Friday, July 31, 2020

Overloading the RB with 2 Under 3 Deep Pressure

Clemson is in a Nickel personnel on 2nd & 7.

The Rush:
Pressure side DE stems down to a 4i. The full line is slanting away from the pressure with the ILB and Safety pressuring off the edge. The ILB is first going up the field and wide, while the Safety is outside and going through the heel line of the up field ILB. The path gives the Safety a straight line run on the QB.

The Coverage:
2 Under 3 Deep

The usage of the stem down by the DL is a huge factor in allowing the overload of the RB.

If the defense has aligned the DE is a 4i initially the OL may have declared the protection accounting for the defense like a odd front spacing. 

The Guards and Tackles could work a fan/fan concept with the Center on the Nose. This would allow the protection to pick up the pressure.

The strong side OG/OT would handled by the DE/DT. The Center would lock the Nose. The OG would set the pressure side 4i and travel back with him as he tries to cross face. The OT would pick up the first edge threat from the ILB while the RB would pick up the 2nd threat from the Safety. This would allow the QB time to hold the ball and give routes a chance to get open vs. the 2 under 3 deep. There is no doubt a 2 under 3 deep coverage wants the ball out fast to prevent the routes from finding the open space in the coverage concept.

The DE's alignment however wasn't initially in a 4i, he stems down to the 4i alignment.

The 5 technique DE gets the OL into a half slide protection. The OG is uncovered starting the slide putting the OT manned on the DE. The RB is responsible for the either the ILB or Safety blocking inside out. If both blitz the QB has to handle the 2nd free rusher with a hot throw. The RB wants to block the most inside threat.

When the DE stems down during the cadence it is too late for the OL to get into a fan/fan concept. The OT stays manned on the now 4i aligned DE. This functionally turns the protection into full slide with the whole OL setting away from the pressure. One tried and true pressure plan against full slide is to get 2 rushers off the edge vs. the RB. That is exactly what this concept creates. The bonus is the pressure path.

The ILB and Safety present spacing off the edge with the ILB first and inside and the Safety second and outside. The spacing appears to the RB that the ILB is the most inside threat. The RB aggressively commits to blocking the first threat. When the Safety goes through the heel line of the ILB it creates an efficient straight line run on the QB. The RB has difficult pick up against this look to ID the Safety as the most inside rusher. The RB is already committed to the ILB leaving the inside most rusher free.

The QB is forced to get the ball out fast with immediate pressure in his face. The QB is forced to throw at a pressed up X receiver before the route has time to develop. The QB also had no time to work back to the route combination to the strong side.

Nice pressure design from Brent Venables. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Middle Overload Zone Under Man Pressure

Clemson is in even front spacing Nickel personnel with OLB bodies at DE on 3rd 7. The pressure is a middle triple overload pressure concept.

The Rush:
DTs working through the B gaps to contain, ILBs through the A, and the Safety as the third rusher inside running down the midline

The Coverage:
Zone under Man. This coverage has be covered before on the site with examples from Bill Belichick's coaching tree. 

The middle overload forces the OL to account for the two Rush LBs who are dropping, the two DTs who end up occupying the Guards as they work to contain. The remaining protection is the Center and RB for the two A gap ILBs. When the Safety adds as the triple overload there is no blocker to account for him.

The coverage concept allows the defense to account for four verticals with four defenders over the threats like cover zero. The disguise of post defense is excellent with the post aligned Safety holding the disguise before playing coverage weak. The weak side uses a man combo technique with the Corner handling #2 out when #1 and #2 switch. The combo protects the Safety disguising from the MOF from being quickly out leveraged by #2 on an  immediate out breaking route. The two low players provide inside zone presence in the seams helping deny hot routes and control crossers. The drop LBs are also able to get eyes back to the backfield for the RB releasing, break on the QB's throw, or rally to a QB scramble.

Nice overload design and coverage concept from the Tigers and Brent Venables.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Odd Front CrossFire Pressure

The 2015 Eagles are running in an odd front spaced Nickel personnel vs. 11 personnel.

