Friday, November 6, 2009

UF: Orange / Tan Coverage Adjustments

With the formalities of base schemes taken care of, we can explore how Florida adapts this 8-man front to 1-back looks and shifts. This will be vital in understanding the 'unbreakable' answers needed to support 5-man pressures from a zone concept (fire zone).
Presenting an Under front (1,5,9 strong), the defense is loaded to eliminate the run. So what happens when offenses try to counter this by changing the (run) strength of the formation with trades and motion?

No problem – the concept of what the defense is attempting to do is simple (stuff the run and deal with the receivers as they present themselves), so there is no reason to wet the bed. Versus trades or Y motion, they will simply flip the SLB and Strong Safety, to maintain the matchup with the SLB on the 3-man surface.

This keeps a 3-on-2 advantage for the defense with the Strong Safety joining the MLB and WLB in the box. The same pattern-matching rules apply.


Okay, so that doesn’t cause the defense any problems, eh? How about if the offense flexes the Y from the formation (a legitimate conundrum for most defenses)? Do you treat this guy as a receiver, do you treat him as a run-blocking tight end on the perimeter, how do you matchup?

If the Y removes himself from the formation, there no longer becomes a reason to play a 9 technique SLB. The Strong Safety will make a “Switch” call, so the backers will re-rack into the traditional 50-10-40 alignment within the box (again, gaining the 3-on-2 advantage, this time with the SLB, WLB, and MLB) and he will take the SLB’s former assignment and the SLB will take the Strong Safety’s former assignment. With the TE displaced from the box, the adjuster of the defense (strong safety) will walk out to match his alignment (just like he would do as a sky support player in Cover 3). The Strong Safety will man up with the Y, leaving the SLB to match up with #2 strong / WLB with #2 weak (or rat) / MLB #3 strong (or rat).

Alright, the offense will leave the TE alone and keep him in the box to help in protection and/or run game. The offense will get you by motioning a back out. Surely, this will stress the defense to a breaking point (and it typically will in most 1-high zone defenses).

Just like with the flexed receiver, the passing strength adjuster is the Strong Safety. If the H back removes himself from the box presnap, the run front will remain intact (now leaving a 2-on-1 advantage with the MLB and WLB on the remaining back). The Strong Safety will jump the back out and match him man-to-man.
These special adjustments hold true to both Orange and Tan coverage, providing simple answers when the defense is presented with potentially stressful positions.


Anonymous said...

Brophy Can you explain the difference and how you detemine the (pass) strength of a formation vs. the (run strength) of a formation?

I read you lsu defense playbook on your site where it explains the pass strength (2wr side and Te any combo of the 3) But the running strength I don't understand.

Thanks Good article

brophy said...

Typically a run-strength will be determined by the TE. The passing-strength is based on the passing-numbers. It is rather academic and shouldn't be as convoluted as it sounds (it isn't). More often than not, they are one in the same. However, if you end up with a twins look away from the TE, most people would set their front (strong side personnel) to the TE side, and any coverage adjustment would be handled by recognizing the passing strength to the most receiving threats (twins). Like I mentioned, the only time the two wouldn't be the same is with minor exceptions. This aides in setting your personnel (SS or FS) to the appropriate matchup.
Some defenses, this doesn't even matter, especially when there isn't any discrepancy in player-types/personnel