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Georgia Tough Situation For Defense...need Help.

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I am currently coaching a 8-10 year old division, 5 on 5 game with five second wait before defense blitz, QB can run after the 5 seconds, Velcro single flag pull player is down division here. The opposing team is made up of mostly 10 year olds barely making the age cutoff via some draft hijinks and ending up on a single stacked team. My randomly drafted team was the Super Bowl winner last season and I try to draft my kids honestly, I think this kind of coaching they do is horrible as they keep half of the team sitting the bench and rarely let them play. I like to have my kids play in squads and develop skills but am having a hard time doing that when I am facing the same 5 kids who practice 5 days a week in this next game. I realize I may need to play my best and sub out as needed to stay competitive.

Even though the coaches play dirty, the opposing QB is a great kid, he is consistently accurate and can throw the length of the field if someone is open...he can do this 9 out of 10 times. He is also good on the run and can squeeze out a pass prior to crossing the LOS. They have 2 very quick kids that can run faster sideways than most of the players can run forward and the other 2 players have good hands and running skills to round out the five.

How do I defend against this?

I have practiced with zone mostly, using a 1-1-3 and a 2-3 defense. Switching to man-to-man is going to be hard. If I run a 2-3 the coaches are smart enough to send a receiver out between my 2 defensive tackles and deep pass coverage. With the 2-3 I may shutdown their QB but leave a very good receiver open in the short game who can grind me out. If I run a 1-1-3, I let the QB open to running the ball if he beats my single defender and I can promise you now that QB is tough to cover 1 on 1 when he can throw a short pass when cornered.... My "middle-linebacker" has so much area to cover in a 1-1-3 too.

How do I defend against this?

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I don't play in a league where the QB can run, but when faced with a good QB or good coach, we will stay in the huddle until they break to disguise the zone, or we practice showing a 2-1-2 and then switch on the snap to a 1-3-1. This has given oppsoing coaches fits, and ends up with some passes into coverage. Personally, I hate seeing the defense in a huddle as I call plays based on the zone.

On a personal note, I work hard to not cave in and play my stars just to stay competitive. Our team wins or loses as a team and the kids take notice when they see another team focusing on a one or two kids for all the touches and feel bad for the other kids. In the end, its more important to teach values and fair play than win at all costs. Just my opinion.

Good Luck

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I like patandsu's plan disguise your defense and switch between different coverages.

I also happen to agree 100% with the philosophy. Don't get caught up in the bs that is going on with the league. Stick to your team philosophy as your players will be looking to see how your react under this type of situation. If you a have been preaching team all year and then sit certain players in this situation you will lose your teams respect and won't matter if you go back to your old substitution pattern the next game.

I would also talk this up big in pre-game. Let them know that they are the underdogs, that it isn''t fair but there are a lot of things that will come up in their life that isn't fair and it's how you handle these situations win or lose that matter that make you a winner. . Let them know if you stick together and play like a team and stay disciplined that you can beat them and that you can do it the right way. Win or lose make sure that you tell them how proud of them you are after the game.

Good luck coach, let us know the outcome.

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Hey there, it went as suspected...we lost by more than a few touchdowns. I used it as a lesson for the kids that you can't win 'em all and that we will redouble our efforts in practice to improve. The switched up Defense did help but they still were able to figure out a way around. Darn good game though and we game it a valiant effort. Thanks for the suggestions guys.

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Sorry for the loss, but it will help build some character. Honestly I don't mind losing to a really good team, as I and hopefully the team learn more than if we win in a blow out.

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i think the key against good QBs is to blitz them. i'll blitz 2 guys, have a 3 across zone, and 1 safety. in my leage, blitzers have to start 7 yds back. i'll send the best one to the QB's right, because most QB's roll that way. i tell him not to worry about the flag, just get your hands up and intimidate/hurry the QB. the second blitzer will be the slowest or shortest guy on the team. there's always a guy like that, and this is a good spot for him. its his job to go low and get the flag (if it ever comes to that).

we probably ran 200 blitzes this year and never pulled a flag before the ball was thrown, but we did block 3 passes and hurried just about every throw. in our last game, we really perfected the defense and we had 1 blocked pass, 4 INT's, and 3 tackles for loss.

what I found is the kids never take a sack and they just throw it up. a lot of times they got the pass to the receiver, but either the pass was lofted and therefore easily defended because the QB was hurried or just simply thrown inaccurately and were much more difficult to catch. i was surprised with how effective this was. we were the only team to send 2 blitzers and we gave up an average of only 1 TD per game.

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