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flexbone
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Just read through the KB manual one time and plan to read through it 2-3 more times. This will be my first time running KB this fall with middle school age group. First off, I'm mind blown, never understood nor coached defense to this level so I'm super excited. With that said, I have my ideas but questions for those who have ran it

1. What position does the best coach or most knowledgeable coach work with? (will probably be me since I'm doing most of the reading)

2. What position group would you put your 2nd best coach, 3rd, etc..?

3. At minimum, how many coaches is needed to make it work? What is the ideal number of coaches?

4. Manual is hefty, do you do as it says and teach the BASE rules/read that will probably cover most situations and then rep in depth something that you scouted?

 

FYI, our league is mainly grab-bag offenses

 


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rpatric
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Posted by: @flexbone

Just read through the KB manual one time and plan to read through it 2-3 more times. This will be my first time running KB this fall with middle school age group. First off, I'm mind blown, never understood nor coached defense to this level so I'm super excited. With that said, I have my ideas but questions for those who have ran it

1. What position does the best coach or most knowledgeable coach work with? (will probably be me since I'm doing most of the reading)

I would put your best coach with the defensive ends. It's very hard to get them to consistently do their jobs correctly.

2. What position group would you put your 2nd best coach, 3rd, etc..?

after that I would say outside linebackers or safeties. Be careful who you put where as far as players!! If your safeties over think and try to read backfield action, they'll never get through the alley to their mesh point in time. After that, I would make sure you have at least 3 corners coached up! DO NOT PLAY MPP's at corner! I know the manual suggests that the corners don't make tackles often, but unless you have absolute studs at safety, your corners WILL have to make plenty of tackles. D tackles and MLB are pretty easy to train.

3. At minimum, how many coaches is needed to make it work? What is the ideal number of coaches?

You should be able to get away with 3, however 4 would be ideal. I only had 2 to work with last year and it was a nightmare at times. Make sure that you really understand what it is you are doing with the defense! KB is an excellent, well thought out system, however it is a big undertaking for a defensive coordinator. Once you get the right players in the right places and you understand what each position is doing, the defense is very solid.

4. Manual is hefty, do you do as it says and teach the BASE rules/read that will probably cover most situations and then rep in depth something that you scouted?

Follow the manual! Clark is a bright guy, so pay attention to him! Work DT's on fast get offs. They must know that their most important job is to get through the line as fast as possible. I realize the manual suggests you make a log jam with the center and guards, but I found, at least in my case that the DT's end up getting too high if you tell them to attack linemen. If you have them fire low and as fast as they can through the called gap, the rest takes care of itself. DE's must compress the OT into the B gaps. If they blow straight through C gap and your DT's slant in, you have a huge problem in the B gap! Clark has the MLB read the center, if you are facing "grab bag" offenses, you probably aren't going to get much of a read from him. I had my Mike key the QB for play flow and type. Worked pretty well for us. Clark's ricochet drill is excellent for training OLB's. It really helps them understand their pursuit. No Boxing and No Crashing! Also work with them on fast get offs. They have to be able to reach the lead back unscathed! Corners should look at the QB during their 3 step drop. If you don't pound it in to them, they won't do it and you will pay dearly. You can toy with their alignment a bit if you aren't facing a real passing threat, but I wouldn't deviate much from Clark's plan unless you pick something up from scouting. Finally the Safeties. Fast, hard-hitting, and preferably not super intelligent. I say that because if they think instead of reacting, you're toast! Do the sweep drill until they hate it! This needs to be a programmed response. If they don't get to their spot on outside run, you will have issues with sweeps. Make sure they understand to just get there as fast as you can and you'll be fine. Clark isn't joking about the angle! They will literally run into the back!
Lastly, if you are facing grab bag offenses without legit schemes to exploit, you will have to scout and study to make sure you aren't having your players look for tells that don't exist. For example, don't worry about following pullers if teams in your league don't pull to begin with etc.....
KB is a really neat defense, just understand that coaching it is a lot of work and it doesn't just fall into place overnight. You are going to take your lumps, but once they get it, it's a beautiful scheme! There are plenty of coaches that are willing to help on here, myself included. If you need anything just reach out. Good Luck Coach

Ryan

 

FYI, our league is mainly grab-bag offenses

 


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Lunchbox
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Posted by: @flexbone

Just read through the KB manual one time and plan to read through it 2-3 more times. This will be my first time running KB this fall with middle school age group. First off, I'm mind blown, never understood nor coached defense to this level so I'm super excited. With that said, I have my ideas but questions for those who have ran it

1. What position does the best coach or most knowledgeable coach work with? (will probably be me since I'm doing most of the reading)

2. What position group would you put your 2nd best coach, 3rd, etc..?

3. At minimum, how many coaches is needed to make it work? What is the ideal number of coaches?

4. Manual is hefty, do you do as it says and teach the BASE rules/read that will probably cover most situations and then rep in depth something that you scouted?

