Double A Gap Blitz: Deep Dive | FBCP S08E02

Where did the Double A Gap Blitz start?

This week’s episode of The Football Coaching Podcast continues the deep dive look into individual play calls in football. We’re looking at some of the most popular calls in football today, and throughout the history of the game.

Each podcast looks at the origins of the call first, discovering where it came from. While blitzing the A gaps has probably been around since the first team ran a 40 front, the actual scheme is credited in Blood, Sweat and Chalk to Jim Johnson beginning in the late 1990’s. Continue reading “Double A Gap Blitz: Deep Dive | FBCP S08E02”

Zone Read Option Play | FBCP S08E01

Deep Dive on the Zone Read Option Play

Season 8 of The Football Coaching Podcast is focusing on deep dives on individual play calls, so what better play to start with than the Zone Read? In fact, we’ve come full circle – Zone Read Option was the topic on the very first episode of the podcast back in 2012!

The deep dive series will take a look at play calls from every angle. We look at the origins of the play, the details of execution, how to attack or defend the play, and how to evaluate and evolve the play within your playbook. Continue reading “Zone Read Option Play | FBCP S08E01”

How Much Man Coverage? | Quick Clinic 232

Man Coverage Takes Work!

No matter how good your athletes are, playing a great man coverage package takes a lot of work. Just like any other coverage you’re going to have to put in a lot of time getting the technique just right.

And if you have great athletes running man coverage with poor technique, you might really be taking away from their ability. In this episode, we take a look at how much man coverage to run when you have a great set of Defensive Backs. Continue reading “How Much Man Coverage? | Quick Clinic 232”

5 Steps to Evaluate Football Plays | FBCP S08E00

A Process for Fixing Your Football Plays

The season kicks off and that call you’ve been working on for 6 months just is not working. Run plays, passing concepts, blitzes, stunts or coverages. Whatever it is… it’s not working.

This is the 5 step process to evaluate that football play call before you just kick it to the curb. You’re always smarter in February than you are in September and October (or whenever your season happens this year!), so let’s figure out what the problem is! Continue reading “5 Steps to Evaluate Football Plays | FBCP S08E00”

3 Huge Linebacker Stance Mistakes | Quick Clinic 231

Linebacker Stance Errors That Slow Your Defense Down

Coaching the linebacker stance for your defense seems like such a simple thing. Feet apart, squat down, eyes up, back flat… you know the basic coaching cues.

But I see a lot of coaches making just a handful of mistakes that really cost your defense. You may not even know it. Continue reading “3 Huge Linebacker Stance Mistakes | Quick Clinic 231”

Expanding Your Playbook with Option Football | FBCP S07E23

If You Can’t Block ’em, Read ’em

There’s an old saying among option football coaches. OK, really it’s among all football coaches… mostly old football coaches.

If you can’t block ’em, read ’em.

Pretty simple. When you don’t have anybody that can take that guy 1 on 1, you always have another option. Continue reading “Expanding Your Playbook with Option Football | FBCP S07E23”

Half-Slide Pass Protection Adjustment | Quick Clinic 230

Does It Matter Where the Back Goes?

I’ve done a lot of experimenting with different schemes, but half-slide pass protection has been the primary protection scheme in the Pistol Power Offense for several years. It just makes sense with what we do.

That’s the critical key. It makes sense with what we do.

The protection scheme is intricately tied into the entire passing scheme. The check release by the back is critical to the Quarterback’s trigger reads. Continue reading “Half-Slide Pass Protection Adjustment | Quick Clinic 230”

New Playbook Isn’t Working? Try This. | FBCP S07E22

An entire off-season down the drain… or not?

Any time you decide to install a new playbook for your football team, you could run into trouble. It takes time to teach the skills your players need. It takes time for the coaches to understand how to teach those skills, too.

The knee jerk reaction when your team isn’t firing on all cylinders in the first few weeks of the season is to panic. Go back to what you were doing before. But that’s not the answer. Continue reading “New Playbook Isn’t Working? Try This. | FBCP S07E22”

5-3 Defense for Defending the Run | Quick Clinic 229

There’s More To The 5-3 Defense

We usually only hear the 5-3 Defense associated with youth football defense today. For coaches trying to learn the defense, it’s hard to find as much information as you might find about a 4-4 Defense.

There’s great news though. This is a great defense for stopping the run at the youth level. But it’s actually being run at High School and College programs across the country. Just by a different name. Continue reading “5-3 Defense for Defending the Run | Quick Clinic 229”

Football Drills for Coaching Defense | FBCP S07E21

Stop Wasting Time on Football Drills

Football drills are a big favorite among coaches. It’s our thing. Standing there holding a whistle, watching your guys run around hoops and over bags. That’s what coaching football is all about.

Except that most defensive drills are a waste of time for high school football players. They end up never translating the drills to the field. Today you’ll find out the football drills that really matter at every defensive position to get your players ready to win on game day.

Football is All About Blocking and Tackling

It’s an old saying, but it’s still true. The best football teams do a great job of blocking and tackling. Defenses that want to get to the top need to work on football drills that teach defeating blocks and secure tackling.

I like to use our tackling and block destruct drills as pre-practice drills that the entire team does together. It helps to emphasize the importance to the players. We also get players coaching each other from different position groups doing it this way.

Several years ago, I decided to simplify block destruct too. Everyone on the defense works a rip move now. It seems too simple, but I know I’m not the only one who’s figured this out. I’ve heard Division 1 coaches say the same thing. I explain the decision and how we drill it in this podcast.

The Most Important Football Drills for Each Position Group

After the basics of defeating blocks and tackling, it’s time to break down the most important football drills for each defensive indy group. And it’s a short list for most of these groups.

It’s all about winning the 1-on-1 game. Most drills waste a lot of time perfecting skills that your players don’t even have yet. Think about that… you’re using drills that polish up a skill that your players can’t even do. That’s like putting a new coat of wax your rusted out old truck.

This episode shares the most important drills for Defensive Line, Linebackers, Safeties and Corners. Check out the video above to see the Key Read Drill our Defensive Line spends their entire Indy period (all 8 minutes!) working on, with Freddie Roach from a few years back at Ole Miss.

Football Drills for Defense Show Notes

  • Tackling Drills for the entire defense
  • Coaching the Rip Technique for all positions
  • Defensive Line Drills including Key Read Drill
  • Linebacker Drills including Guard Reads and In-At-Out
  • Safety Drills with the Force-Fit Drill and Umbrella Drill
  • Cornerback Drills focusing on both zone coverage and press-man coverage

Related Links for Football Drills

Where to Go From Here…

I mentioned a lot of drills that we teach in our defensive schemes at JDFB Coaching Systems. You can get unlimited access to all of those systems including the drill library on a special trial offer at