Anyone who is familiar with Football-Defense.com has probably read some of Coach Daniel’s writings or watched videos about using Quarters Coverage. You probably also know that everything is stolen from somebody in Football.
Shap Boyd is the Defensive Coordinator at Muskingum University, author of Quarters Coverage Made Simple, and the person that version of Quarters Coverage was stolen from.
We sit down and talk Quarters Coverage, combining the Odd Stack or 3-5-3 Defense with your 4-3 Defensive Front, and Defending the Wing-T Offense in this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast with Shap Boyd.
Transcript of Episode 27 – Coaching Quarters Coverage with Shap Boyd
Joe Daniel: Hi, this is Joe Daniel from Football-Defense.com. You’re listening to the Football Coaching Podcast. Today we have Shap Boyd with us, Defensive Coordinator from Muskingum University, Division 3 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Coach, tell us about how you got to this point in your career.
Shap Boyd: Well, I appreciate being here. Joe my coaching career, my coaching career it’s been, I guess, varied. I graduated assistant for 3 years at Middle Tennessee State University of Kentucky. After that, I took a Division 2 job up in Pennsylvania, coached in PSAC for a few years. Then I had a chance to move over to Lycoming College which at that time had just played for National Championship. And left Lycoming and had a chance to return to my alma mater, University of the South – Sewanee and went back there in the mid 90’s and had a coaching change there and just tried to make a move. And went down to high school and coached high school ball in Orlando for a couple of years. At that point, a friend of mine was the head coach at Jacksonville University and started a program in it pioneerly. So I had a chance to go up there and worked there for a few years. Following stint there JU and I went to Washington University in St. Louis, with Larry Kindbom for 3 seasons. Following that, a friend of mine just got the head coaching job at Muskingum and I decided to come over here and help him and get the program hopefully turn around. And hopefully that’s what we’re doing right now. So that’s where I am.
Joe Daniel: Yeah, it’s a tough place to play and you’re in the Atlanta Athletic Conference, you got a lot of competition there.
Shap Boyd: It’s a heck of a week from top to bottom. It’s kind of one of those weeks where on a given day, if you take a team lightly, you can have problems. And that goes for pretty much everyone in the league, with the exception of that team on the Northeast up there in the (01:51). But for the rest of us, if you don’t prepare, don’t take care of business. And anybody in this league can pretty much take up and punch you in the mouth, I guess.
Joe Daniel: You know what, I’ll tell everybody just how much Coach Boyd is willing to talk football is that he called me back on the morning of your game against Mt. Union. As a defensive coordinator I’m ready to go into that, I think I’d just be… I don’t know if I’ll be calling anybody.
Shap Boyd: I don’t know, I mean, I love what I do, I love talking ball. Funny, this summer I had coaches calling me from all over the country; California, Boston, just talking quarters and whatever. And I’m willing to share and I don’t have any secrets. I mean, my playbook is probably out there. I don’t really care about all that stuff, it’s still how you coach it. It’s still your coaching points and how you fine tune things and ultimately how you prepare your kids. It’s not necessarily our Xs and Os or whatever. We’re trying to be sound on what we do, we’re trying to get our kids to play hard. I’m a pretty relaxed guy. I’m a competitor but I’d get to talking ball with them or getting ready to play mount or getting ready to play the little luck team from down the road, it doesn’t matter to me, it’s an opportunity to talk.
Joe Daniel: Alright we want to talk about your quarters coverage because anybody who’s been to Football-Defense.com probably have seen it, we want to get into that. I just want a backtrack on a personal note real quick. What years were you at Sewanee?
Shap Boyd: You know, I’m draw ing a blank… Oh, I played Sewanee. I played there in, I graduated ‘85, so ‘84 was my last ball played.
Joe Daniel: Do you remember when you coached there, roughly?
Shap Boyd: Coaches there probably ‘93, ‘94.
Joe Daniel: OK, alright, because I desperately wanted to go there and they did not recruit me because of my GPA.
Shap Boyd: (Laughing) I think I got in the Sewanee before the GPA was a deal. And then the fact that the Dean of Admission back then was a real good friend of my family probably helped. So still has to know people.
