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gumby_in_co
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As Mahonz has announced, I'll be taking over the Arvada Outlaws as he takes a well deserved sabbatical. I'm going to be turning over the offense to our long time OC, Lonnie, then supporting him in any way he needs. I think I'll be running the defense, but there's a coach in the org who is looking for a home. From what I hear, he's experienced. If he passes the vetting process, it's possible that I turn the defense over to him, but for now, I plan on running D. 

We've done some version of the DC 46, Killer Bee, or Mahonz version of the 33. None have really "done it" for me. JJ's 33 Stack is a possibility. I recognize its issues with off-tackle, but I think I have the solution for that. I'm still very much open and want to evaluate many defenses, some that I know and some that I don't.

I've never coached or even bothered to learn a 4-4. I was commenting to Mahonz the other day that when I/we have faced a 4-4, it's either feast or famine. We either shred it, or it shreds us. So of course, I'm interested in a defense that I've seen to be capable of doing well against both Beast and 5 wide empty in the same game.

When I watched Matt's (G8trs) championship game, I saw a defense that was absolutely stifling for 3 quarters against a much faster and more athletic team. I wasn't paying attention to alignment, so nothing shouted "4-4" to me. I did notice all out aggression, great pursuit angles, overwhelming pressure on the QB and solid coverage (for 3 quarters). I just PM'd Matt to ask him what defense he ran and he replied that it's Tim Murphy's Swarm 44.  Tim is selling his full Swarm 44 materials for $140. Before I shell out that money, I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on the 44.  I'll be digging into the 44 section on the forum for insight as well. 

First, I'd like to hear Matt's comments on the Swarm 44.

Why did you pick it?

How did it match your personnel?

How close did you stick to the manual?

Regrets?

Whatever else you want to add.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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G8trs
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Gumby,

 

Before I get too far into this reply I need to start off by saying I am not a defensive guru. Defense has been a weakness on our team for a while.

We have also tried multiple defenses with our team. Going back to 2nd grade we have ran the 46, JJs 3-3 and Cisars 6-2. None of them clicked like Murphs 4-4. 

The 4-4 was a game changer this Spring. We gave up an average of 9 points a game and that was with our 35 point melt down in the Championship. I wont go into too much detail about this now but I will say the defensive structure was sound.

Murphy's clinic DVDs are worth the money. They are very detailed with scheme, technique, and drills. You can find them on his website or on Glazier Drive. It is a 4 video clinic including overall package, d line, inside backers, DBs and outside backers. He also has a great clinic on block shedding and tackling technique.

Here are my comments

1. Cover 3 zone. I wanted to eliminate the big play and keep everything in front of us. Murphy is also my guy. His materials are top notch.

2. It fit my personnel better than any other D we have played. Like you said we lack speed so we have to keep everything in front of us and tackle. We also have some stud lineman so we can bring a lot of pressure with just 4 lineman.

3. I ran it as close to Murphy as we could. We definitely blitzed more than he does. He is almost always in base. This is what burned us in the championship. OLB blitz on a quick slant. The second slant that went for a TD my OLB blitzed because he thought he heard my DC call it but he didnt. If we played the D like Murphy we wouldve been good.

4. I have no regrets. This Spring was awesome for us to try out the new D. We experimented with positions, blitzes and packages. We are playing in a 7v7 league starting in July so we will have 8 more games to get the D dialed in before Fall. 

The only other thing that I can add is that the kids loved playing in this defense. It allows them to play fast, aggressive and downhill. Our Safety and CBs had more picks and forced fumbles than ever before because of their alignment.

I hope this helps out. Sorry it takes me so long to reply. I am super busy with work, family and football. I am at a 3 day football camp right now with my QBs and WRs lol. 


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mahonz
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

As Mahonz has announced, I'll be taking over the Arvada Outlaws as he takes a well deserved sabbatical. I'm going to be turning over the offense to our long time OC, Lonnie, then supporting him in any way he needs. I think I'll be running the defense, but there's a coach in the org who is looking for a home. From what I hear, he's experienced. If he passes the vetting process, it's possible that I turn the defense over to him, but for now, I plan on running D. 

We've done some version of the DC 46, Killer Bee, or Mahonz version of the 33. None have really "done it" for me. JJ's 33 Stack is a possibility. I recognize its issues with off-tackle, but I think I have the solution for that. I'm still very much open and want to evaluate many defenses, some that I know and some that I don't.

