Prevent Defense...Help me understand

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Prevent Defense...Help me understand

Postby SoCalSkinFan » Mon Mar 15, 2004 8:44 pm

Someone help me out on why do coaches go to the Prevent Defense at the end of a game that they are winning. This defense doesn't do anything but help the team lose the game. I don't remember how many games I watch that the team is winning towards the end of the game and the coach goes to the Prevent Defense and that team ends up losing or almost loses the game. The base defense is working during the 1st 50 minutes of a game and then in the last 10 minutes they go to the defense that loses more games then win. I have no understanding of this scheme. If someone can explain and convince me that this defense is a good defense, please feel free to try. I think that the Prevent Defense is the worse defense you can ever play.
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Postby hailskins666 » Mon Mar 15, 2004 8:56 pm

you should have sent this to george edwards before the last season started... :lol:
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Postby patrickg68 » Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:59 pm

The prevent defense is still a good scheme for certain situations, but it is overused. I don't think that it should be used when a team is up by any less than 7 and there is more than a minute on the clock. I don't really understand bashing the scheme because if a team got beat on a deep pass to lose a game because they blitzed, then the same people who bash the scheme would be all over the coach for not using it.

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Postby skinsfaninroanoke » Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:21 am

The premise of the prevent defense is to prevent quick scores from what I can see, and to prevent easy touchdowns. The team blankets the field deep to keep WRs contained to smaller gains and in bounds to eat up the clock. Then what they do is begin to tighten up the coverage when the opponents begin to get inside the 40 yard line and attempt to hold them out of the end zone.

Couple of problems I have with this defense:

1. Coaches tend to switch to this way too early and allow teams who have the offense capable of moving quickly (a la Indy) to get down the field and score faster than anticipated.

2. Consider this - a coach moves to a deep zone or a prevent come the second quarter. Their defense stalls the opponent after 7-8 minutes on the field only allowing a FG. Then their own offense stalls under a pressure defense and kicks it away rapidly. The opponent then marches down the field quicker because the defense is now getting winded from being on the field so long and the plays gain better yardage. Then you might see defenses switch to something other than a prevent come the start of the 4th when their offense punts it away again, but you have now swung the time of possession and the momentum totally to the other team. Your defense has now been on the field for a majority of the third quarter and going into the fourth. Now they have to somehow gas it back up and pressure the opponents, but they can't quite get there because the fatigue has robbed the rushers of that quick first move and the DBs are getting tired. This results in that large swing that you see in the second half of the game somewhat.

What kills me is that there are a lot of zone defenses that are based upon similar premises... including that crappy Cover 2 that we ran last year.

I hope this helps you see how this can really maim a defense that seemed to be doing so well in the first half.
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Postby redskinz4ever » Sat Apr 03, 2004 3:55 pm

the only thing a prevent defense does is allow the other team another score and to get back in the game.REDSKINZ4EVER!!!

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Postby skinsfaninroanoke » Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:23 pm

Yep - and to me the freakin cover 2 run all the time with no pressure is only slightly better
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Postby welch » Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:15 pm

OK, folks, I'll post the old saying: "the prevent defense is intended to prevent yourself from winning".

Somebody had to say it, right?

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Postby curveball » Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:11 pm

The prevent serves a useful purpose and unfortunately gets "whipping boy" status from the fans.

Imagine how loudly everyone would be screaming if their team gave up an 80 yard TD pass in the last 2 minutes.

If the "prevent" was indeed so bad, why have coaches such as Gibbs, Parcells, Shula, Landry, and Noll employed it?

Maybe those five don't know anything about football.
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Postby DEHog » Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:30 am

One reason I think D coaches play prevent is to shorten the field. If their up by more then a field goal they have no problem playing a prevent and letting the other team get down in scoring position...I don't like it but it shortens the field giving the D much less real estate to cover.
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Postby Irn-Bru » Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:02 am

Also, the prevent D makes a lot of games look closer than they ever really are, in my opinion. One of its main advantages is that you force the other team to use a lot of time by making them throw over the middle. It can be frustrating to watch a ton of completions over the middle as a team cruises its way to the first of two touchdowns that it needs to win, but remember that these drives can soak up 4-8 minutes of clock time (or so).

A good example of this, I believe, was the Skins-Patriots game this past fall. We were up by (2 touchdowns? 10 points? something. . .), and I believe that we let them have a touchdown. When a drive of ours stalled (thanks to a questionable call by the ref taking away a beautiful Coles reception), the Patriots again rallied against what looked to me like a cover 2 or prev. defense. The drive ended on an interception over the middle, which wasn't just a lucky fluke for us. Tom Brady, running out of time thanks to our prevent defense, was forced to throw questionable balls in a chance to score. He lost that gamble. The game looked very close, but in reality the chances of the Pats winning were slim (in my opinion), due to the nature of the prevent D.

Yes, sometimes those teams win and our D looks awful. I don't really like the prevent D, but I think one should recognize how it can force the opposing team to be hasty with the ball, giving your D its best chance to make plays.

As my man Huff (and as welch) has said: "All prevent defense prevents is winning."
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