Master Defense Game Analysis Series - Pt 2
Jim Reese continues his series on The Master Defense with a discussion with Bob Troppmann that explores the basic principles of this timeless Defensive Scheme.
Jim Reese-Bob, what exactly is the Master Defense?
Bob Troppmann-The basis of the Master Defense is a numbering system for linemen that fills every gap, and color calls that allow for various secondary coverages, depending upon game elements such as down and distance, tendencies, time remaining, score, weather conditions, field position, etc.
JR-Bob, is the Master Defense a single, specific defense, like the old Oklahoma 54 or Michigan Split-Six?
BT-No, the Master Defense is a scheme, or a system, if you will, adaptable to cover all offensive situations that may arise in a game.
JR-How is it different from other defensive schemes?
BT- Once the basic techniques and colors of the Master Defense are learned, the coach will have all the tools necessary to set the defense to combat any offensive formation, take advantage of opponents’ tendencies, minimize opponents’ strengths, and maximize use of field position. This eliminates having to install an entirely new defensive scheme each week for a different opponent.
JR-What is the philosophy of the Master Defense?
BT-The Master Defense is a way of preparing or adjusting to any defensive style of play. Its strength lies in its flexibility, adjustable enough to cover all situations that may arise during a game. In addition, the numbers and colors may be adapted to a coach’s present system, facilitating his team’s acceptance of the Master Defense.
JR-Bob, an integral part of learning the Master Defense is the use of the Electronic Flip Chart, or EFC. Coaches are making effective use of the EFC as a teaching and learning device. How does it work?
BT-The offensive portion of the EFC is designed to call up the most commonly used offensive formations on a computer monitor. The coach can then call up the defensive portion of the EFC whose purpose is to show various defensive alignments particularly geared to defending against that offensive formation. Along with showing a diagram of offense against defense, a click moves the user to an accompanying defensive page which shows the individual alignment, techniques, keys, run responsibilities (to and away) for all positions, in addition to secondary pass responsibilities against flow toward, drop-back, and flow away.
JR.-Bob, you have a defense called Black 22. In the Master Defense scheme, color designates secondary coverage. For instance, green is cover one, black is cover two-man, white is cover two-zone, red is cover three, and blue is cover four. The Black 22 defense presents a 4-3 look. Would you say this defense is more effective against the run or the pass?
BT-I like this defense on a passing down, maybe third and four or five, because it gives solid man coverage underneath and quick nine-man support if the offense should attempt to run. The down side is that you are asking your weak side linebacker to cover a receiver but he should be able to get help from his corner.
JR-If the color in a defense designates secondary coverage, what is the significance of the 22 in Black 22?
BT-The Master Defense designates that the placement of the defensive tackles will determine the number given to that specific alignment. For instance, when defensive players line up directly opposite offensive players, those defensive players assume an even number; when they line up in the gaps, they are designated an odd number. The odd numbers (gap alignment) go out to both sides from the center and are numbered 1-3-5-7-9; the even numbers (head up alignment) are numbered 2-4-6-8. Black 22 means that the defensive tackles are aligned in a 2 alignment, which is head up the offensive guards. The defensive ends will be in a 5 alignment, which is the outside shoulder of the offensive tackles. The strong linebacker lines up in a 9 alignment on the offensive end, the middle linebacker is in a 2 alignment, head up the center 3 yards off the ball, and the weakside linebacker lines up in a 6 alignment off the line of scrimmage.
Click here to learn more about the Black 22 Defense
at the Official Master Defense web site - www.masterdefense.com
JR-You write in your book that the strong safety is an important position in your Master Defense. Explain that to our readers, Bob.
BT-The strong safety is one of the most important men on the defensive unit. He must be the best defensive player on the team and, above all, he must have great football instinct. He is also the defensive quarterback and must have strong leadership qualities. Size and speed are important, but not as important as the fact that the strong safety be “football smart.” At one time or another, the strong safety will be located in just about every position on the field, i.e., he will contain on the run, he will play as a linebacker at times and be incorporated into stunts, he will have flat coverage, deep outside one-third cover, and will, on occasion, have deep middle coverage. The strong safety’s basic position is at the point of the offensive strength.
Jim and Bob will continue to discuss the Master Defense as the 2006 season progresses.
8/23/2006 The Master Defense Game Analysis Series
8/30/2006 The Master Defense Game Analysis - Pt 2
9/8/2006 The Master Defense Game Analysis - Pt 3
9/22/2006 The Master Defense Game Analysis - Pt 4
(click the title to view the article)
For more information about the Master Defense, and to view an online version of the Master Defense "flip chart" visit www.masterdefense.com . Click here for a sample chapter and a complete table of contents from The Master Defense eBook .
This article was written by Jim Reese. Jim was a quarterback and assistant coach at the University of Minnesota and is now retired and lives in Tampa, Florida, where he reports on sports for a local newspaper.
Learn about and download Jim's eBook, How to Win at Flag Football