Mailbag question: What did you think of the 3-3-5 breakdown on another blog?


Posted at 8:00am — 4/1/2010

Mailbag question: What did you think of the 3-3-5 breakdown on another blog?


What do you guys think of the article on the 3-3-5 defense? Is this what you guys have seen or what you believe the team will be running.

If not, what are the differences, what are the similarities, what are the calls and coverage’s that are different than in the past?

Note from GBMW: Got this from several readers — Jim R., Frank T., and Tom T.


Thanks for the question guys.

Yes, we saw the article on MGoBlog and in our opinion the description is of a very basic base 3-3.

The author does a nice job of describing one version of the 3-3. There are many different versions and packages nested within the scheme. The versions we are familiar with use different terminology and a different numbering system.

As with most things involving football, there is no clear-cut right or wrong, just different ways of doing the same thing.

From the video we have seen, and from what we know of how Coach Rod ran defenses at West Virginia, and from how Michigan ran the 3-3 in 2008, the Michigan version is different than the example on MGoBlog. Again this is not a nit-pick or anything, but and attempt to inform that there are different versions of the 3-3.

We expect to see Michigan using more five-man blitz packages and Michigan running more 1/4’s and deep coverage’s than strictly playing 3 deep.

Here are some notes we found from Coach Casteel’s clinic that GBMW attended in the past. Over the next several weeks we will try and put together something about blitz packages.

Base Alignment and gap responsibilities:

NT: Plays a 0 technique head up on the offensive center, he has double A gap responsibility.

DE’s: At West Virginia the terminology is as follows: the lineman to the bandit side is a defensive end and another defensive lineman/tackle is put to the spur side.

DT: Defensive tackles play a 5 technique, that is, an outside shade on the offensive tackles. They have C gap responsibility.

MLBer: Stacks Behind nose tackle and has A gaps and pursuit.

SLBer: Stacks behind Defensive Tackle and has B gap responsibility.

WLBer: Stacks behind the Defensive End and has B gap responsibility.

All 3 linebackers are 4 1/2 yards off the line of scrimmage.

Spur: Will go to the strength of the formation, which may be either the multiple wide receiver side or the wide side of the field. The spur has D Gap responsibility/contain and will lineup at 4 x 4 (yards) maintaining outside leverage on #2, the second receiver in from boundary.

Bandit: Goes to short side of field or quick side of formation. The bandit also lines up at 4 x 4 and has D Gap/contain responsibility. The bandit lines up the same as the spur, maintaining outside leverage on #2.

Boundary CB: Goes to short or quick side of field and lines up at 1 x 8 on the outside of #1, the first wide receiver from the boundary side. The responsibility is the deep 1/3 coverage.

Field CB: Same alignment and responsibilities, only into the wide side of field.

FS: Lines up at 12 yards off the ball. He lines up splitting both #1 receivers (outside receiver), usually the split-ends closest to the sidelines. He has an alley play assignment against the run.

Here are some of our past GBMW articles on the defense and the 3-3-5:

2/24/2010 — Coach’s Corner: Different Defense’s — The base alignment rules and personnel — 3-3-5 Odd Stack

3/19/2010 — Michigan Football Tidbits: Practice 2 Report

3/22/2010 — Mailbag question: Defensive questions

3/25/2010 — Mailbag question: The 3-3-5 defense

3/26/2010 — Michigan Football Tidbits: Defensive Depth Chart

3/28/2010 — Mailbag question: Coach Robinson and the 3-3-5

3/31/2010 — Mailbag question: Difference between the 3-3-5 defense and what UM used last year?

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue — Wear Maize!