It’s a nuts and bolts three-fer!

Just thought I’d share three posts I’ve come across recently that dealt with defensive tactics, strategy and plain old technique that might interest you.

The first is from the excellent Clemson blog, Shakin the Southland, and discusses pass coverage techniques.  (A warning to Georgia fans:  you may be shocked when you read about covering the flats and crossing routes, as in it’s actually permitted to allow a defense to do that.)

This next post is a couple of years old, but I came across it at a Denver Broncos blog, and it provides a good overview of how the 3-4 is deployed in the NFL.  Of particular interest was this section:

OK, the 3-4 systems sound cool.  How are they stopped?

There are many traits shared by the systems that make them vulnerable.  Of course a coach makes adjustments based on personnel and film, but here are the common, over arching approaches offenses take.

  1. Two TE sets – the 3-4 killer.  Take out the FB and add a second TE.  The common outside blitzes by the Phillips and the Lebeau are rendered less effective.  This is the most common approach, and great blockers like DEN TE Graham are perfect for this.
  2. Run the ball, run it up the middle, and run it with power.
  3. Skip the sceens and use both the FB and HB as pass blockers.  Vary the TE frequently between pass blocking and receiving (throw some confusion back at the 3-4).  Keep passes up the sideline, where you don’t burn the clock so much, and where the zones are less frequent.

How many of Georgia’s 2010 opponents can deploy personnel and schemes to exploit the 3-4 in those ways?  Off the top of my head, South Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee would fit the bill.

Finally, there’s an overview of the 3-3-5 defense, which RichRod ran at West Virginia and is now implementing at Michigan, which you can read in this MGoBlog post.



Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

23 responses to “It’s a nuts and bolts three-fer!

  1. kckd

    Just thinking with a lot of hope, matching up against Bama in Atlanta would be putting both 3-4 defenses against two offenses that should be able to exploit their weaknesses.

    Also, probably a good thing that our offense can run the very thing the defense is supposed to be weak against in practice.


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    You had a post last week that detailed some similar thoughts by Mike Bobo, such as creating uncertainty with the tight end by varying whether they go out or block, and using 2 tight ends. Good to see our guy figuring it out on his own.


  3. FLdawg

    Happy April Fools Day!
    (otherwise known as another day of classes at gatech, every day is Fools Day at tech)

    Here is another prognostication:



    Logan Gray needs more experience, and UGA needs another year or two

    Mett is only a freshman, UGA needs another year or two

    Murray is only a freshman, UGA needs another year or two

    CTG is only a freshman, UGA needs another year or two

    An offensive lineman has a shoulder injury and UGA needs another year or two

    Our fans don’t understand football, and UGA needs another year or two

    Our schedule is too tough, and UGA needs another year or two

    CMR is a class act, but UGA needs another year or two

    Our nose guard is too slow and UGA needs another year or two

    Our SEC opponents recruit better than we do, and UGA needs another year or two

    UGA installed a new defense, everything is foggy, and the defense needs another year or two

    AJ Green is injured again and UGA needs another year or two

    Marlon Brown is injured again and UGA needs another year or two

    The bloggers and media are mean, and UGA needs another year or two

    Our schedule is easier this year, but UGA still needs another year or two

    The Swamp Guinea closed and UGA needs another year or two

    C King is injured again and UGA needs another year or two

    Another offensive lineman went down with a shoulder injury, UGA needs another year or two

    We have no depth at receiver and UGA needs another year or two

    Hey, I fired 3 coaches, and we need another year or two

    CMR is pleased with the effort, but UGA needs another year or two

    My scooter is too fast, and I need another year or two

    CMB is still developing as a coach and UGA needs another year or two

    The Fifth Quarter closed and UGA needs another year or two

    C King missed practice again, so UGA needs another year or two

    It takes years to learn how to tackle and UGA needs another year or two

    Our underclassmen are too small and weak and UGA needs another year or two

    Mommy, they held me down and forced beer down my throat, and I need another year or two

    Our nose guard is too small and UGA needs another year or two

    Another shoulder injury for – an offensive lineman – UGA needs another year or two

    Saban is the world’s greatest coach evah, UGA needs another year or two

    When are we going to stop behaving like crybabies? In another year or two?



    • thewhiteshark

      Somebody needs to take some prozac.


    • B Man

      Swamp Guinea closed? Really? All that other stuff is fine and humorous on some level, but let’s not f*%k around with the catfish and huspuppies.


      • FLdawg

        Just kidding, I believe the Swamp Guinea is still open, another UGA tradition from way back.
        Its April Fools, we can’t be serious all the time.
        We used to pile 6 or 8 friends in the car and drink our way up there and back. A case of beer didn’t go to far.
        College Days (Daze).


