Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Pressure vs. Empty

Here is a well designed pressure from LSU vs. an empty formation from Alabama.

Alabama goes 00 personnel and LSU matches with a multiple DB sub package on 3rd & 6.

There is only one DL body on the field but the front is a very traditional 4 down alignment with two 3 techniques and two A gap mugged up rushers. The difference is 5 of the players at the LOS are in 2 point stances. The presentation is a 6 man blitz with 1 DL, 3 LB and 7 DB bodies on the field

The Rush:
The 3 techniques convert from B gap to contain rushers and both A gap rushers are in the pressure. Both of the aligned edge rushers drop to coverage. End result is a basic four man pass rush concept.

The Coverage:
Split field coverage concept with a four over three coverage tool to the field and three over two coverage tool to the boundary. 

This structure allows LSU to rush 4 and drop 7 using a traditional 4 down pass rush and split field quarters coverage on the back end all while creating a run through in an A gap. By using sub personnel the Tigers are able to get skilled players into the coverage drops and still generate a pass rush. For the "Well Bama/the OL should have just...." crowd. The OL is in a big time bind here. They have to block most dangerous as there are only 5 OL for 6 pass rush threats. "Protect inside first...."  sounds like a good strategy until you consider personnel. If the OL slides the protection leaving an edge rusher free the inside rush would in principle be blocked. In that situation the OL would also be freeing up either #3 (currently leads LSU in sacks) or #18 (4th currently on LSU in sacks) off of one of the edges. The OL doesn't know if one, both, or neither of the edge guys will drop. Which is the bigger threat: A gap mugged DB or a top sack guy off the edge? Good design and usage of personnel from Coach Aranda and great execution from the LSU defense.


  1. Why on sim pressure are the ILBs always in A gaps. It seems to me, if you put them in B gaps, they would be closers to their pass coverage. What do you thinks about putting ILBs in B gaps and a D-Line type in A gaps?

  2. The double A gap mug is a popular look so naturally several simulated pressures are popular building off of that structure. I agree the LB's in the B gap can be a good way to create different pressure concepts and help those guys get to their work if they are zone drop out players.