Sunday, June 16, 2019

3 Match Coverage Variation

Why do you need all those coverage calls? This is an example of why we need them.

Here is a stick route variation from 2x2.

The read progression:

Pre-snap the peak outside. The Peak is there for cover zero looks to take a shot against a press corner and also a hole shot vs. a cover 2 look. 

Hot - against any max pressure look the ball can go to the peak or the RB in the flat


#1 read is the RB is the flat. If the overhang gets depth or doesn't expand the RB in the flat is getting the ball immediately.

#2 is the slot working away from the ILB. This route is designed to isolate the LB with a speed WR. If the LB gets depth or isn't attacking the route the ball is going to the WR running away from the LB.

#3 is the dig. If the LB is tight on the in/out route the ball is going to the dig route behind the LB. 

#4 The money ($$$) is for quarters coverage concepts. If the defense is 2 high with a safety who is aggressive on the dig the QB can take a shot to the post one on one vs. the corner.

Against a base odd front 3 match concept the defense can rush an OLB and roll the coverage to replace the pressure.

In this example the field OLB is in the charge with the coverage rolling that direction. The coverage can handle all the routes. The issue is the isolation of the ILB vs. a slot WR. This plays into what the offense is trying to accomplish. They want WR vs. LB which they hope is a mismatch.This is why we carry coverage change ups.

The charge is the same basic concept only now the end is working outside and the ILB is pressuring the B gap. The Safety is now the hook player. The coverage plays out the same only now the speed WR is 1 on 1 with a DB not a LB. 

This is just one example a coverage change up that is not about changing the coverage concept just about job swaps. 

Having coverage change-ups is necessary to avoid an offense being able to repeatedly isolate a poor match up in coverage. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Book Club

This month is a pair of of books from an excellent coach with a career of experience coaching high school and college football. Coach Gordon's first book "Coaching the Under Front Defense" outlines how the front aligns and functions.

His 2nd book is a all about "Split Field Coverages". The book covers a fully developed coverage package. 

Both books are great reads. If you are a new coach looking to learn about under front or split field coverages these books are a great place to learn. If you're already experienced coaching these concepts this is a great chance to see a successful defensive coach's explination, progression, and coaching points. I took a bunch notes on details from Coach Gordon that I've added/I'm adding to our progression. 

Not convinced? Listen to Coach Gordon on the Deep Dive on Defense pod cast. Listen for the split field coverage info and killer Boston accent.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Understanding RPO

When it comes to RPO's, there are many versions out there. The challenge defensive coaches face is how to teach RPO's to defenders. Every defense has a clearly established progression for concepts like defending triple option but defining roles & responsibilities for RPO's can be less clear. Well we have rules for quick game and rules for power, what do we do if it is both? RPO as a term has even become problematic. RPO has become a blanket term for a wide variety of offensive concepts. In response we have started breaking down RPO's into 4 categories to help defenders better understand how the RPO works. Understanding the play helps defenders better understand their role in defending the play. 

Access - Access RPO's are looking for free access (space) to throw a route. These are pre-snap decisions from the QB.

This is a simple example. The offense is running a zone read concept. The access portion is to the single WR side. If the there is no overhang defender and an off corner the QB is free to throw the hitch. QB scans pre-snap and if the look is there he throws the quick game route. This could also be a speed out or slant. This type of RPO is a fusion of 3 step quick game passing and a run. Offenses traditionally have thrown quick game on regular down & distance to get or stay on schedule. The issue was the quick game was good against certain looks and not good against others. Some teams employ kills or alerts that allow the offense to audible in and out of quick game at the LOS. Many teams however are uncomfortable allowing the QB to change the play. Enter access RPO and the OC can call the quick game and the run play with the same call. If quick game access is there take it, if not run the called play.

Access RPO is also used to control box numbers and can even be double sided.

If the defense puts defenders on the LOS, like the under front in this example there may be access to throw quick game to a split WR. The access is on both sides in this example. The thought process is if there is no overhang to the strong side and an off corner the hitch has access. 

If the defense rotates the coverage to the strong side the weak side access is in play.

With a strong side overhang the access hitch is dead. Now weak side the access slant may be a possibility for the QB to throw. 

Access RPO can also be used as a blitz control.

