Wednesday, July 10, 2019

TGOG Playing the Two Gapping Five Technique

The last player in the TGOG scheme is the two gapping 5 technique.  This player has a very important role in that he has to bounce inside runs to the perimeter cover defenders as well as containing the passer.  The reads play out similar to that of the Three Technique, but there are some subtle differences.  Please don't confuse this with what some folks call a "heavy" technique or a "heavy" five. (I'm not criticizing Coach Alexander here, I'm just using his link to show what video of a heavy five technique looks like). Most video I've seen on those players they are really just stunting.  TGOG is block reaction and block protection, NOT a stunt.

Alignment of the Two Gapping Five Technique
The two gapping 5 (TG5) will align much tighter than the Rush DE will.  He should align with his inside eye on the outside pad of the offensive tackle (OT).  The lesser of an athlete he is, the tighter he should align (but never be head up).  Usually this defender is on the side the running back (RB) is on, but there are certain formations where he's aligned opposite the back (in the shotgun).  He is reading the tip of the OT's shoulder, to the "V" of the neck through to the RB.

Two Gapping Five Technique Block Reactions
First, let's start with the TG5 to the side the RB is on in the gun.  There are some subtle differences in what he does versus where the back aligns.  Against the down block, the TG5 will squeeze the OT hard down inside and stay square.  The key here is to not run up field.  Running up field creates a running lane and makes the TG5's job of spilling traps and lead blocks much more difficult.  Once he squeezes he should read the path of the RB.  If the RB is away from him, we want to keep squeezing the OT so he cannot block our LB.  The TG5 has the quarterback (QB), inside-out on Zone Read.  If he gets down block and the RB is flat at him, then he will still squeeze the OT so he cannot block the LB.  The TG5 has the QB inside-out on speed option.  If the RB is downhill directly at the TG5, he will spill this block by attacking the RB's inside shoulder with his outside shoulder (typical wrong-arm fit).

Against the reach block, the fit is exactly like that of the Three Technique.  The TG5 will fight outside and then ultimately fit inside of this block.  The idea here, again, is to widen the C gap, or "bring the C gap to" the displaced LB in coverage.  If the TG5 goes into the B gap too quickly, then the displaced LB has further to go to his fit in the C gap, which may open a running lane for the offense.

The base block is where the TG5 and the Three Technique are different.  Where the Three Technique is to maintain his gap integrity, the TG5 will actually fight the block outside but fit inside.  This technique keeps B gap ISO from being a problem.  The TG5 actually boxes B gap QB ISO back to the MLB who is spilling this block.

If for some reason the TG5 ends up on the side opposite the RB, the fits are generally the same but with a few tweaks and a few coaching points.  For the down block, the TG5 still squeezes hard, but is no longer looking to Zone Read, he's now thinking Trap, Counter or Power Read.  On Power Read he will close down and take the QB.  For all other blocks the fit is the same regardless of where the RB aligns.

If the TG5 gets a pass set, he is generally ineffective because he's so heavy into controlling the OT.  What we ask the TG5 to do is to bull rush the OT and he will play the screen and the draw.  Against the screen he works to keep his leverage inside of the tackle and get to the RB.  Against the draw the fit is really the same as if the TG5 was based.  He will bull rush the tackle and once he sees the draw declare, he'll fit inside the block of the OT.

The TG5 is very important to keeping that weak side B gap run through from being a problem.  He's there to box Iso or G Pull back to the MLB.  The real key is on zone runs away from him is that he squeeze hard to keep the OT from climbing to the second level to block the LB.  One drawback of the TG5 is you don't get much of a pass rush out of him, but you do get some screen and draw security by how he leverages the OT.

This is the last of the individual position descriptions.  For my next article I'll discuss fitting some of today's popular one back runs and how to drill the TGOG to your players.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

TGOG-Playing the Three Technique

The Three Technique (3T) is by far the most demanding of the four down positions in a TGOG defensive line.  The 3T has the most reads they have to work with and really the toughest job of the four defensive linemen (DL).  Generally speaking, in a four man line, the 3T is your best DL.  He is what some refer to as a "Wardaddy" or an "Immovable Object".  His job only gets tougher in the TGOG system, as he is the "cog" that makes the entire system work.  The main idea behind the job of the 3T in TGOG is manipulating and controlling blockers.  This is not always an easy task.  The 3T cannot be overly aggressive like the Shade can be.  No, the 3T has to read the blocks he's getting, control the blocker and fit accordingly.  When executed, however, this technique is a thing of pure defensive genius.

