Posted by reddyred on 6/13/2013 10:18:00 AM (view original):
I also have to disagree with zone being the worst defense. I just don't see it that way. Every D has it's strengths and weaknesses - the key is in setting the team up in a manner in which you make it very difficult for your opponent to exploit those weaknesses. The most glaring weakness in a zone is giving up offensive boards- but at the same time I think zone can hold offenses to extremely low FG%s (which creates more off boards anyway) - it also causes the least amount of TO's but your best defenders can play 30 + minutes depending on stamina without negative impact. I believe the sets are more like a game of rock-paper-scissors... it's not as clearly defined in terms of wining and losing of course but in theory. Why create a defense that is weaker by design than all other options? It just doesn't seem to benefit the game as a whole if this is the case.
well, there was a point in time when zone was shittier than it is now, and press stronger, so zone was almost unusable. but i think its balanced today. to me, the reason so few people use it is just because it was so ******, nobody played it, nobody got good at it (well, im sure a few people did, but thats not what im saying). so now its around as a quality set, but people are comfortable with other stuff. i had a half *** USC team playing fb/zone just upset a killer 1 seed in my last season playing d1, id been there 4 seasons, switched off/def, and never gave them hardly any attention - this season was the worst, when i realized i hadnt set their distro yet as i was planning for the first game of the NT. but despite all that, they played really well, made the elite 8. and i really dont know the details of zone at all. but i did have some star players and i did push them hard (for those last 4 games) and playing zone did let me get more out of them.
honestly, with people so ****** about EEs in high d1 and the difficulty of finding less-stellar players, meaning more walkons etc, im surprised zone gets such a bad rap. ive got little zone experience but both of the last two times i played it, for like 10 seasons total, i saw nothing that suggested to me that it was a subpar defense (both were like b range d1 teams, one mid major, one BCS). i think a lot of coaches who struggle doing something tough like, building a BCS team from the bottom, contribute to making that so tough - by trying to do it playing the same strategy as the top teams - run a motion/man or something, need all those ath/def players, a full deep team, etc... its just so hard to beat a quality coach with major advantages, at their own game. mix it up a bit! zone should be way more prevalent, people just need to be willing to put the time in to learn it. i turned SC around with FB/man but it was tough, i was surprised how tough, i mean we ended up a top program in tark competing for titles every year, but i used to be able to turn a BCS bottom feeder into a national champ contender in about 3 seasons. its a LOT harder now. to me, half those teams should be running zone. really, just about all of them should be zone or press - go deep with less talent on top or shallow with more talent on top, with the set that takes advantage of it. play a set that offers you the opportunity to deviate from the strategy of the schools you cant compete with, and play into the strengths of that set! it really blows me away how many people sit there and struggle so hard, so long, running m2m in that tough situation, trying to beat often more accomplished, more experienced coaches who have huge in-game advantages on them, at their own game! mix it up a bit, it really would go a long way to create more balance in d1 play.