Thursday, July 23, 2009

Slack R4 with Coverdale Quick Game

'91' hitch
#1 - is the primary on the fade conversion (RHYTHM)
.......this becomes part of the pre-snap read. Verify, by alignment, that the fade is there.
  • If the cushion is broken (-5), the primary is the fade to #1
  • If the cushion remains, by alignment, then (still presnap) it kicks to the decision-flow to the READ (seam route).
Because it is quick-game, the decision-making has to become part of the presnap read and a half of the field must be eliminated.
  • If the RHYTHM (fade) is there by cushion being 'broken' (closure confirmation), then throw the fade on the plant.
  • If the RHYTHM (fade) is not there by cushion (closure confirmation), then the READ becomes the seam by #2.
The collision by the defender over #2 will be the cue.
Can #2 put himself into the proper depth / angle to impact #2's seam?
  • If not (he doesn't collision, stays flat, widens...) - throw the seam.
  • If so (he collisions, closes the route by depth) - the RUSH becomes the hitch.
If either of those aren't there.....RELEASE.

I guess what I'm wondering is if the the decision making becomes truncated (you have to eliminate throws before the drop even occurs) by the plant (hinge) you are either throwing the RHYTHM (confirmed pre-snap....not post-snap) or you are going directly to the READ on the plant.

I understand the methodology of R4 to compartmentalize the passing game decisions into quick, succinct decisions;
  1. I'm planning on going here on my hinge - RHYTHM

  2. if that is not going to happen (based on cushion / coverage) - I go straight to READ. The READ takes into account why the RHYTHM was disqualified. The READ becomes an instant collision / closure confirmation decision to go-to NOW.

  3. If the closure confirmation denies the throw, we go straight to the RUSH throw.

If we make multiple READ/READ routes packaged....then we're right back where we were before ==== holding onto the ball trying to "guess correctly".

Its about going tactical - bing,bang, boom.....
if THIS, do THAT
....go-to, IF THEN.....

'93' SHOOT
as I understand would be
RHYTHM - outside slant
Plan to throw the slant by #1 based on coverage shell and alignment (corner outside)...the closure confirmation would automatically put the corner in trail position - The Slant by #2, by alignment would create the conflict immediately for the safety (1 high or 2 high, by alignment)
READ - inside slant
If Rhythm route is denied go straight to the inside receiver. If the outside slant is disqualified then you must be in some man-coverage or deep-cushion C3. If the inside receiver is not collisioned by the #2 defender or he widens, then this is the throw to make - BAM, dude is open (MLB may be a 'danger player' for this throw). If #2 is collisioned and removes the inside throw - go immediately to RUSH
RUSH - Shoot
If inside slant is being collisioned, then no one can take the immediate threat to the flat. The Flat has already been eliminated from coverage because the RHYTHM route was disqualified (because for it to be disqualified would mean there is no corner floating in the flat)
Rather than your QB being Rainman in the pocket, trying to decipher each defender's assignment after recognizing and confirming the true coverage, you've drilled in him immediate responses when one door closes, open the next...he really doesn't have to "think", just react. Coverdale's quick game essentially has this built-in already. The R4 just puts an Intel Core 2 on it.
Definitely, Charlie', and K-mart underwear

RHYTHM,READ,RUSH,RELEASE should be tied to the hitch steps, or a way of thinking.

The question is a way of asking based on how a QB & coach can go into recognizing the concepts of each passing concept from craddle to grave, so to speak (chalkboard to game night), where the R4 becomes the glasses that the QB sees / filters the passing game essentially, the QB can teach himself on each subsequent concept installed.

For the quick game, the ball had better come out on the plant-to-hinge otherwise you're in trouble. The methodology of R4 is to compartmentalize the passing game decisions into quick, succinct decisions.

With the R4, my understanding that this is a decision-flow, more than it is a progression.

The seam still has a danger player based on MOFC, so that would require a read to determine closure confirmation before you could make that throw. The main threat for #2 seam is the OLB for collision, and he is, afterall the COG that ties in the READ to the RUSH (i.e. If he does THIS, do that......if he does this, do this...... )

Just because he is the vertical outlet doesn't necessarily make him the RHYTHM throw.

The R4 is used as a tool for the decision making process. Having two routes classified as RUSH doesn't help the QB. He has to get a confirmation off of one - that confirmation will lead him to the correct decision. Otherwise, we'd be right back to where we were 'before', just using more verbiage.

From Coach Slack, himself;

The Quick Game routes by definition are rush routes, except for the fade(rhythm) - thrown off any step of the drop - hitch or hinge.

Also, the depth of the route breaks being under 7 yards makes them rush routes. A Rhythm is a single, or no break, route, over 9 yards that can be hit on the last step of the drop(rhythm is usually a 5 step drop - but a fade and seam in the quick game combos, can meet the expectation of the offense, and not break R4 protocol(9+ yard route depth and hinge release off last step of drop)

Quick game is primarily two possibilities:

Rhythm/Rush - quick cushion/collision/closure look and we hit the complimentary Rush route early before the defense recovers on the quick rush route.

