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Orange

Slowing Down The Rusher

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I installed this into our offense last week. During practice it worked like a charm to slow down the rusher. This weekend we faced a team with a slow rush and in general not a very stout defense so we only used it on one play. But against the better teams with fast rushers I plan on using it often.

It's rather simply really. I have my center run a hook or out pattern directly in the path of the rusher. It slows his momentum down enough to buy a couple of seconds for the QB, time that is valuable for allowing a play to develop.

A couple of points, my centers are all very quick, fast and athletic. They can get where they need to get quickly and make it appear like a pass pattern. I realize that they technically cannot pick the rusher but they do not have to cede ground, but merely not run into him.

Any thoughts?

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Lol Orange, be careful with this.Remember the rusher has a straight line so if the referee is watching then you will get a penalty.

Come on, I thought that was how you got your name.

I realize that there is a potential penalty here if the center is picking the rusher. I haven't seen anything in the rules about giving the rusher a straight line but maybe that's how they'd interpret it.

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Lol my name is from playing o-line when i played...

Honestly I run soo many pick plays on the rusher but I teach my kids to be careful when we are running them.I run a ton of stuff to try to keep the rusher of guard and so far this season my QB's haven't been sacked so I'm doing something right.

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Come on, I thought that was how you got your name.
heh, i thought so too.

Something that has worked well for us is lining up a few receivers close to the center and having them run slant routes across the middle (our flood play and variations on that theme). I think as long as the kids are running routes there shouldn't be a penalty, am I right rush?

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I had my first experience last week against a team with an agressive pass rush. It's a 5v5 league, 8-10 year olds, QB can't run and the defense can send as many pass rushers as they want as long as they are 7 yds off the LOS. Our opponent last week regularly sent 2 pass rushers, who happened to be their most athletic kids. My QB had a hard time adjusting when he dropped back to pass, and the running plays often got blown up very quickly. I like to run end arounds, fake end arounds, reverses, HB options, etc... Unfortunately, a good pass rush often snuffs these types of plays out very quickly. We play this same team again this coming Saturday, so I want to be ready for the multiple pass rushers.

I've read the rule book for my league and it has no mention at all about the rusher being give a straight line. With that in mind, I'm considering doing what Coach Rob suggested and lining my receivers up closer to the center and have them run routes in the direction of the rush before making their cuts. This should hopefully slow down the rush. I'm also thinking about going to a shotgun formation to give my QB more time on pass plays. We are also permitted to have one player in motion before the snap. I haven't used that at all this year and I actually don't even have a motion play in my playbook. I'm thinking about putting a receiver/RB in motion and on the snap, have the QB make a quick handoff to the receiver/RB and running an option play from this.

This is my first year as Head Coach (spent the last 2 as an Assistant), so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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I've never run into two rushers but I'd be curious how the other 3 defenders play. I assume they'd keep one middle deep. Do they bring the other two up on the corners or drop them back a little? I imagine that short passes over the middle would be open.

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Rob you are right...

The rusher has a straight line but as long as your WR are running a route they wont get a flag thrown at them.Or at least they shouldn't.However if they run into him expect a flag.

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Our opponent last week regularly sent 2 pass rushers, who happened to be their most athletic kids.

We randomly send two rushers if I feel the opposing QB can't hang (most get rattled) and want to shake up their offense. I'm also curious (like Orange) on how the other 3 defenders are lined up. Do they send the rushers from the same area everytime?

A few suggestions:

1) Shotgun snap if you can pull it off - get a good center and practice it.

2) I wouldn't let your QB sit back looking for open receivers - be specific on targets.

3) Your QB has to move/roll on pass plays.

4) Have an outlet receiver for your QB. Maybe HB out wide a bit as a safety valve so QB can dump off.

5) At your next practice have two rushers in scrimmage, recreate how they were coming at you & walk the kids through what to do.

6) From an unbalanced formation do some runs with your athletic kids running to the open side.

It goes without saying, but if you can make them pay once or twice, they'll probably chill. The other team wants your QB to panic and throw an interception or they want to stop you in the backfield. Any positive yards you crunch out defeat that purpose. The problem with sending two rushers is you leave yourself vunerable. If you get past them, you're there. Kind of like beating a full court press.

