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.


  1. The initial steps vertical by the 3-tech are huge to make the guard late to the dime... Been my biggest takeaway about pressures this offseason

  2. Nice. Thanks for pointing that out. Keeps that Guard occupied just long enough for that Dime to punch through.