Wednesday, July 8, 2020

1 Rat Pressure vs. Empty

The Broncos are in a sub Nickel package 4-2-5 spacing with OLB bodies at DE.

The Rush:
DL slanting weak with the pressure side Rush LB working up & under pass rush. The Nickel is pressuring off the strong side edge.

The Coverage:
Cover 1 Rat with the weak side Rush LB dropping to be the rat in the hole

The pre-snap picture shows both ILB's walked out and a 2 high safety shell. With the RB aligned outside the picture looks like it will not be man to man coverage. A LB didn't go out wide as the man player on the RB which implies split field safety coverage. 

The OL is in a half slide to the weak side. With only the 5 OL in the protection the OL must decide who/what looks are the most dangerous. The 5 OL have to set to the biggest threat. The pre-snap picture of 2 high safety coverage with ILBs removed from the box, the likely pass rush is a 4 man rush with possible pass rush twists from the 4 threats on the LOS. If the slide went to the field the weak side OG and OT would be man to man on the 3tech DT and Rush backer. By sliding weak instead the OL can more easily handle weak side DL pass rush twists. If the DL is going to run a DL twist game against a weak side slide the best place to attack is on a twist game to the man side. This means the DL would need to use the strong A gap DT in the twist game. The protection is doing a threat assessment and the 330LB Nose is a lower threat in the twist game vs. the weak side threats. This protection gave the OL a good look vs. a 4 down pass rush with possible DL pass rush twists which is the most likely post-snap threats.

The Nickel as the 4th rusher is unexpected from the pre-snap presentation. The OL is not accounting for the Nickel in this protection. An extra rusher from the man side of the protection is the responsibility of the QB to get the ball out quick/hot off the unblocked rusher. Why doesn't the QB see the pressure?

The pre-snap look shows the defense has 4 over 3 strong side and 3 over 2 weak side. Two elements bring the QB's eyes weak. One is the pre-snap look of a  match-up of an ILB vs. a TE. The other is post-snap safety rotation. When the Safety rotates to the post it brings the QB's eyes weak. The rotation made the 3 over 2 weak into a 2 vs. 2 weak. The TE/LB match-up and coverage rotation makes that the side to throw against. The protection needs the QB to account for the extra rusher strong. The coverage look makes the QB want to throw routes opposite the hot throw pressure threat. 

The Nickel ends up on the unblocked run because the QB had him in the protection and didn't see him because the coverage drew his eyes opposite the pressure.

Nice empty formation pressure design from Ed Donatell and Vic Fangio. 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

3 High Safety Split Field Quarters Coverage Sim Pressure

San Diego St is in 3-3-5 personnel spaced like a double 3 technique even front and initially presenting a 3 high safety shell.

The Rush:
Both Ends contain. The End aligned as a 3 technique works through the B gap to contain. The Mike is pressuring A gap working a twist with the field side 3 technique.

The Coverage:
Split field quarters with a Safety rolled into the box as the 3 dropper.

Once the Mike walks up into the pressure look the OL is 5-0, because they are all covered they are all 1 on 1. Twists are highly effective vs. 5-0 man protection schemes because adjacent OL aren't uncovered and available to help. The Mike does a good job of penetrating to get quickly up field which forces the Center to commit and helps put the Center and Guard on two different levels. The 3 technique's timing plays off the Mike. He stays square while keeping his path tight off the inside hip of the Mike at full speed allowing for quick efficient pressure.

The usage quarters on 3rd 4 allows for a good denial coverage of all 4 quick receiving threats. 

Always good scheme and execution from a Zach Arnett and Rocky Long coached defense.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Shotgun Spread Midline Option

Navy is in a hybrid 30 personnel with a big body at X receiver who can attach as a down TE. The formation and motion along with the shotgun backfield looks more like an 11 personnel spread team than a traditional flexbone team.

Following the motion Navy is in a common 11 personnel attached TE 2x2 formation. The blocking is traditional midline QB iso blocking. The option is a dual option with the odd front 4 technique DE as the read key. If the DE sits the ball is handed to the RB on the midline path. If the DE crashes to the dive the QB keeps and follows the perimeter fold iso block. 

The DL is slanting with the read key DE on an inside slant making the read very easily a keep read for the QB. The fold iso block has a great angle on the ILB and the OT is a physical mismatch for the OLB. When the OT covers up the OLB the QB has an inside/outside 2 way go. 

Really nice blocking scheme against and odd front spaced defense. Awesome job by Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper to use spread shotgun window dressing to run a flexbone classic run scheme like midline option. Good stuff as always from the Navy offense.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

3 Cloud Sim Pressure

Georgia is in an odd front dime personnel on 3rd & 6.

The Rush:
Both DE's are edge rushers with the Nose working the strong side interior pass rush lane and the pressuring Safety as the weak side interior pass rush lane.

The Coverage:
4 under 3 deep coverage with a strong side Cloud

Several factors play in to the success of the call.

1. The pre-snap presentation of weak safety rotation.

The QB's pre-snap scan of the defense shows the weak side safety down. That picture makes many route progressions automatically work strong. The defense can create 2 on 1 coverage weak vs. the X receiver = work the strong side. The pre-snap look encourages the QB's eyes strong side.

2. The presentation of an overload and potential hot threat to the strong side

The mugged up A & B gap pressure threats gets the OL sliding to the immediate threats. The sliding OL  (G, C, G, T) can handle 4 threats. If the defense adds the 5th threat the QB has to handle the extra rusher with a hot throw. Again this picture encourages the QB's eyes to be strong. The QB wants to see if a hot throw off a 5th rusher strong is necessary.

3. The usage of 3 cloud coverage while protecting the coverage's stress areas.

Once the defense has the QB's vision and awareness to the strong side the ball is snapped and the play occurs. A couple of interesting factors play out post-snap. 

