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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 7618
Illinois
Other
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November 19, 2020 2:24 pm  

Gents:

 

I submit that there is a lot to be said about playing defense.  I don't profess to be a Guru, ha, there are far to many folks on here infinitely better at designing and developing concepts than I.  Clark, JR Titan, and Jack Gregory have been tremendous influences on my ability to implement a sound defensive strategy.  I will go so far as to say that much of what is involved in a implementing a defense at the higher levels, rarely applies to youth ball.  To be honest, I don't spend a ton of time on variable coverages.  I spent the bulk of my coaching career in either Cover 3 or Cover 2 (Tampa) with associated under coverages.  I wanted 11 sets of eyes looking and working from a downhill perspective.  Honestly we did not see a ton of passing until we hit 7th and 8th grade levels. Even then it was mostly Screens and Slants (Quick Stuff).  One caveat to that was several years back I had a great group of athletes with speed and smarts. We played Split 4-4 with Man Coverage.  

So, barring a lengthy discussion on coverage, using what I saw and experienced from opponents over time. That meant we endeavored to stop the running game, specifically Off Tackle and Sweeps.  I chose the 6-3 Defense as my base for several years and used its concepts as Blitz Packages from the Split 4-4.  (to be continued)   

 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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Seth54
(@seth54)
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 42
November 20, 2020 8:42 am  

Thanks for all the replies. Aligning wider will definitely be a priority this weekend. Your assessments of players and assignments are appreciated. Thanks coaches


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rpatric
(@rpatric)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 195
Maryland
6th - 8th
Head Coach
November 21, 2020 8:59 am  

@coachdp the back definitely has some wheels. No doubt he can outrun pretty much any player out there in a foot race. I just noticed the OLB engaged with a blocker which tells me he's either too tight, or worse he's actually hand fighting with him on purpose. Maybe he doesn't make the tackle, but like you said, he probably effects the play and causes the back to either cut back or run deeper

 


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9518
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
November 21, 2020 11:38 am  
Posted by: @coachdp

"many teams will put their best defensive player at MLB.  This goes completely against our philosophy and why I think so many youth defenses fail:  Why have your best player in the middle of the field, when so few offenses run successfully up the middle?

I wish I'd seen that quote where it originally appeared, because I think the reason few offenses run successfully up the middle is because the opponent's best defensive player is at MLB!

Some places I coached back in the Bronx, we and/or our opponents had their star player at DE, which meant their other DE was #2 at best, and where both DEs were good, that was pretty good but still gave up some busts up the middle at the most inopportune times.  Where I coach now, both offense and defense tend to put their star in the middle, where they neutralize each other.


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rpatric
(@rpatric)
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Maryland
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November 21, 2020 12:18 pm  

@bob-goodman

By putting your best player in the middle of the field you are greatly reducing his ability to be effective against the more critical and damaging plays. You are now asking him to cover way more ground on plays to the outside.

Most youth teams can't beat you running the middle of the field. There's simply too much traffic in the middle of the field and it requires them to move down the field 5 yds at a time. You don't need studs in the middle to make tackles in limited space. In my opinion you need studs in space (OLB, CB) to make the more difficult plays in open field. That doesn't mean I would play bad players at MLB, I would just play my best at CB and OLB so my MLB didn't have to chase laterally so much. Hope that made sense Bob

Ryan


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17478
North Carolina
High School
November 21, 2020 10:34 pm  
Posted by: @rpatric

Most youth teams can't beat you running the middle of the field. There's simply too much traffic in the middle of the field and it requires them to move down the field 5 yds at a time.

It also requires players who block, which is the hardest commodity to get in youth ball it seems.

--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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Seth54
(@seth54)
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 42
November 22, 2020 2:41 pm  

Gentlemen,

We won! 20-13 for our league championship. Thanks for all the advice. 


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 9 years ago
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New Jersey
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November 22, 2020 3:19 pm  
Posted by: @rpatric

@bob-goodman

 

By putting your best player in the middle of the field you are greatly reducing his ability to be effective against the more critical and damaging plays. You are now asking him to cover way more ground on plays to the outside.

Most youth teams can't beat you running the middle of the field. There's simply too much traffic in the middle of the field and it requires them to move down the field 5 yds at a time. You don't need studs in the middle to make tackles in limited space. In my opinion you need studs in space (OLB, CB) to make the more difficult plays in open field. That doesn't mean I would play bad players at MLB, I would just play my best at CB and OLB so my MLB didn't have to chase laterally so much. Hope that made sense Bob

Ryan

It made sense, but I'm not sold.  I'd be confident in putting superior players in the middle of the field because they can cover more ground to either side.

Because of the disparity in skill of the different players in youth football, if you don't have that stopper in the middle, teams running there aren't necessarily doing it only 5 yards at a time.

Suppose each team has exactly one fast kid.  That was frequently the case in the Warriors club because the teams were drafted.  On offense you play him at tailback.  Where do you put him on defense?  If he's at either end, the other team's fast kid runs around the other end.

