Sunday, April 26, 2020

Tite Front vs. Zone Read Arc

A previous post about playing zone read from the Tite front was featured here.

An OT cutting off a 4i is difficult which was illustrated in the prior post.

The ILB is able to stack and fall back protected from the OT by the 4i.

Many offensive coaches have borrowed a solution from veer option teams, arc block the OT to the ILB.

The theory is simple. The 4i is the read key, the OT will outside (arc) release the 4i allowing a free climb to the ILB.

The assumption is the defense is playing scrape exchange which should result in easy blocks.

The offense is assuming the 4i will chase the dive, causing a keep from the QB. The ILB should be getting a face full of OT creating a tough run fit for the defense.

The reality is many 4i's and LB's are reading the blocking scheme. Against the cutoff block as in the first diagram the 4i will look to beat the cutoff and chase the dive. The result is the scrape exchange with the ILB. However against the OT on an arc block the 4i many not chase the dive.

The 4i is keying the OT. When the OT arcs the 4i can widen. For the QB the read key widens which should trigger a give read. The 4i widens playing square to controlling for the QB and cutback. The ILB sees the B gap widen as the 4i widens, triggering a fill read. The arc block of the OT is wasted when the ILB doesn't scrape outside and instead fills.

Here is a good example from LSU

The arc blocking scheme is negated by the 4i and ILB reading the blocking scheme. The ball is handed into a loaded box look for a minimal gain.

Good stuff from LSU and former defensive coordinator Dave Aranda. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

What is Open?

Newest entry into the book club. Just finished with Dub Maddox's book What is Open?.  

The book covers a bunch of topics about game planning run, pass, and play action.

For example the section on Structural Strain (chapter 5) dives into using personnel and formation in game plans.

The book has many big picture and fine detail insights. Definitely one I will have to go back and review to digest it all. Highly recommend it.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Defending Compressed Flexbone Formations

Here is a support change up used by Houston this season. The typical expectation is a Corner down at the LOS is going to be cloud support with the Corner being force, keeping outside arm/leg free, and playing pitch on option.

The Cougars show a defensive alignment that looks like cloud support but plays an interesting change up instead.

With the FB lead blocking the offense has numbers on the edge. If the corner had played a force technique here the FB would have been able to get a kick out block allowing the QB to attack off the end of the LOS inside the kick out and gain yards. Instead the corner knifes across the face of the FB to play the QB forcing the QB's path to flatten and widen. The Safety is able to overlap the knifing corner for the pitch. 

Houston later uses the same knife technique by the corner against a toss.

The compressed formation sets up the angles for a crack arc scheme on the edge. The DE is cracked while the arc looks to kick out the force player in this case what looks like cloud support. Again the corner knifes across the face of the block avoiding the arc to make the tackle. The Safety again overlaps outside the corner. 

Nice support change up against the compressed formation by Houston and Defensive Coordinator Doug Belk. Good concept to have in the playbook for flexbone schemes.

Monday, April 13, 2020

2 Man Sim Pressure

Washington is in a 7 DB personnel with odd front spacing.

The Rush:
4i - B gap pop
Nose - weak A
5 - Contain
Mike - Strong A

The Coverage:
2 man. The extra DB (X) shows as the field edge rusher and runs out to a trail man technique. 

The coverage presentation is a weak side pressure from the Mike&Dime capped by the weak side safety and a safety in the post. The coverage rotates late to a 2 deep shell. 

The Mike's pressure technique is a major reason for the pressure being effective. The path attacks to the heel line of the DL selling a weak side A gap rush before bending to the strong side A gap. The Mike's initial path sells a weak side rush. The timing of the Mike does a good job of getting the Center committed to the Nose before the Mike bends it back. 

The pass pro is manipulated by the defensive alignment. The OT sets to the X while the OG sets the 4i. The OT does an excellent job redirecting his set back inside when the X drops out which allows the pick up of the the expanding 4i. The OG also does a good job redirecting back inside but cannot make the pick up. Two factors that affect the OG:

1. The 4i alignment forces the OG to set wide making the redirect back inside further from the Mike
2. The Mike's pressure path stays tight to the midline which keeps the OG from getting back to the block

Good design and execution from the Huskies and former DC now HC Jimmy Lake. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Buck Sweep Reverse

Auburn is running a reverse built off the wing-t staple play, buck sweep. The Tigers are in 20 personnel with a FB on the hip/sniffer alignment. The formation also uses compressed WR splits on formation into the sideline (FSL). The reduced splits allow for the reverse to get into the backfield quickly. The FSL forces the defense to align to the trips formation into short side of the field and allows the reverse to run back to all the space to the field.