First the bluff of the Mike as a pressure threat can occur without the coverage being outleveraged because there is a cloud corner in the strong side flat. The Mike couldn't realistically bluff pressure and play the flat but getting to the hook drop over the bunch is very realistic following the pressure bluff. 

Secondly, one of the ways to attack 4 under 3 deep coverage is to get the RB out into the route either in a free release 5 man scat protection or as a check release in a 6 man protection concept. The RB in routes is difficult for 4 under 3 deep coverage because the 5 receiving threats can stretch the zone coverage both vertically and horizontally. Georgia denies this stress by sim pressuring with the Safety opposite the initial threats. The RB is forced to stay in to block in the protection. This is one of the biggest assets of sim pressure. A 4 man rush that keeps the RB in the protection. Also the sim allows the defense to pressure the likely weakest pass protector in a 1 on 1 match up. 

Third, the Corner and X in isolation can be an area teams want to attack in a strong rotated coverage. The Bulldogs help mitigate that threat by forcing the QB's eyes strong with the down Safety alignment weak and the hot throw threat strong.

4. The depth vision and break hash droppers inside.

The two drop out mugged up players are able to get depth to deny intermediate in cuts and still break and tackle low crossing routes. The zone nature of the drop allows them to also be in body position  with vision to break and vise tackle the QB on a scramble.

Really good pressure design from Dan Lanning. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

2 Under 3 Deep Overload Pressure

Pitt is in a 3-3-5 sub personnel package. 

The Rush:
Overload America's blitz concept. The DL is slanting away from the pressure with the pressure side DE on a long stick. The Mike is going slow under off the edge while the Sam is the outside blitzer. The SS shows a bail only to add in between the Sam and Mike creating the overload.

The Coverage:
2 under 3 Deep

The offense is running a split zone run scheme. The pressure does a good job of crossing the zone blocks. The Nose crosses the OG, the long stick DE crosses the C, and the Mike crosses the OG. By crossing the blocks the defense is able to cancel the interior gaps when the initial look shows defensive strength on the edges and potential creases inside. By crossing the blocks the RB looks to jump the ball outside into the overload. The zone blocking scheme can't account for the SS. The Hot dropping Will LB serves as a clean up player against any runs that might squeeze through on the inside.

Nice overload blitz from Pitt and Randy Bates.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Max Drop Tampa 2

Here is an example of an 8 man drop Tampa 2 coverage concept. The Jets are in a 
4-2-5 Nickel personnel with OLB bodies at DE on 3rd&7.

The Rush:
3 man rush with DT's on a interior twist game. The 3 tech is a penetrator while the Nose is 2nd looping over the top.

The Coverage:
8 man drop Tampa 2 

The initial pre-snap picture is a 4 man rush 2 high safety concept. The offense knows if the weak side safety says weak to play a cover 2 concept in a 4 man rush defense the place to attack is strong side. The safety working weak means the defense has the offense outnumbered weakside.

This is a problem area of 4 man rush Tampa 2 coverage vs. 3x1 formations. By playing the safety weak the QB's progression goes strong. In a 4 man rush Tampa 2 call there is a soft spot over the #3 receiver's initial alignment extending inside underneath the hole dropping LB. That area can be attacked by any of the strong side receivers depending on the route combination. The weak hook player can squeeze strong but doing so weakens the weak side coverage on any 2 man route combos between the X receiver & the RB. 

The Jets instead use a 3 man rush to mitigate the stress area in Tampa 2 coverage vs. a 3x1 formation. The Jets use the OLB aligned as the strong side DE to drop out on the #3 receiver. The 8 man drop is unexpected from the pre-snap even front presentation which is likely a man 4 pass rush based on alignment. Post-snap the coverage has a safety working weak which takes the QB's eyes strong. The OLB dropping combined with the Tampa 2 coverage is a strong side 5 on 3 advantage for the defense. When the strong side routes are denied by the overloaded coverage, the QB works back weak. The throw is late to the RB on the check release and an immediate tackle by the flat defending Corner for a gain of 14th down - Punt.

Good stuff from Gregg Williams to dial up an unexpected 8 man drop Tampa 2 to get off the field on 3rd down.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Kickoff Return

Left hash kickoff return scheme from the Bengals.

Front line is aligned at 49 with Ends splitting the hash and numbers. The Guards are on the hash.

Tackles are at the 47 splitting the numbers and hash.

Upbacks are at the 38 on the numbers.

Fullbacks are at the 20 on the numbers

Returner is on the Goal Line in the MOF

Drops & Responsibilities:

LE - 25 yl, 4 yards outside the hash, block #2
LT - 30 yl, 2 yards outside the hash, block #4
LG - 25 yl, on the hash, block #3
RG - 25 yl, MOF, block #7
RT - 25 yl, on the hash, block #8
LE - 25 yl, 2 yards outside the hash, block #10

LU & RU - 22 yl, MOF, double team #6

LFB - 18yl, MOF block #9

RFB - 10 yards in front of Returner, see the ball caught, lead on left hash block #5

Returner - Left Hash Return, stay on hash and inside blocks #1 is unblocked

All the landmarks are estimates from watching the film. The blockers do a great job of dropping full speed and getting to landmarks to create the proper spacing. Most of the blocks happen because blockers get to their landmark, move their feet, and keep their hips in good position/hands inside the framework. The blocks are not overwhelming physical dominance or crushing blows, just good athletic stalk block mechanics to cover up the kickoff coverage players. The double team gets good movement and vertical push. The returner does a nice job being patient on the hash before a quick inside cut behind the double then immediately back out to a hash - numbers - sideline course. 

Good stuff from Cincinnati Special Teams Coordinator Darrin Simmons.