There has been great anxiety on this board after the injury to Woolfolk
The loss of the following:
- Warren due to his inability to judge his draft status
- Dorsey due to his inability to read
- Turner due to his inability to get motivated
- Witty due to his inability to read
- Cissoko due to his inability to be smart
- Woolfolk due to his inability to have luck
has caused mass concern and panic regarding the Michigan defense
many people have given up on this season as a lost cause and have started focusing on the 2011 season instead
However, these people have missed the most important fact of all
THE KNOWLEDGE returned to these very pages a few days ago and posted that Michigan will win the National Champsionship game in Jan 2011 against the BS Broncos
people must understand that the post writted by THE KNOWLEDGE was not a mere prediction
it was a season REVIEW
While a prediction/preview can change drastically due to the loss of key players, a review is not prone to changes
THE KNOWLEDGE speaks from the future
therefore, saner minds will quit worrying and start preparing for the champsionship parade
when that happens, THE KNOWLEDGE shall soar and bask in glory yet again
Folks that read the previous post by THE KNOWLEDGE carefully will note that THE KNOWLEDGE did not predict an undefeated season for Michigan
Michigan will sustain one loss in the season, which will not prevent the Wolverines from getting to the NCG
That loss will not happen in the OOC games. Michigan will win all four OOC games very comfortably
Many curious minds have requested THE KNOWLEDGE to provide more information about THE KNOWLEDGE. some have requested a "profile" of THE KNOWLEDGE to be made
THE KNOWLEDGE rarely grants interviews. however, to satisfy his fans, THE KNOWLEDGE shall soon write a self-profile
We have lost blood this week, but as long as the team still breathes… it will continue to fight. Show me something more dangerous than a cornered wolverine.
We’re back this week with the next round of the MGoShirt 2010 Season Line, as designed by yours truly and produced exclusively by Underground Printing in conjunction with our very own MGoBlog.
As an MGoBlog exclusive, we’re keeping it light today, focusing on perhaps the most highly demanded design from the Michigan faithful. And, yes, conveniently enough, these very same shirts are immediately available for purchase at the MGoStore! Remember, the title of every shirt is an active link directly to the catalog entry for that product. You can shop as soon as you see the shirt if you'd like.
AND the special offer continues today— Buy all 10 shirts (or any 10 shirts - mix and match your favorites) and get them for $150 (25% off!). MGoStore has also heard your prayers and is now offering multiple shirts in the coveted American Apparel option-- you asked for it, you got it! Think of it this way— life will go on, and the season is far from a wash. Show your optimism by wearing a fashionable MGoShirt, and to hell with the naysayers!
Pride is worn on the sleeves of the faithful. Our shirts have sleeves.
Let’s get to the shirts:
Here it is, people… because YOU demanded it, the Hulk wears #68!!! MIKE SMASH!!!! We all know that the Hulk’s shirts always rip into shreds when he hulks out, but thanks to the new performance materials of the Adidas authentic jerseys, he can show his true colors and sport a certain uniform number.
DESIGNER INSIDER: I originally had an idea to do this shirt on a green background, but it just smelled a little too Sparty. Obviously the face looks nothing like a certain mammoth defensive lineman, and that’s by design to avoid Imperial entanglements. That’s the game we have to play,kids.
Quatre-vingt-quinze. Today's featured athlete on CTK, but Renaldo was not the first. First Alain Kashama wore the number, and made it proud. I envision a day when the #95 jersey will hold a certain stigma of honor not unlike the legendary #1 jersey, one that will be expressly reserved for large Quebecor defensive tackles from the great white north.
DESIGNER INSIDER: Tried to keep it simple. I think the last time I used Vivaldi was on my wedding invitations. Bizarre.
This next shirt, sadly but obviously, has been put on hold...
This shirt was desi—ah, no. No. STOP.
I just can’t… I don’t wanna talk about it. This… it's still a little painful and raw and fresh. I’m legitimately thinking about doing a shirt that touches on what happened, but we’ll see where that pans out. Above all else I want to be respectful to Troy-- what bothers me is that so many of us, myself included, think of what this means to the team, rather than to the player himself. Imagine how he must feel.
DESIGNER INSIDER: Maybe we can just throw his dog in the #29, and no one will notice the difference?
