Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mailbag question: what scheme, which players?

Hi guys,

With our new defensive coordinator, how will some of our hybrid -- or however you want to call it -- kids work out? What positions would they play - players like M. Williams (S or LB), I. Bell (S or LB). J. Turner (CB or S), M. Jones (S or LB)?

Also, I remember you guys saying that Coach Shafer wanted to play more aggressive and physical at the line with the cornerbacks, but didn't have the right athletes there. My question is how does that effect the new defensive coordinator Robinson? How does he like to apply pressure against wide receivers?

Do you see him blitzing a lot more with the linebackers that we have? or less? Will he play more conservative, since we do not know much about the talent we'll have on defense, and since, last year, we had so many problems defending the pass with our cornerbacks and with our safeties performing poorly in run and pass support?



Thanks for the question and keep them coming because we are running short on e-mail questions lately.

Coach Robinson is big believer in zone-blitz schemes.

In these schemes, you can blitz any of the back seven defenders. He is also a believer in the Kiffin Tampa 2 defense.

The Tampa 2 defense dates back to the great Steelers defenses of the 1970’s under Chuck Noll and Bud Carson.

In base, you play with four defensive linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks, and two safeties. It relies on getting pressure from front four and does not blitz a lot.

The three linebackers and two cornerbacks are responsible for underneath coverage. The two safeties play deep half or cover 2 hence the name Tampa 2.

What makes Tampa 2 some different is play of middle linebacker. When #2, slot or tight end goes vertical the middle linebacker is responsible for getting into deep coverage and protecting the area between the safeties.

This is bit more conservative approach than last year, which relies on a very aggressive pass rushing front four.

We would guess that Michigan would use some sort of combination of these two defenses. He will press, but we would expect to see Michigan drop back into zone, either 3 or 2 deep.

Here's how we see the personnel shake out:

M. Williams staying at safety and nickel.

I. Bell and M. Jones at linebackers.

J. Turner at free safety.

In the zone-blitz schemes, your free safety is vital. It is this position that will generally dictate which coverages and rotations the defense will utilize.

Thanks for stopping by
If you have any questions please e-mail

Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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