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blockandtackle
(@coacharnold)
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We teach MIKE if someone crosses in front of him, blow him up...we also ran the MESH concept last season, with moderate success...if the QB got the ball out on time it was great, if he held it to long he generally threw it right to SAM or WILL.

The key to making Mesh work, which a lot of coaches don't get (especially Tony Franklin--ironically enough), is to read it correctly.  The actual Mesh should be the 3rd man in the progression and the QB shouldn't wait for the Mesh to just "pop open" like Tony Franklin says.

Mumme and Leach, who still run at on of Mesh, coach their QBs to look at the deep corner/out route first, then look to the flat for the shoot route second, then get your eyes to the mesh third.  It works out to be exactly the same stretch as a lot of other popular concepts like Snag and it's a much cleaner read for the QB.  You get a Smash, a man-beater, and a triangle stretch all in one.

Mumme tells a story about some HS coach in Kentucky who ran Mesh as his one and only pass in a stripped down version of the Air Raid.  If you really devote the time to teaching receivers how to adjust their routes against leverage (like how to settle down vs. zone when you cross the flat defender's face, turning it into a Snag kind of thing), when to turn the shoot route into a hitch route when the guy running it is at the numbers, and working all the different tags into it, it really can be an entire passing game unto itself.

Most coaches, especially at the youth level, don't get that deep into it, though.


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Spyder89
(@spyder89)
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The key to making Mesh work, which a lot of coaches don't get (especially Tony Franklin--ironically enough), is to read it correctly.  The actual Mesh should be the 3rd man in the progression and the QB shouldn't wait for the Mesh to just "pop open" like Tony Franklin says.

Mumme and Leach, who still run at on of Mesh, coach their QBs to look at the deep corner/out route first, then look to the flat for the shoot route second, then get your eyes to the mesh third.  It works out to be exactly the same stretch as a lot of other popular concepts like Snag and it's a much cleaner read for the QB.  You get a Smash, a man-beater, and a triangle stretch all in one.

Mumme tells a story about some HS coach in Kentucky who ran Mesh as his one and only pass in a stripped down version of the Air Raid.  If you really devote the time to teaching receivers how to adjust their routes against leverage (like how to settle down vs. zone when you cross the flat defender's face, turning it into a Snag kind of thing), when to turn the shoot route into a hitch route when the guy running it is at the numbers, and working all the different tags into it, it really can be an entire passing game unto itself.

Most coaches, especially at the youth level, don't get that deep into it, though.

There's a guy that explains the mesh, and the way different coaches run it, so well on YouTube.  Coach McKie is the name.
He explains all these points to a tee.  Not many coaches truly realize that the mesh was created to not throw to the mesh as the primary

- Ray


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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So in your zone, when two receivers cross say behind your safeties,

2 receivers have gotten behind the safeties?  The safeties are both in trail mode?  (Or it's a CB & S?)

The DBs either see each other or they don't.  Whether they've been coached to switch or not doesn't matter if they don't see or "feel" each other.  What do you have them do, yell continuously, "Here, here, here!"?  If they're at all close in coverage to the receivers, & trailing, they're not going to be in position to see each other in time to adjust, unless the crossing pattern is at a high angle.

Is there some way out of this, other than making sure the receivers never get behind the coverage?  Do you give the DBs landmarks on the field instead of them keeping track of each other?


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
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CoachA(Block & Tackle) posted well about Mesh. Mostly I agree with his post, especially Mesh being a difficult concept for youth. Now lets talk about Shallow. Here there are 2 crossers from the same side one on the Shallow & one on a Dig. Here like Mesh the throw we make most often is actually the third read. I teach my QB to check leverage from the corner on the side opposite where the Shallow is coming from. This way his reads are all to one side. That is read 1, read 2 is blitz off that edge throw the back on the Trouble route. Then Dig to Shallow.

Now the question is how to defend it. The great thing is the Concept has built in answers for Zone or Man. In Zone coverage the OLB has to jump the RB, the Will has to find the Shallow, & the FS the dig. Now we usually are bring pressure from the Mike or the other OLB. On paper we have the answers, in 7on7 it's almost impossible to defend. On the field we really need the rush to get there(see Rob's post). In Man coverage we teach our guys to take away the inside, so we will collision & chase. Playing Man 2 is almost the best choice providing the CB can run with the Go.

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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blockandtackle
(@coacharnold)
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So in your zone, when two receivers cross say behind your safeties, your DB's change receivers?  Doesn't that take them from following a receiver from inside to outside?

If you have receivers crossing behind your deep safeties, you're already beat.

