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align for success installing the eight-man blitz package

align for success installing the eight-man blitz package

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Published by Michael Schearer

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Published by: Michael Schearer on Nov 16, 2008
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05/09/2014

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It was an honor to be asked by the
AFCA to contribute to the 2000S u m m e r
Manual. On behalf of our head coach Bob

DeBesse, we appreciate the opportunity. I am very fortunate to coach with great pro- fessionals and dear friends Mike Hudson, Jim Dawson, Chad Glasgow and Robert Crivellari, who make up our defensive staff. The defensive package we installed is not mine. We have taken ideas from all of our stops and incorporated what we feel is a simple, but multiple package to combat the complexity of the off e n s i v e schemes we face.

Our defensive meetings are lively, we have some guys with great personality and defensive minds. We tried in great detail when we started, to all be on the same page. We went through and exam- ined each formation, blocking scheme, run and pass route, discussed field zone philosophy and then we established our Bobcat defensive language. It required new learning for all coaches, but stream- lined the installation and meeting time for the defense. Utilizing the knowledge acquired from the staff\u2019s different coach- ing stops, we established an extremely wordy defense. Each of the 11 defensive positions were given a name. Every align- ment was given a name. We packaged blitzes by name with the alignment termi- nology within the blitz package. We believed that if we told the players where to align or where to blitz, each snap we would eliminate assignment and align- ment confusion and give our players the confidence to play fast and furious.

While we initially taught hard align- ment rules, our defensive goal was to gain knowledge so our players could \u201calign for success.\u201d We will teach differ- ent alignments according to down and distance and offensive formations. Up front, we will play right or left side. We will not flip the defensive line as we want those guys to excel at playing one side of their body. We will flip the linebackers; the Sam will be to the call or Eagle side and the Mike will be to the away or Bubble side. Our secondary will align to the passing strength. The strong safety will always go to the tight end side or to the field in a balanced formation and the Kat will go to the open side. The free safety will set the strength and the safety away and put us in the best coverage according to down and distance and offensive formation.

Tite 4 Check- Two Back Alignments
Tite 4 Check- One Back Alignments
\u2022 Tite linebacker will make a \u201cright or
left\u201d call to the run strength.

\u2022 Four Check, the free safety will make a \u201cLinda or Rhonda\u201d call to the passing strength.

At the beginning of our installation, each defensive position had a list of vocabulary words they had to learn. Each of these words were unique and \u201chot\u201d to their position. The player must listen in the huddle for a hot word that will change their alignment or assignment. If a player does not hear a hot word, they will play their base technique.

Blitz Package
Along with the wordy alignment and
\u2022
AFCA Sum m er M anual
\u2014
2 0 0 0
\u2022
Diagr am 1: Tite 4 Check vs. I
Diagr am 2: Tite 4 Check vs. Near
Diagr am 3: Tite 4 Check
Diagr am 4: Tite 4 Check
David Bailiff
Defensive Coor dinator
Southwest Texas State
University
San Mar cos, Tex.
Align for Success
Installing the Eight Man
Blitz Package

assignment calls, we have developed our blitz package using the same thought process. Each blitz has its own name for immediate huddle and formation recogni- tion. We are going to pin our ears back and blitz. We want to keep an off e n s e guessing and off balance, at times we will \u201cshow\u201d and not blitz and other times we will bring a blitz from depth. We want the element of surprise on our side and we

want the threat of the blitz to be something
an offense must prepare for.
Bullets

If we blitz one linebacker, our huddle call will be Sam A or B or Mike A or B. T h e \u201cA or B\u201d tells the linebacker which gap to blitz and alerts the defensive line of any gap exchange. If we blitz both lineback- ers, we call it \u201cbullets.\u201d

\u2022 Tite aligns the front to the tight end.
\u2022 Bullets A tells the defensive line and

linebackers what gap is being blitzed.
\u2022 0 coverage man no help.
\u2022 Silver defensive end hot word to alert

him to take the runningback on a flare.
Smokes
We call our safety blitzes \u201csmokes.\u201d We
dictate which safety we want to blitz by

using wide and short, these will give us a blitz from the field or boundary. If we want to bring the safety from the tight end side, our call will be \u201cstrong smoke.\u201d A safety blitz from the open side is called \u201ckat smoke.\u201d We will bring both safeties off the edge with a double smoke call. If we want to slant the line and bring a smoke at the same time, we may call \u201cboundary army short smoke.\u201d

Cross

Cross is another safety blitz. A cross blitz is simply a gap exchange between the safety and the defensive end to that side. The safety will blitz the B gap. His key will be the offensive tackle. If the tackle zones at him, he will immediately take his eyes to the adjacent guard. If the guard is also zon- ing, he will get up the field in the B gap. He will come under any fan block by the offen- sive tackle. If the safety is getting zone away, we want him to run flat at the heel line of the offense line and be there to make the play when the ball is pulled up or when the running back cuts back. We still may run wide, short, strong and kat cross- es. We want the cross blitz to be a little slower, as this will open up the gap and define the hole for the blitzing safety.

