Friday Football Q&A: May 9, 2008

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We are back with another session of Friday Q&A! Raleigh Hokie will answer some interesting questions today, such as why Kam Chancellor is the best fit at free safety, as well as other questions about Virginia Tech’s offensive tempo.

If you’ve got a question you’d like to see answered in the future, send it to
[email protected].

#1: Recently Beamer said something to the effect
that moving Chancellor to free safety “allows him to line up on either side
of the field”. The short question is – what does that mean and what is the
impact? The longer question, and what I am really interested in reading, is
responses addressing the roles of the Rover and Free Safety in Bud’s defense,
the reason the Rover is limited to one side of the field, the reason the Free
Safety has the flexibility to line up on both sides, the keys to the Rover
making big plays, and the keys to the Free Safety making big plays.

Raleigh Hokie: I did
not hear Frank Beamer’s statement, but my guess is that he said moving
Chancellor “allows him to line up on the wider side of the field”. In Bud
Foster’s defense, the free safety plays on the wide side of the field and the
Rover plays on the short side of the field (the boundary). While both share
traditional safety duties in many of the defensive sets, the free safety has
more ground to cover simply based on their respective alignments relative to the
position of the ball.

Outside of that, there are several differences between
the positions. Let’s start with the Rover. As mentioned above, he plays on the
short side of the field. Sometimes he will align as a deep safety and sometimes
he will come up close to the line of scrimmage. For any given play, he has
specific run support and pass coverage duties that differ based on the specific
defense and coverage calls.

Foster’s defense is fundamentally based on gap
control and every one of the 11 defenders has specific gap responsibilities in