The offense does not have a blocker to account for the edge blitzer here. If the edge blitzer shows early the QB can throw the access bubble. This same concept is used to control any overhang aligned defender tight enough to the box where the offense may have trouble blocking. If the overhang player is loading the box by alignment the access bubble can be thrown.

Conflict - Conflict RPO's put an off the LOS defender into a run/pass conflict. The defender is being read post-snap. 

This example is the stick RPO play. The QB is reading the LB (Mike) if the Mike drops to cover the #3 receiver the ball is handed off. If the Mike fills to play the run the QB throws the route.

Another example is the stretch with back side slants.

The ILB (Mike) is the conflict player. If the Mike reacts to the stretch play away the QB can pull the ball out and throw the slant. If the overhang squeezes the inside slant the QB can throw the outside slant. If the Mike does not pursue the stretch the RB may have a seam to put his foot in the ground and get vertical as the flow of the play widens the defense. 

Triple - Triple RPO's use the pass as the third phase of a triple option concept. The third phase throw occurs post-snap.

The play is a zone read with the DE as the first read. The triple portion adds a "pitch" phase to the play. Here the WR screen is the third phase. If the overhang player (Sam) steps up to help play the QB the ball can be thrown out wide.

It is not limited to screens.Teams are also running routes as the third phase.

Here the TE arrow route is designed to stress the DE. If the DE widens with the TE release the play is an easy give read for the QB. If the DE chases the dive the QB can keep. Off the keep if QB is attacked by a defender he can rise up and throw the arrow in the flat. 

Hybrid - Hybrid RPO's are a combination of two of the previous types. These RPO's may have both pre and post-snap elements.

Pre-snap the QB can take the bubble if the overhang (Sam) is too tight to the box or showing blitz. Post-snap the safety is the conflict player. If the Safety is aggressive downhill into the alley the QB can pull the ball and throw the 8 yard glance in behind the safety.

Pre-snap if the hitch is there the QB can take it.
Post-snap the ILB is the conflict defender. If the Mike expands with the RB fast motion the QB keeps and runs following the fold block. If the Mike stays put the QB throws the swing to the RB. 

Why the slot fade? To control 1 high safety defenses(Cover 1, Cover 3, & 3 Match)

Now the defense can build a two LB box. If the pre-snap access hitch is there take it. If the corner is pressed throw the slot fade because the likely coverage is either Cover 1 or 3 Match.

Teams are creating all kinds of combinations.

Pre-snap the access bubble can be thrown if the overhang is too tight to the box or showing blitz. Post-snap the QB is running zone read. If the QB is forced to pull the ball, he has the ability to throw the ball out to a third phase on the bubble.

There are countless RPO concepts out there. Far too many to fit in one article. That is why we have tried to develop a categorizing system to make RPO concepts simpler for our coaches and players.

How do we use this info?

When we break down a team we will label the play Run/Pass/RPO. If the play was an RPO we label:

R/P - Did the RPO result in a run or a pass?
Run - What run concept was the play?
Route - What routes are being run? Even if they didn't throw it. 
Type - Access, Conflict, Triple, Hybrid

We want to understand the whole picture of how does the play work? The opposing defense on film played a hand in the outcome so only looking at the outcome does not tell the whole story. Players can then be informed of the play and how it works as well as our plan against it? Understanding how your pre-snap alignment affects access, or you are the read on a conflict, or there is a "pitch" on a triple, or there are pre and post-snap concepts happening are all critical for defenders to understand the play. That understanding helps players grasp the Why? of their responsibility in defending the play.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Jets Sim Pressure

Sim pressure is a phrase showing up all over the place this off-season. There is no universal terminology in football. What is a generic definition? A pressure rushing 4 that is designed to present to the offense a look and feel of 5 or 6+ rushers. The goal is to simulate more pressure/rushers than are actually in the charge. Some teams are grouping all non-traditional 4 man rushes together under the label sim pressures. Others define sims as 4 man pressures with man coverage and creepers as 4 man pressures with zone coverage. Again there is no universal terminology, there are many different labels out there.

Here the Jets are in a 7 DB sub personnel bringing a non-traditional 4 man rush.

The Rush: Dime and End are the edge rusher. To the side of the blitz the DL is working a B gap penetrator DE looping twist game. The effect is a weak side overload.

The Coverage: Strong side is a locked Corner and a triangle coverage over #2/#3. Weak side is a cover 2 concept. This coverage is common in split field safety coverages who play quarters and half concepts.

