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MSU Spartans
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June 12, 2014 5:38 pm  

Coaches,

I wanted to ask this for various reasons.I honestly just want to get it out of the way.Part of the reason I ask this is my research both on this board recently and in other things.

So, help me please finally understand zone:

Is it the case where underneath defenders drop to a landmark/zone, set up and watch the QB.From this point, the ignore and do not cover any WR's entering and leaving their zone.They only literally break on the QB's throw, if their even is a WR in their zone making the catch, or going towards where the throw is going?

Or, do underneath defenders drop to said landmark/zone, again watching the QB.At this point, if a WR enters their zone, they cover him until he leaves their zone.Now, he is still keying the QB and moving left or right based on QB eyes and shoulder(s)?B

Basically, in zone, do underneath defenders/droppers plain drop to a spot, sit still their only breaking on the QB's throw?

Or do they drop, cover a WR until he leaves the zone, and then everything else is the same as option #1?

I think,from a lot of reading and videos I have misunderstood zone and how its played.I have heard coaches say "break on the ball," "key the QB and only break on off hand" which make me think its option #1.

Thanks for bearing with me.


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Pearls of Wisdom
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June 12, 2014 6:15 pm  

Coaches,

I wanted to ask this for various reasons.I honestly just want to get it out of the way.Part of the reason I ask this is my research both on this board recently and in other things.

So, help me please finally understand zone:

Is it the case where underneath defenders drop to a landmark/zone, set up and watch the QB.From this point, the ignore and do not cover any WR's entering and leaving their zone.They only literally break on the QB's throw, if their even is a WR in their zone making the catch, or going towards where the throw is going?

Or, do underneath defenders drop to said landmark/zone, again watching the QB.At this point, if a WR enters their zone, they cover him until he leaves their zone.Now, he is still keying the QB and moving left or right based on QB eyes and shoulder(s)?B

Basically, in zone, do underneath defenders/droppers plain drop to a spot, sit still their only breaking on the QB's throw?

Or do they drop, cover a WR until he leaves the zone, and then everything else is the same as option #1?

I think,from a lot of reading and videos I have misunderstood zone and how its played.I have heard coaches say "break on the ball," "key the QB and only break on off hand" which make me think its option #1.

Thanks for bearing with me.

It's simpler (in theory) than you suspect.  As you you BEGIN to drop to a zone (landmark or not) you do not take your eyes off the QB, & you break to the BALL when his front hand comes off  (in the direction his eyes & front shoulder are pointing).  That could take 1.3 to 4 seconds so you may not GET to a certain location before the ball is thrown, but you MUST GET TO THE BALL (and cover 1/3 of the distance it will travel in the air).  Green Bay Packer DB Coach (Darren Perry) played for me & he would tell you the SAME thing!

Oath for zone defenders:  "I SWEAR TO PLAY THE BALL, AND NOTHING BUT THE BALL, SO HELP ME GOD"!

There is really nothing else I can tell you about it typing but if you are REALLY interested - I would be willing to give of my time talking with you via PHONE (804-716-7038).

My Contact Info: Coach Bill Mountjoy phone: 804-716-7038 EST /  Email: butzadams@hotmail.com


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Dusty Ol Fart
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June 13, 2014 7:39 am  

I agree 100% with what Bill says.

Does the defender move in his Zone?  Absolutely!  Otherwise he is simply covering Grass.  A typical Zone Drop would put the underneath Coverage "near" the middle /top of their Zone for the same reason an Outfielder would play deeper in Baseball.  Its easier to come in to the ball than it is go back to get it.  As Bill states the difference is you are playing the ball, not the man.  To simplify.  Cover 2 3rds under, essentially all 5 players are converging on the flight of the ball regardless of what (Whose) Zone its in!!  Zone coverage is infinately more effective in short field situations as the holes close.  Additionally, the more pressure your Front applies, the better the odds for a Pick as QB hurries or is errant with his pass. 

Zone puts guys in position to Jump the ball and go the other way.  How many times have you seen a pass picked off in the Red Zone and taken all the way??   

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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Pearls of Wisdom
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June 13, 2014 7:49 am  

I agree 100% with what Bill says.

Does the defender move in his Zone?  Absolutely!  Otherwise he is simply covering Grass.  A typical Zone Drop would put the underneath Coverage "near" the middle /top of their Zone for the same reason an Outfielder would play deeper in Baseball.  Its easier to come in to the ball than it is go back to get it.  As Bill states the difference is you are playing the ball, not the man.  To simplify.  Cover 2 3rds under, essentially all 5 players are converging on the flight of the ball regardless of what (Whose) Zone its in!!  Zone coverage is infinately more effective in short field situations as the holes close.  Additionally, the more pressure your Front applies, the better the odds for a Pick as QB hurries or is errant with his pass. 