The game of Red Rover was brought up.  (In India it might be kabaddi.)  Why is that even a game?  It's a game because sometimes the kid can break that chain of opposing players.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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North Carolina
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November 22, 2020 5:50 pm  
Posted by: @bob-goodman

Suppose each team has exactly one fast kid.  That was frequently the case in the Warriors club because the teams were drafted.  On offense you play him at tailback.  Where do you put him on defense?  If he's at either end, the other team's fast kid runs around the other end.

It's not about having the fast guy on defense.  It's assuring that their offense is attacking your defensive strength; not at your weakness.  Regardless, if you have only 1 good player on defense, it's not going to matter where you put him, you're in trouble whenever they aren't running to him.

--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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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17478
North Carolina
High School
November 22, 2020 5:53 pm  
Posted by: @seth54

We won! 20-13 for our league championship. Thanks for all the advice. 

So no details?  Good grief, quit holding out.  How did they score?  How did you score?  Did you control the game from the outset?  Did you score 3 touchdowns in the last 30 seconds?

--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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Seth54
(@seth54)
Copper
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 42
November 22, 2020 7:59 pm  

@coachdp

 

I’m more than happy to provide details. It may sound corny, but this was probably the most tense and exciting football game I was ever a part of. 

We largely stymied their Wildcat game. They had to change things up and completed a long catch and run to take an early lead. They aren’t much of a passing team so this caught us off guard, but wasn’t really sustainable. We answered to make it 6-6 heading into half. 

We stuck to our ground and pound game plan and put together a nice TD drive, but again missed the PAT. They’d answered on the second play with their home run hitter breaking off a long run and converted. So for all of our hard work, and dominating TOP, we were losing 13-12. 

We looked poised to score, when a false start on 2nd and goal from the 1 stalled our drive. On their next possession, they lost their poise.  They couldn’t get wide and they started to panic. They had a series of negative plays, false starts, and illegal formations and procedure penalties that had them backed up to their goal line. We would throw their speed demon for a loss in the endzone to give us the lead 14-13.

 

Just when we should have been taking control, we bobbled the kickoff and gave it right back to them. By this point they had basically abandoned what got them there and were starting to pass frequently. This definitely isn’t their game and our best player got a pick 6. Just to keep things interesting, we missed the PAT instead of icing the game. 20-13

 

We’d get a stop and then fumble it right back as we were running out the clock. They’d dial up some more school yard specials and get all the way to our 9yd line before they’d run out of clock and we stormed the field to celebrate. 

We played great on defense and had them rattled and arguing with each other. Our OL played their best game in the biggest game. And if we didn’t give it back after one kickoff, fumble while trying to ice it, and lose another fumble in the first quarter on what looked like a drive that was going to end in points(and even had another fumble that we got back), we could have really buried this team. Despite some sloppiness I couldn’t be more proud of how these kids played and stayed together as a team. 

 


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17478
North Carolina
High School
November 22, 2020 10:52 pm  
Posted by: @seth54

On their next possession, they lost their poise.  They couldn’t get wide and they started to panic.

By this point they had basically abandoned what got them there and were starting to pass frequently.

As I said in an earlier post:  

"I've seen plenty of offenses implode when you take away something they like/want to do."

--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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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17478
North Carolina
High School
November 22, 2020 11:14 pm  
Posted by: @seth54

We played great on defense and had them rattled and arguing with each other. Our OL played their best game in the biggest game. And if we didn’t give it back after one kickoff, fumble while trying to ice it, and lose another fumble in the first quarter on what looked like a drive that was going to end in points(and even had another fumble that we got back), we could have really buried this team.

As I said in an earlier post, 

"If that's their offense and what you have to contend with, if your defense is decently coached you will have no trouble."

You allowed them to keep it close because of not executing on your offense's "opportunity plays," but you still beat them.  Just think if you'd gotten your XPs, and scored the TD when you had the ball on their 1.  You could've easily had them in a 30-13 route.

--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
(@rpatric)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 195
Maryland
6th - 8th
Head Coach
November 23, 2020 5:38 am  

@coachdp

And if I did only have one good player, I would make sure he was in position to defend " fast kid right". That seems to be the homerun play up here in the Arctic. LOL


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rpatric
(@rpatric)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 195
Maryland
6th - 8th
Head Coach
November 23, 2020 5:58 am  

@bob-goodman

I guess it all depends on how you approach defense. How you want to attack the other team, or defend the field. It makes sense to me to defend the field from the outside in, trying to funnel everything into the middle of the defense where there are more people. It seems easier to do that when you have fast, sure tacklers at CB and OLB. Lets just say for arguments sake you are unfortunate enough to only have 1 good defensive player. Now lets say that you're playing a team with "the fast kid". Where is he typically running? I can almost bet money he is not coming up the middle on a consistent basis because A.) there isn't room for him to get up to speed quickly, and B.) there are more defenders to contend with. So by playing Johnny Football at MLB you are forcing him to determine where the ball is going, and beat the fast kid there. Why not just put him in the spot where you are most vulnerable to begin with. To be honest, I don't have a problem with leaving my 5th or 6th best player on an island at MLB because I know his island is surrounded by sharks, CB however??? Not so much.


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