Friday, January 1, 2010

A Zone Blitz Wrinkle For The Bucs

For years and years since Coach Dungy and Coach Kiffin arrived in Tampa our defense has been running a certain zone blitz where we send 3 people strong and drop the backside end. The blitz is still effective and I have seen Coach Morris use it a couple of times since he took over the role of defensive coordinator. However there is one thing that offenses learned to do in pass protection over the years to block this blitz which made it harder to get pressure on the quarterback and generally gave him a nice window in which to look downfield and deliver the football. I would like to propose a wrinkle in this scheme for this week, just as a change up.

No matter which Falcons quarterback starts against the Bucs this weekend, we know none of them are particularly fleet of foot. So in my opinion what we want is quick pressure in his face and if we can't get him on the ground initially then we make flush them out of the pocket where they aren't as comfortable. The wrinkle I am suggesting is that instead of having the Sam Linebacker or nickle corner rush from the outside and the Mike Linebacker rush inside in the B gap, that we switch their responsibilities. The bottom diagram shows the blocking scheme that most teams are going to in order to block up this blitz when they want to pass. By blocking down with the tackle and having the running back block out on the outside blitzer they create a lane with a big gap between the tackle's outside shoulder and the running back's inside shoulder. Further they put the outside rusher on an island where if they make an inside move and miss the quarterback then contain is lost and the quarterback will have nothing but green grass in front of him.

With the Mike Linebacker and outside rusher switching responsibilities, you alleviate that problem against that particular blocking scheme. Your outside rusher takes a step or two upfield and then comes screaming inside. If its our Sam linebacker, ie Quincy Black, he can even get a quick shove on the offensive tackle's back who is blocking down to ensure he isn't able to step back out and try to get to the Mike. When its performed correctly what you end up having is a double team on the running back with the outside rusher who is now coming inside and the Mike who is now rushing outside for contain. He will have to pick someone to block and either way he is going to be wrong. As long as both guys maintain their given lane outside or inside then its going to be a win for the defense. And because the Mike will be a little late outside, which is fine considering Barrett Ruud's closing speed, then he should be able to discern if its a screen pass by then if the back doesn't block the Sam or nickleback.

I gave the illustration on top of the offensive line blocking out just to give a picture of what the Sam or nickle back should do if the offensive tackle actually block out to them which is take a couple steps up field then rip inside. Trust me, it won't be an easy block for the offensive tackle and they shouldn't have any guard help inside because of the end coming inside to the A gap. It also may confuse the back as to who he is supposed to block and give the Mike an opening on his outside rush.

This should be an especially effective blitz against the Falcons because they like to flex their hall of fame tight end, Tony Gonzales, out in the slot which means you won't have to worry about him staying in to block. I don't mean to infer that the Bucs haven't thought about using this wrinkle on their own, but regardless it sure would be nice to see them use it a time or two this Sunday.

Just sayin...

1 comment:

  1. You sure you don't want to Coach again, Maybe somehow we get marinelli back, I would hate to see Lovie Smith get fired, but man bring them all back home.

    Did you see the post on Joebucs from about Morris being replaced after one year, and other Coaches not under the same scrutiny? Any opinion? Not meant to put you on the spot, but you are a big man, and your opinion is important. The article seemed a little over the top, but I thought you touched a little on the radio the other day. Touchy subject no doubt.

    If the bucs win this weekend, I would have a real hard time with Morris getting fired. There is something there with his leadership abilities, no matter his inexperience as a HC, which is my only issue with his being hired, all in hindsight of course, becasue I did not want to see the guy leave somewhere else.

    Sort of off topic, but not to far, do you remember a big sack you had your final year with the bucs?

    It was a big sack, and possibly a game winner, I remember it was on the left side, but can't remember the team played, or really even the year.

    I do remember you were gone the next year though, and wondered WTF happened, but did see your article about the reasons you left the bucs.

    Do you have video of your splash type plays from the bucs? Would like to look at it again if available.