here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
Ok this may be positive thinking but I remember a few days ago there was a forum on Joe Haden's brother looking to transfer and some other DB that was thinking about transferring. Because of recent events do we have any chance with them? Do Turner's transfer, and Woolfolk's injury have any effect on our recruiting? TomVH please help. Sorry if these have areadly been gone over.
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).
http://recruiting.scout.com/ Scroll to bottom of the page for recent commits
1) Kyshoen Jarrett, 4 star CB from PA, is going to Pitt.
2) Malcolm Crocket, 3 star TB from DC is going to Cinci.
Both had UM offers
As I attempted to block out the injury news of last night, I decided to take a look at my copy of Hail to the Victors to see if there was a silver lining about our partial move to the 3-3-5. Sadly, I didn’t find the silver lining there for cornerbacks. However, I did find an interesting piece from Brian regarding the role of MLB in the new system that gave me a bit of hope.
Regarding the role of the MLB, “ the main attribute they need is a willingness to stick their nose in places it is likely to get bashed back at him…this requires an ability to take on and defeat blocks and good tackling skills.”
While I have been in Brian’s DOOM camp if Moundros is the starting MLB, after reading Brian’s own words, Brian has convinced me that Moundros could be a suitable option if Ezeh or Demens can’t rise to the occasion. Thanks Brian!! As a former Fullback, I have more confidence in Moundros being able to transition from a run producing masher to a run-stopping masher.
Will he be all-big Ten? no.
Can he be serviceable? I think yes and would be an improvement over last year
Will he be doing deep cover 2 drops? I’m assuming Greg isn’t that dumb
Can he knock a pulling guard out for a game with a devastating hit? Possibly
Will I stop asking questions and then answering them myself? I hope so
A MLB who isn’t afraid of dirty work, will definitely give Michigan a chance to be a decent run-stopping team. That doesn’t solve our secondary issues but perhaps it is one less thing to worry about.
It was the best of times it was the blurst of times.
This is not a post asking if an offensive player is going to switch to corner. On the other hand, how can the offense help the defense? Taking care of the ball is a great start. The coaches have certainly preached plenty about it. Plus I think they might rely even more on the running game, which leads me to believe Denard is more likely to start. U of M lost the time of possession by over 7 minutes per game last season. Of course, the defense not getting off the field on 3rd down is partly to blame, but the offense not sustaining drives gets some fingers pointed at them too.
The defense will most likely be far from good this season. In the Purdue and Illinois games last year, the offense had opportunities to add to leads and didn't come through. Can the offense rise to the occasion and support the D?
What in the sweet holy hell is going on here? Is this for real?
I wonder if he'll address over-signing...