Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nebraska Pressure: 7 Man Blitz

After reviewing their base front, fire zone and dime package, now we'll explore what happens when offenses dictate nickel (substitute a Nickel back for the Buck) based on medium passing downs or 10 personnel package.

In the glory years of the Tom Osborne-era Huskers, the Blackshirts and Charlie McBride lived in what they called "11 Robber". While we'll touch on that in a later post, it essentially was Nickel Cover 1 (1 high MOFC player, 1 low hole player). Because of the matchup advantages in the secondary and the versatility in personnel, these new Blackshirts thrive on bringing maximum heat when in Nickel.

Much like the spinner grouping, Pelini has a preference on bringing pressure, rather than sitting back in coverage or even fire-zoning offenses.

The easiest way to generate maximum pressure on quarterbacks is Cover 0. Every defender accounts for a receiver, and those without will pressure. This concept should not be discounted because of its insane simplicity.

In their most often used pressure concept when in Nickel, is "Over Loose Bomb Blitz".

This is essentially the 'bonzai' blitz from the Jim Mora 49ers playbook that is bringing both safeties. This is perfect against 2-back sets, but is certainly sound against 3x1 or 2x2.

Corners are playing catch-man technique with a 9 yard cushion, able to jump hot throws and deep enough to maintain an over-the-top leverage on deep receivers.

Both safeties will present the 2-high look (like every snap), then begin creeping once the quarterback begins the cadence. They are both attacking the 'B' gap. The interior tackles collapse the A gaps to open this overload blitz in B gaps. This direct and immediate pressure will force quarterbacks to take unnecessary hits and at best scramble into contain players.

The ends will play the common "peel" technique (as covered previously) against any back flow, and inside-out leverage an flaring action. Versus empty, the ends will have no responsibility but to rush the passer.

Take a look at these clips to get a better perspective of how simple and effective a Cover 0 - check blitz is.

On a personal note, I would like to add that even though being a "defensive-guy" and being a coordinator who is not big on man-to-man, that if you do not have a Cover 0 check blitz in your package, you are really missing out. It can be installed within minutes, disguised from any look, and provides a 'cheap' answer during a game that falls outside your game plan. I would certainly encourage any defensive staff member to look at the 'check-blitz' not as a way of life, but as something up your sleeve to before your first game. It is a great way to jump start your defense into winning conversion downs and build the confidence in the team in the early stages of the season.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post....keep the info coming!

Anonymous said...


Do you think the best way to play the corners is with a "Catch" tech at 9 yards, or in your face "press man"?


brophy said...

weigh your options...

on one hand (catch) you can maintain your consistent presnap look (disguise), maintain a cushion on receivers, jump any break after the stem, see the football....

and on the other hand (press) you can't do either of those.