Joe Daniel: Well, I enjoyed Randolph-Macon anyway but that was definitely my school of choice when I was coming out of high school. I want to go and talk about your quarters coverage today and Coach Boyd is the author of two DVDs available from Coaches Choice, one is “Defending the Wing-T” and the other is “Quarters Coverage Made Simple”. If anybody’s been to Football-Defense.com, you’ve probably seen some of the things that I’ve witnessed as far as articles and done some small videos on quarters coverage. And Coach, pretty much all of that was stolen from you and from your videos.
Shap Boyd: Well, I appreciate you recognizing that. And, again, football, no one’s inventing the wheel out there. Everybody’s kind of doing stuff that they… The way I started this whole thing was getting them all a guy by the name of John Lovett. John Lovett was the Defensive Coordinator, he was Defensive Backs Coach at Ole Miss when I got to know him, and then he became the Defensive Coordinator at Auburn. His verbage and all of those things were things that I learned back in the early 90s and that’s pretty much his rules were my rules and that’s kind of where I’ve started with this. And of course we’ve kind of tweaked things and we’ve kind of made it our version of it.
And, again, that’s where the coaching points come in. I can get somebody. I’d send out my powerpoint presentation standing by that reaches out to me. I can go watch 10 coaches coach what I call quarters. But in my definition of quarters, when you break it down, it’s really 5 or 6 different coverages. But when I go watch somebody else coaching it, it’s going to be different even if we’re doing the same thing, even if they’re trying to coach the same techniques. The way your personality is, it all goes back to your experiences and what works for you.
Things that we do this year, we may tweak it and do a little bit different next year. So ultimately, this coverage evolves every year, takes on a life of its own and that’s kind of why I like it. I’ve been doing it for so long now. To me, it is absolutely the only coverage I’ve ever want to hang my hat on. Unless you can just straight up play some man coverage and do some of those things which in some places I’ve been, I haven’t been able to do that so this is held up, this has been good force.
Joe Daniel: We started running the coverage in 2008 and certainly we put our own twists and changes to it and I’m sure it wouldn’t look the same as, just like I’m sure that your coverage doesn’t look the same as it did when you first put the video together. But the series of checks that’s using the coverage, you mentioned that it can turn into several different coverages and our is the same way. You might be in a soft cover 2, you could be in a press cover 2, you could be in a quarter quarter half, it just depends on the checks that are made. Why the series of checks when a lot of coaches are just going to stick to one basic quarters idea?
Shap Boyd: Well, at least I could say that that was not my brain trust. But again, when I initially put this in from studying it with John, all those checks were part of it. It started with a pre-snap read, a formation identification, and then essentially you have your two independent calls; your two independent calls on the left side and on the right side and on the left side. And those independent call mean different things. So from the inception, that’s the way I learned it. And I never really learned it any other way.
When I hear some people talk about it, they truly mean when they say quarters, they’re going to kind of zone their quarter. That, to me, is not when I say quarters. Not that we don’t end up in that at times but that truly was not what I mean by quarters. When I say quarters, I mean we’re on a robber mode. Our safeties are in a robber mode. We are going to rob any kind of crossers, digs, anything that break off as opposed to playing on a cover 2 shell where you’re playing I and on top of everything and then you wait for the ball to be thrown and then you react.
So for me, it’s a way to tie my safeties to the box to help with (07:42), to give us the ability to get in our half man. And I do believe with the two I safeties, I have the ability always to get both safeties to the football. The minute you drop a safety in and you’re playing cover 3, you’ve given up that ability, you’ve taken that guy away. They can only run away from that strong safety rotated down. If my two safeties are I, you can’t run away from my safeties. I don’t care which side of the ball you run to, both those safeties have the ability and the opportunity to get to the football. So for me, I’m always going to gain an extra player.
Joe Daniel: So you’re essentially putting 9 men on the box quarters; it’s one of the things that we like best about it.
Shap Boyd: Yeah, they certainly have the ability. They try and formation you out of that, they try and give you 2 extended receivers or what I call 2 quick. And there’s some things you can do; for example, you can make a clue call which basically is what I call a (08:34) that our backer displaces like he’s going to move out there and coverage. But in reality, when the ball snaps, you play it back to the box right now. He doesn’t give up his gap responsibility. He’s still responsible for the same gaps he had, he just lines up outside and lets the offense think that they a numbers advantage.
