Wednesday, April 1, 2015

4-2-5 Read Out Blitz vs. Empty Formations

When facing an empty formation the offense has 5 potential pass blockers. It doesn’t take great mathematical abilities to realize the defense can simply blitz 6 and get a free rusher.

Here is a blitz concept to get the same guaranteed free pass rusher while only rushing 3.

  • LB’s in B Gap, with blitz demeanor
  • DT’s in A gaps
  • DE’s in C gaps

The DE's and LB's are bracketing the OT's, the DT's are bracketing the Center

  • DE and Mike read the block of the OT
  • Tackle and Nose read the block of the Center
  • Will and DE read the block of the OT

The Read:
The read is simple. Get off the ball and attack your gap. If the OL doesn’t block you keep rushing. If the OL being read attempts to block you drop out. 

Key coaching points:
  • Great get off on the snap. Attack then React.
  • Assume you are a rusher until the OL attempts to block you
  • Engage the OL before dropping out
  • Drop to max depth of 5 yards. You can be slow to go and still get there.

If the OL uses a half slide protection.

Both OT's block the DEs so both DE's drop out. They are looking to drop into any hot throw by the most inside receiver. The Mike is unblocked and gets a free run to the QB. The Nose is dropping directly over the center.

If the offense uses a full slide protection.

Here the End is unblocked and gets a free run to the QB. The DE, Tackle, and Will drop out into possible hot throws.

The interior droppers allow the DB's to play outside leverage on the receivers. An unblocked rusher guarantees a quick throw from the QB. The interior droppers should take away any inside breaking hot throws. The outside leverage of the DB's should limit any outside breaking hot throws.


  1. This "blitz" works great. I have had great success with this when run properly. More often than not it leaves three unblocked rushers headed towards the QB.

  2. What about empty with a tight end ?

    1. One common solution is to align the player in man coverage on the TE in the choke alignment (inside leverage press) and widen the edge rusher wide. This helps prevent the TE from getting involved in the pass pro as the single most likely person the TE would block is the press man coverage player aligned on him. This allows the read rush concept to remain intact attacking the 5 OL. It is also possible this type of concept is only a no TE in the core empty adjustment.