Two weeks, kids. Sure, this week hurt… but the season is coming. All I can suggest is to think about what Bo would say about this week. There was no crying in your beer when the ol' general was around, so why should we start now. Pick up your head, buy a shirt, wear it with pride, and remember your allegiance to the Michigan Wolverines. And don’t forget—if you’re interested in loading up your closet with some high quality MGoApparel, UGP has made it possible with the MGoShirt Alert special offer: Simply go to the store and put 10 shirts into your cart, and the special offer will take the discount off for you!
I have posted this transcript before the start of the last 2 seasons, so here we go again. This is from a rally held a Chrysler when Gerald Ford was in town in 1976.
"There run's through the core of all Michigan activities both on and off this campus, a certain intangible thing. We call it "The Michigan Spirit". Maybe you can relate to it. It's the atmosphere that permeates that stadium every Saturday afternoon in the fall where over a hundred thousand fans patiently wait to see whether Bo Schembechler is going to continue his winning ways. You know what I mean! You can feel the tension, the excitement, the charisma that surrounds that stadium every Saturday afternoon. Especially ten to fourteen minutes before kickoff. When a hush settles over that stadium and we all anxiously wait for that simple 4 word command to eminate out of the P.A. system. I can hear it now! "Band take the field!" and out of that eastern tunnel pour 215 well drilled, well disciplined Michigan bandsmen. They pour over the Eastern sideline and they form the big block M and they play the greatest college fight song ever written! The Michigan Victors!! That's when the chills go up and down your spine! You get goose pimples all over, your blood turns maize and blue and everyone out there becomes part of the winningest tradition in the history of Big Ten football as well as the winningest tradition in the history of Big Ten athletics. Folks lets join in and sing the song that the late and great John Phillip Sousa claimed was the greatest college fight song ever written. The Michigan Victors!!!"
Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the second-to-last installment of:
SIX QUESTIONS WITH CHITOWN BLUE
Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog. Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.
I happen to have it on good record that there are only three things in life that Brian Cook fears: The first happened on Tuesday night. The second is the threat of legal action by the Jim Henson company and/or the Disney empire for the extensive use of all things Muppet. And the third is, quite simply,
the WOLVERINE LIBERATION ARMY.
The WLA… the Chinese—no, the North Korean contingent of MGoBlog, whose radical ideology and user-generated content strike terror in the hearts of MGoBloggers across the globe. I can tell you—and I take my very life in my hands by sharing this story—that I once designed a T-shirt criticizing the WLA and their brand of humor. That night I went to bed, satisfied with a new design that might find its way to the MGoStore. The next morning I awoke, only to find a bloody Macbook screen laying between my feet, and a simple message: The WLA had been watching,
and was not impressed.
To help dispel some of the myths, and to avoid the gulag, we recently sat down with one of the most prominent leaders of their party, the esteemed
ChiTownBlue, for this exclusive interview:
1. Okay, first and foremost, and I know I’ll hold my breath when starting my car tonight just for asking this question, but there are many posters who do not even fear the WLA anymore, let alone know what it is. Tell us in your own words, what is the Wolverine Liberation Army?
The Wolverine Liberation Army is a state of mind. It's also our frequently fallow (at least in the off-season) blog. The term was cribbed from a Steve Szabo quote in which he referred to the Spread offense as "communist football" - thus, Dex borned this babby. All our silliness with Unicorns, Zima, and was cribbed from a trolling WVU fan who accused us riding Unicorns and drinking Zima. Hey, it stuck. But the state of mind part is more interesting, so I'm going to run with that.
The WLA, basically, thinks that we watch football, and sports, for fun. Not for opportunities for moral outrage, chances to express dissatisfaction, or some sort of pecking order of "what fans are cool" or whatever. The outrage over the Free Press? Forget it - that's not football. The efforts to find out "who the mole" is in the AD? Forget it - that's not football. Making character judgements about anyone based on their choice of team? Not football. Talking about Sparty and Buckeyes in the most facile, terrible stand-up comedian terms of "Sparty's are like this, Bucky's are like this"? Again, not football.
