Understanding the Run & Shoot Switch Package

August 26, 2011

The Switch Package presents the same 4 verticals threat to the defense as the Streak Package does.  However, the rub between the “switching” receivers makes it even more difficult to defend in the intermediate area of the field.  The switch prevents the receivers running quick routes and by the time the receivers are deep down field the defenders have sorted out their assignments.

The Switch Pacakge is called in the same way as the Streaks package out of a balanced set.  The tens digit (the 9) refers to the fact that the quarterback rolls and sets while the ones digit (the 1) refers to the fact that the focus routes are on the frontside of the formation rather than the backside.

Again I will be providing the play description and reads from the 1992 NJ-NY Knights playbook along with diagrams.

Quarterback Reads:

Against 3 Deep Coverage

-You are making your 1st read on the free safety.  Your 1st look is the A-Back, and then you are looking backside to the Z-Back 1st, then to the Y-Back.

Against 2 Deep Coverage

-Your 1st look is the Z-Back and your 2nd look is to the Y-Back.

Against Man Free Coverage

-Your 1st look is the A-Back on the frontside.  Then your 2nd look is to the Z-Back and your 3rd look is to the Y-Back.

Against Blitz Coverage

-Your 1st look is to the Y-Back on the frontside and your 2nd look is to the X-Back.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-Your 1st look is the Z-Back on the frontside.  Then you are looking 2 to 3 with A-Back and the X-Back depending on the coverage of the routes.

X-Back:

Against 3 Deep Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.

Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.

Against Man Free Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.

Against Blitz Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.

A-Back:

Against 3 Deep Coverage-You are running a streak route up the hash mark.

Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running a streak route up the hash mark at the half field safety.

Against Man Free Coverage-You are running a streak route up the hash mark at the half field safety.

Against Blitz Coverage-You are running a 6 yard out route.  If the defender plays up on you, then you have the option to go up field on the streak route.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running a streak route up the hash mark at the half field safety.

Y-Back:

Against 3 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the sideline.  As you are running up the field, you are reading the play of the cornerback.  If the cornerback goes to the inside to help cover the Z-Back, then you keep running up field.  If the cornerback stays in position, then you will throw up your outside hand, breakdown and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the sideline.

Against Man Free Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the sideline.

Against Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the sideline.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route upfield between the numbers and the sideline.  If the defender is able to stay with you, then you will throw up your outside hand and break to the in route.

Z-Back:

Against 3 Deep Coverage

-You are taking three steps up field, and then breaking on a slant route to the hash mark.  As you start going up the hash, you will read the play of the free safety.  If the free safety rotates to the frontside, then you keep running up the hash mark.  If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will throw up your outside hand, breakdown and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against 2 Deep Coverage

-You are running the same route as if it was against a 3 deep coverage.  When you are running up the hash mark, you are making a seam read on the half field safety.  If you break down the cushion of the safety 5 yards or less, then you will break to the skinny post. If the free safety rotates to the frontside, then you keep running up the hash mark.  If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will throw up your outside hand, breakdown and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against Man Free Coverage

-You are taking three steps up field, and then breaking on a slant route to the hash mark.  You want to get the cornerback in an up-right chase position.  As you are running up the hash, you are making your read off from the free safety.  If the free safety rotates to the frontside, then you keep running up the hash mark.  If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will throw up your outside hand and break to the middle of the field under the free safety.

Against Blitz Coverage

-You are running a quick angle in, then straight up the field.  This will get the cornerback up the field on you. As soon as this happens, then you break to the in route.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-You are trying to get around the cornerback and vertical as soon as possible.  As you get vertically up the field, then you will throw up your outside hand and break to the in route under the half field safety.

Understanding the Run & Shoot Streak Package

August 26, 2011

The Streak Package is the Run & Shoot’s 4 Verticals package.  However, against defenses that don’t allow deep throws by either having multiple deep defenders or by rushing the quarterback the Streak Package converts into the Levels concept with front or backside double streaks.

Since the Streak Package is run out of a balanced formation the route concepts can be flipped and the play will remain equally effective.  The specific Streak Package I have described below is 90 Streaks.  The tens digit (the 9) refers to the fact that the quarterback rolls and sets while the ones digit (the 0) refers to the fact that the focus routes are on the backside of the formation rather than the frontside.

Again I will be providing the play description and reads from the 1992 NJ-NY Knights playbook along with diagrams.

Quarterback Reads:

Against Three Deep Coverage

-You are making your read off from the free safety. If the free safety rotates to the frontside, then you will look to throw backside to the A-Back running the streak route. If the free safety plays the backside, then you will look to throw frontside to the Y-Back running the streak route. If you cannot get the ball to either player, then the X-Back is your 3rd route.

Against Two Deep Coverage

-Your 1st read is the frontside half field safety. If the safety stays with the Y-Back, then your 1st look is to the Z-Back. Your 2nd look is backside to the A-Back and your 3rd look is the X-Back.

Against Man Free Coverage

-You are going to read the free safety first, and then you will give a look to the frontside. If you see that the cornerback is playing press coverage, then you may want to give the Z-Back a look. If that is not open, then you will look backside to the A-Back 1st and the X-Back 2nd.

Against Blitz Coverage

-Your 1st look is the Y-Back, and then you will look backside to the A-Back and then the X-Back.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-You are looking to the Z-Back 1st, and then you will look backside to the A-Back 1st and then the X-Back.

Z-Back:

Against Three Deep Coverage

-Runs a streak up the field.

Against Two Deep Coverage

-Runs a streak to the open area in the zone.

Against Man Free Coverage

-Runs a streak up the field.

Against Blitz Coverage

-Runs a streak up the field.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-Runs a streak up the field.

Y-Back:

Against Three Deep Coverage

-Runs a streak up the field.

Against Two Deep Coverage

-Run a streak up the hashmark occupying the half-field safety.

Against Man Free Coverage

-Runs a streak up the field.

Against Blitz Coverage

-You are running up field to a depth of 6 yards and then breaking to the out route.  If you get press coverage, then you could keep on going straight up field.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-You are running up the hash mark at the half field safety.  The only time you will get the ball is if the half field safety moves out of position to help the cornerback.

A-Back:

Against Three Deep Coverage

-You are running up the field making a streak read on the Free Safety.  If the Free Safety over rotates to the frontside streak route, then you keep running straight up the field.  If the Free Safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will throw up your outside hand, break down and work your way to the open window back to the quarterback.

Against Two Deep Coverage

-You are going up the field making a seam read off the half field safety.  If the safety is playing tight on you, then you will break to the skinny post.  If the safety plays you high, then you will throw up your hand outside and break across the middle of the field.

Against Man Free Coverage

-Your first job is to defeat the defender covering you.  You will start up field with an outside release to try to get the defender to turn his hips out, and then you will break across his face to the middle of the field.

*There could be a chance that the free safety rotates over; if that happens then you will keep going straight up the field.  If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will still break across the middle of the field.

Against Blitz Coverage

-You are taking an outside release up field to get the defender to turn his hips to the outside, then you are going to break across the defenders face to the skinny post.  If you get press coverage, then you could keep on going straight up field.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-You are using an outside release up field to get the defender to turn his hips out, then you are either breaking across the middle of the field or going over the top of the defender.

X-Back:

Against Three Deep Coverage

-You are running up field making your read off from the cornerback.  If the cornerback stays with you up the field, then keep going up the field.  If the cornerback goes over to help the free safety, then you throw up your outside hand, break down and work your way back to the quarterback.

Against Two Deep Coverage

-You will be running a streak route to the dead area of the zone.

Against Man Free Coverage

-Your first job is to defeat the defender covering you.  You will start up field with an outside release to try to get the defender to turn his hips out, and then you will break across his face to the middle of the field.

*There could be a chance that the free safety rotates over; if that happens then you will keep going straight up the field.  If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will still break across the middle of the field.

Against Blitz Coverage

-You are running up field to a depth of 6 yards and then break to an in route.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-You are using an outside release up field to get the defender to turn his hips out, then you are either breaking across the middle of the field or going over the top of the defender.

Understanding the Run & Shoot Hook Package

August 25, 2011

The Run & Shoot Hook Package is a simple combination of the ubiquitous Smash concept and a seam read.  Against zone defenses the Smash concept places a vertical strain on the defense near the sideline while the seam read forces the defense to respect the middle of the field and not overplay the smash concept.  While against man the Smash concept begins to vaguely resemble the levels concept with two routes crossing directly in front of the quarterback.

Again I will be providing the play description and reads from the 1992 NJ-NY Knights playbook along with diagrams.

Hook

Quarterback Reads:

3 Deep Coverage

-You are reading the play of the Cornerback.  If the Cornerback plays off from the hook route, then you will hit the Z-Back.  If the Cornerback plays the hook route, then you will hit the A-Back running the skinny flag route behind the Cornerback.  If you cannot get the ball to either receiver, then your 3rd look is to the Y-Back going back across the middle of the field.  This is a role and set technique like the Choice Route.

2 Deep Coverage

-You are reading the play of the Cornerback.  If the Cornerback plays off from the hook route, then you will hit the Z-Back.  If the Cornerback plays the hook route, then you will hit the A-Back running the skinny flag route behind the Cornerback.  If you cannot get the ball to either receiver, then your 3rd look is to the Y-Back going back across the middle of the field.  This is a role and set technique like the Choice Route.

2 Man Under Coverage

-You read progression is the same as against Man Free Coverage.

Man Free Coverage

-Your 1st look is to the A-Back, your 2nd is to the Y-Back and your 3rd is to the Z-Back.  If you get a blitzing linebacker, then your read progression will change to the A-Back as your 1st look and the Z-Back is your 2nd look.

Blitz Coverage

-Your 1st look is the Y-Back on the Post and your 2nd look is to the Z-Back on the quick In.

 

Y-Back (1 Slot):

3 Deep Coverage

-You are running straight up field and picking up the Free Safety.  You will then break across the face of the Free Safety.  If the Free Safety comes out of the hold towards you, then you need to break it more like a skinny post.  If the Free Safety stays in the hole, then break your more flat across the middle.

