampa 2, where the MLB is dropping back to deep middle 1/3 and both Safeties are outside deep 1/3.  This could explain the extra width of the Safeties pre-snap.  I really like the route by the Y WR.  He takes an outside Fade release to 5 yards and then works back inside on the 5 yard In route.  This helps to get more horizontal spacing between him and the TE on the Dig route.  If the Dig and In routes are right on top of one another, the OLB can cover both.  Horizontal spacing is just as important on this play as it is on Curl-Flat.  One defender being able to cover two is never a good thing for the passing game.

I'm going to take some time off for summer vacation, but try out Levels this summer in your 7 on 7's and let me know how you like it vs. Cover 2. 

Here is the film:

Chris at Smart Football with the Constraint Theory of Offense and Pass Pro.

Alen at The Press Box Analysis on Bill Walsh's classic book, Finding the Winning Edge.

Coach CP at Strong Football with I Formation vs. the 4-2-5.

Brophy on the quick passing game with Why Quick?.

Coach Hjorth at Hit'Em Hard with 3-5 Pressure.

Dacoachmo at Spread Football talks about no-huddle and Going Fast.

Deuce at Football is Life with the 4-3 Scream and Splatter Defense (I originally thought this was a make-believe defense like the Face-Melter).

Friday, June 3, 2011

Getting Organized

Whew!  I have finally finished organizing all of my football files.  Back in the day, all I had on my old website were the files, but these were neglected those a bit after I started with the blog format and the kids were born.  

The site as it first looked in 2007

Let me give a bit of a background on the site.  I had to create a lot of files and forms in my first coaching job down in south Florida at Deerfield Beach H.S. as somewhat of a "Administrative Assistant" to the Head Coach (fancy way of saying secretary, lol).  This experience proved beneficial as I was able to help people on Coach Huey who were looking for a practice schedule or any kind of form.  Also, once I first got on Huey, there was an information overload with playbooks and all of the files that coaches shared on the site.  I was becoming a coach who had a million files on my flash drive but couldn't find anything, so I knew I had to get more organized.

Voila!  The website was born.  As I ran out of room to store files, I eventually had files scattered about on four different websites, which was a pain in the butt.  There were well over a hundred pages on the old site, which was a pain too.  Blogspot allows ten additional pages, which isn't a lot, so I used Google Docs to help get my site organized.  Most of the page links now are links to those Google Docs folders.  It isn't as fancy looking as the old site but it is much more efficient.

I re-arranged many of the pages on the site.  The Forms folder was a disorganized mess and it has went through a major renovation.  It has now been split up into nine sub-folders.  Also, some of the files have been renamed and some have been tossed out.  Many of the old links that did not work any longer have been removed.  Anyways, hope you find the new organization of the site helpful.  If any of you have any good football files or forms that you would like to share with others, send me an email at

Point - counterpoint.  Coach Iannucci at the Three Back Option makes a very good case against KISS here.

Brophy getting back to coverage fundamentals here.

Coach Allam showing a couple of new Oklahoma St. "Diamond" Formation plays.