Here's why it's significant that college and NFL football use different hash marks:
In the United States, football is king. By far While some people only watch NFL games, I watch them all. However, despite their superficial similarities, college and NFL football are quite different in many important respects. First, let's talk about the ball. College baseballs are slightly
In the United States, football is king. By far While some people only watch NFL games, I watch them all. However, despite their superficial similarities, college and NFL football are quite different in many important respects.
First, let's look at the ball. Different colors and designs are used on the college ball, and it is slightly larger and easier to throw. There is a wide variety of manufacturers who produce quality college footballs. The NFL uses only Wilson footballs, which are longer and narrower, making them more difficult to throw.
Time limits are also different. There is no two-minute warning or stoppage of play after a first down in college games. In contrast, the NFL Then, of course, we all know that overtime is handled very differently between the two sports.
This list could go on indefinitely, but I'd like to focus on one key distinction: the hash marks.
Two rows of one-yard-wide lines painted in a crisscross pattern down the middle of the field are called hash marks. They are difficult to miss, and their placement varies between collegiate and professional fields.
The distance between the hash marks and the closest sideline in a National Football League game is 70 feet, 9 inches. There are 18 feet and 6 inches between the two rows of hash marks. The distance between the two rows is only 40 feet on a college football field, while the hash marks are only 60 feet from the nearest sideline.
The game's framework is entirely dependent on hash marks.
When the ball carrier is tackled, the officials first decide where to place the ball. For the next play, the ball is placed on the nearest hash mark if the runner is down outside the hash marks for any reason, including running out of bounds. If a runner carries the ball inside the hash marks and goes down, the ball is placed where the runner fell.
Since the field is "wider" in college than in the NFL, the location of the ball on the hashes has a profound effect on the formation.
In a college football game, if the ball is placed on the left hash mark, there is 100 feet until it reaches the right sideline. It would take 89 players to fill out an NFL field. The distance from the left hash to the right sidelines is 25 yards. I know that it's only a little over 10 feet, but that can make a huge difference in the game.
However, in the NFL, the field extends farther into the boundary (short side of the field) than it does in college. Because of the layout of the field, defensive teams will need to improvise in order to counterattack.
The Arizona Cardinals were playing the Oakland Raiders in their second preseason game. Kliff Kingsbury, the new head coach for the Cardinals, has spent his entire coaching career (ten years) in college, where the hash marks are more generously spaced. The rookie quarterback leading his offense Murray, Kyler When discussing the Cardinals' struggles against the pressure, ESPN analyst Booger McFarland pointed out that the fundamental appearance of pressure packages in the NFL is different from college football due to the hash marks.
OK, let me break it down for you.
What makes it so much simpler for NFL defenses to cover the field
When the ball is placed on either hash, as we've already established, the "wide" side of the field offers a larger playing area. College football's spread-out formations and larger playing field necessitate pressure-package defenses that frequently require cheating the alignment of their players. After learning the basics of a 3x1 formation (one wide receiver inside the 10 yard line and three more in the field), seeing pressure on the college level becomes "easy."
Keep in mind that this is as simplistic as it gets, but it will show you how pressure alignment can affect the game. The safeties will begin in a two-high formation to set up my cover 3 buzz defense.
An approximate college football offensive and defensive formation is outlined below. Look at where the safeties and linebackers are lined up. S is for the safeties, M for Mike, and W for Will are the linebackers.
They get a slight break to the right of the offense, toward the field, because there is more ground to cover from the left hash to the right sideline. There is less ground to cover on the short side of the field, so fewer players are needed there.
Following this sequence, the defense would transition from a cover 2 shell with two high safeties down into a cover 3 buzz. Normal stuff
We can see a more symmetrical defensive alignment as the defense rotates down into coverage using the NFL-standard field dimensions. Due to more even distances from each hash mark, the field is "easier" to cover.
The defensive alignments from which pressures can be applied When applying pressure, the defensive unit must send players into empty areas to compensate. This is not the case if the defense is employing man coverage or a zero pressure scheme, in which opposing players are placed in one-on-one matchups.
What makes it more difficult to mask pressure in college football
From the same offensive and defensive formation as above, here is a diagram of a basic "field pressure" in college.
Prior to anything else, observe the red lines. They represent the defensive players who are putting the pressure on the offensive team. In college football, this is a typical first-day installation of a basic field pressure. If those defenders leave their zones, they must be replaced by another defender. When you pressure, your defense will be short one man because you'll only have four defenders on the field instead of five.
College football defenses must cheat their pre-snap alignment in order to reach the zones on the field vacated by the nickel (N) and the Mike (M) before the quarterback can make them pay. Indicated by the blue dashes, It's the backside Will (W) linebacker and the backside safety who are the best visual keys for the offense.
The left B gap is normally covered by the Will linebacker in a standard defense, since the offense has a significant numerical advantage if it chooses to run the ball in that direction. On the other hand, if the defense has called a field pressure, the Will must fake his alignment in order to make the long run necessary to fill the empty zone. Depending on the strength of the field, the Will will either face the front of the formation or align with its head up. To put it bluntly, it's a giveaway. When you add in the fact that both safeties are sagging over toward the field, you have visual evidence of a pre-snap field pressure.
I had a great offensive line coach in college who drilled us on these concepts. By this time, we'd all be in our defensive stances and ready to yell out pressures based on the formation's structure. The defense was completely unfazed. Our defensive end once punched the ground and asked, "how do y'all always know?" after I called out a pressure during practice. ” LOL
Watch this clip of a college field pressure game. Take note of the defensive team's cheating, particularly at linebacker, nickel, and safety. Some are already arranged in their proper places:
Let's check out a pressure diagram of the same situation in the NFL.
The defensive players appear to be less dishonest in their attempts to reach their respective zones. Although the Nickel (N) has to cheat a little to get home on time, the rest of the defense has an easier time covering the empty zones because there is less room to move. Additionally, NFL players are more skilled and shouldn't need to cheat as often.
Here's how this kind of stress plays out in the pros: The backside defenders have less room to maneuver in this 3x1 formation that transitions to a 2x2 as the play progresses, but you can still see how the NFL defenders don't "show" this pressure is coming.
Finally, the communication system and the way plays are called are important factors to think about when comparing the pressures of college and NFL football.
It is common practice for collegiate teams to run up to the line of scrimmage, set their formations, and then call a "dummy" play. The defense will reveal its hand as they go through the cadence. Playcalling for the offense can be altered as coaches in the booth and on the field take note of these pressures. This is a common occurrence that relieves the quarterback of responsibility for recognizing pressures (even though they do) and adjusting to them in order to enter a more advantageous play.
QBs receive play calls via radio in the NFL. With 15 seconds remaining in the play, the quarterback is left to make decisions on his own. Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray will have to figure this out together as they make the leap from college to the NFL.
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