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Differences Between Youth and High School - Defense


coachdoug
(@coachdoug)
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Joined: 9 years ago
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When I coached youth, we generally had one or two defensive schemes and one or two primary coverages, plus maybe a couple situation specific packages (goal line, prevent, etc.).  We mixed things up with various stunts and blitzes, but mostly stayed in one look and tried to run that scheme really well.

At the high school level, it is mind-boggling complex. At my current school, we basically run Univ Oregon's defense.  The nice thing is that the entire thing is packaged, including drills and install progressions, so it always gets coached the same way at all levels and the players eventually get really good at it.  Our base look is a 40-under front with Cover-4 (pattern reading) coverage.  We sometimes are in a 4-3 and sometimes a 3-4 because the weakside edge player, who we call Stud, is sometimes a DE and sometimes an OLB (with coverage responsibility).  We have a full array of blitzes and stunts.  We also play C3, C2, Man-Free and C0 as well as a check-with-me where we start out in C4, but check to C3 if the offense comes out with 3 receivers to one side.  Each may include adjustments for Trips, Trey, Quads, Bunch, Stacks, and if the two receivers are too far apart (about 9 yards or so) to pattern read.  CBs have to be able to play off, press, and bail.

So imagine that we've called our base and the other team lines up in a 2x2 spread.  All is good.  Then they shift to a compressed look with all the receivers in tight and stacked.  Then we call off the pattern read and make a call that for each stacked pair, the S takes the first Up (i.e. vertical release) and CB takes the first Out.  Then they motion to bunch one side.  On the single receiver side, the S and CB now have their deep quarters.  On the Bunch side, we make a call for the S to press the point man and bail at the snap to his deep quarter, the OLB takes first In, and the CB takes first Out.  They have to make all these calls pretty much instantaneously without making mistakes.  And that is only one scenario in one front/coverage scheme.  They have to know all the adjustments for every permutation of formation, front, and coverage options.  We work on formation recognition and making the proper adjustments every day.

I'm still getting confused on a regular basis, so I can only imagine how tough it is for the kids, but I should have it down cold by the fall.

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chucknduck
(@chucknduck)
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Yikes!  You must platoon.

The last high school I coached at didn't have a clue.  I only coached offense and just shook my head at what we were doing in coverage.   

In Cover 3 the corners had no divider rules.  The corner would line up outside the receiver even if he was on the wide side of the field a few feet from the sideline.   It was embarrassing.   

Cover one was just as bad.   No rules for tight splits or stacks.  They'd line up inside the receiver no matter how tight he was aligned.   Never used a rat player ever in man.

I got the hell out of that place.  I don't see how any team could be coached worse than that.


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coachdoug
(@coachdoug)
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@chucknduck Yes. We typically platoon. In an ordinary (i.e. non-Covid) season, we'll have about 110 out for frosh ball and about 80 on each of JV and Varsity.  Numbers are way down this year with Covid, but it looks like we'll get 5 games in March and April (we're supposed to get a definitive answer by Monday).  JV (where I'm coaching) is down to about 35-30 players, but Frosh has about 70 as does Varsity, so we should get a few more players fed to us from the other levels. Still, I'm sure we'll have some kids playing both ways.  We're trying to keep it as simple as possible, but it's inherently complex, so we'll see.  Hopefully we won't have too many breakdowns.

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J. Potter (seabass)
(@seabass)
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I have been in a very similar system the last 3 years. Split field coverages, divorced strengths for the front and coverages, multiple coverage schemes...honestly more complexity than is necessary IMO.

The tight front has become VERY popular over the last few years and we have added it as well. This year we stripped it way back with the abbreviated season. I think they are going to find that we are more successful being simple and playing fast.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Only been apart of 2 highschool programs, both in the defensive side of the ball.  One only ran cover 3 no matter where I'm the field or offense they faced. When faced with variying spread attacks they defend the offense by techniques.  They didn't shut out these high power teams but they were always competitive. 

The other was multiple front cover 1. Same attitude as the other program, help the players with techniques.  Both are 6A programs and both compete I'm districts/state playoffs. 

 

The simplicity is just that, it's not cute , it's not fancy or will sell books.  If you can coach a player to play under 1 scheme, he'll be more confident then with trying to learn multiple coverage especially split field. 

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


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posted by: @bucksweep58

they defend the offense by techniques. 

Can you elaborate, Zach?

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co
Posted by: @bucksweep58

they defend the offense by techniques. 

Can you elaborate, Zach?

Sure individual techniques, leverage, and reads, by position. 

 

The cover 3 team ran pattern reading, and made sure it adapted to the most threatening packages as possible. 

 

 

 

 

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


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