2 Deep Coverage

-You are running up field reading the half field Safety.  You will be making the same seam read as in the Choice route, either the skinny post or the crossing pattern.

2 Man Under Coverage

-You are first defeating the man covering you and then you are using the seam read as in Choice Special.

Man Free Coverage

-You are going up field and defeating the defender who is covering you, and then you are going to make a speed cut to the inside of the Free Safety.

Blitz Coverage

-You are running a quick Post pattern at the depth of the player defending you.

A-Back (2 Slot):

3 Deep Coverage

-You are running up field and avoiding contact from the Strong Safety.  After avoiding the Strong Safety, you are going to make your break to a skinny flag pattern at the depth of the Cornerback.  This could happen at any time during the play.

2 Deep Coverage

-You are making your read off from the play of the Cornerback.  You will then break to the skinny flag at the depth of the Cornerback.  If the half field Safety tries to come over to help the Cornerback, then you must flatten out your route a little bit.  You also have to contend with the Linebacker as you are in the beginning of your route.

2 Man Under Coverage

-You are first defeating the man covering you and then you are breaking to the Flag route to the open area of the coverage.

Man Free Coverage

-You are going upfield to the depth of 10 to 12 yards, and then you are going to break to the flag route.  If the defender is playing high on you, then you will break to the Out route at the depth of 10 to 12 yards.  If the defender is playing you very tight, then you will use a stick & go move to freeze the defender and then break to the flag.

Blitz Coverage

-You are running a quick Flag pattern at the depth of the player defending you.

 

Z-Back (3 Slot):

3 Deep Coverage

-You are running a hook route to the inside at the depth of 8 to 10 yards.  Then you will be working back to the Quarterback, this could be to the inside or the outside.

2 Deep Coverage

-You are running the Hook route at a depth of 8 to 10 yards.  If the Cornerback comes up to play press coverage on you, then make contact with him.  This will make it easier for the Y-Back to get to the weak area of the zone.

2 Man Under Coverage

-You are using a jab step to the inside, then to an outside release up field to the depth of 6 to 8 yards and then you will break to the In route.

Man Free Coverage

-You are going up field to the depth of 6 to 8 yards and then breaking to the In route.

Blitz Coverage

-You are running a quick In pattern at the depth of the player defending you.

X-Back:

3 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route.

2 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route to stretch the half field safety.

2 Man Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route.

Man Free Coverage-You are running the wheel route.

Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route.

Understanding the Run and Shoot Choice Package

August 7, 2011

The Choice Package is designed to compliment the Go Package.  While the Go Package is designed to attack the defense on the trips side the Choice Package instead attacks the Backside end.  This prevents defenses from selling out to defend the Go Package by rolling their coverages over to the trips receivers.

While the Backside end is definitely the focus of the Choice Package the trips side should not be neglected.  The Trips Side presents a solid deep vertical stretch against zone defenses with a crossing route to pull down the linebackers and to act as a checkdown and against man it presents a shallow cross read.

Below I will go over the 1992 NJ-NY Knights reads for this play along with play diagrams.

Rip 61 X Choice

The playcall can be understood the same way as the Rip 60 Z Go could be understood bellow with the exception that the X Choice is now very significant and designates which receiver is running the Choice Route, the X receiver.

Quarterback Reads:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:


-You will be rolling to the left, reading the drop of the cornerback.  If you are setting up to throw, then step and shuffle step and set on your 5th step.  If you are throwing the ball on the role, then you are throwing the ball off from your 6th step.  If the x-back is not open by your 5th step, then you will shuffle step, set and look backside to your secondary routes.  The 2 Slot is your 2nd look, the 3 slot is your 3rd look and the 1 slot is your 4th look.

Against 2 Deep Coverage:


-Same reads as 3 Deep

Against Man Free Coverage:

-Read playside to backside crossing routes.  The Z Receiver is not a factor in your read progression, he is just taking his defender up field.

Against Blitz Coverage:


-Get the ball off as fast as possible.  If you cannot throw it to the playside receiver, then shuffle and set your feet and look to your two backside routes (The Z Receiver is not a factor in your read progression, he is just taking his defender up field).  It does not which backside read you pick up first.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:


-If you see clearance between the playside receiver and the defensive back, get the ball to him as quick as possible.  If he is not open, then look backside to your two crossing routes (The Z Receiver is not a factor in your read progression, he is just taking his defender up field).

X Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
-run 7 steps at the outside shoulder of the cornerback
1.) If the receiver gets to the outside shoulder of the cornerback, on his seventh step, he makes a speed cut, to the out route.
2.) If there is still a 5 yard or deeper cushion on your 7th step you break to the out route.
3.) If the cornerback stays to the outside and the receiver breaks down the cushion to 3 yards or less, then the receiver on his seventh step breaks down to the skinny post. (Needs to be a skinny post so that it does not run into the free safety.)

Against 2 Deep Coverage:
You want to attack the weak part of the zone, which is behind the cornerback.  When coming off the line, we always want an outside release, but sometimes you get a a cornerback that is trying to funnel everything to the inside.  If this is the case, then you will have to use some type of tech. to get around the cornerback (ex. swim, rip) and get back to the outside.

Against Man Free Coverage:
1.) If the cornerback is playing an outside tech. (this means that the front of his body is facing the inside) and stays this way in his backpeddle.  Then you work up the field on his face to his outside shoulder and on your 7th step, you break the out route off his butt.
2.) If the cornerback is playing an inside tech. (this means that the front of his body is to the outside) and stays this way in his backpeddle.  Then you have to work upfield on the cornerback nose to nose and when you get to your 7th step, you will break to the skinny post off his butt.
3.) If you get to the body of the cornerback, then you break your route straight up the field on the fly.

Against Blitz Coverage Coverage:
1.) If the cornerback is playing back then either on your 1st or 3rd step, break to the slant route.
2.) If the cornerback is playing in press posistion, then you get a quick release and run the fade route.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Same as Two Deep Coverage

Y Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
Breaks across the middle at a depth of 5 to 7 yards (linebacker depth) avoid contact with the crossing linebackers in their drops.

Against 2 Deep Coverage:
Same as Against 3 Deep Coverage.

Against Man Free Coverage:
Same route, but since this is man coverage you are checking to replace a blitzing inside linebacker in your route.  If you find that a linebacker is blitzing, you call out “Hot”, which is a call to tell the quarterback that he is the hot receiver and is replacing a linebacker in his area.  Calling “Hot” also alert the quarterback a blitz is coming.

Against Blitz Coverage:
Same as Man Free
*If you see that the X Receiver is getting the ball, then you break it up the field to take the player defending you away from the X receiver.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Go over top of the defender and then break your route to the inside under the two safeties.

A Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
After being sent in motion you should be 3 to 5 yards outside the Y Receiver.  At the snap, you are running up the field and avoiding contact from the second level defenders (LB & SS).  After clearing the second level defenders, you are now reading the positioning of the free safety.
1.) If the free safety rotates playside (were the X receiver is running his route), you keep going up the seam to the endzone.
2.) If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, you then throw your outside hand up and hook up in the 15 to 20 yard area and find the open window back to, the quarterback.

Against 2 Deep Coverage:
You are reading the drop of the half field safety.  When running your route up the seam, you want to get into the face of the half field safety.
1.) If you break down the cushion of the half field safety (that is 3 yards or less), then you break off to the skinny post.
2.) If the safety is playing to the outside and has a 5 yard cushion or more, then you will throw up your outside hand, hook up and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against Man Free Coverage:
You are reading the drop of the defensive player on you.  As you are going up field, you are checking for man tech.
1.) If you read man tech, then you work up field on his outside shoulder. When you get to about a 10 to 12 yard area, throw up your outside hand and break off the butt of the defender to the inside.
*Make sure your route is flat enough that the free safety does not become a factor.
2.) If you read zone tech (that means that his shoulders are square in his backpeddle) you just break it upfield vertically.

Against Blitz Coverage:
1.) If the defender is playing off from you, then you are working up on the outside shoulder of the defender and then breaking to the post route.
2.) If the defender is playing press coverage, then you release up field and then make a slight bend to the inside.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Cut underneath the Y receiver and break to the inside.

Z Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
Read the drop of the cornerback, you are driving up the field on the outside shoulder of the cornerback.
1.) If the cornerback turns his hips and goes to the inside, at the depth of 8 to 10 yards you automatically throw up your outside hand and hook up.
2.) If the cornerback turns his hips to the outside, then you just take him up the field.

Against 2 Deep Coverage:
Same Route as the X Receiver.

Against Man Free Coverage:
You are getting an outside release and going vertically up field.
*Not much of a factor against man coverage, just pulling the defender upfield.

Against Blitz Coverage:
Same as man free.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Same as Man Free.

Rip 60 X Choice Drag

Quarterback Reads:

Against 3 Deep Coverage:

X,Y,A,Z

Against 2 Deep Coverage:

Same as against any zone coverage

Against Man Free Coverage:

X,Y,Z

Against Blitz Coverage:

Same as usual

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Same as Usual

X Receiver:

Against 3 Deep Coverage:

Same as X Choice

Against 2 Deep Coverage:

You are running up to the 5 to 7 yard range and then break to the square in route.  When you get to the area of the A receiver, then you will break down and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against Man Free Coverage:

Same Man Route…

Against Blitz Coverage:

Same as against everything

Against 2 Deep Coverage Man under:

Same as man coverage

Y Receiver:

Against 3 Deep Coverage:

You have the seam read.  You are reading the free safety.  If the free safety over rotates to the playside, then you keep going straight up field.  If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then throw up your outside hand, break down and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against 2 Deep Coverage:

You are running the wheel route.  If the cornerback stays high on you, then you will throw up your outside hand, break down and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against Man Free Coverage:

You want first to get your man turned

1.)if the defender is playing you high or is running with you, then you break across his face to the inside under the free safety.

