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Coffee and Cigarettes: Educational Links for Sunday

I'm out of town so I have set this up in advance -- hopefully you enjoy these reads!

Conversation with Footballguys’ Jene Bramel " The Rookie Scouting Portfolio: If you’re an offensive-centric fan of the NFL or you play fantasy football the same way your older brother taught you then you need to read this interview with Jene Bramel. The staff writer is one of the best fantasy writers you don’t know about because he is recognized as one of the go-to guys for leagues featuring individual defensive players (IDP). Even if your leagues are strictly offensive players, his knowledge of defenses will make you a better decision maker with offensive talent. In the first part of this conversation, Bramel and I discuss how the new Patriots 4-3 alignment might be more vulnerable than people think despite the current excitement in training camp over the defensive tackle tandem of Albert Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork.

Conversation with Jene Bramel Part II " The Rookie Scouting PortfolioIn part II of our conversation, Jene and I discussed 2011 free agency on the defenses that fared well or poorly in the open market for players. We also continue the conversation about the difficulty of evaluating safety talent, which NFL Draft Scout’s Chad Reuter broached in an earlier interview. And to wrap up this portion of our conversation, Jene and I discuss the roles of head coaches and coordintors and why he favors the zone blitz.

Jene Bramel Part III " The Rookie Scouting PortfolioIn part III of our conversation, Jene and I use the phrase "crap shoot," enough to think it’s a PG-13 summer movie, but I promise its only in the context of discussing fantasy football.

Snag, stick, and the importance of triangles (yes, triangles) in the passing game | Smart FootballWhen Sid Gillman revolutionized and all but invented the modern passing game, he did it through a "conceptual" approach to pass plays based on three "pass concepts". Because football is governed by its immutable twins of strategy — arithmetic and geometry — these remain the foundation for all effective pass plays:

Coach Roth: Limits?LIMITS AND DEFICIENCY OF ZONE RUNS WITHOUT A TE HAS BEEN ON MY MIND Even if we get hat-on hat..we can still be out numbered. Thus it is vital that we have a strong complimentary system to deal with these numbers games. The obvious one should be a strong passing game, either vertically off of playaction or horizontally off of bubbles/screens. These compliments must be there in order to ensure a numbers a gap/numbers advantage. Without them, the defense can bring force players and suffer little to no consequences.

Cripes! Get back to fundamentals...: Slot Coverage VariationsAfter covering front matching previously, we can now explore options available to handle slot sets that are separated from the box. Typically, this is best understood from a 2-back look with a single receiver on the other side of the slot (allowing a variety of bracket looks and the linebackers matching back flow). The passing strength is immediately identified (slot) and the safety, corner, and overhang player can communicate how they would handle the 2-man routes out of this. These methods can also be applied independently to each side (split-field) when facing 1-back, as well.

BECOMING A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS: Treat Goal-Line Defense as a Special TeamA good friend of mine, Coach Hoover, asked me to expound a little on an axiom I included in my last posting. (By the way, Coach H has a terrific post breaking down Manny Diaz on his website...check it out at ) I am going to share some info on our Goal-Line philosophy, as well as my thought process considering it a Special Team.

Smart Notes – zone runs, slot coverage, goal-line defense – 8/8/2011 | Smart FootballThe basic tenants of zone blocking are these: 1) Each offensive lineman is responsible for the playside zone 2) The defense moves, so how do counter act that? 3) We have five offensive lineman, it is therefore our job to block five defenders. Each player will step to the left and block a player with in that zone. So what about rules? Most (if not all) O-line coaches will go on and on about rules. I, however, prefer to think of it as a framework, more like an "If, Than," statement. I want my players to have freedom, with in that framework, to figure out how best to accomplish the result I desire.. For us, that process will start with a question: "Am I covered by a defender, or am I uncovered by a defender?"

Cripes! Get back to fundamentals...: Coverage: It’s AcademicBelieve it or not, we’re entering the fifth season of this blog, though only getting the hang of it for the last three.  That being said, the next few posts will lean heavily on archived content so not to insult any of you readers by retreading previous topics. As we’ve covered before,  remaining gap-sound in run-support is a fundamental equation that is addressed every snap based on the formation.  In this post, we’ll look to set a foundation of defensive concepts through fragmentation.  After setting this ground work, it will be followed with different alternative coverage adaptations available to a defense.