Friday, September 16, 2005

Football - Confusing the Defense

I know I didn't notice this, but someone over at the UNC website did. Check out Chan Gailey's tactics to keep the defense confused:

I had the opportunity to see the game at Tech, and it was unsettling to watch our entire defense looking to the sidelines for a set call on every play -- even with two minutes left in the game -- which many times didn't come until Tech was nearly snapping the ball. If I am Wisconsin, I am throwing a few corner routes on the Heels from a no-huddle set, sprinkled liberally throughout the game. Offense was similar, with Baker often waving his arms to get a play called in, so consequently we snapped the ball many times with 2-3 seconds left on the play clock. This had to be unsettling for a new QB.
Steven L. McKeel, Lawrenceville, Ga.

You are correct that there were some mechanical problems on both sides of the ball Saturday. Tranquill on offense and Marvin Sanders on defense have addressed the problems and hope things will be quicker and smoother against Wisconsin.

The problem for the Carolina defense was that Tech was employing a somewhat sneaky but otherwise legal means for getting around the offensive substitution rules that require a team to huddle with no more than 11 men. If a team were to huddle with 12 or more players, it's a great advantage to the offense because the defense can't know which personnel group the offense will actually use when it lines up. That's why the huddle can have only 11 players.

Tech was huddling with 11 men, minus its quarterback. QB Reggie Ball would stand to the side of the huddle to get the signal from the sideline. Then he would call for one player to leave the huddle before he entered the huddle himself. So Tech was technically never huddling with more than 11 players, but the Jackets were achieving the deception element they wanted. That gave the Carolina coaching staff a delay in identifying which personnel group the Jackets would employ on that down - One back? Two backs? Two tight ends? Three wides? Four wides? That's crucial information for the coordinator to counter with his personnel and defensive call.

Well Chan Gailey, you sneaky dude.