2.) If the defender tries to play some type of press coverage

a.) If the free safety rotates playside then you will run straight up field

b.) If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then break under the free safety

Against Blitz Coverage:

Same as Against Man Free Coverage

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Same as Man Free

A Receiver:

Against 3 Deep Coverage:

You are runnning the wheel route.  If the cornerback goes to the inside, then you will throw up your outside hand, break down and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against 2 Deep Coverage:

You are reading the drop of the half field safety.  When running your route up the seam, you want to get into the face of the half field safety.

1.) If you break down the cushion of the half field safety (that is 3 yards or less), then you break off to the skinny post.

2.) If the safety is playing to the outside and has a 5 yard cushion or more, then you will throw up your outside hand, hook up and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against Man Free Coverage:

You want to line up at the same distance between the two receievers as how deep off the Z Receiver.  Yow want to first break to the inside before breaking to your outside route.  When you are on the inside part of the route, you want to run it at the rate of speed so that the Z receiver can break off your butt.  This will create a pick like action with the defensive players that are covering you.  Then you just break it outside and up the field.

Against Blitz Coverage:

You are working up field on the outside shoulder of the defender to get him to turn his hips out, then you are going to break off his butt to the post route.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Same as 2 Deep Coverage

Z Receiver:

Against 3 Deep Coverage:

You are driving up field to the 5 to 7 yard area and break to the square in route.  Then when you get to the area of the Y receiver, you then break down and find the open window back to the quarterback.

Against 2 Deep Coverage:

Same Route vs 2 Deep Coverage

Against Man Free Coverage:

You are running up to the 5 to 7 yard area and then breaking to the square in route looking for the open window back to the quarterback.

Against Blitz Coverage:

1.) If the cornerback is playing back then either on your 1st or 3rd step, break to the slant route.

2.) If the cornerback is playing in press posistion, then you get a quick release and run the fade route.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Jab step to the inside to turn the cornerback to the inside, then break across his face and go up field on an outside release.

Load 60 Z Choice Special

*The special tag means that the two inside receivers will change routes.  All other routes are the same.

Quarterback Reads:

Against 3 Deep Coverage:

Same as any other zone coverage

Against 2 Deep Coverage:

Same as X Choice

Against Man Free Coverage:

Same as any man coverage.

Against Blitz Coverage:

Same as against any Blitz Coverage

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Same as X Choice

 

Z Receiver:

Against 3 Deep Coverage Coverage:

Same route as X Receiver if play were called to other side of the field

Against 2 Deep Coverage Coverage:

Same route as X Receiver if play were called to other side of the field

Against Man Free Coverage:

Same route as X Receiver if play were called to other side of the field

Against Blitz Coverage:

Same…

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Stick and run the fade up the field.

A Receiver:

Against 3 Deep Coverage Coverage:

Same route as the 2 slot if it was called X Choice

Against 2 Deep Coverage Coverage:

Same route as the 2 slot if it was called X Choice

Against Man Free Coverage:

Same route as the 2 slot if it was called X Choice

Against Blitz Coverage:

Same…

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Stick, over the top and then break to the inside.  Sometimes the half field safety will jump you, if this happens, you then break it to the skinny post route.

Y Receiver:

Against 3 Deep Coverage Coverage:

You are running a 5 to 7 yard curl route.

Against 2 Deep Coverage Coverage:

Run the 5 to 7 yard curl route, if the linebacker jumps in your face, then you will have to work inside to the open windown back to the quarterback.

Against Man Free Coverage:

Same route as the 1 slot if it was called X Choice

Against Blitz Coverage:

Same…

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

You are going up the field and working on the outside shoulder of the defender.  Get the defender to turn, then cut off his butt to the inside.

X Receiver:

Against 3 Deep Coverage Coverage:

You are running the same route as the Z receiver if it was called to the other side.

Against 2 Deep Coverage Coverage:

Run the fade route route to stretch the half field safety.

Against Man Free Coverage:

Same route as the Z Receiver if it was called to the other side.

Against Blitz Coverage:

Same…

Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Same…

Understanding the Run & Shoot Go Package

August 7, 2011

The Go Package is often the first passing concept installed by Run and Shoot teams and is the base on which the entire trips passing game is built off of.  In describing this package in his excellent book “Coaching Run-and-Shoot Football” Al Black says that “the Go play is designed to place a quick stretch on the strong safety in a zone defense or break a receiver open for the big gain when attacking a man-for-man defense.”(pg 25).

Here is June Jones describing the Go Package:

Most simply the Go Package can be thought of as creating a versatile deep stretch against zone defenses with a flat route as a check down and creating rubs and a crossing route against man coverage.  In being able to create both of these concepts after the snap the Go package can ensure that the defense is always wrong.

In order to best explain the Go package I have taken the reads from the 1992 NJ-NY Knights playbook and provided play diagrams.  At the bottom of the document I have provided a link to some game footage of the Go Package.

Rip 60 Z GO

The play call can be understood as follows:

Rip: this refers to the motion of the A receiver from the left of the formation to the #2 slot position on the opposite side of the field.  The opposite motion (motioning the Y receiver to the #2 slot position on the opposite side of the field) is referred to as Liz.  This play can be run with either motion call.

60: this refers to the pass blocking on this certain set of plays.  The Run and Shoot offense typical will have a 50 series (quick passes), 60 series (5 step passes), and a 90 series (7 step passes) along with a few play passes.

Z Go: this refers to the fact that the Z receiver is on the trips side of the formation, the deceleration of a certain receiver is not as essential for the base Go package as it is for other passing concepts.

Quarterback Reads:

Against 3 Deep

-You are making your read off from the play of the Strong Safety. If the Strong Safety stays back on the A receiver, then you look for the Y receiver running the sweep route. If the Strong Safety runs to the flat, then you will look for the A receiver running the seam route. *You will be throwing the ball on your 3rd to 5th step.*

Against 2 Deep

-You are making your read from the play of the Cornerback. If the Cornerback sits in the flat, then you will look to hit the X-Back up the field. If the Cornerback takes off up field the X-Back, then you will look to hit the A-Back running the sweep route.

Against Man Free

-Your first look is the Y-back on the sweep route. Your second look is the A-Back running the crossing route.*If you get press coverage from the Cornerback on the Z-Back, then your read progression will change to looking to the Z-Back first, the Y-Back second and the A-Back third.

Against Blitz Coverage

-Your reads are the same as against man free coverage. The Y-Back is your 1st look, and the A-Back is your 2nd look. If you get press coverage by the Cornerback on the Z-Back, then your read progression will change to looking to the Z-Back 1st, the Y-Back 2nd, and the A-Back 3rd.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-Your reads are the same as man free coverage. You are looking to the Y-Back 1st and then the A-Back 2nd. When looking to the A-Back, you have to make sure you check for the backside Linebacker getting into the passing lane. You also have a great opportunity to run the football for a good gain due to a lack of pass rush by the defense.

Y-Back:

Against 3 Deep Coverage

-You are using a jab step to the inside and then you will run the sweep route at a depth of 3 to 5 yards. If you start running out of field or you see a pump fake by the quarterback, then you will break to your secondary route up the field.

Against 2 Deep Coverage

-You are using a jab step to the inside and then running the sweep route. If you start running out of field or the Quarterback gives a pumpfake, then you run your secondary route up the field.

Against Man Free

-You are using a jab step to the inside and then running the sweep route. If you start running out of field or the Quarterback gives a pumpfake, then you run your secondary route up the field.

Against Blitz Coverage

-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.

A-Back:

Against 3 Deep Coverage

-You are going to get 3 to 5 yards outside the Y receiver getting ready to plant your right foot and drive up field. You want to drive up field on the outside shoulder of the Strong Safety. If the Strong Safety sits down to make contact with you, avoid the contact and keep going up the field on your route. If the Strong Safety starts sliding to the flat, then you keep on his outside shoulder until he slides to the flat and keep on your route up the field. If the quarterback has not gotten the ball off and the Free Safety is coming over to pick you up, then you run your secondary route across the face of the Free Safety.

Against 2 Deep Coverage

-You are running up the seam looking for the half field safety. You are making the same reads as if you were running a Choice Special route and breaking down and finding the opening window back to the Quarterback or the skinny post route.

Against Man Free

-You want to be about 1 yard from the Y receiver. As you are coming off teh line, you want to turn the man covering you out and get in his face. As you break him down, you want to cut across his face to the inside at Linebacker depth. If teh defender is playing off you, then you still break across his face to the inside.

Against Blitz Coverage

-You are one yard off the butt of the Y receiver and then you are breaking up the field on the seam route. If the defender on you is play tight coverage, then you will break over the top of him and go to the middle of the field. If the defender is playing high on you, then you will get the defender to turn his hips to the outside and then break across his face to the middle of the field. There should not be a defender in this area.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-You are one yard off the butt of the Y-Back. You are then working up field on the outside shoulder of the defender once you get him to turn his hips to the outside. You then will break across the defender’s face to the middle of the field under the two half field safeties.

Z-Back:
Against 3 Deep-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep-You are running the wheel route.
Against Man Free-You are running the wheel route.
Against Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route, taking your man up the field out of the play.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route, taking your man up the field out of the play.

X-Back:
Against 3 Deep-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep-You are running the wheel route.
Against Man Free-You are running the wheel route.
Against Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route, taking your man up the field out of the play.

Rip 60 Go Swap

*Swap Tag: Whenever any play has the slot tag the #2 slot receiver (the A receiver) and the Frontside End (Z receiver) switch routes.

Quarterback Reads:

Against 3 Deep Coverage

-You are making your reads off of the play of teh Strong Safety. If the Strong Safety is going to cover the flat, then you will look to hit the Z-Back running up the seam. If the Strong Safety drops back to cover the seam area, then you will look to hit the Y-Back running the sweep route.

Against 2 Deep Coverage

-You are making your read from the play of the Cornerback. If the Cornerback sits in the flat, then you will look to hit the X-Back up the field. If the Cornerback takes off up field the X-Back, then you will look to hit the Z-Back running the sweep route.

Against Man Free Coverage

-Your first look is the Y-back on the sweep route. Your second look is the Z-Back running the crossing route.*If you get press coverage from the Cornberack on the Z-Back, then your read progression will change to looking to the A-Back first, the Y-Back second and the Z-Back third.

