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  • Zone Blitz Defense

    A lot of people are under the misconception we run a primarily man-to-man heavy system. We however run a zone-blitz. Asante Samuel will do fine in our system. In this post there are few different variations of a zone blitz, all of which have been used by the Eagles under Jim Johnson.



    In this diagram is a LB zone blitz. You will see many things, the main things are highlighted below:

    1 - On the right side, there is a stunt by the RDE over the RDT.

    2 - The LDE runs a short zone, guarding for screens and receivers out of the backfield

    3 - The SAM blitzes, while the WILL plays essentially the same exact type of coverage as the LDE, on the opposite side.

    4 - The MIKE guards the middle of the field. This works because our MIKE, Bradley is very good in coverage, as was our MIKE last season is Gaither.

    5 - The LCB guards the zone from 5-20 yards down field, and the SS has everything after that. The RCB is in man, and has FS help over the top, but the FS also has to makeup if the MIKE or WILL makes a mistake covering a TE or Slot WR.

    This defense can be seen a lot in the New England Game. The reason we shut down Moss, but Welker killed us because he is excellent at finding a hole in the zone.

    When Asante Samuel plays man, it will be much like how we used Lito in man, see the following diagram.



    Here are the main things

    1 - Both S will be shaded to his side a bit, Dawkins will have to play CF, while Mikell will cover for Asante's main mistakes, this gives him more freedom to gamble a bit.

    2 - Sheldon is in one-on-one coverage.

    3 - Bradley covers the short Middle, while the 2 outside LBs guard the TE and back respectively, depending on where they are line up at.

    4 - The entire D-Line is just asked to get up field and attack the QB. Our DTs push the pocket and take up multiple blockers, allowing others to get 1-on-1 match-ups.

    This Next Diagram shows a FS Blitz



    In this diagram, a few things you should noticed are highlighted as followed:

    1 - Sheldon and Asante play deep zone, and Mikell covers CF.

    2 - The MIKE LB covers the middle of the field from the line of scrimmage to 15 yards behind, while Gocong and Gaither play a short zone, watching for screens, backfield receivers, as well as covering WRs for the first 10-15 yards

    3 - The DL is once again asked to go up field and rush the passer.


    The Next Diagram is of a CB Blitz



    Here are some things to look for

    1 - As Sheldon Blitzes, the FS and WLB combine to cover the void left by the corner.

    2 - The SS covers CF, while the Samuel will play a deep zone, and the SLB will cover underneath Samuel.

    3 - The DL is again asked to penetrate and an extra blitzer is added.



    This final diagram is an overload, where a DE drops into coverage(seen when Trent Cole picked off Eli Manning in 2006)



    Notice How:

    1 - Sheldon Brown is the only player on the field in Man-to-Man coverage

    2 - The MIKE covers the void left by the SAM, while the WILL takes over the short middle. The RDE drops back to cover where the WILL would be.

    3 - The FS helps the RCB over the top, while the LCB is in Zone, and the SS is in center.

    4 - The left side has 3 blitzers, with the DL only having 2 to block on that side

  • #2
    great thread.

    this is a big misconception mainly because i think ppl fail to realize that you are really limited in what you can do as a blitzing team if you only plan on doing man coverage blitzes.

    theres only so many different types of man coverage blitzes that can be done while holding coverage integrity. chances are, if a team is a heavy blitzing team like the Eagles and Giants are, they run a lot of zone blitzing. its the only way you can throw a wide variety of blitzes at an offense while maintaining coverage stability throughout.

    of course, both our teams are designed to play like true 46 teams, but the truth is a pure 46 doesn't work anymore, you can't just overload blitz every play and expect coverage to hold up over 4 quarters. Id say the Giants were running ZB about 65% of the time we blitzed offenses. Only 35% of our blitzes were traditional man coverage 46 style blitzes.

    And like you pointed out, just because a team zone blitzes, doesn't mean that the CBs are always in zone coverage. Thats why theres still a heavy emphasis on CBs being able to hold up in man coverage. In particular however, you really only need one shutdown man coverage CB to make this style of defense tick. And that one CB on an island doesn't have to be on an island with the primary #1 WR either.

    We for example had Aaron Ross on an island the majority of the season, but he was on an island against the #2 possession WR of the opposition. We were able to trust him on an island in that role, and slide coverages towards the #1 threat.

    I think having a SS who can cover the TE, a versatile FS, and solid man coverage CBs who are also versatile is key in the secondary in this style of defense. The name of the game is versatility. Players in this scheme have to be versatile, because theyre asked to do multiple things on any given play.

    Comment


    • #3
      BBD just to touch on your SS on the TE scenario.

      You don't see a lot of one on one with the TE anymore at the LOS because usually they are too powerful at the point of contact...and too fast to put a bigger linebacker alone.

      Everyone needs to be ready to see a slight NFL transformation.

      TE's in the slot will be around for awhile...but with the evolution of the pass rush this past season...teams have started to keep TE's in to block more. This makes it near impossible to play one on one on todays TEs and now teams are forced to make the LB bump within 5 yards to give the safety time to come down and disrupt the timing.

      I'm not sure around the league how many teams have the personal to do this but I've noticed that in minicamps...the cowboys with the added depth at the corner positions have now implemented a package that puts Anthony Henry 3 yards off the TE straight up.

      This is going to require a physical CB that still has the speed to run with elite TE's....but there are teams that can do this.

