I love the chess match in football and I'm almost embarrassed to have to reiterate that if you don't already know. Sure, I loved the physical nature of football and still love it, but I love knowing why something works or didn't work and the diversity in football scheme within the game. I figured I'd use this Breakfast with the Bulls to highlight that diversity, and you'll see some of it in Arlington when the Texans tangle with the Cowboys.
How about a quick Football 101 then? The one question I heard more than any other heading into the 2014 season...what's the difference in last year's defense and the one that Romeo Crennel will lead this season? There are a number of differences but at their core, the biggest difference is one gap or two?
It's sort of how you like your coffee, if you like one cream or two, two sugars or one. The areas between offensive linemen are called gaps and they're lettered inside out. The gap between
the C and the G is the A gap, between the G and the T is the B gap and between the T and a possible TE is the C gap. Each player is responsible for one of those gaps. The difference in a one gap defense, like the one Dallas runs currently, and a two gap scheme is the player(s) responsible for those gaps.
In a one gap defense, a defensive lineman is responsible for only one of those gaps. That allows the defensive lineman to be aggressive upfield as long as he accounts for that one gap. As expected, then, the two gap defense forces defensive linemen to account for two gaps - one to the right and one to the left. A two gap defensive lineman has to be stout, strong and unselfish.
The Texans don't always play a two gap defense and the Cowboys don't always play a one gap defense, but they'll play a certain technique, either a one gap technique or a two gap technique, depending on the defensive play call.
"Hey, John, it's as simple as that?" Well, yeah, it's just hard to do.