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NFL Draft: Check out Mark Barron in run support

Using video to breakdown the safety's big hit vs. Vanderbilt. Matt Bowen

April 23, 2012
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Alabama’s Mark Barron—the NFP’s top rated safety—could come off the board in the top half of the first round this Thursday night. A prospect that can play in the run front, get off the numbers in Cover 2 and drive downhill with speed and power on ball carriers.

Today, I want to take a quick look Barron is run support to highlight his hit on Vanderbilt QB Jordan Rodgers. Let’s take a look at the replay and then get into some coaching points.

- Vanderbilt has “Regular” personnel (2 WR, 1 TE, 2 RB) on the field in a “Unit Wing Slot” formation. Move the FB to a wing alignment and run the “speed option” into the boundary (sideline) with a “bubble screen” action to the open (weak) side of the formation.

- Barron shades his pre-snap alignment to the closed (strong) side of the formation. As a FS, you play as a “secondary” run defender. Read your run/pass keys (shuffle step) and then drive to the run front.

- The angle is key—especially from the middle of the field. You want to enter the run front with an inside-out angle vs. any edge run. This is exactly what we see here from Barron.

- The “target” area of the FS is the inside shoulder of the ball carrier. If he wants to cut back, make him go through you. We often see safeties overrun the football and allow ball carrier to create cut back runs because they panic and forget to use their technique when a run breaks to the second level of the defense. Hit the inside shoulder and run through the ball carrier.

- The hit from Barron? Legit explosion and power. A result of the Alabama product playing with the proper technique that put him in a position to finish off the Vanderbilt QB.

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