The simplest zone rules I know:

Cov. 2--spot drop to the hashes.  Keep everything in front of you in your 1/2 of the field
Cov. 3--spot drop to the top of the numbers and MOF.  Keep everything in front of you in your 1/3.

You can also teach "midpoint" rules to Cov. 3 in the upper levels of Youth.  It's not that complicated.  Use the hashes to divide the field into 1/3s and tell them to stay deep and halfway between the 2 receivers closest to them.  You can have them point at one receiver with one hand and the other receiver with the other hand to make sure they're aware of who they're looking at.  They need to keep those 2 guys in front of them until the ball's in the air, then break on it.

The hardest part about zone isn't the pass coverage technique--it's teaching the deep guys to honor the deep threat first and then how to come up late in alley support or secondary force with proper leverage, as well as how to properly crack replace.  You can fudge that some for more aggressive run defense if you're not worried about giving up the occasional HB pass or playside sweep PAP.


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blockandtackle
(@coacharnold)
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On defending Shallow...

Take what I just wrote about defending Mesh by walling off crossers and denying inside releases to slots.

Then add one other layer to your rules: the "5 yard no cover rule."

You'll let them throw the shallow all day long and then break on the ball when it's thrown and rally to make the tackle for a minimal gain from your zones.  You want to hold them to 5 yards or less per completion.

This is what big time colleges and NFL teams have had to do in order to defend the play.  Yeah, they have better athletes to rally... but the typical youth or HS offense isn't going to be that great with completing it, so it evens out.  It's a high completion percentage throw, but few HS or youth teams are going to complete it 70% of the time.

Safeties need to honor the deepest route.  A lot of teams will run a post behind their Dig and Shallow combo on this concept so they get the 3 level "NCAA" stretch.  If the S comes up to deny that 12-15 yard dig, the Post will score on you.  S has to look for and honor the deep throw, LB has to wall off the dig (or at least get underneath it) and then you'll force the offense to complete the Shallow route while you break on the ball in the air and rally to tackle the receiver and limit the YAC.

Dropping 8 into coverage can help here, too.  If the QB is getting the ball out quickly, you aren't going to get to him that often, anyway.


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
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Coach A

Shallow has to be completed at a high level otherwise running it is a waste. Normally, we run it from 3x1 with post dig shallow. It's a little different than Pyramid that gives us Seam Post Shallow triangle you are talking about. Personally I like Shallow on 1st & 10, so a 5 yd gain is gravy. It really sets up the rest of our pass game.

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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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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If you have receivers crossing behind your deep safeties, you're already beat.

The simplest zone rules I know:

Cov. 2--spot drop to the hashes.  Keep everything in front of you in your 1/2 of the field
Cov. 3--spot drop to the top of the numbers and MOF.  Keep everything in front of you in your 1/3.

You can also teach "midpoint" rules to Cov. 3 in the upper levels of Youth.  It's not that complicated.  Use the hashes to divide the field into 1/3s and tell them to stay deep and halfway between the 2 receivers closest to them.  You can have them point at one receiver with one hand and the other receiver with the other hand to make sure they're aware of who they're looking at.  They need to keep those 2 guys in front of them until the ball's in the air, then break on it.

The hardest part about zone isn't the pass coverage technique--it's teaching the deep guys to honor the deep threat first and then how to come up late in alley support or secondary force with proper leverage, as well as how to properly crack replace.  You can fudge that some for more aggressive run defense if you're not worried about giving up the occasional HB pass or playside sweep PAP.

For Youth Ball...This^^^^^^    However developing their Communication Skills is also important.  Crosser! Crosser! Lets folks know someone is going across the middle of the field.  Safeties, Corners, And LB's can be taught this simple yet effective skill. 

jmho

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  ๐Ÿ™‚


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blockandtackle
(@coacharnold)
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Coach A

Shallow has to be completed at a high level otherwise running it is a waste. Normally, we run it from 3x1 with post dig shallow. It's a little different than Pyramid that gives us Seam Post Shallow triangle you are talking about. Personally I like Shallow on 1st & 10, so a 5 yd gain is gravy. It really sets up the rest of our pass game.

Joe

I've coached it before and like it, too.  We had a "dumbed down" version where the back stayed in to protect and both #1 receivers ran streaks.  We just looked for a curl (we used a curl instead of a dig) to the shallow and read it that way.  Our QB probably threw for about 2,000 of his 7,000 yards over his 3.5 year career as a starter just on this play (and probably another 2,000 on Smash), so I'm a believer.

I'm just saying that if you teach your S to jump the dig and the offense does run a Post, which is a fairly common way that teams run the play, you can get burned deep.  If you coach your LB to jump the shallow, that Dig is going to pop open and possibly score.  If you send a lot of guys after the QB, you're taking players out of position to defend both the Shallow and the Dig so it actually gets easier on the offense. It's what makes the play so tough to defend.  If you try to defend everything, you'll defend nothing.

