Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Firezone Pressure to Overload the RB

The Seahawks are in a base 4-3 personnel running a 5 man pressure concept on 2nd 10 vs. 10 personnel. 

The Rush:
End - Contain
DT - Movement across the Center to balance the pass rush 
DT - Contain through B gap
Sam - Inside pressure on through the heel line of the up field DE
Mike - Inside pressure lane off the moving DT

The Coverage:
3 Under 3 Deep Fire Zone

The protection is a half slide concept. The Center is executing a zone set opposite the RB's alignment.

The typical rules of a half slide say the first uncovered OL starts the slide. The T and G are covered by DL so they are manned up. They will still use a principle of being able to pass off twists/stunts by the DE and DT, man doesn't mean the will chase those defenders anywhere they go. The Center is uncovered and starts the slide. The Guard to the slide side can expect help from the Center if the DT tries to rush inside. The T/G to the slide can expect help on a DE/DT twist/stunt from the Center as well. 

On the pressure the Guard on the man side is not guaranteed help from the Center who is setting away. With no expected help from the Center when the DT crosses the G has to continue to block him. The RB blocks inside threat first and picks up the inside most of the two rushers. The result is a 2 on 1 by the Sam/Mike on the RB. The protection can handle 3 rushers to the man side but cannot block a 4th. The QB is responsible for the 4th on a hot throw. The QB's eyes are opposite the pressure initially leaving no way to see the 4th rusher. 

The Cardinals could have instead of a half slide protection gone to a big on big man scheme. In this concept the OL declares a 2nd level player the "Mike" the OL handles the 4 down DL and the Miked player.

The man protection concept still uses pass off techniques by the OL to hand twists or pressures with players crossing/exchanging rush lanes. 

As the DT/Mike exchange rush lanes, the Center/Guard would end up pass setting together hip to hip with the Center taking over the DT and the Guard setting the Mike. The RB could handle the Sam and pressure is picked up.

It is easy to look back at the film and say why didn't they run a man protection. Why is the Center setting to nothing and wasting himself?

The Seahawks use a healthy amount of pass rush twists.

Here the twist is to the man side which the T/G have to pass off. OL exchanging a stunt is  easier said than done.

Here a pass rush stunt runs into a setting Center and the protection holds up to allow the ball to be thrown and caught.

In the Cardinals situation the protection gave Center help for a potential pass rush stunt to the slide side and if no extra rushers came the RB could help with DL stunts to the man side. 

The Seahawks are a primary 4 man pass rush team. If the Cardinals would have been in a man protection and gotten beat on pass rush stunt by the DL the questions well up about why the Center didn't help with the stunt? Why didn't they set the protection to the best pass rusher? How could you let that happen? Etc.

The reality is pass rush and pass protection are not just individual plays they are also the conceptual overlap of various calls combined with tendencies. No call is perfect, what is the best call for the situation? What gives us the best chance to win this play? It is EASY to look a play after the fact and say that was a "bad call" or "should have called...." the reality is even calls that make sense based on tendency don't always work out. 

Nice concept by Ken Norton to attack the RB in half slide protection. 

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