Thursday, November 30, 2017

Vikings Pressure Package

Here is an interesting concept from the Minnesota Vikings defense and head coach Mike Zimmer. Minnesota manipulates the pass protection by bluffing double A gap pressure from a Nickel personnel. 

The Vikings show a front with both DT's in 3 techniques which leaves both A gaps open. The Mike and Will linebackers are both walked up into the A gaps. This is a common pressure look from 4 man front teams. This alignment forces the offense into six 1 on 1 match ups in pass protection. The RB is responsible for 1 of the walked ILB's while the OL handles the 4 DL and other walked ILB. 

 Minnesota then brings a DB off the edge to the side of the back. The RB has a dual read 1(Mike) to 2(Safety) from inside to outside. If both rushers came in the pressure the QB would need to throw hot. In principle if only one of the threats rushed the RB should be able to block the 6th pass rusher and the protection is intact.

 In practice the pick up is very difficult for the back when only the safety rushes and the ILB does not. The RB is forced to aggressively step up to the walked LB. The RB wants to initiate contact with the LB close to the L.O.S. to avoid being knocked back into the QB and altering the launch point of the QB's throw. The RB doesn't know the ILB isn't rushing. It is very difficult for the RB once he has stepped up to see the Safety is blitzing and even more difficult to actually redirect out to the edge rusher and make a block. The result is an unblocked edge rushing safety.

Here the Vikings are running the concept backed up by a 2 read coverage concept. Minnesota shows 1 ILB walked up which puts the protection in an even more difficult predicament. 

 With the Mike showing and the Will off the ball, the Lions check the protection pre-snap to allow the Center to block the most immediate threat (the walked up Mike). This forces the RB to scan across the formation to the opposite A gap if the Will rushes.

When the Will walks up late the RB is forced to block his most inside threat. The Mike drops out into coverage, leaving the Center blocking no one. There are only two options for the offense. The 1st is the OL pushes the protection out when the Mike drops. This option forces the Center out to a 3 tech, the Guard out to a DE, and the OT out to the Safety off the edge. The likelihood of this happening is slim to none. This isn't a hot read (offense has 6 blockers for 6 rushers) but it should lead to the QB getting rid of the ball quickly. Which leads to option #2, the QB gets the throw off before the pressure gets home. The LB and DE dropping to the seams make throwing short inside throws very difficult. This forces the QB to hold on to the ball. 

Here is another example.

The pressure concept is the same only with a 3 under 3 deep coverage concept to handle the 3x1 formation. The RB steps up so hard to the L.O.S. he never even sees the rush off the edge.

This isn't a new wrinkle in Coach Zimmer's playbook. 

Here are the Bengals running the same concept back in 2013 during Coach Zimmer's last season as the Cincinnati Defensive Coordinator. Again backed up by 3 under 3 deep zone coverage.

The Vikings also do a nice job of bluffing this pressure concept.

The Vikings bluff the double A gap with the threat of a safety pressure off the edge. The Safety bails out and the coverage in man under 2 deep. The LB on the RB who releases into the route peels off and plays man coverage. The LB on the RB who blocks adds to the pass rush (green dog technique) and becomes the 5th rusher. 

Good stuff from the Vikings Defense. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Lakeshore Dime Blitz Package

Here is an effective Dime personnel pressure package from Chris Womack Defensive Coordinator at Lakeshore High School in Mandeville, LA. I had a chance to sit down and talk ball with Coach Womack this summer. He is an excellent coach and I asked if he would write an article. He wrote this article right after spring football but it took until now for me to get it up on the website. Lakeshore is currently 12-0 and still going in the Louisiana playoffs. Thanks again to Coach Womack for an awesome summer chalk talk and this article. Guy is a good ball coach. Enjoy!

