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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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North Carolina
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August 27, 2020 1:03 pm  
Posted by: @mahonz
 
The first realization for me using these nutty splits was that it does not fall under the traditional "spread" philosophy. It simply forces all box defenders to have to cover more space.
 
--Again...no, it doesn't force me to cover more space.  And I refuse to anyway.  For us to change our approach, you're going to have to show me that you can effectively stop our defense from doing what we want to do; that is, play on your side of the LOS, getting to you as quickly as possible, and taking away the lanes that you want to run or pass in.  If I am able to do those three things, I won't care how you line up.
 
Each linebacker must take an extra step or two while a blocker may or may not have to match steps...every DL alignment creates a rather large bubble somewhere. The only real fix...more box defenders or more speed.
 
--Disagree.  Speed is overrated on defense.  If I know where to position my personnel, you should be moving the football directly to one of my 11 defenders and he shouldn't even have to move.  As a matter of fact, we are (already) there before you are, because rules don't dictate where my defense has to line up on my side of the LOS, and I'm assuming that's where you want to get to.

One other thought....mega splits and the 2 point stance are a perfect marriage. 

--The 2-point stance will marry well with anything.

And I agree and will quote Lou Holtz....if you split out a wide receiver with no arms....somebody will cover him. 

--Coach Holtz is just pointing out how many stupid DCs there are.  And in that regard, he's correct.

--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)
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August 27, 2020 1:20 pm  

Years ago, we had this kid, "Christopher George."  That's wasn't his full name (and most folks know I don't put kids full names on here).  "Christopher George" was his first and middle name.  And that's what he went by.  That's what his mother called him.  She thought I yelled too much and too loudly.  And she also thought that "Christopher George" didn't like yelling.  "Christopher George" had played a LOT of soccer.  I refused to call him, "Christopher George."  I referred to him as, "CG."  I was his first foray into football.  He wasn't fast or athletic.  He wasn't what I would call naturally aggressive, wasn't a hitter, but we'd taught him how to tackle, as best he could.  In his first year with us, he was a reserve defensive lineman.  The next year, despite him having made no real athletic improvements we made him our Middle Linebacker.  As soon as he made contact with a ball-carrier, he'd STOP running his feet, put his cleats in the air and just hold on, waiting for the calvary to arrive.  He was like a 90-lb. weight that the ball-carrier had to run with.  No one hit softer than he did, but he was like chewing gum stuck to your shoe.  Since our defense funneled everything to the middle, he led us in tackles, by a wide margin.  He wasn't an athlete, and didn't have speed but once he wrapped his arms around you, he could hold on.  Yes, everyone likes a beast at the MLB, but you can play well even with limited athletic ability.

--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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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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August 27, 2020 1:35 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp

--We have primarily been a Split 4-4 over the years (leaving the A-Gaps uncovered by our Level 1 defenders) that has morphed from and into everything from a 33 Stack to an Umbrella 8.  Our formation was of less importance to us than the responsibilities and how we taught the positions.  Yes, 2 players could go through the same gap, if it were assigned.  We've probably designed any number of things that were used for one season only, based on the personnel we had and what player's strength we wanted to take advantage of.  But generally, I'm not a gambler.  I don't like stunts, yet we stunted.  I don't like blitzes, yet we blitzed.  I feel like our base (and basic) defense should allow us to do everything we want to do.  And if that opponent is good, we'll maintain our basic defensive responsibilities and philosophy, but we're also looking to cut off the head of the snake.  

--Dave

 

 

 

Well, as usual, you went in a direction I couldn't have anticipated, but that's what makes you Dave Potter, LOL. So 99% of the coaches we face will spread their front 8 to match us, which is the smart thing to do in our eyes. To us, it's more sound, but we take the advantage because we are experienced with what tends to happen and why.

Other coaches like to load up on the A gaps. About the most extreme example that I've seen is a 202 front with LBs walking up to the A gaps. Against that front, we expect a TFL 20% of the time. We are willing to accept a TFL 40% of the time. In fact in the last Fall championship we won, that's exactly what happened. What the opposing coach failed to account for is that he just put 5 defenders on the LOS inside our guards, 2 of which are his best players. When they failed to make the tackle in the backfield, it was like a kick return against 6 defenders, 3 of which were on the other side of the field.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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August 27, 2020 1:37 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp

As soon as he made contact with a ball-carrier, he'd STOP running his feet, put his cleats in the air and just hold on, waiting for the calvary to arrive.  He was like a 90-lb. weight that the ball-carrier had to run with.  

I actually coach this to smaller players. I call it "Spider Monkey". Talk about "safe tackling" . . .

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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August 27, 2020 1:45 pm  
Posted by: @mahonz

 

Im forcing Purcella to play from a 3 point. Oh man....its ugly. But his two point is worse. Then he becomes a very good blocking dummy. I'd let someone like Moll play from a 2 point anytime. But he is a rare breed. 

 

Jericho is back....smart kid. In one day he was catching his man like he had been doing it for years...effortlessly. The next Ean Lee? Mehi is doing very well at CB. A bit of a surprise. 

