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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DL Stunts - Part 3

Here is Part 3 of the DL Stunts series.  Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.  Part 1 dealt primarily with stunts between the two DTs, Part 2 dealt primarily with stunts between the DT and the DE and Part 3 will deal with stunts that affect at least 3 of the 4 defensive linemen.  We will look at the Pirate, Loop, Slash, Pinch, and Hi-Lo stunts.

Pirate from Barry Hoover on Vimeo.

Pirate
Clip 1 (Gators) – If you set the front to the boundary, the Corner blitz with the Pirate call is nasty.  The 5 tech slants inside the OT and makes the tackle.
Clip 2 (Giants) – 3 tech and 5 tech slant inside and the 1 tech steps up and sees that it is a pass and loops around for Pass Rush Contain.  3 tech makes Sack.
Clip 3 (Steelers) – You can also run this stunt from an Odd Front look if you want.  The 4 tech and 9 tech slant inside and the 1 tech checks run first and then loops around for Pass Rush Contain.  9 tech makes the Sack and the 1 tech helps.
Clip 4 (Gators) – Another Corner blitz with a Pirate call.  The 3 tech and 5 tech do great job with Ricochet technique and re-direct vs Run Away.  The blitzing Corner and 5 tech make the tackle.
Clip 5 (Giants) – You could use a Pirate call to tell only the strong side of the DL to slant inside with a blitzing Safety off the edge.  Both the 3 and 6 tech get penetration into the backfield and blow the play up.
Clip 6 (Giants) – 5 tech makes the tackle from the backside of the play.
Clip 7 (Bears) – 3 tech crosses the Center blocking back and almost makes the Tackle for Loss.  The 5 tech’s wide alignment makes it difficult to slant to the B gap but he is able to squeeze the hole.  An important coaching point for the Pirate stunt is for the LB to that side to Scrape over the top to C gap.


Loop from Barry Hoover on Vimeo.

Loop
Clip 1 (Colts) – The left DT in the wide 3 tech will take 2 quick steps into his gap and then loop to the far right outside the 1 tech and the 9 tech.  The 9 tech is Dwight Freeney who executes his patented Spin move inside.  The looper and the backside DE make the Sack.
Clip 2 (LSU) – The right DT in the 3 tech will take a step into his gap and loop around to the left side.  The left DE and DT don’t really slant inside but bull rushes their OL and are responsible for the gap inside of him.  The engaged Ol will not be able to come off to block the looper.
Clip 3 (Colts) – This play has a 5 man rush and has a DE as the looper instead of a DT.  The left DE in a wide 5 tech is the looper.  The NT and the blitzing LB (tight 5 tech) will slant inside.  The DE is in a wide 9 tech and will execute a speed rush upfield and get the Sack.
Clip 4 (Texas A & M) – This is a good look at how the Loop stunt is also effective vs. the Run.  From an Odd Front, the right DE in a 4 tech will loop past the NT and the left DE.  The looper has a clean look at the RB once he gets past the two slanting DL.  He must come tight off these two DL to not open up a crease for the RB, much a LB would on his Scrape technique.

Slash from Barry Hoover on Vimeo.

Slash
Clip 1 (Packers) – Great call here vs Stretch with the OLB getting vertical and forcing the ball back inside to the DL who are already slanting in that direction.
Clip 2 (N.C. St.) – ROLB comes off edge unblocked and DL slanting are able to get penetration into the backfield.
Clip 3 (LSU) – RG slides a bit too far inside to be able to block the LDE slanting inside to the B gap.
Clip 4 (Oklahoma) – This is the infamous Lightning blitz from the Under front with the SS blitzing off the edge and the Sam and DL slanting away.  Watch the 1 tech and the LDT (wide 3 tech) slant and quickly re-direct with the run away from them.
Clip 5 (Miss. St.) – A popular call used in conjunction with slanting the DL is to bring the boundary CB off the edge.  The DL do not re-direct immediately like the last clip but they are still able to change direction and get in on the tackle.

Pinch from Barry Hoover on Vimeo.

