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HCScott
(@herb-scott)
Bronze
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 363
June 16, 2014 5:54 pm  

Yeah noone ever tried that on us, must be that inferior competition we play  ::)

Just because a play works for you in one game against a rotating coverage doesn't mean the opposing team was well coached. We worked our rotations/blitzes DAILY. Didnt give up a single passing td all season. Had 4 picks against the bully of our org as we shocked them with their first loss in 2 yrs

I also bet less than half the teams you play against don't adjust to your UB line either ??
Btw we picked teams apart with 16 pass - blue- as well, and they were playing man defense, is that a knock against man coverage ? No. Teams lose playing man, teams win playing man just as im sure teams may lose with this defense, im just saying it worked well for us but like anything else you hotta rep it everyday

Just pointing out a counter to the rotation. The throwback worked well for us for many years in the right situations.
I agree with you that passing across the field is not reasonable at the youth level.
There are counter, counter , counterpoint for everything. 
I do have to agree with a lot of what Mountjoy says because he proclaims sound principles and it is obvious.

"The quarterback must go down and he must go down hard"


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coachgregory
(@coachgregory)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2892
June 16, 2014 6:05 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.

Let me explain how I teach zone. 

1) You are initially defending the field as you key on the passer.
2) You are maintaining spacing as you drop and key the passer.
3) You are looking for a DIRECTION KEY.  This KEY is the up field shoulder and up field foot of the passer.  In order for the passer to make an accurate throw the up field shoulder will point to the direct he intends to throw.  IF the up field shoulder, up field foot, and face mask are pointed in one direction...guess what is going to happen.
4) Safeties and CB's drop and continue to drop to maintain cushion on any vertical receiver coming at them.  Linebackers drop until the QB stops dropping and then they stop dropping level off and square up.
5) As the secondary drops and gets their direction key on the passer they start to ROTATE (this doesn't mean the secondary is rotating the coverage to flow) they are rotating the coverage to the passer's direction key.  They must maintain spacing as they do...this is easy and can be taught with simple reps on air to make sure the secondary does not run over each other or over lap. 
6) Once the passer shows the RELEASE KEY- when the ball leaves the body and cocks to throw they prepare to break on the ball.  AS soon as the ball begins to move forward they break on the ball.
7)  Defenders should always play on the top of their zone (SPACE) so they can play down hill to the ball if possible.
8)  If a receiver passes through your zone as he starts to cross over your space you call out CROSS to alert the next defender they have a receiver moving into their space.  With that said the passer's direction key should always tell the defender where the ball is going...if a defender hears cross from a side and he sees the direction key going that way it simply confirms where the ball will go.

Backside of rotation:

Backside Safety, Corner, OLB should always slow their rotation to the far side and check for BCR (BOOTLEG/COUNTER/REVERSE). Once they confirm no threat is viable they can fully rotate.  This simple check allows us to stop the boots, throwbacks, and screens. Used in conjunction with our DE play we don't see a lot of successful boot passes or throw back passes because our defensive structure sits on the split flow initially and we pressuring the backfield immediately. 

I have coached zone for going on 23 seasons and have never had an issue coaching it. It is very easy to teach youth players to play zone...  Simply play the field, maintain spacing, rotate to the direction key, play the ball.  Big thing is play the ball.

Mike Bobo and Spike Dykes wrote a great book called Principles of Coaching Football

Here is what they say on Zone Coverage:
Make better use of average or inexperienced personnel.
Adapts better to slower players.
It is easier to defend the run playing zone.
Allows more players to break when the ball is thrown.
Affords greater safety against the flat and medium seam passes (passes completed in the area between two defenders).
Is easier to teach to younger players.
It is possible to have a free safety when playing split receivers.

Here is what Drew Tallman wrote in  Directory of Football Defenses: Successful Defenses and How to Attack Them
It can be taught easily, for it is relatively simple for players to learn and understand.
It does not need the great athlete at each position.
Each defender covers an area and not a man.
The players keep their eyes on the ball at all times and reacts when the ball is in the air.
It attempts to get every defender to the ball and punish the receiver.
Its main function is to stop the long pass.

Those are two books I consider great resources.

On top of that a gentleman I have had the chance to talk to a lot prior to his passing in 2007 that I meet in 2002 at a Offense/Defense Coaches Clinic at DBU by the name of Dick Nolan confirmed much the of the same thing.  He even stated on a few occasions that if he was coaching youth ball and was facing the level of competition we faced on every Saturday he would play zone as well and rally to the ball and keep all of those athletes in front.  Dick Nolan coached with Tom Landry as his DC and went on to be the Head Coach of the 49ers and Saints.  He was a wealth of knowledge and a great resource on the game of football...

