DEFENDING THE RUN VERSUS THE SPREAD

While playing APBA Football Face-to-Face, a lot of coaches like to spread the defense out (3WR set) and run the ball against that light box (Dime defense) because the offensive run index is raised by one (i.e., B to A, C to B, etc) and one-yard is added for all positive runs. One way to combat that is for the defensive coach to go Nickel instead of Dime. Remember while in either Nickel or Dime defense (5db or 6db), the defensive coach can only select “S” or “D” alignment.

I would like to illustrate this with a game between the 2011 New Orleans Saints vs 2011 Atlanta Falcons.

Pro Football Personnel: 11/APBA Football: 3WR Set

Pro Offensive Formation: Gun Doubles or Gun Pro Slot/APBA: 3WR

Pro Defensive Formation: 33 Nickel Over/APBA: Nickel Defense

3WR vs Nickel

The Offensive coach would have said “Removing Ingram and Collins, inserting Sproles and Meachem, Three Wide” and placed the play card and Sproles card face down on the tabletop. This would have changed their offensive points from 45/44 to 46/44.

Once the play card and player’s card is placed on the table, the defensive coach would have said “Removing d3 and inserting a defensive back (corner back or safety), Nickel defense, Standard alignment”. As a reminder, you can NOT key a runner from Nickel or Dime defenses. With the substitution, Atlanta’s defense went from a 37/37 to 36/35 resulting in the Saints being in “A” index for pass and run. Just remember by going to 3WR, the Saints coach was ensuring they would be running from “A” index because the index is raised by one.

3WR vs Nickel,1

So let’s snap the ball. The Offensive coach will roll the dice (45) and the defensive coach will go to the Outside Running Board – Between Defensive Team’s 31 yard line and Offensive Team’s 15 yard line table – A column – S alignment – 1, 4 column.

Sproles Outside

Dice roll 45 results in Play Result (PR) 17.

3WR vs Nickel,2

Outside Boards

Instead of reading PR 17 (9-yard gain) the defensive coach will drop two-lines to PR 19 (6-yard gain) and then add one-yard for a 7-yard gain.

Now, I can hear you saying, “Greg, this is not a very good example because Sproles just ran for 7-yards.” I would reply, “If you were in the Dime defense, this would have been a 10-yard gain and a first down.” Trust me, this will force the offensive coach to change his/her strategy. However, if this doesn’t, there is another way to completely shut this down but that is saved for another day.

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