Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Preview Part II: New York Giants Blitz Package

Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is not known as a blitzing coach. New York tends to utilize a four man pass rush but the Giant playbook does contain some nice blitzes.
Here the Giants are in a 4-2-5 Nickel personnel group running a weak side overload blitz.
  • LDE-Contain Rush
  • RDE-Loop to opposite A gap
  • LDT - Jab to A gap, Rush B Gap
  • RDT - Work to Contain Rush
  • Mike - Align in A gap, pop out an Man cover TE
  • Will - Align in A gap, rush A gap (Key blitz the RB)
  • S - Rotate pre-snap, Edge Blitz (Key blitz the RB)
  • S - Free
  • Corners & Nickel - Press Man
The key blitz concept by the Will and S is used to allow for both a 6 man pass rush and Man Free Coverage. Traditional 6 man blitzes require man to man coverage with no safety help because the defense must cover the 5 eligible receiving threats with the 5 non-rushing defenders. Most man free blitzes are 5 man rushes with 5 defenders in man coverage on the 5 eligible receivers and 1 free defender (commonly a safety) helping the man coverage players. The key rush allows the Will and Safety to share the responsibility for the RB. Whichever defender the RB steps to block has him in man coverage while the other continues to pass rush. Here is video of this blitz from New York's week 5 game against the Seahawks:

 The Seattle pass protection has 6 blockers for 6 pass rushers but the Giants still have a free rusher. How?
The Giants attack the protection first using a deep safety in the pressure. The offense does not readily identify Safety Dion Grant as a blitz threat allowing the Giants to create a 4 on 3 pass rush to the right side.

The Center becomes the most important player in the protection. If the Center helps to the defensive right the offense can pick up the pressure. The Giants maintain their 4 vs. 3 advantage by manipulating the blocking of the Center. By walking the Mike up toward the A gap, New York presents an immediate gap threat to the Center. To prevent the Center from helping to the blitz side once the Mike drops out the left DT jabs to the A gap. Now the Center feels an A gap threat and looks to help the Guard with the Left DT. Once the DT feels the help from the Center, he works back to the B gap. Because the Center is occupied the looping DE is left unblocked.
The pressure has added effectiveness because the blitzing Will linebacker engages with the right guard. The running back and guard end up blocking the Will leaving the Safety off the edge unblocked.
 Look for Perry Fewell to dial up a limited number of well designed and well executed blitzes vs. the Patriots in the Superbowl.

Be sure to check out the Patriots Superbowl blitz preview here.

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