Then basically our safety just has to understand that what we’re playing clearly it’s a pass, he got it on cover 2 right now. So he’s got to be able to, you got kind of flat-footed right there and make sure that he can handle a hot, let the quarterback fast and dump the ball there. But there are things you can do to counter what they’re going to try and do to their formations. And those are the things that you learn and you work through and you develop answers over the years when you run this coverage. The first year when I put this coverage in, I put it into high school and I think back upon it, I was more concise with the way I worded things back then. I shouldn’t say concise, I had more words, more verbage with what we were doing. And as I’ve gotten older, maybe I’m forgetting stuff but I make it a lot simpler for our guys and they have fewer words and fewer phrases they have to remember which keeps us, I think, playing fast and not thinking. And ultimately, we’re thinking out there, we’re probably not playing bird’s ass.
Joe Daniel: Yeah, absolutely, that’s going to slow guys down everytime. With the checks that have to be made, do you have any sort of unique challenges with finding safeties to whereas you might just be able to just go out and find the most athletic guy out there to play a single I free safety when you need 2 guys who are going to basically be doing a lot of general work on the field, calling out checks. Do you had to find the different type of guy for that position?
Shap Boyd: Well, typically the number one thing I need is vision. A kid that comes in and think he’s the safety may wind up a corner because he doesn’t have the right vision. Our safeties have to see big picture. Our corners can have more of a tunnel vision thing. If you’ve ever played safety, you’ll know exactly what I’m saying. If you haven’t played it, maybe you don’t understand but our safeties have to see more. They have to be able to see more and they have to be able to handle some of the calls. My corners are capable of making the calls and sometime if I have a young safety, my corners may have to help that safety make some of those calls until that safety gets up to speed. But overall, it’s a vision thing. Some kids cannot play safety. Most kids can figure out corner, OK? Now, that playing corner that other things come into play playing corner, I mean you’re run ability and things like that.
But ultimately, the thing I found that proves or as proven out over the years is not necessarily this great great speed but our corners have to have great great speed. If they have the great great speed and they can stop and start and they can have a burst, and I call it a burst on demand, and they can do those things, then I think those kids have a chance. And for me, a lot of those corners, a lot of those kids are high school quarterbacks, high school receivers. Ultimately, at this level, what we’re finding out is when you go out and try to recruit that polished DB, guess what, he’s not there. That polished DB is a scholarship kid so we got to find another kid. We take receivers, we take quarterbacks, and quarterbacks typically are pretty sharp kids, they can figure stuff out and they make good safeties, they make good corners, and I’ve had some luck with that.
Joe Daniel: Yeah, that’s one of the things you mentioned the corners and experienced corner being able to make some of those checks or help the safety out and we do see that quite often if we get a younger safety in there. We always try to make the safeties responsible or whatever the safety calls is the final say and that’s one of the beauties of the coverages, not really a wrong check, I mean, ultimately they all, you know, everything that we run at least is going to work in a situation, there’s just a better check to make, a better check to make to put us in a better situation.
Shap Boyd: And that’d be a better answer and he knows the things you can get corrected on the side line. But like you said, typically, we tell them to echo the call. So the corner makes the call and the safety agrees with it then he’ll echo it back. And if the safety doesn’t agree with it and wants to change it, the safety makes the call he wants to make and the corner has to echo it back to him. So, ultimately, they need to all be playing the same call, whatever that call is. And you’re right, it doesn’t necessarily they might make the call that I would say I wouldn’t make that call and that’s something I get corrected on the side line.
Joe Daniel: Now, one of the thing that we just beat our brains in over and over again on the field with these kids or constantly hammering is communication. And obviously, with a system like this and also with our blitz system, we need a ton of communication. How do you make sure your kids are communicating on the field all the time?