Alignment of the Three Technique
The 3T aligns, as any normal 3T would, with his inside hand down.  The base width is to align with his inside shoulder on the outside shoulder of the offensive guard (OG).  The lesser the 3T is in ability the tighter he needs to align, but still be in an outside shade.  The 3T affixes his eyes on the near shoulder of the OG.  The stance the 3T uses is more of a "squat" stance.  We ask the but be down lower than a typical DL, and the eyes are up affixed on the OG's shoulder pad.

Five Block Reactions the Three Technique Must Master
The first of these is the dreaded down block.  We all know what's coming right?  Yep trap or midline.  We want the 3T to squeeze the guard's release hard and not allow the OG to escape to the second level.  We want the 3T to spill all trap blocks while staying square to the LOS.  Against midline we do not instruct the 3T to tackle the ball carrier, but yet make a mess of the A gap with his and the blocker's body (this usually gives the QB a "cloudy" read forcing him to pull the football).

Against a reach block, the 3T will initially fight the block to maintain outside leverage, but once he has the blocker controlled, he will then fit inside.  This technique is critical to the success of TGOG.  The idea here is we don't want to get into the B gap too quickly with the 3T (I know many teams that when the Sam LB is walked out will stunt the 3T to the A gap so that the Sam's work is slightly closer, but this is not a stunt).  The idea of fighting the reach is to widen the B gap, and make it come to the Sam LB who is usually walked out of the box (see video).  The Sam is responsible for the B gap, but the 3T, by fighting outside and then fitting inside actually brings the Sam's gap closer to the Sam's alignment by using this technique.  If the 3T goes inside too quickly, the B gap may expand too large or too quickly and this will allow a B gap run through before the Sam can get into his run fit.  The 3T will work to keep the OG on the LOS and run laterally with him as long as he can.  As this block works laterally down the LOS, the 3T will be overtaken, or allow himself to be overtaken, by the OG.  This fight and fall back in technique, coupled with the action of the Shade usually discourages the B gap run through, forcing the ball carrier to cut the ball back weak side.

The base block is where the 3T can play his traditional role of maintaining outside leverage and fighting pressure with pressure.  In the beginning, as I was taught TGOG, the 3T always had the A gap.  Over the years, the technique has been modified for use against other types of offenses other than one back zone teams.  When facing power gap run teams, having the 3T go to the A gap on a base block is counter productive.  So, the 3T now simply fights to not widen the A gap and takes the B gap by getting his hips and his eyes into his gap.  Again, this is tough, sometimes, for the 3T to discern the difference between a reach and a base, but you have to get him enough repetitions to feel comfortable reading the differences between the two.  Also, the getting of the hips into his gap makes the double team by a down blocking tackle tougher as well (for more explanation on this portion of the technique I suggest getting the book entitled "Coaching Football's 46 Defense", it's a must read for DL coaches)

Against pullers, the 3T is a wrapper.  No, not a Snicker's bar wrapper, what this means is he will not go underneath any block back.  The 3T is to chip across face and wrap around in the direction of the pullers looking to add the extra man to the side the blocker (or blockers)are pulling towards.  In this manner, the defense is still always plus one against the spread gap run game.

Against a pass set, as mentioned in the Shade article, the 3T and the Shade run an automatic X or cross stunt.  Usually the Shade ends up going first as he's utilizing a more aggressive get-off than the 3T.  The 3T is more of a read and react style of player, so on a pass set, he'll be slightly behind the Shade, which works perfect for creating the stunting lane for the 3T to wrap around the shade.

In conclusion, the 3T, by far, has the toughest job of all of the TGOG defenders.  This is why the 3T needs to be one of the strongest DL you have, so that he does not get blown off the ball while making his reads and has the ability to control blockers at the LOS.  The 3T also has to be athletic enough to chip across the face of a block back and chase a puller.  The selection of who should play the 3T should not be taken lightly, and as with most even front defenses, this position should contain your best DL of the group.

The next post will focus on that of the Two Gap DE, or the weak side five technique.  Although not the toughest of the four positions to master, it is one of high importance.