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Short Yardage And Goalline Defense....help

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I'm a lurker/newbie posting here, so go easy on me if topics have already been discussed. I coach in a NFL flag 5v5 league for a 9-11 yr old team.

I'm looking for ideas to try and improve my teams short yardage and goalline defense. I've had my boys (at least 5-6 of them are fast athletic) primarily run a zone with 1 rusher (7yds back) and we get burned on it most of the time. Mainly because a WR will get behind them, get in front or we'll leave too big of a soft spot wide open. I'm thinking of trying man with a rusher.

What have you guys found to be successful?

Thanks in advance,

Lee

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I'm a lurker/newbie posting here, so go easy on me if topics have already been discussed. I coach in a NFL flag 5v5 league for a 9-11 yr old team.

I'm looking for ideas to try and improve my teams short yardage and goalline defense. I've had my boys (at least 5-6 of them are fast athletic) primarily run a zone with 1 rusher (7yds back) and we get burned on it most of the time. Mainly because a WR will get behind them, get in front or we'll leave too big of a soft spot wide open. I'm thinking of trying man with a rusher.

What have you guys found to be successful?

Thanks in advance,

Lee

On the goal line I would definitely play man to man for this age. Although I run a 2-1-2 zone most of the game, we always use man on the goal line.

In general try to match up your speed with the offense if you can, i.e. put your fastest man on their fastest man, etc.

Also send a rusher if you're allowed. That will help disrupt their play.

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I'm looking for ideas to try and improve my teams short yardage and goalline defense. I've had my boys (at least 5-6 of them are fast athletic) primarily run a zone with 1 rusher (7yds back) and we get burned on it most of the time. Mainly because a WR will get behind them, get in front or we'll leave too big of a soft spot wide open. I'm thinking of trying man with a rusher.What have you guys found to be successful?
With regards to getting beat on pass plays, the rush is a HUGE factor in our defense, keeping the pressure on their QB so he doesn't have a chance for those long passes. We run a 2 3 D with our 3 players lined up 7 yards back spreadout. The D coach switches up who goes as a rusher using a signal, the other two know to shift over a bit and help cover the rusher's spot. We put our better D players in those 3 spots.

In short yardage or goal line situations, man to man seems reasonable if your kids can adjust after playing zone. Not sure how much the rush helps during a goal line D as the other team doesn't have a chance for a long pass. Sometimes we send a "fake rusher" telling them to contain the QB and not over pursue. On offense we run quite a bit of misdirection in short yardage situations, so on D we preach staying home to our LBs.

Curious if other teams are passing a lot when down near the goal line?

CRob

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I do normally send a rusher. I think not sending one gives the QB too much time to find someone open.

In man coverage - Do you have them line up right at the LOS opposite the offensive player?..basically bump-and-run coverage. Or do you put them back 2-3 yds? Obviously it depends on how far they need to go for a 1st down or TD.

On Saturday, in goaline situations we were playing a 3-2 zone (3 DBs at the 7 yd mark and 2 LBs about 3 yd off LOS). Rest of the game we played 5 across(rushed), 3-2(rushed) or 2-3(no rusher) zones. I have not tried the 1-3-1 or 4-1 yet.

Thanks!

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I automatically switch to man defense when there is short yardage. I would say anything from 5 yards in, sometimes a little more. We also have a "no run zone" at the 5 yard mark which I think is fairly common so they have to pass. I like my man coverage right over the receivers. You can give a little cushion 2-3 yards if they have longer to go, but I'll have them stand no further back then the end zone.

Also, I always send a rusher. My theory is not necessarily to get a sack on a long pass. Instead you want your defenders right up on the receivers giving them no space. This makes a quick pass very difficult. If the qb has time, the receivers can eventually shake free so you want the qb making a quick throw.

Most teams have a couple of receivers they are trying to hit. Make sure your best cover guys set up on them. When you are coming out of a zone and you are assigning who to cover this is important. A lot of times you have only a few seconds to make assignments and it's better to have their best two guys covered by your two best and then say, you other two cover whoever is left really quickly as they line up. Some offenses will slow down and give you time but it's better to get the best ones assigned first. If the defense gets confused tell them to point to the guy they are covering.

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I automatically switch to man defense when there is short yardage. I would say anything from 5 yards in, sometimes a little more. We also have a "no run zone" at the 5 yard mark which I think is fairly common so they have to pass. I like my man coverage right over the receivers. You can give a little cushion 2-3 yards if they have longer to go, but I'll have them stand no further back then the end zone.

Also, I always send a rusher. My theory is not necessarily to get a sack on a long pass. Instead you want your defenders right up on the receivers giving them no space. This makes a quick pass very difficult. If the qb has time, the receivers can eventually shake free so you want the qb making a quick throw.

Most teams have a couple of receivers they are trying to hit. Make sure your best cover guys set up on them. When you are coming out of a zone and you are assigning who to cover this is important. A lot of times you have only a few seconds to make assignments and it's better to have their best two guys covered by your two best and then say, you other two cover whoever is left really quickly as they line up. Some offenses will slow down and give you time but it's better to get the best ones assigned first. If the defense gets confused tell them to point to the guy they are covering.

I ditto what Orange said. That's exactly how we run it. Also, when coaching man defense, teach your kids to stay just inside the recievers (closer to the center of the field). Most QB's at this age can't throw the outside throws as well, and being inside the receiver gives the defenders a better chance at intercepting the ball.

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