Against Blitz Coverage

-Your reads are the same as Against Man Free Coverage The Y-Back is your 1st look, and the Z-Back is your 2nd look. If you get press coverage by the Cornerback on the A-Back, then your read progression will change to looking to the A-Back 1st, the Y-Back 2nd, and the Z-Back 3rd.

Against 2 Deep Under Coverage

-Your reads are the same as with man free coverage. You are looking to the Y-Back 1st and then the Z-Back 2nd. When looking to the Z-Back, you have to make sure you check for the backside Linebacker getting into the passing lane. You also have a great opportunity to run the football for a good gain due to a lack of pass rush by the defense.

Y-Back (1 Slot):

Against 3 Deep Coverage

-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.

Against 2 Deep Coverage

-You are using a jab step to the inside and then running the sweep route. If you start running out of field or the Quarterback gives a pumpfake, then you run your secondary route up the field.

Against Man Free Coverage

-You are using a jab step to the inside and then running the sweep route. If you start running out of field or the Quarterback gives a pumpfake, then you run your secondary route up the field.

Against 2 Deep Under Coverage

-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.

Against 2 Deep Under Coverage

-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.

A-Back (2 Slot):
Against 3 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the sideline.
Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against Man Free Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route.

Z-Back(Frontside End):

Against 3 Deep Coverage

-You are running a route to the inside to find the open area of the zone and then up the seam. During your route, you have to pick up where the Strong Safety is and get him to throttle down. If there is a pump fake by the Quarterback or he breaks the plane of the Tackle, then you will go to your secondary route, the skinny post.

Against 2 Deep Coverage

-You are running up the seam looking for the half field safety. You are making the same reads as if you were running a Choice Special route and breaking down and finding the opening window back to the Quarterback or the skinny post route.

Against Man Free Coverage

-You want to be about 1 yard from the Y receiver. As you are coming off teh line, you want to turn the man covering you out and get in his face. As you break him down, you want to cut across his face to the inside at Linebacker depth. If teh defender is playing off you, then you still break across his face to the inside.

Against 2 Deep Under Coverage

-You are one yard off the butt of the Y receiver and then you are breaking up the field on the seam route. If the defender on you is play tight coverage, then you will break over the top of him and go to the middle of the field. If the defender is playing high on you, then you will get the defender to turn his hips to the outside and then break across his face to the middle of the field. There should not be a defender in this area.

Against 2 Deep Under Coverage

-You are one yard off the butt of the Y-Back. You are then working up field on the outside shoulder of the defender once you get him to turn his hips to the outside. You then will break across the defender’s face to the middle of the field under the two half field safeties.

X-Back:
Against 3 Deep Coverage
-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against Man Free Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route, taking your man up the field out of the play.

Lastly, here is some footage of the Go Package being run as described above.

Daily Links

August 4, 2011

Mouse created by sperm created with stem cells:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14404183

More Scotts dance than play soccer?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-14401197

Tick Box vs Check List

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14392769

New Multiethnic Spiderman…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14394181

This Headline is just too great: “Swedish man arrested after trying to split atoms in his kitchen; says it was only a hobby”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/swedish-man-arrested-after-trying-to-split-atoms-in-his-kitchen-says-it-was-only-a-hobby/2011/08/03/gIQAEtD0rI_story.html?wprss=rss_homepage

On the Naming of Startup Companies:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/08/yipit-zynga-hulu-how-15-tech-companies-picked-their-names/242446/?&utm_content=Google+Reader

 

Why Everything is Based on a 2,000 Calorie Daily Value:

http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/08/why-does-the-fda-recommend-2-000-calories-per-day/243092/?&utm_content=Google+Reader

The Shift From Pop Groups to Individuals:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/08/where-have-all-the-pop-groups-gone/243042/?&utm_content=Google+Reader

The Creation of the Shark in Jaws:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/08/shark-week-remembering-bruce-the-mechanical-shark-in-jaws/243026/

Good Interview About Chess:

http://thebrowser.com/interviews/dominic-lawson-on-chess?page=full

 

Daily Links

August 3, 2011

I am going to try and do this more regularly so I can more easily go back and reread things:

What I Am Reading:

Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland

Henry Kissinger’s Diplomacy

Al Black’s Coaching Run-and-Shoot Football

Glenn Ellison’s Run-And-Shoot Football the Now Attack

Online Articles:

Explanation of Multiplying Complex Numbers:

http://betterexplained.com/articles/understanding-why-complex-multiplication-works/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Betterexplained+%28BetterExplained%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Interesting Discussion of Internet Buisness as deflationary:

http://www.digital-dd.com/the-growth-of-the-internet-and-the-happy-recession/

Slate Piece on Fascination with Solitary Man in the Wilderness:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/08/the-walden-effect-tracing-the-myth-of-the-man-alone-in-the-wilderness/243017/?&utm_content=Google+Reader

Article on the Chinese Psyche:

http://www.slate.com/id/2300782/pagenum/all/#p2

Nutella Lawsuit…What is Wrong With People?

http://www.slate.com/id/2300390/?from=rss

Numbers and Sports (Basketball):

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/08/the-mathematics-of-basketball.html?rss=1

Summers on the Debt Agreement:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/e283aae8-bd39-11e0-9d5d-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1TmHRR6S2

Arab Spring in Israel?

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/08/after-the-arab-spring-israel-gets-its-own-protest-movement/243028/?&utm_content=Google+Reader

Series of Articles on the Importance of Foreign Aid Given out by the US:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-leadership/amid-budget-crisis-a-defense-of-foreign-aid/2011/08/03/gIQABVFdrI_story.html?wprss=rss_homepage

Seems That Congress Won’t Adress the FAA Funding:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/congress-urged-to-tackle-faa-funding-bill-before-recess/2011/08/01/gIQAcvJIoI_story.html?wprss=rss_homepage

American Troops to Stay in Iraq:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/checkpoint-washington/post/in-iraq-why-american-troops-might-stay/2011/08/02/gIQA9KfcrI_blog.html?wprss=checkpoint-washington

SB Nation Previews PSU:

http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-football/2011/8/3/2341404/2011-penn-state-nittany-lions-football

How Free Agency Has Affected Super Bowl Odds:

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/How-free-agency-has-affected-Super-Bowl-odds.html

Wednesday Notes on Broncos FA Moves:

http://www.itsalloverfatman.com/broncos/entry/wednesday-notes

Understanding Routes in the Run & Shoot

July 21, 2011

All of the reads for the routes described below I pulled from various playbooks, lectures, and other sources.  However, my main sources were Mouse Davis’ 1992 NJ-NY playbook and Chris Brown’s Run and Shoot series( http://smartfootball.blogspot.com/search/label/run%20and%20shoot%20series ).

I have only detailed the routes bellow which require specific coverage based variations.

Seam Read:

 

(All the diagrams bellow assume that the seam read player is lined up on the strong side of the field and not the weak side.  If the receiver is lined up on the weak side just flip all of the diagrams.)

The Seam Read revolves around a simple M.O.F.O. (Middle of Field Open) and M.O.F.C. (Middle of Field Closed) read by the receiver and will always be run off of the safety nearest to the receiver.  This means that the receiver will always read the nearest safety even if he is not a deep safety(as is the case in Cover 4 Invert when the nearest safety drops down to cover the flat zone).  So, before the ball is snapped the receiver must identify which of the safeties will be deep, with this information the receiver can identify which safety will be nearest to him once the ball is snapped.

In all cases (except for against Man Blitz) the receiver will need to have made his read of the safety by the time he is 8 or 10 yards downfield.

***Occasionally, (when running the Hook package) the Seam Read will be flipped.  That is instead of deciding between a Streak, Skinny Post, or Dig route the receiver will decide between a Streak, Corner Route, or Out route.  In these cases the reads are the same as the ones detailed below except that the receiver is reading sideline deep defender.  That is he will read the cornerback playing the deep zone in Cover 4 invert instead of the free safety.  This is different than the regular seam read where the receiver reads the nearest deep defender in most cases.***

Against Cover 3:

Cover 3 presents the largest number of possible safety alignments and therefore presents the most difficult options for the Seam Read of all possible coverages.  Further, there are two main ways of teaching the Seam Read against Cover 3, the first is a timing approach and the other is more of a read.  The timing approach is most commonly used in the Go package while the read approach is more commonly used with the Choice package.  The first option is the only option used with the timing approach and all three options are used in the read approach.

1.)    If the safety rotates away from the receiver or cannot get over top of the receiver than the receiver will run a Streak route straight up the seam expecting the ball somewhere between  16-20 yards.  This 16-20 yard depth is where there is a natural hole in zone coverage beneath the underneath deep defenders and over the underneath defenders.  This throw is made when the  nearest safety has dropped down into coverage.  If the receiver did not get the ball in the seam between 16 and 20 yards he will break into a Skinny Post.

2.)    If the safety ends up between the receiver and the near sideline (this will often happen in trips formations where the safety can overreact to the formation alignment and slide to far over to the sideline) then receiver will run right past him and will run a Skinny Post.

3.)    If the safety stays in the middle of the field then the receiver will throw his outside hand up and run a Dig route somewhere between 16 and 20 yards downfield.  The receiver is given enough leeway with this route that he should attempt to stop his route once he has found the open window back to the quarterback.

Against Cover 2:

The receiver is reading the drop of the nearest half field safety.  When running his route up the seam, the receiver will want to get into the face of the half field safety.  By getting into the face of the safety the receiver forces the safety to really declare his actions.  The safety should not be allowed to stay deep and break down on the route after the receiver makes his cut.  Instead, the safety should be forced to make a clear decision so that the receiver can then put him into a bad position.

1.)    If the receiver breaks down the cushion of the half field safety so that there is 3 yards or less between the safety and the receiver, then the receiver will break off his route and run the Skinny Post.  The quarterback should not lob this throw deep because either of the two safeties should attempt to fill this void in the middle of the field.  Instead, the quarterback should deliver the ball so that the receiver catches it about 20 yards downfield.  Even though the ball is not a lob the receiver should have plenty of space to turn upfield and get a lot of yards after the catch.