I've never coached or even bothered to learn a 4-4. I was commenting to Mahonz the other day that when I/we have faced a 4-4, it's either feast or famine. We either shred it, or it shreds us. So of course, I'm interested in a defense that I've seen to be capable of doing well against both Beast and 5 wide empty in the same game.

When I watched Matt's (G8trs) championship game, I saw a defense that was absolutely stifling for 3 quarters against a much faster and more athletic team. I wasn't paying attention to alignment, so nothing shouted "4-4" to me. I did notice all out aggression, great pursuit angles, overwhelming pressure on the QB and solid coverage (for 3 quarters). I just PM'd Matt to ask him what defense he ran and he replied that it's Tim Murphy's Swarm 44.  Tim is selling his full Swarm 44 materials for $140. Before I shell out that money, I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on the 44.  I'll be digging into the 44 section on the forum for insight as well. 

First, I'd like to hear Matt's comments on the Swarm 44.

Why did you pick it?

How did it match your personnel?

How close did you stick to the manual?

Regrets?

Whatever else you want to add.

Its unfortunate you never met the Murphy's at one of the Clinics. He presented and his wife took care of sales. And sales were good. She was mesmerizingly beautiful so coaches would simply line up....hand her cash while trying not to drool. 😎 Im thinking half had no clue what they were buying. 🤣 

I have run both. The KB and the 44 are not all that different. Major difference the KB is technically a Cover Zero Defense which Keenan and I drifted towards many years ago for reasons you are well aware of. TJ ran the 44 when he was at BC. He might have some insight for you as well. 👍 Plus your adjustments to JJ's 33 is the 425's little brother which many coaches have done well with. You will find some 425 discussion here. 

No word on this coach yet. I will keep drilling for you. 

Thanks Brother. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Dusty Ol Fart
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I think anyone who is thinking about Running the 4-4 Defense should seek the archives and look at JR Titans Split 4-4.  Paul's material is very very good.  it's also Free.  

 

Just thinking out loud.  

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @youth-coach

I think anyone who is thinking about Running the 4-4 Defense should seek the archives and look at JR Titans Split 4-4.  Paul's material is very very good.  it's also Free.  

 

Just thinking out loud.  

That is absolutely on my reading list.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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G8trs
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Cisar also has his Viper 4-4. He only recommends it for advanced teams but it is an option. His Defense DVD and PDF are excellent. 


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ZACH
 ZACH
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We run 425, we have calls to make it a 6-2 and 5-1.  I love it bc it fits our roster almost perfectly every year.  We don't blitz much and run 3 fronts a game with adjustments made in practice through scouting. 

Last season we ran variants at the Jr high level, we were man coverage and I got to spice it up with some 10-1.  The 425 can morph into anything thats what I love it.  I can take it to any level aswell. 

 

If you can have 3 guys like in dc46 fly around and kill things and put them in the spur/invert/safety positions the rest is cake.  

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


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Coyote
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Greetings Coaches.

Re: Split 4.   

I attended a clinic for local coaches put on by Al Molde and Staff when he 1st came to Western Mich. U.   His defensive staff went of over their 4-4 and I was intrigued.   A couple yrs later I was at a coaching clinic and sat in on a 4-4 lecture, my interest increased, and I pick-up some material on the Split 4. 

The school I was coaching at the time, tended to have a plethora of LB and SS types and DB’s galore, we tended to have a shortage of interior DL talent.  Seemed we were always putting a couple lesser talents on the field, while a couple legit athletes were on the bench.  So, the idea of maximizing our strengths, minimizing our weaknesses was my incentive.  Our DC was leaving, and I talked to the HC about the D, and ended up the DC that yr. 

We really only played two DL (DTs).  Essentially, we put our bigger LBs – we related them to Lawrence Taylor – at DE, put our best Defender at the OLB to strength / width of the field – basically a SS.  Ran Cover 3, ~ 95% of the time, with a heavy emphasis on INT’s.   With the heavy Zone emphasis we drilled and drilled reading the QB’s shoulder on passes.  In 9 games we had 27 INT’s that season.  The starting D gave up 72 points.  Had the 1st winning season in 17 yrs at that H.S.  