Have fun. Stop looking at things to get upset about. Please don't contribute to the tabloidization of sports coverage with crazy "As the World Turns" stories of Archie Collins kidnapping recruits and stuff. Talk to Buckeye and Sparty fans. Wear green or red sometimes, it's cool. It's just football. Enjoy it.
(For the record, this interview was conducted before the Fall of the House of Woolfolk.)
Anyways, when I first arrived on the MGoScene, you were everywhere on the blog, constantly (for lack of a better word) kicking the ass of unintelligent posters who made unsubstantiated claims and keeping the standard of commentary at a very high level. You’re certainly back and holding posters accountable again, but what happened? Where’d you go?
Yeah...I should probably tone that down. I can be a bit strident. It certainly earned me an army of detractors. I "left" MGoBlog mainly because I thought I spent too much time screwing around on it, and that maybe my bitchiness wasn't really making it a great place. My last act as a mod was to ban myself, hence, the vanishing of my old screen-name. But yeah, after awhile I heard the siren song, and, for better or worse...I'm back.
2. Okay, finally onto the football. For some of the most loyal maize and blue faithful, this offseason has been as difficult as last year. The infractions, the Dorsey situation, and further implications of battling factions within the halls of Schembechler. Being someone who holds people accountable for their words and actions, what’s going on here??? And, if I can ask, where does Rich Rodriguez stand in your book?
I think Rodriguez is a demonstrably good coach, which he's proven over the course of his career. That said, if he doesn't get it done this year, am I going to waste much time and energy arguing that his termination is a miscarriage of justice? No, I'm not. Some will want to talk about how "The Carr Faction" didn't want him, or something of the sort, but I don't buy the "warring factions" thing a bit. The violations were caused by two pieces of a large bureaucracy that didn't efficiently do their job. If he's gone, it will be becase his record isn't very good, and you don't need conspiracy theories to find the rationale of 86ing a coach with a losing record at the winningest football program of all time.
You were possibly the first person I ever heard discuss (a long time ago, if I remember correctly) that we’re better off with Denard as a quarterback. What do you think will happen under center this year, and are there any other clairvoyant observations you’d like to share with us heading into the 2010 season?
Let me couch everything I say here with a caveat: My skills as a talent evaluator are useless.
First, I just liked Denard - he seems to have a magnetic, charismatic personality, he has a huge smile, and he's a ton of fun to watch. So, there was definitely a bias there. Second, knowing that Rodriguez has just come off 3 years of Pat White, in his most successful stretch as a head coach, I figured he might be pre-disposed to the lightning bolt at QB.
This year? I think we'll see both, but again, I think that pre-disposition to Robinson exists. Robinson just needs to develop to the point where he can make the easy throws to keep the defenses honest. If he struggles through the air as much as he did last year, I'm sure it will be Tate's job.
In addition to that, I think that if Tate plays this year, Roy Roundtree has a huge season - the moment he stepped into the rotation last year, he was Tate's first option, and it was obvious. It sort of makes you wonder where he was for the first half of the season. If Robinson plays, I think you'll see the TE's and the slots as the prime targets - guys who can be outlets to a scrambling Robinson. Jamiemac is a huge proponent of Kevin Koger, and I agree that he could be poised for a big season if he washes the petroleum jelly off his hands.
3. Without divulging too much information, can you describe what you do for a living? And what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
I work in the hospitality industry, and have held jobs in hotels and restaurants. Most of my work now comes mostly in a "consulting" capacity, specifically regarding financial decisions like forecasting, budgeting, pricing, etc. Are you still awake?
I could tell you what I did for fun prior to a few months ago, when I had my first kid, as the answer now would be "not sleeping much, changing diapers, and cleaning vomit". I used to swim on a "Master's" swim team, and do some recreational running in Chicago's multitude of summer 5 and 10k's - I once built up to a 1/2 marathon, but that convinced to not go any further. I still run, but early morning swimming and newborn babbies aren't terribly complementary. I also really like cooking, but these days, that mostly manifests itself by watching Top Chef.
4. With that being said, you perhaps might be the single most qualified person to ever answer this next question… describe the perfect meal.
