Posted at 6:00am -- 4/11/2011 GBMWolverine: Michigan Football -- Coach Matt..."/> Posted at 6:00am -- 4/11/2011 GBMWolverine: Michigan Football -- Coach Matt..."/>

GBMWolverine: Michigan Football — Coach Mattison Seminar


Posted at 6:00am — 4/11/2011

GBMWolverine: Michigan Football — Coach Mattison Seminar

On Saturday afternoon Coach Mattison presented, for about an hour, regarding various bits of information and philosophy concerning the Michigan defense.

He NEVER once called this ongoing implementation his defense, but instead the effort was, and is, referred to as Michigan’s defense. In the finest tradition of respecting the past, Mattison thanked Coach Mo and Coach Carr by crediting them with helping build the Michigan defense into a formidable unit. His explicit goal is to build this Michigan defense into what it once was (and what it will be once again) by stating Michigan will get back to having a great defense and the defensive units of the past.

This is a summary of his belief statements of what he wants from a Michigan Defense:

1) The defense will be made up of tough-minded men, with a bully type mentality, this starts with a tough S&C program and Coach M believes Coach Wellman provides this first need.
2) The defense will be a physical, swarming defense, one that emphasizes pursuit.
3) The defense will be taught, and have pride in, proper technique- specifically-
— A) Stance.
— B) Alignment.
— C) Responsibility.
4) The defense will emphasize the objective of stopping the running game. This will be undertaken by adopting an aggressive philosophy.
5) No big plays is a set objective.
6) Third down success allowing the defense to exit the field is a set objective.
7) Red-Zone success — the defense will practice this situation every single day — others don’t do this, but

Mattison believes this helps prepare the defense.

Coach Mattison talked about how he does not really like a three-man line, and he does not perceive Michigan using this option much because in the Big Ten (and in a Michigan defense) the first objective should be to stop the run. Coach does not really believe in “stemming” much — but said might use this technique a little bit, but not a lot.

The Philosophy of KILL — (Keep It Likeable and Learnable).

1) Prevent points (simply Michigan wins if the other team does not score).
2) Force turnovers
– If a team forces turnovers this creates more chances for the offense to score points. Coach M believes every-time a defense forces a turnover that this becomes a 6 point swing because your team is taking away a possible 3 points from the other team and giving the offense 3 points (average) off of the turnover.
3) Score
– If defense creates points that usually helps your team win ball games.
4) Force the ball back to the offense in great field position.
– Field position is key to any victory.

Some of the precepts underlying good defense preparation:

1) Being in great shape —preparing for up-tempo and no huddle.
— Believes too many times defensive units “hurry” too much. He states the biggest issue is getting the call in and letting the players get set. Coach Mattison also believes that with how the coaches structure practice and the players running in pursuit angles, and getting on the field quickly, the program doesn’t need a lot of extra running.
2) Fly to the ball.
— Never assume others will make the play or one man will get the ball carrier down.
3) Simple, but multiple schemes-
— a coaching philosophy is that a coach cannot keep changing defenses and expect the defensive group to play hard and understand all responsibilities — play fast, no thinking, just play football.
4) Pressure the opponent-
— a defense has to keep pressure on the other team and cannot allow the opposing offense to take you out of your defense. Keep the pressure on and make the offense play with you (adjust to you) — not the other way around.
5) Communicate-
— Coach M stated this was one of the biggest problems at the beginning of spring practice, that is, the defensive unit wasn’t talking out what the offense was trying to do and have everybody on the same page — this does not exclude, of course, poor fundamentals and techniques.
6) Create mismatches-.
— force the offense to do something it does not want to do, such as taking away the opponent’s best receiver and forcing the opponent to try something else — something the opponent is not used to doing. Stop the run first and take away the best option in the passing game.
7) Defend in relation to the formation.

Situational Philosophy:

First and Second Downs:
Stop the run and best receiver — take away what the opponent does best.

Third and Fourth Downs:
Mix pressure and coverages

1) When the defense has an offense backed up — think scoring opportunity — not merely stopping the offense and giving the offense good field position.
2) Red-zone — Turnover or holding the opponent to a field goal is a defensive victory. Stop the opponent from scoring a touchdown.
3) Goal-line — eliminate the run — force a field goal.
4) Two-minutes — prevent a score — tackle in-bounds.
5) Four-minutes — (opponent protecting the lead) — turnover — stop the run.

The above indicates that philosophy and the creation of a program, based on philosophical tenets, is still important, likely critical to football success. The tenets may seem obvious and are hard to argue, but having these tenets gain reality is the ultimate goal of program implementation.

Also note there is nothing above of a highly cerebral nature, instead what is mentioned is sound, and basic, and time-tested, such as the idea that field position is critical to winning. Football is a very technical game, but every action in a game is still simple. The quick prepared mind on defense leads to getting to the ball in a quick prepared manner.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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