Jack

Exsisto Fortis, Exsisto Validus


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 7637
Florida
June 16, 2014 7:07 pm  

Jack

Thank You!

Finally someone has put into words what I believe about Zone coverage & youth football.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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belebuch
(@belebuch)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 5113
June 16, 2014 7:43 pm  

Great job Coach Gregory!


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 22974
June 17, 2014 7:04 am  

Jack

I think I read somewhere that you adjust the front when faced with 4 or 5 detached receivers. 60 to a 50 with 2 Safeties maybe?

This is problem I have understanding Zone.

When you have an X, Y and a Z spread out across the formation your explanations make perfect sense. Things fall apart in my brain when you start dealing with trips or 2x2 motion to 3x1...or 3x2 even though I know that is rare. Basically how do you deal with overloads? Is it still all about just keeping the football in front of the DB's?

Thanks.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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coachgregory
(@coachgregory)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2892
June 17, 2014 7:25 am  

Jack

I think I read somewhere that you adjust the front when faced with 4 or 5 detached receivers. 60 to a 50 with 2 Safeties maybe?

This is problem I have understanding Zone.

When you have an X, Y and a Z spread out across the formation your explanations make perfect sense. Things fall apart in my brain when you start dealing with trips or 2x2 motion to 3x1...or 3x2 even though I know that is rare. Basically how do you deal with overloads? Is it still all about just keeping the football in front of the DB's?

Thanks.

No.not exactly.  In ZONE it is actually a lot easier to adapt the defense to the formation than in man.  Especially when they motion and shift....the defense simply expands and contracts.  Nothing messy or complex...

For example----

POWER I -
-------------------------------c--------------------------------c
------------------------------------------------m
-----------------------------------------b-------------b
-----------------------------------e------t--g---g--t------e
----------------------------------------E-T-G-C-G-T-E
------------------------------------------------Q-----
------------------------------------------------F---P
------------------------------------------------T

Against Twins - notice what occurs the CB and OLB expand.  In the case of hte OLB he would expand if SPREAD is called or it is a auto rule (in the case of our MS team it was).  Below the AGE of 10 we don't because I want pressure into the backfield and you prove you can get the pass out cleanly. 

-------------------------------c---------------------------------------------c
------------------------------------------------m
-----------------------------------------b---------------------------b
-----------------------------------e------t--g---g--t------e
----------------------------------------E-T-G-C-G-T---------------------------E
------------------------------------------------Q------------------------S
------------------------------------------------F---
------------------------------------------------T

PRO SET

--------------------------c----------------------------------------------c
------------------------------------------------m
-----------------------------------------b-------------b
-----------------------------------e------t--g---g--t------e
----------------E-------------------------T-G-C-G-T-E
------------------------------------------------Q--------------------------------F
------------------------------------------------F---
------------------------------------------------T

EMPTY -

---------------------c------------------------------------------------------------c
------------------------------------------------m
------------------------------b-------------------------------------------b
-----------------------------------e------t--g---g--t---------e
----------------E-------------------------T-G-C-G-T--------------------------------E
-------------------------S---------------------Q---------------------H------S
-----------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------

In the case above this as simple as it gets for us.  If wanted to we could move the MIKE out to split between the DE and H and that can be set as an auto call.  Often it is not because if you go empty we are coming after you.  Often we use MIKE and the TRIPS SIDE DE to bring pressure.  You simply don't know who is going to hunt and how is going to play zone.  At times we will have MIKE press man their best receiver or rob a specific area of the field.. All games in games.

The beauty is if you line up in pro and motion the FLANKER to the far side the defense simply uses its base rule and contracts on the motion side and expands on the far side...nothing complex.

Jack

Exsisto Fortis, Exsisto Validus


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 22974
June 17, 2014 12:12 pm  

Jack

Thanks for the breakdown.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
Diamond
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7614
Illinois
Other
Club Admin
June 17, 2014 1:18 pm  

One of the things I like the most about Jack's Defense is Other than a bit of shifting the Offense still doesnt really know who has what.  For the Youth Passing game it works very well. 

Even when I used the 5-3 in Man.  I bumped the coverage rather than chase the receiver.  Simple move that works extremely well

😉

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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