 

FYI, our league is mainly grab-bag offenses

 

Isnt one of the first things in that manual say that the KB is not for grab bag offenses?

My next questions would be about your staff.

Do you have your staff assembled? If so are they all in? Receptive to new ideas? Willing to put time in to prep before the season?

Do they have any experience coaching youth football?

The reason i ask these questions is because i was in a similiar situation a few years ago. I didnt feel i could get my staff to buy in and do the work nesscessary to be sucessful in the KB. 

I choose JJs 33 stack. I felt it was simplier and would be a better fit for our kids and staff. We never looked back.

Bottom line is the KB works. Most defenses work. But it has to fit your kids and your staff. Dont try to stuff that square peg in a round hole.


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rpatric
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@lunchbox

Most "grab bag" offenses, at least around my area, are a combination of the Power I and the Spread. Most of them base block everything and run sweeps and fly routes. Not sure what flexbone is seeing where he's at, but the KB will give offenses like those absolute fits. I agree with the coaching difficulty which is why I mentioned it to him as well. As for the KB not being for grab bag offenses, it's not to say that it won't stop them as much as it's just not necessary to put such a complete scheme in to do so. A properly executed KB is going to be incredibly difficult for any offense to figure out let alone exploit. The real issue is that it's an "expensive" practice investment. If you get the defense down pat but it cuts into your time teaching tackling and relentless pursuit, you'll fail regardless.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @rpatric

The real issue is that it's an "expensive" practice investment. If you get the defense down pat but it cuts into your time teaching tackling and relentless pursuit, you'll fail regardless.

That's where coaching experience and efficiency come in.  Not just, "how well you can teach" but, "how well you can teach, quickly."  I could probably rebuild my rail buggy's engine by myself, but I can't imagine the time investment.  Or, I could take it to someone who's done it many times over, makes a living from doing so, and has the expertise to get it done in a reasonable and timely manner.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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rpatric
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@coachdp

That defense definitely requires good, fast teaching. I would definitely suggest that the OP has a couple of competent AC's that will actually learn the material, along with a well devised plan on how they can teach it without confusing the heck out of the kids. I tried with 1 AC who had minimal understanding and it blew up in my face. Maybe the OP will fare better.


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Lunchbox
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Posted by: @rpatric

@coachdp

 

That defense definitely requires good, fast teaching. I would definitely suggest that the OP has a couple of competent AC's that will actually learn the material, along with a well devised plan on how they can teach it without confusing the heck out of the kids. I tried with 1 AC who had minimal understanding and it blew up in my face. Maybe the OP will fare better.

This is kinda what i was getting at.


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Mosley the Cat
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I had my least competent coach work with the DT/Mike combo while I worked the DEs. Then we would work together some. My other two coaches took the OLB/S/CB group. Safeties that won't run the angle, and DEs that won't crush C down to B really hurt the KB.

I wanted three complete practices installing the basics. With the 33 Stack, I felt okay with one practice.

I also wanted all the positions to see how the offense worked as a whole, so that they could see how one person not doing their job messed up other things. Do you have a DE that wants to get into the backfield? Try him at OLB, then maybe to DT. My best year with the defense had two different types of OLBs. One attacked the lead blocker with ferocity. He didn't always ricochet, but it caused a logjam anyway. The other one, my son, would take on the lead with more finesse, getting his hands on him and shedding him once the runner made a decision. Once again, not playing the position how Clark writes it up, but in the end getting close enough to the intended result.

I liked tall DEs with long arms (OT/TE types). Having them standing in the B/C gap made runners want to head outside.

Don't cross my path.


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mahonz
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Posted by: @flexbone

1. What position does the best coach or most knowledgeable coach work with? (will probably be me since I'm doing most of the reading)

Your Bermuda Triangle  ( M, SS, FS ). When your D is clicking vs the better teams these Positions are making all the tackles. 

Posted by: @flexbone

2. What position group would you put your 2nd best coach, 3rd, etc..?

CB's / OLB's. They have the most Rules and work in tandems quite often. 

Posted by: @flexbone

3. At minimum, how many coaches is needed to make it work? What is the ideal number of coaches?

2 minimum / 3 works just fine. 

Posted by: @flexbone

4. Manual is hefty, do you do as it says and teach the BASE rules/read that will probably cover most situations and then rep in depth something that you scouted?

Make yourself some little cheat sheets all of your coaches can quick reference. Clark likes to cover everything so depending on what age group you are coaching....you might only need to know %25 of the Defense. Dont freak out early on if you struggle a bit. It comes together fast. First game we ever used this with 5th graders we gave up 48 points. Two months later we won the Big Shiny Trophy. It might take you a few games to get your personnel right. 

