NIU Offensive Philosophy
The offensive philosophy here at Northern Illinois is very simple - be in attack mode all the time. We are a coaching staff that firmly believes in using our player's strength's and protecting our weaknesses with the ultimate goal of scoring points and protecting the ball. We believe in forcing the defense to use all their rules by incorporating multiple formations, shifts, motions, and trades. We are constantly looking for a matchup advantage for our players to take advantage of in the both the run and pass game. We do not run a ton of plays but we do believe in running them from a variety of looks. The end result is our players playing extremely fast and physical football.
We will incorporate both the pro-style two back offense and a spread system that allows the QB from the "Pistol" or "Gun" to be a running threat. We have the ability to be very fast or slow tempo at any moment of the game. We believe in changing our offensive personnel from 5 wides to 3 TE's throughout the game. We want to get many players involved in the plan and also force defenses to have to defend the whole field. Our design is very simple, sound, and adjustable to the various looks we will see throughout the season from defensive teams. What you will be a part of here is designed for one reason - score points!!!
We want to put our players in the best possible situation we can to be successful on any given play. Our goal is to allow our offensive personnel to play to the very best of their ability. We will feature our playmakers - if you are a playmaker - come on!!!
NIU Defensive Philosophy
We are a 4-3 attack style defense that plays with great technique and effort. We believe in the acronym K.I.L.L. - Keep It Likeable and Learnable. Our coaches and players hang their hats on three things - Play Harder than our opponent, Play with better Technique/Fundamentals than our opponent, and Play Smarter than our opponent. We recruit and develop speed and toughness. Once you are here we will modify our schemes to fit and feature our playmaker's abilities with the design. We are all about using our player's strength's and hiding our player's weaknesses. We firmly believe in exposing the offense's weak links with our best players.
We will play both man and zone coverage's here at NIU. Each coverage scheme will be disguisable and structured to force the offense to read it on the run. Our motto on our front is to stop the run on the way to the QB by beating blocks and "Changing the Math". We are not a read front, we are an up the field attacking defensive front. We will bring both zone and man pressure throughout games to change up our mode of attack. Our players will be trained to learn our schemes each play with the Acronym C.A.S.K.R. (Call, Alignment, Stance, Key, Responsibility). This is a pre-snap progression that allows our players to react and run on the snap. We want our players to always be in attack mode. Thinking is done between plays and on the sideline, not during plays - that is when we react and run - always attacking.
NIU Special Teams Philosophy
This 1/3 of the game is a phase that we firmly believe can be our greatest advantage over the course of the game. There are 6 teams within the Special Teams family (Kickoff Coverage, Kickoff Return, Punt, Punt Pressure, PAT/FG, and PAT/FG Block). Each one of these teams is coached with great passion and energy by our staff. Every member of our staff, including the Head Coach is involved in coaching our special teams. We know that field position can win games and special teams is a phase of the game that involves a large change in field position on every play. These momentum plays can and will be the difference in winning and losing championships. Special teams are call "special" for a reason. Our players are graded on every snap at every position and they fight to be the most productive 11 members of our team over the course of the season. These 11 players are put into the "Elite 11" and receive special standing on our team.