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What are 1- and 2-Gap Defensive Schemes?

28 Jul

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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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Discussion: 3-Pt Stance (Defense)

18 Jul

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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.

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Bump and Run or Press Coverage?

11 Jul

press (flickr.com-Eric Wolfe)

Bump and Run or “press” coverage, once considered a high-risk technique, has become a basic fixture of modern pass coverage. Defensive backs who know the technique feel safer bumping and running with a man than covering him on from an off position.

The technique can be employed in any kind of pass defense on any level of play. A player doesn’t have to have superior talent and great speed to play it. It’s more important to understand the parameter of the specific coverage and the WR split.

One season, Kansas State had four new starters in its secondary – a freshman and sophomore at the comers and a sophomore and a junior at the safety positions. All had good athletic talent, but no exceptional speed and little or no experience.

By playing some form of a man defense 75% of the time, the Wildcats led the Big Eight and ranked seventh in the nation in pass defense with an efficiency rating of 94.3. They allowed only seven TD passes and a 45% completion percentage, while intercepting 13 passes and breaking up 40 others.

The reasons to commit to the Bump and Run philosophy:

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Defensive Tactic: Backside Contain

21 Mar

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The backside of any defense is where, initially, the ball isn’t going.  Backside contain is protection for those times when an offensive play – like a reverse, or counter, or bootleg – changes direction and attacks what was, initially, the defense’s backside.

Like containment on the frontside of a play, backside contain is about keeping the ball-carrier 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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