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Author Topic: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches  (Read 4537 times)

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Offline Coach Big B

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Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« on: February 27, 2013, 11:57:09 AM »
I have seen a lot of people posting they're thinking about the 521 defense. I have also seen post from coaches that asked about advice in running the system. So what I wanted to do is post some coaching notes here so that when you run the system you can add this to help with the installation of the system as well as being prepared for certain situations you may come across. Plus other coaches that ran this system can post adjustments here as well so you can be covered this upcoming season.

Player placement:

ILB

What me and my staff have found out as we went up in weight was that this position was ery flexiable. The key is that we used our MPR's here to make sure we get a nice rotation. If you're using the 5225 they come often. We saw that two type of kids go well here. (1) Fast DB/LB types. These kids are ones that can't be an OLB, too small for the line, and can't play well in open space to be an DB. The main key is teaching them to be aggresive at all times and hitting the correct gaps. Also teaching them how to blitz. Many coaches tell kids you hit that gap. The key is that I had seen on tape that certain players would run dead into an offensive linemen and not press the seam on the line that the d-line generated from his slanting. Teach your smaller kids to press that gap and time it off of the heel of the d-line player. When he see his foot move he must fire off in that seam to generate pressure and fill the gap in case a runner is hitting that gap. Also work with them on hitting the gap and then blowing up the lead blocker/stopping the run in the backfield. (2) Bigger ILB. These kids are ones that could had been linemen, but not good enough to start in this area. We found out that when we played power rushing teams that had size on us the lighter guys was getting killed. So we moved to shifting in a Jumbo Package. This jumbo package was MPR's that we could rotate as d-line and ILB. The teaching of techs wasn't a killer here, but it allowed us to have bigger players come clean with a head of steam to meet on the bigger power rushing teams head on. These players also get a kick out of having their hands out of the dirt and playing LB. Then you also get parents off your back for rotation sake. What you need to do is have them work on drops here and there in case you call a 55 and bait the other team into passing when they see them coming in. Coach Cox have LB drills so you can have those kids that are smaller or bigger to work in with LB's to help with pursuit and drops.

D-line

Now the teams I had were small one season and the next bigger. The key is that you need players that will fire off and hit those gaps. You need to work with them on firing off and keeping o-linemen getting to your LB's. Also make sure that they can beat one guy. Nothing is worst than a d-linemen that can't beat a guy. When he's able to beat one on one this draws the double team thus opening up your blitzing lanes. (1.) Always stress going foward and shooting the hands at shoulders. Also work with shed and tackle everyday. (2.) Pursuit drills often. Stress to your kids the need to check your area and take the proper pursuit angles. (3.) Must be very aggressive and hard hitting. I have seen larger soft players on the line and they caused more probems then taking up space. You must stress being aggressive at all times and pounding their gaps. (4.) Never overpursue pass runner. Many times you will see a player shoot right by the d-linemen and he don't get touched. We used Coach Clarke's "Hit your man, find your man, and play football" to help here. They must find their gap, hit their man shoulder, and then when they take one step in the backfield find the ball. We would run 2-1 drills to help with this. They must understand their the front line of the defense and they set the tone. The D-line do the grunt work, but the LB's get the glory because they clean up the mess. I always made my d-line the team capts. on game days and praise them often because they do the dirty work. This will make guys fight to be on the line to get the awards and spotlight.

OLB

Have to be your thugs. They must be tough and have the ability to make open field tackles, cover WR's, and also stop off tackle/sweeps. These players also contain the edges 1st and fore most. These players have to have tough skin and be able to be lend on often. Each yr. one of my OLB was the d player of the year. They're asked to do alot and they must be able to shed and contain. They have to generate pressure off the edge. The key is looking for a RB type here that are quick learners. When I had RB types out there they tend to played the position well. So when you do try outs make sure you keep this mind when you're doing drill work. They're use to pounding the rock. So taking on a lead block and forcing the play inside wouldn't be that hard for them. Really press their auto call assignments and backside pursuit.

