Tuesday, December 02, 2008

No love for the Coop cut

This week's Huddle discussed endzone offense. I liked Wiggins' talk about using easy breaks or non-break breaks.

Ostensibly, DoG's endzone offense has always been the swing/strike regenerative offense with the 45 degree "gut cut" thrown in as an option. However, we've always had an alternate that has never really been codified. This year at Worlds, we really started going to this option a lot, and finally named it after Michael Cooper, who perfected the shoulder shimmy Coop cut.

So what is this cut? It's just a quick step to seal off the defender, and cut directly in front of the thrower, no more than 3 yards away. Break or no break, it's very easy to throw a soft pass over the marker's arm. The only way the defender could block it would be to lay out before the throw is made. The cut is ideally made from about a foot inside the endzone.

Alex and I have always preferred the cut from the front of the endzone instead of the back. As the various Huddle contributors pointed out directly or indirectly, the cut from the back is a race to the cone and good solid defense (front, keep the buffer but not too much, don't get turned) can usually stop this while tiring out the cutter. The cuts from the front rely on soft break passes or the threat of the soft break. The horizontal cut straight across the field is tough to hit only if the pass is fast.

The key to the cut is that the thrower needs to be ready to throw. If the thrower sees the cut and reacts to it, it might be too late. He doesn't have to be sitting on the throw, although he can, but his weight needs to be set so that he can immediately move to it. For this reason, I don't think I would recommend this as a default endzone offense for any team other than ours (although Frank might like it because a power move can lead to a goal).