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By Keith Snyder, Defensive Coordinator, Dekalb High School (IL)

This clinic report features a tweak on the scheme that Dekalb High School (IL) is using by having its OLBs (rather than CBs) play the hard cover two-technique against wideouts on the perimeter.

By Keith Snyder
Defensive Coordinator
Dekalb High School (IL)
Twitter: @KTS7799

 

 

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In 2010, I was the offensive line and defensive line coach at Kaneland. That season we made it to the 5A Semifinals and lost to Montini High School. At that time, we were a traditional 3-3 1-high team that would go to a traditional 2-high (2 safeties deep and an overhang player to field or passing strength) versus spread teams or in passing situations. During this game, we had no answers for when they would shift or jet motion away from our over-hang and hit us with bubbles and jet sweeps. I knew when I became a defensive coordinator that I wanted the balance of 1-high look but be able to play with a hard corner. So, in 2011, we started running what is the cloud look that many teams run now. It worked well for us getting back to the semi's and having a pass defense that picked off 16 passes in 13 games. It allowed us to roll coverages very seamlessly and have the balance I was looking for so that we were never out-leveraged.  The following year, we introduced our OLB’s lining up as CBs to give us a new variation to the cloud concept. We had success with it because it put our players in positions that they could be successful and were used to playing. Our OLBs were able to get hands-on and re-route wideouts while our CBs were still the deep zone. 

Over the next few years, we went back to a traditional 3-3, 2-high look for various reasons, but we became much more predictable and asked more of our athletes than we needed. In 2016, I had the opportunity to take over as defensive coordinator at Dekalb High School and I knew this time I wasn't going to make the same mistake. We were going to be a cover 3 team no matter what from both a traditional -high look as well as non-traditional 2-high schemes. Over the past two seasons, we have continued to grow and develop this combining a true cloud concept with an OLB emphasis and incorporating Robber techniques to best use our personnel in what we call our Monster Cover 3.

 

Our Reasons for Running Monster Cover 3:

  • It allows us to teach similar concepts to positions but give us two different coverage looks: OLBs: Flat & Force; CBs: Deep 1/3; FS: Robber Tech; ILBs: collision/reroute wall #2
  • Played into our strengths OLBs can be physical with wideouts, corners are our deep space players and made use of the fact we put our most athletic, aggressive downhill player at Free safety leaving him unaccounted for in the run game.
  • We can still roll to coverages.
  • We would morph into different looks depending on the offensive formation giving the defense an awkward look for offenses to game plan and attack.

 

Two Scenarios to Use Cloud:

  1. We can purely plug up A&B Gap with defensive linemen allowing us to play with a light box, depending on the formation. In this concept, we have two base fronts 4-0-4 (Bull) & 3-0-3 (Tight)
  2. 3rd Down Coverage: Here we are now bringing four, we are not as concerned with covering just B Gaps with the Defensive Line. We will play 5-0-5 & 3-0-3 fronts slanting, stunting and blitzing to bring pressure while dropping 7

 

Defensive Position Break Down:

  • DL: T (Tackle, strong side DL) N-Nose Guard, E (End, weak wide DL)
  • ILB/Stacks: We use a numbering system don’t really use names outside of Middle is Mike. 2 (Strong Side ILB) 3 (Mike) 4 (Weak Side ILB)
  • OLBs: We leave them field and boundary, so they don’t have to spend as much time running across the field for formations. 1 (Field/Strong Side OLB) 5 (Boundary/Weak Side OLB
  • F-Free Safety
  • CBs-CBs

 

Position’s Run/Pass Responsibility

Position:

Run:

Pass:

DL

T/E: B Gap

NG: A Gaps

Vertical Penetration in their Gap

ILB

2/4: C Gaps

3: Gap Free

2/4: Collision #2 to Hook/Curl

3: QB Spy/ Replace Blitzer

OLB

Force

Under #1/Flat

FS

Alley

High Hole

CB

Secondary Run Support

Deep 1/3

 

 

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  • The position specific techniques of the personnel, including the “flat back, B gap” technique of the 4i techniques, the “mirror” technique of the Nose, the “loading” technique of the outside linebackers, etc.
  • The “sticky” coverage adjustment used to tie in the Free Safety to defend RPO’s and triple option concepts.
  • How the system adjusts to 2x2 formation run and pass game.
  • How the system adjusts to 2x2 Y off formation run and pass game.
  • How the system adjusts to 3x1 formation run and pass game vs. dominant and non-dominant X.
  • How the system adjusts to 2x1, two back formation run and pass game.
  • Plus, game film on this defense against various offenses.

 

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Conclusion

What started off as coverage to be used to stop spread teams and used in pass situations has become much more useful deploying it against all types of offenses from spread to the Wing T. This coverage has allowed us to put our players in positions to be successful, using the skills and techniques they already know.

 

 

Meet Coach Snyder:  Coach Snyder has been a varsity defensive coordinator since 2011 at Dekalb and Kaneland High School. During that time, his teams have made the playoffs 6 times, conference champions 4 times and a Semi-Final appearance in 2011. In his 2 years at Dekalb, his defense has given up 11.3 points per game holding 14 opponents to 14 points or less over the last 2 seasons including 4 shutouts.

 

 

 

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