Thursday, February 6, 2020

Counter Reverse

Interesting reverse off the counter run play out of 12 personnel from San Francisco. The formation starts as a I formation structure with a TE in the FB role. Following multiple motions the formation is a 3x1 bunch spacing.

The pull and reverse action by the TE is a neat way to sell the counter and affect the defense. The timing also works out well with the crack and wrap perimeter blocking scheme. Good design from the Niner and Kyle Shanahan.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Disguising Coverage to Attack RPO

The Chiefs are in a 4-2-5 nickel personnel. The initial formation is 2x2 with KC showing a low safety weak side indicating a 1 high coverage either a cover 3 variant or Cover 1.

When the motion takes the formation to 3x1 there is no man coverage adjustment. The LB's bump and the weak safety walks into the box. The offense has a clear indication the defense is in a version of cover 3 weak. 

The Chiefs rolled down the weak safety into the box building a 6 vs. 5 box advantage for the defense. Based on that look the run is into an unfavorable look and the ball should go to the screen. 

SF is expecting the Corner to the screen to be slower to secure any screen go as the deep 1/3 player. That leaves 2 blockers including a TE for two low defenders (Nickel & Mike). The numbers say to throw the screen until KC changes the math post-snap with a cover 2 concept.

The weak side safety pops the top to play the half while the post safety rotates to the strong half. To the bunch the defense is able to aggressively trigger the corner as force. Even if the corner had not made a great play the defense now has 3 low defenders for two blockers.

Great execution from the Chiefs to create a TFL on the screen. The plan here from Steve Spagnuolo and the understanding by the Chiefs players is great stuff. KC manipulated the looks with pre-snap disguise to force the ball to the screen and changed the math post-snap to kill the play off. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

Corner Pressures to attack Run and Pass

Here are two cover 3 fire zone corner pressures from Louisiana Lafayette. Both are 1st & 10 calls from 3-4 personnel.

The Rush:
DL slanting strong from an odd front spacing bringing both the TE side OLB and Corner

The Coverage:
3 Under 3 Deep Fire Zone 

The edge pressure does a good job of building a wall forcing the RB to wind back into the DL movement and a loaded box. When the TE blocks the Safety inserts into the box creating a 7 on 6 advantage for the defense. The outside slant by the strong DE creates a give read for the QB making the ball run into the defense's plus one. 

The alignment of the ILB walked out to the three receiver side helps deter any RPO throws to the strong side. The walked ILB has no gap fit and is free from being in a run/pass conflict.

The second example is again 3-4 personnel, this time spaced like a even front.

The Rush:
The weak side DE and DT are running a twist game while the Nose slants strong and the Corner pressures off the edge.

The Coverage:
3 Under 3 Deep Fire Zone

The offense is in a 5 man play action protection with a pulling guard. As with any 5 man protection the OL is looking to ID and block the 5 most dangerous rushers. The Corner typically does not qualify as a most dangerous rusher and here the Corner holds the pressure and doesn't tip off the OL pre-snap. With the Guard pulling strong the Center and OT are 2 for 2 on the weak side twist game. The result is the OT works inside to collect the twist leaving the Corner off the edge unblocked. This pressure also speeds up the timing of play action pass. The play fake is designed to manipulate reads on defense. The manipulation is much less effective against blitzing defenders. Blitzers are not reading run fit vs. coverage. The blitzer is in the charge regardless and reading on the move to play the run or pass rush. 

Again the width of the ILB walked out of the box deters strong side RPO with the LB removed from a box run fit or run/pass conflict. The box is still advantaged 6 on 5 for the defense. If the ball was handed to the RB into the box the defense would again be in a favorable situation making this a versatile regular down and distance call.

Good execution from the Ragin' Cajuns. Really nice usage of corner pressure from former Louisiana and new Baylor defensive coordinator Ron Robert.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

2 Under 3 Deep Double A Gap Blitz

The Colts are in a dime personnel on 3rd & 10.

The Rush:
The DL is in wide alignment DE's and double 3 techniques. The Dime and Down Safety are the double A gap rushers. 

The Coverage:
2 under 3 deep with the Mike and Nickel in the underneath hot drops

The mugged up Mike LB on the Center creates a bear front spacing. With all 5 OL covered the pass protection is forced into being manned up with the 5 immediate rush threats.

With the OL all covered any blitz threat from off the LOS belongs to the RB. The RB is threatened with a blitzer on his side of the protection which keeps the RB's eyes and block on the weak side. The Center's pass set and eyes are occupied by the mugged up Mike. When the Mike drops weak the Center's set and eyes work weak to the blitzing down safety. The initial presentation in combination with the drop out LB occupy the Center and RB to the weak side allowing the Dime to run through in the strong side A gap. 

The Dime's pre-snap alignment and demeanor suggest he is going to cover the #3 receiver. The Dime even has a subtle outside tilt to the #3. The pre-snap off coverage alignment of the weak side Corner suggests access in the passing game against the Corner. As the post-snap pressure shows the QB looks to throw to the weak side access throw against the Corner 1 on 1. The coverage strong is very light here. The Nickel in the strong hot drop is stressed with threats from both the #2 and #3 receivers. The post safety can potentially drive down on the #3 late. 

The pre-snap presentation and pressure encourage the QB to throw to the X receiver in expected isolation. The QB is forced to process quickly against the run through unblocked A gap blitzer. Really interesting manipulation of the offense and QB here. The throw ultimately goes into a double coverage.

Interesting usage of 2 under 3 deep coverage and great execution by the Colts and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.