 

Attached is my first cheat sheet. We did change a few things. We didn't like the DE's in 3 point stances so we went low sprinter stance 2 point. The kids felt like they had better vision. For trips we had the OLB play bump and maul on the #2 while the CB took #1 and the SS/FS took #3 and played catch man zone. This kept the #1 and #3 separated so the CB and FS/SS got nice clean reads by ignoring the #2.  We also allowed Mike to cross the LOS when ever he dang well wanted too. We quickly learned that MIKE is the man. Every year we ran this MIKE was one of the most talented kids on the field. As the kids got older we changed up how the OLB's played but that is for another day. Other than these minor tweaks this Defense works as advertised.

 

Finally.....DO NOT PLAY MP's on the DL like the manual suggests. They will only end up in the laps of your Bermuda Triangle. Huge no no. Play your MP's on Offense if you can. If not....Boundary side OLB or CB as a last resort depending on your opponents Offense. Likes to Run...play them at CB and have them absorb lead blockers and spill. Likes to Pass play them at OLB and go for sacks and running interference in coverage. Again...last resort and only on the Boundary side. The DL is truly what makes this D go because they keep your Triangle clean. Keep your Triangle clean and you should win plenty of games. If the DLM cant stand their ground and draw blockers.....looooooong day for your DC. 

 You can never have this. Your Triangle is helpless and does not even get blocked.  

 

We got things cleaned up by game 3. 

 

 

 

This post was modified 2 years ago by mahonz

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flexbone
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Thanks for feedback everyone! This is why I'm glad I posted. The big thing about this KB Defense for me was seeing how every position group was dependent on each other. The offenses we see is similar to what rpatric posted, random spread formations to wishbone then to I, for no apparent reason either. If KB is too much time investment especially for AC's then I'm open to learning others as well. I am a football nerd and will do my part learning each and every position, create cheat sheets etc., but at the end of the day I will have to teach it to ACs and let them run their own position group which is what worries me.

What is the difference between the paid & free version of JJ's 3-3 stack attack? Definitely has piqued my interest.


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gumby_in_co
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Clark's manual is genius, but the problem with genius is that it often operates on a different wavelength. I probably read that manual cover to cover a half dozen times before it started to click. It's just not organized in a way that my brain can easily understand. So I read it until I felt comfortable with the main concepts, then put all the pieces parts together in a way that worked for me. My advice is to keep reading until you understand the following in order of importance:

1) Spacing of the 2nd level defenders. If spaced properly, it doesn't matter how fast they are compared to you.

2) Bermuda Triangle and "contain by committee". 1st guy plays to outside shoulder. 2nd guy has the kill shot. 3rd guy plays to the inside shoulder to prevent cutback.

3) Rolling coverage. Bump everyone over. No defender trades places with another. In the Spring, we always faced a lot of "air it out" spread teams, so we picked our positions based on coverage ability. 

4) Force defender play. I happen to believe the are born, not made, but a guy who can both force the sweep and squeeze the off tackle AND make that decision in .8 seconds is worth his weight in gold. I've never had 2 of them on the same team, so once you understand what they are supposed to do, you can get busy on your "plan B".

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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flexbone
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Clark's manual is genius, but the problem with genius is that it often operates on a different wavelength. I probably read that manual cover to cover a half dozen times before it started to click. It's just not organized in a way that my brain can easily understand. So I read it until I felt comfortable with the main concepts, then put all the pieces parts together in a way that worked for me. My advice is to keep reading until you understand the following in order of importance:

1) Spacing of the 2nd level defenders. If spaced properly, it doesn't matter how fast they are compared to you.

2) Bermuda Triangle and "contain by committee". 1st guy plays to outside shoulder. 2nd guy has the kill shot. 3rd guy plays to the inside shoulder to prevent cutback.

3) Rolling coverage. Bump everyone over. No defender trades places with another. In the Spring, we always faced a lot of "air it out" spread teams, so we picked our positions based on coverage ability. 

4) Force defender play. I happen to believe the are born, not made, but a guy who can both force the sweep and squeeze the off tackle AND make that decision in .8 seconds is worth his weight in gold. I've never had 2 of them on the same team, so once you understand what they are supposed to do, you can get busy on your "plan B".

"Clark's manual is genius, but the problem with genius is that it often operates on a different wavelength." Truer words have never been spoken 😀

While reading, I sat here thinking how in the HECK did he come up with all of this, the timing, the angle, the spacing, I'm a "math guy" so I was like mind blown

I mean I feel like I understood the basics of it, but I'll keep re-reading to see if I can wrap my head around it..

