Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Divide and Conquer

Over the course of this year I have managed to learn much from Coaches that I have never met or spoken too. I have read on Forums, Blogs and even old dusty Books as well as attending Webinars, Clinics and meeting with the few Coaches in the area.

As far as Themes go something that I learned from the more prominent Web Posters is what is known as the Divider. This tool has made my life as a Defensive Coach so much easier! Especially given the Personnel that the Odd Stack presents, the Dividers make teaching coverage and Alignment so much easier.

For me Pre Snap Alignment is the key to success. Matt Brophy hit the nail on the Head recently when he said that any defence that executes slowly "sucks". If a Defence cannot align then execution will be slow as the Reads will be cloudy and the Players struggle more than necessary. In short if Alignment fails then the rest of the Chain of events will also suffer.

Below is a Chalkboard of how we implement Dividers:

This is based out of our Green Coverage (Cover 3). Though we run different Coverages we keep our Dividers the same. The above Diagram represents a MOF Ballspot.

The Cornerbacks Dividers split the Deep Outside Zone nearly in half and sit just inside the Numbers. The Hybrids Dividers are 2yds outside the Hashmarks and in line with the Seams.

The Logic is very simple for both Positions:

  • Receiver is inside the Divider = Align outside
  • Receiver is outside the Divider = Align inside

The reasoning for the Logic is best summarised by looking at the options available to the Receiver.

The further inside the receiver is, the more room he has to break outside. There are not many Split Ends that run an Out from the numbers, though they will reduce their split to create space to allow for this route. This holds true for #1 and #2 receivers. The Hybrid (or Nickel or Dime) will need to align respective of his counterparts alignment.
We have seen here how we align our Cornerbacks and Hybrids, the reason being that the Defender should Face the Play as long as possible. If the player is Reading his key and on the correct side of his Divider then his Run and Passing game ability will improve.

If the Cornerback is outside of a tight aligned #1 then he is in much better position to play his Secondary Force without blocking himself from his poor alignment. The same goes for the Hybrids, if they align inside a Tight End they are hampering their ability to contain the run, however if they are aligned outside the Tight End they are naturally in an advantageous position to Force the run back inside. The Hybrid (Nickel/Dime) will also be able to hustle to any Passes into the Fade quicker.
With Dividers installed in our system I have seen the Lightbulb switch on several Players and Coaches faces. Execution is directly proportional to Alignment.

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