Shap Boyd: Well, it goes back in the little things and you got to hop on the little things day 1 and keep and ultimately, the things you need to get across to those kids is how important it is to communicate because I kind of refer to quarters for us being, quarters for us truly is jelling and truly working when we can get what I call an overlap principle. And say an overlap principle because we’re all playing the zone I for the most part being we’re all watching the quarterback. When that ball’s thrown in the scenes with my corners cornering the number one receiver pretty well and he sees that ball thrown, he should be able to come off that number one and help on that number two on the scene, in a perfect world. But that comes back to vision, it comes back to that communication. But the communication has to start from day 1 and it’s the little things and essentially what I tell my guys is fellows if you’re not talking, you don’t know it. You know what, you can talk just to know it. So I know when you’re not communicating, when you’re not talking, when you’re not verbalizing it, I know you don’t know what’s going on.
So typically, your young safeties, your young guys are the guys that necessarily aren’t talking as much and you just got to constantly be reinforcing them and typically, if I had a kid that’s struggling with making the calls, I’ll just stand right behind him. I always stand right behind the defense, I’m the defensive coordinator so I always stand behind the defense any way. So I’m typically right behind safety and if I have one that needs a little bit of work, I’ll stand right there with him. And as the call comes up, if he hesitates, I’m making the call for him and hopefully over time, he’s going to make that call quicker and quicker and quicker. And again, repetition, repetition, repetition. That’s the only thing that’s going to help him. You can draw it on the board, you can walk through it in walkthroughs and ultimately when the offense breaks the huddle, you got a couple seconds to kind of figure some stuff out and you know how that goes – game speed is a lot different than walking through and drawing on the board. Kids can draw it on the board, they can do all that, but still they get to do it, and do it, and do it, and do it, they don’t get it.
Joe Daniel: And we find you can really tell when a kid gets it when he can check with motion without any sort of hesitation if they motion to a different formation, a more different look, that he’s able to immediately check it without a whole lot of thought process, it just becomes automatic.
Shap Boyd: Exactly, yeah. Because now their times spent that they have to make their call is reduced. If they break the huddle and make them out and they’re static, you got a few more seconds to probably make that call. Once that guy goes in motion, you got a very small window now and you have to make that check. And if he’s verbalizing it quickly, then you know we probably have an idea to what’s going on.
Joe Daniel: Now let’s move to the front. You started on a base 4-3 and one of the things that we got from you this year was we’re at again the odd stack package and combining it with the 4-3. Tell us a little about how you came in to add in that odd stack package and what it’s done for your defense.
Shap Boyd: Well, we had the odd stack package when I was at Jacksonville University and at that point, I was looking down the road and I was looking at our defensive linemen and we didn’t have an abundance of them. I think that’s a big reason. If you talk to the typical coach who’s a 3-4 guy, he’s going to tell you, “We’re a 3-4 guy because we don’t have enough interior defensive linemen.” And I get that. So that was really the whole thing behind putting in the 3-3-5. And when we put it in at Jacksonville, we were pretty much a completely a man concept team; we were man free basically in everything we were doing. Since then, we’ve evolved it and have gone to playing more of the zone stuff. And then we used to be a one I team in that 3-3-5 all the time; whether it was cover 3, whether it was man free. And now we’ve evolved it to where we could play our quarters out of it and play it very effectively. So now we’re playing our quarters, we’re playing our cover 2. We’re virtually playing every coverage that we play in a 4-3 package, we’re just doing it with more athletes on the field.
Joe Daniel: Do you make a substitution with that 3-5 when you bring that package in?
Shap Boyd: Yeah we take out one of our interior linemen. Typically on paper, it’s our 3-technique. That 3-technique may be our best nose in that defense so we can always bump in down and take out our nose guard. So yeah we personnel, we basically take out a defensive lineman and we insert a strong safety or a safety type of kid.
Joe Daniel: Now I know that your defense had a lot of success with pressure last year and I think you led the conference in SACS, is that right?
Shap Boyd: We were 4th in the nation.
Joe Daniel: 4th in the nation. Now one of the things, the other thing that we stole from you, I’ve actually stolen almost everything in Coach Boyd or at least everything that we have was stolen in some way, not just the quarters but we also got the blitz pattern from you and that a really great concept and our kids have picked up on it extremely fast. That was something that you put in to make your blitzes simpler and be able to run them out of the different fronts.
