BEND-DON’T-BREAK DEFENSE

What is BEND-DON’T-BREAK DEFENSE?

BEND-DON’T-BREAK DEFENSE meaning a defensive alignment and personnel group that is optimized to stop long plays and weaker against short runs and passes; the theory behind this is that while it is theoretically possible for an offense to four-yard a defense to death, few offenses can remain mistake-free during such a short-play drive and will be forced to punt as a result of their own penalties or occasional loss or inadequate-gain plays; in fact, offensive coaches can minimize penalties and loss or inadequate-gain plays by the way they design their plays (avoid deep plays like reverses), play calling (avoid passes), and simplification like always snapping on one, a tactic used by Auburn coach Terry Bowden in his undefeated season there; against such an offense, the bend- don’t-break defensive strategy is slow suicide

 

reference: John T. Reed: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL TERMS