2.)    If the safety is playing to the outside and has a 5 yard cushion or more, then the receiver will throw up his outside hand and cut into a Dig route.  The receiver should continue running this route until he has found the open window back to the quarterback and then the receiver should stop for the easy catch.

Against Man Free:

There are two different ways to teach this route against Man Free coverage.  In one case the receiver just runs one route once he realizes he is facing Man Free coverage, this option is more frequently used when the Seam Read is used in the Go package.  In the other case the receiver will read the defensive technique of the defender who is matched up with him in man coverage this is most commonly used in the Choice package.

If the receiver does not read the coverage of the defensive player then he just tries to get in the face of the defender covering him.  As soon as the receiver has broken down the defenders cushion the receiver will cut across the field at linebacker depth and continue his route until he gets the ball.  By breaking down the cushion of the defender before breaking on his route the receiver forces the defender into a trialing position.

If the receiver is reading the drop of the defensive player on him he checks the man coverage technique of the defender as he heads upfield.

1.)    If you read man tech, then the receiver will run up the field aiming for the cornerback’s outside shoulder. When the receiver gets about 10 to 12 yards downfield he will  throw up his outside hand and break off the butt of the defender to the inside of the field running a Dig route.

2.)    If the receiver reads zone tech (when the cornerback’s shoulders are square in his back pedal) then the receiver will just continue upfield running a streak.  Since the cornerback has squared his shoulders he will eventually be forced to turn his back to the cornerback or the receiver will just blow right by him.  As soon as the cornerback turns his shoulders he has lost.

Against Man Blitz:

Against a Man Blitz coverage the Seam Read provides an opportunity for a large gain.  The receiver should be breaking down the defender in order to gain leverage and provide the opportunity for a large gain.  If the receiver correctly read the coverage then there will not be any deep defender to stop the receiver from reaching the endzone once he beats his defender.

1.)    If the defender is playing off from the receiver then the receiver should take advantage of the space to attack the defender’s outside shoulder.  Once the receiver has broken down the defender’s cushion and reached the defender’s outside should then the receiver should begin running a Skinny Post.

2.)    If the defender is playing press coverage, then the receiver will release up field and make a slight bend to the inside and continue upfield.  Since the defender is in press coverage he will be forced to turn his hips once the receiver has passed him.  By curving the route towards the inside of the field the receiver is preventing the possibility of other defenders being around once he has caught the ball.

Against 5 Under:

As with attacking any other man coverage in this case the receiver will attempt to break down the cushion between him and the defender.  The receiver will then cut across the defender’s face and where he runs next is determined by the passing concept package. 

With the Go package the receiver will run at angle up the field aiming between the two deep safeties.  If the safeties are respecting the deep routes on the sidelines the receiver should be open for a large gain. 

With the Choice Package the receiver will run a Shallow Dig underneath the inside receiver’s route.  These double Digs create a simple read for the quarterback.

Choice Route:

Against Cover 3:

-The receiver will run 7 steps aiming at the outside shoulder of the cornerback and then will choose from three different patterns to finish his route, the Speed Out, the Skinny Post, and the Streak.  Each one of these routes attacks the cornerback’s leverage and fills a void in the Cover 3 coverage.

1.)    If the receiver gets to the outside shoulder of the cornerback then on his seventh and eighth steps he will roll towards the sideline running a Speed Out expecting to get the ball at about 12 yards deep

2.)    If there is still a 5 yard or more of cushion: on the receiver’s  7th step he will again break to the Speed Out

3.)    If the cornerback stays to the outside and the receiver breaks down the cushion to 3 yards or less, then the receiver breaks down to the skinny post on his seventh step. *Needs to be a skinny post so that it does not run into the free safety.*

4.)    If the cornerback played press and took away the skinny post by playing an inside technique then the receiver will run the Streak route

Against Cover 2:

Since the cornerback is playing a press technique and releasing the receiver to the safety the cornerback eliminates the Skinny Post and Speed Out as options for the Choice Route.  The receiver wants to attack the weak part of the zone, which is behind the cornerback and underneath the safety.  The Streak route allows the receiver to attack this weak part and will be open over top of the cornerback before the safety can reach the sideline (if the safety cheats to the sideline he leaves the deep middle wide open).  Since the receiver always release to the outside when coming off the line the cornerback cannot funnel him into the middle of the field (this should prevent any linebackers in underneath coverage from getting in the passing lane). Sometimes the defense will have a cornerback that is insisting on funneling the receiver to the inside.  If this is the case, then the receiver will have to use some type of technique to get around the cornerback (ex. swim, rip) and get back to the outside and continue his route along the sideline.

Against Man Free:

-Again the receiver will run 7 steps aiming at the outside shoulder of the cornerback and then will choose from three different patterns to finish his route, the Speed Out, the Skinny Post, and the Streak.  Each one of these routes is chosen in such a way that the cornerback will either be completely turned around or out of position; therefore, the route is decided based on the cornerback’s leverage as the play progresses.

1.)    If the cornerback is playing an outside tech. (this means that the front of his body is facing the inside):  Then the receiver will run straight at the cornerback’s outside shoulder and on his 7th step the receiver will break the Speed Out route off the cornerback’s butt.

2.)    If the cornerback is playing an inside tech. (this means that the front of his body is to the outside):  Then the receiver will have to work upfield on the cornerback nose to nose and when the receiver gets to his 7th step, he will break to the Skinny Post off the cornerback’s butt.

3.)    If the receiver gets to the body of the cornerback, then the receiver break his route straight up the field on a Streak forcing the cornerback to turn around and leaving the cornerback in a trailing position.

Against Man Blitz:

-Unlike against the previous three coverages the receiver will now break his route before his 7th step.  When facing a blitz the offense has less time to run their play, but will have better leverage against the defense and should have the receiver running the choice route in an isolated coverage.  The receiver will either break under the cornerback will a Quick Slant or will run around and over him with a Fade.

1.)    If the cornerback is playing back then either on your 1st or 3rd step, break to the Slant route.

2.)    If the cornerback is playing in press position, then you get a quick release and run the Fade route.

Against 5 Under:

The receiver will face the same difficulties with this route against 5 Under coverage as he would against Cover 2.  Therefore, the receiver will run the Streak against 5 Under just as he would against Cover 2.

Switch:

The Switch route is necessarily run by two receivers who run past each other in order to “switch” their routes.  Therefore, there are two distinct and different routes which I will refer to as the Switch route.  One of these is the Switch route which breaks inside the other is the Switch route which breaks outside.  In most cases the inside breaking Switch route receiver will make the same reads as a receiver running the Seam Read route.

Inside Breaking Switch Route

Against Cover 3:

The receiver takes three steps up field, and then breaks on a slant route to the hash mark (or wherever the hole is between the deep defenders).  As the receiver starts going up the hash, he will read the play of the deep safety (this should be done somewhere between 8 and 10 yards down the field).  From this point the receiver will make the same reads as he would with the Seam Read against Cover 3.  Just as when the receiver is running the Seam Read against the Cover 3 there are two ways that that the Switch route is taught one is timing and one is a read route.  With the timing approach only the first step listed below is needed.  With the read approach all of the steps below are used.

1.)    If the safety rotates away from the receiver or cannot get over top of the receiver than the receiver will run a Streak route between the deep defenders.  This is the default route run for the Switch route.  However, if the quarterback pump fakes or breaks the tackle box then the receiver will break into the secondary route a Skinny Post.

2.)    If the safety has favored one side of the field in order to prevent the Streak route being completed along the hash mark then he is leaving the middle of the field open.  So, if the receiver sees the safety rotating towards the hash mark the receiver will run right underneath him and run the Skinny Post.

3.)    If the safety stays deep in the middle of the field so that he can take away both the Streak and the Skinny Post then the receiver will throw his outside hand up and run a Dig route somewhere between 16 and 20 yards downfield.  The receiver is given enough leeway with this route that he should attempt to stop his route once he has found the open window back to the quarterback.  This route should cut underneath the safeties for an easy gain.

Against Cover 2:

Again the receiver will take three steps up field, and then break on a slant route to the hash mark (or wherever the hole is between the deep defenders).  As the receiver starts getting up to about 8 to 10 yards up the hash marks he will read the near deep safety.  From there the receiver will make the same reads that the Seam Read made against Cover 2 with one additional read.

1.)    If the receiver breaks down the cushion of the half field safety so that there is 3 yards or less between the safety and the receiver, then the receiver will break off his route and run the Skinny Post.  The quarterback should not lob this throw deep because either of the two safeties should attempt to fill this void in the middle of the field.  Instead, the quarterback should deliver the ball so that the receiver catches it about 20 yards downfield.  Even though the ball is not a lob the receiver should have plenty of space to turn upfield and get a lot of yards after the catch.

2.)    If the safety is playing to the outside and has a 5 yard cushion or more, then the receiver will throw up his outside hand and cut into a Dig route.  The receiver should continue running this route until he has found the open window back to the quarterback and then the receiver should stop for the easy catch.

3.)    If the safety has rotated over towards the sideline then the receiver will run a Streak route.  This read is essentially the same as the Skinny Post read and will be made in almost identical situations.  However, running a Streak instead of a Skinny Post saves the receiver time since he does not have to break his route and therefore the receiver can get open faster.

Against Man Free:

Because of the design of the Switch route the defender should be trailing the receiver in man coverage.  This means that the receiver has already won and is in great position.  Therefore, the receiver can make a simple read.  Can the cornerback be beat deed or not?  If the receiver can beat the defender up the field, then he should just keep on going up the field.  If the defender can’t be beat up field then the receiver will throw up his outside hand and break into a Dig route.  Since the defender is trailing he should be out of position giving the receiver superior leverage on the Dig.

Against Man Blitz:

Again against man coverage the receiver is charging the defender in order to break down the defender’s cushion forcing him to declare where he will go.  As soon as the receiver breaks down the cushion and gets into the defender’s face he will break into a Dig.