The Rush:
3 technique looping to contain, Nose & DE slanting away from the pressure. The Mike is 1st in the A gap with the Will wrapping 2nd over the top to the opposite B gap.

The Coverage:
3 under 3 Deep Fire Zone with a Safety as the 3RH drop

Several nice elements to the run pressure. The stem down to a 3 technique influences the OT. The OT hesitates when the 3tech loops out across his face creating time & space for the wrapping Will on the cross fire. The Nose, DE, and OLB do a nice job building a wall on the front side of the zone forcing the wind back into the pressure and drop in Safety.

Nice pressure from former Eagles Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Attacking Odd Front Cover 1 with Long Trap

The Bills are in 11 personnel on 1st & 10 against an odd front 3-4 spaced Nickel personnel.

The Patriots have a DB body in the box with an ILB hybridized on the LOS as an OLB. The play starts with motion. By running the outside receiver across the formation the Bills confirm a pre-snap Cover 1 look. 

New England is in a odd front 5 man double edge pressure concept. The down Safety and Mike LB are sharing the Y off and RB in man coverage.

The Bills are running a long trap.

The playside WR is able to run off the man coverage DB. The PST/TE work a combo on the DE working to the backside ILB who in this case is a down Safety. The PSG/Center stick a double team on the Nose. The BSG is the trap puller on the edge rushing 9 technique. The BSG is working a B gap check.

The combo by the PST and TE is impressive. On first look it is easy to say the Mike is wrong. On the play he is unblocked and the ball hits downhill at his initial alignment. That is the impressive part of the nuance of the play design from Buffalo. 

The man coverage technique by the box players is the key factor.

When the Y blocks his side the two box players work in tandem. The Mike pulls over the top to fit the extra gap created by the Y's block, the Mike also has the Y in any route in man coverage. The Safety pulls to fit the A gap the Nose isn't fitting and has the RB in man. 

When the Y blocks across the formation the Safety pulls over the top to fit the extra gap and has the Y in man coverage.The Mike fills the A gap the Nose isn't playing and accounts for the RB in man coverage.

The brilliance of the trap design is it puts the fit rules into conflict. The Mike pulls over the top of the Y's playside block to fit the extra gap it creates. The block of the TE influences the Mike out of the play. The PSG/Center double team sticks to create maximum movement on the Nose. The PST/TE combo opens the running lane and cuts the DE off from making the play. When the down Safety pulls across to fit the A gap he gets a face full of the PST coming off the combo. The RB path is tight to the midline keeping him as far from possible from the Mike and playside DE preventing either defender from falling back in to make the tackle. The Patriots play Cover 1 frequently, understanding both the likely defense and the run fit rules helped Buffalo create an explosive run off of the trap scheme. 

Nice design from Brian Daboll.

Middle Overload Cover Zero Blitz

The Patriots are in an Odd front Dime personnel with OLB bodies as the DE's on 3rd 15.  Using the ILBs mugged up in the B gaps creates a pseudo-bear front spacing.

The Rush: 7 man overload concept with the Nose playing through the Center, the Rush LBs off the edges, the ILBs in the B gaps, and both Safeties in the A gaps.

The Coverage: Off Man Cover Zero with the pass rush accounting for the RB. The Dime is playing a choke technique on the TE. Choke is a term for inside press on a TE putting the defender in the C gap. 

The blocking does not have the numbers to block the blitz leaving the play side A gap Safety unblocked. This same pressure would have similarly overloaded a pass protection scheme. The off-man coverage makes all quick throws be caught underneath short of the line to gain while denying deep routes with alignement. 

The choke Dime & Rush backer do a nice job using a latch technique. This is a common principle in bear front structures.

If the TE blocks the C gap choke Dime in either a run scheme or pass pro the edge rush remains unblocked while the Dime provides C gap body presence.

If the TE releases the Dime plays his man responsibility.

If the TE blocks out on the Rush, the Rush will latch him. The Rush takes over the TE in man coverage working to maintain outside leverage. The choke Dime rushes the C gap. This technique is useful to prevent the 2 for 1. If the Dime widens to play man on the TE when the TE blocks out on the edge rusher the offense is widening the C gap and occupying both the choke player and edge rusher with one blocker. Using the latch concept allows the defense to prevent this stress situation.

