I happen to be a football nerd. Blitzes, coverages, and route trees are some of the most interesting things in the world to me. When my favorite NFL team — The Chicago Bears — broke the huddle in a quarters formation, a couple of weeks ago (first time in like four years)…. I got excited. Kentucky getting new football coaches just gives me an excuse to delve into new schemes and philosophies of our new coaches and possible new coaches to see how it fits with Kentucky’s current personnel. I ran across a Florida State fan website that detailed all of what our new coach likes to do on defense, and if you’re like me, you’ll read the entire article about 5 times. In 2009, Stoops took over a horrendous FSU defense and turned it to one of the best defenses in the country, which is the same thing he plans to do here at Kentucky. Nothing will change about the scheme Stoops brings to the Bluegrass, he will still be one of the best guys in the nation at running the 4-3. Here are some of the highlights of the article.
Stoops is committed to being multiple. That means multiple fronts and multiple coverages. Stoops has said he will be precise, accurate, detail-oriented and selectively aggressive. He said his sacks come more from coverage than from all-out blitzing. Stoops is a stickler for precise run fits. He stresses being assignment sound and building everything around the core of the defense. It’s that core that never changes, Stoops says, that must be in place before anything flashy is implemented. Stoops’ influences include his brothers Bob and Mike along with Bo and Carl Pelini.
-This is exactly what Stoops said at Sunday’s press conference. He wants to have multiple fronts and attack offenses in a lot of different ways. The guy I think will benefit from this head coaching change the most is Bud Dupree. Dupree is a monster, and if Stoops can teach him how to relentlessly get after the pass rusher in both tw0 and three-point stances, he’ll be NFL-ready in no time.
Stoops played a good bit of cover 3 at Arizona and cover 3 is a trademark of the Stoops brothers’ defensive philosophy. Note that some refer to this defense as “3-deep” For our purposes, that is the same thing.
-Cover-3 allows you to do a lot with the safety that isn’t responsible for that “deep-third”. He is able to help in run support, cover, and fall into a zone as well. Here is a typical zone-blitz play-call from Stoops’ in cover-3 look:
Zone-blitzing is an effective way to confuse a quarterback and send pressure as well. Stoops does a great job of incorporating this into his defense, which is why he lead one of the best groups in the nation.