\u2022
AFCA Sum m er M anual
\u2014
2 0 0 0
\u2022
Diagr am 5: Tite Outlaw 4 Check
Diagr am 6: Tite Fist Blast 4 Check
Diagram 7: Split Solid 4 Check
Diagr am 8: Tite Sam B 4 Check
Diagram 10: Tite Strong Smoke 4
Check
Diagram 9: Tite Bullets A O Silver
Diagr am 11: Cr oss vs. Zone To
DE
DT
LB\u2019s
Safeties
Cor ner s
Tite
Tite
Tite
Solid
Waco
Split
Split
Split
Smoke
Bail
Field
Field
Field
Cross
Press
Boundary
Boundary
Boundary
Bobcat
Coyote
Under
G
Double Stack
Waco
Cut
Take
Go
Sam
Cut
Kong
Tank
Outlaw
Mike
Kong
Sky
Army
Aim
Bullets
Blast
OT
Silver
Toro
Bobcat
Dog
Cloud
Cop
Tank
Dog
Coyote
Rob
Drop
Pinch
Glue
OT
Roll
Void
Okie
Bang
Rob
Fire
Tex
Coyote
Roll
Blast
Ex
Loose
Fist
Twist
Loose
Twist
Over
Stab
Diagr am 12: Cr oss vs. Zone Away
Dog

We call our four-to-a-side blitz package a \u201cdog.\u201d We get four men from a side by bringing the linebacker and safety to that side. We may blitz the linebacker and safety in any gap. We will again use wide, short, strong and kat to determine where we want the dog coming from.

If we get drop back pass, the defensive end will rip under the offensive tackle to shorten the blitz line for the safety. We will use this teaching point anytime a safety is involved in a perimeter blitz.

Bobcat

The last blitz we will carry into every game is an eight man read-blitz we call \u201cBobcat.\u201d A bobcat blitz is read-blitz that involves both linebackers and safeties. We will have a four-way spy on the run- ningback in a one back situation. If he is on an inside path, the linebacker on his side will be responsible for covering him. If the runningback flares or releases wide, the safety to that side will cover him. We can use different exchange coverages to add an element of surprise.

\u2022 \u201cTite\u201d will set our eagle to the tight end
side.
\u2022 \u201cBobcat\u201d is the buzz word for the line-
backers and safeties.
\u2022 \u201cB\u201d tells the linebacker and defensive
line what gap the linebackers are blitzing.
\u2022 \u201c0\u201d tells we are playing man cover
with no help.

\u2022 \u201cSilver\u201d is a word for the defensive end and it tells him to cover the back on a flare, if for some reason the safety to his side is not able to blitz according to formation.

\u2022 \u201cCop\u201d is another buzz word for the defensive ends and it tells them if there is a tight end to their side and they have him man.

Double Stack
Double stack is our way of getting into

a double eagle defense. We achieve this by adding the words outlaw and double stack to the tite call. Outlaw will move the nose to a three technique and double stack will move the Mike linebacker down as a nose guard and the Sam linebacker will stack behind the Mike. We may still use all of our base blitzes in double stack.

Cobra

In addition to our blitz and base pack- ages we will play cobra. Cobra is our dime package and we try to get as much speed on the field as possible. The defensive tackles come out and we send in two more defensive backs. We will move the defen- sive ends inside and one linebacker and defensive back will become the new defensive ends. We will utilize our cobra package in second or third and long situa- tions or when we want to match up with a three or four wide receiver set by the o ffense. This package is about attitude. Our players take a great deal of pride in cobra and they expect great things to hap- pen when cobra is called. This package allows us to get over the top help versus the pass. We will play halves coverage or man under in base cobra. The defensive line works independently, by this we mean each side of the line may call its own twist. We tell the defensive line that they have no run responsibility and to get up the field.

We still have the ability to run any of our blitz package when we are in cobra. The terminology and the teaching points remain constant, so we do not have to spend a lot of extra time trying to find a time to practice cobra. When

\u2022
AFCA Sum m er M anual
\u2014
2 0 0 0
\u2022
Diagr am 14: Tite Kat Cr oss 4 Check
Diagr am 15: Tite Kat Dog O
Diagr am 16: Tite Okie Kat Dog A
Diagr am 17: Tite Okie Kat Dog A
Cr oss
Diagr am 19: Bobcat Cop O Silver
Diagram 20: Tite Outlaw Double
Stack I
Diagram 21: Tite Outlaw Double
Stack Kat Smoke O
Diagr am 18: Bobcat vs. Two Back
Diagr am 13: Cr oss vs. Fan

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