Sunday, January 30, 2011


Many of the links to playbooks on previous posts are not working because of the overhaul done to the Fast and Furious website. I am working to get all the links fixed.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Film Study Guide for Defensive Backs

Here is a film study guide for defensive backs from Bill Belichick's 1997 Jets playbook (pages 10&11).

Bill Belichick's Pressure Package Part 1

Here is a sample blitz from the Belichick arsenal.

This pressure is a 3 under 3 deep fire zone with an interior twist by the nose and a blitzing linebacker.
Both ILB's are walked up on the LOS. The Left ILB drops out into the 3RH. The Right ILB penetrates into the A gap and executes a twist with the Nose. The Rush LB is the weak side Seam player while the Nickel plays the strong side Seam. Video of this blitz is available here.
Note the outside-in Seam technique of the Nickel (#25 at the bottom of the screen).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blitz of the Week #15

This blitz was dialed up by Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in their wildcard game vs. the Seahawks. The blitz is a variation of the NCAA blitz but uses a Corner as the widest rusher instead of an outside linebacker.
The DE to the blitz is long sticking to the A gap and the OLB and Corner are coming off the edge. Williams is calling a man free coverage to create an overload. The two inside linebackers have man responsibilities on the running backs. The inside linebackers execute a key rush or rush to cover technique on the backs. The technique is simple, at the snap rush the back. If the back attempts to release into a route cover him. If the back attempts to set up for a screen the key rusher should be behind the releasing offensive linemen making screens to the RB difficult. If the running back picks up the other rushers the key rusher can add to the rush creating an overload. 

Here the Saints overload the right side that has 4 blockers by bringing what turns into 5 from a side. With the running backs picking up the blitzers the key rushing linebackers are unblocked.

Video of this blitz can be seen here.

If the backs had split instead the inside linebackers would have still been in the rush and an overload would still be created. Only this time the overload would be a 4 from a side blitz vs. 3 blockers.

AFCA Convention

I spent the last few days in Dallas at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) convention. The convention is attended be nearly every college coach from DI, DI-AA, DII, DIII, and NAIA along with many High School coaches. The convention is a tremendous opportunity to network and socialize with other coaches. There are speakers daily on every topic from X's & O's, to philosophy, to ethics in coaching, to fund raising. The convention also features a massive exhibit from vendors for every football related product you might need for your program. If you are a coach and are not a member of the AFCA, I encourage you to join. Be sure the check out the AFCA website by clicking the AFCA logo in the right column. Next year the convention is in San Antonio and in Indianapolis in 2012.

Monday, January 3, 2011

SCIF vs. Seam

Several people have asked for a definition of a SCIF drop. I want to preface this post by saying there is no universal football terminology. The SCIF drop and technique I am going to define is based on my experience and surely will not cover all definitions. The SCIF drop I am referring to is a Seam-Curl-Flat drop which is utilized in 3 under 3 deep fire zone coverage. The 3 under structure is SCIF/3RH/SCIF. The SCIF (unlike Dick Lebeau's Seam technique) is played by collisioning the #2 receiver inside-out.

If #2 goes vertical:
  • Cover all Quick Game and Hot Routes by #2 (Hitches & Slants)
  • Collision #2 and re-route in the Seam
  • Expand Late to the Curl-Flat

If #2 goes across:
  • Cover all Quick Game and Hot Routes by #2 (Lookies)
  • Wall #2 and re-route
  • Expand late to the Curl-Flat
If #2 goes out:
  • Top the Route (Get body in window of #1's curl)
  • Be ready for the throw to the Curl or the Flat

If #2 Blocks:
  • Drop with depth over #2
  • Be alert for check release & screen
  • Head on a swivel for routes coming into the seam
  • Cannot be out leveraged to the flat
  • If no threats in the seam & no threats to the flat expand late to the curl

Simply Put the SCIF player's drop is to "Hang & Bang" in the seam, expand late to the curl, and let the throw take you to the flat.
I have seen film of both the SEAM and the SCIF used effectively. Neither is the "right" nor "wrong". Ultimately it all comes down to what can your team execute.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Blitz of the Week #14

This week's Blitz of the Week is a crossfire concept dialed up by Dom Capers of the Green Bay Packers. The traditional crossfire fire zone blitz is in nearly every playbook and is almost as common as the NCAA blitz.

The blitz is a double A gap pressure with the blitzing linebackers crossing. The DE to the 3 tech is dropping out. Video of the Packers running it can be seen here.

The Packers will also use their modified Nickel personnel group to spice up the crossfire concept.

Because the Packers are utilizing 2 Rush Linebackers at the defensive end positions they can drop them both into coverage. With both Rush LB's dropping the Nickel is free to blitz creating confusion for the pass protection and interior pressure from the crossfire blitz. Video can be seen here.

Fire Zone Coverage Adjustment

Here is an adjustment to the technique of the 3RH player from Dom Capers' 1997 Carolina Panthers Playbook (page 172).