How to Break Down Film

I wanted to share with you a few tips on how my staff and I prepare for the opponent’s offense.

You might already have a system from breaking down film (and you need one if you don’t), but here is a quick overview what we have done in the past:

Defensive Coordinator: Run plays grouped by family

Defensive Line Coach: Blitzes and fronts

Secondary Coach: Pass plays grouped by family

Assistant Coach: Formations separated Run and Pass

We want to know as much as we can about what the opponent will do in almost all situations. Tendency reports will determine our automatic checks, the direction we want to angle, where to bring pressures, what coverages to play, etc.

This is what we start looking at:


Hash/Field Direction

Tight End

Motion/Type of Motion

Backfield Alignment

Down & Distance

As a rule of thumb, we want to see a tendency greater than 80% before making any automatic checks.

Another important decision is run strength.

Is it to the TE, the field in 10 or 11 personnel?

A proper film break down will give you these answers.

If you want to learn a little more about how I do this, check out this resource.

This was a brief overview, but the main point I want to make is that you need to have a system to do this.

Don’t just wing it.

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