Saturday, October 12, 2013

Gir's Weekly Column: Volume 47

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Gir's Weekly Column: Volume 47
By Gir Todafunk
Special to The Daily Magi
December 11, 2054

Hello again, readers of the Daily Magi and Magi Football Blog, I am Gir Todafunk with another weekly column. First off, I want to give a shoutout to Mitakihara Town Sports Club and the soccer team. On Sunday, they take part in MLS Cup 2054 at Sakura Bowl Stadium and if they win, this will be their 10th Major League Soccer championship under coach Mark Evans Jr. The Sakuras have won 15 Canadian Championships, seven CONCACAF Champions League titles and three FIFA Club World Cups. Oh yes, and they will be taking part in this year's CWC in Japan.

What a schedule. As for my Magi football team, the buildup to the big one is intense and full of anticipation. I've been hearing analyses far and wide of our game with the Colorado State Rams, and all agree that we should be able to get the job done and win it all and head to Arizona to defend our Four Corners.

I want to talk about the prevent defense for a bit. Prevent defense is an American football defensive alignment that uses seven or more defensive backs or players in a defensive back role, the goal of which is to prevent the opposing offense from completing a long pass. This defense is frequently used in obvious passing situations, such as a third-and-very-long situation, or to prevent a long score on the last play of a half, or when the defense believes that the offense must pass (for example, if the offense is trailing late in a game). Otherwise the prevent is almost never used. The defense trades size for speed, and tries to ensure that no receiver can get behind the defense. A prevent defense backs up the coverage so far that it will often give up long yardage, but it makes scoring a touchdown in a single play very difficult.

There are two types. The quarter defense has three down linemen, one linebacker, and seven defensive backs. The quarter defense gets its name as the next coin after nickel and dime in the sequence of defenses. Quarter or quarters can also be used to describe a type of zone pass coverage, in which four defensive backs divide the field into vertical quarters for zone coverage. This coverage may be combined with a 4-3 or 3-4, and is used to take away deep routes but maintain a good pass rush and run coverage.

Half dollar defenses have eight defensive backs and are very rare and are often used to prevent a Hail Mary pass. Professional teams may not have enough defensive backs on the roster to play the quarter or half dollar, so wide receivers are sometimes used to fill the extra positions, particularly in late game situations where the receiver's offensive skills can be put to good defensive use.

In this case the defense will pull back into what is called a soft zone. They will most likely play in a nickel, dime, or quarter package. A soft zone means that all the safeties and cornerbacks are playing back, five or ten yards off the line of scrimmage. The free safety will often play as much as 20 yards back. There will be no jamming of receivers on the line. The zone means that each defensive back is responsible for an area of the field, so they're all watching the quarterback's eyes instead of running stride for stride with a receiver. It is very easy for the offense to make short plays against this defense, gaining four to eight yards per play, but it's almost impossible for the offense to make a big play of 20 or more yards against this sort of defense.

I will talk a little bit more about the prevent defense in my next column, as well as some awards I may or may not have won. Until then, I am Gir Todafunk, Mr. Wonderful, signing off. You are not alone.

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