SWAT Football Blog

Wake up to keep up – building DC ideology.

The toughest offense we have had to defend in the past four decades is a balanced offense that can spread and tighten up with double and triple tight ends. Our best solution started as a crisis. Ten years ago, we lost a starting defensive end and a starting linebacker within 48 hours of game time. Without changing the system, we added a component that has since become one of our base defensive formations – three strong safeties.

The concept of three strong safeties has been a blessing. ‘Strong safety’ is a term we use to facilitate teaching-learning because the strong safety position is what our collegiate rookies are familiar with. The term ‘strong safety’ is only a point-of-reference because ‘strong safety’ has been re-defined in our SWAT defensive system. ‘Strong safety’ is a concept, a position without a fixed level or label. The SWAT ‘strong safety’ plays every position from interior defensive line to cornerback. The amateur levels of football where I have coached for 40 seasons have taught me many lessons. At the top of the list is to re-think conventional thinking. Re-define the concept of traditional positions. Offenses have evolved during my 40-year coaching career. Offensive coordinators have unleashed creativity that had been locked up for decades. We face limitless formations. Our solution has been to match the offense with limitless defensive formations.

I’ve been blessed as to have experienced extreme challenges as a defensive coordinator, facing creative offensive coordinators since the 1980’s. The evolution of our SWAT defense was prompted by the minds of innovative offensive coordinators who stretched the limits of offensive thinking long before spread offenses became the norm. If your goal is to become a defensive coordinator, the best education is to coach in a league that challenges you with extreme difference – extreme different offensive approaches during games and week-by-week. I never would have thought of our three strong safety base defense without a crisis happening. The crisis became an opportunity. It woke me up. Nothing just happens, not randomly, by accident, or overnight. Coordinating a defense in 2016 has never been more challenging. The way to keep up is to let your opposing offensive coordinators wake you up.

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, 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 Working with the dead, Midnight Shift from hell, and Another Bar Fight.


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