Rush or Cover? How to Handle a Talented QB in Co-Ed Flag Football

3 11 2010

I’m in a co-ed flag football team. Our offense is solid and it has helped us win the regular season. However, we have not played all teams. We hope to reach the other undefeated team in the championship game. They have a running QB who is fast as hell and can actually throw (we have watched his games). Our defense is: fastest female rusher, two girls short on each side, one tall quick middle guy, two guy corners and two guys long. This has worked really well but we have not faced a fast QB. Any suggestions on dealing with this fast QB? (when we man up the QB always finds our weakest guy).


Don't give up the open field to a fast QB

  It sounds like the quarterback you will be facing in the playoffs is a strong player who can hurt you running or throwing.  The first question is whether your league allows QBs to run when rushed.  For purposes of this answer, we will assume the QB is free to run when rushed. 

For this playoff game, you need your best player on their best player. This means rushing or spying the QB with your superstar.  The way you’ve described it, this QB will put a move on your rusher and have the entire field at his disposal.  Also, by not having an effective rush, it will give the receivers time to break away and find an opening in the field.  It is extremely difficult to hold coverage for more than a few seconds in any league, but especially in a flag league where defenders have not had the benefit of a few years of organized football.  This is not to take anything away from your fast girl rusher, but unless she is also truly superior athlete, there is a good chance that her speed and efforts are wasted.   Consider keeping her as a rusher  with your best player also rushing or hesitating and then pursuing the QB once he has made a move in the pocket.  Often speedy QBs are not comfortable sitting in the pocket and will make a move soon after getting the ball.  As a QB, standing still with people running at you, it’s actually very easy to make a move and break free, using the rusher’s momentum against her.  It takes a lot of discipline and experience to rush in under control and not be eluded by a shifty runner.

What you need to avoid is giving the QB the benefit of time and space to run or throw to an opening in your defense.  Also, his accuracy and timing will be drastically reduced if he has a good rusher in his face.  He will force bad throws, he will make bad choices, and at the end of the day, you have taken away at least one, hopefully both of his weapons.  You don’t need to default into man defense.  Consider one deep guy, corners that drift back as the play progresses, two linebackers picking up middle and short threats, and rushing your fast girl and your best player.  With the corners drifting back, you may open up some shallow routes, but you should be able to maintain coverage on the deep ball. 

These strategies and more can be found in my playbooks and the Ultimate Strategy Guide and Defensive Handbook in my dojo.

No mistakes. No mercy.
– Ninja

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