Defending the Spread: Run Game
Jay Batement: Elon University
General Principles of Defending the Spread
- Take away the best runner or best run play.
- Make them throw the bubble.
- We will try to play Cover 2 as much as possible to take away easy throws.
- Check towards the side of the back. Once they put the back in gun, he has told us what
they can or cannot do. Align accordingly!
- Hit the QB!!
Starting Points for Stopping the Spread Offense
- I.D. the Quarterback.
- Can he run the football?
- Is he the primary runner?
- How do they runt he ball with him? Do they use call runs, or option plays?
- How well does he throw - arm strength, accuracy?
- How much do they put on him?
- Do they want to run or throw the ball?
- What do they do against a favorable box?
- What do they do when they see pressure?
- How willing are they to hand off zone?
- What are the checks?
- What are their Running Backs and Wide Receivers like?
- Where do they align their best Wide Receivers?
- Who do they rely on to block the perimeter?
- Who do they think is the best guy - who are they getting the ball to?
- If a Tight End is used, how is he used? How much blocking does he do?
- Offensive Line
- Can they consistently block us - in both run and pass?
- How well do they handle movements?
- How effective are they at getting Linebackers?
- Is there a weakness on edge? (ex. they can't be great at veer release and pass setting).
Initial Alignment versus Spread Teams
- We align in a Cover 2-shell, with the Outside Linebackers aligned as tight as we can.
- Set the front to the running back, and away from the back. You never want the Offense to know
where your 3-Technique is going to be.
- Our run defense is based on where the back is aligned.
- Everything we do will be based on where the back aligns.
Zone Read Rules
- Defensive Ends are always benders (chase!), take away the zone.
- Mike is responsible for QB, if he is on a B-Gap defender to the side of the back, scrape
and go get him.
- If Mike is A-gap responsible, the Quarterback is left for the Outside Backers and Ends.
- If Mike is A-Gap responsible, the OLB can't hold the Quarterback, DE squeeze, and Mike has to account for
QB. Move fast!
- Move the front. Change up the Linebacker gap responsibilities.
- Change the coverage. Play Roll 3, play Quarters, etc.
- Squeeze the Defensive End to the 3-Technique side.
- Use Zone Blitzes and Man Blitzes.
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