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COORDINATION OF RUN DEFENSE AND ZONE COVERAGE
ZONE DEFENSE AND RUN FORCE SUMMARY
One of the most important areas for any coach to consider as he designs his defensive package is the area of run force and its coordination with the type of pass coverage that he will be using. It was our belief that we had to have two different run force packages. One would be incorporated with our varying types of zone coverage. The other would be incorporated with our man to man and blitz defense packages. This week in our clinic summary we will look at the coordination of our run force with our zone pass coverages.
It became very important to our defensive scheme that we make force calls to each side of the defense on every play regardless of the coverage we were going to use or the personnel that we had in the game.
CALLS DEFINE RESPONSIBILITY
In designing our run force with our zone defense, we always wanted our force calls to define for our defensive players three major areas of responsibility. With one word, we wanted the following to be defined and understood by our defensive team.
First, it would tell which player had the primary responsibility for containing the run to his side. Incorporated with this responsibility would be the teaching of how the contain man would take on any lead blocker.
Next, the call would designate which defensive player had the responsibility for covering the outside under zone to his side. This would also include the teaching of how to defense the second man deep to the outside versus zone coverage.
Finally, it would clearly define the responsibilities of how we would play the option. With this we would teach who had pitch and who was responsible for playing the quarterback.
MAKING THE CALLS
Each safety has the responsibility to make the proper force call to his side. Even in the case where the rotation is definitely going to go to the other side, we wanted a call to be made. Force calls would be determined and influenced by the type of zone defense called, the offensive personnel in the game, the offensive formation being used, our scouting report, and by the down and distance situation.
PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE FORCE CALL
Each of our force calls involved three people on one side of the ball, the outside linebacker, the corner and finally the safety who was making the call. In certain defenses versus certain offensive formations the call may only involve two defensive players rather than three.
ZONE CALLS TO BE USED
With our zone pass defenses we used three basic calls with an additional two important variations versus specific offensive formations. Our basic three were:
Cloud - This call designated that the corner had force and contain on run to his side, that he also had the outside under zone on pass and that he had the responsibility for the pitch man on the option play run his way.
Sky - This call designated that the safety had force and contain on run to his side, that he also had the outside under zone on pass and that he had the responsibility for the pitch man on the option play run his way.
Bronco - This call designated that the outside linebacker had force and contain on run to his side, that he also had the outside under zone on pass and that he had the responsibility for the pitch man on the option play run his way.
Variations on the Cloud and Sky call would be necessary and force responsibility will change with the release of the receiver from a tight single receiver formation away from rotation.
ZONE DEFENSES USED
These run force calls would be incorporated into all of our zone coverage packages. These will include our two deep zone coverage with both 5 and 6 under, our three deep zone coverage with 4 and 5 under, our zone key and zone set coverages with 4 and 5 under, and finally our four deep pass coverage with 4 under.
I hope this summary gives you a good feeling and insight into the written text and diagrams which will be included in the detailed material you will be receiving when you order our In Depth Clinics.
Each topic is designed to be of tremendous assistance, great interest and equally beneficial for every coach from the veteran head coach to the young assistant just beginning his career at any level; Youth, High School, Junior College or University.