Training Camp: Playing Inside Linebacker vs Outside Linebacker

Training Camp:  Inside Linebacker vs Outside Linebacker I attended (i.e., watched) football camp at Columbia University and learned some of the subtle differences between the Inside Linebacker and the Outside Linebacker and what to watch for. The second line of the defense (read more about each position group on the field) consists of the players […]

The 3-4 vs the 4-3 Defense

“A&M is running a 3-4 scheme on defense that Oklahoma State isn’t used to” was the explanation given by the broadcasters as to why the Cowboys went scoreless for almost the entire first half of the Thursday night’s Texas A&M vs Oklahoma State game (2010).  While the 3-4 Defense is not currently the norm in […]

All About Offensive Linemen

Because the top player chosen in this year’s NFL Draft is most likely going to be a lineman, this post is dedicated to what the offensive and defensive linemen do on the field.  To begin with, the number one term for a lineman should be the word “gap.”  Gap refers to the space between the […]

Angelique’s Study Guide to Super Bowl XLV

(so that your girlfriend– or friend– or you have something else to watch besides the commercials) You may have already heard of Pittsburgh’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, either from watching the Steelers or perhaps an awkward encounter in a bar or bathroom stall.  He has gotten into a wee bit of trouble (i.e., a four-game suspension) […]

Offensive Line: Man-to-Man vs Zone Run Blocking

A significant component of an offense’s ability to run the ball is based on it’s ability to block out the defensive players and make lanes for their runner. Blocking is such a fundamental aspect of the game that it is often the determinative factor of the success of a play.  It is primarily carried out […]

Zone Coverage Schemes

Includes Cover 0, Cover 1, Cover 2, Cover 3, Cover 4 Please note that these diagrams and descriptions are truly over-simplifications, but they provide a basis of how different assignments and zones work.  In the end, the plays will vary significantly and the personnel used will move around in order to confuse the offense.  Defenses […]

Triple Spread Option Offense

WHAT THE HECK IS THE TRIPLE-OPTION, SPREAD OFFENSE? Sports Broadcasters often discuss the Triple Spread Option or the Triple-Option Spread Offense but rarely explain what it is.  I even saw an article on entitled “Georgia Tech’s Johnson explains Spread-Option Offense,” but it didn’t explain anything about his offensive scheme.   So this column is to […]

Spread Option Offense

The Spread, the Option, the Zone Read… and how they all work together Spread Option offenses are considered to be “equalizers” on the playing field, allowing less athletic teams to compete with larger and faster defenses. They achieve this by using multiple ball carriers to trick the defenders and by setting up the play so […]

Defense: Man-to-Man vs Zone

There are two basic ways to structure a defense: 1) Man-to-Man and 2) Zone. The true difference between these defenses is Coverage, or how they protect against the pass.  In Man-to-Man, as the name suggests, the pass defenders are assigned to specific players.  But in Zone Coverage, the pass defenders cover a specific area or […]

The Rose Bowl: New Rules and Why They Might Impact Stanford

 The reason why there has already been discussion about the Rose Bowl (taking place in January 2011) is that the likely Pac-10 Champion, Oregon, may ultimately play in the National Championship Game.  If this happens, then the question becomes:  who plays in the Rose Bowl game in Oregon’s place?  Under normal circumstances if the Rose […]