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Thread: Football 101

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    Football 101

    Here at Clanram, we believe this site is not just a place for Rams fans to discuss football, but also a center of learning. An institute for the advancement of the barbaric chess match known as football.

    In that effort, we are opening up a new feature titled....FOOTBALL 101

    Have you ever wondered about some of the more detailed concepts of football? You hear words like seam, 2-gap, 4-technique, Mike, Rover, twist, cover-2, etc......and ever wonder, what the farfegnuggen are they talking about?!?!

    Yea, I know, me too!

    But at the same time, nobody wants to ask a question like that on a football message board, right? I mean, that kind of stuff should be encoded on our DNA from birth.....shouldn't it?

    Well, I admit, I too have wondered about some of the concepts that make football the ultimate science of violence. So, we, the staff of ClanRam, have scoured the globe to enlist the help of former coaches and football theorists to answer our questions regarding everything football.

    So, if you have a question, simply PM it to me. Your question will be placed before the thinktank here at the ClanRam Institute for Advanced Football Thought, and your answer (with names removed to protect the innocent) will be posted on this thread.

    So, with that, start PM'ing me your questions, and I'll put our experts to work for you.

    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Football 101

    ClanRam Institute for Advanced Football Thought,
    LOL

    That's a good one HUB.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
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    Re: Football 101

    This is a great Idea! This is a great place to be! Thanks OldRamsFan again!
    "Integrity is the formula of who a person Is or Is not"


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    Re: Football 101

    well to be honest i was just talking to one of my guys about the 3-4, i dont understand it at all compared to the cover 2 we used fo so long

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    Re: Football 101

    Sounds like a good idea. I certainly don't know all the terms and concepts. I like to pretend that I know more than I do. Have I fooled anyone?
    LOL

    I'll send in some of the things that I don't understand. Please explain them in a simple fashion that a simple minded type could understand.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Football 101

    The Question....
    Quote Originally Posted by fred10licious
    well to be honest i was just talking to one of my guys about the 3-4, i dont understand it at all compared to the cover 2 we used fo so long
    And now the answer from our experts at the Clanram Institute for Advanced Football Thought (CIAFT)...
    Quote Originally Posted by CIAFT
    Good question, fred. However, I have to say the difference between the 3-4 and the Cover-2 is the same as the difference between an apple and an orange. We'll start with the 3-4. Haslett brings with him a hybrid system in the front 7 that will require the Rams to rearrange their box personnel, as we have seen in the past couple of weeks. The basic 4-3 that we see now requires 4 down lineman to handle most pass rushing assignments on passing downs and gap fills on running downs. What we will see in the 3-4 is the NT (be it Kennedy or whoever) filling a 2 gap assignment between the guards and the 2 DEs filling the gaps either outside the guards or tackles depending on LB assignment. At least one of the LBs will be rushing on most every down. This is the beauty of the 3-4, you give up solid gap assignments at the line, but you now have the element of surprise from within the LBs. At least one of them is "bringing it" to the QB or RB, but nobody knows which one.

    Several personnel changes will need to happen, but the first two that must take place will be at NT and SOLB. If Kennedy is to take over, he better be hitting the weight room and St. Louis area buffets with fanatical passion. In the 3-4, the NT has to be a monster that eats up 2 O-linemen EVERY down. If the C or G alone can handle the NT, the 3-4 can be blown up. The second change has to come from the SOLB. Here's where the hottest term in football comes into play, the proverbial "tweener". The SOLB has to be able to rush the QB like a DE, but cover the TE like a traditional 4-3 SOLB. The best choice on the roster today is Chillar. He has good size and appears to be a solid tackler, but his pass rushing skills are untested at this point. Another option would be backing up Hargrove to the SOLB spot, but that could be like expecting a "C" average Algebra student to take over teaching a Calculus class. A little more DE development time may be needed for Hargrove.