Basic Dime Package Blitzes

We are just finishing up our 7 on 7 season here in Louisiana.  Many offensive coaches complain that they never see 2-man coverages in the regular season.  However, we do run a situational dime package and it has been quite successful over the years.  Here is the Basic Dime Personnel Package with 3 simple blitzes that we installed at the high school level.  In our spring game versus Holy Cross of New Orleans, we had 3 interceptions and a pick 6 in this package.

We play a 4-1-6 Dime Package Personnel.  From this alignment, we can run all our 4-man stunts and twist, playing straight Cover 2 Man Under coverage.  In our Dime package, we take out a LB and replace him with a FS. 

Base 2 Man Coverage
We play a basic Cover 2 Man Under Coverage.  The CBs, Safeties, and Mike LB play straight man.  No Banjoes and No checks.  2 deep Zones.  All the blitzes work off of this initial alignment.

Outside 1 Peel (America’s Blitz from a 4-man front)
We play an even front.  We tag the blitz side, for instance Field/Short, Back/Away or Strong/Weak.  Here we have Back Outside 1 Peel.

-          Outside Blitz from the Tag Side = L and Mike from the Strong Side. 
-          Edge Rusher Away from the Tag plays C Gap first for Run, then drops for RB.  High Hat read, Look for RB weak to QB intent (low Hole)
-          Left Safety comes off the edge and peels if the RB swings.
-          Mike works to B gap off the $ams long step
-          F/S on the blitz side replaces the Blitzer
-          Other F/S rolls to the post on a high hat read
-          L/R travel to 3x1.  Bump blitz to the inside L or R Safety.

Inside 1 Peel

-          Edge Rusher Away from the Tag plays C Gap first for Run, then drops for RB.  High Hat read, Look for RB weak to QB intent (low Hole)
-          $am gets vertical and peels if the RB swings
-          Left Safety comes of the $am’s hip on the vertical rush.
-          Mike works to B gap off the ends long step
-          F/S on the blitz side replaces the Blitzer
-          Other F/S rolls to the post on a high hat read
-          L/R travel to 3x1

Middle 1 Peel 

 Edge Rusher Away from the Tag plays C Gap first for Run, then drops for RB.  High Hat read, Look for RB weak to QB intent (low Hole)
-          $am gets vertical and peels if the RB swings
-          Man coverage by CBs and L/R..
-          Mike hits call side A Gap.
-          F/S away from the call side blitzes other A Gap.
-          Non-Blitzing F/S rolls to the post on a high hat read
-          L/R travel to 3x1

This package is an easy 1 day install.  We have run it successfully for the past 3 years.

Great stuff from Coach Womack. If you have questions or want more info on what they are running down at Lakeshore be sure to follow Coach Womack on twitter @CoachCWomack

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Man Under 2 Deep Corner Pressure

Here is a a creative pressure dialed up by Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Keith Butler.

The Steelers are in a Nickel personnel with two stand up Rush OLB's playing the roll of  DE's. The initial alignment is press corners and a 1 high safety concept.

DT - Loop to field side contain
Will- Walked up in the C gap, working B gap to A gap to the opposite inside pass rush lane
Rush - Contain
Corner - Inside rush lane

Man under 2 deep with a safety replacing for the blitzing corner. The Nose is playing man coverage on the RB. 

The coverage is man under 2 deep which allows the man coverage players to play aggressive technique knowing they have help over the top. The disguise prevents the offense and the QB from identifying the coverage is man under 2 deep. The difficulty of coverage recognition forces the QB to hold on to the ball. 

The Nose, Rush, and walked up Will occupy the Center, Guard, and OT to the weak side. The Center doesn't realize until it is too late that the Nose is actually in coverage and not a pass rush threat. With the Center occupied the Guard is forced to block the Will and the OT is locked on the Rush. The Corner has a clean pass rush and is able to attack the RB deep in the backfield. If the RB didn't scan across the formation, the Corner has a clean run to the QB. As it plays out, the weakest link in protection (RB) is forced to make the most difficult block and loses the 1 on 1 to the Corner. 

Creative combination of disguising 2 man coverage with a non-traditional 4 man pass rush from the Steelers.