Lets face it .. defensive coordinators at all levels are getting pretty damn good at slowing down the spread offense. I mean just take a look at how well the spread offense was defended last year at the college level compared to the previous 4 years and you can see much improvements to the philosophies and execution in defending the spread offense.
At the core of any defense philosophy is aggression, getting to the football, and pursuit angles which leads to eventually bringing the ball to the ground as quickly as possible.
That being said, a well balanced spread offense needs to have in its arsenal a counter, misdirection, or reverse play for just about every important base play in your scheme.
So for example if your base spread offense run plays are zone and zone lead (with a QB read), Power, and Sweep (especially a QB sweep with a solid dual threat QB) - you need to have counter or reverses off of all of these plays to keep the defense honest.
As a coach, you have to explain to your team that these are not 'trick plays' or gimmicks that will be run maybe once a game. These are important plays that need to be executed and practiced in game speed in order to get the best results.
As coaches, you need to be able to communicate real time during the games and have your 'eyes in the sky' up in the booth scouting the defense for over aggressive, fast flow defenders who are setting themselves up for a misdirection or reverse. Also, don't be afraid to use these plays more then once in a specific series, back to back, or whatever. If at the end of a game your stat's show you ran 12 mis-direction or reverses and you won the game... who cares! I'll take the W!
Remember, there are two ways to slow down a defense - Get them to 'over think' on the field, and wear them down physically. In the perfect world, you want to do both as the game progresses.
Here's an excellent video of Auburn catching the 2009 national champs Alabama 'fast flowing' on defense last year.
Now no one studies defending the modern day spread offense more then Coach Saban and his staff at Alabama, but like any aggressive defense, his guys got caught fast flowing on this play.
Notice also this play was ran in the opening drive of the game by Auburn, when the defense is even more 'geeked up' (a slang term for 'over excited') and looking to knock someones head off.
Keep spreading e'm!
www.SpreadOffense.tv (video sharing platform)