Author Topic: Amoeba 33  (Read 2224 times)

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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2019, 01:05:12 PM »
Really interested in this defense. Do you have any drills you use for this defense specifically or even a playbook?

Drills . . . hmm.

I think we started March 12 with 3 practices per week. We took a week off during a BYE, but whatever, you get the point. In that time, I'd be surprised if we've done 2 hours worth of drills or indies total. If I did ANY drills with the pressure group (stacks), they aren't worth sharing. My cover group coach is the "catch man" guru. I'm not sure he ran any drills. We mainly teach on the fly running team.

To prepare for our last opponent, I recognized a need to nail down our pursuit and "contain by committee", which was stolen from the Killer Bee. Think rabbit/greyhound drill. 2 backs, each with a football, cones 5 yards from the sideline. On "HIT", both backs take off in their respective direction trying to sweep around the defense. Coach opens to one player indicating which player is "live". #1 guy is the CB and he aims for the outside hip of the BC. #2 guy is the dog and aims for center mass of the BC, going for the "kill shot". #3 guy is the Reaper or maybe outside stacker, or even in some cases, the DT. Either way, if you are the 3rd man in pursuit, you will aim for the inside hip, looking for a pause, juke or cut back. Everyone else stops and points out the angle they would take. Offensive coaches would watch them to do quality control on their angles. Backside DOG gets to depth and looks for BCR. Backside CB stays put until the ball crosses the LOS, then picks his "save a TD" angle.

I taught the traditional 33 stack on the fly during our first team session while the HC (who is my "cover group" coach) gave very quick instructions to the Dogs, CBs and Reaper. Traditional stack just means one stack on the center and a stack each over the OTs. Yes, we went over unbalanced lines and finding the "center" of the line. Fly through your gap and play football. I had the DTs and NTs at credit card depth. The call was "JJ" in honor of Mr. Lawson

After a couple of reps, I introduced the "twist" call. So now, any given stack will twist stunt. We'll use the left stack as an example. OS will tap the DT and send him to the C gap (for example). DT now has a choice. He can either line up in the C gap and hit it, or he can line up in the B gap and cross the OTs face. OS will line up at depth head up over the OT (around 4 yards) and hit the B gap. If the taps the DT to the B gap, same thing. So what happens is the OT is now seeing 4 different looks from this stack and I tell them to be random and unpredictable. The call was "Twizzler" in honor of the candy treat.

That went in VERY smoothly, so a few more reps vs Mahonz' scout O and I installed the "Ghost" call. This is where everyone lines up at depth in seemingly random places and hits their gaps. The most important thing is that they are shot out of a cannon and eyes immediately to the QB and read what's going on while attacking full speed. The call was "Ghost" because it reminded me of the two weird twins from the Matrix who disappeared and reappeared.

I knew I was onto something because the scout O came out in Robust T and ran 3 dives at us. We stuffed them for a total of maybe 1.5 yards combined. I found myself saying "play football" a lot, so it occurred to me that "play football" was at odds with dictating the calls from the sideline. So I told them to do whatever they wanted to. One stack will be "JJ", another will be "Twizzler" and the third might be "ghost" .Totally up to them. Now, they are pretty much always in "Ghost".  In game 1, a huge o-line running Beast kicked our tail down the field in the opening drive. It wasn't a flaw in the defense, but poor execution. Too many guys sitting at depth and reading. We eventually settled down and held a VERY potent offense to 14 points.

I am a very "dumb it down" coach. If I have to write it down, it's too complicated. So no playbook. With this defense, I took that idea to the extreme. Unfortunately, I have to go to a military appreciation lunch right now, but I will write out the defense when I get back.


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Offline mahonz

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #31 on: May 15, 2019, 03:30:30 PM »
If I'm being completely honest, the offensive lines we've faced have some work to do if they want to progress to "shitty". Our o-line is "meh". Well below our standards, but far and away the best in our Spring league. The big takeaways:
1) most, if not all of my theories seem to hold water
2) I understand a new (to me) way to play defense.
3) sometimes the best coaching move is to stay the hell out of your players' way

I'd say the Cowboys OL was quite good. Yes they could be coached up better like most every team but that unit has talent. The rest is just meh like you said to include our own...but dont forget....we are running an O with no line.  :P

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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2019, 05:01:17 PM »
I'd say the Cowboys OL was quite good. Yes they could be coached up better like most every team but that unit has talent. The rest is just meh like you said to include our own...but dont forget....we are running an O with no line.  :P