Zone puts guys in position to Jump the ball and go the other way.  How many times have you seen a pass picked off in the Red Zone and taken all the way?? 

"I SWEAR TO PLAY THE BALL, THE WHOLE BALL, AND NOTHING BUT THE BALL, SO HELP ME GOD!

PS:  A Corner one asked me (in desperation):  "Coach - there are THREE receivers in my zone - WHICH one do I cover"?  MY ANSWER:  "The one they throw the BALL to".  End of discussion!

My Contact Info: Coach Bill Mountjoy phone: 804-716-7038 EST /  Email: butzadams@hotmail.com


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mahonz
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June 13, 2014 9:41 am  

"I SWEAR TO PLAY THE BALL, THE WHOLE BALL, AND NOTHING BUT THE BALL, SO HELP ME GOD!

PS:  A Corner one asked me (in desperation):  "Coach - there are THREE men in my zone - WHICH one do I cover"?  MY ANSWER:  "The one they throw the BALL to".  End of discussion!

🙂

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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DumCoach
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June 13, 2014 12:52 pm  

You mentioned the "underneath" zone.  I'll use LB's in "Hook Zone":

Is it the case where underneath defenders drop to a landmark/zone, set up and watch the QB.From this point, the ignore and do not cover any WR's entering and leaving their zone.They only literally break on the QB's throw, if their even is a WR in their zone making the catch, or going towards where the throw is going?

A "Hook Zone" defender is more or less in the way of the throw simply by dropping to his spot.  Yes.  He breaks on the throw.

Think of them as players on a foosball table.  They just go where the ball goes.

Or, do underneath defenders drop to said landmark/zone, again watching the QB.At this point, if a WR enters their zone, they cover him until he leaves their zone.Now, he is still keying the QB and moving left or right based on QB eyes and shoulder(s)?B

This is known as "handing a receiver off" to the next defender.  The idea was to prevent the receiver from coming open between the zones.  I've read about it but never coached it.  Never seen anyone else coach it either.

What causes a receiver to come open underneath is three underneath zones (a MLB and two outside flat defenders).  So the outside defender ran with a slant receiver before handing him off to M or S.  This wasn't very successful because the QB would look M off one way and throw the other and M could not cover the ground (We're talking Vince Lombardi's era or, in youth ball, a 6-1). 

The solution was to play two inside LB's and let them back up and outside.  Now it was no longer necessary to "hand off" receivers because the LB was already there no matter which side the QB threw to.

Basically, in zone, do underneath defenders/droppers plain drop to a spot, sit still their only breaking on the QB's throw?

Or do they drop, cover a WR until he leaves the zone, and then everything else is the same as option #1?

There's no "one way" to run Zone but the majority have voted their way.  My vote would be the same.

I think,from a lot of reading and videos I have misunderstood zone and how its played.I have heard coaches say "break on the ball," "key the QB and only break on off hand" which make me think its option #1.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Bill made two interesting comments when he wrote "you break to the BALL when his front hand comes off  (in the direction his eyes & front shoulder are pointing)" .  He's talking about being where the ball's going.  His second comment was " A Corner once asked me (in desperation):  "Coach - there are THREE men in my zone - WHICH one do I cover"?  MY ANSWER:  "The one they throw the BALL to". 

So both of Bill's replies focused on tracking the ball.  If there are three receivers in your zone and you track the ball, you'll automatically run to the one the ball is being thrown to. 

But notice I put "when his front hand comes off" above in bold.  Bill has included this instruction so that the QB does not "look off" or "pump fake" his defender.  But QB's that "look off" defenders or "pump fake" really don't exist below the MS level (and often not even then).  The QB looks at the designated receiver all the way.  He does that for three reasons.  First, he hasn't been told not to.  Second, usually only one kid can reliably catch anyway, so why look at anybody else (favorite receiver)?  Third, pass blocking is only as good as your worst blocker and most every youth team has a "worst blocker".  This gives the QB incentive to throw in 3-5 seconds (usually 4).  Since the play is often "play action" it really limits the QB on time because he's using the first two seconds just to drop back.  He's now got 1-3 seconds left (and 3 is dangerous).  There's not enough time to "look off" a defender and the QB doesn't even know his eyes are being read.

So I took two equally good linebackers and taught one to "break on the throw" and taught the other one to read the QB's eyes and "go where he's looking."

The one who broke on the throw got ZERO INT's.  The one who read eyes got FIVE (and ran back two). 

"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."


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Pearls of Wisdom
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June 15, 2014 6:26 am  

Every great secondary coach will tell you that you can force Zone coverage defensive backs INTO Man coverage by breaking their cushion (I.E. = pulling even with them) on vertical stems (routes).  Therefore - even the BEST zone defenders must be able to play a receiver MAN, all the way to the goal line!

