Defense SWAT Football Blog

R & R: The most neglected elements of coordinating a defense.

The most tedious and time-consuming part of film study is R & R – Reaction-Time and Response-Time. Calculating both the opponent’s defense and your defense’s R & R takes time, energy and patience. R & R times are the most important times in amateur football; more important than 40-times, 20-yard T-times, or any other popular times. The worst mistake made in coordinating a defense is ignoring R & R on a completed pass. Investing high-quality and high-quantity reps in R & R is the difference between getting slammed on defense and slamming shut an offense. Untrained R &R will get a defense sliced up for thousands of extra yards every season. It’s the difference between winning big and getting slaughtered.

Reaction-Time is the time a defender takes to decide on pursuit direction after a pass, of any length, is completed.

Response-Time is the defender’s travel time during the pursuit – the time between reaction and tackle.

Here’s the long and short of it: There is a direct correlation between yards after catch and winning. Yards after catch is one the top indicators that accurately predicts winning and losing. One way to stop a losing streak is to lower YAC.

Point #1.              Longer R & R equals longer yards after a catch, longer game, and even longer season – for your opponent.

Point #2.              Short R & R reduces yards after the catch.

Point #3.              “Yards after catch” is the equivalent of “Return on Investment (ROI)”. The pass is the initial investment. What you gain after is the return.

Point #4.              YAC don’t just happen – not by luck, not by accident, not randomly, and not overnight.

Point #5.              The battle between OC vs DC is the fight for ROI. The fight for maximum versus minimum return.

Point #6.              Nothing is more difficult in football than open-field R & R. The challenge of close-field R & R doesn’t come close to the challenge of open field R & R.

Point #7.              Calculate individual R & R. Put a stopwatch to all your defenders on every pass completion allowed, timing their reaction and response.

Point #8.              Calculate Team R & R.

Point #9.              Design curriculum intended to reduce individual and team R & R with structured learning outcomes achieved during live 11-on-11 practice.

This is an excerpt from the next SWAT book and video in the SWAT series, produced and published by X Fitness.

Coaching football is a Sacred Profession. It’s a calling. But, you are coaching in the most challenging time in the history of football. X Fitness is committed to help coaches and players committed to this profession. Please visit Blunt Talk Podcast for Good Inspirational News Only. All 90 episodes of Blunt Talk Podcast are free, permanently archived, compliments of my gym, X Fitness Welland Inc. Every episode is guaranteed to lift.  Here is the link:

Blessings and all good things.

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

Football Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football

Gym Owner – X Fitness Welland Inc.


Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. Currently, he is finishing another book in his non-fiction series: Mystery of Murder: Working with the Dead. All published books are available on on and www.Chapters/, in both soft cover and eBook format. Additionally, his website, features his books including:

Football coaching and non-fiction books: SWAT System: Offense and Defense, SWAT Tackling Video (with accompanying eBook), and 4th & Hell: Season One and Season Two

Business Books: Selling H.E.L.L. in Hell, True Confessions, and eBooks: Soul of Selling, and, Real Business Relationships = Sales

Fat Loss Book: Fat Losing

Workout System: eXplode: The X Fitness System

Motivational Books: Soul of a Lifter, and eBooks: The Pledge, and, The Focus

Children’s Books: Be Fit Don’t Quit, and, The Beauty of a Dream

Policing Textbooks: Arcaro’s Interrogation Case Law

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