Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Attacking Defenses

Posted by admin February - 23 - 2016 - Tuesday

I spent part of last weekend in Northern Virginia at the Nike Coaches Clinic. It was an honor to be asked to speak at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast Saturday and share my testimony! Then I had an hour to present a topic that I think is important to any OC’s successful play-calling experience— How to Attack Defenses. I shared what I think are some rather “unique” concepts when discussing HOW to attack a defense. Of course, I am partial to the Delaware Wing T “Order of Offense” when it comes to recognizing attack points along the defensive front. However, I emphasized in the introduction that no matter what offense you run, there are factors that a play caller needs to be aware of to get the maximum benefit out of his offensive attack.

One thing I encourage ALL coaches to do is to be a “Student of the Game.” In this instance, to study principles of warfare. An understanding of the strategies and tactics (do YOU know the difference???!!!) of great generals and/or (I love) the US Marine Corps. I’ve shared on this website the book entitled “Warfighting” by USMC General Gray. A very important read!

Beyond that, I want to share a couple of things that perhaps you’ve never considered a part of “attacking defenses.” I won’t go into detail here but if you’d like a copy of the Power Point presentation, email me.

Those “unique” and often under-recognized factors that you can utilize in attacking defenses are:
1- Your HUDDLE(S). Changing the tempo creates problems for defenses. We “regular” huddle on occasion but most of the time we either go No Huddle or “Sugar” Huddle; i.e., huddle close to the LOS, break fast and snap the ball on a quick count.
2- CADENCE. Have a varied cadence keeps defenses off balance. We also incorporate “shooting” the hand down by our linemen in our “long” cadence to draw the defense into possibly tipping their hand on blitzes.
3- ALIGNMENTS/PACKAGES. This is something new that I just “bought into” recently. Different looks (with the SAME plays!!!) force the defense to adjust on the run. More importantly, it adversely affects their preparation during the week.
Then the “normal” factors…
4- SCOUTING AND GAME PLANNING. Another principle of warfare: “Know your opponent.” You need to study your opponent and plan accordingly.
5- GAME ADJUSTMENTS. This one factor is, I believe, the single most important factor that separates the “good” coach from the “great” coach. It’s the ability to “adjust on the run.” Recognizing changes that your opponent has made and making the appropriate adjustment so that your attack remains effective.

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