MLB

We found out when we had a taller MLB we tend to gotten more work done here. This is one of your best players here. He has to trust his reads and react. He has to get the calls in and know everyone assignment. He must be able to cover from sideline-sideline and kill the inside run. When we had a shorter MLB it killed us at times because he couldn't make his reads in the triangle. We adjusted his reads to help him out. We also adjusted his depth to help as well.

FS

The heart and soul of the defense in my mind. This is your best player. He has to be able to go form sideline to sideline and cover very well. This player lead us in Ints. and 2nd in tackles. This player see everything and bait QB's/youth coaches often. His position throw them off at times because of him shifting to the strong side and eyeing down the weak side. Once his assignment isn't going out for a pass all bets are off. He's now being that ball hawk and making plays on the ball. This player also killed rev, PAP, and most trick plays. He's too far away to get sucked in. We also used a "Kill the Bee" tech from Clarke to help here. This helped the OLB/MLB/FS from never falling for the trick plays. That one second helped the players see their assignments and make plays.

DB

Always work on pass coverage and CVR1/CVR3. Also work with them on how to talk with the LB's/FS when they have twins and trips. The pass off in zone is key. The last thing is making sure they force running plays inside. I told my DB's that if they couldn't make the tackle, at least fall down and force the runner inside to his help. I have DB's there to defend the pass. I would always have WR types out there. One season my taller and bigger players were DB's. They played the pass the best, and when it came to running outside they shut it down very well. If I had smaller DB's I would do tackling drills with my bigger backs so they get use to taking on bigger players. I also teach them to shed and attack. Coach Cox DB drills are very good and need to be worked on often.

Drills

Pursuit...pursuit...pursuit!!!! You must do this every day. You must put your players in the worst situation and have them pursuit to make a play. If you see someone take the wrong angle you must punish them on spot.

DB/LB drops

Please don't sleep on this and really work on PAP and crossing routes. Most of the teams we faced went with max protect and 9 routes. They tend to attack the seam or run slants. When plays come across the middle your MLB must make players pay. He reads the QB and his eyes should lead him towards the play and he must trust his read. The OLB's have an auto call. They must understand when the flats are being attacked and look for a release to their side. We also worked on counter/rev often with them. Please work on the OLB not dropping deeper than the deepest back. If they pass them they have a wide open lane to the edge.

Formation Adjustments:

This was fun and done at the end of practice at times. This is when you have your OC will have the scout team come out in different formations and your players have to adjust. If you don't hear the MLB and FS talking you punish them on spot. They must talk and make sure everyone repeat the call. This was also a quick way to get laps. Make sure that the call that's made all players repeat. If anyone read motion, if it's trips, etc. players need to talk. I made my DB's call out...I got 1 I got 1. If he had twins then the OLB/FS/DB need to make call saying "I got 2 I got 2. This ensure that everyone had a player and adjustments can be made.

Angle Tackling and Shed tackling

You will be tested often and this was huge for us. The shed and attack is key. Your kids must be able to shed and attack.

Areas of attack and counter calls:

5225-55-22-25-52-DB Blitz

The 5225 will force teams to attack the seam or go max protect. We used the 5225 to force their hand. We look for seam routes and crossing routes. Once you send the 5225 mix in a 55 to bait them. This is when your 2's will fake blitz and drop into coverage. This will take away those quick passing routes and also mix the coach up on the side line. The 22 is a safe call because the 5's have an auto blitz call. If they read pass you're in 22 right now anyway. The DB blitz was a nice add from Cox. We used it twice last season and gotten 2 ints from it. One that helped us win a close game. The 5225 is a probe you use to see how this team will react and you're cutting down the time they have to allow the offense to set up. Once you see how they want to attack you have calls you can use that will off set them all game long. The 25 and 52 was nice against teams that like to run trips. This was a call we used against a very good team and they gotten out of trips in two plays.

Heavy Subbing and watch how often you blitz:

A few times my kids were tired and the pressure all game long can wear on them. So we mixed up a 22 or 55 to give the kids breaks. Then we would rotate packages to help as well. On 3rd and 4th we're coming. We would mix up our looks on 1st and 2nd.