Having spent some time in the industry, and more time in a peripheral industry, I've gotten to eat at, and have enjoyed, some pretty swank restaurants around Chicago, but I have a hard time beating a hunk of prime, aged NY Strip with salt and pepper, seared hard on each side and finished in the oven (AS HOT AS IT GOES, PEOPLE). Carmelize some shallots, put them on top, maybe saute some corn and mushrooms in olive oil as a side vegetable. Glass of red wine (if you're feeling frisky, use some to deglaze the pan and reduce it for a sauce, but I rarely do this). BOOM, DINNER'D.
It should also be noted that I'd chop of some of my less useful fingers for one more free day in Ann Arbor when I can go to the Maize & Blue Deli for lunch (they had a sandwich on challah with turkey, cream cheese, havarti, honey-mustard, sprouts, and cucumber that I'm in appropriately excited about just typing) and hit up China Gate for dinner (Chef Yan FTW). I haven't been to either since maybe 2001, so I don't know if they still exist. Do they still exist? Please tell me they still exist.
5. Can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
This is rather simple - I went to Michigan from 1996-2000. I'm not from the area, but my mother was a Michigan resident who wanted to go to Michigan, didn't get in, went to Michigan State (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA), then transferred to Wayne State. Anyway, I had been getting pressured, in one way or another, to go to Michigan since birth. So, yeah.
Now, it is public record that you were indeed a scholarship athlete at the University of Michigan. Tell us about it: the sport of choice, the process of being offered, and the honor of actually wearing the block M in competitive play.
I swam at Michigan for three years, showing up they year after they won the national championship with Olympians like Dolan, Malchow, Potts, Borges, and Namesnik either in the program or still hanging around with Club Wolverine...all guys I had watched in Atlanta a few weeks prior to stepping on campus. Urbs was the Olympic coach - it was about the highest profile situation you could find in college swimming.
With that sort of quality, I never got the opportunity to swim in that many big meets - I was the swimming version of the victory cigar on meets we knew wouldn't be that competitive. The one thing it did instill in me, watching a guy like 'Snik, was a huge respect for not only how talented, but how dedicated you needed to be in order to be successful at the college athletic level. This largely informs my frequent scorn and intolerance of people who knock current or former players, like say Nick Sheridan: you have no idea how hard he worked to get where he was. I just think of how amazing it would have been, personally, to swim in an NCAA championship and, concurrently, to have ANYONE, much less hundreds of thousands of people, disparage me being there. These guys eat, breathe, and sleep their sport ringer where they are, something like that is, in my mind, worthy of unconditional respect.
6. Finally, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
Because I was an athelete at Michigan, I got to have some interaction with a few of the players in my time there - my favorite player is the guy I met who I liked the most (happily, he was also pretty good) - Dhani Jones. Dhani was a smart, charismatic, friendly guy who took genuine interest in anybody he met. He also, from 1997-1999, played on some of the best defenses that Michigan has turned out over the past 20 years. Not many legendary defenses lose their starting middle linebacker (and captain!) in the pre-season, as happened in 1997, but Jones stepped in as a sophomore and played at a high level.
I don't know him, but I think I see many of the same qualities in Denard Robinson - which probably explains my affection for him.
If MGoBlog is an exclusive club for the most diehard Wolverine fans, then the WLA is the elite of the elite. The revolution from the revolution. I maintain a vision in my head where they enroll their members in elaborate candlelit ceremonies that involve cult robes, two-handed swords and the blood of goats. I’d like to think that elaborate secret handshakes identify one member to the other in every walk of society, and that there’s no telling how far their influence reaches into the stands of Michigan Stadium and beyond. And, like our very own Skull and Bones Society, most of us will never be good enough to call ourselves a member.
For what it’s worth, as a designer by trade I can honestly say that the WLA has a pretty gorgeous web site. Its functionality, user-friendly interface, and general aesthetic appeal fits their unique style and really promotes a high level of quality and integrity in the product. The articles are written primarily for humor’s sake, and yet there’s a very significant amount of insight and truth stirred in for good measure. To top it all off, some of the MGoBlog members I hold in highest regard are the contributors if not proprietors of the whole thing. So why, then, don’t I read this thing every day? Why am I not a maize and blue Bolshevik by now?
Eh, prob’ly the unicorns. Horned horses are just freaky.
