Film Study: 3x1 Formations Have Propelled the Evolution of Pattern-Matching Defenses

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NuttyBuckeye's picture

Damn!  Coverages sure are much more intense than when I was young.  I can't believe by the set of the defense that an OC can know what the coverage is and get his right play called.  The coverage in the Solo section is the one I am really impressed with.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

HS
FitzBuck's picture

I’ll try and remember all of this when I’m screaming at the tv because of blown coverage.  

The simple takeaway of this = I am a jackass for ever thinking I know what a coach should do.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

HS
Deacon's picture

Nice work, as usual. 

Quick question. Are these archived anywhere as a group? A "film study" search brings up multiple results, but I don't know if it's everything. 

There's been a lot of great coverage of this type over the years and reading this is making me want to go back. 

HS
RMichaelS's picture

Key element to defeating many of these schemes is a an with enough arm & accuracy to reliably stretch the field. Otherwise, defensive coverage strategies are able to minimize their coverage areas.
This year will be interesting.

HS
Bigmarty's picture

If no threat of a running QB, defenses can expand the number of coverages, blitzes, etc.  practice time for defense eliminates the necessity of a team intentionally try to hurt the defense or make the defense account for the QB as someone who who can run the ball,  Not saying bad or good, just saying in a spread offense that is a matter of fact.

HS
dvo45's picture

That is why your coverage and front need to, well, Match, so that you account for the run-game...

HS
BuckeyeGoneNuts's picture

Interesting article.  This stuff is just so much more complicated than the average fan understands.

I often wonder if the insane complexity of this stuff is at some point kind of lost and the players just react to what they see happening.  Makes you appreciate the level of complexity though, when you see all the options/choices/calls the players have to make during the play while everything is happening a million miles an hour.

HS
Jdadams01's picture

The key, as always, is game prep. If a defender sees formations and motions in the game that they've been drilled on all week, they will react rather than think. It's a double-edge sword, though, as the opposing offensive coaches should be using constraint plays to exploit the defenders recognizing formations and motions. 

HS
tussey's picture

Great write up!

I'm fascinated by the Cloud example.  Dixon ran a poor route by not getting enough depth, and the OU defender busted the coverage by jumping the out by Hill, which was JTs first read and leaving Victor's flag route open.   

HS
Buckeye Jack's picture

Dixon ran a poor route

Possibly, I guess. But that slow shallow route may have been his assignment. Looks more like a decoy scheme, IMO.

It sure as hell worked to freeze 3 DB's for Victor's route behind them. [freeze the video at 14 seconds - the DB's were screwed. the ball was thrown late - 2 full seconds after the 14 second mark when Victor was wide open]

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

HS
Kyle Jones's picture

Correct, as you'll notice, that version of Snag is a bit different as it's a rollout scheme designed for JT to get the ball out on the edge quickly with an option to run. Dixon is meant to drag the cornerback inside with him, setting a pick for Hill on the underneath route. But with the Cloud call on, the CB is there to make a play on Hill and the OLB not only has Dixon, but can also make a play on JT should he decide to run. Victor is really the last read in this deep-to-short progression, so that's why the ball comes out so late.

Buckeye Jack's picture

 Victor is really the last read 

Good point, Kyle. But an elite passing QB (like Haskins or Burrow) will see and hit an open WR half a second (or more) faster than most running QB's. All the mock draft reports on JT say he's a beat or two slow on pulling the trigger. 

And I'd like to second Deacon's request for a link to an archive to all of your past articles. 

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

HS
Kyle Jones's picture

Click the giant graphic at the top

Buck68's picture

These are not difficult 'reads' to master... if you are the wide-angle video cam on the wire above the ball, know the playcall in advance... and have nothing else to do that day....   ;-{)}

Enjoy your clear descriptions, especially the likely versions and adaptations we'll see this fall.  Will be looking this spring to see if there is a solo who can consistently beat his man... or a DB that consistently beats our solo....   

Kyle, do you anticipate further specialization [variations for 'just you'] with particular DBs, or WRs?

GO BUCKS!