      • I assure you the Swamp Guinea is still open and the catfish and hushpuppies are still plentiful. My family has owned and run the restaurant since it first opened so I used to go up there a few times a year when I was growing up in Augusta. Strange that I spent five years in Athens and only made the trip once.


        • B

          Uh, Audit Dawg, are we related? There’s two Swamp Guineas as far as I know. Augusta and the original in Hartwell. I could swear that a cousin of mine was part of opening the one in Augusta, though I was not close to her or her husband. I’m pretty sure my uncle Bud made the Brinswick stew.


          • FLdawg

            Boy, I musta hit a good nerve today with Dawg-memories of the Swamp Guinea.

            As students back in the early 70’s we would starve for 2 days, then drive up for the all you can eat deal.

            I still remember the world’s best cole slaw, and everything else was just perfect.

            For a poor student, this was just a wonderland of southern food.

            Just another reason why the UGA experience is beyond all others.
            UGA is the best university in the world.

            And our sports programs have unlimited potential. Period.

            5 months to go for 2010 football greatness!

            GO YOU HAIRY DAWGS!


          • We might be. My uncle and cousins have run the original in Hartwell and another set of cousins ran the one that used by in Thompson.


  4. UFTimmy

    Certainly not UF. We’ll be lucky to field one TE or one FB at any given time.


  5. thewhiteshark

    Part of coaching is scheme but you have to have flexibility and the know how to adjust to what the other team is doing. One of my problems with Martinez was how long it took him to adjust. You just can’t survive a lot of games falling down by two touchdowns. Teams will try to exploit the 3-4 but there are ways to counter what they do and hopefully Grantham will be better at that than Martinez was.


    • 81Dog

      well, the only team on the schedule who runs an offense to which we’ll never be able adjust (although to be fair, no one else can adjust to it, either). That would be the unstoppable MO-chine piloted by one Paul “Mini-Skipper” Johnson over at GTU. As he’s pointed out, he’s seen everything anyone could possibly do to defend the undefendable, so he already knows the adjustment to your adjustment and he’s ready to laugh in your face. Or perhaps, if you’re over 5’7″, your belt buckle.

      Apparently, his adjustment to UGA’s defense last year was to unleash the spectacular horror that is the GTU passing game. You’ve heard of Air Coryell? That was Air Oh, hell!


      • NCT

        Yes, well. It would appear that the best defense against Johnson’s offense rests with our own offense: run, clock, run.


  6. Puffdawg

    “Keep passes up the sideline, where you don’t burn the clock so much, and where the zones are less frequent.”

    Man that sentence put me back in Sanford Stadium against LSU 2004 in a hurry. How many did Greene throw that day?


  7. 69Dawg

    So what did we learn today? The 3-4 package that UGA will run is the “Phillips” as in Bum not Wade. That we can expect a dose of runs up the middle. That if our guys don’t get the pressure on the QB it could be a long year.
    That zone blocking teams have an advantage since they don’t care who’s in their zone they block them.

    What type 3-4 is Groth (sp) going to run at GT? Anybody have a clue what UVA ran?


  8. Macallanlover

    Surely it can’t be as easy as a 2 TE package because most NFL teams have that option available. I think it much more personnel dependent than scheme, but I do think the straight ahead run is the biggest threat. (To that end, GT’s A dive option is the most concerning to me, just as shutting it down last year was the reason they were stifled.) If you have a really solid noseguard and strong ILBs, I think the defense will be effective. It will still come down to having the right play call as it matches up with the defensive call.

    To me the 3-4 gives the ability to disguise blitzes better thus confusing the blocking assignments and giving the QB much less time to react. But the attacking nature of the 3-4 virtually guarantees you will get your pants pulled down a few times so you just have to hope the mistakes made by the offense outnumber the points you give up by making yourself vulnerable. I like it better than sitting there getting jabbed to death.


  9. Kevin

    After reading point 1. my mind instantly trailed back to that SC game last year… sounds like they would run wild on us


    • B Man

      If I’m not mistaken, they ran pretty wild on us last year, so I’m willing to try dying a different death this year. I’m hoping that Grantham makes adjustments a little faster (read: ever) than Willie.


  10. JasonC

    I think I remember reading somewhere that Gibbs changed Washington’s offense to a one-back formation with 1 TE and 1 slot WR to deal with LT and the Giants, who I believe were also a 3-4 defense. Having the TE helped for blocking, but having the slot WR hopefully made LT drop into coverage at times instead of breaking QBs’ legs.


  11. JasonC

    Also, I think Smart Football or S.I.T.S did a piece last fall comparing the 4-3, 3-4, 4-2-5 and the 3-3-5 or something like that and discussing the strengths and weakness of each. It had some good info.