All kidding aside, if you take away all of the imagery, all of the stylized Rich posters, all of the gimmick—ChiTown and the other contributors are just really good fans, following our team in their own out-of the-ordinary way and having fun the entire time. And any site that can publish Big Boutros’s philosophical take on the career of Patrick Swayze surely doesn’t have to worry about taking itself too seriously, and that’s always a good thing. In other words, if you enjoy the posts of ChiTown, Dex, CPS, Musket Rebellion, Chrisgocomment, Big Gay Heart, Ninja Football, Big Boutros, Imafreak, and others… check out their site. You might find yourself some cultural learnings of Michigan for make glorious website of Wolverine Liberation Army.
Last week will be the last MGoProfile before the 2010 season of Michigan Wolverines football. So you better be good, I’m tellin’ you why…
It has been awhile since I have had a chance to sit down and write something here. Life has a way of getting in the way when you least expect it.
We are getting close to the college football season now, and everyone is starting to get in the spirit. Sometimes spirit means watching or making your favorite youtube hype video, or maybe you are more like me and just like to get into the blogs and forums and talk some football. I can't help but notice one overwhelming trend though. Michigan and Michigan State fans cannot seem to get along. It's natural, because it is a rivalry, however I enjoy talking to a well informed Michigan State fan about their team, their expectations for the season, and maybe throw in a little competitive banter favoring my Wolverines.
There is one thing that bugs me though, and it doesn't really happen in this board too much, but happens a lot elsewhere. That is when a Michigan State fan calls a Michigan fan a Wal-Mart Wolvie. The basic premise of this attack is that, you never went to the school, you just picked up a Michigan jacket in Wal-Mart and became a fan, or your just a front runner who picked Michigan. They try to use this to diminish the arguments of Michigan fans.
I have a problem with this because it is just too silly. I know there are tons of Michigan fans who do not have any connection what so ever to the University but who cares? We all pick who we like for our own reasons. For me it is simple.
When I was a little kid I came down with a rare case of arthritis in children. It rendered me barley able to walk, and do things normal children did. My mom took me to all the local doctors and some local hospitals and nothing seemed to help. Finally, she ended making the long drive from our home in Harbor Beach, MI to the University of Michigan hospital. There, I was treated once a month and finally started to get better. Thanks to the University of Michigan and their continued help I was able to grow up a normal child, playing sports, running around with my friends and enjoying life. If I ever have knee problems again all I have to do is drop in to U of M and they will help me. This made me feel a connection to U of M at a young age that I carried on into my adult years. I never went to school at Michigan, instead I chose to join the Army after high school and serve my country. I gained a lot out of my experience in the Army and would never have been able to enlist had it not been for the University of Michigan. That Bond I feel to the school, just when I can easily take a stroll down the road still holds true today. I love Michigan for not only what it did for me, but what it does for others like me.
I know everyone is not like me. Not everyone went to U of M hospital as a child, or went to school there. However, why is it that Spartan fans decide to use this attack? If we polled every single person that considers themselves an MSU fan how many to you think would have a personal connection the the University? I grew up with, and know many MSU fans who don't have any connection. So why is this "supposed to be insult" directed at Michigan fans?
Do Michigan State fans know that the University of Michigan boast one of the worlds largest populations of living alumni at over 460,000 people? Would it not stand to reason that with that large of an alumni population, consistently in the top two in the Nation that Michigan would have a lot of fans? I am in no way trying to bash Michigan State fans or alumni, but it seems more likely to me that more Michigan fans have a connection the the University of Michigan than do to MSU.
The truth is, every school in the nation has fans with no connection to the University, and just choose to be fans and that is fine. Why keep trying to throw this half thought out insult in the face of Michigan fans?
Football Fundamentals Vol. 3 – Defense
Perhaps even more basic than the previous class, but necessary nonetheless. I would also like to thank everyone who has given their input. I may or may not switch the terminology I use, but if you make an appropriate case I will definitely consider it. Thanks for all the input. And again, I will try to answer questions either by editing the class (diary), in which case I will inform you with a reply, by the reply itself, or in future classes.
Today in class I will discuss some of the basic ideas for defense. We will look at the mindset of defensive players, briefly at some of the positions, some very basic base formations against basic balanced alignments, several basic coverages, and finally some basic blitzes. Basically, this is going to be very basic. The bass in the songs of Ace of Bass is very basic. Base bitches, bass (sic).
