FF 400: Drag and Follow

FF 400: Drag and Follow

Submitted by Space Coyote on November 15th, 2011 at 5:11 PM

[ED: Bump so hard. ]

Previous Days

FF 101 - The Fundamentals: Syllabus & Day 1 (Overall), Day 2 (Offense), Day 3 (Defense), Day 4 (Offensive Line), Day 5 (Wide Receivers)... more to come someday

FF 201 - 3-3-5 Defense: Day 1 (Advantage/Disadvantage), Day 2 (Against tight formations)

FF 210 - Screen Package


FF400 - Drag and Follow

So this is what I had intended to do with the series when I started it: breaking down plays/concepts that Michigan runs and why they work, how to defend/attack them, etc.  Today I’m going to break down a pass play that Michigan ran twice for first downs in the first half.  This is a great play that isn’t necessarily innovative anymore, but it is still very prevalent both the college and pro game.  It’s called the drag (jerk) and follow pattern.

What I will be doing today is going over this play and how and why it was successful twice against Illinois.  I will also discuss how defenses scheme against it in order to stop it, plays to counter those defensive adjustments, and why Michigan went away from it when it was successful early.

More info on plays and plays like it can be found herehere, here, and here.


The Play – Drag and Follow

This is a great play because it does two things.  It gives both the QB and WR easy reads and it always makes the defense wrong, essentially putting them out of position.*

Note, I have done a fairly simple defensive alignment that isn't really that technically sound to face the run.  It is an even front with the SS back.  This isn't bad against the pass but against the run it would probably suffer.  There are many different variations of D, and I some what change the D alignment to help prove my point.  It is important to realize that the keys are still there though, I'm just attempting to teach as simply as possible, so the defense isn't always the same.

Notice the label for each receiver and the Zip presnap motion (into the formation) by the Z receiver.  On defense, N is the Nickelback (don't hate me, hate the Lions) subbed in for the SAM.


The Read – Backside LB

The QB will read the backside LB (WLB). 

If the he follows the drag route, it will leave the delayed follow route open in the space that that LB previous occupied.  You see this the first time Michigan ran this play against Illinois. 

The LB attacks downhill at the drag pattern leaving an opening where he previously was.