Jaguar Football Defensive Scheme Scoop

October 22, 2008 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show 

On the noon radio broadcast today of the Joey Jones radio show, defensive coordinator Bill Clark was the guest from the coaching staff. One of the callers (not myself unfortunately) asked about the Jaguar defensive scheme. More specifically what would be their base scheme.

I suspected it was going to be the widely used 3-4 and those suspicions were confirmed on the show. Coach Clark said they would be utilizing a 3-4 base. To break it down for those who may not know football lingo too well the 3-4 scheme uses three down linemen, typically two defensive ends and a nose tackle, and four linebackers. Your linemen are typically larger and a little on the slow side, while your linebackers are still fairly large but are more manuverable. This leaves four defensive backs which are normally two cornerbacks and two safeties. The safeties may merely be referred to as safeties or could be broken down into  a strong safety and a free safety. These guys cover the receivers downfield and are typically fast.

Many high school teams will use a 4-3 base defense (four down linemen and three linebackers). Since high school football tends to be more run oriented, the 4-3 is better suited for a strong run defense. This is not to say that a 3-4 is weak against the run.

Its all about a thing called ‘gaps’. When looking at the offensive line you have five linemen. Two guards, two tackles and a center. Between each of the linemen is a ‘gap’ which is four, then you have the left side and right side ‘gaps’ that bring the total up to six and if there is a tight end used as a blocker then there could be a seventh gap. Its easier to cover the inside gaps with four down linemen than it is with three typically. But if you look at Alabama and their nose tackle, you can get an understanding of how a 3-4 can be as good or better in stopping the run. Alabama’s nose tackle, Terrance Cody, is considered a ‘two gapper’ which means he is big and strong enough to take away the two gaps up the middle (on either side of the center). Which leaves you with six guys to cover four (or five) gaps. Its all pretty complicated with analytical geometry (not really just a Better Than Ezra quote there). But a 3-4 can also typically give you more speed on the field (another faster linebacker than a slower defensive lineman).

Back to what I started talking about. The jags defense will be a base 3-4 but will be flexible and will be able to run the 4-3 just as well. This is pretty typical, but he emphasized the fact that they want to be flexible which can also be translated into “we want to give the offense many different looks to keep them guessing”.

Other points of interest from the radio show was tickets. Hopefully in the next few weeks ticket information and prices will finally be available. They stated that it would be very affordable for everyone in the area. Also Joe Gottfried, and I suspect Coach Jones, is working on schedules. Scheduling is a long term thing and they are not put together a year or two in advance. It is a true vision of where you want the program to go in the future. So not only are they dealing with schedules for 2009 and 2010 but they are working on schedules six,  eight and even ten years down the road. Its a long term plan to make South Alabama a strong and successful football program.

So keep checking back for the scoop on tickets and schedules and like always,

Go Jags!


2 Responses to “Jaguar Football Defensive Scheme Scoop”

  1. Jon Garcia on October 27th, 2008 9:32 pm

    Preesh the recap of the CJJ show. Would like to see that as a regular feature since I never get to actually listen to the show.

  2. Brian on October 27th, 2008 10:04 pm

    I’ll definitely try to keep going with this. Its always cool to hear some of the inside scoop with the new program.

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