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Covering the Slots in Spread


jrk5150
(@jrk5150)
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Okay, so we play a lot of spread teams - Pop Warner Pee Wee, so 11 years old with some smaller 12's.  Some of them I'm not worried too much about, but we just scrimmaged a team who has one of the best HS coaching offensive minds in the state, and he's all about spread.  They hurt us with their slots.  They ran them down the seam, they threw delayed bubbles to them (slightly delayed, enough to get the SE down the field to pin the CB deep.  They cracked the Dog.

The Dogs were in a no-win position - pay attention to the slot, and they ran at them.  Chuck and rush - they lobbed it over their heads.  Chuck and play flat, they released them down the short seam.

Grim helped some, but still were able to throw that flat/bubble and give him time to make kids miss.

We tackled them, but they had their players there, and burned us 2-3-4 times.  Fact is, it puts a kid in space, and they put their best player there.  My guess is those guys will be even better come game time (week 4).  I know our first priority is getting the stacks there, and we'll work on that.  We came thisclose a few times.  And got to them a few times.

Red, push the OS's out some (Jack's "spread" call), and let the Dogs come in off the edge?  That's fine when I have my best OS's in there, but unfortunately I'm not sure I have enough guys to guarantee an OS who is good enough will be out there.

Probably some of all of the above, and just keep chopping the wood.  Just curious as to whether anyone had any eureka moments with this.


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sabot6d
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Best 5 defenders in the coverage group. Base is effectively Cover 3 with your corners and Reaper.  You if you have a really good NG you could drop your M back into a safety position and make it 4 deep coverage. Most spread teams arent going to run your A gaps. We did this last night after we got a big lead. I call it 3-2 Monster. When Mike moves back to Safety he becomes Monster.

Are they going full 5 wide or Ace? Is your pressure group charging full speed or are S, M and W trying to read flow and react?


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blockandtackle
(@coacharnold)
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It sounds like part of the issue is that you just got out-talented there.

When I coached in a 3-3 at the HS level, one of the dog's primary jobs was was to align based off #2 and neutralize him--this included carrying him on vertical routes.  His other top job was to force runs and therefore he'd get the hi hat/lo hat read from the EMLOS on his first step.  We had 6 in the box against the 6 gaps.  The DE or stack LB had to be able to step up and take care of off tackle runs by boxing them to the inside.

Now that I've coached in a 4-2-5 system and learned some things about coverages regarding using the field and boundary and rolling the weak "dog" back to the hash and FS to the field, I have more answers.  I'm not sure how much you'd want to get into that stuff with 11/12 year olds, or how well it would mesh with JJ's system, but it's really not that complicated.  2 Read is great against that stuff and it's pretty simple to teach.

I can elaborate more if you like.


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blockandtackle
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Best 5 defenders in the coverage group. Base is effectively Cover 3 with your corners and Reaper.  You if you have a really good NG you could drop your M back into a safety position and make it 4 deep coverage. Most spread teams arent going to run your A gaps. We did this last night after we got a big lead. I call it 3-2 Monster. When Mike moves back to Safety he becomes Monster.

Are they going full 5 wide or Ace? Is your pressure group charging full speed or are S, M and W trying to read flow and react?

Be careful with this.  Most good spread teams at the HS level or even at the top MS leagues will have Inside Zone and/or Trap as their top runs.  You do NOT want to give up the A gaps to those teams.


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sabot6d
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It sounds like part of the issue is that you just got out-talented there.

When I coached in a 3-3 at the HS level, one of the dog's primary jobs was was to align based off #2 and neutralize him--this included carrying him on vertical routes.  His other top job was to force runs and therefore he'd get the hi hat/lo hat read from the EMLOS on his first step.  We had 6 in the box against the 6 gaps.  The DE or stack LB had to be able to step up and take care of off tackle runs by boxing them to the inside.

