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Friday, September 30, 2005

Routes vs. Press Man

Here is a message board response of mine about throwing versus man to man. Lots of the theory stuff is much more applicable to zones; vs. man you just have to beat people. (Though some of the best defenses can actually make you think they are in zone when they play man.)

While I agree that the mesh [two receivers shallow crossing at 6 yards, making a rub] is a great play vs man, it can take a little while to develop. I've definitely seen one or both receivers get jammed and the QB left with nowhere to go with the ball. I don't really think the Kentucky Shallow Cross Series is that inherently great versus press man. [an example play is here, more info can be found here. Both were mentioned in the discussion.]

I think shallow crosses work better versus loose man and zones where you can widen the linebackers. There aren't many rubs and the actual pass to the crosser is not always an easy throw against even a beaten defender; it's kind of is to the side and sometimes even over the defender.

[Another poster] mentioned Spurrier: I also remember watching his Coaching show once when he was at UF, and he said "if they play tight man you're eventually going to have to throw the slant route and the fade route." These are two routes that your receivers must learn to execute one-on-one. Can they beat the man over them?

Further, to help your guys vs press man the simplest thing to do is put your receiver off the ball, i.e. as a flanker. Vary who is on and who is off to give your guys better leverage. Also, simple motions can help too; tough to jam a guy who is in motion (look at Arena football, can't quite do that same thing but the principle applies).

Last, stacks, bunches, and rubs. I group them together but two receivers working together (the essence of the Kentucky mesh, but sometimes putting them to the same side is best) works great. Have them criss cross, follow release, rub, whatever works in your system.

If Purdue sees press man they will invariably go to a really simple combination: a slant by the outside guy with the slot running a fade. The slant runs his break off the hip of the guy running the fade, so they get a "rub". The receiver breaks his route pretty flat at first but then will bend it upfield after a couple steps (he doesn't want to get too far inside, it isn't an in route).

If you are going to install any play versus press man, this is the first and easiest. The QB will look for the slant first. If they manage to cover the slant then he will look for the fade route, looking to drop it over his outside shoulder. (if it is zone you can often still free up the slant in the undercoverage, or stick the fade vs a cover 2 safety, but it is best as a man play).

Remember what I quoted Spurrier saying? Slants and fades? On this play you do both and the ball gets out much quicker than the Kentucky mesh (3 steps vs 5).


Anonymous said...

Slant/Fade Combo
A rule we live and die by... if it gets too hard we stack, if the kill us on that we run a motion from outside in and the motion gets behind the Receiver and runs a Y option, reading the FS or the Cover 2 when the first receiver breaks on a 10/12 and in Saftey takes the bite we go over the top/ if he stays we hit the corner, since the DB is shut out by the first receiver.Backside Hitch/Comeback or Swing by RB.

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