Unfortunately, the following season the talent level was very low, and the DB coach had the HC’s ear (they were really tight), was a big proponent of the 5-2 Monster and couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t put a NT on the C to beat the tar out of the kid and try to force fumbles.  He a fanatic about blitzing the Corners and I had the DB’s sitting in zone almost all the time.  So, we ended up hybridizing things to get the DB’s into ‘more of the action’.  Things fell apart and I went back to the JV header.

If I were in a situation where we could count having more LB types  and an expected a general shortage of DL types, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to the split 4.  This was before RPO and spread game, so I’d have to catch up on that, but having more athletes on the field seems like it would be a good thing.

We faced a lot of split-back veer teams back then, and several I formation teams, and one wishbone, and one Wing T team (the wing-t team had us holding our breath on every play, this was before I was involved with it, but it impressed me). 

Weaknesses:   We had trouble covering the flats on play action. They’d run off our corner - he'd be at the back of his zone, the OLB would hesitate thinking run, and their kids (sometimes TE – often on drag from the backside; sometimes a back slipping out) frequently had a step or two on our defenders. But it’s hard to make a living off the short pass for the whole game, and once our rotation adjusted to their timing, we’d pick off a one or two of them eventually.    

We were better than solid vs inside veer (Split backs Diveback/ QB option) and the Option out of the I (QB / Pitch back).  But the one team that specialized on the outside veer (Split backs Diveback/QB) gave us a ton of trouble.  That, and that their OLine was extraordinary and their TE was a terror kinda hurt us as well. 

Hope this helps,                                                                          

This post was modified 1 month ago by Coyote

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @coyote

Hope this helps,                                                                          

It does. We don't have a lot of linebackers by my definition, so we're going to have to build them. We have more bigs than most teams. We never played a high safety because Mahonz doesn't believe in them at the youth level. The idea is that if a BC makes it to the 3rd level, it's a TD anyway. You also don't see a lot of posts, so why not put him in the box where he can actually do something?

The reason I'm reconsidering the high safety is that 1) despite what I call "crappy" passing attacks, we tend to get beat deep to their "one guy". 2) I'm re-imagining the FS position so that he's attacking from depth. He won't make any TFLs or meet straight on runs at the LOS, but he can deliver the kill shot at +2 to +3 yards, or make a BC pay if he bounces or reverses field. It's been frustrating over the years watching bad teams with a good runner score on us. 

We often played a NT because we have so many bigs, but we end up putting bigs on the LOS who will never make a tackle, never beat an OL and who are on roller skates vs a double team.

So far, nothing about the 44 "clicks" with me enough to get away from systems I already know. I'll keep reading and keep studying, though. I'm very aware that the "system" isn't our problem. I'm getting more from Murphy's drill and development stuff, although he teaches breast plate tackling which I'm not a fan of. Not entirely ruling it out, though.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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G8trs
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co
Posted by: @coyote

Hope this helps,                                                                          

It does. We don't have a lot of linebackers by my definition, so we're going to have to build them. We have more bigs than most teams. We never played a high safety because Mahonz doesn't believe in them at the youth level. The idea is that if a BC makes it to the 3rd level, it's a TD anyway. You also don't see a lot of posts, so why not put him in the box where he can actually do something?  Murphy's 4-4 really only has 2 LBs. The OLBs play Flat Zone and are more CB type players that can tackle. 

The reason I'm reconsidering the high safety is that 1) despite what I call "crappy" passing attacks, we tend to get beat deep to their "one guy". 2) I'm re-imagining the FS position so that he's attacking from depth. He won't make any TFLs or meet straight on runs at the LOS, but he can deliver the kill shot at +2 to +3 yards, or make a BC pay if he bounces or reverses field. It's been frustrating over the years watching bad teams with a good runner score on us. 1. Cover 3 will take away the deep ball. 2. Gotta have a stud at S that can play both tunnels and make RBs pay.

We often played a NT because we have so many bigs, but we end up putting bigs on the LOS who will never make a tackle, never beat an OL and who are on roller skates vs a double team. 2 studs in the A gaps will prevent this. They will have no choice but double both which will leave someone free.

So far, nothing about the 44 "clicks" with me enough to get away from systems I already know. I'll keep reading and keep studying, though. I'm very aware that the "system" isn't our problem. I'm getting more from Murphy's drill and development stuff, although he teaches breast plate tackling which I'm not a fan of. Not entirely ruling it out, though. What tackling technique do you guys use? 