    Now, on to the Cover-2. The funny thing is, a lot of Rams fans link the Cover-2 with Lovie Smith. The truth is, Marmie ran the traditional "Bud Carson" style Cover-2 from the 70's. Lovie actually ran the Tampa-2, a variation of the popular Cover-2. First, let's discuss the Cover-2. Most NFL, NCAA, even high school teams, in the nation run some type of Cover-2. The basic formation is pretty simple; 2 deep zone safeties (hence the name) and 5 underneath coverages. The 5 underneath defenders consist of 2 corners covering the short and intermediate outs while the 3 LBs (notice the typical Cover-2 is run with a traditional 4-3) cover the 3/5ths of the interior short and intermediate zones. This is the base Cover-2 and requires "twin" cover safeties. We all remember Martz talking about Left and Right safties last year, don't we?

    What Lovie ran here and now in Chicago (as well as his mentors, Dungy in Indy and Kiffen in Tampa) is called the Tampa-2. On the chalkboard, the Tampa-2 starts with the Cover-2, but then drops the MLB into deep cover to morph into a Cover-3, with underneath quarters (2 CBs and 2 OLBs each covering 1/4 of the short routes area). A popular blitz variation can be to blitz the SS while dropping the MLB to result in a blitz that gives a Cover-2 coverage. The Tampa-2, though, is more about energy level from the players than it is the chalkboard. The Tampa-2 relies on undersized, but fast and energetic wildmen. They don't have to be geniuses to play in a Tampa-2, but they do have to play with non-stop motors and hit harder than their size would assume. The Tampa-2 should have a SS that plays like a LB (ie. Lynch in the old Bucs, Arch in the '01-03 Rams, Sanders in Indy, Brown in Chicago), small linemen that are quick off the ball and hit gaps as fast as possible (Sapp & Rice with the old Bucs, Freeney & Simon in Indy, Brown & Harris in Chicago), and small LBs that run like safeties.

    The 3 men that are true masters of the Tampa-2 (Dungy, Kiffen, Smith) have developed their respective teams into the best defensive units in football today. If done right, it can be a dominant defensive scheme.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Football 101

    Quote Originally Posted by UtterBlitz
    Sounds like a good idea. I certainly don't know all the terms and concepts. I like to pretend that I know more than I do. Have I fooled anyone?
    LOL

    I'll send in some of the things that I don't understand. Please explain them in a simple fashion that a simple minded type could understand.
    I've spoken with the CIAFT, and they assure me that simple is their specialty.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Football 101

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    I've spoken with the CIAFT, and they assure me that simple is their specialty.
    That is good to hear since I need simple. I never played football, except for a little flag football. I am a girl, give me a break. These terms float on bye and I don't know what they mean.

    This last little informative bit about 3-4 versus cover 2 is far too advanced for me. For instance, perhaps we could start by explaining what the "box" is. I have heard talk of having "8 in the box", but I don't really know what that means. How does 3-4 versus 4-3 work in the "box"?

    Please explain the "box" in detail. I need basics here. This is suppose to be football 101 not football 501.

    What are gaps? Where are gaps found? Does a gap only refer to the defense or do you have gaps in offense also? It appears that some players have a "2 gap assignment". How many gaps can you add together before something bad happens?

    Let's use this as a start. Please define the box and gaps. Thanks.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Football 101

    I can cover some of this. The CIAFT can fill in what I miss. Okay, the box is an area extending about 5 yards directly in front of the offensive line. This is the area where defensive lineman and linebackers usually play, so there are normally "7 in the box." However, you can bring the safety up closer to the line, at which point he becomes the eighth man when you talk about "8 in the box." Usually, you bring the safety up for run support or to blitz; however, some teams, like Pittsburgh, will have the safety go into coverage from inside the box sometimes to make the defense harder to read.

    Gaps are the holes in the offensive line that a running back could run through. For example, there is a gap between the right tackle and the right guard. So, a gap assignment means a defensive player is responsible to keep the running play from going through a specific gap between two players. The defender assigned to the gap is to keep the hole from opening up enough or tackle the runner coming through if that fails.