Now that I've coached in a 4-2-5 system and learned some things about coverages regarding using the field and boundary and rolling the weak "dog" back to the hash and FS to the field, I have more answers.  I'm not sure how much you'd want to get into that stuff with 11/12 year olds, or how well it would mesh with JJ's system, but it's really not that complicated.  2 Read is great against that stuff and it's pretty simple to teach.

I can elaborate more if you like.

probably the best advice and easiest to teach.


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jrk5150
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So GRIM basically drops the MS and adds a second R.  They still play aggressive as hell, there's just now two of them.  It doesn't make you completely weak up the middle, no more than say a 5-2 would.  It weakens your middle rush, but the ball was getting out fast so not a huge deal.

That "out-talent" is more out-coached, LOL.

They had several formations - 2x2, 2x1, empty.

I have the talent to just go press man but that's not JJ's 33.  That said, I don't know.  I could match up with my CB's and OS's, and bring my Dogs off the edge hard.  The two R's have QB and RB if they're in a 1 RB set. 

If they have 2 RB's with the QB, I'm not that worried about it, base D works.

Then again, I don't want to over-think it.  Just looking for ideas/thoughts.

Please also understand that I am limited personally.  I'm not a deep defensive thinker, that's one reason I run this D.  I can run basic stuff, but the more complex it gets, the more I'm going to struggle to properly scheme it and teach it.


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mahonz
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I have coached against JJ's D once. 8th graders about 7 years ago. Both teams were evenly matched. LIke dead nuts even. Last game of the Regualr Season so both were clicking as well.

I went 5 wide empty and scored 50 points in the first half. Why? They would not get out of their stack attacks. They did have one turnover on Offese so gave us a free possession but other than that it was a slaughter.

That left their 5 playing zone vs my 5 attacking zone vs a heavy rush. It was rather easy. I knew the opposing coach well. At halftime I advised him to get out of his stacks and I would stay in Empty....he did. We only scored 6 more points.

Here is the thing. If what you say about this opposing coach is true....he is praying that you try and overload his blocking surface because he has a plan and practices that plan to death for such things.

What a good spread team does not plan for is 7 or 8 in coverage with the occasional well planned blitz. When the QB sees all those enemy jerseys in coverage he will squeeze allowing your pass rush to get to him.

Figure out how to take your D and play pass first with 6 leaving 5 to play the run first. That is what I would do. JJ's base D is very effective in most every situation. A good spread team that can pass and run is not one of these situations. Have to get out of base.

Look at this picture. This was vs a VERY good passing team with one of the top RB's in our Division. We crushed them. Our OLB's robbed and played run support from serious depth. Youth OLM are not great climbers especially when trying to hit a fast moving target.

Something to chew on.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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jrk5150
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Yeah, I just started playing around on paper with something called GRIM SPREAD.  It puts 6 in coverage with 5 rushing.  I think they would have a very tough time passing against it.  I'll have to make sure we can defend power run with it.  But even if it's not man, it puts kids in the places they were throwing it.  And I still think our 5 vs. their 5 can get there.

Basically I go GRIM and pull the MS, and then bump the OS's out to mirror the slots alignment.  Then we play our (zone) defense.  R's are still there to fill off tackle hard, Dogs are coming off the edge (if a T can block my Dog from one man over, we lose that game anyway).  Essentially we're in a 0-4-6 on their 5 linemen, with the 4's slanting inside gap and 6's coming hard off the edge.  CAN it be blocked?  Sure.  Absolutely.  But it won't be easy.

The question again is whether this tilts it TOO far from attacking.  Frankly, I don't think it does - the only kids doing something different are my OS's, and that's fine.  Just let them play.  I'd probably put my back up CB's in there and even let them play their usual technique from closer in.  Everyone else is doing their attacking thing.

Of course, the real challenge is how do I get my subs in there for their plays.  I'll have to figure that out.


