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Our regular base 4-3 Defense (above) is the defense from which we do all our adjusting
from. With our regular Nickel Defense we felt that we have a good pass defense and it
has been very good for us. When we went to play the defending State Champions in the
second round of the playoffs in 1999, we felt that we needed something extra. In
reviewing the scout films we saw that they were very good a picking up the blitz up the
middle. Their line was superior in pass protection. They were averaging over 330 yards a
game passing. We had to do something to get them out of their rhythum. What we noticed
was that they had no provisions in their pass protection for blitzer coming off the edges
and up the middle at the same time. While the inside blitzer was likely to be picked up the
outside blitzer would have the chance to come clean.
This is our basic Nickel Cover 5 Zone alignment with wide side to our left. The
Nickelback aligns on the wide receiver to the left. The scouting report may have us
position him on the other side of the formation. Basicly, we want our better pass
defenders on their better pass receivers.
We put together the following stunts which proved to be very effective for this particular
game and we have keep the package together and made it a part of our regular pass
defense. We were playing the State Ofensive Player of the year and he was throwing to
the number 1 receiver in the state. They averaged more than 300 yards a game. these
adjustments limited them to just 35 yards passing for the entire game. We ended up losing
22-12, but it was not because of our pass defense.
The first stunt is called Lightening because the Left side of the defense is involved in the stunt. That means that the NT is going to take the left A gap, the SB is going to take the B Gap, the DE will strike the TE and take the C Gap; and the SS will stunt from the outside.
The backside DE will rush from the outside in for contain. By rushing 4 defenders to one side of the formation leaves the offense at a disadvantage because when the TE releases to get into the pattern, there are two defenders for the FB to block - the SS and the DE. He cannot get both, and in fact, often gets neither.
Nickel Rain is the same stunt run from the Right Side of the defense. This time the NT takes the other or right A Gap, the MLB'er takes the B Gap, the DE takes what would be the C Gap and the W takes an outside rush (someitmes we refer to this a the D Gap).
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