Make them complete the shallow with a bunch of underneath defenders who tackle it for a minimal gain.  With the overhang denying the inside release, the timing should be off on the throw, which makes it tougher.

It's a pretty easy throw and catch, yes... but this is youth and HS football we're talking about.  A lot of teams are reluctant to throw on 1st down in the first place.  When they do, they may complete 2/3 times, but the time it's dropped or just a little bit off target will put them behind the chains.

Another way to defend a good Shallow team is to play a 3 level Cov. 2.  Have the CBs take flats and sink with #1 until something shows.  CBs drop to the hashes and take away the post or get over top of #1 if something threatens the flat.  A pair of hook players (probably LBs) will wall off the dig or curl... and then you have your "hole player" sitting at a 5 yard depth over the middle to sit on screens, draws, shallows, and spy the QB.


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
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Coach A

I posted how we run shallow in my section. We do run a backside post, for us it's a pre-snap read.

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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DumCoach
(@dumcoach)
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Topic starter  

MH I think comes closest to the play I'm describing.  I'll show it using colored receivers with a matching color for QB's read progression:

                                                                      1                                                                 
                            4                              2

                X  5                            Y          Z
              O              O O 0 O O              O
                                                  O     3
                                  O O O

Two corners, two safeties.  Zone.  SE (Z) is QB's first read covered by corner. 
X and Y will mesh at approximately between corner and safety depth.  In the illustration shown, slot receiver Y rubs coverage on X and QB hits X as #2 read (or #3 I think in MH's attack).  I'm not worried about covering reads #1, #3, or #5.  The biggie is #2 (Hence the font size increase) followed by #4 (When X rubs coverage off slot Y.).

Although I'm in Zone, all zone ends up in Man.  Corner on X is going to move towards the middle of the field.  Is it reasonable assume he can drop coverage on X and take the handoff coverage on Y?  Looks to me like he has to reverse direction to do so.  Also, in single coverage on X, won't left corner think he's in Man?

And doesn't safety moving with Y also have to reverse direction to take X? 

Calling "Cross!  Cross!" requires somebody see it to call it and up to two to hear it when called.  Even if heard, light bulbs must come on inside helmets.  I know a pick pass is designed for Man coverage but it looks like this play might work against Zone too. The cross is not taking place in front of the DB's to make it easy to see.

The same play can be run from Twins but now left corner would not see himself in single coverage.

Or am I just plain "Dum"?  Very possible as I've always taught Man

For those who deliver a chuck/jam whatever on Y to slow him down, do you measure this in drive steps or seconds?  I want to avoid the yellow flag if QB unloads early.

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


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
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Clark

Anyone who teaches Zone well knows that at a certain point all Zone defenses turn into man. Most say that after a 3 count it becomes man.

If you look at the Shallow concept I posted in my section, it has built in reads for Man or Zone. It doesn't have Meshers rather answers for Man, C2, C3, or C4. Each has a soft spot this concept looks to exploit.

Now at the Youth level running Shallow takes a QB that can determine leverage, not the actual coverage. Running Meshers at the Youth level needs time, that's why at the Youth level we always did it off Play Action. This allowed our Meshers to get across the field.

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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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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For Youth Ball...This^^^^^^    However developing their Communication Skills is also important.  Crosser! Crosser! Lets folks know someone is going across the middle of the field.  Safeties, Corners, And LB's can be taught this simple yet effective skill.

That looks good.  Are there also standard ways to signal a crossing of twin receivers w each other?

Seems like the sort of thing kids need to develop "map reading" skills for.  That is, they need to be able to quickly xlate the signals they're hearing into a mental picture of who's where.


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Bob:

If I understand your question. My answer is, if you teach, Crosser! Crosser! Crosser!, you damn well better tell (teach) them what it means! 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  ๐Ÿ™‚


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CHARLIEDONTSURF
(@charleydontsurf)
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โ€œIn! In! In!โ€

One syllable.  Shout it, attach to an action:

- If you see [X], yell โ€œIn! In! In!โ€ and do [Y]
- If you hear โ€œIn! In! In!โ€, drop what youโ€™re doing and do [Z]

Start making In! calls on day 1.  Police like a hawk.  Add Y and Z later.  Itโ€™s good discipline whether or not you anchor it to an action.  Conditions your defenders to be active-minded and communicate quickly and purposefully. 

By week 2, your kids have a Pavlovian reaction to hearing it.  Makes banjo calls, rat, etc a snap. 


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