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By X&O Labs Research Staff

Odd Coaches…How do you plan on defending this formation?

By X&O Labs Research Staff

 

 

Fact: 10 Personnel offenses are a dying breed.

 

Fact: 82% of Odd front defenses had to defend one or two tight end personnel groupings this past season.

 

With the continued development of the tight end position, that number will only climb next fall. If you’re an Odd front outfit, you’ve known for years that offensive coordinators have been trying to bully you by lining up in four and five man surfaces at the line of scrimmage in an attempt to push the ball down your throat.

As offenses have evolved into using heavier personnel groupings, they have forced Odd defenses to adjust in defending them. But, rather than change the structure of the defense, Odd coaches are choosing to alter their support structure to get more numbers at the point of attack. As evidenced in X&O Labs latest special report, many of these coaches have chosen to tie safeties into the fit by using a two-high quarters coverage structure in defending it.

And we found the Ace trips formation to be a particular point of contention among our research because of the following elements of stress it places on a defense:

  1. Four potential gaps to either side of the formation
  2. Four potential vertical threats

 

There is a constant dialogue among Odd coaches on how to address the following questions presented with this formation:

  1. How to best handle trips side, particularly covering trips side tight end?
  2. How to best handle the nub side tight end?
  3. How to handle the run game of both the RB and QB?
  4. What if RB motions to nub tight end side?

 

In X&O Labs' new special report Defending Heavy Personnel Concepts from 3-4 Spacing, we uncover research from Odd front sources on how they are defending these formations by staying in two-high coverage and altering the run fits of the front seven.

Nine box defenders with four defensive backs that can cover vertical threats. Makes sense. But the beauty in playing with quarters run fits is how you can alter those fits to get your best tacklers at the point of attack. In this brand-new study, we are going to tell you how you can stay in two-high defense, play a seven box and still be able to defend the elements most common with the following personnel groupings:

  • 12 Personnel (one back, two tight ends)
  • 13 Personnel (one back, three tight ends)
  • 22 Personnel (two backs, two tight ends)
  • 23 Personnel (two back, three tight ends)

 

Defending Heavy Personnel Concepts from 3-4 Spacing

See how to stay in two-high defense, play a seven box and still be able to defend the elements most common with heavy personnel concepts

 

FACT: 82% of defenses that faced one or two tight end personnel groupings this past season had to defend tight end wing formations.

 

With the continued development of the tight end position, that number will only climb next fall. If you’re an Odd front outfit, you’ve known for years that offensive coordinators have been trying to bully you by lining up in four and five man surfaces at the line of scrimmage in an attempt to push the ball down your throat.

But before you start scratching the itch to drop a safety into the box and play some form of cover three or fire zone coverage, you may want to read X&O Labs’ brand-new research study...

 

Defending Heavier Personnel Groupings from 3-4 Spacing

 

What we found in this new study may interest you. Seems like you may want to stay in quarters coverage, at least according to our sources. Illinois State University defensive coordinator Travis Niekamp has been an Even front coach for nearly two decades but found transitioning to an Odd outfit helped in adjusting to all the unbalanced, heavy formations prevalent in the Missouri Valley Conference. And staying in quarters improved the run fits against these formations. “The problem with one-high coverage (or man) is you need to fit it right or you’re going to be short. And that missed fit is the play that winds up being a big play or a touchdown,” he said. “The nice thing with the split safety look is you can be wrong but still be okay as far as the fit goes because you’re always going to gain that extra safety back in the run game.”

As Saugus High School (CA) head football coach Jason Bornn told us, “If taught correctly, Quarters coverage is nine-man front. It just works for us because we use one safety as force and one safety as backside cutback. We need nine defenders in the box to defend the run game. It cleans the fit up better. I never understood when coaches say Cover 3 puts eight defenders in the box. You waste the high safety in cover three anyway.”

Nine box defenders with four defensive backs that can cover vertical threats. Makes sense. But the beauty in playing with quarters run fits is how you can alter those fits to get your best tacklers at the point of attack. In this brand-new study, we are going to tell you how you can stay in two-high defense, play a seven box and still be able to defend the elements most common with the following personnel groupings:

  • 12 Personnel (one back, two tight ends)
  • 13 Personnel (one back, three tight ends)
  • 22 Personnel (two backs, two tight ends)
  • 23 Personnel (two back, three tight ends)

 

X&O Labs’ Report on Defending Heavier Personnel Groupings from 3-4 Spacing

 

When you join X&O Labs’ exclusive membership website, Insiders, you’ll get instant access to the full report detailing everything you need to know to defend these personnel groupings.

Here’s a short list of what you’ll find in this brand-new special report...

 

Case 1: Defending 1/2 Back Concepts from Balanced Formations 
In this case, we present our “best practice” findings on how coaches are varying their run fits from 3-4 spacing to defend the formations below. We also provide their reasoning behind how they are alternating the following fit patterns based on opponent tendency: OLB/Safety fit pattern, CB/Safety fit pattern, ILB fit pattern.

  • Ace Single Width Structure (Two Attached Tight Ends)
  • Ace Wing Structure (One Attached, One Detached Tight End)
  • Deuce Wing Structure (Two Attached, One Detached Tight End)
  • Deuce Trips Structure (Two Attached Tight Ends)
  • Ace Trips Structure- Y Off Variant (One Attached, One Detached Tight End)

 

Case 2: Defending 1/2 Back Concepts from Unbalanced Formations 
According to our research, 55 percent of coaches had to defend up to five surface overloads this season. And we found that when defending unbalanced run surfaces, the majority of Odd coaches, 73% will adjust with their front seven defenders, not with their back end or by using pressure. In this case, we present our “best practice” findings on how Odd front coaches are adjusting their 3-4 fits to defend the following unbalanced formations below:

  • Three Surface Triple Width Unbalanced Formation Structure
  • Four Surface Double Width Unbalanced Formation Structure
  • Four Surface Nub Unbalanced Formation Structure
  • Four Surface X Off Unbalanced Formation Structure
  • Six Surface Nub Unbalanced Formation Structure

 

Case 3: Movement Strategies to Defend 1 and 2 Back Concepts 
In this case, Grinnell College (IA) defensive coordinator Jason Martinez presents his methodology on how he uses first level movements to defend the concepts his unit sees on a weekly basis from heavy personnel groupings. All of these movements are utilized from two-high spacing and by varying between Base, Over and Under front alignments.

 

Join the Insiders and Get Started Defending Heavy Personnel from 3-4 Spacing!

 

When you join X&O Labs’ exclusive Insiders membership website, you’ll get instant access to our brand-new special report, Defending Heavier Personnel Groupings from 3-4 Spacing. Plus, you’ll also get full access to every report, video, drill and study we’ve ever published. Our Insiders website is without question, the largest research resource for football coaches in the world. No other resource comes close.

And because we’re coaches just like you, we’ve made our membership prices affordable. Individual memberships are just $59.99 per year or you can register your entire coaching staff (up to 20 coaches) for the low price of $149.99 per year.

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