      I wouldn't be surprised to see teams that are deep enough at CB to do this more this year...it free's up your lb'ers to make more plays since they aren't required to misdirect the LB...and it free's up one of your safeties to not play at as mismatch on elite TE's. This allows teams to play a lot more cover 1...which is nice if you have the talent to do it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well ef 45, I must say, this was a thread worth posting. You brought useful knowledge to some posters and I'm sure there are a lot that didn't know about this before you posted it. You brought up so much about blitzing that many people can use to further understand the game. I will congradulate you, as this is actually a useful post. Because of this, I feel this is a valid reason to take down my sig comment and give you a +rep; Well done ef 45!
        Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir is a goddess

        Rest in Peace, themaninblack

        Comment


        • #5
          Good job buddy, point some things out to those less informed and add insight for all.

          Honolulu Wave 1-3, DM 22 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumbles, 0 Interceptions.
          Leon McHelbrecht, Pittsburgh OC, 1-3.
          PSN:J33zydaLion (MGO)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by thule View Post
            BBD just to touch on your SS on the TE scenario.

            You don't see a lot of one on one with the TE anymore at the LOS because usually they are too powerful at the point of contact...and too fast to put a bigger linebacker alone.

            Everyone needs to be ready to see a slight NFL transformation.

            TE's in the slot will be around for awhile...but with the evolution of the pass rush this past season...teams have started to keep TE's in to block more. This makes it near impossible to play one on one on todays TEs and now teams are forced to make the LB bump within 5 yards to give the safety time to come down and disrupt the timing.

            I'm not sure around the league how many teams have the personal to do this but I've noticed that in minicamps...the cowboys with the added depth at the corner positions have now implemented a package that puts Anthony Henry 3 yards off the TE straight up.

            This is going to require a physical CB that still has the speed to run with elite TE's....but there are teams that can do this.

            I wouldn't be surprised to see teams that are deep enough at CB to do this more this year...it free's up your lb'ers to make more plays since they aren't required to misdirect the LB...and it free's up one of your safeties to not play at as mismatch on elite TE's. This allows teams to play a lot more cover 1...which is nice if you have the talent to do it.
            Very true Thule. Dallas has actually been doing that since Parcells came to town. Remember the Penny fronts? It was very effective imo. The Giants have also used some similar fronts. Ive seen us put McQuarters on the TE before.

            I expect the Giants to use some more traditional coverages on TEs however now, at least in our nickel defense bc we'll have Gerris Wilkinson starting. Wilk is fast enough to cover most TEs, and in our base 4-3 when Wilk is on the weakside, I expect us to run a lot of zone bc of Kiwi at SAM, or have one of our safeties pick up the TE after he's bumped by our backer.

            We've also used Pierce to run down the seam with the TE like your traditional tampa 2 play, although Im not a big fan of doing that too often bc Pierce isn't a coverage LB.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bigbluedefense View Post
              Very true Thule. Dallas has actually been doing that since Parcells came to town. Remember the Penny fronts? It was very effective imo. The Giants have also used some similar fronts. Ive seen us put McQuarters on the TE before.

              I expect the Giants to use some more traditional coverages on TEs however now, at least in our nickel defense bc we'll have Gerris Wilkinson starting. Wilk is fast enough to cover most TEs, and in our base 4-3 when Wilk is on the weakside, I expect us to run a lot of zone bc of Kiwi at SAM, or have one of our safeties pick up the TE after he's bumped by our backer.

              We've also used Pierce to run down the seam with the TE like your traditional tampa 2 play, although Im not a big fan of doing that too often bc Pierce isn't a coverage LB.
              What BBD means by this but is too nice to say is that Pierce is fat and slower than a drunk teenager who lacks the balance too walk.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TheGreatEscape View Post
                What BBD means by this but is too nice to say is that Pierce is fat and slower than a drunk teenager who lacks the balance too walk.
                yes, the past 2 years hes been out of shape and terrible in coverage. from the looks of it, it seems as if he's lost weight though, so im hoping that is the case.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bigbluedefense View Post
                  yes, the past 2 years hes been out of shape and terrible in coverage. from the looks of it, it seems as if he's lost weight though, so im hoping that is the case.
                  I'm crossing my fingers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheGreatEscape View Post
                    I'm crossing my fingers.
                    As an Eagles fan, I'm crossing my fingers against it, haha.
                    Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir is a goddess

                    Rest in Peace, themaninblack

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eaglesalltheway View Post
                      As an Eagles fan, I'm crossing my fingers against it, haha.
                      Even when he's fat he's effective.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        if you think about it, the NFC East was the 46 division. The Giants and Eagles both run variations of the 4-3/46, the Cowboys run a 3-4/46 variation of the philosophy, and the Skins last year ran a Cover 2/46 hybrid.

                        Now the skins are gonna be more of a Cover 2 team, but last year every team shared a similar philosophy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TheGreatEscape View Post
                          Even when he's fat he's effective.
                          Against the run yes, very effective, but even at the admission of Giants fans isn't exactly top notch in pass coverage. Anyone else find it ironic that there are more Giants fans than Eagles fans talking about this?
                          Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir is a goddess

                          Rest in Peace, themaninblack

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eaglesalltheway View Post
                            Against the run yes, very effective, but even at the admission of Giants fans isn't exactly top notch in pass coverage. Anyone else find it ironic that there are more Giants fans than Eagles fans talking about this?
                            yeah whats up with that?


                            I just love talking defense lol.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bigbluedefense View Post
                              yeah whats up with that?


                              I just love talking defense lol.
                              Yeah me too. I used to be a d-line coach, but I stopped because it was jsut taking too much time up in my life, and its not like I was gonna make a career out of it. It was tough though, there are a lot of players and other coaches that I'll miss seeing every day..
                              Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir is a goddess

                              Rest in Peace, themaninblack

                              Comment

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