When coached, I wanted my defensive players to believe that the football belonged to them even though the ball started the play in the offense’s hands.
It’s a perspective that said our goal was not just to stop the offense, but to take the very thing away that made them the offense. That perspective clarifies the true goal of a defense to get the ball. Many people that watch football think that it’s the defense’s job to stop the other team from scoring. Teams that do that usually settle for a “bend but don’t break” defense that settles for a long field goal. Three points is better than seven. Great defenses take the ball and score. When that happens, the result is a ten or fourteen point swing in favor of the defense. How many of our goals fall short of the most effective outcome? How often do we settle for bend but don’t break? How often do we actually celebrate avoiding a worst case scenario without doing what it takes to get a best case outcome?

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