Sunday, August 2, 2020

A Gap ILB rush Technique vs. Empty

The Colts are in a Dime personnel on 3rd 7 against an 02 personnel empty set.

The initial formation is 3 receivers strong and both TE's weak. The Colts match up with Corners on the WR and Safety/Dime on the the TE's. Following the motion the Titans built a one back set with a TE in the backfield.

The Rush:
Four down DL in their rush lanes. Mike stacking the weak side DT and bursting to the midline rush lane late.

The Coverage:
Cover 1

The pressure is a very simple 5 man rush concept the brilliance is in the nuance that made it successful. The offense is in an empty 5 man protection concept before they motion the TE in to the backfield. The protection stays in a 5 man scat concept with the backfield aligned TE free releasing in to a route. The 5 OL have to set to the 5 most dangerous threats.

The Nuance:
The weak side DT is in a much heavier 3 tech compared to the strong side DT. Strong side the 3 technique is a wide tilt alignment.

The Mike LB is stacked on the weak side 3 tech not aligned in the middle of the formation.

The Mike's alignment makes him a bigger weak side pressure threat influencing the set of the Center to the weak side. 

When the Dime motions into the box he shows as a weak side pressure threat before getting depth. This is very well done. It adds to the pre-snap thinking for the OL. When the Dime shows up you can see the Guard talking to the Center alerting the potential extra threat now in the box. The Dime's pressure bluff alignment further influences the Center's set weak. The Dime does a great job of deepening his alignment late to avoid a pick with the cut split Y outside of him when the backfield aligned TE runs the swing route. 

The DT's alignment, Mike's alignment, and Dime's presence all force the Center & Guard into a vise set on the 3 technique. Vise means one pass set inside and one outside. In this case the Guard would set the outside half of the 3 tech DT and the Center would set the inside half of the 3 tech. If no extra rushers come the weak side 3 tech gets a double from the Guard and Center. Against pressure looks:

If the 3 tech works wide the Guard can keep setting on the DT while the Center is now freed up and can come out of the vise to take over the Mike on an A gap pressure.

If the 3 tech works inside the Guard can come out of the vise and stay outside for the Mike (or Dime) in the B gap with the Center taking over the inside rusher.

The DT's alignment and the Mike's technique on the pressure makes the pick up significantly more difficult.

The DT is in a position to attack the middle of the vise pass set without committing inside our outside. The Mike stacks the 3 tech. The 3 technique stays down the middle of the vise of the Center and Guard. The OL is expecting an inside and an outside rusher but neither the DT or the LB commit to being inside or outside. Ultimately the protection gets two inside threats.  The Mike waits for the Center to commit to the DT. Once he does the Mike bursts to the midline on a clean run through. Once the Center is committed to the DT making it very difficult to see the Mike or come off to pick him up. 

IF the Center had come off the DT two things would have happened:

1. The Center would have had a brutally difficult redirect pass set on the full speed Mike. Can't fight physics, it is hard to overcome the momentum of being an OL setting one way, blocking a DT with force, then redirecting with the speed and force necessary to make a block in another direction. Also it assumed he could see the Mike. When making a block an OL wants to see what he is striking especially having vision to insure his pass set punch lands with good hand placement. Once he committed to the DT his vision to the Mike is mostly gone.

2. The Guard would have been forced to go 1 on 1 vs. the DT from the DL's outside half with no inside help. The leverage of the DT makes a straight line path for the DT to the QB possible. This would be a very difficult block for the Guard to regain a body position on the leveraged DT to make the block.

Lots of subtle detail make a basic pressure result in a run through sack. 

Really nice pressure concept from Matt Eberflus and the Colts. 

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