The walked up rush threats in the field A & B gap create a situation where all the OL are covered. The Center points out the threats and the tackle, guard, and center are working to the 3 threats to the field. The boundary guard and tackle are focused on the 2 DL threats. The guard and tackle try to pass the twist. There was no guarantee of help from the center resulting in the guard and tackle passing the twist as if they have no help. The twist reaction pulls the guard inside to the looping DE and the OT inside to the penetrating DT leaving the free runner from the Dime off the edge.

For the crowd out there talking about sim pressures being the newest trend on defense. This pressure is from the 2012 Jets coached by  Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Sim pressures may be gaining popularity but they aren't new. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Field Overload Firezone

Really interesting play during the Syracuse vs. NC State game this season. The Cuse are in a base 4-3 personnel running a field side firezone pressure.

The Rush:
End & Nose contain with the DT on a long stick to balance the pass rush. The inside blitzer (Mike) is working B gap to A gap path while the Sam is blitzing wide B.

The Coverage:
3 under 3 deep firezone coverage with pressed corners

The technique of the inside blitzer is critical to the success. By starting wide in the B gap and working to the A gap the blitz takes on a two through one gap effect.  The B to A path of the inside blitzer helps the timing of the pressure. By starting wider in the B gap the path allows the DT in a 3 technique the time and space to execute his long stick. The B to A gap path also creates confusion for the RB.

The Guard & RB end up in a really tough protection situation. The Guard has a B gap threat from the 3 tech DT. As the DT leaves a new B gap threat shows up from the inside blitzer. The guard reacts by blocking the inside blitzer and stays on as the blitzer crosses face to the A gap. The RB is initially looking inside out from ILB (Mike) to overhang (Sam). When the inside most threat (Mike) blitzes the RB aggressively steps up to make the pick up. End result is two blockers on the Mike leaving the Sam on a run through pressure affecting the QB. The little detail of the B to A path of the Mike had a huge effect.

Looking at the possible outcomes.

One way the offense could have picked it up is for the Guard to continue to set out and handle the wide B gap blitzer bypassing the Mike. This is how the RB tried to pick up the pressure. In reality this is possible but very difficult. The Guard set initially to the DT in the B gap. As the DT sticks inside there is an immediate pass rusher attacking the Guard. It is unlikely a Guard will ignore an immediate rush threat from the Mike to set to the Sam. Also there is the issue of the Guards vision. When the DT sticks the Guard's vision is directly in line to see the Mike. It's unlikely the Guard would have vision to the wide B gap rushing Sam. 

Alternatively and more likely is to have the RB to take the wider threat.

Here the Guard picks up the Mike. Now the challenge falls heavily on the RB. The issue starts pre-snap.

The picture for the RB has two primary blitz threats. The Mike is further inside making for a quicker threat to the QB. The RB priorities the inside threat first. When the Mike blitzes the RB wants to aggressively step up to make the block. Once he aggressively steps up it makes it difficult to redirect out to the Sam. The RB may be even more aggressive to get to the block due to the initial deep alignment in the pistol. The RB can't fight physics, object in motion stays in motion. The more aggressive the RB is toward the LOS the harder it is to redirect. The path of the blitzer also manipulates the eye's of the RB. The RB is looking at the Mike as the 1st threat. The Mike starts wide and redirects back in to the A gap. That path pulls the RB's eyes inside and away from the Sam. Two truths play out as a result: your feet go where your eyes take them and you cannot block what you don't see. 

This type of blitz sets up a Goldilocks situation for the RB. If the RB is aggressive to block the Mike inside, he can get caught up inside (as he did in the clip) and cannot react out to the Sam. If the RB is more under control allowing him to either block the Mike or redirect out to the Sam, he runs the risk of getting pass rushed deeper in the pocket. A RB in the lap of the QB can affect the QB just as much as a pass rusher. This forces the RB to use just the right amount of aggressiveness. 

This play is also interesting because of the route. NC State has a variation of a curl/flat combination. 

The route of the S receiver is an inside stem curl. The Seam dropping Safety is a Match-Carry-Deliver player. The question is should he carry (treat the S as a vertical) or deliver (treat the S as an inside route)? The Safety treated the S as a vertical threat (hips are more vertical than under) and carried the route. This forces the 3RH Will backer to get depth and width under the Z and eventually break on the Y. There is no doubt this route puts stress on the Will. This is a good reminder the pass rush co-exist and play off one another. You give up some part of coverage to get more pass rushers, the extra rush has to affect the QB. It's easy to for an offensive coach to draw up this route and say "easy completion" or a defensive coach to talk themselves out of firezone because of a stressful route. Who else is stressed out on this play? The RB with a tough pass protection task and the QB with a blitzer in his face. 

