Monday, 27 June 2011

Call it

We run an OddStack defence. 3 Linemen, 3 'backers, 2 Hybrids, 2 Corners and 1 Safety. For us its all about a 6 man box and being Gap sound and creating Pressure with 4 players.

Given that we have 3 down linemen this allows us to send another Player from the second level to create the 4th Rusher.

This is the large benefit to the OddStack that I prefer over Even Front Defences, the Offence has a difficult time reading where that 4th rusher is coming from; the second benefit is that I can create different fronts by implementing Games with the DL and sending pressure.

Although we will align 4-0-4 on 1st and 2nd level every down as a Base, we can go to Over, Under, Eagle, Bear etc by Playcalling the required combination of Formation, Game and Pressure.

In our league clarity is often overlooked for complexity and latent aggression. In our Defence I have made an attempt to keep the Playcalling to a minimum and to keep it quick. At our level of Football this gives us that Edge regarding execution. The question is:

"How do you communicate the Play?"

There are many ways to communicate plays and in my opinion none of them are bad. This is the system that I have found to give me the most flexibility and also be the most intuitive for the Playcaller. My Playcalling system has been dynamic over the years and is now made up of a 4 Digit sequence.
  1. Formation (Numeric)
  2. Game (Numeric)
  3. Pressure (Alphabetic)
  4. Coverage (Numeric - not in order)
Keeping the Numeric system limits me to what I can put on the Wristcoach. This ensures that I am minimising time for the Playcaller to look through his matrix and find the Calls. All numeric calls start with 0 and ascend.

This doesnt work for Pressure though. I have a total of 24 Pressure calls, from 0 pressure, Dogs, Combos and Sell-out Blitzes. Pressure starts with A and ascends.

In order to streamline the thinking process of the players I have used a system that was shown to me by a previous DC.

For each Dog we simply use positional names to represent a blitz. For Combos we use the two letters for the involved positions. For Sell-Out pressures we have individual names.

For example, take the following Combo Blitz:

We use both the M and W to create the name for this pressure. We call this WaM, we can tag this with a Cross call to switch the assignment of both 'backers. The name of the tag is not important but the sound of the tag is. The required sounds need to be pronounced within the tag itself to make them easily distinguishable. It is for this reason that every Position has its own name. Another example that highlights this is SySTem. The Sam and Stud are the Pressure for this tag.

For all Combo Pressures that are coming from adjacent Alignments we can Cross the pressure by using the Alphabetic code. This holds true for Linebacker and Hybrid pressures.

This may sound like alot at first glance. However, we install the WristCoach very early in the Pre-Season and use this every practice. The WristCoach rarely changes during the Season, we do not add or remove entries unless we have made alterations to our Game Strategy that is not supportet by our WristCoach. So by the time the Season arrives our Playcaller is well versed in what he is looking for.

We also teach 4 players how to playcall. We have 2 Coverage Players and 2 Box Players that we decide will call the plays. We also give them a priority of who calls the plays in the huddle, this allows us as Coaches to be prepared for all eventualities, like holidays, sickness, or injuries.

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