SWAT Football Blog

The most important hit your defense can make.

The job of Defensive Coordinator has never been more challenging than today. In the 1980’s, the DC role centered largely on stopping the run, beating double tight-end formations, and defeating underachieving, underperforming, under-used passing. Not anymore. Offensive coordinators figured out that:

(a) the rules allow limitless offensive formations, and

(b) passing is not any harder to teach than running.

The job of DC has been re-defined. Unless your opponent is stuck in the 1970’s, your job as DC isn’t as easy as crowding the box in old rigid formations, hoping the offense will run into you literally and figuratively. Now you have to stop imaginative offensive attacks. Without a multidimensional defensive system, you run the risk of getting run over, passed over, and passed by for championship rings and for promotion to head coach.

Regardless of offensive advancements, our 40-year investigation has revealed one immutable truth that always has and always will apply to coordinating a defense – hit the panic button. Study film carefully and you will see that every offense at all levels has a panic button. Once you hit their panic button, all hell breaks loose. They will change their plan, change their identity, change their thinking, change what they do, change their play-calling, and change their performance. Every offensive coordinator without exception has a recognizable, identifiable reaction when the panic button is hit. Contrary to popular myth, the offense does not actually hit the panic button. The defense does it for them.

The defense hits the offensive panic button by physical and psychological force that causes an impact which exceeds the offense’s strength. Every offense has limited strength. Every offense is only as strong as they trained for in mind, body, and soul. No offense can out-play their training. Every offense plays to their training. It’s impossible for offensive performance to exceed its training. When your defense throws more at the offense than it has been trained to receive, the panic button is hit.

Our #1 Rule of coordinating a defense is this: The easiest way to throw your opponent off is to make them not throw. Hitting their panic button makes them not want to throw.

Rule #2 is this: The second easiest way to throw off your opponent is to force them to throw deep. The deeper the attempted throw, the more the offense exposes its panic button for your defense to hit.

Panic includes the word pain. No offense can endure more physical and psychological pain than it has trained for. Please be clear – I’m not referring to pain from injury. I’m referring to the physical discomfort of impact and exertion that exceeds their training. I’m referring to the pain of disappointment and adversity that very few offenses have been trained to consistently overcome. Adversity overwhelms, especially in amateur football. Adversity is an abstract concept open to wide ranging interpretation. Every offense defines adversity with a different set of elements. The more elements that an offense uses to define adversity, the easier it is for your defense to throw adversity at an offense. Throw adversity and the offense stops throwing.

Football coaching has never faced more challenges than today. Head injuries are at the top of the list of challenges facing football. But there’s more including, but not limited to, unprecedented athletic apathy caused by the worst type of entitlement that the game has ever experienced. The fate of football is in your hands. Coaches hold the future of football. Don’t drop it. Don’t cave in to the temptation to go soft. The softer you get, the softer players get. The softer players get, the more dangerous the game gets.

Blunt Talk Podcast has been blessed with coaches and players who have expressed the challenges they have experienced in post-modern football and have offered solutions. Coaching football is a calling. Coaching football is a life-long education. Never stop learning. Every episode of Blunt Talk Podcast is free, permanently archived, compliments of my gym, X Fitness. Every guest is guaranteed to lift. Please visit my Blunt Talk Podcast at:

Blessings and all good things.


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)

Head coach – Niagara X-men football

Owner – X Fitness Inc.


Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of SWAT FOOTBALL Books are at:

His books include:

4th & hell: seasons 1 and 2, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT Offense, SWAT Defense, SWAT Tackling Video & e-book, X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur

He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in 2014. And just released, a new children’s book called “BE FIT – DON’T QUIT.” The first stage of his new Blunt Talk e-books is now for sale. His latest book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage. He is writing three other non-fiction novels book called The Mystery of Murder: Working with the dead, Midnight Shift From Hell, and Another Bar Fight.



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