Against 5 Under:                                                     

Here the receiver is just trying to get deep fast.  With only two deep defenders one of the two Switch route defenders will be uncovered or at the very least will pull a defender out of position.

Outside Breaking Switch Route:

Cover 3

The outside breaking Switch route receiver is running a wheel route between the numbers and the sideline.  As he is running up the field he is reading the play of the nearest deep defender (the vast majority of the time this player is a cornerback).

1.)    If the near deep defender slides towards the inside of the field to defend the inside breaking Switch route he is leaving the sideline open. The receiver will then just continue upfield running a Streak route and expecting a deep pass to his outside shoulder along the sideline.

2.)    If the near deep defender stays in position and stays directly over the receiver the receiver will treat him just as a deep defender is treated with the Seam Read.  The receiver will throw up his outside hand, breakdown and find the open window back to the quarterback running a Dig route towards the inside of the field.

Cover 2:

The receiver will just try to exploit the fact there are only two deep defenders and will continue his wheel route straight up the sideline.  The combination of the Switch routes should absolutely destroy Cover 2.  The two deep defenders are each forced to cover 26 yards against two separate receivers.

Man Free, Man Blitz, and 5 Under:

The receiver will take three steps up field and then break on a slant to the hash mark.  The receiver will want to get the cornerback into a trailing position.  The receiver will then attempt to pull the nearest deep defender towards the sideline removing the defender from the play allowing the inside breaking Switch route receiver to make a big play because he does not have to deal with a deep zone defender.  However, if the near deep defender is staying inside to defend the inside breaking Switch route and the defender following the receiver cannot be beat deep the receiver can break his route inside and run a Dig route.

Streak Read/Sideline Wheel Route

This route is typically run just to influence deep defenders and does not usually involve making any reads.  However, after going 12 yards upfield the receiver needs to decide if he can beat his defender.  This decision is just a simple run where the defense isn’t.  If the receiver can beat his defender deep the receiver should continue upfield.  If the receiver cannot beat his defender deep he should break off his route expecting to get the ball about 12 yards deep.

Understanding Defensive Coverages for The Run & Shoot

July 21, 2011

“Understanding Coverages”

Now that we have covered the basic Run& Shoot offensive philosophy and specifically how it relates to coverages we can focus more on the details of each coverage type.  All of the text in quotes was pulled from John Jenkins 1985 QB Manual.

During each offensive play the receivers and the quarterback will need to be able to identify and react to the defensive coverage.  This is not a passive offensive system.  In the previous post I discussed how the Run & Shoot limits the possible number of defensive coverages that can be employed and also forces the defense to make those coverages simpler.  However, even with simpler coverages it can be difficult and impossible for even the coaching staff to truly identify the defensive coverages being used.  Therefore, the Run & Shoot, breaks all possible defensive coverages into five basic and easy to differentiate categories:

  1. Cover 4 (3 Deep or 4 Deep Zone)
  2. Cover 2 (2 Deep Zone)
  3. 5 Under (2 Deep Zone Man Under)
  4. Man Free (Cover 1 Man)
  5. Man Blitz (Pure Man)

Each of these categories of course had their own subcategories, but this is how they broke up all the possible coverages they would see.  As I said earlier breaking these coverages up into these simple categories provides the offense with five easily distinguished categories making it very easy for both the quarterback and receivers to identify the coverage both pre and post snap.  Therefore, it will be easy for the receivers to adjust their routes to beat the coverages after the snap and for the quarterback to then “shred” the defense.

1.) Cover 4

“Cover 4 is what we acknowledge as a three deep zone coverage.  From an underneath standpoint, we have seen a balanced 4 man underneath combined with a 4 man rush and also have been confronted with a 5 man underneath attempted coordinated with a 3 man rush from a 3-4 front structure.”

“1.) 4 Coverage is not and has not ever been designed to handle the short passing game.

a.)    With their constant philosophy of forcing the offense to drop the ball off to the short defender, drive up and make a sure tackle for a minimal gain sounds acceptable and theoretically sound but yet our offense will patiently take the short GO’s, slides, and the 3rd Choice from the Choice and settle for the 4 yard continual gains.  What back in a strong running offense is assured of a constant 4 yard gain?  And with this principle applied, when we break a tackle from one of these short routes, it turns into a big “chunk” of yardage.  This obviously is true of any zone coverage.

Each defensive coverage must give something up. Cover 4 with its three deep zone defenders (and occasionally four) is designed to protect against the deep pass.  Therefore, Cover 4 is going to routinely give up the short pass. Each one of the major Run & Shoot passing concepts has a short rout (typically a flat route) which will be open for an automatic short gain.  This automatic short gain is putting the defensive back up against the wide receiver all alone in the open field.  So, not only is this short gain almost automatic if the receiver breaks the tackle of the defensive back he is guaranteed a big gain.  After all, if the defense keys in on these short routes the offense can just take a big gain deep down the field.

2.) The balanced zones can be repeatedly ripped by our own flooding routes–Motion Back Flag, Wing Post or Flag, Y Flag, S Flag, etc.

Cover 4, like most any zone coverage must cover the entire field equally.  Zone coverage, unlike man coverage, relies on anticipating where the offense will throw the ball.  In  anticipating where the offense will throw the ball the defense must cover all potential options equally, if the defense does not do this the offense will simply throw where the defense isn’t.  However, if the defense covers all areas of the field equally before the snap they cannot match up against the offense if the offense only attacks one area of the field.  Flooding routes will do just that, attack one area of the field.

3.) 4 Coverage is beaten deep by our own design in stretching the vertical areas and hitting the deep overlap seams.

            EXAMPLE: The Switch, the under coverage clearance of the motion back on Z or X GO Route, the deep breakback of Y or Wing on the Slide variation and the natural deep breakback of the motion back on Z or X Go.  And certainly working the 2nd receiver up the college hash area in the CHOICE has provided an opportunity for a big gain in yardage.

Rather than write about this I will let the diagrams speak for themselves.  Notice how in each diagram the defensive players are outnumbered in their respective defensive zones.

4.) Rotation coverage in Cover 4 certainly leaves the defense “hanging out” as  we work the corner over in his corner roll attempt on the GO and hit those overlap seam areas that I listed previously.”

If the defense attempts to overcompensate for a particular route by rolling coverage over in that direction they must leave a hole somewhere in their coverage.  Think of it this way the defense only has so many great athletes (those defenders capable of matching up with the offenses wide receivers) and it must choose where to position these defenders.  If the defense moves these defenders to favor a certain area of the field they cannot be in another spot.  That is, for each area the defense adequately covers they leave another open.

4 Variations of Cover 4

  • -4 Invert (Sky Safety)
  • -4 Cleo (Corner roll – 2 look with safety over the top into the outside one-third deep area.)
  • -4 Buzz (Backer outside into the curl-flat underneath area with the safety “setting up camp” in the curl).
  • -4 Across (Corners and safeties playing deep one-fourth responsibilities working deep down the boundaries and college hashs.  Generally this is associated with the 3 man rush scheme in order to also keep a balanced cover scheme underneath).

 

  • 4 Invert

“All 4 major routes are extremely effective vs. 4 Invert with the switch possessing the highest degree of potential damage.  The Go and the Slide exhibit an extremely high percentage rate against it, as well as the Choice (Special) when checking down to the third choice.  And the intermediate and long gains are presented in working vertical stretch of 4 Invert.”

Cover 4 Invert is the basic Cover 4 coverage and therefore the most frequently seen of all Cover 4 varieties.  Therefore, all of four major Run & Shoot concepts are extremely effective against it.  The defense will pull out all other major Cover 4 packages in order to shut down certain routes and passing concepts.  All other Cover 4 packages are more complicated for the quarterback.  When the defense is finally forced into 4 Invert (as they inevitably will be) they are playing right into the offense’s hands.  This is exactly what the offense has been looking for this entire time.  Because this is the coverage the offense has been trying to force the defense into the offense is designed to shred the defense when it finally ends up in this coverage.

Switch vs. Cover 4 Invert

“This is without a doubt the most deadly weapon in our arsenal vs. 4 Invert in addition to the Cleo and Buzz variations.  Any way you wish to slice it we possess the threat of 4 deep receivers, all having equal distribution of 18 yards of one another with deep stretches downfield.  From a defensive standpoint, the 3 deep cover guys must in turn be able to overlap this amount of territory which basically starting from the center portion of this 18 yard chunk of grass.  And also considering the fact that they are running like hell backwards with you (QB) looking them off with your eyes then theoretically it is possible to either score every time vs. this coverage or at least “scorn” them for big dirt.”

Cover 4 Invert, Buzz, and Cleo are referred to as Cover 3 defenses in most systems.  This is because these defensive coverages only have three deep zone defenders.  Therefore, if the offense sends four receivers into these deep zones one of the deep zone defenders will be forced into defending two receivers, this is impossible.  Each time a play with four deep threats is called versus a defense with only three defenders the offense has the potential to complete a throw in the deep zone for a large chunk of yards.

 

  • Cover 4 Cleo

“Here a great possibility exists in hitting the wide out quick as we create a “Fronting & Backing” read for the corner, who has flat responsibility.  As you deliver the ball to the wideout the corner will often jump the slot in the flat as it sails over the slot and himself.

“The Primary Precaution to take in your read (QB) is to be sure and get a read or a peripheral view of the safety moving over the top into the outside third just before the snap.  You do not want to allow the wideout to get too far a stretch down the rail in 4 Cleo as he will run into the safeties overlap…If the corner continues to sink or if he is playing a “soft” technique deep merely bring your read on to the underneath defender in the curl and hit the season or the flat.”

Cover 4 Cleo is a fundamentally unsound defensive coverage.  Not only does the possibility exists to hit the one of four deep receivers downfield as described above, but this coverage also creates a hole immediately behind the right cornerback.  Unlike Cover 4 Invert where the cornerback drops straight back into a deep zone the right cornerback instead covers a flat zone and the free safety must scramble over into the deep zone on the sideline.  This coverage is forcing the safety to cover 18 yards of grass which he is out of position to cover.  If the receiver lined up directly across from the right cornerback just runs straight downfield he should be open immediately behind the cornerback and in front of the safety.