Remember when I said the killing comes later. It’s later. But this isn’t just like road rage GTA-style killing. This is calculated, intelligent, Dexter type killing. Defense is brutality, force, voracity, pressure, hitting, destroying. You don’t slowly drug the other team into a comatose-type sedation as you do on offense, you violently strangle them, you bluntly beat them with a hammer the size of 6’2” 256 pound boulders, the whole while starring them in the eye. Defense instills fear, but ok, you all get that. That’s what typically defines defense, but it’s only part of the truth.
The other part is purely reactionary and calculated intelligence. You play odds makers and hope, - no, not hope - know you’re going to come out on top. You blitz the A-Gaps, you press the corners, you switch to a 3-3-5 against Purdue (ok, bad example). Defense is, by necessity, reactionary. You can only dictate so much. No defense plays not to lose, or to bend but not break, that is a myth. Every defense plays to shut down the offense, some better than others though. The goal is to mitigate the offense as much as possible, the shut them down to the best of your abilities, and sometimes that just results in “bend, don’t break.” The goal is to impose your will without going beyond your abilities. Make it is instinctual as possible, allow quick reaction, and force the offense out of their game plan.
Positions are grouped into three. In the future I will delve further into each group to further explain responsibilities.
Defensive Line: Defensive End (DE, E); Defensive Tackle (DT)
Defensive Tackle: Defensive Tackle (DT); Nose Tackle (NT); Defensive Guard (DG); Nose Guard (NG)
Line Backer: Outside Linebacker (OLB); Middle Linebacker (MLB, Mike, M)
Outside Linebacker (OLB): Strongside OLB (SLB, Sam, S); Weakside OLB (WLB, Will, W, (sometimes referred to as Jack or J in 4 LB set);
Defensive Backs: Cornerback (CB, C); Safety
Cornerback: Corner (C); Nickel Back (NB, N);
Safety:Free Safety (FS, F); Strong Safety (SS, $); Spur ($), Bandit (B)
Note: In Day 1 I was asked the difference between NT, DT, NG, and DG. I was going to discuss it during the defensive line unit class, but I’ll start here. Basically, defensive tackle is any interior lineman. However, in the past, when many teams ran 5-3 defenses and the such, there was more to the distinction. Defensive tackle was typically that interior lineman that lined up over the tackles, defensive guards over the guards, and Nose over the nose of the ball. As defenses began putting fewer people on the line of scrimmage, convention lead to DT being the most common. Today, usually a team still has a Nose (NT) and a DT. The DT will typically line up around the 3-tech, maybe a 5-tech, while the nose will be in a zero or 1-tech. I can get into it more in future classes.
Basic Base Alignments
I will get into more nickel, dime, over, under, etc. alignments in the future, along with 46 defense and the such. Today I will just cover base defenses (the most commonly run basic (meaning: No blitzes) defensive alignment for a given team against a base offense). At some point I hope to show the most typical alignment for each defensive alignment against particular offensive formations, but that's for a whole different course.
3-3-5 Defense – Refers to a defense with 3 down lineman, 3 linebackers, and 5 defensive backs. Can also be interpreted as a 3-5-3.
4-2-5 Defense – Refers to a defense with 4 down lineman, 2 linebackers, and 5 defensive backs.
3-4 Defense – Refers to a defense with 3 down lineman, 4 linebackers, and 4 defensive backs. This is where the Jack terminology could come into play. Rather than having two MLB, the weakside MLB would now be Will, and Will would be Jack (this is the same for the 4-4 defense, for now I'll refer to them as shown below though)
4-3 Defense – Refers to a defense with 4 down lineman, 3 linebackers, and 4 defensive backs.
4-4 Defense – Refers to a defense with 4 down lineman, 4 linebackers, and 3 defensive backs.
Most of you will recognize these simply from video games, but these are the most basic of coverages. Essentially, in these basics coverages, what the “Cover” stands for is the number of players going into a deep zone.
Cover 0 – Everyone is lined up in man. This means that there will most likely be some sort of “bracket coeverage” on either the outside or inside receivers. This is where two players cover one guy, usually with one guy high (or in front of the offensive player) and one guy low (toward the quarterback).
