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Defending the Spread

  "At St X, you play defense until you play offense", - Steve Specht
The 3-3-5 Bomber Defense - Steve Specht Head Coach St Xavier

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St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati) Head Coach Steve Specht uses an odd stack – a 3-3-5 – as his base defense. His philosophy in the box is to employ read scheme techniques and behind that go five across in the secondary to disguise coverages. A two-time state champion, Specht is one of the most respected defensive minds in the nation. He recently completed a four-set series of DVDs on Zone Read Principles, Coverages, Blitzes, and Defending the Spread.

The DVDs are on sale at: AFM Videos.

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New Premiere DVDs On Sale Now at!

Adapting the Up Tempo Spread to Today's Wing-T

Left: Rex Lardner Interviews Nansemond-Suffolk Academy Head Coach Lew Johnston on this exciting set of Up Tempo Spread Wing-T videos.

1. Installation 67 mins
2. The Run Game 74 mins
3. The Run Game Bonus Footage Game Film
4. The Passing Game 76 mins
5. The Passing Game Bonus Footage Game Film
6. Attacking Defenses 71 mins

Online X's & O's

Can Bishop Gorman Win a National Title With a Frontloaded slate?

Tony Sanchez has not lost an in-state game since he took over at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV) heading into the 2009 season and, as such, he set his sights on a higher prize: a national title. Sanchez has worked to build his program – and his schedule – to the point that the talent …

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Why Run The Ball?

Many new fast-paced, no-huddle offensive philosophies are not about taking as much time off the clock as possible.  Rather, these offensive sets are all about trying to score as many points as possible in the shortest amount of time.  Personally, I am at the opposite end of the time-management spectrum in that I have always …

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Coach Russell?s Random Ruminations

Happy November, Coaches. I realize that our readership spans the profession, from youth coaches on up through the college ranks, so a lot of you are currently in different phases of your seasons. If you?re into your post season, good luck! The past couple of weeks have been an extremely busy and hectic time for …

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Coming up In the December Issue:

X and O Library

  • Options Galore - To be successful running a multiple option offense from the gun and pistol, every player must identify the read key and the option key.
  • Updating the Pistol-Flex Offense - Five new enhancements make this offense even more effective.
  • Zone Defense on the Goal Line - To be efficient in this zone defense, give each player a specific responsibility.
  • Shotgun Snapping in a Run-First Offense - Teaching proper techniques and practicing as many reps as possible will improve the performance of your shotgun snapper.
  • The Art of the Interception – Proper positioning and anticipation are two prerequisites for making an interception.
  • Taking the No-Huddle Offense to the West Coast – Combining the West Coast offense with an up-tempo, no-huddle system can result in a powerful running and passing attack.
  • Five Keys to Defending the Wing-T With Your 4-3 Defense – To stop the Wing-T, use three different fronts, key on the guards and limit your blitzes.
  • Play Keep-Away: Each time your team punts, the goal is to kick it 40 yards and out of bounds.
  • Flex Fronts: Stop offenses by using a different front on every play.
  • Fixed Front: Defending trips to the field and in the boundary with a stable pre-snap look

  • Top 10 HS Football Rankings

    Football Team W-L
    1. Bishop Gorman
    Las Vegas (NV)
    2. De La Salle
    Concord (CA)
    3. Colquitt County
    Moultrie (GA)
    4. Allen
    Allen (TX)
    5. St. John Bosco
    Bellflower (CA)
    6. Manvel
    Manvel (TX)
    7. Rummel
    Metairie (LA)
    8. Booker T. Washington
    Miami (FL)
    9. Folsom
    Folsom (CA)
    10. Dallas Skyline
    Dallas (TX)
    2014 HSFB100 More HSFB coverage


  • Letter From AFM: We're Listening
  • Safety First: Keeping Equipment Clean - In-Season
  • Lasting Legacy - At 70, Corky Rogers is still going strong as a member of the exclusive 400 win club.
  • AFM Subscribers Ask with Cocoa High School (FL) Head Coach John Wilkinson
  • Fueling Champions
  • Letter From AFM: Kickoff 2014
  • Safety First: Head Injury Checklist
  • A Complete In-Season Training Program
  • Best of the Best
  • Icing on the Cake
  • Prevention of Exertional Heat-Related Illnesses
  • A Question of CHARACTER
  • Mixing Business and Pleasure
  • Safety First: Concussion Management and Return-to-Play Protocol
  • Pressure Packed – Game-like drills will help your quarterback make good decisions.
  • Your Take: Expanding Your Coaching Network
  • David vs Goliath
  • Having the Right Mouthguard
  • Your Take: Win The Offseason: Organization Matters

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