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jtrent64
(@jtrent64)
Copper
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 21
September 3, 2020 11:17 pm  

Quick question, how many of you are teaching your inside linebackers to read the guards? When do you start teaching them?  We are 7th grade and we should be better than we are at it.

Thanks


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rpatric
(@rpatric)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 169
Maryland
6th - 8th
Head Coach
September 4, 2020 8:44 am  

What type of defense are you running? How many inside linebackers are you using and what is your philosophy ( attacking vs read/react)?

What types of offensive systems will you be facing? Guards are not always an indicator of where the play is going. To be honest, the only indicator of where the play is going is the ball which is why that is what all of my defenders are reading.

If reading and reacting to the guards is an important part of your game plan, you should be working on it as early and often as possible. Age and experience has nothing to do with the players ability to follow directions. That is determined by the clarity of your instruction.

To answer the first part of your question, I no longer teach my linebackers to read linemen. We give them a base assignment and tell them to execute that assignment and attack the football. Nothing is more devastating to an offense than you playing defense in their backfield!


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7614
Illinois
Other
Club Admin
September 4, 2020 9:50 am  

The advent of "The Spread" formation and Zone Running Schemes have essentially killed the concept of Reading Guards and Backs.  These days it more about reading Flow and closing Windows.  BCR (Boot, Cut Back, Reverse) pursuit discipline is extremely important.

Now that said, if you are facing a Wing or Double Wing Team, then reading Back and Guards still has some importance. 

 

JMHO 

  

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17390
North Carolina
High School
September 4, 2020 11:28 am  

Years ago, I can remember the first youth header I worked for, trying to teach our LBs to read o-linemen.  Since our opponents rarely passed (read: body lean), and never pulled (read: the direction of the play), teaching them to "read" was pointless.  Our LBs had no idea what to read since they never faced teams that showed them a book.

--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
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Posts: 17390
North Carolina
High School
September 4, 2020 11:34 am  
Posted by: @jtrent64

Quick question, how many of you are teaching your inside linebackers to read the guards? When do you start teaching them?  We are 7th grade and we should be better than we are at it.

I don't teach our Linebackers to read pullers.  Our LBs have a pre-determined assignment, and reading isn't one of them.  And reading pullers on a false-pull, is not something I'm willing to get fooled by.  "Reading" plays can get you fooled.  "Executing your assignment" doesn't.  

HOWEVER, if pulling linemen were a concern of ours (meaning that the success of their pulling was causing a problem for us) then we would have to address it.  But we either see teams that A) don't pull, B) don't pull well, C) can't stop our defensive assignments anyway.

--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
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Posts: 17390
North Carolina
High School
September 4, 2020 11:45 am  

Most OCs teach their pullers to attack LBs/Standing DEs.  Most offensive linemen can't block our LBs/SDEs (at any age level) simply because of the athletic superiority of a LB/SDE vs. an OL.  And if their o-linemen CAN block our LBs/SDEs, then we're not going to win anyway, because that means their worst athletes are better than our best athletes.  

But what it comes down to is this: we put a premium on defensive line quickness through the hole/gap.  And while a lot of defensive coaches teach "getting into the pocket of the puller," we are placing a premium on gap-shooting quickness from our defensive linemen.  So we don't have to "get in the pocket of the puller."  That approach would probably slow us down.  So if you're pulling against us, you are probably leaving a much bigger hole for us to shoot than you'd want to.  How to defend us?  If you're great at Trap; but most teams aren't.  Or down block and don't pull; but then we love playing against base-blocking offenses because (just like the Double Wing, where we outnumber you at the POA), we'll outnumber offenses at the edge.

--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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32wedge
(@32wedge)
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Posts: 695
Virginia
Middle School
Only / Head Coach
September 4, 2020 12:06 pm  

I don’t teach reading guards.  That might be a good strategy against us but no one on our schedule pulls like we do.  We see a lot of reach blocking, iso blocking and a lot of block the man in front of you.  The only pullers I have seen were trapping the edge and it’s usually the tackles that are pulled all the way across to trap the opposite edge.  I have not seen any pullers lead up field.

 

I teach gap responsibility and run fits based on flow inside, outside and away.