 

  • Cover 4 Buzz (safety in hook Zone)

“Go just read the linebacker but otherwise the same, Slide same reads as usual, Choice with a deeper safety the wideout must hold the corner longer, and the same for Switch

Cover 4 Buzz provides pretty simple reads for each one of the four major Run & Shoot concepts.  For the Go concept the linebacker is read instead of the strong safety as would be read in Cover 4 Invert.  For both the Choice and Switch concepts the same reads are employed as would be for Cover 4 Invert except that the wideouts must make sure they are holding the cornerbacks deep down the field so that they are not interfering with the intermediate routes.  The reads are not changed in anyway for the Slide concept.

  • Cover 4 4 Across

“The look does require a little different thinking as the deep vertical stretch theory is non-existent although the seams are so high the underneath that our receivers can force a cushion deep – throw the hand up and hit anything in the deep intermediate area.  And with a 3 man rush we have the capability of getting a double on all of the rushmen so the “shooting gallery” sensations would be back.”

Cover 4 4 Across, unlike the other Cover 4 Coverages has four deep defenders.  Because of the four deep defenders the four on three deep attack described earlier will not work.  Instead of attacking the deep zones the offense will instead attack the shallow and intermediate zones.  With four deep defenders the defense only has three defenders to cover both flat zones and all of the intermediate areas of the field (11 total defender-4 deep defenders + 4 rushers= 3 defenders).  This should allow the wideouts to just run to the open areas of the field for an easy completion.  If the defense only rushes three defenders in order to get an extra defender in zone coverage they have only made the offense’s job easier.  With only three rushers each rusher can be doubled by the offenses pass blockers giving the offense an almost unlimited amount of time to complete a pass.

2.) Cover 2

“Cover 2 is what we regard as a 5 underneath zone coverage backed up by 2 deep half-field zones.  We acknowledge the strength of 2 coverage to be that of having a potentially tighter underneath coverage with 5 zones.  And the glaring weakness is that of the amount of ground that each safety must cover deep (27 yards).  To compensate for this deficiency generally teams will divide up one of the backers to run deep with any deep middle vertical threat.”

“It has never nor will never be regarded as a strong pass coverage because of the catastrophic deep zone problem.  Majoring in this coverage has sent many a secondary coach to the psychiatric and convalescent home for old coaches at a youthful age.”

As mentioned above the vast majority of Cover 4 coverages only have three defenders covering deep zones.  These coverages can be easily and consistently beaten for a large gain by sending four receivers deep.  Cover 2 defenses, while covering the underneath zones exceptionally well, provide an even greater opportunity to attack the defense deep.  With only two deep defenders the defense is exposing itself to the same four deep attack as Cover 4 defenses, but to an even greater effect (notice how the deep zone defenders are outnumbered in the red boxes).

“Same read between corner and safety as Cover 4 Cleo”

To make matters worse for the Cover 2 it provides the same coverage vacancy behind the cornerback as Cover 4 Cleo allowing for an easy completing behind the cornerback and underneath the safety (this is the ole circled in red).

“Pattern reads are quite frequent as the jam corners will continue to run deep with their deep fade threat so long as their flat area doesn’t get threatened.  This enables the safeties to squeeze deep inside routes without being stretched.”

The one real saving grace of the Cover 2 is in pattern matching.  Pattern matching allows the cornerbacks to go into a deep coverage with the receivers preventing the same flaws in deep coverage as other Cover 2 coverages.  However, these cornerbacks will go deep with the receiver if their flat coverage is not threatened.  Therefore, if an offensive play threatens both the flat zone and the deep coverage of a defense the pattern matching of Cover 2 has lost most of its effectiveness.  Even if the cornerbacks follow the receivers they are essentially in man coverage which can be beaten just as easily as any zone coverage as is described below.

3.) 5 Under Coverage

“From a very broad, general standpoint Cover 5 is simply 2 deep zone combined with man underneath.  Various man techniques are applied to our 5 eligible receivers with 2 deep help defenders up top in the halves.

“As conventional offenses continued to break the huddle with 2 backs, at least one tight end and no more than 2 wide receivers, this became the solid trend in progressive pass defense.  Throughout the NFL, teams found it to be difficult to continually make consistent plays on the outside to the wide-outs.  So, these vanilla type offenses became reliant on working to their tight ends and runningbacks on the linebackers.

“In contrast to the 2 back, tight end type of attack, I feel that we currently reveal the most productive offense in the game in successfully attacking Cover 5.  There are numerous reasons for the success that we have had, as this following list indicates some of these.

1.)    Our offensive structure, which reveals 4 speed receivers and one back in an often spread like formation, gives us matchups and necessary room to execute 1 on 1 underneath.

2.)    The knowledge and awareness of the coverage from a pre snap read of the receivers and the quarterback, will enable us to isolate any 1 on 1 situation underneath and beat it with our quick separation principles.

3.)    The recognition of Cover 5 on a presnap read permits us to make special calls allowing us to change our routes to a specific arrangement of routes especially designed to smash into the weakest ling of this coverage.  (this unique capability, beyond any other, keeps us ahead of the defense)

4.)    Our sophisticated type of audibiling will allow us to select a particular play or select from a group of plays that will give us exactly what we want against a certain team using this coverage.

“We can obviously go on and on about our confidence in attacking Cover 5, but let’s examine further what this coverage entails.  From our offensive perspective let’s be a little more specific about what is provided for us against Cover 5.

“1.) 5 man under with 2 deep is still 2 deep, and 2 deep certainly reveals a lot of open area to run to and catch deep balls on the go.  These man-to-man defenders do assume that they have got deep help –deep help that may not always show up on time.  Therefore, if we can stick or shake the underneath man techniques off of us, separate away in a vertical stretch, this coverage will give us the same big plays that Cover 2 would.

Again only providing two deep zone defenders presents a considerable defect for the offense to attack.  If a receiver can shake his defender before hitting the deep zones he should be wide open for an easy gain deep down field so long as the offense is sending at least three players deep (notice how the deep defenders are out numbered in the red boxes).

“2.) As far as the possession passing game is concerned pick routes in the short and intermediate are extremely effective as well as separation moves from man under technique.”

Unlike zone coverage if a receiver beats his defender there is no other defender waiting to pick him up in coverage.  If the receiver can shake his defender with simple shake routes or with a pick with another receiver the receiver will be open with absolutely no one is sight (notice how the defenders will be in one-on-one coverage with the receivers once they enter the red box).

“3.) Continuing on with more advantages schemes vs 5 coverage are certain ground schemes wthat we will apply.  Generally Cover 5 is related to a tight press-bump and run.  As a result our receivers now become great blockers by merely running these cover guys downfield.”

Because each defender has been given a man to cover he must follow that man anywhere on the field or he will be surrendering leverage to the receiver.  If the defender does not follow the receiver the receiver will be open in the quick game again and again.  However, if the defense follows the receivers the offense can pull defenders anywhere they want on the field.  The offense will then pull defenders in such a way that they can always guarantee a favorable matchup in the running game.

“4.) Some other advantages include:

            a.) Being able to isolate personnel to get a big mismatch in coverage/

                        1.) Linebacker on a receiver

                        2.) A “lesser” D.B. vs. one of our “little guys”

            b.) Across field routes and deep cross patterns

            c.) Play action combined with receiver block influence”

Firstly, just as the offense can “pull defenders” to influence the running game they can do so to influence the passing game.  The offense can pull defenders so that they isolate their best player on the defenses worst player (or at least an inferior player).  This creates a simple game of catch for the quarterback and receiver.  Secondly, almost no defensive back can keep up with a receiver on a crossing route.  The defender must follow the wideout, allowing for the possibility of the wideout breaking upfield, for almost 50 yards, this is almost impossible.  Lastly, the with the offense “pulling defenders” not only can they remove defenders from the running game they can put their receivers in favorable blocking situations.

4.) Man Free

Cover 1

“First of all, lets fully clarify what Cover 1 is and which coverage looks fall into this major category.  Generally speaking, Cover 1 is man under with one free on top.  Realizing that there are 5 eligible receivers, a defense may afford to use one or two normal defenders in a special way.  In other words, one defender may come on the rush (5 man rush) as another defender frees himself up as a “robber” or zone player underneath.  Or there may be a 6 man rush employed.  Or 2 inside backers may double up on our S Backs while the others single up and go one free up on top.  At QB, this is a concern because we can’t have this guy cluttering up a passing lane with a double man look to our intended receiver.”

 “From a general standpoint, it is logical to assume that our intention will be focused on attacking the weakest 1 on 1 defender underneath.  This assumption is true although we are also looking to operate in the corners and down the rail.  This effort will exist as long as the free safety is in true center field.  The shots in the corners, down the rail, deep outside and intermediate outside, give us big play possibility with very low risk.  However, we will also apply some methods of going to the middle provided we are able to influence the free safety.”

With this basic understanding of Cover 1 we can list the three main goals of an offense which is attacking this coverage.

1.)    Isolate a good receiver on an underneath defender that can easily be beaten.

Since the defense is in man coverage the assignments of the defenders can easily be manipulated to give the offensive personnel a matchup advantage.  Therefore, the offense can pick and choose which receivers are matched up against which defenders and from there the offense can assign routes to these receivers that allow them to easily beat their defender.  If the defense either double covers the receiver who is trying to beat his defender or covers the middle of the field they are leaving themselves open to the next possibility of attack (the SS can only defend one of the receivers entering the red box leaving the other receiver in one-on-one coverage, if the FS enters the red box he leaves the sidelines open as shown below).

2.)    Throw a deep sideline pass away from the free safety.

The deep zone defender (typically a free safety) is the sole extra deep defender.  If the offense can run routes down the sideline the free safety will be forced to choose which sideline to defend.  So, if the offense runs at least two deep sideline routes they can be guaranteed single coverage deep down the field and this is a matchup the offense should take every time (the receivers running deep routes are boxed in red, the free safety rotated to cover the weakside streak, both strongside routes in the right red box are in one-on-one coverage).

