Post by Coach Campbell on Jan 10, 2016 0:52:00 GMT
There are several factors to consider when implementing your defensive philosophy regardless of what defense you and your staff choose to run.
Philosophy: What do we believe?
1. Make certain the defense fits your personnel. Don't ask kids to do things they are not capable of doing.
2. Make certain the defense is sound. You have to have a scheme that is gap sound and the coverage responsibilities match the front.
3. Make sure the scheme is easy for the kids to communicate and understand. Defenses must be able to line up and play fast.
4. Make sure you have easy to understand formation and motion adjustments and practice them weekly.
5. Great defense is great in situations. Practice and Preach 3rd down and red zone situations. These are the times you have to play your best defense.
6. Communication: All defenders know the call, communicate adjustments, and play off of each other. Knowing down and distance on every play is critical for great defense.
7. Eliminate explosive plays. Make offenses drive the length of the field. Make the offense be patient and most of the time they will make a mistake and put themselves in long yardage situations.
Defensive Priorities: What do we spend our time working on?
1. Tackling: Spend your time teaching and practicing great tackling mechanics and relentless effort in tackling.
2. Turnovers: Getting the ball back is the way to win ball games. Stress forcing takeaways and getting off of the field on third down.
3. Block Destruction: Blocked players cannot make plays.
4. Leverage: Great 2nd level defenders keep the ball inside and in front and understand 2 way leverage. Front players understand fits, especially spill and squeeze concepts and how they fit into the overall defensive scheme.
5. Effort: Great defenses emphasize and insist on outstanding effort and have all 11 players playing hard and in unison until the whistle.
Fundamentals: What must all of our kids do to be able to contribute to the success of the defense?
1. Alignment: You cannot do your job if you are not aligned correctly.
2. Stance: Fundamental defensive play starts with a great stance. A player cannot defeat blocks and will constantly be out of position if they are not in a great stance.
3. Key: Sound defense starts with the ability to read the offensive key and have eyes in the correct place at all times.
Personally I like a four man front with 3 linebackers verse traditional sets and run heavy teams and a nickel (4.2.5) package against spread teams. I prefer two high safeties and being able to run quarters, hard cover 2, and man coverage with the ability to disguise which coverage is being run. I like to blitz when needed but let the linebackers play whenever possible. I believe line stunts, 2 and 3 man, can be effective on run and pass downs as well as slanting to the look you want to be in.
My favorite pursuit drill is a traditional pursuit with all 11 defenders lined up correctly in a great stance with their eyes in the correct location to read their keys. On snap flow will be given. Force players will force, squeeze players will squeeze, contain players will contain, and backside players will take great backside angles.
At this point everyone will have to run. The force players will fit to the sideline. The contain player will fit to the sideline as well but 5 yards deeper. All other players will run to the sideline of given flow but will spread at 5 yard intervals based on who gets there first. You should not run down the back of another defender. If he is ahead of you adjust your path to a deeper fit. The backside players should be the deepest and should be on a path to save the touchdown or take away the cutback down field. All players will run full speed in their lane to the sideline and stay there with feet moving in a great hitting position until the whistle blows. (Attached is a drawing of the team pursuit drill.) The drill can be run from the middle of the field, short side, and wide side to change angles.
The great thing about this drill is that a different front can be called each repetition along with a different coverage. The pursuit fit rarely plays out the same each time and makes it very realistic since fits in a game rarely play out the same. It also quickly identifies if your force players understand who is forcing and who is not. You can also reverse flow and have players initially fit front side and then flip and pursue after misdirection. I like this much better then having set cones or landmarks that each player is assigned to because it makes them fit off of each other. If two players end up in the same spot then someone has fit incorrectly. It is great to film this drill and watch it later with the players. Fits and effort can be very easily seen and coached off of the film
Post by Coach Campbell on Oct 5, 2017 18:01:48 GMT
In today’s game where teams run multiple formations and schemes, I believe it is important to have a base defense that can adapt on the fly. I believe the 3-4 defense sets up well against spread teams and power run teams if you adjust the front and assignments accordingly. Cover 2 and 3 are the preferred coverages, because cover 3 allows us to add an eighth man in the box To support the run. I’m a fan of an aggressive defense where the line is always moving and backers are coming, the thought is offenses should be able to handle base defense but once the box starts changing it up, the offense misses assignments. We start practice with a daily pursuit drill, where the coaches go to open spots on the defense and another coach is simulating a QB throwing the ball around. Once the ball is thrown everyone pursues the football for a strip and return. The coaches continue to move around the defense trying to catch and run. The second variation is we set up three cones. The first cone is 5 yards above the LOS and is the DL pursuit landmark. The second cone is 10 yards above the LOS and is the LB pursuit landmark. The third cone is 15 yards above the LOS and is the DB pursuit landmark. There is a WR out at the numbers and the Coach throws a ball to either one and he runs up the sideline. Each defensive player must either tag the ball carrier or run through their landmark
Post by Coach Campbell on Oct 8, 2017 21:41:08 GMT
I am a 3-5 defensive guy, Cover 1, and two versions of Cover 3 (base 3, and what we call cover 7 which we use in longer yardage situations). We teach 4, 5, and 6-man blitz concepts not unlike you would teach a passing tree to an offense, as well as some auto-checks to certain formations. We teach sound run fits, our d-line plays a read game most of the time. DB's will disguise coverage, we'll play man (off and press), and zone (normal alignment and press bail).
