DRILLS & SKILLS

Coaches Corner: Attacking with a 2 high shell

Treasure Coast Bengals

In this column, coaches at the high school, college, semi-pro and professional level will provide insight, tips and strategies designed to help you improve — whether you play defensive back, coach defensive backs, or just want to learn more about what defensive backs do on the football field.

Devin Russell is the defensive coordinator for the Treasure Coast Bengals, a semi-pro team in Port St. Lucie, Fla., that competes in the United Football Federation of America.

Coach Russell talks about how to attack an offense with a quarters-based system: Continue reading

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Coaches Corner: Basic coverage responsibilities for DBs

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In this column, coaches at the high school, college and pro level will provide insight, tips and strategy designed to help you improve — whether you play defensive back, coach defensive backs, or just want to learn more about what DBs do on the field.

First up: Devin Russell, secondary coach at Treasure Coast High School in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

After going winless in 2014, Treasure Coast finished 7-3 this season and advanced to the Class 8A regional quarterfinals in Russell’s first year on staff. A defense that gave up 41.1 points per game prior to his arrival allowed just 15.9 points per game with Russell — a former high school safety — overseeing the defensive backs. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Philadelphia Eagles DB drills

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Little league coaches, high school players, ambitious parents … they are just three of the many groups of people who will always be interested in the answer to one question: How do the pros practice?

This video clip gives a brief glimpse into a Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs drill during this year’s training camp. Eagles DBs coach John Lovett has been in the game for over four decades, starting as a college linebacker at C.W. Post and moving up the coaching ranks from high school to the pros. Most of his career has been spent as a defensive coordinator on the major college level. Philadelphia’s assistant DBs coach is Todd Lyght, a 12-year NFL veteran cornerback with the Rams and Lions who won a Super Bowl and was named to one Pro Bowl with the “Greatest Show on Turf” Rams in 1999. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Marcus Trufant’s jam session

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Before the “Legion of Boom” formed in Seattle, the Seahawks had Marcus Trufant. A homegrown talent from Tacoma, Wash., who was an All-American cornerback at Washington State University, Trufant was the Seahawks’ first-round draft pick in 2003. He played 10 seasons in the league, gathering 21 interceptions and six fumble recoveries, before retiring this year. Trufant’s career included one All-Pro selection and a Pro Bowl nod, and he helped lead the Seahawks to the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance in 2006.

Trufant bridged the gap in Seattle between the Reggie Tongue/Shawn Springs era and the Earl Thomas/Richard Sherman era. And he was the first in a line of Trufants to populate the NFL, paving the way for younger brothers and fellow DBs Isaiah Trufant (Browns) and Desmond Trufant (Falcons). Continue reading

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VIDEO: Donovin Darius shows you how to force a fumble

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In his 10-year NFL career, Donovin Darius forced seven fumbles and recovered six from the strong safety position. For comparison’s sake, six-time Pro Bowl SS Tim McDonald forced 10 fumbles during his 13-year run, while eight-time Pro Bowler and future Hall of Fame SS Troy Polamalu has six fumble recoveries in his 12 years in the league. In other words, Darius was the kind of opportunistic playmaker you want in the secondary. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Secrets to Great Man Coverage

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Forty-yard dash times and wingspan measurements are understandably important to those who make a living analyzing and evaluating defensive backfield talent, but still, the best way for a cornerback or safety to catch a scout’s attention is the ability to stick to pass-catchers like duct tape.

To develop that particular set of skills, you won’t find many teachers better than Ron Cooper, currently the DBs coach for the University of South Florida who resume also includes stints with Mississippi State, Wisconsin, LSU and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Prime U’s DB route tree conditioning

Mark Parson

Mark Parson is the exactly the kind of undersized underdog that shows like HBO’s “Hard Knocks” want to cover.

The 5-foot-9 cornerback went undrafted out of Ohio University in 2009 before getting a couple of training camp shots with the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans, and later with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. While those opportunities didn’t lead to a regular-season roster spot, Parson has stayed in the game as a trainer and speed coach. Continue reading

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