In this session, Jay Wilson from Marshall High School (TX) demonstrates the coaching etiquette necessary to coach up corner play from a purely fundamental standpoint. Coach Wilson does a great job of drilling instincts into his athletes. This translates onto the field in the art of different man coverages which Marshall uses the majority of the time on the defensive side. He believes the press is disruptive and multiple in the sense that there are many techniques that can make offenses check routes and mess up timing.
The first thing that Coach Wilson emphasizes is the mentality of being a DB, he calls them “What I Believe in.” The five principles are as follows:
- Must be a mental warrior- Cannot get washed up into a previous play, you could lock up 99 out of 100 receivers and people will remember the one.
- Make QBs have to be really good every single time– Great coverage minimizes the QBs leverage and makes them have to stay excellent at all times in order to make plays.
- ATD– Attention to detail, just like any position group DBs have to pay attention to receivers’ stances, break, body language, splits, release and routes to mirror and stay in coverage to play the pass.
- FINISH- The most important thing is to always finish through the route until the play is dead.
- Receivers will make plays – RESPOND!- Receivers at the end of the day will make catches. It is up to the DB to respond.
Coach Wilson then goes more in depth on the importance of individual sessions in practice to help with building corners up. These drills in this clinic are broken down in multiple stages of a route. “Skills at corner only matter relative to the route they’re defending,” says Wilson, and that leads to the four essential parts of a route. These are made up of the Release, Stem/Body Language, Break, and finally the Finish. In the defense of receivers running routes, Coach Wilson uses four essential parts to defending routes that all work in hand with one another using the eyes, feet, hands, and the ability to run.
Moving into the drill tape of the clinic, this gets into the applicable aspects of defending the different parts of the route beginning with the alignment and release with eye discipline and stance into the backpedal, to the finish and mirroring the receiver’s hands and eyes to make a play. These drills are split up into three main branches to work on different parts of the route with primers. The three parts are the releases and stems, partner breaks dealing with the hardcover routes that corners would see such as fades, slants, and comebacks, and the finishers which focus heavily on finishing through the catch or route by making a play whether it be a breakup, disruption, or interception. There are a lot of clips in this section of drills and actual game film that shows the translation onto the field and how they can help your football program as well.
RELATED ARTICLE: How To Use Y-Stick & Variations To Increase Passing Efficiency
One that stood out was the kick-slide drill which focuses on keeping eyes on the waistline or hips while having hips facing the receiver. The main thing in this drill is mirroring the receiver and breaking down once they declare their route using the kick-slide. Once this technique becomes more natural, it can be altered to be more challenging if required to be used with no hands.
Coach Wilson’s attention to detail is crucial in allowing his athletes to understand and move on instinct to defend the route as best as possible. Wilson’s main points in his virtual clinic all revolve around the concepts of where to look, where to place your body, feet, and hands, and other keys that keep corners in the best position to maintain the cushion. Check out this video as well as others within our AFCA education library for more drills and coaching tactics that can better help you and your football program.
The AFCA has started a Virtual Clinic Series to help continue to educate coaches during the Coronavirus Pandemic. You can find this and all the other clinic videos in their entirety by heading to AFCA.com and logging into the AFCA Digital Library.
If you are interested in more in-depth articles and videos, please become an AFCA member. If you are ready to join, please fill out the AFCA Membership Request Form.