Football’s “Weird” Offense

12 Dec

sid gillman (YouTube)3

If there’s blame—or credit—to be assigned for the radical changes currently occurring in football, it should fall squarely on the shoulders of Sid Gillman, the former NFL coach who has come to be recognized as the Father of the Modern Passing Game.  It was Sid who, as the head coach and innovator-in-chief of the San Diego Chargers, properly deduced that if a offense deploys its eligible receivers—all five of them—at varying depths in a defense’s secondary, it will create a lot of “space” or, as coaches call it, “open grass.”

Too much, it would seem, than any “zone”  defense can adequately defend.

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Nose Tackle versus a Defensive Tackle: the Same or Different?

13 Nov

Is there a difference between a “Nose Tackle” and a “Defensive Tackle”? Yes, for sure, both physically  and how they play their position. The Nose Tackle you’ll routinely see in a 3-man defensive line. He’s the big guy aligned head up on the center like in the photo below:

nose tackle - 3-man line

In terms of their respective positions along the line and the responsibilities associated with them, a Nose Tackle is commonly seen in a “2-gap” defense—meaning the 3 defensive linemen usually seen in a 2-gap scheme are responsible for—you guessed it: 2 gaps. Those on either side of the offensive linemen over whom they’re aligned. They’re space-eaters. They take on the blockers and  keep them  off the  linebackers whose job is to plug holes and make the tackles. In this context, the Nose tackle has “Double A”  responsibility. He’s responsible for both “A” gaps.  He’s the principal space-eater. The guy who, positioned as the “zero” technique, takes on the double teams and stuffs the middle of the line.

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Taking a Break. . .

3 Nov

Got a new hip. Doing therapy. Tough work. Be back in a about two, maybe three, weeks.

What in the Heck is a 1- or a 3-technique”

14 Oct

6-2 defense

Back in the day, defensive linemen simply lined up opposite an offensive lineman  and rocked all game long. It was man against man. Only the toughest survived, and only the strongest prevailed.

Not anymore.

Some coach whose antics historians failed to record had a brilliant idea:  why don’t we move a defensive lineman into the space between the “rushers”—football’s early version of an offensive lineman—and penetrate into the opposing team’s backfield and tackle the ballcarrier back there.  Holy molie! Things really got crazy after that.

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What’s an RPO?

12 Oct

It just might be the biggest headache a defensive coordinator experiences when facing spread offenses. First of all, an RPO is an option play. That’s where the “O” comes in, and that alone is a big problem. But where it gets worse is with the “R” and the “P” which stand for “run” and “pass.”

The RPO is a run-pass option play. Like in the basic “option” play in which a targeted or isolated defender is “read,” a defender who has both run and pass responsibility is picked on by the offense with an RPO.

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Slide Protection – A Simple Way to Cover the Gaps If You Want to Pass

16 Aug
OL - zone blocking (Amanda Rykoff)

Slide Protection

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 than drop-back passing. Less time too.

Action_OL pass pro (kyle tsui)

Pass Pocket Scheme

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.

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What are 1- and 2-Gap Defensive Schemes?

28 Jul


One-Gap Defense

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.

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