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Joined: 7 years ago
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Illinois
Other
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September 4, 2020 12:56 pm  

I cant remember where I heard the terms "AT" and "AWAY" But there are specific actions for LB's and perhaps some of the secondary based on At and Away.  I too teach Gap Responsibility to my Interior Line.  If they cant use your Gap then you have done a good job! If you manage to make a tackle or two in the process that's a Great Job.  I teach Gap responsibility as Get off Quick!  Penetrate your Gap to 1 yard behind the LOS (Heels of the OL), Head Up looking for the Ball.  Concentrate more on Run Fits at younger age and build on passing.

 

Jack Gregory has some very detailed information regarding Run Tendencies in Youth Ball.  One of the things he noted was the propensity for Sweep (Give it to the fastest kid and get outside) and most teams run the sweep to their Sideline.  So even if we assume 70% sweep/ off tackle (sure its much Higher) we can design our defense to shut down most opponents.    Notice I said design.......Still have to Tackle!  🙂

 

 

 

 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17390
North Carolina
High School
September 4, 2020 1:26 pm  
Posted by: @youth-coach

Jack Gregory has some very detailed information regarding Run Tendencies in Youth Ball.  One of the things he noted was the propensity for Sweep (Give it to the fastest kid and get outside) and most teams run the sweep to their Sideline.  So even if we assume 70% sweep/ off tackle (sure its much Higher) we can design our defense to shut down most opponents.    Notice I said design.......Still have to Tackle!  🙂

True this ^.

But one of the aspects that make the Sweep so simple to defend is not giving up outside leverage.  I'd think that even if you put Weak Willy out there who couldn't tackle anyone, that you'd still be able to shut down the Sweep by teaching him leverage so that the Sweep gets cut up (if not cut back).  Problem is, so many coaches load the defensive box (as if the rules somehow dictated that they can't line up outside of the Tight End) that it ends up being a footrace to the sidelines.  If there's one thing ball-carriers are used to, it's being chased.  So a footrace to the sideline is not only comfortable for them, it's easy; especially with the bulk of the defenders still in the box.  However, far fewer ball-carriers are willing to run directly at defenders and if those defenders are already strategically placed where you don't want them to run the ball, you have already dictated to them where you do want them to run the ball.  Our defense is designed so that there are places where I don't want you to run the football, and places where I do want you to run the football.  And RBs (especially at the youth level) will take it, REGARDLESS of what the play call was.

I can't for the life of me understand why youth defenses who have to know that the Sweep is coming, that the Sweep will be the primary offensive play and that the Sweep will be the play that most touchdowns come from, and yet their defense is lined up as if it's 4th & Goal at the 1.

--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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jtrent64
(@jtrent64)
Copper
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 21
September 4, 2020 2:39 pm  

Thanks, that is what I was looking for.  We scrimmaged a Double wing team last night, and they did pull their guards.  We run a split 4-4 so I was working with my two inside LB's to read guards, it is not standard procedure for us as we are GAP control.  This will probably be the only team we play where we will read the guards as I don't think many other teams will pull this much.

Surprisingly, we did control the inside running game, so their only success was Sweeps where we were very poor at tackling, block destruction and our DE or OLB came up the field too far and they ran under us.  FYI, we are 7th grade.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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North Carolina
High School
September 4, 2020 5:16 pm  
Posted by: @jtrent64

We scrimmaged a Double wing team last night, and they did pull their guards.

--Well if they were Double Wing, hopefully they pulled their Tackles, too.

We run a split 4-4 so I was working with my two inside LB's to read guards, it is not standard procedure for us as we are GAP control.  This will probably be the only team we play where we will read the guards as I don't think many other teams will pull this much.

--I'd worry less about their pullers (can they even block IN SPACE?) and concern yourself more with how slow they are to close the gaps left by their pullers.

Surprisingly, we did control the inside running game, so their only success was Sweeps

--You're sure this was a Double Wing team...?

where we were very poor at tackling,

--Poor tackling against Sweeps leads to immediate touchdowns.

block destruction

--Forget "block destruction."  That's just teaching your defense how to get blocked.  If your defense is so slow that an offensive player (other than one Wingback) can make an open-field block on your defenders, you're in more trouble than you think.

and our DE or OLB came up the field too far and they ran under us.