Philosophically, I believe every defensive player has the same five responsibilities every play. They are; 1. Know where/how to line up. 2. Know who your key/read is. 3. Defeat your key/read. 4. Pursue the ball carrier. 5. Close the deal (tackle/turnover). We break our practice up to address each of these areas daily. Because we try to stay sound, and we take measured risks, I suppose you could say we have a bend but don't break mentality.
The pursuit drill we use mostly is the rabbit drill. We have a single ball carrier lined up behind a qb, and one receiver on the numbers on both sides of the field. on the qb's 'go', he either sends a receiver down the sideline, or gives the back the ball on either an inside track, angle track, or outside track. On the qb's 'go', the defensive line does an up-down, and the rest of the defense takes their key step before pursuing the near hip of the designated rabbit. The defenders must tap the rabbit on the hip and finish behind him (to combat over-pursuit). The rabbit keeps running until the whistle blows.
Post by Coach Campbell on Apr 8, 2018 15:49:18 GMT
As most defensive philosophies would attest, we desire to play fast, physical and assignment sound on this side of the ball. That being a given, we feel the 3-3-5 as a base formation allows for this philosophy to be carried out on the field in a precise manner. The versatility and easy adjustments that accompany this formation are some of the inherent benefits. The front itself makes it difficult for offenses to find the run “bubble”, as slanting in various directions is a constant option…creating a disadvantage for offenses, as they cannot accurately detect what our intentions are.
Another distinct of the 3-3-5 defense is the versatility with respect to bringing pressure from the three stacked linebackers and the outside invert defenders. There is always pressure coming from somewhere and we will be coming hot and heavy on every snap! Our mission is to rattle the mentality of the offense in such a manner that we not only gain a physical advantage, but we dominate the mental game by taking them out of theirs. Coaches can only do so much from the sideline to help their players process a constant and versatile pressure package, and we plan to take full advantage of that inability.
Additionally, the 3-3-5 base formation is easily adjustable to a 4 or 5 front look when teams are more heavily run-oriented and/or in short yardage and goal-line situations. Outside invert defenders can easily walk up to the LOS and help to secure any first-level threats. Shifting into a 4-2-5 formation is simple as well by dropping a converted outside linebacker down to provide a four-man front, while still allowing for five defensive back types and the ability to keep lateral containment effectively on the edges.
Traditionally, we have been more of an undersized team in comparison with many of our opponents. Implementing the 3-3-5 and its subsequent adjustments allows us to be more reliant on our smaller, more athletic athletes, rather than having to ensure that we have enough big bodies to eat up gaps on the LOS. We can generally find enough defensive lineman types to rotate between the Nose and Tackle positions, thus better matching out personnel year in and year out.
In conclusion, we will create simple rules for our players to follow that allows them to play fast and physical with an emphasis on distinguishing between “spill” defenders and “force” defenders – giving an over-arching base understanding of what each individual’s primary role is in the scheme. By being gap-sound within our stack, forcing lateral stretch on the LOS with our invert players/safeties, and running the alley with our Free Safety, we will have our players in the best positions and confident in their ability to make the play when it comes their way. Everyone is responsible for getting to the ball with bad intentions! Taking the play off on the backside or not pursuing the football until the echo of the whistle is unacceptable to our defensive culture and philosophy. Every rep in practice will emulate our expectations for getting 11 men to the ball. Our goal is to create a reverent fear when you line up against us.