In the spirit of recent posts regarding the Bear Front, I’ve decided to highlight this past article posted in August 2010 at Shakin the Southland, The Clemson Tigers SB Nation blog. Southland takes a look at what exactly makes the front a “Bear Defense” and why the defense CAN be successful against the option.
What makes a “Bear Defense”?
According to Shakin the Southland, “Bear looks like the Undershift (or Eagle) on the weakside of the defense, and it is mirrored on the strongside to become whats also called a Double Eagle. Its main advantage is in clogging up the middle with 3 down linemen playing head-up to outside shade of the interior 3 offensive linemen, a reason why its called a “TNT” front also. Another, because the middle is plugged up, is that your LBs are generally free to roam over the middle. Like the old 7-Diamond Defense that it is derived from (now exclusively a goalline scheme), it has problems on off-tackle run plays. There is no magic scheme to stop the option or the run in general, you must pick which plays you wish to stop and rely on playmaking ability to stop the others.”
How is it Effective vs. the Option?
“If you can stop the Dive as part of the OS/IS Veer option, and then take away the Midline, you force them to run the QB in the option around the perimeter. If the QB is unable to throw to take pressure off, you have forced them into their playcall of the veer. Then you tell the Ends/OLBs to knock his damn teeth in on every play.The SAM is going to have to be able to attack the OT. As I stated, the LBs are usually free to roam because of the interior alignment. The OLBs still have to deal with a Tackle (who may be veering to hit MIKE) or the Wing/TE. If they get pinned or kicked out well enough, either the option pitch man or the QB will be uncovered and he’ll go a long long way. If the Tackle veers, the OLB is free to hit the QB (force) but the Safeties must be there for the pitch because MIKE may be taken out.”
For more insight and the complete analysis check out The “Bear” Defensive Front over at Shakin the Southland.
Additional Bear Resources