Simple Dime Package


Today we are going to take a look at adding a simple Dime package to your defense to help defend 3rd down situations and spread teams.  We are a 425 defense so we are technically a Nickel package already.  Adding another DB gives you more speed on the field and the ability to cover tighter.  At the High School and Junior High level the key is keeping your coverages simple and consistent.  A lot of times at the college and NFL level they will have specific schemes set for nickel or dime packages to take away the route combinations they will see.  They have more time to work on their substitution packages and more meeting time to go over the coverage adjustments they want to make. Its important for us to have a lot of carryover when we add a package or change a look so we keep things the same when we add a DB into our package.

The way we will generate confusion for the offense is by going to a Base 50 or Okie Front in our Dime Package.  That is different from our base even front and gives the offensive line and offensive coordinator another thing to work on, which affects their practice plan and practice time.  This way we are causing some confusion up front while keeping our back end coverages the same, in essence making the offense play slower while we try to play fast.  We will always have one wrinkle in our coverage scheme for longer yardage situations but we would like to play our base coverages as much as possible.  The way we accomplish this is by adding a second free safety in the game while removing a defensive lineman.  Now we have the ability to play any of our base coverages to either side of the formation.

50 Slant and Angle
We basically will become a 50 Slant and Angle defense much like the great defenses under Bo Schembechler.  We will always slant strong in our Dime Package, bringing the Down Safety from the side with the least receivers with the 3 defensive lineman creating a 4 man rush.  The safety that is rushing must make a call to the defensive line giving them their direction to slant.  Now we can play our base coverages behind that depending upon the formations we see.  If we see a 2x1 formation we will play Quarters strong side and Cov 2 sky or cloud weak.  If we see a 2x2 formation we will play 2 Read to each side bringing the down safety that is on the same side as the Will LB.  That allows the Will LB to walk out and be the Apex player to a 2 removed receiver which is how we play it in base defense.  If the offense gives us a 3x1 formation we play our standard trips checks because we have an extra FS in the game giving us the ability to play trips to either side without changing strength.  We will add simple zone pressures from both sides and a zero pressure to keep the offense honest.  We always want to have the ability to pressure from any package we run.  The zero pressure is really good because you have all DBS covering the 5 eligibles which makes for good match ups, and allows you to bring an outside LB in the pressure with the 2 ILBS.

If you are interested in our base coverage concepts I have an Ebook out on Kindle called Split Field Coverages.  It gives a good brief introduction into how we declare our coverages using split field principles.  Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it.


Bootleg/Waggle Variations

Adding Bootlegs and Waggles to Your Offense

Today we are going to talk about Bootlegs and Waggles in various formations.  A bootleg or waggle is a play where the QB will roll outside the pocket away from the original direction of the play.  It is designed to be misdirection that slows down the defenses flow to the football.  You can choose to pull a lineman in front of your QB or allow your QB to boot "naked" with no protection.  We choose to use naked boots because it protects the misdirection of the play.  You can use several variations of routes on your boots and waggles but for simplicity sake we will use the same route combinations.

One thing that is very important for an offense of any level is to use the strengths of your QB.  If your QB is not very tall but is a good athlete, moving the pocket can help him see the passing concepts he may not be able to see from the pocket.  Let's face it, we are not always going to get a 6'3 QB in High School or Middle School.  Putting a QB on the perimeter puts a lot of stress on a defense.  He becomes an immediate threat to run which makes defenders want to come out of their pass drop responsibilities.  Defensive coverages that are zone orientated usually have specific drops for their players based on the coverage concept.  When you use a bootleg or waggle you are forcing the defense to adjust those drops because the QB has left the pocket.  This can create some holes in the defense if they are not discipline.  You can also affect the pass rush lanes and mindset of the defensive line since containing the QB will become a huge concern now.  Finding out what your QB is good at and playing to his strengths will be a huge asset for an offense.

Run Boots From Any Offense
The last thing we will discuss is the ability to vary your boots regardless of your offensive scheme.  You can run bootlegs or waggles from any offensive scheme.  Plays that are not scheme specific provide variety for the offense.  I am going to show you today bootlegs off of quick game passing, 3 back power offenses, flex bone offenses, and spread jet sweep offenses.  You can be very creative with boots and waggles and incorporate them into any offense.  Keep in mind the nature of the boot or waggle is to provide misdirection.  We want these plays to come off of full flow in the opposite direction.  This is a sure fire way to slow down the reaction and pursuit of the defense.  Always keep in mind on offense you want plays that protect your plays.  If we are a big jet sweep team we will want to incorporate some things that go opposite the jet sweep and keep the defense honest so they cannot overplay the motion and the jet.  I will also show you a boot or waggle off of the quick passing game which provides a packaged play mentality and helps your QB make good decisions and not force throws into bad looks.  You want your offense to have diversity and the ability to answer problems created by the defense.

Hopefully you can add some of these boots and waggles to your offensive system.  Be creative in your offense.  Whatever it is you run it is very easy to incorporate boots or waggles into your playbook.  Get your QB moving and give him some easy throws to help boost his confidence.  When your QB knows you are trying to keep him safe and you are giving him easy throws to complete he will play with more confidence because he trusts you.  Get your QB to buy in to play action fakes and the ability to "sell" the run game and work these mechanics into his practice routine.