Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Handling the deep linebacker in the 4-3 with the counter dive.

Last year I went to West point. At one point I was surprised to hear that they only ran the counter dive vs. a 5-2. Nothing wrong with their philosophy as they had other answers for the 4-3. I was just surprised as we had had so much success with it vs. the deep flowing linebacker. (There are a lot of ways to skin a cat though!)

For the sake of this article we will consider the side of the triple as the backside (the side the fullback runs to) and the side the counter dive hits as the play side.

We would only run it away from the A-gap player and fold the playside of the play. So it is to the three or two technique.

If you look at figure #1 the MLB is put in an immediate bind. He reads dive to and tackle down. He must run over the top if he is to beat the tackle's down block.Even if he just flows slightly to that side there is a crease. We teach the tackle to aim underneath the LBER and let him come over the top. (Note: If the DE pinches the offensive tackle will cut him.)

We tell the guard to base the outside number of the DT. It is a controlled base. This allows him to influence the DT yet not overrun the inside slant.

The folding guard will check middle backer to backside backer.. If the Middle backer turns his shoulders or is engaged with the tackle he will turn to the backside backer. He can take the Mike anyway he wants to go. The back will cut opposite.

The backside tackle will chip through the inside half of the DE to the . He will wash down a slant and allow the the back to cut inside.

The back will aim to the front toes of the fullback, plant and cut to the near leg of center. (the key is you want him to square up so he can cut.) The quarterback will tight pivot 180 degrees and ride and fake the option. The halfback will read the center's block - out.

If the OLB on the backside is nosey, we will then run our ctr dive option (fig 2) (more on that next week) and run the counter dive with our FARCE tag (FB arc) (Fig 3) Now the backside tackle must chip through also in order to slow down the 5 technique.

Fig 2

Two other ways we have run the CTR dive is to combo to the MIKE rather then fold (fig 4) (We did this one year when we were dominate up front but not real nimble with our guards.

We also run the counter dive from our tightened or tackle's over formation. Here we run it off the FB down play (belly G) and try to influence the three technique. It is more of a hit or miss but has great results (Fig 5) The backside tackle will chip here is covered (Pro 4-3)

(By the way this is the old down gut play from the Delaware Wing-t)

The quarterback will reverse pivot one step then hand back. (More on this in a later article)

These plays have been big for us vs. the 4-3 with a deep backer. If anything, the least they have done is slow down a running MIKE!

Hope it helps!

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