Good stuff from Bill Belichick and New England. 

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Cover Zero Man Blitz

The Patriots are in Nickel personnel dialing up cover zero man coverage blitz concept on 2nd 6. The Nickel personnel uses OLB bodies as DE. The front spaces as an odd instead of the expected even front spacing.

The expected spacing of this type of Nickel front is an even front, something like this over front spacting diagram. The Patriots instead space as an odd front with the ILBs bumped strong. The spacing is similar to a 3-3 defense with both stack LB's walked up on edges.

The Rush:
Both edges have the 5 technique aligned rushers working outside to contain with the edge aligned rusher going Up & Under. The DT aligned at Nose is working weak with the blitzing ILB working strong to attack both A gaps. 

The Coverage:
Cover Zero with Corners over. The DB's lock & level the bunch. The coverage is disguised as Cover 1. The down Safety appears to be the man coverage player on the TE with the deep Safety in the post. The coverage assignment puts the down Safety on the RB with the deep Safety handling the TE.

The offense is in a 5 man chip protection. The RB is virtually free releasing only giving a quick chip on 53 off the edge before entering his route. The defense is rushing 6 vs. a 5 man protection creating the run through for the +1 rusher. The coverage disguise shows Cover 1 which indicates likely a max 5 man rush. The QB is responsible for the unblocked rusher with a hot throw. The Patriots may have planned this type of pressure knowing the QB is a backup in week 3 of the season and making his first career NFL start. This pressure forces an inexperienced QB to handle the free rusher and throw hot under immediate interior free rush pressure.

The pressure design helps make the run through happen efficiently.

The 4 most likely rushers in the defensive personnel grouping are the 2 Rush LBs & 2 DTs. The OL turned the protection to the most likely threats. The strong side B gap blitzing LB was the responsibility of the QB.

If the offense chose to treat the front like odd and instead used a Fan/Fan protection pushing the Guards & Tackles out to the outside rush threats the unblocked rusher would have been in the A gap.

The pressure is a nice design vs. either of the most likely 5 man protection schemes.

Good pressure design from Bill Belichick.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

5 Up Cover 1 Twist Pressure

The Patriots are in a Dime personnel with OLB bodies at DE on 3rd 14 vs. 11 personnel.

The Rush:
Strong side 3 man twist game with the DT & Mike working out while the Rush is up & under to the midline pass rush lane. Weak side it is a 2 man twist game with the DT penetrating while the Rush LB engages the Guard before looping to contain.

The Coverage:
Cover 1

The 5 up alignment by the defense puts the OL into man protection rules create 5 games of 1 on 1. Weak side the DT and Rush job swap allowing the bigger more powerful DT to be the penetrator while the faster more agile Rush LB is the looper to contain. Both looping Rush LB do a nice job timing their stunts attacking up the field before wrapping tight off the penetrating rushers working up the field. All 5 pass rushers continue to get vertical push of the pocket while exchanging rush lanes laterally. The Dime personnel allows the defense to match up with DB's across the board including the TE and RB.

Nice pressure design from New England and Bill Belichick. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Exotic Split Field Coverage Corner Sim Pressure

Navy is in a sub 2-2-7 personnel on 3rd 11 vs 10 personnel.

The Rush:
4 man rush with the Rush LB and Dime as contain. The Corner is on a low track running through the heel line of the Dime going up the field creating a straight line run on the QB. The DE is up & under to the opposite inside pass rush lane to balance the pass rush.

The Coverage:
Strong side Quarters concept with a weak side roll down halves coverage concept. Nice usage of the Safety down in the flat to replace the Corner with the extra Safety popping the top to the weak side deep 1/2. The Nose is dropping off to spy.