--That really shouldn't matter if their angles of approach were correct.  However, if they're taking bad angles then you have trouble.  Also, how many levels of defense do you have?  For a defense to score on us, they have three levels of defense to get through.  All three have to screw up on the same play for a touchdown to occur.

--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: 10 years ago
Posts: 17390
North Carolina
High School
September 4, 2020 5:30 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp

while a lot of defensive coaches teach "getting into the pocket of the puller," we are placing a premium on gap-shooting quickness from our defensive linemen.  So we don't have to "get in the pocket of the puller."  That approach would probably slow us down.  So if you're pulling against us, you are probably leaving a much bigger hole for us to shoot than you'd want to.  How to defend us?  If you're great at Trap; but most teams aren't.  Or down block and don't pull; but then we love playing against base-blocking offenses because (just like the Double Wing, where we outnumber you at the POA), we'll outnumber offenses at the edge.

To expound on the above:  I've never really understood the football cliche, "Get into the puller's pocket."  Oh, I understand the "what."  I just don't understand the "why?"  A pulling lineman can't score, thus he isn't an identified by us as a threat.  Only those with the ball, or those who could have the ball are identified as threats.  This gives us an 11 on 6 advantage.  Why should we get in the pocket of the puller?  Why should we chase him?  So he can take us to the play?  I don't want to be taken to the play.  The play is designed to go to our end zone.  I want to stop the play before it can develop; not get taken to it.  We'll disregard the pullers.  They can't score, plus they leave larger gaps for us to run through.  Our design is to play football on our opponent's side of the line of scrimmage.  I have yet to see a team defeat us, where we can play the majority of the game on their side of the LOS.  Keeping in mind that I'm not pro-blitz, nor loading the box with 11.

--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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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9503
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
September 6, 2020 8:54 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @coachdp

while a lot of defensive coaches teach "getting into the pocket of the puller," we are placing a premium on gap-shooting quickness from our defensive linemen.  So we don't have to "get in the pocket of the puller."  That approach would probably slow us down.  So if you're pulling against us, you are probably leaving a much bigger hole for us to shoot than you'd want to.  How to defend us?  If you're great at Trap; but most teams aren't.  Or down block and don't pull; but then we love playing against base-blocking offenses because (just like the Double Wing, where we outnumber you at the POA), we'll outnumber offenses at the edge.

To expound on the above:  I've never really understood the football cliche, "Get into the puller's pocket."  Oh, I understand the "what."  I just don't understand the "why?"  A pulling lineman can't score, thus he isn't an identified by us as a threat.  Only those with the ball, or those who could have the ball are identified as threats.  This gives us an 11 on 6 advantage.  Why should we get in the pocket of the puller?  Why should we chase him?  So he can take us to the play?  I don't want to be taken to the play.  The play is designed to go to our end zone.  I want to stop the play before it can develop; not get taken to it.  We'll disregard the pullers.  They can't score, plus they leave larger gaps for us to run through.  Our design is to play football on our opponent's side of the line of scrimmage.  I have yet to see a team defeat us, where we can play the majority of the game on their side of the LOS.

It makes sense at higher levels of play.  Someone pursuing just behind the puller should have the runner cross his path just in front of him on the runner's side of the line.  Someone shooting into the gap the puller leaves, and continuing in that direction, will wind up too far behind the runner to make that tackle, whether he runs straight like a bat out of hell or stops to read the play.

In youth football most execution isn't tight enough to produce the situations above.  Even in varsity play it might not be.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9393
Coach
September 6, 2020 9:32 pm  
Posted by: @jtrent64

Quick question, how many of you are teaching your inside linebackers to read the guards? When do you start teaching them?  We are 7th grade and we should be better than we are at it.

Thanks

We did this when I played in high school due to the heavy wing t influence. 

In college we learned how to read flow and high hat/low hat. Now days I teach the same. 

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


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 277
United States
Head Coach
September 7, 2020 10:18 pm  

@bucksweep58 Forgive my ignorance, Coach Zach, but could you explain what you mean by this? I'm not familiar with the term, but sounds like I need to be...

 

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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