Wedge and Midline attack:

You will find a team or two that will double down on the Nose and punish the middle. This is when you use the other fronts. The Tilt did well for us as well and the 40/60 fronts. The Tilt slammed down those gaps and allowed us to stuff the run. Your edge is set, but we want to plug the middle to force bounce. We would work on defending the wedge every week as well as double dives. If you have a good nose, and use your jumbo package you can slow this down a bit. (This was why I mentioned this in ILB section.) We found this adjustment with bigger players helped along with formation shifting to other fronts.

Be careful with your pressures and know your team:

When you run a youth system you have to make sure it work with any type of players you may get for that season. You need speed and aggressive players. Many times people have better players so certain pressure packages and scheme work better for them. Make sure you understand what you have and use the packages that fit your team. Make sure you can make quick adjustments based off of your packages you pick. Everyone can't run 52125 ever play. It's a great probe to put pressure on a team and dictate to them where you can attack them. We gotten more out of fake 52125 to 5225...55..22..25...52 or a DB blitz. We kept teams off balanced. 

Quick screen or passing game:

Work on this because the 1st response is a swing route or something quick outside. Make sure you work with your DB's and MLB/FS/OLB. Whatever adjustment you make stem your defense in the same look as before, but go to a 22 or 55.

Defending the Off Tackle/Power Play;

When I was cutting my teeth as a young whiper snapper in coaching this was what I was taught. Every coach told me the best way to attack an odd fronts is with off tackle and power. Please rep this often. You must pride yourself on stopping the off tackle play. Coach Cox has an attack manual that was very helpful for our scout team. We would run off tackle from most used formations so we could defend it better. Work with your OLB/MLB/ILB, and D-line with this. You're 2's will be huge here as well. The Boot off of Off Tackle was a play that burned us in the playoffs two seasons ago. We lost backside on the Boot Pass and they broken a play.

Unbalanced sets adjustments:

Always work with this during your formational sessions. Make sure your nose and MLB can call this out and shift quickly. When you're on the sideline they can overload an area and you can't catch it all of the time. Make sure you prep your players on this so they can slide to ensure you have balance on both sides. This system is an odd front, but you can balance off with no effort. The Slide was one of our favs for this. The Slide off set the offense and also a shift that against a quick snap team or hurry up you can be in position.

Rep hurry up and quick snapping:

More and more teams are using a high tenpo against attacking teams. We would do a drill where we would have the scout run plays and we would throw the ball anywhere on the football field. The team had 3 secs to get lined up and be ready to defend. If we saw them dragging behind we had some conditioing to work with. This was the drill our kids loved. They would be yelling and calling out plays. We would also allow the MLB to make calls if he saw something. This system run itself after a while because of the auto calls. When a big play is made then we would condition and then walk thru the error. We would also work on subs at this time too.

Off sides and hard counts:

Many teams will hard count you because this is the response to heavy pressure. we would do this early every practice. I would change the snap count, use a hard count, and even run 4 plays with the same count...then do a freeze play. When they jumped off sides...you know it coaches....CONDITIOING!!! We can't give up a yard. So we would work on this for about 15 mins. every practice. We would also do a silent snap to test if the LB's are reading the defensive linemem heels. We taught our kids to read the d-linemen heels. If he move forward you take off. The D line is taught to watch the ball. This type of play would be ran early if they have scouted us, or on 3rd/4th downs.

Shifting your fronts:

This is huge. I spoken with Coach Manchester of GMC as well as other great 353 coaches. They all said you won't last long just coming out in a base 353 front. You need to find fornts you can adjust to that won't change your techs, but allow you to get the shift needed to counter the offensive attack. Coaches teams will go to trips, use power sets, and use all kinds of movement to get you out of what you're in. Then some have the base 353 front licked. When you shift you're fronts and give other looks it really mess with the offensive attack. The team you will play will come with what they do best. The key is that we have to stop them. The use of formations is an easy add for any offense. So make sure you adjust your looks and fronts to keep teams off balanced. Coach Cox has quite a few fornts and he added this once I had talked with him about it. The key was doing it in a way that was easy for youth coaches. This was something easy for a HS team. So check out the looks he has and what these looks would be good for. Then add this in your install schedule. We would set up scrimmages and only run 2 looks. We would install a front and then set a scrimmage. We would install another package and then set a scrimmage. We would break down the tape and look at how teams attacked these fronts. Then we would fine tune. Once the season started we had all our looks in and also what a team would do against it.

