Multiple Defense Part I: Conventionality of Offense

He’s on to your game. You gotta throw something at him he’s not ready for.

            -Ned Yoast Remember the Titans

 The definitive line of the definitive play of the movie Remember the Titans. A revelation that resulted in a perfect play design that resulted in a last second touchdown that ended up winning the state title for T.C. Williams. How many of you when you watched the movie, while ecstatic, quietly was underwhelmed by the call for a reverse? In today’s game, the reverse isn’t a sexy offensive choice.

The play call was perfect for that moment and that era. The way you

A rough scheme drawing of the backside reverse that TC Williams ran against Marshall's flow call.
A rough scheme drawing of the backside reverse that TC Williams ran against Marshall’s flow call.

defeated a lot of veer attacks was overwhelm teams at their mesh points with superior numbers or withering pressure. The flow call, which is a slant and a slant angled blitz to overwhelm a perimeter attack puts essentially 5 guys where only three offensive guys are at. Very effective especially if you are Herman Boone who runs 6 basic run concepts and a bevy of play action passes. If you are going to beat TC Williams, you gotta sell out to stop the run. Defenses aren’t asked to sell out 9 guys against the run anymore and defensive coordinator s don’t have a lot of flow calls in their playbook anymore. Why, because at one point or another, offensive coordinators saw a lot of 5-2, Bear, and 4-6 defenses to stop veer and power running attacks. Everyone on the defense was chasing the front side of that play. They hadn’t seen anything else, so we have to fly to get to the frontside. Those kids (theoretically of course) heard that all week. That is why the reverse works. Those defenses were meant to stop power run. Those defenses were effective but in a schematic sense, completely and totally unsound.

But they were effective. Effective because the offense didn’t ask the defense to consider anything else and most coaches were like Herman Boone. They ran six to 10 plays and eventually you wore them down. I remember a distinct conversation from my coaches about Van Troxel’s Hellgate High School offense. You are going to give up 200 yards. You’ll give up a big play or two. You know they are going to run it. You gotta make them work for every yard.

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To Chalk or not to Chalk…

When I was a freshman in high school, then Big Sky High School head coach Gary Eckegren, had all the freshmen attend a chalk session before the varsity football game. As coach Ek went through his game prep chalk to the varsity players, I was thinking about how big the varsity players were, how the coach over the in the corner with the chew spit dribbling down his chin scared the living crap out of me, and where I would be standing on the sideline that night. I have no clue what he was talking about in scheme. No idea. I was in essence that night, what coaches hate about chalk and why they don’t use as much as they should.

In my 15 years of coaching football, many of the coaches I have worked with prefer to instal, tweek and teach plays and scheme on the football field. First because it is more efficient use of time. Football at the high school level has tremendous amount of time limitations and spending time in a classroom teaching the game theory behind a play just doesn’t work. They prefer to instal as a whole, go to group to focus on the individual part and then run through the play as a part of the team session. Regardless of where I have been, successful programs or not, chalk has been rarely apart of high school programs.

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When I started posting at Maroonblood more than five years ago, it was as much an exercise in mental sanity than a statement or choice about life. I wanted something sedate and I got a blog. I can say that my blog has been less than successful, in the sense that I just crossed 10,000 viewers on my Mon-Ida blogspot account. Not in a day, month or a year, but rather 5 years. Kevin Federline’s album was more popular. That isn’t the point though. Continue reading “Introduction”