Just for the holidays. Be back next year.
What a lot of teams like to do when it comes to pass protection is either slide the whole line to the right or slide left. Done properly it — that is, keep the pad level and hat down instead of high like in most pass pocket schemes — can even look like run blocking to the linebackers.
This type of protection can help your line pick up outside blitzes to one side but also help pick up a middle blitz that many teams will employ. But, more importantly for youth coaches who want to air out the ball, slide technique is much easier to teach and learn that drop-back passing. Less time too.
So if a team brings six rushers what needs to happen? Well, if you’re filling on the backside of the slide with a running back, then you need to protect inside gap first and the QB is responsible for the sixth rusher to get rid of the ball. Ideally you want that sixth rusher to be an outside rusher as he will have further to come and the QB can see him and even throw the ball to the area that has been vacated.
In a one-gap scheme, a defensive linemen has a one-gap responsibility. He attacks a hole and must take care of whatever happens in that gap he is assigned. He is expected to tackle any running back who goes through that hole, or to force the running back to move laterally – that is, “spill” him – into the arms of another tackler.
If the offense is passing, the defender’s gap is his route to the quarterback. A one-gap technique requires a defensive player to take on his man and occupy that space. One-gap defenders are generally smaller, quicker, and better pass rushers than two-gap technique defenders.
The spread offense has become the dominant philosophy across most of football. For years the game was about moving big, powerful people around to create angles and advantages at the point of attack but specialization and skills development have led to the forward pass becoming the dominant aspect of the game.
It’s hard to have the strongest and most powerful team, especially if you’re a program at the high school or collegiate level that doesn’t have access to a wider talent pool. However, lots of teams can find a quick-thinking leader who can fling the ball around. Eventually the bigger programs in college football also realized that putting their speedsters in space only helped their cause and even helped their run games. As a result, now you only tend to see bigger, pro-style formations forming the basis of the offense for schools who’s talent pool consists primarily of big, powerful people.
Now that the spread has proliferated across multiple leagues there is a ton of variety to the systems you see on a given Saturday. This is going to be an attempt to try and categorize some of the main schools of spread offense that have developed and to describe their philosophies of how to use spread formations to score points.
by John Harbaugh
Head Football Coach
The game of football is under attack.
We see it every day in the headlines and on the news. The medical concerns are pressing. The game has taken its share of criticism. President Barack Obama said that if he had boys he wouldn’t let them play football. Even LeBron James has publicly said no football in his house.
The question is asked over and over: Why would anyone want to play football? And why would anyone let their kids play?
Here’s my answer: I believe there’s practically no other place where a young man is held to a higher standard.
Football is hard. It’s tough. It demands discipline. It teaches obedience. It builds character.
Football is a metaphor for life.
To pick up where we left off with our discussion of 3-pt stance on the offensive side of the ball, let’s look at the simple differences found on the defensive side. Mostly the difference can be seen in the elevation of the butt, causing a lowering of the pad level up front and the shift of some weight out over the extended hand. There’s definitely some air under the heels.
There’s some disagreement about what constitutes a “proper” three-point stance. Some coaches want a little air under the heels of the player, while others prefer the player have his feet rooted into the ground to form a solid base, especially if that payer will be asked to move in different directions. Some want some weight out over the extended hand, while others will argue to have no weight on it at all. What is certain is that a three-point stance for an offensive lineman is – and should be – different than it is for a defensive lineman, because what is expected of them is different, especially if that D-lineman is in a 1-gap scheme.
The 3-point for an offensive lineman is pretty much determined by the type of offense they’re operating in. If that O-lineman will be asked to drop (or kick-slide) into pass protection, or bucket step to execute a trap or wrap blocking assignment, or flat step to combo block a D-lineman to linebacker depth then you don’t want him aligned with weight out over his hand and his butt jacked up. Because as soon as he picks up that extended hand, gravity will force him to take a false first-step to prevent him from falling forward. That step will have little or no power behind it and rarely, if ever, will be directional. The defense wins.