Friday, April 22, 2016

Inside the Playbook: OSU Follow Pivot Concept

Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of Urban Meyer's passing attack is how simplified he makes it for his QBs. Meyer understands the capabilities of his players and the capabilities of the defenses he is facing, and because of that, he is able to limit the amount of decisions his players have to make to allow them to play fast and make the correct decisions repeatedly. In his mind, there is no reason to complicate what doesn't need to be complicated; and that not only makes perfect sense, it also shows a lot of restraint that many coaches don't have.

On this play, what we see is a very simple play for the offense to run, but also a play design that gives the defense a lot to think about. Simplifying the game for your team while complicating it for the opponent allows your team to execute at a higher level, and that's a constant theme throughout Meyer's playbook. Today we're going to look at how Meyer dials up what he calls a "Follow Pivot" as a further iteration of his mesh concept and what I term "drag and follow" (also known as drive and chase).

First, a H/T to Seth over at MGoBlog for putting much of the foundation on this post.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Inside the Playbook - Michigan Defending the OL Pull

Michigan's offense is going to pull a lot of OL. Similarly, Michigan's defense is going to see more teams increasingly go to pulling OL as more teams shift back to man/gap schemes and away from the zone oriented teams. Of those plays, Power O is probably the most relied upon for opponents. In this article, we are going to look at how Michigan defends the Power O and why they defend it this way. In my next post, I'll discuss how an offense can react to it.

Previously, I've discussed how MSU defends Power.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Don Brown: Coaching Primer

Don Brown - Michigan Defensive Coordinator

It was said that Jim Harbaugh wanted to go more towards a 3-4 Defense, and what he got was a guy that runs a similar 4-3/3-4 look that his former defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin incorporated (albeit, he leans on his 3-4 a bit more heavily, in my opinion). If that's what he wanted, he got his man. He also got a man that began his coaching in the Ivy league at Dartmouth and even was the head coach (posting a 26-10 record) as the Yale Baseball coach, where he was also the defensive coordinator. Yes, he sounds like a Jim Harbaugh guy.

Since then, he's been the defensive coordinator at Brown, UMass, Maryland, UConn, and Boston College. He's also held head coaching positions at Plymouth State, Northeastern, and UMass. But that's enough of his wikipedia page, let's take a closer look at that sweet, sweet mustache and what he brings to the table football-wise.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Inside the Playbook: MSU Play Action Blocking and the Wheel

Michigan State dug deep into their jet sweep package against Michigan, and the result was a wide-open FB near the sideline that would eventually go over 70 yards for a near TD. I want to look a bit closer at this play and why it is so successful.

MSU Jet Sweep Wheel
MSU has a fairly deep jet sweep and jet sweep action package that they deploy weekly as a means to attack the edge with skilled receivers. Recently, they pulled out the FB wheel. If it looked familiar, I diagramed it in October 2014 as a play MSU should add to their jet sweep package. It looks kind of like this, with an important addition that is the purpose of this article.

Monday, November 16, 2015

LINKS: Michigan State vs Ohio State, 2015

A roundup of the BDS links for the Spartans/Buckeyes game. I'll have at least one more MSU post this week as well.