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Old Defensive Scheme – Read Conflict – New Defensive Scheme

by Roland Johnson on July 24, 2009

Bates keeping it simple on defense

Bates keeping it simple on defense

Read Conflict is the inability of a defender to interpret a blockers intentions due to a multitude of blocks initiated by a similar or common move. There are typically numerous different blocking patterns / schemes a defensive lineman must be able to deduce before he engages a blocker to determine his strategy and mode of attack. Some examples of these would be one-man blocks, two-man blocks, pull blocks, & pass sets on the surface it doesn’t seem complicated, but when you start to branch off into the different categories within said blocking patterns is where the “read conflict” comes into play. The four previously mentioned patterns could contain upwards of 12 blocks per pattern.

This is where KISS(Keep it Simple & Sound) or KILL(Keep it likeable & learnable) come into play.

Generally speaking there are two methods of coaching the comprehensive & generic method. There are pros and cons to each style, but what has prevented rookies and young players in the past from starting out of the gate in Tampa on defense has been the lack of applying the KISS or KILL method to coaching. The old philosophy of coaching was the comprehensive style which has several negatives associated with it. Coaches usually have to spend more time supplying a precise reaction to each block a defender might possibly encounter, defenders have to spend more time studying tendencies and techniques, which reduces the effectiveness or the natural ability of  a defender too shine through. Success is extremely rigid in the more comprehensive style of coaching as the hardest things for an athlete to overcome is over thinking or slow to process information, the comprehensive coaching style only limits the more physical specimens and lesser mental ones to become bench watchers.

In the generic form of coaching, coaches teach a defender or in this case a defensive lineman one sound response movement to counter several different blocking patterns. It de-clutters the brain and tends to let mentally inadequate thinking players the ability to just react to what is taking place in front of them rather then waiting to read before they react too what is unfolding. The more simplistic form of coaching allows you’re more naturally gifted athletes to step onto the field sooner and contribute.

Harkening back to what new defensive coordinator Jim Bates said in his initial press conference about the ability of the players to be able to react quicker in the more basic form of 4-3 being employed this season even though it might have far more pressure packages and play a more physically challenging secondary coverage it is clear he is instituting the KISS or KILL method of coaching to take full advantage of the athletes on the roster, while not overloading them to a point where they become bogged down with too much information which short circuits there ability to attack downhill.

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