Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Ravens Overload Firezone Pressure

Here are two examples of 4 from a side overload firezone pressures the Baltimore Ravens dialed up this season.

Baltimore is in a 2-3-6 Dime personnel grouping. The DE's are OLB bodies diagrammed here as Rush Backers (R).

The Rush:
Nickel - Edge
Rush Backer & DT - Inside moves
Mike - Cross the Center
DT - B gap to Contain weak

The Coverage:
3 under 3 deep firezone coverage

Three elements that help this pressure succeed:

1. The Nickel is uncapped. There is no player aligned directly over the Nickel. This signals to the pass protection the Nickel cannot blitz. No capper = no one to cover the #2 receiver and replace the Nickel in coverage

2. The Rush backers are both potential droppers. The potential the Rush backers could drop helps protect the trips side. The #3 receiver is not uncovered. The Rush is possibly the 3 dropper to the trips side.

3. The Safety bluffing weak signals 4 rushers weak when the pressure is actually 4 from the strong side. The safety alignment also further signals the Nickel is not in the pressure.

The protection is in a tough spot. The structure is 3&3. The OT OG C working strong and the OT OG RB working weak. Any 4 from a side overloads the protection and requires a hot throw. The Center cannot let the Mike cross without traveling back (cannot let the Mike be the 4th rusher weak). That leaves a 3 on 2 vs. the pressure side OG and OT. The uncapped Nickel prevents the strong side hot concept from entering the QB's mind set. The pre-snap presentation says the weak side might have 4 rushers. When the weak side Safety runs out to the post the the 4 weak hot threat is gone (QB thinks there will be time & protection) only to have a strong hot throw situation post-snap. Everything happens so quickly before the snap it is difficult for the offense to make any protection adjustments.

The Ravens used a similar concept later in the season.

The Rush:
Nickel - Edge
Mike & DT - Up the field
Rush Backer - Loop opposite A
DT - B gap to Contain weak

The Coverage:
3 under 3 deep firezone coverage again with the weak side safety presenting pressure weak and rolling the coverage late.

The effect is another 4 strong rush. The look on film is the Chiefs may have adjusted the protection pre-snap to account for the pressure threat weak. The result is again a 3&3 protection. A possible protection check makes sense to put the OT OG C working weak to block the pressure threat. The protection sends the RB strong with the OG and OT. The issue is the protection ends up with 3 blockers on the weak DT (3 on 1 is a defensive win). The RB is forced to pick up the Mike in the A gap. The penetration of the Mike makes the OG's job to block the looping Rush almost impossible. 

Quality pressure designs from the Raven defense to overload the protection.

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