Here are a few of the game changing adjustments we made throughout the year. These improved our team be more competitive and helped put our young men in better position to make plays.
Most of these adjustments came in the second half of games after getting to really talk with our team at the half.
1.) Blitzing Away FROM Motion
We had a number of teams use motion with the intention of drawing our linebackers out of the play. They would line up in a doubles set, motion one man past the QB/center exchange, and run back to where the motion man just left. See below for an example.
We blitzed off the backside (not 100% of the time) and it kept the offense from running right at us every time. When they did choose to run here, they were met with a linebacker in their face and the play was stopped cold. If an opponent is beating you with flat motion, give this blitz a try.
2.) Corner Blitz
We had a number of teams play with a tight end against us this year. Many of them were NOT pass-heavy teams so the threats of a tight end pass was slim and none. To get another man in the box, we'd bring our corner off the edge and send our defense end inside. See below for an example.
This enabled our linebackers to play more towards the wide side of the field where their skill players were. Once our corners figured out how to really blitz, we used this in nearly every game for big plays including sacks, TFL's, and forced fumbles.
3.) Onside Kicks
Due to injury, we were limited in the amount of players that could dress. One of those was our kicker and nobody (and I mean nobody) was up to the starter's level of competency. Out of necessity, we were forced to ONLY kick onsides kicks. The result was at least 1 recovered onside kick each game.
Our most effective onside kick involved 2 kickers huddled up with the remaining 6 men. The kickers were given the freedom to choose which player would be the "victim" of their next kick. It was usually a lineman on the front line. A low line-drive or a wobbly bouncer was a perfect kick. Although they weren't all perfect (remember, my starter was out) it was a great opportunity to get the ball back.
On top of this, we didn't force our already exhausted team (we dressed 10-13 young men all season) to run all the way down the field on a deep kickoff. As a result, both kickers will be helping with the onsides duties next year when the healed starting kicker comes back, essentially giving us multiple kicking threats.
What was the most important adjustment you made this year?
Share below, I'd love to hear about your experiences.