“Just like with the old option days … every decision you made, you were wrong.”

Dennis Dodd has a good piece (no, really!) about the challenges college football defensive coordinators face these days.

If you read the article, Steele comes off as an optimist.  My favorite quote, though, is this:

“Jimbo is a defensive coordinator’s dream,” said Bennett, now defensive coordinator at North Texas. “It’s like playing for a wishbone team. He believes in ball control, possession and protecting the defense.”

Manball, she lives!

Along those lines, you might also be interested in this SEC StatCat post about some SEC offensive trends and concepts that worked last season.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

9 responses to ““Just like with the old option days … every decision you made, you were wrong.”

  1. Biggen

    Without a rule change how do defenses “catch up”?


    • I think the answer to this is in the title of the post. Just like stopping the option: you don’t defend it, you attack it. You make the QBs decisions for him and then force turnovers.

      What that looks like, I’m not sure. But I do know that if you aren’t aggressive on defense and you don’t generate turnovers, you have no chance.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Derek

        From my perspective what kills the option is taking the dive away and then having the defense scrape down the line, with “spill technique” towards the sideline, until the qb pitches and theres five guys standing there waiting.

        Aggression leads to running lanes. What you want is 11 guys, shoulders square to the LOS, eyes up following the ball down the line where your friend “out of bounds” sits reliably waiting.

        With respect to the spread what Odum describes and what is described about the SB is the best answer. Don’t get beat deep. Make them earn it.

        You do need to send extra pressure from time to time to keep them off balance, but the main thing you want is a qb looking at 5 guys at depth who are staring back at him. If he throws it downfield there’s a good chance its coming the other way.

        Turning the spread from a blitzkreig to a dink and dunk is the best you can to until they change the rules imho.


      • W Cobb Dawg

        “You attack it”.

        Agree 110%. Look no further than the nfl. OTs who protect the QB and OLBs/DEs who get the QB are in huge demand and command the highest salaries. Safeties, interior linemen, inside LBs, RBs are deemed easily replaceable. Pressuring the QB or preventing pressure on the QB is the raison d’etre of nfl teams.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Derek

          Maybe you have a different definition of “attack.”

          If you mean that because you have Myles Garrett and Clowney you can rush three on some downs and get there while covering with 8, well ok.

          I read attack as taking chances trying to send more in numbers than they can block and being exposed on the back end.

          If beating the qb’s ass and stuffing the run with as few guys as possible is an “attack” then yes, by all means, attack.


        • Russ

          I think our interior DL and DEs will help us a lot this season. Davis and Carter can’t really be blocked by one guy, and I expect Mr Anderson and Mr Smith to go full Matrix on opposing QBs.


  2. I’d say one thing beyond turnovers that could help is a NT/DT that forces double-teams every play. Negate the 11-on-11. And if you have a pass rusher that might require doubleteaming too? That might be how you get an advantage. (Though probably not the point of under 10 points per game)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. DC’s will adjust. If prior OL’s were built, trained, and played like bulldozers to run the ball between the tackles, then DL and LB’s needed to be built and trained to respond. If OL’s are now nimble, pass protect or (illegally) get downfield fast, then the style of play for the interior of the D will adjust. Now, how you build a D that stops a Mac Jones to Devonte Smith passing attack with Najie Harris in the backfield is the whole reason Saban is the genius he is. Without injuries…you can’t. The top coaches who think they can recruit like that get it (Kirby, Dabo, Day, Jimbo, Riley, Sark) while the rest are left trying to figure out another way. (I put ND, USC, Oregon, Kiffen, Leach as examples in this category.) Heuple, Mullen and Harsin are stuck…can’t recruit that well, can’t find a system to compensate for the step down in talent.

    IMHO this was the problem for Mark Richt. He could outscheme Saban, Dabo, etc. but was falling behind in recruiting and was not likely to ever catch up for all the reasons that have been hashed out here before.