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Our D coach came up with an interesting wrinkle on the two rushers. We line up like a 1-1-3 but instead of placing the middle defender over the line of scrimmage he places him at the 7 yard rush line. He and the rusher are both interchangeable and both start the play as the rusher, one left and the other right. On the snap they both charge forward. If the QB rolls, the one on that side commits to rushing. When that happens, the other assumes the role of middle defender. If the QB stays in the middle, the regular rusher rushes and the regular linebacker covers the middle. We've experimented with it so far and I have no conclusive results but in theory I like it.

This is really designed for a QB that rolls out often as it gives the rusher a shorter path. Plus I guess if they are trying to pick our rusher it would make it more difficult to know which one is coming.

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Our opponent last week regularly sent 2 pass rushers, who happened to be their most athletic kids.

We randomly send two rushers if I feel the opposing QB can't hang (most get rattled) and want to shake up their offense. I'm also curious (like Orange) on how the other 3 defenders are lined up. Do they send the rushers from the same area everytime?

A few suggestions:

1) Shotgun snap if you can pull it off - get a good center and practice it.

2) I wouldn't let your QB sit back looking for open receivers - be specific on targets.

3) Your QB has to move/roll on pass plays.

4) Have an outlet receiver for your QB. Maybe HB out wide a bit as a safety valve so QB can dump off.

5) At your next practice have two rushers in scrimmage, recreate how they were coming at you & walk the kids through what to do.

6) From an unbalanced formation do some runs with your athletic kids running to the open side.

It goes without saying, but if you can make them pay once or twice, they'll probably chill. The other team wants your QB to panic and throw an interception or they want to stop you in the backfield. Any positive yards you crunch out defeat that purpose. The problem with sending two rushers is you leave yourself vunerable. If you get past them, you're there. Kind of like beating a full court press.

So here's what happened at this weeks game against the same team who sent two rushers. I had already decided on going to the shotgun. My center, who is the smallest boy on the team, happens to be a fantastic long snapper. I also used a WR in motion for some plays. I had hoped that having a player in motion would loosen up the running game, but it didn't. The other team sent their rushers on angles from either side, not straight ahead. So even though my back had almost a full head of steam when he got the ball, by the time he tried to turn it up field, there was already a defender in his face.

The other 3 defenders played a soft zone basically at the 5-7 yard line. Even though we had practiced having our receivers run their routes at the pass rushers, they became confused when the rush came on an angle instead of straight ahead. The end result was our QB throwing a pick 6 on the second play of the game. And then on the next set of downs, he threw another pic on our side of the field which led to a quick TD for the other team. Eventually we were able to move the ball using dump offs to the HB coming out of the backfield. Unfortunately, the HB must be over the LOS when he catches the ball. Makes things a bit more tricky but we were able to make it work. One of our favorite plays is a stop and go route to our outside receiver. However the rushers were getting to the QB quickly, and he ended up rushing the pass. I have to work with him to not hold onto the ball so long. He needs to pump fake as the receiver stops, and then drop it over the defender's head on the go route.

The double pass rush also wreaked havoc on our running game. We love to run end arounds and reverses, but having 2 defenders sitting in the backfield caused me to re-think this. I was thinking a trying a shotgun formation, draw play to the HB, running straight up the middle, and having the center and 2 WR's running fly patterns down the field. This should get rid of the 3 defenders playing zone, and if we set it up right, by the time the rushers get in the backfield, the HB already has the ball and is moving up field. Any thoughts? Anyone have any recommendations for any other plays, run or pass, that would work well against the double pass rush? We have our first playoff game this coming weekend and although I don't think we will see that team again, I want to be prepared in the event someone else starts running that D against us again.

Thanks for all your help Coaches!

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Against two rushers I like the straight run right up the middle. Also, against a 3 across soft zone I'd use twins and run one deep and have the other sit on the sideline 1-2 yards across the los. The qb can look and pump at the long receiver and hit the short one several times. Eventually the defender is going to try to jump that pass which will open up the long one. I'd be dragging a receiver short over the middle at times too; wait for the rushers to come and throw behind them, maybe 2-3 yards in front of where the center would start the play. I like that middle dump especially with 2 rushers because your qb will have a nice clear path directly in front of him. Also, you can swing your center right and your halfback left and have them sit a yard or so across the los on either side.

Also, since all this stuff is quick hitting underneath, get your QB back under center. Teach him to do a little quick 3 step drop instead of shotgun.

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