A possible new Defense for the O
Premises, all true to varying degrees
- The O has trouble getting turnovers against any reasonably skilled team.
- Even reasonably skilled teams have weak links
- All passes have some risk to them, and “good” passes have an acceptable rate of return for a given risk.
- A plan that is good is theory is bad in practice if the players you have can not possibly execute the plan.
THE DEFENSIVE IDEA: Encourage the turnover-prone throwers on the other team to make risky throws. For example, let a bad hucker on the other team get a somewhat open long cutter so he can overthrow him.
RATIONALE: We all have (or should have) developed a set of risk/reward curves for our throws, with a different curve for each opponent or level of difficulty for opponent or game situation. Another way to look at this is that you’ll consider many things when considering whether to throw a particular huck: how good the other team is, how windy it is, how good the deep defender is, how good the receiver is, how open the player is, where on the field you are, what the score of the game is, etc. A situation can change just a little, but the risk changes from “worthwhile” to “unacceptable”. So, if your offense is so good that you will certainly score if you make short passes, then it makes no sense to try a huck that has a 90% chance of completion (disregarding for the moment such factors as fatigue, long-term strategy, practice, confidence, etc.).
I have to say that occasionally, the best chance that the O has at getting a turnover is if the other team misses on a huck. We are banking that the other team fails to realize that the risk/reward curve has changed.
Defensively, we need to make only small adjustments to the faceguard/last back defense.
“Last back” has to delay on the switch so that the pass gets thrown. When you switch/poach, you can either try to prevent the pass by switching as soon as you see it (and so that your teammate can also switch), or you can try for the block by switching as late as possible so the thrower doesn’t realize you’re going until it’s too late. This D would favor waiting. We get burned now by switching too soon and they get a free underneath cut.
We need to have some way to let the team know whether the player with the disc is a good hucker or a bad one. The two ways we could set this up would be either “if players A or B get the disc, we want them to huck” or “if anyone except X or Y gets the disc, we want them to huck.” We would want some guys on Furious to huck, but not Cruickshank. Perhaps the player covering A or B yells “FORCING!” when it is apparent the player is going to catch it (but not when he’s about to catch it, as that’s unsportsmanlike conduct).
We probably will want to force a few players back to the disc. So, perhaps A and B get forced back to the disc, while the others are faceguarded and forced away.
Another variation would be to encourage certain players to try difficult break mark passes.