"2) Bermuda Triangle and "contain by committee". 1st guy plays to outside shoulder. 2nd guy has the kill shot. 3rd guy plays to the inside shoulder to prevent cutback." I thought you played "cousins" with the Mike and the playside safety, MLB has inside shoulder & therefore cutback, playside safety has outside shoulder against a lead blocker and backside safety played over the top. Maybe I'm thinking of a different concept.

"3) Rolling coverage. Bump everyone over. No defender trades places with another. In the Spring, we always faced a lot of "air it out" spread teams, so we picked our positions based on coverage ability." The part where motion comes in definitely will need to be rep and practiced a lot. I think to keep it simple, I'll bump coverage but then that requires teaching as well. As in, defenders have to switch jobs

"4) Force defender play. I happen to believe the are born, not made, but a guy who can both force the sweep and squeeze the off tackle AND make that decision in .8 seconds is worth his weight in gold. I've never had 2 of them on the same team, so once you understand what they are supposed to do, you can get busy on your "plan B"." From your post, this sounds like your best most aggressive stud player? I thought best 2 players are at safety. Also, doesn't OLB run straight at nearest deepest back, then uses ricochet technique to bounce out?


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rpatric
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The one thing I noticed the most last season was how awesome the defense was against the "spread" formations we saw. None of the teams knew how to throw into a cover 4, probably because at the youth level you shouldn't. We picked off more than half of the intermediate to deep passes we saw just based on the way we lined up.
Gumby's point about spacing is absolutely paramount to success in this system, or any system for that matter. The safeties in particular. If they are too far inside, even a little bit, you are flirting with disaster!
That said, if you have studs at safety, olb, and corner that can tackle very well it doesn't matter much what you run, you will be successful.
My advice from my experience would be to play your best 3 at SS, SOLB, and SCB. I may be wrong, but if you can negate the strong side sweep plays you'll be in every game.

Mahonz and Gumby were very helpful to me last year, anything those guys tell you comes from years of experience so whatever they offer you, listen!

Ryan


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gumby_in_co
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"2) Bermuda Triangle and "contain by committee". 1st guy plays to outside shoulder. 2nd guy has the kill shot. 3rd guy plays to the inside shoulder to prevent cutback." I thought you played "cousins" with the Mike and the playside safety, MLB has inside shoulder & therefore cutback, playside safety has outside shoulder against a lead blocker and backside safety played over the top. Maybe I'm thinking of a different concept.

"3) Rolling coverage. Bump everyone over. No defender trades places with another. In the Spring, we always faced a lot of "air it out" spread teams, so we picked our positions based on coverage ability." The part where motion comes in definitely will need to be rep and practiced a lot. I think to keep it simple, I'll bump coverage but then that requires teaching as well. As in, defenders have to switch jobs

"4) Force defender play. I happen to believe the are born, not made, but a guy who can both force the sweep and squeeze the off tackle AND make that decision in .8 seconds is worth his weight in gold. I've never had 2 of them on the same team, so once you understand what they are supposed to do, you can get busy on your "plan B"." From your post, this sounds like your best most aggressive stud player? I thought best 2 players are at safety. Also, doesn't OLB run straight at nearest deepest back, then uses ricochet technique to bounce out?

2) It's been several years since I read the KB manual. Let me make sure I'm talking about something that's actually in there vs something we tweaked. 

3) The biggest thing is to make sure your other coaches are 100% on board with this. Things can get messy if just one guy isn't on the same page and is teaching the kids different things. It's also a challenge to wrap your head around the concept that just because you align on a guy, it doesn't mean he's the guy you cover.

4) I don't like to play my most aggressive stud player here. Aggressive stud players at Force are often a disaster because they are rarely patient and selfless enough not to chase stuff that is not their business. For that reason, they are bootleg bait, counter bait and reverse bait. Hell, run enough dives at them and they will be crashing the A gap to get in on that tackle. I like discipline first, fearlessness 2nd and it helps if they have some ass. Then again, I've just about bailed on the whole "force defender" concept. For us, last season, it was a wasted position. Might as well just turn them loose with no direction and they might get lucky once in awhile.

 

 

 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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soul strife
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Good advice on there.  I will add that the system comes with some PDF's.  You will want to show the AC some of the these Power Points.  They will still have questions and look at you funny but, once the D starts clicking and they wrap their heads around it, the AC's will become invested.  Next season will be my third with the KB and my AC's love the D.  But the initial buy in can be tricky.  The first year had me doing quite a bit of whiteboard for some of the guys.  Ironically, my DB coach was the first one to buy in.  End of week one, he was asking for the playbook.  

 

From a side conversation, I like the KB because it's different and unconventional. It makes it excited as a coach to not run the same stuff over and over.  It is also hard for other teams to scout you because the D looks weird.   

This post was modified 2 years ago by soul strife

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