The threat of strong/field side pressure attracts the attention of the OL. The pass pro is a 1/2 slide concept setting to the strong/field side. The weak side Guard is in the slide leaving the weak side OT man on the DE. The defense rushing 3 outside the OT overloads the protection weak. The DE occupies the OT initially before being passed off to the slide side as he rushes inside. The issues created for the OT are the timing the angle and speed of the Corner. Both make it very difficult for the OT to pass the DE and still be able to set and pick up the Corner. The Corner is wide, fast, on a straight line run to the QB, and outside the OT's vision all which increase the degree of difficulty for the protection. The result is the 2 on 1 overload of the RB.

Nice design by Defensive Coordinator Brian Newberry to present overload strong, actually overload weak, all while disguising the coverage concept.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Spread Run to Attack a 7 Man Box

The Patriots are in an 11 personnel Y flex formation on 1st and 10 against the Chiefs in a even front Cover 1 from Dime personnel.

The motion brings the 7th defender into the box going from a 4 out formation to a Y in the core alignment. 

New England is running a split zone run scheme. The RB's path is aiming to the backside inside leg of the Center and he is reading the Mike Backer.

1 high concept has two basic choices to fit this play.

The first run fit is to use the 3 box defenders (Dime, Mike, Nickel)  as a 3 man funnel. It is a 3 vs. 2 concept on the Y and T. When the Y cuts across the formation it pulls all 3 defenders into their fits. The Dime pulls over the top and plays the extra gap created by the Y as well as taking the Y in man coverage. The Mike pulls to the opposite A gap and the Nickel pulls into the open B gap. The RB is reading the Mike. When the Mike pulls back to the backside A gap the RB jumps the ball playside to the B gap. The crack block of the X from a compressed split is there to handle the Nickel and hopefully occupy the Corner. The Corner is forced to come off his man responsibility late to make a tackle on a full speed RB.

The second fit for the defense is to fill the open A and B gap with the Dime and Mike. This requires the Nickel to pull all the way over the formation with the Y. The Nickel has the Y man to man and needs to fit the extra gap created by his block. The RB is reading the Mike. If the Mike stays playside the RB works A gap to cut back. The stress falls on the Nickel to get over the top and make the tackle on a full speed RB hitting the cut back off the backside of the zone blocking.

The motion creates confusion on the fit. The Nickel is trying to pull all the way over the top like run fit number 2 but the LB looks like he is thinking they are going to play it like a funnel. The Dime also looks like he is filling the open A gap again showing fit number 2. The RB reads the Mike the Mike appears to be playing over the top of the double to the backside so the RB jumps the ball frontside. With the Mike late to the B gap the result is a reach and grab tackle on a full speed RB. The crack block sucks the Corner in and blocks the Nickel making the Corner is late to get involved. 

The plan of showing a 4 out formation and motioning back into Y in the core is a something I think more teams will use to attack defenses. With more teams playing Dime personnels, 3 high safeties, etc. offenses will look to attack those schemes with concepts that show spread then force DB bodies to play into box run fits. Zone schemes reading the Mike aren't new. They may gain more popularity as teams look to attack defenses that rock back the fit with a LB vs. spread sets. The LB is trying to be in two fits at once, the read of the RB is trying the make the LB wrong either way.

Nice design from Josh McDaniels and the Patriots.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Rotated Cover 2 Run Pressure

Navy in a 3-4 personnel odd front spaced running an America's blitz variation.

The Rush:
DL slanting away from the pressure with the OLB on a low track spill course and the ILB scraping over the top

The Coverage:
4 under 2 Deep Firezone Concept

Interesting coverage rotation using the weak side Safety to rotate to the strong side hook. The pressure is able to bounce the ball to the unblocked scrape ILB back stopped by the hook Safety inserting behind the pressure. The perimeter blocking isn't accounting for the back side safety in the play side alley. 

Nice 4 under 2 deep concept from Navy Defensive Coordinator Brian Newberry. 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Taking A Shot with Play Action Climb

Here is a play action shot play concept.

The progression is:
1 Post
2 Climb
3 Pearl (Stem Post Curl)

The QB will peek the post if it is there he can take a shot. The likely outcome is the deep coverage is running with the post. The post takes the top off for the climb route. The climb is a under Sam over Mike type of route, starting as an under route and gaining depth once the route is in the core. If the Climb route is covered the QB can work back to the Pearl route.

Against 3 weak coverage: 

The post holds the Corner and Safety while the Climb is able to get too much depth for the C-F dropper to recover off the play action fake.

A 2nd example against 3 Strong coverage:

Again the post holds the Corner and Safety. The weak C-F and Hook player are reacting to the play fake and have difficulty gaining depth to the Climb route.

Against a Quarter Quarter Half Coverage:

The Strong side Quarter Safety is convinced by the initial under route release of the Climb the route is an under. If the Safety had stayed on the Climb the QB would work to the 3rd read and take the Pearl route. On the back side the Safety is on the Post while the Hook dropping LB is reacting to the play fake again allowing the Climb into open space. 

Against an aggressive Quarters Safety.

The weak side safety is very aggressive. The Climb sells the strong side Safety on running the under route climbing late to gain depth over the aggressive weak side safety. If the strong side Safety matched the Climb the QB could work to the 3rd read on the Pearl route.

Good stuff from former Florida Tech Offensive Coordinator Jayson Martin.

Odd Front Sim Run Pressure

The 2014 are in a odd front spaced 3-4 personnel.

The Rush:
DE's are in a 2 gap technique, Nose slants away from the A gap pressure ILB 

The Coverage:

The non-pressure ILB deepens and zeros up allow him to play C gap to C gap. The pressure in front of him cancels the gaps and provides protection. The A gap pressure dents the back side of the play helping disrupt the 2nd puller in the counter scheme. The 2 gap DE is able to throw over the top of the B gap cutoff block of the OT allowing him to get involved in the play front side. The non-pressure ILB is unaccounted for by the blocking scheme with the 2nd puller unable to roll the hole.

A 2nd example of the same concept. This time the coverage is a flooded cover 3 vs. a 3x1. 

The pressure gets a play side run through allowing the LB to chase the play. On the edge the scheme cannot account for the roll down Safety. The TE blocks the force playing Nickel. The roll down Safety is in the alley inside force, unblocked at the point of attack. 

Nice sim pressure concepts from former Eagles Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis. 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Combining Open Edge Pressure & Twist to Attack the Run

The 2014 Eagles bringing 5 man pressure vs. slot set I formation run. Philly is in 3-4 personnel.

The Rush: 
The Sam is stemming down to get to an inside pressure path with the Mike scrape blitzing outside. The interior DL is working a twist with the Nose penetrating and the End wrapping over the top.

The Coverage: 
3 Under 3 Deep Fire Zone

The scrape blitzing Mike does a good job being violent on the lead block of the FB. The stem down pressure from the Sam plus the interior twist helps the Will get over the top of the OL's blocks to get involved at the point of attack. 

The Eagles ran it again against the same formational look. 

The stem down technique from the OLB makes the cutoff block of the OT very difficult. The interior twist does a good job getting the wrapping DE involved on TE side run schemes. 

The stem down pressure technique is a great way to disguise the pressure and allow the OLB to cheat to his work. The stem down also creates a psuedo-bear front effect, while not a true 3-0-3 spacing inside the pressure shares many qualities with a bear front. 

More good scheme from former Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis. 

Attacking 2 Read with Y Cross

The Y cross concept is a staple of offenses across the country showing up in the West Coast, Air Raid, and many other offensive systems. Here is an example from Florida Tech.

The flash fake helps hold the underneath defenders. Strong side the flat/fade combination forces the Corner in a 2 read to roll up in the flat. The Safety has to get over the top of 1 clearing out space for the back side cross. If the Safety doesn't get over the top of 1, the QB can take the hole shot down the sideline. Next in the progression is the cross from the back side and finally the post. If the back side Safety hangs on 2 vertical  the cross comes open over the top of the LBs and into the space cleared out by pulling the Safety over the top of 1's fade to the front side. The switch action on the backside puts the back side coverage in a bind. 

If the Safety tries to come off 2's post and take the cross the post has excellent inside leverage on the Corner. 

Great version of the Y cross play from former Florida Tech Offensive Coordinator Jayson Martin.