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Considering Gap 8 or GAM Defense

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Coach Kyle
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Here's my take on it. B to B is full of kids shooting the gaps. The 2 ends will be boxing 9techs and un-block-able based on alignment. Their mission is to either make sure that the other team runs through the C gap or runs along the sideline. The CB/Lbs man up, on the line. They're toe to toe. Their main job is to play man (bump and run coverage) until they recognize run, then shed their blocker and make the tackle.

I want to do this because I think it's a great way to stop the sweep while playing man coverage. I want to play man coverage because the best team in the league plays spread passing with 8/9 year olds. They killed us last year with screen passes. I think manning up should shut that down. 

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Troy
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I love John T. Reed and tried to run his GAM for years with sporadic success. IMO, it's great against sweeps. It is vulnerable to c-gap runs and interior runs that break through. When coaching it, we had a difficult time conditioning the DLs to submarine/bear crawl through the holes consistently. They would just fall flat. Bear crawling is a dirty job that is absolutely essential to this defense and if they don't do it, the defense is totally unsound. In my experience, the "Mirror" aspect of the GAM is also very difficult to teach young players due to the variation of formations we saw. That being said, we incorporate many aspects of it in our present defense.

When we played a very good spread/screen style team last year, we had success with the D backs 5-7 yards off the ball, reading the throw and closing in under control. Covered backside rb swing with a DE. Then we worked on pursuit, pursuit pursuit. They had 5 net passing yards. 

Here's a full game vid of that. 

 

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mahonz
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Posted by: @coach-kyle

Their mission is to either make sure that the other team runs through the C gap or runs along the sideline.

In youth football where else do they run so why promote it? Or are you saying that is what you want because its tough to sweep or run off tackle? My experiences says the Gap 8 is not a good choice to defend the off tackle plays and we all know that teams that establish their off tackle plays will win a lot of games. 

Like Troy suggest there are certain aspects of this philosophy that have value but as a whole....not so much. 

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chucknduck
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Gap 8 to stop screen passes from the spread?

You may stop the quick screens.  But the jailbreak screen is a possible,  if not probable td everytime. 

I think gap 8 is great vs coaches that don't know what they're doing.  You might even shut down a team with superior talent.  

But, if the opposing coaches are good, you might lose to a team with inferior talent.


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @troy

Here's a full game vid of that. 

 

So 44 just tackled your OT all day? Did you ever get the call? To think I used to really respect that guy.

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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @chucknduck

Gap 8 to stop screen passes from the spread?

You may stop the quick screens.  But the jailbreak screen is a possible,  if not probable td everytime. 

I think gap 8 is great vs coaches that don't know what they're doing.  You might even shut down a team with superior talent.  

But, if the opposing coaches are good, you might lose to a team with inferior talent.

Agree with all of this. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coyote
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Many years ago I looked into Coach Reeds Defense.  My main take away is that the guy knows how to write to persuade.   

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


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gumby_in_co
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I installed it with 2nd graders and it worked for 3 plays. We had a 40ppg team at 4th and 20. All they ran was reverses, fake reverses and double reverses. On 4th and 20, the HC's brother in law stormed the field, fired me and changed the defense. They scored on the next play and we got beat 50+ to nothing.

I do think it's a great defense for very young teams and for teams who have very little talent as long as your opponents stick to the sweeps. I think a decent DW or passing team would absolutely shred the defense.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coach Kyle
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@troy Wasn't planning on using bear crawlers. I also wasn't planning on running the DBs 5 yards off the ball.

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Coach Kyle
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@chucknduck "if the opposing coaches are good, you might lose to a team with inferior talent."

 

How are they going to do that?

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Coach Kyle
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@mahonz That's the DE's job. The DE forces the sweep play to the C gap or the sideline. That's pretty standard.

 

Basically this league has a few good teams. Those good teams beat us running a few plays. Sweep, QB keep boot, spread screen pass. That's what I need to defend. Only thing I could potentially do differently was run man coverage with 2 safeties. We're not going to do that at 9yr old. Well maybe 😀 

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mahonz
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Posted by: @coach-kyle

@mahonz That's the DE's job. The DE forces the sweep play to the C gap or the sideline. That's pretty standard.

 

Basically this league has a few good teams. Those good teams beat us running a few plays. Sweep, QB keep boot, spread screen pass. That's what I need to defend. Only thing I could potentially do differently was run man coverage with 2 safeties. We're not going to do that at 9yr old. Well maybe 😀 

That is the steadfast rule of the DC46....funnel to the C Gap.....but with the Gap 8 you might be funneling to air. Huge difference. Im a big fan of mirroring Defenses....the GAM or Gap 8 is not one of them unless you have an army of talent. 

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Troy
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@coach-kyle

The initial post title mentioned the "GAM" defense which is what I was referring to. DL Bear crawlers are fundamental and a necessity to the Gap-Air-Mirror. It's not a "GAM" without them. 

You mentioned you were concerned about spread/screen plays. I was just offering an example of what we did against that style. 

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chucknduck
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Posted by: @coach-kyle

@chucknduck "if the opposing coaches are good, you might lose to a team with inferior talent."

 

How are they going to do that?

As I said, the jailbreak screen is a possible,  if not probable house call everytime.  

The six man front is good vs the run against the spread.  But I dont like the gap alignments vs other offenses that specialize in power and counter.  They're already aligned to get down blocked and the end is playing to be kicked out. 

While there's a lot guys at the line of scrimmage, when a runner breaks through it might be six points everytime.

Versus empty, you seemingly have a free rusher.  But one of the slot guys can block the end and the entire line slides away from the slot.  Now you have everyone one on one with no help in the secondary.  On defense you will probably align with inside technique or get killed on slant routes.  If you face a slot/qb combo that practices short corner routes, its pitch and catch.


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Troy
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Posted by: @chucknduck
Posted by: @coach-kyle

@chucknduck "if the opposing coaches are good, you might lose to a team with inferior talent."

 

How are they going to do that?

As I said, the jailbreak screen is a possible,  if not probable house call everytime.  

The six man front is good vs the run against the spread.  But I dont like the gap alignments vs other offenses that specialize in power and counter.  They're already aligned to get down blocked and the end is playing to be kicked out. 

While there's a lot guys at the line of scrimmage, when a runner breaks through it might be six points everytime.

Versus empty, you seemingly have a free rusher.  But one of the slot guys can block the end and the entire line slides away from the slot.  Now you have everyone one on one with no help in the secondary.  On defense you will probably align with inside technique or get killed on slant routes.  If you face a slot/qb combo that practices short corner routes, its pitch and catch.

@chucknduck Agree with you on this. That's why the "GAM" absolutely requires DL bear crawls so they can't get folded down by down blocks and there's no holes in the interior for the RB to break through. A GAM without bear crawlers is unsound.

 

The longer I coach, the lesser I know.


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