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A Worthy Rival: The Kirby Smart Defense

Posted by Cameron Soran on

Plato and Aristotle. Pompey and Caesar. Obi-Wan and Anakin. Hayes and Schembechler. The motif of the student-turned-rival is as old and recurring as any in human history. It is one of those rare tropes of fiction and themes of history that never quite seems to lose its luster no matter how many times we see it played out. And for the foreseeable future, the rivalry between Nick Saban and Kirby Smart promises to be another great chapter of this millennia-long refrain. My primary reason for studying Kirby Smart’s defense was in finding out how much he would keep from his...

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The Bay and the Bayou: Justin Wilcox and Dave Aranda’s Defenses

Posted by Cameron Soran on

Both Dave Aranda and Justin Wilcox run a lot of the same plays.  This should come as no great surprise to anyone who viewed the transition from Aranda to Wilcox at Wisconsin in 2016.  But are these common elements really all that effective? I will let the advanced stats speak for themselves. LSU – Before Aranda 2015 – LSU Defense – 34th in Defensive S&P+, 48th in Defensive Rushing S&P+, 11th in Defensive Passing S&P+, and 31st in Defensive FEI LSU – Aranda’s tenure as Defensive Coordinator 2016 – LSU Defense – 2nd in Defensive S&P+, 2nd in Defensive Rushing...

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Four Option Run Schemes from the Ravens Playbook

Posted by Alex Kirby on

I watched every snap of the 2019 Ravens offense, and here are a few of the things I learned... The biggest thing that stuck out to me is that, this "option" offense, isn't really running true option plays. In other words, most of the plays that look like option reads are predetermined before the ball is ever snapped, even if a defender is unblocked and being "read". Baltimore spends a lot of time on scouting and film study and picks out the matchups they want to attack. Just like Peyton Manning used to study to find the weak spot in...

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Two Words That Will Get You Where You Want To Go In Football And Life

Posted by Alex Kirby on

With all the talk of what the economy will or won’t do in the next year, it doesn’t seem like the best of times to be working or looking for a job. This is especially true for football coaches and those who aspire to enter the profession. This is aimed more at the younger and aspiring coaches out there, but anyone can benefit from what we’re going to talk about. It may sound like I’m being pessimistic or negative in this post, but stay with me, I promise there’s a point to all this. Coaching is an extremely competitive field,...

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Five Principles from the Ravens Pass Game

Posted by Alex Kirby on

The Ravens have one of the most dangerous offenses in the league, built around the strengths of Lamar Jackson. I watched every snap of the 2019 Ravens offense, and I put together some clips and diagrams on what I learned: 1. Quad Formations The Ravens love to use unusual formations and looks, and this is a look that defenses hate to see. The biggest reason why defenses have trouble defending these looks, is because it’s a lot harder to disguise what they’re doing. When you’ve gotta put 4-5 defenders over on one side of the ball, the list of potential...

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