Agree. In Beast, they were very good where it counts, LG, T, PT TE. But in their balanced look, they were "meh". Their pass pro was poor, but that had a lot to do with the 1980's style 7 step drops they were taking.
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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2019, 01:17:04 PM »
Here's the "playbook". I'm sharing a link to my Google drive so we don't use up so much storage on the website.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8gVPXE_ZHnVNHE5dXdmOTluSTFHNmp1UWd4ZDFZMTJKeG1N/view?usp=sharing
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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2019, 12:27:51 AM »
Pitched a shutout today with a pick 6.  I think we had 3 picks on the day. Opponent had one big gain on a double pass. My CB was upset, but I told him not to worry about it. We don't even practice against HB passes or double passes. My 2 best stack players were out on defense. They each play ever offensive snap and they each missed a practice last week, so I wouldn't let them play defense.

Defense was playing well enough in the 1st half, but not perfect. Then, the unexplainable happened right before half time. Mahonz pointed out 2 offense only players who hadn't played yet. I put them in at Nose and Middle stacker as a stack pair and for reasons completely unknown to me, the defense shifted into "awesome mode". These two are rookie players who rotate at WR. They both have decent speed and seem fairly athletic, but had maybe 5 defensive plays between them on the season. On their 2nd play together, the opponent called timeout. I went out to talk to the defense because I'm supposed to (I guess) and the 2 rookies had a couple of questions. I spent the timeout answering their questions. On the next play, we got immediate pressure on the QB leading to a pick 6. I told Mahonz that the pick 6 was due to my genius re-positioning of the defense.  ;)

At halftime, it was 30-0 and we had absolutely nothing to prove, so I grabbed every offensive rotator and put them in a rotation in the stacks. They got a very basic description of what to do and what to expect. At halftime, I saw the "regulars" in the stacks instructing and giving a mini "stack clinic".

Entering the 3rd quarter with this hodge podge defense, I half expected us to get scored on. Somehow, some way, the defense found another gear and we had the opposing offense going backward. Weird.

As part of the rotation, I had our 98lb Tasmanian devil sub in for our 220lb Shrek just to mess with the OT. I just wanted to see the look on his face when 6'2, 220 was replaced by 5'5, 98. Little guy crossed his face and got a big TFL.

Another weird observation was putting the most timid kid we have at middle stacker. I watched him as he tip-toed in the general direction of his gap. The C and G decided to climb and double team him. I guess they smelled fear on him or something. Unfortunately for them, This left a 7 foot gap right in the middle that our more aggressive players were more than happy to fill, getting another huge TFL.

Mixed feelings on one play. In game 2, one of their players knocked our center out for the season, breaking his wrist on a dirty and unnecessary blind side hit. Their player was a deep safety and we were running wide right. Our C, uncovered was looking for a 2nd level defender to block. Their S covered 10 yards to hit our C while the ball was about 30 yards away. Today, they threw him a screen/swing that I'm pretty sure was supposed to turn into a double pass. I think we had 7 jerseys on him and we knocked him out of the game. C and his parents were happy, but the kid was out because his head bounced off the turf. So while I'm happy about the physical play and gang tackle, I can't find joy in the result. Unintentional, but I don't want to see a kid leave from a head injury.

I made sure that the guys who missed practice knew exactly why they were being replaced by players who show up.
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Offline mahonz

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2019, 11:13:25 AM »
The way you yinged and yanged their OL was fun to watch. 

I absolutely do not understand their Offense.  Split backs are great for crossfire....from under center. I think too many coaches run shotgun just to run shotgun. The coaching in this Division is very suspect.
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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #36 on: May 24, 2019, 09:53:32 PM »
In the final game, the defense played very well. They connected on 2 well covered Hail Marys, one of which scored, both of which, their receiver ripped the ball out of our CB’s hands. Halftime adjustment was to explain that knocking it down was a zero yard gain. That CB had 3 pass defenses in the 2nd half.

They rolled out in Beast to start the 2nd half and ripped 2 long runs. Mahonz’ advice was to make sure that they shifted (they didn’t initially), pull everyone 5 yards off the ball and forget gap assignments. Just fly to the ball. We stuffed it after that.