Pinch
Clip 1 (Giants) – The two wide 5 techs will pinch inside to the B gap but they use two slightly different techniques.  The RDE attacks the hip of the OT and then quickly slants inside.  I prefer the technique of the LDE, who will aim the hip of the OT and run through him.  This helps to better engage the OT and prevent him from coming off to block the outside rusher.  The blitz look is effective as the LBs threaten the blitz inside and then pop out and the pressure comes from the outside.
Clip 2 (Patriots) – This has the same blitz look as the last clip and is one of my all-time favorite cut-ups.  The DEs attack the hip of the OT and the two outside rushers smash the QB.  That had to hurt!
Clip 3 (Steelers) – Here is Pinch from a 4 man front.  Nice acceleration and tomahawk technique by Troy Polamalu on the strip-sack.

Hi-Lo from Barry Hoover on Vimeo.

Hi-Lo
Clip 1 (Steelers) – I already did a post on this stunt here to read on the Hi-Lo Stunt.  The LOLB will execute an inside move on his OT and the ROLB will execute a speed rush upfield past the Offensive Tackle and come all the way back around to hit the QB.  Strip-Sacks are often an added bonus to this stunt as the QB rarely sees the rusher coming from deep behind him.  Good technique on the fumble recovery too.
Clip 2 (Giants) – The LDE comes inside the OT while the RDE comes around to get him from behind.
Clip 3 (Dolphins) – The LDE comes inside his OT and the RDE comes around behind him and finally runs the QB down.  Many teams that run the Hi-Lo like to force the QB to run to his left because it is a harder throw for a right-handed QB.  Also, teams will do it and force a faster QB to scramble into the boundary.
Clip 4 (Panthers) – Julius Peppers is the LDE and he will get a lot of attention from the QB when he makes an inside move.  Very nice dip and rip move by the RDE on his speed rush.

ATD Football talking about off-season competition:
http://attentiontodetailfootball.blogspot.com/2014/05/changing-teams-culture-in-off-season.html

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Speed Kills: Breaking Down the Chip Kelly Offense by Alex Kirby

Speed Kills: Breaking Down the Chip Kelly Offense by Alex Kirby (lifeafterfootballblog.com) looks at the different parts of the 2013 Eagles Offense that blended Kelly's successful Oregon Offense with its option schemes along with a pro-style passing attack.  Alex Kirby does a nice job of breaking down and explaining this offense to the casual fan as well as giving enough X's and O's for fellow coaches looking to study and or incorporate elements of Kelly's offense.


Like all great offensive coaches, Kelly does a great job of creating the illusion of complexity, but the author says that Kelly will tell you his offense isn't as complex as it seems.  Rather, it is the simplicity of the offense that makes it so successful.  It is this simplicity that allows them to play fast and use the decision-making of the QB to choose the correct post-snap option that many of his plays provide. 

The author shows how "speed kills" in the no-huddle aspect of the Offense as well as utilizing the talents of LeSean McCoy and the since-departed DeSean Jackson.  He also looks at each part of the offense: the run game including run-pass options; the passing game which includes the quick game, the intermediate game, play-action passes, as well as screens.  He also takes a look at pass protection. 

The hard-core football coach will appreciate the analysis of all of the Option concepts off of the Zone Read play: the Now Screen to a WR, RB Flare motion, Bubble Screen, TE Flat, the Nose Read play, Speed Option, as well as how to do this with multiple TEs. 

There were some nice X's and O's breakdowns on plays I had never seen before like the Play-Action Boot off Gun Toss Sweep action from the Gun with a Tackle pulling and a WR coming in short-motion to simulate the WR crack-block that Kelly often uses to help get the speedy LeSean McCoy get to the perimeter.  I also like how the two-man Scat concept is merged with the Mesh concept to create the play featured on the cover of the book. 

The Option and Screen game often force the Defense to pick a side and make them wrong.  The QB is simply taught to get the ball to where you have a numbers advantage.  Everything about Kelly's Offense is about numbers and doing it as fast as possible to create an advantage.  The author says it best here at the end of his book: "Remove all of the flash and the fancy backfield actions and at its bare bones it's all about the numbers."  I appreciate the film study that went into this book and hope to see more works like this in the future.

Also, check out jimlightfootball.com for some good posts on a variety of topics.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Better Way to Measure Red Zone Effectiveness - Red Zone Average (RZA)

A pet peeve of mine has always been Red Zone % as a way of commentators of gauging a team's effectiveness in the Red Zone.  The problem with Red Zone % is that it places equal value on scoring either a TD or a FG.  Now I could be wrong, but the last time I checked, TDs were worth more than FGs.  Red Zone Average (RZA) is a better metric because it places the appropriate value on what the offense did (TD = 7 pts, FG = 3 pts, no score = 0 points) and it is computed by taking the total points scored in the Red Zone divided by the number of trips to the Red Zone.

