I would like to start a post dedicated to ways to slow down the spread attack. There are several keys to slowing down or attacking a spread attack in my opinion. We have enough talent to slowdown most of our opponents spread attack if we play smart. UF attack next year may not be as much of a classic spread option attack as it's been in the past with Brantley at QB.
Keys to stopping a spread
- Play Zone - Zone allows DBs to keep their eyes in the backfield, which allows DBs to take away from one on one matches. Spread purpose is to create one on one matchup in space. In a man scheme, just by sending a man in a pattern you can effectively take a player out of the play. Zone also allows you to be more aggressive with your front seven by using different blitzes but still have players in place if the WR or Back breaks containment.
- Discipline - Defensive players have to understand and complete their assignments. You cannot free lance against a spread attack. Free-lancing Defenders create lanes.
- No Missed Tackles - Even if you do everything right a spread is going to put guys in a one on one situation. You have to make those tackles, it's not as important to punish the ball carrier as to bring them to the ground.
- Confusion the QB - The QB traditionally makes the majority of the reads. Let us say UF is running the read option. Whether the DE is lineup inside the tackle it's a QB run outside if he's lineup on the outside it is an inside run to the back. Against a spread you have make the QB question what he is seeing. Is the Mike in position to make the inside run tackle? Is the OLB fast enough to offer outside containment? Is it a zone blitz?
- Speed - The Defense has to be able to maintain containment but also play well in space. Can the LBs run? How much ground can the safety cover?