OR, the rush/rush, or rhythm/rhythm decisions are all defender keys with the collision/cushion concepts driving each. Keep in mind, that the quick game should be primarily a two option(2 seconds) offense, due to the depth of the drop and timed route packages. As a rule, I would suggest that it is probably best to reduce/rework what doesn't seem to fit, rather than trying to make up a new rule or force something to fit.

If there is a route that doesn't seem to fit, but works, it might be good to ask why it works and you will probably see one of two things: Either the play is designed to create 1 open route for a hinge throw and in that case you can coach that up with the progression as it sets up to R4 definitions of multiple Rhythm/Rush routes with no Read routes built in, OR the footwork and timing of the routes with the QB are being overlooked for the design of the play. Either way, R4 just gets you asking good questions. The Read route concept with a three step drop would, By definition, require a shuffle - Or hitch footwork, in a quick game drop set, with routes that take longer to develop. I am not opposed to that, there are teams that do it, but remember, we are trying to time up when the receiver opens to the QBs drop. If you WANT a Read route, just realize that regardless of what you want to design, the footwork must time up to the receiver's opening, not before. So make sure the Read route meets the Read route guidelines(multiple breaks, and the route comes open after 9 yards)

In my opinion, a third decision, without footwork tied in right, into a quick game combo, can lead to trying to do too much out of a precarious protection scheme. (aggressive protection with a shallow drop) I am not saying it can't be done, or shouldn't be done, it just needs to be thought through in terms of what opens when and what time exists, etc. So let's break down one series of combinations according to the standard 2 route Slant combos and then the route combo brophy mentioned earlier- SLANT/SLANT/SHOOT.

If you only have two slants(rush/rush), the outside slant is going to be there, or not. It is a defender key off the flat defender over the inside slant, checking for collision from the flat defender, and being aware of the Corner's closure on the outside receiver's break on the Slant. In a standard Slant/Arrow, it is still a read off the flat defender, we are checking collision off the inside receiver, and if he is collisioning the inside route, we can throw off his ear to the slant, with a closure confirmation on the corner.

A good rule of thumb is that the flat defender is usually the primary read in most quick game RUSH/RUSH routes, unless you have a rhythm route(fade or seam) and a rush underneath to compliment, and then it depends on the rhythm being inside or outside. Considering brophy's SLANT/SLANT/SHOOT, I would recommend if you want to simplify this progression, you can go SLANT/SEAM/SHOOT. This is a Rhythm(SEAM)/Rush(SLANT)/Rush(ARROW) progression combo now. The Inside Seam (Rhythm) route now becomes the first look, setting up an easy transfer of vision to the Slant if the inside route is collisioned. If he isn't hit, the QB hits him early off the third step, and the Mike LB is out of the picture because the receiver is wider, and won't be coming into the middle(like the slant). If it all goes bad, the shoot route is still our "hot" rush route if we need it right away, and it is our final option in the defender key off the remaining rush/rush after the rhythm is decided. So, by simply adjusting the intent/angle of the inside slot route from a quick game Rush(slant) to a Rhythm (Seam), you get a workaround that times up very nicely.

The coaching of the inside Seam can give you all the benefits you need in the quick game - inside release, throttling down in the hole, angling slightly where it makes sense, but you get a sound solution tied to QB footwork by incorporating this adjustment.

For what its worth. It is truly just my opinion. So, in terms of Coverdale stuff mentioned before, if you have a bunch package 3 step quick combo, or 3 option/3 step play from Coverdale's design, chances are you will have a rhythm/read/rush route combo already built in. The rhythm option is presnap and first step confirmed on cushion/collision. Just make sure the receiver will be available off the QB's third step.(Fade or Seam) If the first route is a corner, with a suggested 3 step drop, you need to reduce the Corner's vertical route stem to 4 steps(3 step QB drop), instead of the normal 6 steps(QB 5 step drop). Then you might consider using a quick hitch off the last two routes - whether it is a defender key, or a read route with a rush. Either way, you are sound.

The remaining read/rush concept, and/or double rush route can be thrown with a hitch or hinge within the mix according to Rush route rules - thrown off ANY step in the drop. The Read route is the odd concept, taking longer to develop, and must be thought out in terms of protection and timing of the route opening with the QBs footwork. The goal is meaningful simplicity, and you guys fighting through this is exactly the discipline of self-discovery that will put you in the best position to be successful.

I am resisting just giving you the WAY to do it for each route combo, because I think it is important to go through the process of really thinking about what we are trying to do with each quick game route, and whether it makes sense to keep it in the playbook. You guys are really doing great with this.I am grateful for the workthroughs on this, and if it makes one offense/QB better, I am glad.For what its worth to the skeptical, my own QB son is currently in an extremely conservative offensive run based setup, and R4, much less advanced passing, isn't currently a comfortable place for the coach, but he came home today and was very excited that while the coach doesn't necessarily know or ascribe to R4, he was still internally using all the concepts and he was able to get the ball out on the final step all day, with the coach being very excited with the speed of his decision making and ball delivery timing.

