Skins DEFENSE vs Minnesota

Formations

We played a lot of two-high safety when Hall was in the game then switched to mostly one-high after he got replaced by Everett.  Last week I thought the 2-high switch was to keep our safeties from getting hurt but it’s probably due to DHall’s lack of range.

When we went with one-high safety, Minnesota attacked our flat zones with Arrow/Slant route combos:

and Outside Zone Play Action:

This is what most teams do to us:  Flat zones are an area we give up so we can protect deep while adding a safety against the run.  It’s a trade off that hurt us in Seattle but didn’t kill us in this game.

The only trickery of note was their empty set which drew Norman into covering a running back and left Brown and Hall to bracket Thielen:

Brown is still trying to figure out his assignment at the snap and Hall takes a bad angle:

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Skins DEFENSE vs Seattle

Formations

We were able to dictate which gaps we wanted Seattle to run into:

  • We slanted Hood and McClain in opposite directions, opening the offensive line.
  • Compton widened out and drew the center from the line.

The RB took the bait and hit the gap we designed for him, Brown took care of the rest:

End Zone View:

Compton made plays away from the ball like this one all game long.

That was the basic bones of our run defense: bait the running back and let Zach Brown clean up.  Most times it worked as planned and sometimes they got us with misdirection.

On this drive they ran back to back moving “Iso” runs.  Basically, Iso is when the fullback slams straight ahead into the linebacker and clears a path for the running back.  This was the third time they lined up to run Iso, so we answered with this:

  • McGee slants and takes the Left Guard with him.
  • This opens up a gap for Compton to smash into the fullback
  • Brown is free to clean up the running back.

But Seattle ran the “Counter” play instead and caught us in a bad defense.  The running back fakes like it’s Iso with the first step, but then they pull the left guard and fullback the other way and the running back follows:

Slanting guys around is a chess match that will go both ways, fortunately in this game we won these match ups more than we lost them.

Like the previous week, we ditched the exotic formations.  Deshazor Everett only got 1 snap even though Montae Nicholson was out for the game.  That left DHall and DJ Swearinger to man the safety corps for the entire game; we played with 2 high safeties way more than normal.

What Happened

Run defense was near perfect, but pass rush lane integrity and flat zone coverage were a problem.

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