FNF Coaches Talk

Thanks for coming back, Coaches. Here’s today’s roundup.

1. Pressure Packages in the Double-A Gap Mug (FNF Coaches)

Here’s a great X’s and O’s story by former NFL coach Mike Pettine.

He provides an overview of how to provide different looks out of the double mug package. As defensive coaches, we are always looking for ways to line up that are simple for us and difficult on the offense.

We know that threatening both A-gaps is definitely an issue for the offense when it comes to pass protection, so we came up with a variety of ways to threaten the A-gaps without always running the same thing out of it.
I think it’s important that you can show the look often and back out of it. Then from time to time bring pressure in the form of Cover 1 or zone blitz, and then a few instances you need to go Cover 0 and bring everybody.

Most offenses will have some sort of protection check against double mug pressure. Many times, the quarterback will cheat the running back up into one of the A-gaps so he can block his responsibility early.

The key thing to know here is since your tackles are starting wide, one of them has to have a plan for how they will balance out the rush lanes. What you don’t want to end up with is two B-gap rushers and two edge rushers. With that, the QB has an easy escape lane up the middle once the linebackers vacate.

What is your favorite defensive alignment when you’re trying to pressure the quarterback?

2. Gregg Williams pushes, prods Jets defense with tough-love approach (Newsday)

Coaches — We all know about Bountygate, and former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ role in the scandal. What’s been surprising to us, at least, is that Williams rebounded from that scandal after the suspension and continues to get hired by teams who need an immediate fix on defense.

Everything Williams does is done with a purpose and has that underlying ulterior motive of bringing out the best in his players.
Williams has had the loudest voice on the Jets’ practice field, constantly screaming and cursing before and after plays. By design. Williams said it prepares them for everything they’ll face on game days.
“I try to put as much external pressure on them as we can from distractions, voice, fake anger that type of stuff to try and get ready for Sundays,” Williams said before the Jets held their final OTA practice. “Once they get inside the white lines you’ll see a much calmer me on Sunday.”

Coaches — What is the best way to allow your assistants to coach in their own style — while still staying within the lines of your coaching philosophy?

3. Tennessee Vols assistant coach has an old school approach to recruiting (A to Z Sports Nashville)

One of the reasons the University of Tennessee staff has recruited well is because the Vols have successfully adapted to the ever changing world of recruiting. Using social media and cell phones to connect with players is extremely important.

But one Vols assistant, while he’s adapted in certain ways, still has an old school approach when it comes to recruiting.

Tennessee defensive line coach Tracy Rocker is the epitome of “old school”. He’s a hard nosed coach who is straight up with players. And he doesn’t believe in superficial relationships just to land a recruit. What you see is what you get with Rocker.

In a world where we’re constantly communicating with each other, it’s refreshing to hear that Rocker allows recruits to take a step back and breathe. The recruiting process can be intense and overwhelming. That’s why the NCAA has certain rules in place to make the experience less stressful for recruits. But most coaches push those rules to the boundaries, with some coaches using the rules more as a suggestion.

Four-star Vols recruiting target Omari Thomas recently told VolQuest that Rocker believes in meaningful conversations about more than just football, adding “he doesn’t blow my phone up….he doesn’t believe in blowing you up”.

What parameters would you set on the allowable communication between recruiters and your players?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!

About the author

Dan Guttenplan