 


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @g8trs                                                                       

Murphy's 4-4 really only has 2 LBs. The OLBs play Flat Zone and are more CB type players that can tackle. 

1. Cover 3 will take away the deep ball. 2. Gotta have a stud at S that can play both tunnels and make RBs pay.

2 studs in the A gaps will prevent this. They will have no choice but double both which will leave someone free.

What tackling technique do you guys use? 

 

The OLBs will also have to play force/contain. That was a positive takeaway for me from watching Murphy's film breakdown. I like the way the OLBs played.

That was my thinking on FS as well.

I think I can coach up 4 players to have an effective, if not dominant D line.

We coach what is effectively the Seahawks tackling. Mahonz' son was teaching it long before it was ever called "Seahawks" or "Hawks". He called it the "Gator Roll". My take on it is/was that since I rarely see form tackles on anyone's film, why stress on form tackles. I also was a stickler for "11 to the ball".  The logic is that if you have 3+ guys in on the tackle, it doesn't matter what technique you use. 

However, our 2 biggest problems are 1) Defenders getting juked out of their shorts because they do not come to balance and 2) players leaving their feet either making a dramatic dive (aka "I do not want to tackle this kid, but I better make it look like I tried") or getting a hold of the ball carrier, then going "jelly legs" in an attempt to drag them to the ground. 3rd problem is never being close enough to make a tackle because of poor angles. Again, doesn't matter what technique is taught or used if you never get close enough to deploy it. The only reason I would consider breast plate tackling is that I believe it will help mitigate #1 and #2.  However, going back to when I coached with Kent, we adopted breast plate and watched our team's hitting go from an 8/9 to a 4/5. Talking to our kids after the season, it was because they were getting their bell rung using breast plate. 

What tackling technique do you use?

My biggest reason for looking into the 44 was watching your team execute it. This is meant as the highest complement, so I hope you don't take it as a slight, but I did not see a lot of athletes on your defense. I saw football players. I saw athletes on Pueblo's team. I will take football players over athletes any day.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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G8trs
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No offense taken. I appreciate that you recognized the difference in talent. We have worked very hard turning our average guys into contributors. 

We attempted to teach the Gator Roll (Hawk Tackle) a few years back and it was the ugliest thing I have ever seen. I sucked at coaching it so we went back to shoulder tackling.

We use the same shoulder tackling technique as JJ, Gregory and Murphy (Yes I love the DW). It is a very simple progression. LEG- Load, Explode and Go. We use this for blocking and tackling.

On angle tackles we focus on getting our head in front and biting the hip. We use Cisars angle drill everyday and run multiple angles and speeds.

I do agree with you that it doesnt matter the technique if you cant get close enough to deploy it. I found Murphs 4-4 gave us great angles to attack the ball down hill with multiple players. You dont have to be fast or athletic because you are not chasing with such a severe angle or from behind if you are playing cover O lol.

I guess it all goes back to what you are comfortable coaching. We were horrible at Hawk tackling. But there are teams in our division that use Hawk tackling and are very good. 

This post was modified 1 month ago by G8trs

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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @g8trs

On angle tackles we focus on getting our head in front and biting the hip.

This is how I was taught to tackle and how I taught tackling up until I started coaching with Mahonz's son. I taught "bite the ball". Keenan's "Gator Roll" made zero sense to me, and like you, I thought it was ugly. Then, Keenan and I realized that I was teaching the head in front, while Gator Roll requires head to the back. Then, Gator Roll started to make sense. Then, the concussion scare came around and I started teaching "keep your head out of the tackle" religiously. I have no doubt you would have gotten away from it if you saw problems with head injuries, so maybe it's time to revisit this.

I see what you mean with the downhill nature of a defense. Less severe angles are easier to see and figure out. I thought I'd play my LBs at 4 since they will be 5th graders, but maybe I go ahead and play them at 5?

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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G8trs
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We gave it shot when USA Football first put it out 3 seasons ago. We taught it using their progression with the head on the back. I gave up on it when we had kids diving and rolling around on the ground like you said.

We played around with LB depth a lot this Spring. They ended up at 4 yards. 


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @g8trs

We gave it shot when USA Football first put it out 3 seasons ago. We taught it using their progression with the head on the back. I gave up on it when we had kids diving and rolling around on the ground like you said.

We played around with LB depth a lot this Spring. They ended up at 4 yards. 

Awesome. Thanks Matt. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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