Defending Tight vs. Wide Bunch Formations

Feb 5, 2018 | Defense, Game Planning, Defending Specific Offensive Systems and Concepts

Michael Donnelly
Cornerback Coach
Michigan Tech University (MI)
Twitter: @M_Donnelly21



Bunch formations are becoming a popular tool by offenses to muddy the reads for defensive backs in coverage or create a mesh by alignment for man to man coverage. Teams are lining up (or motioning) to stack formations which helps create a free release or rub route for the WR in the back of the stack. Dealing with a trips bunch formation puts an extreme amount of pressure on the DB’s eyes. The secondary must recognize where the bunch is located and what to expect out of the different alignments through film study. Not only will teams use trips bunch formations to pass the ball, but it also can create gap integrity issues in the run game pending distance from the end man on the LOS.   

Tight Bunch Formations



For running purposes, the tight bunch gives the offense the ability to try and gain an edge (block down the point man on DE) or slice/pull #3 to create an extra hat play side.

 This clip is more to show how an offense can use the alignment of the bunch to run a gap scheme play away from the bunch, but still utilizing the bunch.  We are treating this bunch different than the variations I will get into so the way we are playing this is not important.  It is important to recognize if your DE can be affected by the bunch so he must recognize the type of block he has to defeat or be alerted from the backend.