HS
Kyle Jones's picture

Kyle, do you anticipate further specialization [variations for 'just you'] with particular DBs, or WRs?

Not sure I understand the question. Mind elaborating a bit on this?

bucknut1994's picture

You don't want him elaborating ............ it will just make you even more confused ;-{)}

#94Ways

HS
Buck68's picture

"further specialization variation" examples:

1-IF Martell's combo of run/pass skills [e.g. 'quickness'] are distinctly 'best' in the Red Zone, a 'package' with our best 'possession'/play on the ball receivers [including TEs].

2-a 'quick strike' package of receivers w/ our best 'long passer' QB

3-a 'short yardage' package...

4-a 'best' pass pro, and run OL packages....

HS
dvo45's picture

Defensively we have witnessed that evolution, if you will, of the 3rd down package, complete with nickname and all...

The Rushmen Package with 4 DE on the field and a 5th defensive back 

I believe that trend will continue in longer yarderage situation 

HS
Buck68's picture

given the price of DB successes - early departures and big development challenges - it makes sense to me to master the basics first.  Maybe some specialization latter 2018 IF... IF... secondary becomes '2 deep ready'.

Anticipate Rushmen still for 2018, but, hope to add 'speed' from LB blitzes and 'heavy' from DT Jones.   LBs as a group are last in 'development' but not lacking in talent AFAIK.

HS
Ih8UMich's picture

Anyone who still holds the "dumb football jock" stereotype gets the 6 days between games to convince me they're right by learning and reacting perfectly to all of this stuff. Oh, and also juggle a full class load, attend workouts, and take time for treatments from medical staff.

I'll wait.

HS
Buck68's picture

diversity : special stereotyper ~ university : student of the game

special stereotyper : impositional manipulator ~ teacher/coach : moral foundation and equitable  standards

====>Reasoning

It's rational to 'typify' individuals by grouping them by a common element [i.e. he is in the over 6'0" group]; this is an inductive logical process.

It's irrational to stereotype [i.e. his ability depends on the color of his skin]; this is a deductive process based on a false major premise, stated as a conclusion [i.e. self-legitimizing]

====>Application

What's helpful to all about sports are the elements of demonstrable physical skills in competitive tasks during competition.  Several academic processes we have 'evolved' into are NOT on the merits.  Ex:  curve & P/F grading; 'extra credit', secrecy in assessment & grading systems; exclusionary class entry policies; 'do overs' for evaluations of all types and the class itself.  In the Affective Domain [ref Bloom's Taxonomy], rampant prejudices legitimized by actual and perceived wrongs, in conjunction with the absence of morals and 'feelings' equated with reasoning. 

Just picture JTB signaling the ref for a 'do-over' if our 4th & 1 play doesn't 'work'....    ;-{)}

Our 'educational system' has progressed devolved to double-talk and 'activist' imposition... while our 'sports system', despite its flaws... still competes in the reality Arena where referees [imperfectly] enforce rules for all participants.

DEPARTMENT OF WISDOM

"...professing to be wise, they became fools...."

"Pride goeth before a fall"

HS
causeicouldntgo43's picture

As Aristotle once said, "A is A".

HS
Buck68's picture

CICNG43:  Accurately, alliterating Aristotle was just accelerating advancing archtypical arising activism for A -ristotle...not abating or abasing or abhorring the deplorable lesser letters...  

Wasn't it Aristotle who said "once is A... OK"?

HS
causeicouldntgo43's picture

And Billy Belichick channels Aristotle's "A is A" everytime he says "it is what it is".

HS
TJ1's picture

I think what this shows is that it's really hard playing defense and in the secondary unless you have a really good pass rush.

HS
Buck68's picture

looking forward this spring to see a Great Leap Forward in our LB corpse to far past 'the basics' to delivering 'elite' speed to the Rushmen and front coverage for DBs across the field....

On paper our LB group looks every bit as 'elite' as our DL & DBs....

HS
Buckeye Jack's picture

Another great article, Kyle. Thanks.

Victor is wide open in the Cloud example. He's 5-yards-wide-open at 14 seconds (when he makes his cut at the 30-yard line). 