Good stuff from Syracuse and defensive coordinator Brian Ward. All the details of this blitz are executed to make it work even against a stressful route.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Book Club

Really interesting and easy read. The book is all about how and why attempts to make changes end up succeeding or failing. Change is hard individually and even harder in organizations. The book offers insights into how effective change happens. Definitely worth reading if you are trying to get changes made in your organization (team, school, family, etc). 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Covering Mesh Route in Man Coverage

Michigan is a 4-3 personnel.

The Rush:
DL is slanting with the LB rushing off the the edge.

The Coverage:
Cover 1 with LB manned on the RB adding to the rush in a green dog technique

The pass rush is pretty straight forward. The impressive part is the man coverage. The Safety and LB do a good job of getting on different levels. The LB is playing the hip aligned TE at 4 yards with outside leverage while the safety is at 6. The press alignment of the corners naturally puts them on different levels from the man coverage players on the inside receivers. Post-snap the LB plays the upfield arm of the deeper route in the mesh. The corner has the WR on the lower part of the mesh. This is a great example of undercutting a route to get to low hip position maintenance. By undercutting the route the Corner is out of danger of getting picked on the mesh. Great job of understanding the route and knowing the position maintenance of when to play high arm vs. undercutting to play low hip. Good stuff from Don Brown.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Overload Cover 2 Pressure

The Browns are in Nickel personnel with Rush LB bodies. The spacing is an odd front with both Rush LB's on the same side. 

The Rush:
4 man rush with the 2 DT's on long sticks. Off the edge the inside DB is up the field with the outside rusher working up an under.

The Coverage:
The pre-snap presentation is a 1 high middle of the field closed. Post snap the coverage rotates to a 5 under 2 deep with the weak side using an inverted cover 2 concept. The OLB is in the flat and the corner is in the deep 1/2.

The Browns present 8 possible rushers near the LOS pre-snap. Ultimately the rush is an overloaded 4 man pass rush with a 7 man drop. The pressure side 5 tech makes life difficult for the opposite guard. The guard is reacting to the nose looping to contain and sets outside first. Forcing an OL to set and redirect increases the degree of difficulty. Creative pressure design from Gregg Williams.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Developing a 2nd Plan

Going into a game there are always thoughts about who are the stronger/weaker offensive players in pass protection. That personnel scouting report informs the pass rush plan. How do we attack the weakest link? What calls get our best rusher on their weakest protector? But what do we do if the in game circumstances change?

What do we do if the opponent lost a player during the week of practice to injury and is forced to play a new starter? What if they lose a guy to injury in game?  What if a starter we planned on is no longer 100% (heavy ankle tape, limping, etc)? Also a personnel substitution may lead to a domino effect. The LG is out, their adjustment is the starting RG moving to LG making the RG the new player in the game. How do we attack the replacement player in these situations? Our answer is we game plan for it.

Every week we have a replacement personnel attack plan.

Just a simple section of the game plan sheet. The planning is a few calls to attack each position on drop back pass protection if the situation changes and we want to focus our attack on a new player. The bottom portion is other parts of the replacement plan.

New - The backups get fewer reps. The OL coach most likely got the subs ready for our most common pressures. Can we show the back up something new that he is less prepared for based on practice reps? These calls may not specifically attack the new guy but are designed to force communication and identification for the pass pro to something less familiar from practice reps. 

Sprint - Will the offense start moving the pocket to protect the QB?

Full slide - Will the offense go to a full slide to help the replacement player in protection?

Turn To - Will a half slide protection team turn (set the protection) to the new player. For example sliding to the RG if the RG is the new player?

Chip/Nudge - Tools the RB, TE, or other off the ball player can use to help an OL. The RB may look to help the new player in protection first before check releasing.

Max Pro - Will the offense go into a max protection plan and add RB/TE to sure up the protection?