With 2 minutes left, they put the foulmouth, anthem kneeling, racist kid at QB. 1st play, he threw up a duck to no one. 2nd, he scrambled for a 40 yard gain to about the 5. Then they melted down and handed us the game.
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Offline mahonz

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #37 on: May 24, 2019, 11:29:43 PM »
This Defense really kicked butt.

Lar says its the kids and his new approach to coaching Potter Ball.

I say its the new approach to coaching Potter Ball. I used to wonder how Dave pitched so many shutouts while coaching youth ball. Now I've lived it and fully understand how that can happen.  We were not the best team in this Division yet we ran the table and won the close games with our Defense that frustrated the heck out of the opponents.

Stifling it the word I'd use.  5 or more to the football every snap and arrive with an attitude.

It was special to watch them play.  The team we beat for all the marbles towered over us and was loaded with talent while Lar played some of my MP's because the Offense was 4 and out a lot. 

Sucks to finish in second place !!!!  8)
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Offline CoachDP

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2019, 12:10:07 AM »
Lar says its the kids and his new approach to coaching Potter Ball. I say its the new approach to coaching Potter Ball.

--Sounds like y'all are in agreement.

I used to wonder how Dave pitched so many shutouts while coaching youth ball. Now I've lived it and fully understand how that can happen.  We were not the best team in this Division yet we ran the table and won the close games with our Defense that frustrated the heck out of the opponents.

--"Frustrating" is a good word.

Stifling it the word I'd use.  5 or more to the football every snap and arrive with an attitude.

--You've discovered the key.  Get them to the ball-carrier.  It's an invisible offense.  The mistake that many defensive coaches and players make is they try to play an 11-on-11 game and try to account for everyone.  That's why you see a defensive player continuing to crash into an offensive player when the ball-carrier is 40 yards away streaking down the sideline.  Offensively, there's only 6 players who can score, so it's 11 on 6 at worst.  And with the majority of youth offenses, most teams have even fewer who they rely on to score, so the defensive advantage increases to 11 on 4, 3, 2 or 1.  I'd say with the average youth offense, they rely on perhaps 2 offensive threats.  If you can't dominate in an 11 against 2 situation, then you're doing a horrible job.

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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2019, 06:21:30 PM »
Here’s the challenge. Every single player on this defense could pursue and tackle. They all had fire and aggression. The challenge will be to get our 3rd graders playing that way. Far from impossible, but a challenge. It will mean changing the focus of our coaching. Mahonz was on to something toward the end of last season, by making rabbit/greyhound an EDD. Vast improvement for the defense. Going forward, it will be a shift from teaching things like block destruction, swim/rip moves, outside arm free, etc. to “mercilessly pursue and destroy the ball carrier. Last season there was zero and I mean zero pass threat besides us.

The Beast atttack from our Thursday opponent was formidable, but one quick adjustment and we completely neutralized it. Get after the ball right now. Mission of the Marine Rifle Squad is “to locate, close with and destroy the enemy”. We need to adopt that.
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Offline gumby_in_co

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2019, 11:36:00 AM »
They have mine, too.  But I’m sure defenses are dumb enough to play that game and spread out.  I mean, they have to!  Just look how big the splits are.  ;)

Honestly, I’d probably split that wide if I knew the defense was just going to accommodate me.

—Dave

I totally get it now. My point from our past discussions on the topic was that if you didn't accommodate our splits, then you are losing the leverage game before the ball is even snapped. Now, I see that leverage only exists if contact is made between a blocker and a tackler.

Defenses that have stopped us all had 1 thing in common. They had 3 players who were very good at getting to the ball carrier. Some had giants with speed who would run through our blockers. Some had extremely fast and agile guys who could run around our blockers. Some had guys in the middle who could do a little of both, but for one reason or another, we couldn't keep those guys off the ball.

Most teams had at least one guy like that. We could name our score if they only had 1. If they had 2, we were good for around 3-4 touchdowns. If they had 3, we were going to score twice and were in for a dog fight.

What I had this Spring was probably 16 players who couldn't be blocked by our opponents. I can't take credit because they came to me like that. I simply "encouraged" that type of play with a simple "2 whistle" drill early in the season. I also preached the "invisible offense" concept. Mahonz and Jason, our HC and secondary coach convinced me to do away with the force player. CBs played contain, but in an aggressive, Killer Bee style. Everyone else was an alley player. I should also point out that this season's opponents had absolutely the worst blocking I've ever had to coach against. One team was pretty good. Everyone else was horrible.

