I’ve posted a couple of times recently about how defenses are adapting to the spread offense, particularly in light of what Georgia is doing with the Sam linebacker position, so at first glance I might have taken a pass on another article on this subject at the Athens Banner-Herald today.
But Marc Weiszer managed to up the ante by talking to Mike Leach. And that makes it blogworthy, if just for this quote alone:
“We’ll see three linebackers, but maybe they’ll stir the pot with them a little bit with ‘Maybe we’re coming, maybe we’re not’ type of stuff,” Leach said. “If they feel like they have you overmatched, they’ll just run their stuff sometimes. They’re either going to try to pressure or else they’re going to drop everybody, one of the two. That’ll be the initial philosophy. If that doesn’t work, then they’ll go to the other extreme. And if that doesn’t work, they’ll stir it up and try to keep you off balance. That can be frustrating if you’re trying to sort it out, but the truth of the matter is that’s good news. If you see a lot of defense, then that means we’re moving the ball pretty good and we’re having success.”
Aside from a couple of other Leachisms – “You’d get some nice, big old linemen and slingshot Herschel in there and let it happen. Quite honestly, anybody that had Herschel again could probably do it all over again, but then the thing is not everybody’s got a Herschel…” – there’s also some good stuff from Willie Martinez about how Marcus Howard was able to thrive against spread attacks. Martinez makes the point that the spread managed to negate one of Howard’s weaknesses, his lack of size, and thus made him a more dominant defender.
It’s definitely worth a read.
Even pirates like Herschel.