Having ideas organized on the call sheet and planned out allows us to rep these calls in camp or through the week. In blitz period, 2 minute, team pass against the offense we won't be seeing our opponent's personnel. We can however use our replacement personnel plan calls to attack the 1st offense's Center or the 2nd offense's RT. Also being prepared for protection adjustments as a by product of personnel changes can help prevent us from making a mistake or at least help us have a plan to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Breaking Half Slide with Blitz Angles

Alabama is in a sub personnel Dime with OLB body types in the DE roles. 

The Rush:
5 man pressure with the boundary Rush LB going up the field and the Dime rushing on an angle through the Rush's heels.

The Coverage:
Cover 1

The defense has all 5 OL covered up. Previously this concept was covered in Breaking Half Slide Protection. The idea is simple, if all the OL are covered none of them are in the slide (zone) portion of the protection and all the OL end up manned up. Here the offense elected to keep the slide intact. Several problems resulted. The DT to the field got a clean run through on the RB. The guard is in a tough position. The protection says slide left and there is an A gap rush threat to slide toward. Even if the guard blocks the DT, the mugged up LB presents an A gap run through threat for the RB. The boundary guard attempts to provide help on the sticking DT for the Center who is sliding to the boundary. This is where the blitzer's angle comes into play. 

If the Dime simply blitzed the B gap, the protection can pick up the pressure pretty easily. The guard can post his inside foot and help with the DT while still setting to the new B gap rush threat from the Dime.

Instead the Rush is going hard up the field. This allows the Dime to run a straight line track off the Rush's heels directly to the QB.

The guard has a much tougher task. Just looking at the picture shows the challenge. With the OT setting up the field and the QB dropping in the pocket the angle for the guard becomes extreme. The picture illustrates the length of the guards pass set line is significantly increased. When the guard posts to help on the DT, the race with the Dime becomes almost impossible to win for an OL. 

Really nice execution from Alabama. Good stuff from former DC Tosh Lupoi and Coach Saban.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Tampa 2 Pressure

Green Bay is in a 4-2-5 nickel personnel with OLB body types at DE bluffing the double A gap blitz look.

The Rush:
Nickel and both DTs create a 3 man rush

The Coverage:
8 man drop Tampa 2 with both inside LBs in coverage. One LB drops into the deep hole while the other handles the low rat.

The Center turns in the protection to the strong side. The strong side DT occupies 3 blockers (OT, OG, & C). The long stick DT from the weak side ends up on a 1 on 1 vs. the weak side guard. The Nickel beats the OT with speed and pass rushes the RB. Great job by the only rusher with a 1 on 1 to win his match up. 

Really creative 3 man pass rush concept from Mike Pettine.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Quarters Pressure

Green Bay is in a 4-2-5 nickel personnel with OLB body types at DE.

The Rush:
Zero technique is attacking away from the rush pressuring A gap, B gap, and working to contain. The DT is a long stick and the Rush is off the edge. The LB is blitzing B gap. The effect is very much a 4 man version of America's blitz.

The Coverage:
The strong side is playing a trips 2 high coverage tool. The Nickel, Safety, and Rush are playing a 3 over 2 on the inside WR's. The Corner is locked on #1. Weak side the coverage is cover 2 tool with the ILB dropping weak side and the safety playing the deep 1/2. This coverage concept is common in 2 high split field coverage systems.

The RB was attempting to chip the Rush backer who went into a 3 point stance and presented a speed edge rush threat. The attempted chip allowed the Will to run through unblocked in the B gap. The impressive part of the design is the zero technique nose occupies 3 OL opposite the blitz. Even if the RB attempts to block the Will the defense creates three 1 on 1's. Forcing the protection to waste 3 OL on 1 DL and getting three 1 on 1's in a 4 man rush are exactly the outcomes the defense wanted to accomplish. All the while the defense can cover down with a 7 man drop 2 high coverage concept. 

Nice usage of a non-traditional 4 man rush to get great pressure by Mike Pettine.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Blitzology Book Club

It's almost summer and I know lots of coaches ramp up their reading with school break beginning. So I thought I'd start a book club. Just some books I like about football and other topics. I'm planning to add new books the 15th of every month.

Question: Time remaining in the game is :03. Your offense just scored a touchdown to take a 19-17 lead. What do you do on the PAT?

Question: You are trying to bleed the clock to win the game. Its 1st down with the clock temporarily stopped. The opponent has 2 TO's remaining. The time on the clock is :58. Run the ball or kneel? Do you need a 1st down to drain the clock?

