Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Nickel Run Pressure

The Titans are in Nickel personnel on 1st 10 against the Bills in 11 personnel.

Following motion by the Y to the backfield the WR goes in motion.

The Titans travel the Nickel with the motion. This is a common Nickel adjustment on Change of Strength (COS) motions. The Nickel aligns to the pass strength, when the offense uses COS motion the Nickel often travels to maintain the Nickel being to the pass strength spacing of the defense. Many of the coverages in Nickel personnel want the Nickel aligned over the slot to the pass strength. 

The defense also reloads the front changing the alignments of the DT's and flipping the ILBs.

The Rush:

The Nose is ripping across Center (RAC), the DE is on the inside move with the Nickel coming off the edge.

The Coverage:

3 Under 3 Deep Fire Zone

The run is a lead scheme with the TE. The scheme is designed to handle the 6 box defenders with the 5 OL + TE to create a 6 vs. 6 matchup. 

The C/G combo is working to the Mike, the lead is working to the Will. If the Will fits outside the Y's block the ball should run inside the lead off the combo.

If the Will fits inside the Y's block the ball should run outside the lead.

If the Mike plays across the combo to vise the lead block with the Will, the ball should stay playside in the B gap.

In all three examples the blocking scheme doesn't/can't account for the Nickel as a 7th body in the box. 

The Bills motioned twice on the play. The motion forces the defense to move and in theory helps control the Nickel.

The Titans travel the Nickel with motion and edge pressure. The Nickel was pressuring strong and is still pressuring strong when the offense presents COS motion. The DT on the RAC disrupts the play by beating the Center with speed and interfering with the Y's lead block. The Nickel off the edge cannot be accounted for by the scheme. 

The offense is matching the run scheme to the defensive personnel. Defense is in Nickel, the run scheme is designed to attack a 6 man box Nickel personnel. The defense can disrupt the scheme with Nickel pressure. The offense knows this and attempts to account for the Nickel in the box with a Y motion followed by a COS WR motion. The Nickel travels with the motion but still edge pressures leading to a 3 yard TFL. This is the back and forth of football. 

Really good plan and execution from the Titans and Mike Vrabel. Nickel travel pressure is a tool in the defensive tool box to answer and offense's answer of motion to control edge pressure in the run game. Some coaches wonder why some defensive playbooks are thick and why a nickel travels strong pressure is even necessary. This situation shows why this tool exist, when you need to account for an offense's motion plan vs. Nickel personnel this can be a great tool to have in the toolbox. 

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