My point is that, understanding the accelerators and key opportunities of R4, even in the quick game, it can be an effective tool.

Like the military, there are robust guidelines and training for battle scenarios. The guidelines are part of the non-negotiables that officers hope will "kick-in" when the scenario goes to heck in a hand basket, as most battle scenarios do. Football is no where near war, but the same fluid situations present themselves to teenagers under pressure, with coaches trying to limit collateral damage with "rules of engagement." As you know however, "rules" while extremely necessary for order and discipline, can hinder productivity as much as free-wheeling can.

My point is this - the intermediate passing game puts the quarterback further from the LOS, and creates a more stable environment for R4 to function as a process, with footwork tied very tightly to it to ensure the quarterback stays on task and moves through his reads on his drop and gets the ball out according to his footwork. R4 and its footwork puts greater demands on the quarterback and coach to be as sound and consistent as possible while not stifling functional creativity for both.

The quick game, in my opinion, is an entirely different animal. It is an offensive ambush. The element of surprise is as critical to its success, as the quarterback's footwork. But even more important than either of those things, is the play called and its design. If the intermediate game is an infantry offensive with whole, the quick game is a covert operation with a handful of men
for a specific purpose. Additionally, the quick game is typically tied to an anticipation of a blitz. So within that operation, or play, there must be the capacity for a decision to be made "in theatre," so we don't lose our field position in the process. R4 relies heavily on the accelerators of cushion/collision/closure for its decision, and while the quick game may have those components present in a press situation, usually the quick game decision happens faster than even the "accelerators" would provide. What I mean is that in the quick game field side is determined "pre-snap," as is the expected open receiver, by defensive alignment -(ie. corners/flat defenders).

In today's intermediate game, many coaches have tried to do the same "pre-snap- know where you go" approach as the quick game to make things easier, and defenses have wised up with disguising, zone blitzing, and roll coverage, and therefore, R4 allows these things to become post snap again, while sustaining a full field of options, and providing competitive advantage to the offense with its speed of outcome.

The quick game on the other hand, while undergoing many upgrades, still has a clear non-negotiables tied to it due to aggressive protection(limited), and depth of drop and routes. Get the ball out quickly or you get sacked, and hit receivers in holes before the defense recovers.R4 was meant primarily to restore sanity, in my opinion, to the voluminous over-analysis of the itermediate passing game, that was intended to simplify the QBs read down to a "quick game" concept (Pick a side, hit it on five), but instead has left many coaches scratching their own heads about how to position every read, for every situation, on every play. It becomes exponentially confusing.

The quick game hasn't hit that point YET. It still maintains some of its original purity, because of those non-negotiables I mentioned. However, with the advent of increasing routes, and over design in the quick game, it won't be long before it becomes "top heavy", and will need to have a system to govern it. You see what is coming for sure, but even then, the speed of the play, the need for an on the spot decision, and the presence of immediate pressure, will always have the QB throwing on the last step, and "releasing" quickly if not. This is what R4 was trying to bring back to the intermediate game, without giving up on the big play.

I guess the simplest way to say it is, "if it isn't broke, don't fix it." The quick game isn't broken, in my opinion, like the intermediate game was. All the right pieces still operate in the quicks - rhythm footwork, fast decision making, and release. And they will always be there. What concerns me about the quick game more than R4 being applied, is the basic lack of understanding on the part of many coaches about the mechanics/footwork of the quarterback, and the timing of the routes that go with them. This is where I think the quick game will get "top heavy" faster. I see, in ever increasing measure, QBs being asked to make throws with footwork, and mechanics that DO NOT make sense to the TIMING of either the QB's readiness to throw, nor the receiver's being positioned in a hole. QBs don't understand throwing mechanics, so they are slow in delivery(footwork depth and hitching) and throw too hard(adrenalized fear, ignorance, or arrogance,et al), and the receiver's are faster than ever into space and through it for the same reasons. The Quick Game is a CONCEPT of skills, spacing, and timing, and R4 while assisting in the non-negotiables of intermittently ordering progression in man scenarios, or defender keys by presnap read sides, and helping with a speedy decision on cushion/collision - it cannot fix those things I just mentioned, because they exist as problems on deeper level.

That goes to the over wrought play design concern as I mentioned earlier that we all need to monitor in our offenses. And in terms of where the need is greatest in the QUICK game and how I believe we can best help with our resources, isn't as much a need for our R4 system, as it is a need for our C4 system of mechanics.

Just my opinion, and no disrespect to the many great coaches who are redefining great play design - they are mission critical. But, we still have to throw it, and catch it.

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