Football - How to Prepare Your Defense for Fast Receivers

Dick Moss

Receiver (#19) Lines Up In Front of Line of Scrimmage

Receiver (#19) Lines Up In Front of Line of Scrimmage

Does your next opponent have faster receivers than you? Are you wondering how to prepare your defensive backs when your own receivers are several steps slower than your opponent's? If so, take a tip from legendary Superbowl coach, Bill Belichick, of the New England Patriots.

When preparing for the speedy St. Louis Rams in the 2002 Superbowl, Belichick's team was a 14 point underdog - largely due to the superior speed of the Rams offense.

Belichick prepared his defensive backs by lining his scout team receivers three yards ahead of their normal line of scrimmage. This gave his defense a feeling of how fast things would happen when defending against the Rams offense.

The result? The Patriots held the Rams offensive machine to only 17 points and won the Superbowl with a last minute field goal.

Reference: David Halberstam, The Making of a Coach, Sports Illustrated, October 17, 2005.


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