Red Zone Average (RZA)  =  Total Points in Red Zone
                                                     # of Chances in Red Zone

Let's look at a simple example below:

Team
Chances
TDs
FGs
Total Points
RZA
Scores
Chances
Red Zone %
Team 1
10
7
0
49
4.90
7
10
70.0
Team 2
10
0
9
27
2.70
9
10
90.0

The TV announcers will tell you that Team 2 is leading the league in Red Zone %, but that is misleading as to their effectiveness in this critical area.  Both teams had the same number of Red Zone trips so it is easy to compare and see that Team 1 scored nearly twice as many points as Team 2.  Red Zone Average (RZA) accurately represents the reality that Team 1 is much more effective in the Red Zone since they average 2.2 points more per Red Zone trip than Team 2. 

Below are the Pac-10 Red Zone stats from 2007 and 2008.  Sonny Dykes was the OC at Arizona during this time.  He said that they were only 9th in the Pac-10 in the 2007 season using Red Zone %.  Actually, if you look at Red Zone Average, they were actually dead last.  The next year Coach Dykes produced an amazing turnaround and went from worst to first in Red Zone Average (not to mention improving 3rd Down % from 8th to 1st as well)!  The Arizona numbers are even more remarkable if you consider that they took a knee at the end of the game three times in the Red Zone that year (excluding those three possessions would have bumped their RZA up to 6.05).  Not shown in the table are other stats showing the specific number of run and pass TDs and the reason for not scoring: missed FG, Ints, Fumbles, Loss of Downs, or Other.

2007 RZA (Red Zone Average) for Pac-10 Conference
Team
Chances
TDs
FGs
Total Points
RZA
RZA Rank
Scores
Chances
Red Zone %
Red Zone % Rank
USC
66
44
13
347
5.26
1
57
66
86.4
3
Oregon
59
38
13
305
5.17
2
51
59
86.4
2
Arizona St.
53
31
16
265
5.00
3
47
53
88.7
1
Washington
47
29
10
233
4.96
4
39
47
83.0
4
Cal
51
32
8
248
4.86
5
40
51
78.4
6
Oregon St.
58
33
12
267
4.60
6
45
58
77.6
7
Washington St.
47
27
9
216
4.60
6
36
47
76.6
8
UCLA
42
18
16
174
4.14
8
34
42
81.0
5
Stanford
37
18
9
153
4.14
8
27
37
73.0
10
Arizona
42
18
13
165
3.93
10
31
42
73.8
9
2008 RZA (Red Zone Average) for Pac-10 Conference
Team
Chances
TDs
FGs
Total Points
RZA
RZA Rank
Scores
Chances
Red Zone %
Red Zone % Rank
Arizona
60
45
10
345
5.75
1
55
60
91.7
1
Stanford
43
31
8
241
5.60
2
39
43
90.7
2
USC
63
45
8
339
5.38
3
53
63
84.1
4
Oregon
68
42
14
336
4.94
4
56
68
82.4
6
Oregon St.
61
37
13
298
4.89
5
50
61
82.0
8
Cal
51
30
12
246
4.82
6
42
51
82.4
7
Washington St.
31
16
8
136
4.39
7
24
31
77.4
9
UCLA
41
19
15
178
4.34
8
34
41
82.9
5
Arizona St.
41
17
18
173
4.22
9
35
41
85.4
3
Washington St.
31
16
6
130
4.19
10
22
31
71.0
10

It has been said that there are three kind of lies: lies, d--- lies, and statistics.  A good example of the deceptiveness of poor statistics like Red Zone % is with the 2008 Arizona St. team that finished 3rd in traditional Red Zone %.  They finished second to last using Red Zone Average, with the main reason being that they were the only team in the Pac-10 to score less TDs than FGs.

Coach Dykes remarked that Arizona lost a lot of close games in 2007, with Red Zone Average (along with 3rd Down %) being the two main reasons.  These kind of numbers are good to look at this time of year to help determine what the focus of your off-season studies should be.  Dykes saw the problem and he was able to fix it by focusing on getting the ball to his one or two best players, allowing the QB to check to the best play (or calling a run-pass option), and by using window-dressing to run their best plays out of different formations.  He also followed the rule of thumb that says "you get what you emphasize," and having a Red Zone period every day (with an extra long period on Thursday).