However, even a youth team with great blocking is going to have a few "holes". Start with a QB under center who hands off the ball. Unless you're DW, you just lost a blocker. Then the ball carrier is another. So I'll go forward with the assumption that there are at least 4 players on the offense who can't/won't block their way out of a wet paper bag. So now, they are at a 6 man disadvantage. If we run into that team where everyone can block?  Well, I guess that's football, isn't it?

We've talked ad nauseum about "teams that can block and tackle well". Keeping to the topic of defense, tackling is paramount. Duh. However, spending a crap load of time in form tackle drills, I now believe isn't the best way to focus your efforts. When I play hockey (I'm not very good), I get yelled at by my teammates when a skilled player goes around me like I'm a cone. "PLAY HIS BODY!!!" is something I hear all the time. Yet, I'm having a hard time getting close enough to slash the dude with a 6 foot hockey stick. Point is, you can have a kid who absolutely excels in form tackling in a close quarter drill. He can look like the poster boy for USA Football's Heads Up nonsense. It doesn't matter if he can't get his shoulder on the ball carrier. In last week's championship, we had at least a dozen jersey tackles that will never make it to a "heads up" video, but hey, the guy was on the ground.  There are no ugly goals in hockey and there are no ugly tackles in football. So going forward, we will focus on getting guys on the football.

Which brings me back around to mega splits. I've become convinced this Spring that spacing is crucial to getting as many guys to the ball as possible. Clark's Killer Bee is the absolute authority on spacing. When a team comes out in Trips vs a KB defense, the KB adjusts a little, but the interior coverage guys move progressively less. In our 33, Mahonz and I decided early on that we are going all in on bringing pressure from our front 6, with the exception of moving one guy into a coverage position vs Trips, but only because that 3rd guy is an eligible receiver. A mega split guard or tackle is not eligible, so why sacrifice your spacing to accommodate him? It's only leverage if he touches you.

A local club will be hosting a summer football camp in a few weeks. We have 8 of our 3rd graders committed. This camp will be the beginning of our indoctrination to the "there is only one ball, get to it" mentality. I want them to be experts at angles and geometry without even thinking about it, and I want a relentless sense of purpose.

A big challenge will be our patch rules that say a big guy has to play on the LOS. I talked it over with Mahonz last night and I may end up going with all fast guys under patch weight on defense, saving the bigs for the o-line. Or, I may dig into our league rules and really push the envelope on the definition of "on the line". Can't wait to post pictures of a 3rd grade defense where everyone starts 5 yards off the ball.

This Spring, we allowed 5 TDs in 9 games, one of which was in 8 man football, and 2 TDs were Hail Mary's that worked out for them. 5 games were shut outs. We/I have never had a defensive season like that. We got there by having 11 players playing like linebackers. We did a few tackle drills in the first week of practice. We did zero "block destruction" drills and by mid-season, we yielded "defense day" to the offense. 
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Offline mahonz

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #41 on: May 29, 2019, 12:40:09 PM »
I totally get it now. My point from our past discussions on the topic was that if you didn't accommodate our splits, then you are losing the leverage game before the ball is even snapped. Now, I see that leverage only exists if contact is made between a blocker and a tackler.

Defenses that have stopped us all had 1 thing in common. They had 3 players who were very good at getting to the ball carrier. Some had giants with speed who would run through our blockers. Some had extremely fast and agile guys who could run around our blockers. Some had guys in the middle who could do a little of both, but for one reason or another, we couldn't keep those guys off the ball.

Most teams had at least one guy like that. We could name our score if they only had 1. If they had 2, we were good for around 3-4 touchdowns. If they had 3, we were going to score twice and were in for a dog fight.

What I had this Spring was probably 16 players who couldn't be blocked by our opponents. I can't take credit because they came to me like that. I simply "encouraged" that type of play with a simple "2 whistle" drill early in the season. I also preached the "invisible offense" concept. Mahonz and Jason, our HC and secondary coach convinced me to do away with the force player. CBs played contain, but in an aggressive, Killer Bee style. Everyone else was an alley player. I should also point out that this season's opponents had absolutely the worst blocking I've ever had to coach against. One team was pretty good. Everyone else was horrible.

