Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bill Belichick on the Single-Wing

Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the Wildcat / Single-wing Q&A with Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick earlier today at Gillette Stadium.

Question: What are the challenges of defending the Wildcat offense?

Bill Belichick: I don’t know about … I guess what I would say is that if you have a running quarterback, offensively, you essentially have one more gap to attack the defensive with, or the defense has one more gap to defend. When you have a quarterback handing off to a running back — however many blockers you have — let’s say you have seven blockers in front of him, a tight end, six linemen and a running back, then, defensively, you can pretty easily get into an eight-man front that accounts for every gap and still have defenders for the perimeter receivers.

Once that quarterback becomes a runner, you really have another gap to defend now. Those seven blockers and eight gaps now really become nine gaps and now you really only have eight defenders. So that puts a stress somewhere on your defense, just like the Single-Wing offenses, just like the college Veer and Wishbone offenses, to some degree the Wing-T and to some degree, I guess, the Wildcat. The principles are all the same: that having another ball carrier, the defense has to defend another gap and you have to decide how you want to do that defensively.

Instead of the quarterback handing off, now you have a guy that can actually attack the defense and run the ball, which most quarterbacks aren’t a threat to do that. That changes some of your run defense principles. To me, that’s the foundation of a running quarterback, whether you do it in the Single Wing, or do it in the option game, it all really comes down to defensively having enough people to defend all the areas they can create.

excerpt from
SportsRadio Boston


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