Shap Boyd: Yup, we used to call all of our blitzes and when you start looking at the blitz combinations and the blitz patterns and the different things, there’s a ton of them. And when you’re asking your kids, I mean, literally there’s like 70 or 80 blitzes you can run. And when you’re asking your kids to memorize 70 names just for the sake of memorizing 70 names, it just didn’t make sense to me. So I was at Walsh U at the time. I’ve been around this package that late for a long, long time. And everything is word association, you had to memorize it. I said, how are we going to get young kids to go play this.
One kid turned out trying to figure out how to put their test on level, I’m trying to figure out all the, you know, they’re trying to learn the basic coverages, let me start adding all the pressures, it’s a lot to learn. A guy by the name of Bryan Allen and I just sat down one afternoon and we just said, OK I call them patterns and I got that from a buddy of mine, Dennis Farell, he’s the guy that kind of taught my basics of football. And I said, let’s just come up with 7 blitz patterns, how do you say 7?, let’s come up with blitz patterns that we like. So we drew up the patterns. When I say patterns, we run around A and B gap, we run around B and C gap, whatever gaps we’re going to run. And he came up with 4 basic ones that we really like and then we ended up adding 3 additional ones so we have a total of 7 blitz patterns.
So our guys have to remember 7 blitzes, essentially. And in doing that, we’ve cut down our hall there. Now, the only thing they got to know it who’s going to run the blitz. And I can literally take a free safety and say, go play Will linebacker and we’re going to run the Will pattern 1 and he’ll know what to do because he knows pattern 1. I could take any kid and throw him into a situation and because he knows those 7 patterns, we can run a blitz and the kid maybe has never even played the position before but he knows the patterns and he on the zone has 7 of them and if I call him, if he’s playing a Will backer, I call him, then he knows he’s on the blitz pattern and he runs it.
So it truly has simplified things, it’s made it easy. I’m a 4-3 guy still so I can take 5 minutes of it in the beach practice in the end of our team period and just rapid fire these patterns. And in doing that, I’m building up repetitions in the patterns and ultimately, everyone in the defense can learn those patterns in 3, 4, 5 days and it’s all good. We’re all on the same page and everybody know what we’re doing and now it’s just a matter of putting together the right combinations. But that’s how it started and it’s been good to me and good to us. Pretty much wherever being, it’s just so simple. If I was in high school, I’m pretty sure I’d be living in this defense.
Joe Daniel: Yeah, we installed it in, you know we have a limited summer schedule and when we install it probably in 2 days to an hour and a half practices, they’re split between offense and defense and we’ve got it in. And the last day that we’re out there, we ran through probably everything we had, some of it with guys who’d been there, some with guys who’d been out of town or whatever and hit almost every single blitz. You know, right gaps, right guys, it’s just really impressive. And, I guess, the way that the partners work just for people who may not be familiar in the way that we do it, it might be different than what you do. For example, we may run our mafia blitz brings the Mike in the free safety but it’s a mike’s call and he’s responsible for telling the free safety. The free safety knows but if he forgets, it’s on the mike. It’s kind of how we do it and that they’re tied together. But we kind of give some responsibility to each guy and then we add the pattern to that. So we’ve really liked it and got it in quickly and it’s a little bit smaller package but great great way to get these blitzes installed fast.
Now with the division 3 level, what are some unique challenges that you face as far as not being able to recruit on scholarship and getting the right guys in?
Shap Boyd: Well, the biggest thing is at scholarship level, you know you’re going to need a Sam linebacker, you know you need a Mike linebacker, so you go out and get the best available sam the you can get and the best available mike or the best free safety or whatever it is. You identify the kid that can probably do those things for you and you go with it.
For us, we recruit a lot of kids and we have an idea to whether he is a good defensive back or a good linebacker. But for us, everything is about evaluating him once we get him. And for me, my background is kind of FCC Southern Football guy, having gone to college and grad school in the South and GA in Kentucky and having coached in the South, just trying to get more speed on the field. So for us, typically a corner may come in and may end up as safety, a safety comes in he may end a corner, a safety may come in he may end up being an outside linebacker for us or our will or our sam, high school kids come in and think they are linebackers. Every single one of our defensive ends that’s played for us in the last 5 years, they’re the high school linebacker. We truly don’t have defensive, we have a great defensive end, I’m not saying we wouldn’t take a great defensive end in high school, but typically those kids end up on the inside.