I hope this helps and good luck this season.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 11:32:53 AM by Coach Big B »
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Offline bigphenom

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 12:13:40 PM »
Thanks so much coach for the info. I will be installing the 521 D and also the Power Pistol this year with my middle school kids. I can't thank you and coach Cox and the rest of the coaches on here for all the help and info you put out on this forum.

Mahalo
Coach Randy
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Offline Coach Big B

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 12:24:01 PM »
Thanks so much coach for the info. I will be installing the 521 D and also the Power Pistol this year with my middle school kids. I can't thank you and coach Cox and the rest of the coaches on here for all the help and info you put out on this forum.

Mahalo
Coach Randy

no prblem coach. I add more as I go thru my notes.
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Offline DANGERZONE

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 03:37:26 PM »
Thanks for the in depth report...I will be tuning in next week to you and Coach Cox talk about the defense on your show... our first coaches meeting for the defense is next Sunday
‎"I make my practices real hard ........because if a player is a quitter.....I want him to quit in practice, not in a game."
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Offline CoachCraig

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 05:01:10 PM »
im not sure who deserves a vacation or at least a seceraty more,  you or coach cox.   not sure how you find the time..thanks for everything btw.

curious, do you prefer to slant to gap or slant to shoulder?
"Whether you think you can, or cannot, you're probably right."

Offline Coach Big B

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2013, 08:47:38 PM »
im not sure who deserves a vacation or at least a seceraty more,  you or coach cox.   not sure how you find the time..thanks for everything btw.

curious, do you prefer to slant to gap or slant to shoulder?

Thanks coach. What's funny is that my doctor just put me off work last week. (said I was burned out. lol) I just wanted to hand down some insight so all of you can hit the ground running and smacking heads out there.

I like slant to shoulders. This induce the double team. The main key is the d-line forcing a double team. When we hit those shoulders it forced linemen to turn and open up the gaps. Try both during install and see which one works better for your group of kids. Slanting and hitting shoulders really helped us.
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Offline xcane75

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2013, 09:24:22 PM »
Coach,

when you say you slant to a shoulder, are you referring to the shoulder of the "on lineman" or the shoulder of the lineman to the gap they are slanting to (the lineman one man away)?

Thanks!

Offline Coach Big B

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2013, 02:11:57 PM »
Coach,

when you say you slant to a shoulder, are you referring to the shoulder of the "on lineman" or the shoulder of the lineman to the gap they are slanting to (the lineman one man away)?

Thanks!

slanting towards the shoulder of the gap they suppose to hit. this was something coach cox talked with me about before. he wanted to know from a youth sense what would work better. hitting the outside shouder or the shoulder of the gap this give your player a landmark as well give you the desire effect of want on the line. this is also a concept that clark also teach as well with one of his systems.
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Offline coachgt

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 02:06:26 PM »
I am currently running this system (and not well if you ask me) and our kids love it. I have a 5 year old playing ILB and he hits a man in the backfield every play. This system allows any kid, when placed correctly, to be successful and effective. I will definitely be studying this hardcore this offseason.
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Offline Coach Big B

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 09:23:03 AM »
I am currently running this system (and not well if you ask me) and our kids love it. I have a 5 year old playing ILB and he hits a man in the backfield every play. This system allows any kid, when placed correctly, to be successful and effective. I will definitely be studying this hardcore this offseason.

I remember I told the coaches on staff that in most cases guys will run into the play. lol
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"Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit."

Coach Vince Lombardi

Offline Junenavy

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Re: Coaching tips for 1st yr. CoxBox 521 coaches
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2015, 04:18:31 PM »
I've been running the 521 defenses for the past 3 seasons and you are right on the money coach!! Can't stress enough how much your 5's need to be absolute beasts!! learn this lesson painfully when we lost in the playoffs. Awesome read!!