Purcella was a tough nut to crack. He was my 1 guy who never improved his 4 point stance. Even Kelly improved. I think the trick is finding a way to motivate him. He still approaches everything on his terms. Yet, he was our most effective defender vs Alameda last year simply by attacking the snapper's shins.

Glad you got Jericho back. I'm sure there's a weird story in there somewhere, but the fact that he came back to the Outlaws speaks volumes.

Mehi has unlimited upside. He played really well for a rookie last year. There's a lot of football in that kid. Now, all you need is for Hess to grow like his big brother, COVID to be over and we'll run the table.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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North Carolina
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August 27, 2020 3:51 pm  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co
 
So 99% of the coaches we face will spread their front 8 to match us, which is the smart thing to do in our eyes.
 
--And give you running lanes?  Why would I want to do that?  And take my defenders further away from where you're going with the ball?  Why would I want to do that?  The further away I place my defenders from the offensive guy who has the ball/wants the ball, the more of a disadvantage I'm at. 

Other coaches like to load up on the A gaps.

--Why?  Are you a threat to run the ball there?  We don't load A-Gaps because we don't see offenses who can Wedge or Dive very often, or very well.  If that gap isn't a threat, I'm not wasting personnel there.  And I certainly don't care about beating up their Center.  First of all, the Center can't score, so he isn't a threat to us.  Secondly, if we can beat him up, then he's not equipped to be a decent Center anyway, which means their team isn't very good.  Thirdly, if he's tough as nails, then I'm wasting my time trying to hammer away at a brick wall.  In a nutshell, I don't waste defensive personnel on a player who can't win the game for them.

About the most extreme example that I've seen is a 202 front with LBs walking up to the A gaps. Against that front, we expect a TFL 20% of the time. We are willing to accept a TFL 40% of the time.

--Are you willing to accept a 20% TFL if your backfield personnel is getting hurt?  Not being snarky; just asking the question.  Regardless, if you're willing to accept a 40% TFL, then I want to play that team.

What the opposing coach failed to account for is that he just put 5 defenders on the LOS inside our guards, 2 of which are his best players. When they failed to make the tackle in the backfield, it was like a kick return against 6 defenders, 3 of which were on the other side of the field.

--If I were STUPID enough to load 5 defenders inside your Guards, they wouldn't be 2 of my best.  If anything, they'd be the 5 of my worst.  A kick return against 6?  lol. He got what he deserved.  Regardless, loading 2 of my best players in an area you're least likely to run/score/or hurt me makes zero sense.  That's why "Christopher George" roamed the middle for us.

--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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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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August 27, 2020 4:55 pm  

@coachdp

Lucky for us, 99% of the guys we face aren't you. 😀 Let's face it. The SINGLE most common adjustment that we see to Beast is sending up to 4 guys, including their fastest players from the weak side. This is what we are up against. That's why last season made me want to puke. The entire league was a talent show that we couldn't out-scheme.

--Why?  Are you a threat to run the ball there? 

I'm only guessing, but I assume the opposing coach thinks that we are being stupid and that he can exploit our stupid by putting 5 guys as close to the ball as he can and sending them vertically. He may be right on the stupid part and he may be right about exploiting it, but we're betting he can't exploit it often enough to keep us out of the endzone.

--Are you willing to accept a 20% TFL if your backfield personnel is getting hurt?  Not being snarky; just asking the question.  Regardless, if you're willing to accept a 40% TFL, then I want to play that team.

I don't look at it that way. A RB has just as much chance of getting hurt if he's tackled for +5 or -5. I'm willing to accept a 40% TFL if the other guy is achieving by doing something unsound that we are able to exploit. If that "something" happens to be sending 5 guys through 2 gaps, we're confident we can exploit the hole that he left somewhere else. Remember that we are 100% "check with me", so we call our plays from the sideline. We always mostly have something ready to go and well drilled to take advantage of "stupid". 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
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August 27, 2020 5:37 pm  

I'm reminded by the dozens of youth games I've attended over the years where a Wide-Out (or several) are flanked out further than the QB can pass the ball, or get the ball there quickly and accurately.  And yet, the defense will man up with each Wide-Out, only to watch the offense run some sort of Between-the-Tackles play.  And adding insult to idiocy, that offense will continue to do it over and again as the defense chooses to cover the QB who can't throw, receivers who can't catch, and even if they could, aren't fast enough to take it the distance.

 

--Dave

When I started to see this in 8U games the first year I was coaching (I primarily coached the 10Us, but we helped each other's teams on game day), my initial assumption was that there was an unspoken agreement to cover them so as not to embarrass them.  But then I thought, you're not embarrassing the receivers if you know the passer can't throw the ball that wide, and you're not embarrassing the passer when practically nobody that age could make that throw.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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North Carolina
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August 27, 2020 6:00 pm  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

I'm only guessing, but I assume the opposing coach thinks that we are being stupid and that he can exploit our stupid by putting 5 guys as close to the ball as he can and sending them vertically.