Again, I go back to vision. Everything needs vision. If you’re a linebacker and the ball gets snapped and you’re still there, you haven’t stepped, you haven’t gone anywhere, you haven’t done anything, your vision’s probably not good enough. So ultimately, the worse your vision is for us, we’re going to put you closer to the ball. Now that blind backer becomes our defensive end for us. And then typically now it’s the block reaction if you can play faster. So everythings is just evaluating these kids once we get him here, trying to figure out who’s going to be, you know it’s not who’s going to play for us right now, 5 years ago it was, I mean we had probably lettered 15-20 freshmen. Right now, we’re probably lettering 4-5 freshmen a year and most of them are special teams guys. We don’t have to play freshmen right now so we have the time to play a full JV schedule. We got 9 JV games. So we got time to evaluate these kids and they got time to learn it, get a different taste, they’re not going to be getting it down to varsity. So it’s just a matter of evaluating them, I think we do a good job with that in getting kids in the right position. Understanding what that position requires when it comes to skill, what type of things we’re going to expect him to do and then finding the kid that could do those things. And sometimes, they are offensive kids. Sometimes, you get that tailback is just a step too slow and that kid becomes a physical kid, you’re going to load the shoulder. That kid can might become a great linebacker for you. Four of our best defensive ends were fullback type kids. We even had receivers that had crossed over and become defensive ends for us. Defensively, we can coach above of what we need him to do as far as the reaction. As long as we can coach the reaction and the kids has the ability to run, we think we can coach him up and get what we want.
Joe Daniel: So basically looking for physical but also the speed and then you mentioned a couple of times the vision. And I think that’s a huge thing when you have a kid who, especially at the high school level, those kids who have the vision that you’re talking about, they stand out.
Shap Boyd: Surely I do believe this. If I put a kid a linebacker, if I got to coach that kid a lot, he’s probably not going to be a very good linebacker. Because they just kind of see it. They kind of have the vision, they kind of understand an open window concept, a close window concept. I can help them get a little quicker and a little bit faster with their reads and I can refine their reads but typically those kids see it but they don’t. And those are the things we figure out pretty fast once we start getting into our team period and 5 run periods and things like that. We figure out and then you got some kids who think their defensive players but they don’t like contact. I’m figuring out where you put on defense who doesn’t like contact. I’m figuring out where that kid fits in our team. Probably old on the cook boar on the side but…
Joe Daniel: Coach, the last thing I want to talk to you about is the other video that you have is in defending the wing-T. A lot of coaches out there are not seeing the wing-T as much as we used to but tell us with your system, how you’re going to shut down a wing-T offense.
Shap Boyd: Well, that’s another OT and the worms and we probably don’t even have that much time for that. What I wills say is, with the wing-T and for me defending the option and defending the wing-T are similar in a lot of ways and that I like 2 I safeties. But if you know a thing about me, I’m a 2 I safety guy, anyway, because I think you got share responsibility and you’re not putting all the owners on one person to have to make those plays. Because typically when you’re playing with 1 I safety and going back to the option, that kid’s making the play on the triple option for example. He might be making that play in the alley early in the game but the free safety by the time it’s the 4th quarter, guess what, bet he’s not making that play at the line of scrimmage anymore. Now that plays a 4, 5, 6 yard game. So for us, the 2 I safety game is huge. Now, in defending the wing-T, you got to decide what kind of wing-T are you defending because all they a buck sweep team, all they a laggle team, all they option team. A lot of the wing-T that we had to defend is caught in the melon, for example, and they were a little bit of everything. So you have to have answers to take care of everything. The thing we found to eliminate their perimeter game, the 2 but 2 hard corners, the clouded corners, what will be a good way for us to do that. And then we do some things inside just to kind of mess with them. We’re a big line movement team. We handle most of what we do with our coverage stuff. We do different things upfront to change gaps. I call them gap exchanges for all linebackers and our defensive linemen. So we do a lot of those things just so the offensive linemen can’t get a beat on us and get a feel for what we’re going to be doing. Just because I’m sitting on a shade doesn’t mean the ball gets snapped, I’m going to stay in that shade.