The ball is snapped at 12 seconds, but the QB doesn't make the throw until 16 seconds, about 4 seconds from the snap, and that's about 1.5 to 2 seconds too slow for the play to work.

Don't think we'll see our QB's hold the ball much past the WR's pass pattern cuts in 2018.

Zone6, with rotating WR's, will have 1000+ yards at all 3 WR positions this season

HS
BuckeyeinFlorida's picture

Let Coaches Day and Wilson call 98% of their plays. The offense we brought into the Clemson game was an embarrassment. Hand over authority with your support.

HS
dvo45's picture

What does that have to do with defensive adjustments to 3x1 formations?

HS
Buck68's picture

"Let"?  Who is the 'letter'?

11W recently reported UFM stated there is no "dictator" OC at Ohio State; that all coaches contribute to play-calling.

So where are the signs UFM... who is the Head Coach... is altering any of his 'preferences'?

Come to think of it, has anyone posted a checklist-type, step by step play-calling process? 

HS
Extramedium's picture

I think the logic is - if the offense is moving smoothly, it means Meyer is letting Wilson and Day have their way.  If the offense struggles, it means that Meyer is forcing his will upon the staff because everyone knows Meyer hates offense.

HS
mugbucket's picture

Excellent effort sir!

Understanding what the opposing "D" has to offer/counter underscores Coach Meyer's emphasis on WR blocking to help execute a good play better, and bail the QB out on one that breaks down to a scramble. 

Looking forward to the next breakdown.

Despite the high cost of living, it still remains popular.

HS
stxbuck's picture

As Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest said, the essence of strategy is "Git there firstest w/ the mostest". Whether by man coverage or zone, it matters not on defense.

HS
Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

You’re quoting one of the founders of the KKK???

HS
Buck68's picture

Ohio Guy in Jersey, re "founders":  NBF perhaps more used as a front man, a 'big name', for recruiting and popularizing due to his military service.  Historians and others' opinions vary on his role and participation.

HS
stxbuck's picture

Being a racist POS and a tactical genius aren't mutually exclusive qualities. I never said he wasn't a reprehensible human being-but his tactical acumen applies to the fundamental essence of football.

HS
Buck68's picture

'fustest with the mostest' is a tad different than 'here we come'!   ;-{)}

HS
Buck68's picture

that's applying The Initiative - the essence of 'hit them before they hit you'.  A part of strategy.  Then there's the principles of Deception & Maneuver, both of which were staples in NBF's fights against vastly superior Union forces. 

HS
Steelydan54's picture

Appreciate the in depth look at the 3 dimensional chess of college football, with a sense of how the “masters” play the game. It is so far beyond our ability  to discern, especially from the TV on game day that we only expose our ignorance when we complain about coaching decisions.  The Masters compete at an exponentially higher level than we can understand. 

Steelybuck54

HS
Trebor40's picture

This also displays why teams become a type of defensive team over the course of a season or even two seasons. Having a defensive "Identity" is clearly necessary when you add in, class schedules technique and conditioning as well as meshing position groups. It is also why bowl games can be so wildly variant from the teams results during the season as they have enough time to truly define what an offense favors and build from base scheme an answer that ALL the defenders are confident with their assignments! 

I would rather be on hand with 10 men then elsewhere with 10,000 - Timur Lenk

HS
Buck68's picture

"type", "identity" ...such terms are labels of convenience, marketing ploys, and Headers for grouping skills & signals for plays.  A set of defined terms are part of every 'system', however labeled.

also interesting are "so wildly variant" perceptions when we "have enough time to truly define"... yet the game and communications about it remain... dynamic.   ;-{)}   Those who remain in their fixed fortifications, regardless of how they label or identify with them...make it easier for opponents to bypass, out-maneuver, or cut them off from... innovation and adaptation.

HS
Firedup's picture

I for one am looking forward to more 2 TE sets that Wilson mentioned and more run-pass option instead of the Run-run options of the last 6 years. More creativity and unpredicatablity.  Will be so happy when my 58 year old mother cant guess QB run on 3rd and 1-8

"Making the Great State of Ohio Proud!" UFM

HS