4Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Line – Absolutes Understand the situationWhen in doubt, destructImpose your heartPlug in the power linesDon’t assume, plat to the echo of the whistleLeave no doubtFinish
5Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Line – Practice Priorities StancesPower StanceStance starts with proper alignmentFeet shoulder width apart and flatHeal to toe alignment, knees at 45 degree angleFlat backFoot and hand closest to the ball are staggered (foot) and down (hand)Majority of our weight is on our down hand, with off hand at our armpit ready to shootSee the ball in our peripheral vision, eyes on man across from usAttack half a man, unless our keys tell us otherwise Jet StanceDown hand and feet are tight and compact, sending our hips to the skyAll of our weight is over our down hand, promoting first step explosion, off hand is at our armpit ready to shootFeet are underneath our hips to ensure that explosive first stepHeal to toe alignment
6Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Line – Practice Priorities Stances (continued)2 Gap StanceStance starts with proper alignmentFeet shoulder width apart and flatToe to Toe Alignment, with both feet firmly on the ground from heel to toeKnees at 45 degree angleFlat backBody weight is evenly distributed between hands and feetOff hand is at our armpit ready to shootSee the ball in our peripheral visionEyes on helmet screws of centerWe lift opposing blocker into backside gap, while occupying our play side gap
7Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Line – Practice Priorities Read Progressions (Man across from us, Man next to us, Double Team and/or Pull Lane, FB or RB)Use pre-snap reads to help diagnose what may happen around us/to us. Check whether OL’s fingertips are white or red, whether they’re on the balls of their feet or flat footed, the location of their eyes, whether they’re lined up on the ball or they’re cheating into the backfield, size of splits, changing personnel/positions, etc.Down and distance?Field situation?Game situation?What do they run to strength out of this formation?What do they run backside out of this formation?Get off the Ball! One of the most important skills we need to cultivate is getting off the ball as fast as possible.Read the man across from us through the man next to us. Keys will be based on pressure toward us or flow away from us.
8Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Line – Practice Priorities TechniquesHand placement is crucial. Thumbs up, elbows close together protecting our chest. We don’t allow anyone to gain inside hand position on us.Attack half a man! Facemask under chin, one hand to the OL’s jersey numbers, other hand to the armpit/shoulder. The goal is to neutralize man across from us, feel/fight pressure off the double team and destruct the block.Our feet are one of our biggest weapons (along with our hands). We want our feet to continually move while keeping them close to the ground. Our steps will be longer in obvious pass rushing situations.We need to have proper knee bend, low pad level (flat back), body control, and great leverage if we want to be successful.We will work to draw the double team. This is our role. They can’t block all of us.We will use both power and speed moves in passing situations. Speed moves that don’t work become power moves!We will perform a move post snap, but we understand that we may need to employ a 2nd move or counter move based on our opponents progression. Don’t ever relax after initial contact.
9Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Line – Practice Priorities Techniques (continued)Crossing face is important to our ability to fight pressure. Once the threat has cleared our gap responsibility we’re looking to gain proper leverage and run down the threat like our hair is on fire.When we feel our opponent lose leverage or body control we will shed and make a play.Understand when you are a force player and a pursuit player. One DE will be a force player, the NT will pursue flat down the line of scrimmage, and the backside DE will honor all cut backs and reverse field situations, whether designed or impromptu.First guy in wraps up ball carrier, all subsequent defenders are ripping at the ball with the expectations of taking it. We are incredibly aggressive in our pursuit of turnovers.
10Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Line – Practice Priorities Tempo CallsBOB (Big on Big): Our objective is to engage and occupy the Offensive Linemen. We engage and occupy, allowing our 2nd and 3rd level defenders to flow cleanly.RABBIT (Pin the ears back): We will pin our ears back and fly to our target. We will meet our target at 100 miles an hour with reckless abandon. Note, this tempo will increase the chance for mistake. We cannot play scared in this mode. Let it loose.LASSO: Our Defensive Ends will get up field hard, while our Tackle(s) will read, react, and eliminate the offensive threat. This tempo should allow us to corral the offensive threat.
11Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Line – Practice Priorities Daily DrillsBagsRabbit drillPush PullReach DrillGap fitCircling hoopsDefeat the DoubleTackle FitsTurnover drill
14Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Inside Linebackers – Practice Priorities StanceFeet shoulder width apartWeight on balls of feet“Clean” positionEyes on guard/FB comboReads – Guard, Center, FB triangleAT – step hard at gap, take on block with inside shoulder (Examples: trap, ISO, belly).AWAY – step at center, check for counter, reverse, screen. Be slow, stay behind your partner.OUTSIDE – downhill, rip over the top of the tackle/TE. Inside of cat/split. Stay on back hip of RB.PASS – zone drop, get depth, find #2, look for crossing route.
15Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Inside Linebackers – Practice Priorities TechniquesAlways take on a block with INSIDE shoulderAlways stay behind (inside) your partnerYou move as a tandemTurn everything back to each otherRip over blocks on outside runsOur fit is inside the Sam and BuckScrape on roll out pass to your sideWE PLAY DOWNHILL!!!Ball LevelsLevel 1 - QB on the LOSHandoff/optionRun readLevel 2- QB off the LOS diagonal or straight back in front of backCould be run or passWe will read as runLevel 3 - QB drop back, cleared backPass, we read as pass
16Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Inside Linebackers – Practice Priorities Daily DrillsReads and Responsibilities (Read your guard)3 Tackle (stay on the back hip)Bags (agilities)V-Z DrillShuffle Alley ShuffleTaking on a blockArm Rip
18Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Outside Linebackers – Absolutes Play fast Maintain leverageSteel cablesBlock destructionTackle with aggressionFinish
19Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Outside Linebackers – Practice Priorities Areas of FocusAlignment (including stances and stemming)Reads & Responsibilities (our first read is typically the Tackle or TE)Block destruction (we are most often blocked by a pulling guard, a leading fullback, a cracking wide receiver or the tight end lined up in front of us)Tackling (always know where your help is…never miss “wrong”)Pass Rush Techniques (bull rush or dip & rip)Zone Pass Drops (we almost always “quarter out”)Man Pass Coverage (maintain inside position and always know where the safety help is)
20Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Outside Linebackers – Practice Priorities Stances / ReadsApex Alignment (aka Notre Dame)Half way between OT and inside WR, 2-3 Yards off the Line of ScrimmageFeet slightly wider than shoulder width apartSprinter type alignmentFlat back, bent forwardHands relaxedEyes on the crown of the OT’s helmet (fire out=run, high hat=pass)Weight on the front foot, back foot ready to drive you forward on a run readDon’t go until you know…once you know, you gotta go!
21Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Outside Linebackers – Practice Priorities Stances / Reads (continued)TE Tilt Alignment (aka Wisconsin)Two yards off and two yards outside the TE, 45 degree angle, staring right at the TEFeet slightly wider than shoulder width apartHeal to toe alignmentFlat back, bent forwardHands relaxedEyes on the crown of the TE’s helmet (down block=run, fire off the line=pass)Ready to attack the spot the TE just left aggressively, likely to meet FB or pulling guardTE Balanced Alignment (aka Crotch)Inside foot aligned close enough to kick the TE in the “crotch”Hands ready to fire into the TE’s chest plate on first moveWeight balancedLoosen up to 1 yard off and center up on the TE if we are in man coverage. Do not give up an easy inside release.
22Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Outside Linebackers – Practice Priorities Daily DrillsShuffleAlleyBack pedalQuarter OutV-Z DrillRead the TackleRead the TETaking on blocksDip & RipScoop & ScoreINT, tuck it away, get outside, score a TD…Every drill we spend time on will directly correlate to improving our Outside Linebackers in one of our 7 areas of focus.
24Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Backs – Absolutes Eye discipline AggressiveConfidenceShort memoryFootwork/techniquePursuit anglesBall is the issueFinish
25Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Backs – Practice Priorities Stance (bend at the waist, bend knees, keep your tail up and shoulders down, back should be flat, head up and eyes forward on the QB)Feet – staggered with a heel to toe relationship, no wider than shoulder widthArms – relaxed, hanging down from the shoulderWeight – balanced over both feet to eliminate any false steppingBlock ProtectionStalk – keep inside leverage, refuse to be blocked, must be physicalCut Block – keep your head up, use your hands to push blocker to the groundCrack – must be vocal, crack & replaceTacklingRun, gather, sideline, and receiver closeOpen Field – keep head up, eyes open, feet moving and attackPursuit Angle – understand where your help is, run to where ball carrier is going, not where he is
26Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Backs – Practice Priorities Zone Coverage ConceptsQB reads – 3 step, 5 step and set & transferReceiver and route reads per coveragePlay Action, Bootleg, and Sprint OutBall & Interception TechniquesDeep ball fade and rangeAngle break interceptionUnderneath zone – QB reads, zone floodMan coverage concepts and techniquesPress Man Technique – Gather release, Gather Hands, Mirror, Vertical transitionOff Man Technique – Eyes To Finish, Pedal Cushion, Vertical, Fade, Post, Post CornerCatch and Leverage Technique (Inside Receiver)Coverage Responsibilities
27Eagan Wildcat Defense 2014 Defensive Backs – Practice Priorities Coaching PointsStance – stem coverage, movement is the key, “Don’t stand in quick sand”, move aroundAlignment – will vary depending on down and distance, speed of receiver, your speed, field conditions, etc.Assignment – must understand what your job is every play, learn what to do and how to do it. “Do Your Job and Your Job Only”. Practice hard and fast, develop a sense of urgency.Position AttributesCorner – must be able to run and cover, has to defend the fastest player on the field. Must be mentally tough, must have a short memory.Falcon – must be a coach on the field, must have a great understanding of the defense called, must make coverage calls and checks.Hawk – must be physical, must be a great tackler, must be able to cover the flats, and ½ field.Defensive Back CharacteristicsPride in your ability to be the best (great work ethic)Desire to be the best (sense of urgency)Confidence to want the ball thrown your way (be the guy)Aggressive enough to go after the ball (be physical)Poise to have a short memory (getting beat is part of the game)The most important play is The Next Play!