This is a FACT of defensive football.

My Contact Info: Coach Bill Mountjoy phone: 804-716-7038 EST /  Email: butzadams@hotmail.com


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belebuch
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June 15, 2014 6:39 am  

Imo if you dont want to run man coverage you should check out Coach Gregory's rotating zine coverage that flows towards the facemask of the QB.
We had more pics than allowed completions when running this at the 9-10 yr old level


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Pearls of Wisdom
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June 15, 2014 6:50 am  

Imo if you dont want to run man coverage you should check out Coach Gregory's rotating zine coverage that flows towards the facemask of the QB.
We had more pics than allowed completions when running this at the 9-10 yr old level

You WILL get pics IF (Note: I said "if") they throw into the rotation.  If they throw away from the rotation - you won't.

When we "rotated" the secondary we ran into ALL KINDS of problems with bootlegs & waggles.  One you rotate ONE way, it is next to IMPOSSIBLE to "re-rotate" back the OTHER way!  You have to "lock in" to the side you originally rotated TO, & there will be open receivers the OTHER way. The famous Delaware Winged-T "WAGGLE" pass is a prime example!

ANOTHER problem is to rotate TOWARDS WR's that are split out 12-15 yards (too far to go).  Most coaches who LIKED to "rotate" (such as Joe Paterno at Pa. St.) would not even TRY to rotate towards a WR!

My Contact Info: Coach Bill Mountjoy phone: 804-716-7038 EST /  Email: butzadams@hotmail.com


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belebuch
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June 15, 2014 6:58 am  

No not really, the far corner never rotates past the middle if the field

Plus if a qb has time to look one way then scan the field all the way back across to the other side youre gonna lose imo
May be the reason jack brings a 6-8 man passrush depending on the call


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Pearls of Wisdom
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June 15, 2014 7:35 am  

No not really, the far corner never rotates past the middle if the field

Plus if a qb has time to look one way then scan the field all the way back across to the other side youre gonna lose imo
May be the reason jack brings a 6-8 man passrush depending on the call

I don't think you understand what I am trying to say,  How the hell can you rush 7-8 & rotate what is left to cover the full width of the field?  We max protect 7-8 man rushes & can still run boots & waggles OPPOSITE the rotation.

1.  Do you rotate to 2 deep or 3 deep?
2.  Will you rotate to "double width" (wideouts BOTH sides, or spreads, spread all over the field)?  Especially to misdirection passes.

SCAN A DRAWING so I might UNDERSTAND what you are talking about (it is very "clouded").  Vs. a Spread!

If you can revolve your coverage both ways to spreads or even pro-sets, then rotate BACK on misdirection passes - you are a GENIUS (it isn't being done successfully on ANY level of football I every saw 5 year old to 50 year old). 

My Contact Info: Coach Bill Mountjoy phone: 804-716-7038 EST /  Email: butzadams@hotmail.com


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belebuch
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June 15, 2014 8:18 am  

Go to jack gregory's site - link at the bottom of the homepage- and it has all the info you need

Yes it is a 3 man rotation until they prove they can pass against the rush effectively then a call can change it to 3 deep and 2 underneath nit counting the DE who drops on quick looks to his side


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DumCoach
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June 15, 2014 3:16 pm  

No not really, the far corner never rotates past the middle if the field

Plus if a qb has time to look one way then scan the field all the way back across to the other side youre gonna lose imo
May be the reason jack brings a 6-8 man passrush depending on the call

I thought BS corner took a deep pursuit route?

"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."


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Pearls of Wisdom
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June 15, 2014 3:59 pm  

Go to jack gregory's site - link at the bottom of the homepage- and it has all the info you need

Yes it is a 3 man rotation until they prove they can pass against the rush effectively then a call can change it to 3 deep and 2 underneath nit counting the DE who drops on quick looks to his side

I believe what Joe Paterno taught when he said "3 man CANNOT rotate & defend the WIDTH of the field with WIDEOUTS to both sides".  He only rotate to the side there was NO WR!

He ALSO said "you cannot rotate one way, & then re-rotate back the OTHER way vs. misdirection passes"!

My Contact Info: Coach Bill Mountjoy phone: 804-716-7038 EST /  Email: butzadams@hotmail.com


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belebuch
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June 15, 2014 4:11 pm  

Youre talking college, im talking 10 yr old players in offenses suited for 10 yr olds. Which many give a primary and secondary option both to the same side of the field to throw to in which this coverage works very well.

Im not saying anyone HAS to run it, im saying the results when WE ran it.
And many others on here also run Jacks 6-3 with great success


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