S.O.F.T. Defense – The cause of 500 yard passing games.

Here’s Real Life&Death Lesson #24,002 that I’ve taught my defenses for 40 years – give up 500 yards passing means you gave up. You are a S.O.F.T. Defense – dual meaning.

One of the top 51 embarrassments that a defense can suffer is giving up 500-plus passing. Its not a defense if you give up 500-plus yards passing. Defense that give up 500-plus passing yards are Spectators. They watched instead of participating. There are 26 primary causes for giving up 500-plus pass yards. Here’s the main reason: S.O.F.T. – dual meaning. 

  1. S.O.F.T.  – Soft Open Field Tracking 
  2. S.O.F.T. –  Soft Open Filed Tackiling.

S.O.F.T defenses can’t track the ball after the catch and can’t tackle the ballcarrier in open-field after the cacth.


Soft Open Field Tracking. One of the top 51 toughest challenges for a #defensivecoordinator teaching open-field tracking, referring to pursuit angles after catch. Open field pursuit angles are tough to teach for the following reasons

  1. Different starting points. 
  2. The starting points refer to:  (i) The point of reception. (ii) Defenders positions at the point of reception. 
  3. Every pass reception is made within the context of a downfield formation – in-progress alignments of defenders & receivers.
  4. Every downfield formation is different. 
  5. The downfield formations determines the tracking pattern – the exact pattern of all pursuit angles.
  6. One wrong pursuit angles adds Yards After Catch.
  7. Two or more wrong pursuit angles blows up Yards After Catch and blows up your defense.
  8. Soft Open Field Tracking leads to non-contact long-distance running after the catch to the end zone.


Soft Open Field Tackling

Here are the key points about Soft Open Field Tackling:

  1. The lowest quality & lowest quantity of reps at any practice are devoted to live, full-speed open-field tackling. 
  2. Live open-field tackling in practice scares the hell out of coaches and players. That’s why open-field tackling is soft. 
  3. Soft open field tackling will make half-ass passing into a superstar offense. 
  4. Your QBs and receivers will all look like all-stars because of Soft Open-Field Tackling. 
  5. Conventional Xs & Os are deficient because they neglect downfield Xs & Os – diagrams of receivers & defenders alignment at the point of reception.
  6. Downfield Xs & Os represent the Downfield Formation which is equally important as pre-snap formation.
  7. Down Formation diagrams are essential to teach Downfield Blocking.
  8. All-Star Downfield Blocking combined with Soft Open Field Tackling will rip the heart & soul out of any defense.
  9. Soft Open Field Tracking combined with Soft Open Field Tackling results in the illusion of an unstoppable offense because of defensive incompetence that cannot stop long-distance running to the end zone after the catch.
  10. Soft Open Field Tracking combined with Soft Open Field Tackling turns your defense into a non-contact unit. It turns the game into a non-contact sport.
  11. Solution – HardReps

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Blessings and all good things


Gino Arcaro

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