The Fangio System's Penny Sam 8
MatchQuarters breaks down one of the more popular calls in the Fangio system's Penny Package (5-1).
Last week I discussed the Fangio system’s split-field coverages function, using their “Zeus” tag as a means to show how the defense can rotate coverage to a certain WR (link below). As more NFL teams begin to tinker with static pre-snap two-high alignments, they are also taking note of how the system stops the run. Fangio himself is a noted Even Ni fan, while Staley and his offshoots favor the Penny Front. At the end of the day, it boils down to personnel.
If playing middle-of-the-field open (MOFO) coverage, the defense can play seven or nine-man spacing. Quarters, for many, is a great way to get into nine-man spacing, meaning that every gap is accounted for in the box, the overhangs are in the fit, and the Safeties are responsible for #2 up and out. Essentially, this is blitz coverage or MEG (Man Everywhere he Goes) Quarters (4-Lock). One of the best examples of this system is the Narduzzi scheme run at Pitt.
When basing in Cover 2, the defense is playing seven-man spacing because the Safeties are in secondary support. They cannot directly fit the box because they are cap defenders. The version of Quarters I discuss (Sky) attempts to keep the Ni out of the fit at all costs. The overall goal is to try and fit the box with six defenders, with a seventh coming off the direction of the play.
In most seven-man spacing, the overhang to the RB will be out of the fit or coverage first. Away from the RB, and the overhang can fit off run action. This “conflict” is where RPOs were born. In even spacing, there is a natural “bubble” in the B-gap that has to be occupied by a defender. In nine-man spacing, there is usually a LB that will occupy that gap. To get to seven-man spacing, defenses use stunts or reductions to close earn-back gaps.
Above is a diagram of what I call “G Adjust,” which uses react-attack penetration by the Nose and the DE to the B-gap bubble. If the Center works to the Nose, he will hold the gap, and the Mike will fit into the A-gap in front of him. If the Center turns away from the Nose, he will close the opposite “A,” hopefully taking the Guard with him. This clears the Mike, who can scrap to the next gap.
For the DE, he is playing what I refer to as a “Heavy” technique. If the Tackle base blocks him, he will rip inside. Versus a down-block or zone action away, he will work the heel line and close the B-gap. In practice, if the offense runs zone to the 3 technique or gap to the bubble, the Nose and “heavy” DE should keep the LBs clean and bounce the ball to the C-gap. The Mike has inside shoulder of the RB, with the overhang on the outside shoulder (QB if Zone Read).
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