3.)    Occupy the onside corner with an inside pattern that opens up sidelines.

This step is necessary to allow the previous form of attack.  However, this concept can also be used on the centerfield.  The offense can running a clearing route ahead of their best receiver.  The clearing route should pull the extra shallow defender out of the way of the offenses best receiver allowing the easy completion (in this case the free safety is respecting the strongside deep routes, but he is still out numbered on in the red box, both outside receivers will be facing one-on-one coverage while running deep down the sidelines).

Wing-Combo Coverage

“Wing Combo is a general term that we use for an unending and multitudinous number of existing double coverage possibilities…There may be many forms of this double coverage in which “inside-outside” techniques are applied or “over-under” techniques may exist…For further clarification, I must say, if any of our 4 spread receivers are doubled up for man in any fashion, then we will place this defensive attempt in this Wing Combo category.  Should the S-Back be the only one doubled, then it is not necessarily applied to Wing Combo coverage.

“To a large degree Wing Combo is brought on by defensive teams who apply “pattern-reading” into their attempt in stopping us (or any offensive system).  They take the group of pass routes from their scouting breakdown and attempt to place two defenders on a particular receiver who will enter into a specific section of the field on his release.  At this point, they will lock up for man coverage in a specific type of double coverage application.”

“The inside-outside coordination is generally constructed by allowing a deep route receiver to push up the field.  As he enters into a short intermediate area the two defenders will build an inside-outside position on him.  Their rule is defined by stating if the receiver makes an outside cut then the outside defender will lock on for man with the inside defender either closing in from inside out or being freed to help elsewhere.  Should the receiver declare with an inside break, the obviously the inside defender will have the responsibility of covering him for man.  The outside defender will then be freed up to help elsewhere or he may close on the same receiver from outside-in…As far as handling the receiver on a deep ball, they both are instructed to naturally keep relative distance in protecting on the deep route and not to get beat deep.”

When being opposed by a deep inside-outside double coverage will basically react 1 of 2 ways.  First, they will treat the Wing Combo coverage as a 4 coverage where the safety overplays inside against their route.  In this case either the receiver has a breakback possibility where he will cut his route short and breakback underneath the defender and find the passing window to the quarterback (this possibility is shown in the red box).  Second the receiver may be in a position where the defenders overplay their roles.  The inside defender may play to far inside and the outside defender may play to far outside.  If the defenders allow this extra distance the receiver can just split them and run straight upfield (this possibility is shown in the yellow box, notice how their is not a defender lined up directly across from the receiver).

“The over-under combination is easier to play defensively and can even be performed by the use of regular defensive people (true linebackers).  In this instance, as the routes develop, the backer (or under coverage guy) will run underneath the pattern in a “loose or tight trail attitude.”  The upfield defender will obviously keep his relative cushion and play his man technique on the receiver from on top.”

If the wing defenders give too much depth to the receiver he can just throw up his outside hand and cut down his route looking for an underneath passing lane (this is shown in the red box, notice how the SS is over top of the Y receiver and out of position to guard against the red Curl route).

“You can beat the double coverage by one of three methods.  Or you will eliminate the doubled receiver (or receivers) and merely progress on to a singled receiver.  After all, what more could we ask for than 1 on 1.”

5.) Man Blitz

“Within our regular “Little-People” offense, we will define a blitz read as a defensive look containing these qualities listed below:

1.)    Only 4 cover guys dispersed in a one-on-one coverage position on our 4 spread receivers.

2.)    7 defenders on or near the L.O.S. in a position to rush the QB.

“Many times a pre motion read will exist well enough to declare the blitz intention.  If not, our use of varied motions will uncover the blitz better than any other indicator.  The blitz read can come from a variety of different front looks although we see the rush out of a 3-4 or 4-3 generally.  Reasons for the balanced front and balanced blitz?  Defenses are reluctant to overload us because of our quick-striking capability back to the short side by use of audibiling.

“At quarterback and receiver and throughout our protection unit, our chief priority, in this defense of ours, is to handle the blitz whenever it comes up.  We must continue to improve and continue to maintain an extremely high confidence factor vs the blitz.

“Over the year, I’ve witnessed passing attacks so inept and literally brought down to their knees because of their inability to handle the blitz.  When this happens to any offensive system, they had just better buckle up and hang on their ass, because it is not going to stop until something is done about it.

“Being that our entire passing game is directed to adjusting and reacting to all of the major coverage categories, we can exclaim with great confidence that our attack against the man blitz is the best in all of football…all our basic routes are built in to handle the blitz.  As a result, we will never be locked into a bad lay due to play section.”

Really not much needs to be said here.  All of the offensive routes are designed to either break early or pull defenders out of the play against the blitz.  So, if the quarterback just sticks to his reads and correctly diagnoses the play he should be able to shred the blitz.

Introduction to Understanding Defensive Coverages for the Run & Shoot

July 15, 2011

“Any conversation of offensive football without the consideration and complete understanding of the defensive confrontation is completely useless.  This statement certainly applies to our situation more so than any other team in football today.  For with our sight reads and coordinated option adjustments on the move the defense is virtually placed in a helpless state.  And this is merely due to our own proper decision decisions and has nothing to do with the defensive strength or weaknesses.”

“Introduction to Understanding Coverages”

 

1.)  “Excluding our short yardage & goal line attack, we present an offensive threat, with 4 wide receivers inserted, that will never be confronted by a pure Eight Man Front…However, with our obvious receiver threats, even a base Eight Man Front team… must adjust personnel to a nickel or dime situational substitution constantly against us to avoid glaring mismatches.”

-Any Eight Man Front is going to be unsound both in structure and personnel when facing the four wide receiver doubles and trips formations of the Run & Shoot offense.  As Chris Brown states in a great article on the Virginia Tech defense “you could successfully argue that the spread offense, both in its run-first and pass-first incarnations, was invented to counter the aggressive, eight-man front defense Virginia Tech made famous.”( http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday/post/Deconstructing-How-the-Hokie-D-becomes-deadlier?urn=ncaaf-178348)   The Eight Man Front will almost certainly leave the slot receivers uncovered.  With the defense giving leverage to the slot receives the offense just has to audible to a quick pass and take the easy gain.  The personnel of an Eight Man Front can be modified by shifting into nickel and dime personnel  (this is in effect what Virginia Tech has done by converting the “rover” into a full-time defensive back).  However, as soon as the personnel has shifted the defense is forced into playing backup players against the offenses starting players (the offense is always using four wide receivers) and the Eight Man Front is still structurally unsound.

2.)   “Any coverage can be easily recognized by our receivers and quarterback due to constant motioning and sight reads upon the snap.

            a.) Coverages will obviously reveal a pre-snap disguise and even attempt to “cover themselves up” to a degree with motion being presented.

            b.) But upon the snap the true picture unfolds and we merely “take what we want” from a particular coverage by our own reads and proper reactions.”

-All coverages have weaknesses and defensive coordinators know this so they will attempt to hide what coverage they are running from the offense.  This very difficult if not impossible to do when faced with the constant motioning and audibling of the Run & Shoot offense.  When an offense motions a receiver the defense has two options they can either respond to the motioned player or ignore him.  If the defense responds to the motioned player they will most likely reveal their defensive coverage.  If the defense does not reveal their coverage it is because the defenders passed off the receiver.  Passing off a receiver requires almost every defender making a new decision without the help of their coaches and this can easily result in blown coverages.  If the defense does not honor the motioned receiver they are placing themselves at a huge disadvantage by ceding leverage to the offense.  However, no matter how well the defense hides its coverage pre-snap it is impossible to hide it after the snap.  As soon as the ball is snapped the defenders will fall into their coverage and the offense will react.  Since the offense is reacting after the snap and after the defense has revealed its coverage the offensive players should always be in a position to take advantage of the defense.

3.)  Defenses must stay “honest” in staying balanced whenever we reveal a doubles formation to them.

            a.) Any front or coverage overshift would obviously constitute a mere “opposite” check audible or whatever we wish to select will leave them short-handed.”

-Not only is this true with a doubles formation it is also true with a trips formation (it is true in the except the opposite way, but still true).  Football is essentially a game of numbers and angles (leverage).  The offense and defense and offense are always seeking to outnumber each other at the point of attack.  On a passing play the offense wants to have more receivers in a location than defenders.  Obviously having one receiver to no defenders is best, but having two receivers to one defender forces the defender to guard only one receiver which essentially creates a situation where there is one receiver and no defender.  Therefore, the defense needs to matchup with the offense.  So, if the offense lines up in a balanced formation* (doubles being the perfect example) the defense needs to line up in a balanced defense in return.  If the defense does not line up in response to the offense they are giving the offense a numbers advantage.  *This is also true of an unbalanced formation (trips formations are the perfect example)  the defense will be covering empty grass on one side of the field and be outnumbered on the other if they line up in a balanced defense.  In his article on the New Orleans’ Saints and the Four Verticals Concept Chris Brown gives a perfect example of this(http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/drew-brees-and-the-four-verticals/).

4.)  “From the standpoint of coverages, zone coverages offer vertical and horizontal lanes of completion at our disposal.  Whereas vs. any type of man coverage would constitute our separation from them with “break backs” and “hot reads.””

-Most simply understood zone coverage struggles with numbers while man coverage struggles with leverage.  A zone defense places defenders in the places where it expects the balls to go.  However, the defensive coordinator does not have enough defenders to cover all the grass on the field so there are going to be certain areas that are defended better than others.  The open areas on the field can easily be attack if the offense sends its receivers on routes that are evenly spaced across the field.  This spacing can either be horizontal forcing the defense to cover the field from sideline to sideline or the spacing can be vertical forcing the defense to cover the field from the line of scrimmage to the endzone either form of spacing is valuable and will create holes in the defense.  A man defense, unlike a zone defense, guards the receivers rather than areas on the field.  The disadvantage to this approach is that if the receiver can shake the defender he is wide open and no one else on the defense is anywhere near him.


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