Cover 1 – The free safety plays center field.
Cover 2-Man Under – The safeties cover what is called “halves”. The corners cover “flats” which is the areas essentially near the line of scrimmage, away outside of the offensive line. This is of the man under variety, though zone can be just as, if not more, common.
Cover 2 - Zone - The safeties still drop into deep halves, however, now the corners and linebackers are playing in a zone as well, covering the flats, the curl (the zone type covered by the two OLBs) and the "hole" (which is, in a way, the hole that naturally appears between the two safeties and is covered by the MLB). You will see curl and zone coverages more in the future.
Cover 3 – The deep zones are now called “thirds.” The FS is again in center field, and the corners take the two outside thirds. The strong safety sneaks up into one short zone/flat, and the opposite outside linebacker takes the opposite side.
Cover 4 – The safeties and corners are in deep zones called “quarters.” In fact, sometimes this coverage is simply called quarters.
In future classes (probably beyond FF101) we will look at the advantages/disadvantages of particular coverages. For now, I leave you with learning defensive coverages (via Smart Football, via Ron Jenkins)
There are a ton of blitzes in a complete blitz package. Today we will only look at some basic ones and give a nice naming convention as well. Terminology may again be different than others, but I feel this terminology will help readers easily remember types of blitzes.
Note: I’m only diagramming the blitzers and appropriate down linemen. This is because the other players can be running a varying coverages as seen above.
If just the linebackers name is called, he blitzes the open gap directly in front of him.
Next, a couple terms:
Strong – The blitzer(s) go to the first open gap (where no defensive linemen is positioned prior to snap) toward the strong side (usually toward tight end, always toward Sam)
Weak – The blitzer(s) go to the first open gap toward the weak side (usually away from tight end, always toward Will)
We'll start off with single player blitzes:
There would also be a Will blitz, and a SS blitz (which I call a money blitz because the SS is sometimes diagrammed as $. For ease, we'll just stick with SS blitz. I've also heard it called sting/stung).
Note: There are also calls for linebacker blitzes in gaps filled by a lineman (the lineman stunt out of the gap). Those will be discussed later. Now, some terms for two man blitzes:
Pinch – The two blitzers go to the first open gap toward other blitzer.
Open – The two blitzers go to the first open gap away from the other blitzer.
SAW (Sam and Will) Pinch
MASh (Mike and Sam) Strong
WAM (Will and Mike) Weak
MASS (Mike and SS) Open
And now Nick Saban’s favorite zone blitz:
Note: Some people don't like the MASh/MASS combo because they sound so much alike, but usually the defense is communicated via hand signals from the sideline. I prefer to have all my defensive players look toward the sideline to read the play rather than huddle, but if a defensive huddle is necessary, it is vital the captain of the defense can clearly distinguish these two to his team.
Two other 2-man-blitz types (these made more sense at one time, and WARNING: I haven’t heard them used before from many others so they aren’t really universal, but to be fair, they aren’t really that common of blitzes):
American – Sam and SS. This is because the SS is often seen as $ in diagrams. American money is “strong money”
Canadian – Will and SS. Opposite of above.
When I discuss the defensive linemen group I will talk more about their technique during these blitzes.
So that’s so very basic defensive stuff. Take all that, don’t just memorize it, learn it, and then think about having that have to be second nature while you react to moving parts on offense and 300 pound people trying to not let you do what you’re diagramed to do. Yeah, playing defense is far from easy. Now imagine playing offensive line with all these blitzes coming at you. Imagine playing QB and having to diagnose all these blitzes and coverages. This is what makes the game so much more difficult than it appeared in FF101 – Day 2. There is a lot to learn for some of you, and we still have a long ways to go. I hope your still enjoying yourself.
Next up we will be looking at some offensive position groups. I will probably start spreading these out a little more now as things get more complex and we discuss things closer to what would be called “intricacies.” Again, if any coaches out there want to help answer questions, feel free. If anyone has any questions for me or another coach, please ask. Either they will be answered as a reply, edited into the class (diary) – in which case I will let you know – or will be discussed in future classes.
Also, I did my diagrams with a gray background instead of white, let me know if you like that better, worse, or about the same (bet you didn’t know you were getting your eyes checked during class, it’s like the second grade all over again).