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By Woody Blevins, Special Teams Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach, University of Northern Colorado

In this exclusive clinic report, Coach Blevins explains the three level reads he uses to teach the bounce post as well as the drill work he uses to train them.

By Woody Blevins
Special Teams Coordinator/Cornerbacks Coach
University of Northern Colorado
Twitter: @CoachWoody2

 

 

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Offenses are more dynamic than ever. With the increasing popularity of the Quarterback (QB) Run Game and RPO's most defenses have begun to favor 1-high coverage structures. As most of us know, 1-high coverages take defenders out of run/pass conflicts. While 1-high defenses are one of many solid answers to defend modern offenses, one of the most important parts of single high defense remains out of date: the post technique. In this report, I aim to uncover the major chink in every 1-high defense's armor and teach you how to fix it by updating your post technique. A change in how you teach your post technique will help you effectively defend QB Run, RPO’s, and modern offenses. At the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) we call that post technique the Bounce Post.

 

THE PROBLEM: IT’S IN THE NUMBERS

Before we begin discussing the Bounce Post technique it is imperative that we understand some of the strengths and weaknesses of 1-high defenses, specifically as it pertains to the run game. Let’s begin with its strengths. Any coverage which closes the middle of the field (Middle Of The Field Closed: MOFC) has at least eight defenders in the run fit. I would be hard-pressed to find a defensive coach on the planet who does not agree that 1-high defense is excellent at stopping the run. As we see in the diagrams below, any 1-high coverage has the same, gap sound fit.

Diagram 1

 

In the next diagram you can see that even though the formations are spread, 1-high defenses are still GAP SOUND.

Diagram 2

 

Another fact that is noticeable from the previous diagrams is that while 1-high defenses are gap sound, they also take defenders out of run/pass conflicts. For example, Curl/Flat (C/F) defenders are always relating to their #2 threats. Hook/Curl (H/C) defenders are always relating to their #3 threats. Regardless of coverage (3, Match, 1Rat, Fire Zone, Man Free, etc.) we always have every receiving threat covered and out of run/pass conflicts. 

It is clear that the strength of a 1-high defense is stopping the run, but its biggest weakness is hidden. The glaring issue with the 1-high defense is clearly revealed when we take a look at it from a different perspective. As I – and the diagrams above – have made abundantly clear, a 1-high defense is gap sound; however, it is not hat sound. To demonstrate my point, let’s take a look at the numbers of the run fit:

Diagram 3

 

Yes, you read that correctly. The offense has one more player in the box than we have. Why is this important? Well, to illustrate this efficiently please take a peek at the next diagram:

Diagram 4

 

Our way of relieving stress on the QB player in the past has been to use the Curl/Flat defenders as a secondary QB player. As you can see in the clip below, this can prove problematic against teams who use 1st level RPO’s because the Curl/Flat defender is their throw read. If that C/F defender leaves the route concept (in the video it is a bubble) the QB is going to throw the ball.

Now that we have reviewed some of the most important strengths and weaknesses of 1-high defense it is time to discuss the Bounce Post.

 

WHY WE USE THE BOUNCE POST

The Bounce Post technique fixes our numbers issue in the QB run game. As you will see during the report, the Bounce Post technique allows our defense to add an 11th hat into the run fit in the event of QB run.  Additionally, it relieves stress on the QB player. Finally, it helps us be intentional, flexible, and productive in how we play our 1-high defenses.

 

WHY IS IT CALLED THE BOUNCE POST & HOW TO DO IT

First and foremost, I cannot take credit for the name, “Bounce Post.” I learned a lot of this technique (as well as the name) from the Defensive Coordinator at Lenoir-Rhyne, Joel Taylor. He is one of the top DB coaches in the country and was kind enough to spend a few days with me after the 2016 season to teach me the base fundamentals of how to play the Bounce Post.

The name is derived from the footwork of post safety. Essentially, the post player is going to ‘bounce’ (aka shuffle) towards the post after the snap.

 

KEY

  • The QB’s Level (Mesh Point). After the ball is snapped, the post player is going to key the QB.
    • Mesh: QB Meshes with the RB. I tell my players once they see mesh, three things can happen: Give, Keep, or Drop. This may seem obvious, but I believe it is still important to share this with your players. For example:
      • QB gives the ball to RB = Run
      • QB keeps ball = QB Run
      • QB Drops back = Pass
    • No Mesh: The QB drops back immediately. This is obviously pass.

 

THE BOUNCE POST

If I could summarize this technique in one sentence it would be: The post player must match the QB. The post player is becoming our 11th hat, this will make us hat sound and gap sound. The beauty of the Bounce Post is its simplicity. Even though I will go into extreme detail throughout this article, it is imperative to remember the sentence which began this article. It is of such importance I will write it again: The post player must match the QB. When I teach this technique to our players I break down the QB’s movements into three levels:

Diagram 5

 

 

Continue to the full-length version of this report...

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  • Techniques and responsibilities for the bounce post defender as it pertains to level one reads including read zone, speed option and RB lead concepts.
  • Techniques and responsibilities for the bounce post defender as it pertains to level two reads including boot concepts.
  • Techniques and responsibilities for the bounce post defender as it pertains to level three reads in drop back pass concepts.
  • How the bounce post technique is adjusted to defend RPO concepts based on formation, field location, down and distance and offset formation.
  • The difference in technique between one-high and two-high alignments as it pertains to secondary disguise.
  • Plus, game and drill film of this concept.

 

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Conclusion

The Bounce Post has been very effective in creating turnovers, and; I believe that if a technique creates one turnover in a season it was worth teaching. From 2016 – 2018, we have intercepted at least one pass each season utilizing the Bounce Post. Teaching a detailed, but simple post technique is essential for creating turnovers. The Bounce Post has helped us solve our issues with QB run in 1-high coverage structures, it has given us a way to deny and/or limit the damage of RPOs, and it has helped our Safeties succeed against modern offensive schemes. Hopefully, it proves to be equally effective for you!

 

 

Meet Woody Blevins: Coach Blevins played cornerback at Drake University and Colorado Mesa University. After his playing career, he began coaching as an undergraduate assistant and cornerbacks coach at Colorado Mesa in 2011. Coach Blevins joined the University of Northern Colorado’s staff as a volunteer/assistant DB’s coach in 2012, was promoted to graduate assistant/assistant LB’s in 2013 and was fortunate enough to be promoted to the full-time safeties coach in 2014. After the 2017 season, he was promoted to Special Teams Coordinator and safeties coach. As of now, he is the Special Teams Coordinator and Cornerbacks Coach.

 

 

 

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