First, this was the craziest situation I’ve ever been in.
We played on Saturday and got lightning delayed. We ended up resuming play on Monday (labor day) at 3:00 in the afternoon…
The first play was THEM punting to US…4th and 7. How nervous was I…they had TWO DAYS to draw up a fake! haha! Luckily they kicked it and we drove down to score.
Our defense played great, really shut them down. Here’s the game plan
Last week we played a spread offense that threw quick “dink and dunk” 3 step passes,half roll sprint outs and “catch and release” fades.
Opponent’s Primary Formation
The Receivers were tall, had GREAT hands and were fast. The QB was very accurate and dangerous when he found his rhythm. They had a nice little running back to keep you honest, a good offensive line and were physical.
By the nature of their offense and how quickly they threw the football, it was almost impossible to blitz them. The ball was out consistently in 2.5 seconds (never over 3) so blitzing 5-6 defenders was just not an option. This team made a presnap read, adjusted their play and THREW it as quickly as possible.
If they didn’t throw a 3-step route, they would sprint out where you just could not get him for the sack.
Not what a 3-5-3 coach likes to see!
However the flexibility of the 3-5-3 gives us a ton of options…its not all pressure! We decided to attack this offense in the following ways.
This opponent averages nearly 500 yards of offense, and over 40 points a game
We held them to 14 points, and only 243 yards of total offense!
Here is how!
First, we would drop 7-8 in coverage on every play, and use pinpoint blitzes to control the sprint out…not try to sack the Quarterback on a drop back pass.
These “surgical strikes” were designed to MAKE the QB throw off of his normal timing, early in his sprint out.
We would cover receivers / zones FAST and put a guy in the QB’s face. We knew it wouldn’t be a sack…but it would make him throw it before the receiver could get to open grass.
It also kept the QB from running the football on the perimeter (which he liked to do when he got the edge). Here is a sample blitz we used to control the sprint out: “Cover-3, Slant Field, Bullet Field”
We had to take away the sprint out pass to win. Focused single blitzes with the DL playing contain did the trick!
Second, Once we took away Sprint Out, we would use our “Cover-3 Out” call to jam the #1 receivers and disrupt their timing / take away the quick hitch and fade.
Their best receivers were the outside kidss, by taking them away we forced the Offense to beat us with their 3rd,4th and often 5th options. Once we took away their best, it was easy to defend the rest!
To help with the C/D gap area, we used our “Out” slant to slam into the Slot Receivers. Not only did this help keep the slots off our inside linebackers, it also further disrupted their timing when the Slots tried to run routes.
The Studs played much like Cover 2, funneling the #1 violently to the Corners then playing the flats. We usually sent an Ax or Bullet inside just to get an extra man in the interior gaps and provide a little pressure (or at least the appearance of pressure)
Third, we would play Cover-1 man free from time to time to time to confuse their Quarterback…coupled with massive pressure as a change up. We tried to call this in the middle of the field, when we had a good idea they would not sprint out. You can’t blitz the middle on a sprint out or you will waste blitzers behind the QB.
This particular team did not like to sprint unless they were on the hash, so Cover-1 was used when the ball was spotted between the uprights.
*Even when we sent the house and played man, we still sent the slant toward the back to help contain the sprint out. We repped our tackles ALL WEEK on avoiding the Tackle’s hook and getting across the face of the back. We only lost contain one time all day.
Fourth, we would do everything we could to disrupt the QB’s rhythm and FORCE him to scramble…and then collapse our zone coverage on him and beat him into submission over…and over…and over again.
The plan worked to near perfection. The two touchdowns we gave up were to a blown coverage and a missed tackle.
On the first TD, we did not get a good jam and the #1 receiver made it to his landmark (12 yards on the hash) in perfect rhythm with the QB. He caught the pass, our free safety missed the tackle and he outran the Corner to the Endzone.
On the second, our Corner played in too tight on a “Cover-3 Out” call and he just couldn’t catch the WR on the fade. He did make the tackle on the one yard line, but the QB ran a sneak on the next play and scored.
I was extremely pleased with how we played. This was a VERY dangerous team. They win 8-9 games every year and is known for it’s high powered offense.
We put together a great game plan, the kids executed perfectly and we came home with a 31-14 win!
On to the next!
Join the conversation! How would YOU attack a Quick Throw based Spread Offense? Let us know below!