Coverage, in 3-4 time

This is one of those passages where you go from “duh, of course” to “damn, that makes sense”:

I really, truly believe that for a person implementing a 3-4 scheme, choosing the coverage first is crucial. The 3-4 has a lot of moving parts, more so than just about any other defense, and often has changing responsibilities with regards to force, contain, spill, all those terms we love to use to define good defense. The difference between the 3-4 and other defenses, in my experience, is that the 3-4 has the interesting feature that the front and the coverage are intertwined. If you want to run a certain coverage, you need to do certain things with your front. There is a minor assumption that is working behind all of this: you want to rush at least 4. If you don’t mind rushing 3 and dropping 8, well, no biggie. But if you’re going to rush 4 in the 3-4, you need to marry the front and the coverage. You have to make a conscious decision about what you’re doing.

There’s a lot more there to chew on.  Definitely worth a read if you’re trying to get a handle on what Grantham is up to.

(h/t Smart Football)

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30 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

30 responses to “Coverage, in 3-4 time

  1. Mark

    If it takes a coach 2 years to learn it, I am surprised the players learned it in two years. No wonder year 2 is such a big improvement. Based on that article, I would imagine the number of blitzes you can utilize in year 1 is greatly limited. Also, if it’s that complicated, then how in the world can an O study it and be ready in 1 week?

  2. ScoutDawg

    Also makes me happy at the thought of what YEAR THREE will bring.

  3. TennesseeDawg

    Next year, IMHO, is a make or break year for Richt. He will have nearly every back barring possibly Charles and the few seniors. The Dawgs will most likely be a preseason top 10 team and definitely the SEC favorite.

    • Russ

      So he’s back on the hot seat for next season?

    • Derek

      You are out of your mind. We may be the east favorite, but I think LSU and Alabama might still be pretty good. LSU is 2012 preseason no. 1 right now.

      It isn’t a make or break year at all. If we have another 7-1 sec mark given the fact we play at Alabama and at USC and we haven’t beaten UF two years straight since the Reagan administration I’d say you ought to be happy with that.

      • jryu

        well, most people are speculating bama is getting replaced by missouri next year on the schedule since missouri is going to be in the east division and ole miss owes us a home-home series.

        given florida’s struggles and a USC team that will lose a bunch of pieces to graduation/nfl, an unbeaten SEC mark is not out of the realm of the possibility. but yes, LSU still looks like the odds-on favorite for next year.

        • Derek

          No matter how it shakes out 7-1 will be better next year than it was this year. Especially since the chances of losing a non-conf is lessened. All I’m saying is east champs and Sec runner up again in 2012 is nothing to sneeze at given that if we get there it will very likely be a game that decides 1/2 the bcs champ. game. While some people might see it as lack of progress maintaining in 2012 against a tougher schedule and against a bunch of teams looking to pay us back would be excellent. I’d love 14-0 and a crystal trophy but I don’t think we should be thinking that is the only thing that would define success.

        • SCDawg

          They will be breaking in a new QB next year-likely Mettenberger.

          • JT

            Have you watched Jarret Lee or Jordan Jefferson play? They’re just slightly above mediocre. There are many non-AQ teams that they wouldn’t start for. I could play QB for LSU and they would still be the favorites next year. It’s all about the D and the OL. Miles has implemented the Saban blueprint to perfection.

          • Derek

            Zach is a huge step up if ge can protect the ball. The kid can throw it 80 standing flat footed. Right now all you have to do is defend the line of scrimmage and no one but bama could. When they force a defense to defend the length of the field they will be scary good.

      • Ginny

        I don’t think Richt will be on the hot seat but Bama loses A LOT of talent next year. According to the scheduling rumors it looks like we may get them at home. If so I like our chances. LSU on the other hand is going to be scary good again. We HAVE to beat USC though. Can’t let them get on a three-game streak.

        • AlphaDawg

          LSU has a ton of young players, they will be scary good next year. Bama will lose a lot of JR/SR. But they still have depth. But I like our chances if we get them in Athens next year. SC is gonna lose some good players also (i wish Lattimore was one of them). UF needs to find a RB, WR, and QB. We should be the favorites to win the East.

    • Turd Ferguson

      “… definitely the SEC favorite.”

      We might not even be the clear favorite in the East, once Lattimore is back to 100%. And if enough voters overlook Arkansas’ drop-off at WR, there may be 3 teams in the West that open the season ranked above Georgia.

      • JT

        The voters will also need to overlook the fact that they just lost their DC (small loss) and OC (big loss) as well. But yeah, I don’t think we’ll be starting out as the SEC favorites.

        • Turd Ferguson

          Is the OC really a big loss for Arkansas? To my mind, people would likely think of Arkansas losing their OC like they’d think of Alabama losing Kirby Smart. As long as Saban’s still at Alabama, they’ll have a strong defense with or without Smart. And as long as Petrino’s still at Arkansas, they’ll have a strong offense. A loss, sure. But a big one? I don’t know.

  4. WF dawg

    Would love a rematch with LSU in the dome after a year to improve. And you’re right; it’s very realistic.

    • mwo

      It might take more than a year to make a big difference. We would have to oversign to the extent the SEC west does to have a 3 deep mass of talent like LSU. They already have a 3-4 year headstart, basically getting an extra recruiting class every 2 to 3 years. I am still amazed at the performance of the defense in the first half of the SECCG. I don’t care if LSU was looking ahead or not, NO ONE holds any college football team to zero first downs in a half!

  5. Mayor of Dawgtown

    What a novel concept: Coordinate your line play, linebacker play and your defensive back play. I thought everybody had been doing that forever.

    • Derek

      Seems obvious enough doesnt it? The real trick though is coordinating your defense and offense together. Most fans don’t see that or even recognize it’s significance but if your thin on the d-line you better fame plan to avoid three and out on offense. In other words you better run even if you dont do it well. Likewise if you know that physically you can’t stop anyone but your offense can score at will then you should play ball hawking risky defense. Why play bend don’t break when it just limits your number of possessions? If they score: answer. If you get a turnover: score. If you can’t put up 20 against air then you better not be playing man on the corners all day because you can’t catch up. Etc, etc….

      • Cojones

        I have osted consistently that Bobo’s O does just that. They have consistently answered score for score and kept us in games. In fact, Murray throws better mostly after the other team scores. Waited for it in the second half, but LSU’s D interrupted his play when the O line got tired. Can’t fault his play nor the game plan nor play-calling. However, I can fault receivers (but not consistently because they got us there in the first place) and Special Teams.

  6. Jason

    When are Dawg fans going to realize that just settling for SEC Championships is not good enough? The goal every year should be winning a NATIONAL title, otherwise your just setting yourselves up for mediocrity again and again.