Happy Friday, friends. We’ve gotten to Part 4 of the series about the Bartlett Defense, and unfortunately, I find myself a little handicapped. The computer that can do my nice play graphics is still on a truck somewhere, so you’ll just have to roll with me as I do the best I can in that department.
Today, we come to concepts and rules for run defense. If you’re just joining us, or want to refresh your memory, please see the following links:
Let’s start by leveraging some knowledge that most of us have about gaps and defensive line techniques. There are some naming methodologies for this that are slightly different, and in fact, mine and TJ’s differ. No way is wrong, but since I think the world revolves around me, we’re going to use mine. Peep this graphic that I’ve used in the past:
Happy Friday the 13th, Broncos fans!? Congratulations go out to Matt Russell, Denver's director of player personnel and the closest thing to a GM at Dove Valley, who has been elected to the CU Buffs Hall of Fame.
During his playing career at Colorado, Russell was a first-team All-American and won the Butkus Award, which is given annually to the nation's top linebacker.
Also to be inducted in November is Larry Zimmer, the longtime voice of the Buffs and former longtime Broncos radio man.
Having grown up pre-internet, pre-DirecTV, and far away from Denver, Zimmer was one of my few connections to what was actually going on out at Mile High and elsewhere. Sundays for me involved listening to WFAN's Ed Coleman and his NFL in Action show, waiting for the occasional phoned-in updates from in-stadium reporters like Lee Frankel (sp?) detailing the latest exploits of Elway, the Amigos, Sharpe, Mecklenburg, Atwater, Smith, Gaston Green, and even Rod Bernstine.
Good Afternoon, Broncos fans. It's been a very busy day, so instead of just waiting until tomorrow morning, let's get up to date on what's been happening.
Former FBI boss Louis Freeh concluded his investigation of Penn State today by releasing a lengthy report on his firm's findings. It was, of course, to be expected that there would be plenty of blame to go around. And as anticipated, most of it lands at the feet of the school's top administrators and the late Joe Paterno, for their stunning inaction when presented with child sexual abuse accusations against Jerry Sandusky.
But the new details paint a story that's even worse than we previously knew, as if that was possible after the harrowing court trial.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Details have finally emerged regarding D.J. Williams's six-game suspension for failing a league drug test.
And it's a wonder he's only been hit with a six-game ban.
Okay, so he probably wasn't submitting horse piss, as we've joked about here. But he might as well have, considering the circumstances.
Here's what happened: D.J. provided a urine sample last August which was split up and tested for PEDs and recreational drugs. The more thorough PED test turned up no endogenous (naturally occurring) steroids, hence the "non-human urine" accusation.
A sample that D.J. provided the very next month turned up the same results - non-human urine.
I’ve emphasized the importance of leverage in a variety of situations, mostly in terms of blocking or pass rushing. No matter the position you’re playing, leverage has a major role in how much success you’ll achieve. Sometimes it’s getting your hands on the ballcarrier - good tackling form requires good use of leverage. Linebackers use it to keep their legs clear of clutter during a play. Wide receivers and cornerbacks talk about leveraging - bring force to bear - on a specific route. When you have a cornerback covering you tightly and you fake a cut into his body but plant and cut away sharply, he’s lost the leverage on that route.
It works the other way - you’ll see Champ Bailey taking away the leverage from a receiver by legally interfering with where the receiver wants to go. A top quarterback can do the same thing with just his eyes, forcing a safety to break on one route in order to set up another receiver to be open. Leverage can be physical, as it is in pass rushing and in blocking. It can be the intangible key to a successful negotiation or a defended or completed pass. It’s one of the keys to football on a number of levels.
I talk about leverage a lot because it’s equally important for the defenders and for the offensive linemen or whoever - a tight end, wide receiver or running back - who has to take on a defender and turn them away. The guy who achieves leverage first will win the battle. As I mentioned when talking about drive blocking - moving your opponent three vertical inches will win the encounter. That works for defenders who are working a bull rush, too - if you can get the blocker either off-balance or moving backward three inches (both are preferable), they’re at your convenience.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Giants owner John Mara says it's "ridiculous" to accuse the league of concealing evidence on the long-term effects of concussions.
And you know what? That's true.
After all, the NFL tried very hard not to ever find that information out in the first place, by having a freaking rheumatologist (Jets head doctor Elliot Pellman) head up its concussion committee, and by blackballing CTE expert Bennet Omalu and his pioneering research.
How can anyone possibly accuse the NFL of concealing information that its so-called "experts" did not have the expertise to interpret?
Surely there's a Randian explanation for all of this...
Happy Tuesday, friends. A few of you have been asking in comments around the site how my move has been going, and the answer is that it’s been kind of a cluster-(you know what). My moving company packed up my stuff on Friday 6/29, and they told me that they average three to five days for delivery. A few days ago, I got tired of spending money on hotels, and I started camping out on the floor in my new place, with no furniture. As of Monday night 7/9, there’s still no telling when my stuff is coming to Florida, and the company wasn’t too sympathetic to my plight when I called them this morning.
Other than that, though, things are good. I started the new job, and everything is cool there. This whole thing is a big adjustment, and it will require figuring out some new habits and routines, but I’m going to try to start returning some normalcy to my writing schedule this week.
Today, we'll do Part 3 of my series on the Bartlett Defense. If you’re just joining us, or want to refresh your memory, please see the following links:
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday we mentioned that Rusty Hardin (known recently in the sports world for representing colossal dick Roger Clemens) was the assistant DA when a bunch of Mets were arrested in Houston 26 years ago in similar fashion to Adrian Peterson.
Well, guess what? Hardin is now representing Peterson, and he says that not only did ADP not push or shove any cops, but they "struck (Peterson) at least twice in the face."
A spokesperson for the HPD scrambled by saying Peterson will likely only face a fine. But with the clean-imaged Peterson and the high-profile wildly successful Hardin unlikely to relent, it's probably a bit too late for that.
The keys to the basics of blocking are found in the drive block. When an offensive line player is run blocking, the drive block is going to be central to that approach.
Even a zone-blocking team uses them at times: they demonstrate a lot of keys that apply to any form of run blocking. I’m going to present a description of the how-tos of it and also provide a selection of some videos that offer useful tips. The detail that goes into this technique is remarkable. I’m going to keep to just the main points.
The goal of drive blocking is to engage a defender - defensive tackle, end, or linebacker - and to control them to the point where you can move them to the side or backwards, or put them on the ground. You can drive block from a two-point stance - firing out from a crouch - a three-point stance, or a four-point stance. It’s all dependent on which lineman is blocking and what situation they’re in.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Washington GM Bruce Allen steps in for PK in writing today's MMQB, and he spends the opener shamelessly fluffing the horrible owners he's worked under: Al Davis, the Glazers, and Dan Snyder.
He also says he dislikes "political correctness" (in a locker room), and how could he not say that when his franchise's name is the epitome of racism? Anyway, the whole column is a shoutout to his family and friends, and it's probably more self-referencing than anything PK himself has ever written.
We can only hope the boys at KSK will choose to obliterate this column instead of digging up more vintage PK, because between calling Snyder "brilliantly quick and witty," trying to portray D.C. as the greatest place in the world, and lobbying for his buddies to make the HOF, this is basically MMQB in his purest, most concentrated form. Eau de MMQB, if you will.
Updated 9:26am ET