n behalf of all the coaches’sons infootball, I would like to dedicate this
article to the 37 yearsexperience given to me by my father DaveBeckman. The years of football I have hadas a son, player, and now a coach havebeen the most rewarding in life. My familycherishes the life of the Saturday after-noons. This is the greatest job out there.I also want to take this opportunity tothank our head football coach, UrbanMeyer. His leadership, knowledge, and
competitiveness created the biggest turn-around in Division I college football and a Top30 ranking in the final CNN college footballpoll. Aspecial thanks to the four coachesmost responsible for our success as adefense last year: John Bowers (lineback-ers), D.J. Durkin (defensive ends), Tommy
Thigpen (defensive backs), and Mike Ward(defensive tackles). Finally, and most impor-tantly, I would like to thank the 2001 Falcon
football team for the most exciting year Ihave had as a college football coach.Three football seasons ago, my first asDivision I defensive coordinator, we spentour offseason designing a new defensivepackage. After evaluating our upcomingpersonnel, the defensive staff felt that weneeded to incorporate a defense that couldbe diverse but simple in process. The waywe felt we could make it simple for our foot-ball players was to tell them everythingthey had to do with a term or name. Afterspending time with many different collegesand professional teams learning about theirzone blitz packages, we came to the con-clusion that this was the direction we need-ed to go for our defensive scheme. The planwas to incorporate our own zone blitz pack-age and keep it as simple as we possiblycould. Terminology became essential forlearning everything necessary to run ourpackage effectively. We honestly believed
that every word involved in our schememust have a certain meaning, and thatwords meaning would tell each player theirresponsibility for each individual play.
Why Zone Blitz?
There are many basic reasons for zoneblitzing. We, as a defensive staff, felt it fitour personnel and personality that wewanted to have on defense. The belief toattack the offense with multiple looks andblitzes would be the key for our success inthe Mid-American Conference. The advan-tages to developing a zone blitz package incomparison to a man blitz package withtwo linebackers blitzing are as follows:The deep middle is occupied in a threedeep zone concept. (Help with inside deeproutes.)We get eight men in the box vs twobacks.We get the flexibility to blitz two or threelinebackers and still play zone coverageThe players enjoy being able to blitzand/or drop into coverage and this is ourdefensive personality.The zone blitz fit with our personnel,quick but not big; having young cornerswho would have inside help, and lineback-ers being great blitzers made the decisionquite easy for us. After the decision wasmade to go with the zone blitz package, wethen had to begin developing our BowlingGreen Zone Blitz package.
To develop a good blitz package, thedefensive staff needed to incorporatewords that had meaning and responsibility.The terms used had to mean more than just a name. When we developed the pack-age we felt it necessary to signify the dif-ference in blitz techniques and coverageresponsibilities, in order to tell the playersexactly what to do and the responsibilitiesfor each zone. The following terms informeach player what type of blitzer they are,and if they are not blitzing, what responsi-bility the coverage players are asked to doagainst both the run and pass.
Ablitzer that reads flow of thebackfield to determine blitz.
Ablitzer that runs stunt automatically.
S ea m :
Pass responsibility (Drop offNo.2).Run responsibility (Force/Pitch).
Pass responsibility (Drop off No. 3).Run responsibility (Dive to quarterback).
Pass responsibility (Middle 1/3).Run responsibility (quarterback to pitch).
Outside pass rushers responsi-bility to keep the quarterback inside the box.Each term was incorporated and taughtto the defense before any blitz was dia-gramed or run.
Naming the Zones
Before naming each zone, we first start-ed by naming each player on our defense.After the defensive players were named wecould then call for any player to drop intoone of the underneath zones. The under-
• — •Tim BeckmanDefensive CoordinatorBowling Green State UniversityBowling Green, Ohio
It’s All in the Name:Bowling Green’s DefensiveZone Blitz Package