--Welp, as I said, we don't load the A-Gaps because the A-Gap doesn't threaten us.  Putting 5 there, much less 2 of your best is like playing 11 against 6.

A RB has just as much chance of getting hurt if he's tackled for +5 or -5.

--Here's what I'm saying:  When you're in Gun, your QB is isolated.  Your RB is isolated (if he's carrying the ball).  Targeting them is easy, because of their exposure.  So it's not quite the same type of tackle or hit, as compared to an under-center QB handing off the football.  We're able to tee off, because there's no mystery about what's happened to the football.  If the QB takes the ball to his chest, will he have time to throw?  Now, if you have an inside game, where you can run the A-Gap and be satisfied/patient getting 17 plays on a possession and add some Spinner to your backfield to make us have more "awareness," then you've given me some concern.  Yes, I have ILBs with an A-Gap responsibility, and our paths to your backfield shouldn't change, even with some Spinner.  But I don't see that (done well) at the youth level.  I see BOB blocking with wide splits, rainbow snaps and QBs running for their lives.  And the more pressure we bring (from outside in), the faster the offense will have to be.  Which usually results in a hurried offense and splits getting narrowed.  I've seen and heard opposing coaches to tell their kids to "widen out" so that we would do the same.  We didn't.  It just made our job easier.

If that "something" happens to be sending 5 guys through 2 gaps, we're confident we can exploit the hole that he left somewhere else.

--lol.  A blind man could exploit that approach.

Remember that we are 100% "check with me", so we call our plays from the sideline. We always mostly have something ready to go and well drilled to take advantage of "stupid". 

--Okay, I get that.  

--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)
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Posts: 17323
North Carolina
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August 27, 2020 6:11 pm  
Posted by: @bob-goodman
 
When I started to see this in 8U games the first year I was coaching (I primarily coached the 10Us, but we helped each other's teams on game day), my initial assumption was that there was an unspoken agreement to cover them so as not to embarrass them.  But then I thought, you're not embarrassing the receivers if you know the passer can't throw the ball that wide, and you're not embarrassing the passer when practically nobody that age could make that throw.

Back in 2000, when I was coaching 7-9s, I caught all sorts of flack for having 2 Safeties.  No, we never faced a so-called "passing team" back then.  But in that 8-0 season, we had 11 interceptions.  Our Safeties didn't cover "passes."  They might as well have been "fielding punts."  Torrance alone, had 8 interceptions.

--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)
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New Jersey
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August 28, 2020 1:14 am  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @bob-goodman
 
When I started to see this in 8U games the first year I was coaching (I primarily coached the 10Us, but we helped each other's teams on game day), my initial assumption was that there was an unspoken agreement to cover them so as not to embarrass them.  But then I thought, you're not embarrassing the receivers if you know the passer can't throw the ball that wide, and you're not embarrassing the passer when practically nobody that age could make that throw.

Back in 2000, when I was coaching 7-9s, I caught all sorts of flack for having 2 Safeties.  No, we never faced a so-called "passing team" back then.  But in that 8-0 season, we had 11 interceptions.  Our Safeties didn't cover "passes."  They might as well have been "fielding punts."  Torrance alone, had 8 interceptions.

--Dave

That too reminds me of my first year, 2007.  Above I described how it was when our club's team was on defense and I'm yelling from the sideline, "Why are we covering them?  Their quarterback can't throw that far."  And it was obvious they'd spread out extra wide to take defenders away.

Same day, same field, 12U game (or maybe 14U), our club's team on offense.  The club's HC had input to all the teams, and his philosophy on offense was, "Make every play look like the opposite of what it is."  (My own is, "Make every play look the same.")  So our side's QB holds the ball high over his head and I want to yell out what an obvious draw play that is, except I didn't want to tip the opponents...but they could see that "tell" too, and cut our runner down as he pulled it down to run himself or hand off, I forgot which.

But the reason I'm writing is that the other team played just the sort of defense you described, and I could see our side's pass, and their interception, coming from far away.  Sad to say it might've been 14Us with that crappy a passing game, but clearly a defense such as you describe against it would be all the more viable with 7-9s.  It looked like a 2-player basketball zone defense, one on each side, watching the ball all the way.


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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September 4, 2020 11:07 pm  
Posted by: @mahonz

And I agree and will quote Lou Holtz....if you split out a wide receiver with no arms....somebody will cover him. 

I thought of this quote this evening when I was watching our high school team play. When our team went triples right (three receivers wide on the numbers literally about shoulder width apart), the opponent only moved the corner out to cover them. Thinking they had the advantage, our team threw several bubble screens. The outside LB's and safeties went spill and kill destroyed the play....every...single...time.

In between the all the boos, all I could think of was @CoachDP saying that he wouldn't move a man out and that he would let his defense do it's thing. That's precisely what the other team did tonight... and it's why they won the ball game.

Now, if you'll excuse me it's time to go out to Facebook and read all of the "fire the coach" comments...

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


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