Question: It's 1st and Goal :15 seconds remain in the first half. You have all 3 TO's. What can you (or the opponent's offense) call run/pass with those plays with the time available. Run the ball and immediately call TO, throw the ball to the end zone, and how many times in the :15 seconds?

These situation and many others are covered in this book.

It is the best book on football clock management out there. Really well done, easy to understand, and well organized. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Quarters Coverage Pressure

LSU is in a 4-2-5 spacing Nickel personnel with Rush LB body types at OLB.

The Rush:
Rush and Will working a twist weak while DT's slant to balance the pass rush.

The Coverage: 
1/4 1/4 1/2 with the Mike backer working to the weak hook. The field Rush LB takes over the 3 drop. 

The slant by the DL forces the Center to block the boundary DT. The outcome is a 2 vs 2 for the Rush and Will against the OG and OT to the boundary. The Will uses a really nice stutter and go to set up the timing of the twist and freeze the OT. By the time the twist happens the guard is already committed to the Rush in the B gap.

The utilization of so many athlete bodies allows LSU to threaten many players as either pass rushers or coverage players. This same stunt is common in 4-2-5/Nickel structured defenses. The presence of multiple dual threat players makes the call more effective than the traditional 4 down version. 

The biggest difference is the degree of difficulty for the OL in pass pro. Against a traditional 4 down spaced defense the Center is not threatened by the DT crossing his face. This allows the Center to sit and create the 3 on 2 to the boundary side. To the field the RB can check release providing a 3 vs 2 in protection and a late pass outlet in routes. 

Good stuff as always from Coach Aranda and great execution from the Tigers. LSU gets two athletic LB's on a twist, creates the picture for the QB of a blitz, and runs a classic 4 man rush 2 high defense. 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Double A Gap LB Twist Blitz

The Falcons walk up in a double A gap mug look with Nickel personnel using OLB bodies as the edge (DE) rush backers. The pressure is a variation of the classic double A gap ILB blitz.

The Rush: 
The Rush backers contain and the DTs are in the B gaps. All four are aligned wide. The DTs are wide 4i's to help force the guards to fan out and create more A gap space for the ILBs to operate. The ILB's twist in the A gaps. 

The Coverage:
Cover 1 Peel. With  6 man rush the rush has to peel with the RB if he releases into a route. The DBs to the bunch us a lock & level technique.

The Mike is aligned out over the guard while the Will is in the A gap to the RB. The alignment of the Mike forces the Center to set wide to make the block. The penetrating Will does a great job of stacking the Center before going vertical. The RB is in a bind in the protection. The Will never actually leaves his A gap but the looping Mike presents a new A gap threat. It is possible the Falcons called the twist and ran it as is based on protection game plan. The LB opposite the RB is the looper and aligns wider to influence the Center's pass set. It is also possible the ILB are using a read the center twist technique (Torch). The Rush backer to the RB does go depth and under. This could be a pass rusher reacting to being walled out of the rush by the DT getting up the field and looking for new space to pass rush. More likely this is the Rush backer playing a coverage technique to secure the RB on any interior release. Really good design from Dan Quinn. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Breaking Half Slide Protection

One tired and true plan to beat half slide protection is to cover up all the OL. Half slide is half slide (zone) and half man technique. The rules of half slide protection define which OL are sliding and those who are in man. Often the rule is the first uncovered OL starts the slide. If you cover all the OL up you naturally break the slide by forcing all the OL to be in man. Got them in man now what? Twisting pass rushers is one good way to attack OL in man protection. Virginia Tech is rushing 5 from an odd front dime personnel.

The Rush:
Ends contain
The LB's and Nose work a 3 man twist game

The Coverage:
Cover 1

The OL identifies the twist and works to pass it all off. Out of 5 games of 1 on 1 VT was expecting to win at least one. In this case both the ILBs in the pressure use speed and athleticism to win their match-ups. Good stuff from Bud Foster and the Hokies. This pressure is very similar to a pressure Georgia ran which was featured previously. 

This pressure shows up on film for many defenses. This type of concept also shows up in the '85 Bears playbook from Buddy Ryan. 

Buddy Ryan was building bear front concepts in multiple ways. Out of the 4-3, blitz the Mike and twist with the two DTs and you have the same bear front stunt. Virginia Tech was instead using two ILBs and a Nose to build the Bear front. This blitz concept isn't new but it is still highly effective.