However, even a youth team with great blocking is going to have a few "holes". Start with a QB under center who hands off the ball. Unless you're DW, you just lost a blocker. Then the ball carrier is another. So I'll go forward with the assumption that there are at least 4 players on the offense who can't/won't block their way out of a wet paper bag. So now, they are at a 6 man disadvantage. If we run into that team where everyone can block?  Well, I guess that's football, isn't it?

We've talked ad nauseum about "teams that can block and tackle well". Keeping to the topic of defense, tackling is paramount. Duh. However, spending a crap load of time in form tackle drills, I now believe isn't the best way to focus your efforts. When I play hockey (I'm not very good), I get yelled at by my teammates when a skilled player goes around me like I'm a cone. "PLAY HIS BODY!!!" is something I hear all the time. Yet, I'm having a hard time getting close enough to slash the dude with a 6 foot hockey stick. Point is, you can have a kid who absolutely excels in form tackling in a close quarter drill. He can look like the poster boy for USA Football's Heads Up nonsense. It doesn't matter if he can't get his shoulder on the ball carrier. In last week's championship, we had at least a dozen jersey tackles that will never make it to a "heads up" video, but hey, the guy was on the ground.  There are no ugly goals in hockey and there are no ugly tackles in football. So going forward, we will focus on getting guys on the football.

Which brings me back around to mega splits. I've become convinced this Spring that spacing is crucial to getting as many guys to the ball as possible. Clark's Killer Bee is the absolute authority on spacing. When a team comes out in Trips vs a KB defense, the KB adjusts a little, but the interior coverage guys move progressively less. In our 33, Mahonz and I decided early on that we are going all in on bringing pressure from our front 6, with the exception of moving one guy into a coverage position vs Trips, but only because that 3rd guy is an eligible receiver. A mega split guard or tackle is not eligible, so why sacrifice your spacing to accommodate him? It's only leverage if he touches you.

A local club will be hosting a summer football camp in a few weeks. We have 8 of our 3rd graders committed. This camp will be the beginning of our indoctrination to the "there is only one ball, get to it" mentality. I want them to be experts at angles and geometry without even thinking about it, and I want a relentless sense of purpose.

A big challenge will be our patch rules that say a big guy has to play on the LOS. I talked it over with Mahonz last night and I may end up going with all fast guys under patch weight on defense, saving the bigs for the o-line. Or, I may dig into our league rules and really push the envelope on the definition of "on the line". Can't wait to post pictures of a 3rd grade defense where everyone starts 5 yards off the ball.

This Spring, we allowed 5 TDs in 9 games, one of which was in 8 man football, and 2 TDs were Hail Mary's that worked out for them. 5 games were shut outs. We/I have never had a defensive season like that. We got there by having 11 players playing like linebackers. We did a few tackle drills in the first week of practice. We did zero "block destruction" drills and by mid-season, we yielded "defense day" to the offense.

A very contrarian approach to playing Defense for sure. Worked wonderfully.
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Offline angalton

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #42 on: May 29, 2019, 07:01:16 PM »
What were the drills you guys used to enforce this style of play. Not just the names, but what in detail and the coaching emphasis in the drill. I am going to read through the thread completely and see if I can answer some of my questions  also.😁
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Offline mahonz

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #43 on: May 29, 2019, 07:13:20 PM »
What were the drills you guys used to enforce this style of play. Not just the names, but what in detail and the coaching emphasis in the drill. I am going to read through the thread completely and see if I can answer some of my questions  also.😁

Lots of Team vs a Scout O. And when they got bored with that...just start running different O's at them.  The real value of large rosters is being able to do this efficiently.

Remember....tackling drills when out the window early on. Something that is age appropriate of course. The little dudes would still need that type of training. But being in the right place at the right time with very little to think about post snap was the key.

The older kids....it was all about....go get some right now from a proper pre snap aliment. What was interesting was the first Q of most every game. The opponent would get a drive going. Kids would dial it in and then give up virtually nothing for 3 Q's. Its like they all adjusted their play per the opponents plays.

Considering every single youth Offense out there has maybe 12 base plays it can run....seems like the kids just needed to see it once and that was enough.
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Offline angalton

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Re: Amoeba 33
« Reply #44 on: May 29, 2019, 07:23:21 PM »
I was thinking of a 4-3 stack, using A gappers like the Killer B. Safety depth like the B also. Using safeties and Mike to give different looks and pressures and stacking olbs behind DE, or some variation of the stack. The A gappers to stifle wedge and trap, everybody else to the ball.
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