With all the wranglings over money, and all the legal mumbo jumbo going on, I thought I would continue with a look at the British side of the sport where money hasn’t spoiled it and people get involved with this great sport for nothing more than the love!
With the MMU affiliate season coming to a close with a loss to the Manchester Tyrants, we have completed three games and have been offically invited to be part of the British University American Football League (BUAFL) season starting in September!
With the end of the university season, it leaves us to concentrate on the youth season starting in May this year. Things are going to be tough with only 12 players returning. The recruiting process is always hard and hopefully we will bring in some rugby players now their season has ended.
As previously stated we run the wing T offense and the 3-5-3 defense, and i’m going to cover some of the defense today. First off, the 3-5-3 works especially at this level as: 1. We tend to have smaller bodies (this works well, we don’t need a big 2 gap eating Nose Tackle) 2. It allows us to put more speed on the field.
Not to tell you guys how to suck eggs but let me break the defense down.
Our defensive ends are built for speed and strength. The NT as mentioned is a one gap player so can be smaller than a traditional NT.
Our mike backer (MLB), is really a defensive lineman in a two point stance and plays the A gap with the NT. We then have 2 interior backers, (LILB, RILB), these guys are traditional inside backers, and two outside backers. These guys are the key, they are hybrid SS/OLB’s and can hustle to the ball and hit hard! They must be heads up players, they will be around the ball all day and be tough because they will get kicked out!!
Our cornerbacks are standard but they have to come up and play force against the run (a lot), so they have to be able to tackle. Because we play with just one safety he has to be everything! Great in coverage, we use him as the over top help and a solid tackler (third helmet to the football against the run), and above all understand the offenses we face.
We run the defense as a “gap sound defense” so our D line takes the gaps assigned on the specific call, as do our linebackers with the OLB’s assigned outside contain and corners playing force. We run very basic pass coverages, we have “red call” which is a man coverage and “white” which is a hybrid cover 2/3, where a DB’s have deep third responsibiltiy and our OLB’s have the flats, leaving our interior backers taking hook to curls and middle. Finally we run a “blue call”, this is an on field call by the saftey to alert the backers to a 3+ Wide recievers.
We run a “pre snap on field” call closed or open. The closed side being the “strong” side of the offense and obviously the open side is the weak side of the offense. Our initial on field call is to the “strong” side left or right (leo or Roger), so if the offense is in an I form, with the Tight end on the defensive left side, the call would be “Closed Leo.” This call would tell everyone the Closed side, but also tell the defenisve line the route for stunt. Dependant on the defensive call we can either run our linebackers the same side as the D line or “switch” them so they flow the opposite way to the D linemen.
So there you have it the very basics of the 3-5-3 defense. I will be covering the next few weeks of the of the youth training and filling in the gaps on how we run the 3-5-3.