    A two gap assignment means that the player has to clog two running lanes. The nose tackle in the 3-4 would be assigned to stop the runner from going between (1) the center and left guard or (2) the center and right guard.

    I may have some questions for the CIAFT later as well.

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    Re: Football 101

    Quote Originally Posted by UtterBlitz
    That is good to hear since I need simple. I never played football, except for a little flag football. I am a girl, give me a break. These terms float on bye and I don't know what they mean.

    This last little informative bit about 3-4 versus cover 2 is far too advanced for me. For instance, perhaps we could start by explaining what the "box" is. I have heard talk of having "8 in the box", but I don't really know what that means. How does 3-4 versus 4-3 work in the "box"?

    Please explain the "box" in detail. I need basics here. This is suppose to be football 101 not football 501.

    What are gaps? Where are gaps found? Does a gap only refer to the defense or do you have gaps in offense also? It appears that some players have a "2 gap assignment". How many gaps can you add together before something bad happens?

    Let's use this as a start. Please define the box and gaps. Thanks.
    Gaps would be where a runner can go through For example, this is how my team did it.


    8 (O) 6 O 4 O 2 O 1 O 3 O 5 (O) 7


    The O's are Linemen.

    The (O)'s are TE's / WRs.

    On the left side are holes 2-8 (All Even)
    On the right side are holes 1-7 (All Odd)

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    Re: Football 101

    Thanks GoldenFleece. That was good basic explanation of the box and the gaps. I have heard the "8 in the box" many times while watching the Steelers with my brother.

    So Milan, according to your diagram, I think there are 6 gaps to fill? Is that correct? Or is it 8? Are 8 and 7 called gaps or holes? They don't seem like they would be called holes or gaps because they are one sided. Do they are a different name?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Football 101

    Could someone explain to mean the difference between a strong and free safety, also what does it mean if a player has been "waivered"??? If you could answer that it would be great

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    Re: Football 101

    Strong safety is the safety that plays the tight-end side of the field. His main responsibility is the tight-end and run support, he could play up near the line of scrimage. A Free safety main responsibility is coverage and usually plays deeper. Some teams play their FS as someone that runs freely and makes their own reads.



    QUOTE=TheBritishRam]Could someone explain to mean the difference between a strong and free safety, also what does it mean if a player has been "waivered"??? If you could answer that it would be great[/QUOTE]

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    Re: Football 101

    Quote Originally Posted by UtterBlitz
    Thanks GoldenFleece. That was good basic explanation of the box and the gaps. I have heard the "8 in the box" many times while watching the Steelers with my brother.

    So Milan, according to your diagram, I think there are 6 gaps to fill? Is that correct? Or is it 8? Are 8 and 7 called gaps or holes? They don't seem like they would be called holes or gaps because they are one sided. Do they are a different name?
    From the institute....
    Quote Originally Posted by CIAFT
    The terms to describe gaps differ between the O and the D. A common naming system for the O is the one shown on the previous page with the 1,3,5 gaps to the left of center and 2,4,6 on the right. However, for defense that naming system changes to letters....A,B,C. The "A" gap is the one on either side of the center. The "B" gap is between each guard and tackle. The "C" gap is outside each tackle. The 4-3 is typically a "1-gap" defense with each linemen and one or more LBs assigned a specific gap. However, a 3-4 is a "2-gap" defense with the NT covering both "A" gaps on his own. As well, one or both of the DEs may be assigned both a "B" and "C" gap.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Football 101

    Quote Originally Posted by UtterBlitz
    Thanks GoldenFleece. That was good basic explanation of the box and the gaps. I have heard the "8 in the box" many times while watching the Steelers with my brother.

    So Milan, according to your diagram, I think there are 6 gaps to fill? Is that correct? Or is it 8? Are 8 and 7 called gaps or holes? They don't seem like they would be called holes or gaps because they are one sided. Do they are a different name?
    I'm not sure, but the 8, and 7 ones would be the outside, after the TE.

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