So we do a lot of gap exchanges and these things there on the interior. But on the back end, truly, we’re pretty simple. We bump people and that was the beauty and that was the reason why when I went to high school, I had the chance to formulate all the ideas that I had been doing. I think I was coaching 15 years in college before I went back to high school and I had not been a coordinator at that time so I’d been involved in every defense under the sun. The one that I wanted to kind of hang my head on was the 4-3 because just to ease with the adjustments; just bumping up backers and covering down receivers, doing those things, and then controlling the front with line movements and gap exchanges with the linebackers.
Controlling the wing-T, again, we shift our reads, we focus more on the linemen, typically we’re all flow to under key so whichever way you step, if you’re key the other one back set, your back steps one way, then our linebackers’ eyes should now leave the back and now see the guard and tackle on that side of the line of scrimmage.. I call the flow to under key. That’s our typical read. First as a wing-T team, we focus everything now on the guards and basically we just rep those different things.
The other thing about defending the wing-T is it plays into our quarter’s deal is we cut the formation in half and we tell the kids, take pre snap this formation. If you’re on this side of the field, you got this play and this play. So basically you take the plays off you and you throw it and you tell them you got these two plays. And then if you’re on the other side of the field, pre snap with no motion, you got these plays. So the kids on this half of the field are thinking this, the kids on this half of the field are thinking something completely different. And in the powerpoint presentation, you know, in the video, we break it down and then when we add motion to it, OK, when they motion, OK, once the motion goes into play, OK, now what do they have? On this side we have this, now the play is this. On this side we have this. So it’s really just on the *inaudible* way of analyzing it and then becoming very proficient at understanding it as far as what they’re doing and what works so that you can coach your kids to understand that. So now your kids are always thinking one or two things. And on the block reaction, the type of block you get will dictate right now that it is. So within a step, most of the kids know exactly what the plot is. So truly, without delving into too much, that’s pretty much how we handle it.
For the wing-T, we truly are about reading the guard and we have a lot of different formations and a lot of different things that we end up looking at. For example, let’s say we’re in 21 personnel and we’re playing a team and that team gets into a weak set. Well, typically when you’re on a weak set, the 21 personnel, then that’s a wing-T formation. So for us, our linebackers’ reads will automatically snap or revert back to reading under key.
And then when we get gun split, for example, we tend to cross read back. So there are certain triggers that our linebackers will go through. And again, we’re not even playing a wing-T team but they give us a wing-T look. Well, guess what, out of that wing-T look, they’re going to give us a play that the wing-T wants. So guess what, we’re going to revert to our wing-T reads.
Essentially, that’s how we handle pretty much everything as far as that goes. We’ve got certain triggers that tell our linebackers what we’re going to read and what we’re going to study, what we’re going to look at. And typically, though film study, you realize that yeah, this holds up this week. So we go ahead and go with it. Or if it doesn’t hold up, we’re going back to our original read.
Joe Daniel: Right. Coach, it sounds like you’ve got a lot on the wing-T and certainly talking about how it flows ever into other offenses and I just really enjoyed talking to you and hopefully we can have you on again sometime, maybe to get more indepth fun on the wing-T and the option. It’s been a pleasure but we’re going to let you get back. I know you’ve got the season coming on pretty soon here. Is there anything else you want to add?
Shap Boyd: No, just good luck to everybody this fall. We’re in this profession, I think, to make a difference in kids’ lives and if you’re heart’s in the right place and when you work at it, then I think happens for you. So good luck to everybody and good luck to you and I appreciate the opportunity.
Joe Daniel: Coach, is there a best way if coaches wanted to reach you, is there a website or email, Twitter?
Shap Boyd: I’m on Twitter @shapboyd, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can reach me by cellphone at 740-255-6333. I’m pretty good about getting back with you. I get back to everybody. Every once in awhile forget something but for the most part I’m pretty good at getting back to coaches.
Joe Daniel: Well, Coach, I definitely appreciate it, it’s been a pleasure. Good luck in your season and thank you so much for being on the Football Coaching Podcast.
Shap Boyd: I appreciate it. Good luck to you.
Joe Daniel: Thanks for listening to the Football Coaching Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes to get the latest episodes and leave a review for us as well. You can find out more at FootballCoachingPodcast.com.