Ryan McCartney, Associate Head Coach & Defensive Coordinator, Seymour High School, Ind., Host, www.SwarmFBChat.com
Many defensive coordinators cringe when they think about blitzing. Why? So many times, blitzing results in having to play Cover-0 or man coverage behind the blitz. Sometimes, more talented teams can zone blitz – but even then, they are giving up grass and using players who don’t normally have to cover the pass.
Because our box players are independent from our secondary, our 4-2-5 blitz packages allow us to stay fundamentally sound without changing the rules of coverage for our secondary players. It also allows us to play multiple cover-schemes while blitzing – even when using the same blitzes over and over.
“Bullet” Blitz Package
This blitz package is the basic scheme. When calling “Bullet” – you are asking your Sam and Mike inside linebackers to blitz their gaps (based on front and stunt).
DIAGRAM 1: Bullet Blitz.
As mentioned above, since your secondary calls and coverage are not dependent upon the alignment of your front, sending both inside linebackers does not force you to play press man – not even against an empty set.
Furthermore, because you can set your front-four different ways (minimum) and slant/angle “to” or “away” from strength, you’re creating multiple blitzing angles from the same package without compromising your coverage.
“Dog” Blitz Package
With the “Dog” blitz package, you are attempting to overload a side of the offense by committing both an outside LB (who is either a Strong Safety or Weak-Side Safety in the 4-2-5) and the inside LB to the same side.
DIAGRAM 2: Dog Blitz.
This is an excellent blitz package for a team that slide-protects or base protects, because if the running back should leave the box on a route, the offense simply does not have enough bodies to stop both blitzing defenders, who are coming from the same side of the field.
Also, with our four front calls (Field, Bench, Tight and Split) – your blitzers are coming from different box “strengths” and limiting what the offense can pre-determine from a blitz pick-up standpoint.
Again, you can still play a soft man, a read concept, even a quarters concept (especially on longer down and distances) or even Cover-2 and use this blitz. You are not dropping ends to cover hook-to-curl areas nor the flat.
Smoke Blitz Package
Our final blitz package – called the Smoke Blitz – involves sending both outside linebackers (or in our case, our Strong Safety and Weak Safety). This is much more of a run blitz than a passing blitz for the obvious reason that you are “wasting” two secondary players and forcing your inside backers to play in possible man-coverage situations.
DIAGRAM 3: Smoke Blitz.
In our Smoke Blitz, you can still play a Cover-3 concept behind this blitz if your inside backers can play hook to curl in plenty of space.
What you do NOT want to do, is tip off that you’re bringing this blitz by widening your backers too much – that is a dead giveaway that there are going to be outside force/leverage players or that they are are going to be covering those areas we just mentioned.
We like to use this blitz against teams who prefer loading the box in protection. Essentially, by loading the box, those teams are “forcing” us to move our secondary closer to the ball. There is much more risk when teams are spread, but this is why we like to use this package against teams who are traditional 21 personnel.
Ryan McCartney is the Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator at Seymour High School in Seymour, Ind. www.seymourowlsfootball.com, He also Hosts #swarmfbchat each Tuesdays at 9pm EST via Twitter.
McCartney runs Swarm Football Defense Clinics – which features 2017 clinic dates in Nashville (Tenn.) on March 18, Atlanta (Ga.) on March 25 and Chicago (Ill.) on April 8. For more info, visit: www.swarmfbchat.com.
Contact Ryan McCartney via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Ryan McCartney on Twitter: @rmacblue