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CoachDavidP
(@fizzlife)
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First, let me say that I am just now back running this defense this season mainly because of a lack of coaches, and I have never faced a good spread team.  But these are the ways I "imagine" attacking a spread.  Now, Press Man is an adjustment in JJ's manual, for just this reason.  Did your outside Stack Auto-Blitz?  How good is your Middle Stacker.  As a game plan, I think that using Press Man Coverage with mixing up Grim, Monster and Red calls.  Maybe even mixing up the Auto-Blitz and calling it off sometimes. I could see using the Hot call to the field side, but just let the Field side dog play man from depth, and the OS blitzes from his alignment on the receiver.  If you get good film when you play them again and want to share, that would be awesome. 

David (Fizzlife)Extreme Ownership -- Jocko Willink and Leif Babin


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blockandtackle
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Stuff like this is why I like our Field/Boundary setup with 2 read and Cov. 3 in HS ball.

75% of plays take place on one hash or the other.  Another 10% strongly favor one hash or the other.  That means only about 15% will be between the goal posts.  This means that the boundary is actually pretty compressed for 2 receivers.  They have like 12 yards from the T to work with and are usually only about 6 yards apart.  We take advantage of that fact.

In the 4-2-5, we set our SS to the field as an overhang who rarely has to cover deep.  His job is to basically align inside of #2, play force, and not let #2 break inside.  You can do that in the 3-3, too.  We also set the FS that way and have the FS over top to that side.  To the boundary, we have the WS and the CB.  Our LBs simply wall the near receiver.

You can adapt this to the 3-3 easily and, I believe, it actually fits the 3-3 even better.  When you see 2X2, you can blitz the MLB and SLB while WLB on the boundary walls #2 underneath.  When you have trips, you can blitz the MLB and WLB while the SLB walls #3 to the field.  This allows us to play 2 Read to 2X2 and gives us a few Trips checks that I've described elsewhere.

2 Read is really simple, actually.  Press your CBs and roll the WS back on the boundary.  Tthe LB or SS doesn't let #2 get inside or over the middle clean--he basically widens with him out and up until and cuts underneath him until something breaks into his zone.  So with the LB or SS playing that technique, the CB and FS will read the EMLOS for the hi hat/lo hat read (hi hat=pass, lo hat=run) and play accordingly.  If they get a pass read, they both get their eyes on #2 while the CB runs with #1 in man.  If #2 breaks outside at less than 5 yards, the CB will come up on him while the S gets over top of #1.  Otherwise, the CB has #1 man to man and the S takes #2 over the top while the LB or SS has him underneath.

I find this is actually a little easier to teach than a lot of other zone coverages because they have clear things to look at.

The MLB, if he's not blitzing, will look for the back out, but you can still send him and the opposite LB for a 5 man pressure.

Now, if you're in the MOF, working against 2 backs, or we see something funky, like Trips to the boundary, you can check to good ol' spot dropping Cov. 3 and cover with 6: the CBs, FS, MLB, and WS/SS while the stack OLBs and 3 DL will still give a 5 man rush.

The front 6 has to hold down the 6 interior gaps.  I feel like spilling or having the DE/OLB stacks contain while the MLB and NG spill is the soundest way to handle this.  The DL have to play through the shoulders of the T so they don't get kicked out or washed down by down blocks.

This approach stays sound vs. everything and makes sure that good slots don't just kill you.


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ZACH
 ZACH
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Running inverted 2 will be tough if the safety is too busy worrying multiple things. My advice is pattern reading with your dogs, corners, and fs.

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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jrk5150
(@jrk5150)
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We don't have a safety.


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ZACH
 ZACH
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We don't have a safety.

Who ever is in the middle of the field and what ever clever name it is

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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pittpete
(@pittpete)
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33 Stack has a call where the OB's read and the DL bull rush
RED BULL helps defend those quick bubble screens


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jrk5150
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Topic starter  

Scrimmaged a less well-coached but still good spread team last night, and did well in base and GRIM with just the Dogs playing their regular spots.  They were spread to run, not spread to pass.

We'll rep the spread/red stuff every week, because we'll see it...


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