How to Play Pass Defense and win.
By Bob Moneymaker,
who played both ways more than fifty years ago.
He played football at Loyola University, El Camino College, UCLA, Santa
Barbara State College, The San Diego Marines, Hawaii Marines and San Diegot State. In the 1960's, he coached the
Orange Rams in Orange County, California. Click here to see the extent of his football career.
(Terminateded by an auto accident.)
The Old Time Football Defensive Secondary
The current methods for playing the defensive secondary have been dominated by the NFL methods, which were changed in the early 1970's to make the game more "entertaining" for the paying customer, Network TV. In all ball games, the PRIMARY maneuver is to KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL.
Contemporary Football's defensive secondary training is a corruption of basic principles, OF EVERY TYPE OF BALL GAME KNOWN TO MANKIND.
It is a well known fact, IN ALL BALL GAMES, that the number one rule is, simply, KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL.
The most obvious errors in training of defenseive backs is that they are trained to take their eyes off the ball.
This deviant practice has been accomplished, in order to entertain the Network TV Fans, by allowing more scoring. This corruption of basic ball-game rules is so common in all levels of football, high school, college, and pro that the game will never be the same.
CLICK HERE FOR A HISTORY OF RULES CHANGES.
IF THAT DOESN'T WORK, CLICK HERE.
The major CHANGES were made in 1972, when NFL rules were changed to increase scoring : 1. The hashmarks were moved closer together, inside those used by the NCAA; and 2. The "Bump and Run" tactic for cornerbacks, & the "Five Yard Contact Allowed Rule", for wide receivers, was mandated by the NFL.That rule is "Keep your eye on the ball."
Field goal success was increased by the first change and the second change gave a major advantage to the offense and
increased touchdowns. The TV audience was the major impetus, as in the early Super Bowls touchdowns were
limited by the highly effective, "old fashioned" Pass Defense Tactics discussed here.
For the higher scoring gave added time for commercials. Each score resulted in a kickoff timeout which was
extended by longer timeouts to expand commercials, big revenue producers for the Media.
Current pass defense, NOW, in both NCAA and NFL football, violate the basic rule for all games, which involve a ball.
The Bump and Run change increases the offensive advantage for wide receivers. Their main advantange over the defense is that they know where they are going in the pass pattern.
To counter this major offensive advantage, in the earlier years, we had a series of very important rules:
- 1. USE YOUR PERIPERAL VISION ON THE RECEIVER; USE YOUR MAIN LINE OF SIGHT ON THE BALL;
- 2. Stay away from, (Stay Deeper than), the receiver, (don't let him get close to you--he knows which way he will cut and you don't)-- until the ball is in the air;
(The Bump and Run Tactic makes it impossible to keep away from of the receiver.) You must keep your distance from the receiver, until he has made his cuts. You stay just far enough away, so you can reach him before the ball does.
To do this you must:
3. Keep your eye on the ball, at all times. If you can't see it, you can't intercept it.(Run like a receiver, watching the quarterback, so you can intercept the pass.) We used to "back-pedal", or "side-pedal", as fast as the receiver, because he would usually not run at his top speed, until his cut for the ball.
4. At the hike, Use "Old Time Pass or Run Keys", Keep your eyes on the three, middle offensive, linemen. They, the center, the left and right guards, by the way they block, tell you if it's a pass or run.
5. Use your peripheral vision to watch the receiver.
Your main line of sight must stay on the most important part of the game, THE BALL.
The 2003 Bronco-Colt Playoff Game -
This clearly demonstrated the lack of these rules for Pass Defense, when the Colt Wide Receiver, Marvin Harrison, caught a pass, fell down, amd got up and ran for a touchdown, without being "touched" or "downed" by the Bronco Secondary.
It was obvious they had not been trained in the "Secondary's Rules of Engagement for Pass Defense."
(To be discussed later down this page.)
Defense against the Run
How many times have you seen the receiver get past the Bump and Run, which forces the defensive man to run with his back to the ball, as a ball carrier comes around the end , while the corner-back continues running deep with the wide receiver?
The Bump and Run Tactic has allowed the Offense to increase it's running game yardage. It is as effective as a good, wide receiver's block.Secondary's Pass Defense
If the Corner-back uses the rules, above, #4 & #5 particularly, he will make more tackles and be the End-Run-Stopper for most of the game.
Rules of Engagement
The pass defense of the team depends on a flexible but consistent set of rules that the secondary players, including line-backers, use as a team, in other words, they learn to work together as a unit.These rules do not change, no matter the formation.
The only change is that the secondary includes the linebackers, which number, thereof, can change based on the defensive formation, as to Blitz or No Blitz, tactics, etc.
The basic rules are :
- 1. The Corner-backs stay as wide as the widest receiver, and as deep as the deepest receiver, UNTIL the receiver commits to a zone. (a pre-designated area of the field) .
- 2. The safety stays as deep as the deepest receiver on his section of the field.
Distance from the receiver can increase, as depth from the line of scrimmage increases, until the ball is in the air.
- Every secondary player must converge on the ball, on every pass play.
This means everyone in the secondary is watching the quarterback, until he releases the ball. The receiver's position and the secondary palyer's distance from the man he covers, are maintained by the secondary player's peripheral vision.
Rules of Pass Coverage
The system for pass defense include elements of, both, Zone Defense and Man for Man Defense.
The Basic (B) Pass Defense includes three line-backers and four defensive backs - 7 players;
The Extra (E) Pass Defense is three line-backers and a Nickle Secondary - 8 players;
When the Offense shows: