Wednesday, July 8, 2020

1 Rat Pressure vs. Empty

The Broncos are in a sub Nickel package 4-2-5 spacing with OLB bodies at DE.

The Rush:
DL slanting weak with the pressure side Rush LB working up & under pass rush. The Nickel is pressuring off the strong side edge.

The Coverage:
Cover 1 Rat with the weak side Rush LB dropping to be the rat in the hole

The pre-snap picture shows both ILB's walked out and a 2 high safety shell. With the RB aligned outside the picture looks like it will not be man to man coverage. A LB didn't go out wide as the man player on the RB which implies split field safety coverage. 

The OL is in a half slide to the weak side. With only the 5 OL in the protection the OL must decide who/what looks are the most dangerous. The 5 OL have to set to the biggest threat. The pre-snap picture of 2 high safety coverage with ILBs removed from the box, the likely pass rush is a 4 man rush with possible pass rush twists from the 4 threats on the LOS. If the slide went to the field the weak side OG and OT would be man to man on the 3tech DT and Rush backer. By sliding weak instead the OL can more easily handle weak side DL pass rush twists. If the DL is going to run a DL twist game against a weak side slide the best place to attack is on a twist game to the man side. This means the DL would need to use the strong A gap DT in the twist game. The protection is doing a threat assessment and the 330LB Nose is a lower threat in the twist game vs. the weak side threats. This protection gave the OL a good look vs. a 4 down pass rush with possible DL pass rush twists which is the most likely post-snap threats.

The Nickel as the 4th rusher is unexpected from the pre-snap presentation. The OL is not accounting for the Nickel in this protection. An extra rusher from the man side of the protection is the responsibility of the QB to get the ball out quick/hot off the unblocked rusher. Why doesn't the QB see the pressure?

The pre-snap look shows the defense has 4 over 3 strong side and 3 over 2 weak side. Two elements bring the QB's eyes weak. One is the pre-snap look of a  match-up of an ILB vs. a TE. The other is post-snap safety rotation. When the Safety rotates to the post it brings the QB's eyes weak. The rotation made the 3 over 2 weak into a 2 vs. 2 weak. The TE/LB match-up and coverage rotation makes that the side to throw against. The protection needs the QB to account for the extra rusher strong. The coverage look makes the QB want to throw routes opposite the hot throw pressure threat. 

The Nickel ends up on the unblocked run because the QB had him in the protection and didn't see him because the coverage drew his eyes opposite the pressure.

Nice empty formation pressure design from Ed Donatell and Vic Fangio. 

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