Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Football Fundamentals: NCAA Route Combination (Levels)

The focus of most route combinations is attacking one side of the field, mostly toward the outside. That's well and good, but if you don't attack the center of the field with the pass than you've failed to threaten a lot of grass. We've looked at several route combinations now, and that will come in handy now that we are going a little further in depth. TE/Flanker combinationsTwins combinations, and 2x2 and Mirrored combinations all make it easier to define the basic concepts that attack the middle of the field. So let's take a look, first starting with the NCAA route combination.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Let's Speak Technique - DL Pass Rush Moves

In this post, we're going to look at the standard pass rush moves.

1. Bull Rush

The Bull Rush is the first move that any DL should learn. It's equally effective against the run and the pass, and sets up a DL to make a big impact in all parts of the game. Want to make a kid unstoppable? Work on his Bull Rush. It's the foundation and move that every other move is essentially countered off of because it's fast, violent, and dominating.

Also a Speed Bull Rush

2. Stab and Grab

Stab and Grab is the first counter to the Bull Rush. Again, the DL can maintain control throughout the move, so it works well as a pass rush move, but doesn't take the defender out of the play when a run happens.

3. Rip Move

Penetration kills a lot of offensive plays, both in the run and the pass. This is why the Rip Move is probably the second most important rush move for any DL to learn. It's extremely effective for getting defenders off of blocks and able to make plays in the backfield.

4. Swim Move

The Swim Move is a nice alternative to the Rip move once a blocker starts leaning. Again, it's an extremely effective way of getting penetration into the backfield, and allows the defender to maintain his eyes in the backfield. Win your shoulder behind the blockers shoulder and you can no longer be blocked.

5. Hump

The Hump move is great once the OL is set up with the moves above. It maintains a violent nature and forces blockers to work away from their desire to be more finesse in pass situations.

6. Bull Jerk 

The Jerk move helps get off any block, both in the run and the pass. In isolation, it is a bit difficult to shed blockers with; that's because it's the first thing a player would do naturally so it's the one thing the blocker has the most experience against. But when the other moves have been set up, it is devastating, quick, and violent, and allows the defender to get to whatever spot he wants in the backfield.

7. Spin Move

The Spin Move is well known, but it's last for a reason. An effective spin move is nearly impossible to defend. It gets your shoulder behind the blocker's shoulder. It gives very little surface area for the blocker to target while simultaneously having constant movement. But if it isn't well executed, if it's sloppy or slow, it turns the defender's back to the ball, gets the defender upright, and doesn't allow the defender to leverage the offensive player with strength.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Inside the Playbook: Ohio State's 2-Back Offense


In 2013, Ohio State had one of the best run offenses in the nation. Part of their success came from two-back sets, or more accurately, by motioning a slot receiver - their Percy Harvin role - into the backfield. They lost, in my opinion, the best college RB in football last year, but returning the dynamic Braxton Miller and all their Harvinites, two back sets will likely become more prominent in this year's offensive iteration. In this piece, we will look at why these sets are so difficult for defenses to defend, both from a pre-snap standpoint, and after the snap.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Let's Speak Technique: Larry Johnson DL Drills

Larry Johnson Sr. has long been considered not only one of the best recruiters in the B1G and the nation, but one of the premier DL coaches as well. He came up at Penn St beginning in 1996, starting as a DE and Special Teams coach, before slightly changing his role to the coach of the entire DL from 2000-2013. While PSU continues to have a successful DL, they weren't able to retain Johnson on their staff with the hiring of Franklin, and Larry Johnson switched his allegiance to the Buckeyes in 2014. Sometimes the rich get richer. Ohio State had undeniable talent along the DL going into 2014, but their performance to begin the year was below their talent level. But there may not have been a single group in the B1G that improved over the course of the year and into the post-season as much as Johnson's defensive line. In this post, we're going to look at several DL drill that Larry Johnson incorporated at PSU, and how that makes his defensive lines so successful.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Football Fundamentals: Cover 4 Front Seven Leverage

We talked previously about the variety of Cover 4 coverages that allow defenses to mix up their look and reaction to routes while still playing what is essentially the same basic scheme. This time, I’m going to move away a bit from what is done post snap and look at how a defense can be benefitted by pre-snap positioning; that is: leverage and depth. In this way, you can combat some of the offense’s strengths while still maintaining your base scheme. This article will focus on the position of the front 7 and what they can do to benefit the coverage scheme.