Coach Rudy, Big Ten Alumni. Let’s talk about
how to read formations. Now, that’s a more sophisticated question than it sounds like.
Reading a formation is a defensive point of view. So, what position do I play? More often
than not, we’re talking about linebackers, and we’re talking about defensive backs. For
instance, as a linebacker, I’m looking at the back field set. Is it a pro set? Is it
a single back? Is it a power set? And then I make my adjustment based on the set? As
a defensive back, I look at the set, and depending on what coverage I’m in–for instance, if
they got to twins, if I’m in man to man, and I’m the right corner, and the split end goes
to the flanker side, I go with him. If I’m in cover two or cover three, I stay and either
Buck or Sam, depending on the defense, goes–because Buck or Sam is now the strong side defensive
back. So they go into the hole. And depending on the set, they either jam or fly out, play
run support. The very most important thing in learning how to read formations is, it’s
a key to giving you a jump on your responsibilities. It doesn’t mean you abandon your responsibility.
What it means is you make an adjustment based on the formation. Every defense is a base
set, but the formation dictates what our next action is. So how important is that? It’s
very important. How important is that? It’s very, very important. Learn how to read formations,
learn how to understand the differences between pro set, single back, wing, twins, trips,
or spread. Learn it.