LT does a good job veer releasing the DE then working back out to get into position to lead block. The LT doesn't make a block here but the technique to get into position is well coached. 

LG does a nice job pulling then squaring up to pick up leakage through the LOS

C uses a nice technique of letting the Nose play to the strong side then collecting him. Here the Nose slants which makes the collection very easy for the Center. The Nose is walled out of any opportunity for disruption into the reverse.

The RG, RT, F all do a good job of selling buck sweep and preventing any penetration to disrupt the reverse

The blocks of the receivers and QB are what makes this run go for an explosion play. The QB hands the buck sweep then seals the DE chasing the play from behind.

The WR's both go to spots and set up like wall blocks on a punt return. Both blocks are in great position to wall the pursuit.

Well designed reverse off of the buck sweep and even better coaching/execution by Auburn. Good stuff from Gus Malzahn. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Split Field Coverage Sim Pressure

Sim pressure on 3rd & 6 from a 3-3-5 defense spaced like an under front 4-2-5.

The initial presentation is a 1 high post defense rotated strong.

The presence of the Sam walked up on the LOS with the FS showing down gets the OL pointing out the pressure threat from the field. The protection is half slide to the RB's alignment with the RB cross protecting to the field. 

When the QB gets into his cadence the defense comes out of the disguise.

The Sam walks off the LOS to the apex alignment while the Mike walks up to pressure the open B gap. The FS replaces the Mike while the SS pops the top and WS adjusts weak to create a 2 high coverage alignment.

The Rush:
Mike blitzes as contain through the widest part of B gap working a YOU game with the End. The End is up an under off the penetrating Mike. The Nose and Tackle are looping weak to balance the rush.

The Coverage:
Quarter Quarter Half. The most interesting part of the concept is the usage of the FS as the 3 dropper. By using a DB in this role the defense can expect the 3 player to carry the #3 receiver with no help. The #3 being accounted for vertical by the FS allows the field side to play a 3 over 2 quarters concept against #1 and #2 receivers and the weak side to play a cloud half concept. 

Nice split field coverage sim concept and execution from San Diego St. This is a creative way to get a traditional 4 down pass rush stunt from a sim pressure.  Always good stuff from Zach Arnett and Rocky Long.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Unbalanced Down Scheme in the Wing-T Offense

Here is a wing-t down play using G scheme blocking and a belly step by the FB.

The formation starts as a guard over unbalanced with formation into the sideline (FSL).

Initially the defense is working to sort out alignments against an unbalanced formation with 4x0 into the short side of the field and a extra OL 3 man surface to the field. Next the OL shifts.

The shift puts the OL back to their normal spacing. The new formation is an unbalanced 4 man surface.

Play side the B back arcs to the play side ILB.

The TE/OT work a double down on the DT and the G scheme guard pulls and logs the DE.

The back side is zone and reaching. The Center climbs immediately to the back side ILB.

Really nice design to create alignment issues for the defense with unbalanced, FSL, and a full line shift. Also good execution blocking and running a base wing-t run scheme. Good stuff from Lenoir-Rhyne and former OC Bob Bodine (currently Mercer OC).

Overload Sim Pressure vs. Empty

Florida is in a 3-3 personnel against empty on 3rd & 8.

The Rush:
Sam is blitzing off the field side edge. The Nose stems pre-snap to the field A gap. The stem of the Nose along with the mugged up LB creates an aligned overload at the LOS pre-snap. Post snap the rush is a twist game by the End and Nose with the weak side end as contain. 

The Coverage:
Split field coverage using quarters coverage concepts. The strong side is a quarters concept with the corner man on #1. The Will bluffs edge pressure but drops out to play a quarters concept to the weak side.

Nice sim from Florida. The final look is a four man pass rush with an interior twist game back stopped with split field quarters coverage. Good stuff from Todd Grantham and the Gators.