Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Michigan Fire Zone

As discussed previously, here is just another look at the do-everything fire-zone concept of Sting and Bark. Heavy hat tip to coachhuey’s captmccrae and Aztec, whom I learned this package from years ago.
The basic premise is a hard 5-man slant with a safety walked down creating an 8-man front. This is a prepackaged pressure and can be called to or away from strength.

As the clips illustrate, you can run these against run and pass, and is a very good pressure package against both. These are perfect against 2-back sets and will force offenses to rely on their quick game or leave 7+ in for protection.

These pressures, largely accredited to Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh/Cincinnati days, were a staple of the Monte Kiffin Viking/Buccanneer defenses. As you’ll see his use of explosively quick interior linemen (Warren Sapp, John Randle, Booger McFarland, etc) accentuated their talents for movement and aggressiveness.


Seen this before somewhere? Yes, you have....
This is a defensive line slant AWAY from the TE from an Under front, with linebackers playing back strong. The slant will always be run to the 3 technique side of the front and the safety TO walks down. This is a great run blitz, as the MLB aims for the B gap chasm created by the sticking End (inside) and the SLB outside the TE. The WLB slow plays the flow, looking for cutback.

This stunt is run to the 2 receiver side, not particularly strong or weak. The SLB will always run the blitz. The MLB has a key blitz, meaning he is reading flow, as he’ll abandon his blitz if the back flows away. This reaction actually helps the timing of the blitz, as it delays him for a second so the stunt of the defensive end helps clear his gap assignment.

On action to the perimeter, primary contain is handled by the “Bronco” defender who in this case was the Rover and backside end.

The “Bronco” is a seam to flat technique, and relies heavily on the ‘pattern-match’ principles discussed at length on here before. When you are in 3 deep - 3 under, your players just can't just spot drop with your seam players. The bronco player must rally to get on top and match #2, or the seams (of 1-high coverage) will be exposed.
  • If #2 goes vertical, he should match and carry (vertically).
  • If #2 flattens (heads outside), the Bronco player should drive through the curl to the flat.
  • If #2 goes under, he cuts him and looks to rob #1 underneath.
All of this is nothing new to teams that already pattern-match, and the 'parts' become interchangeable. This methodology opens the door for ANY player to now become a Bronco defender, leaving pressure combinations limitless.

You may have seen this concept before here.

Categorized by a defensive line slant TO the TE from an Over or Under front with the linebackers playing back weak. Strong Safety and MLB are blitzing – safety to callside A and MLB to the backside A, the Nose creates the space by sticking to callside B.

This is a particularly effective run blitz as you get immediate inside pressure, with edge defenders slow playing perimeter action, leaving the WLB in the hole (reading back flow) to clean up anything underneath.


Kevin said...

I might be missing this, but on BARK, who is accounting for TE side B gap. I know you mention that Mac will blitz AT the B gap but is shown C. I assume flow of back takes him to B? If not, is $ taking B along with Will?
Thanks for the post. Hoping to adapt some similar ideas into our defense.

CRL said...

Sting leaves the question who takes SCAT, #3 flare/ or QB roll into Flood, especially the FB flat pass, with #2 above and #1 running clear with take-off or post. Maybe this is a boundary call, since they have a double F-Zone happening and give Corners Underneath #1 responsibilities too. But hey I am in Germany and they are in Michigan and the only semblance of connection is I run F-Zones too and we both have a Latin last name. If I got a 10th of Coach RR, opps! we also share initials...salary I would be one happy guy.

brophy said...

Yes - #3 can pose an issue, whether it be by flare or by trips. However, since this is all pattern-match, the #3 player matches to #3, and would essentially jump #3 man-to-man. As a flare, this is handled anyway as the (shallow) hole player flowing with back.

Anonymous said...

This is from Scott Shafer's playbook, correct?