4 things each defensive player must know - A.S.R.T. 1. ALIGNMENT 2. STANCE 3. READ - BLOCK RECOGNITION 4. TECHNIQUE


10 Basic Offensive plays defensive players must be able to stop. 1. TRAP 2. POWER 3. WEAK SIDE LEAD 4. WEAK SIDE “X” BLOCK 5. SWEEP 6. OPTION 7. DROP BACK PASS 8. ROLL OUT PASS 9. SCREEN PASS 10. DRAW RUN











DEFENSIVE END 1. Head up on the LAST MAN ON LINE OF SCRIMMAGE (LMLOS) 2. Can also be realigned into inside gap vs wide OL splits between OT and TE, because DE run responsibility is the inside gap.


DEFENSIVE TACKLES (NOSE GUARD, TACKLE) 1. Aligned in GAPS 2. Benefits of gap alignment a. Allows DT to penetrate or pierce gap when the don’t get a READ call. b. Maintains balanced DL when OL uses wide splits. In a SHADE technique - the offensive line would use wide splits of 4 to 5 feet, the DT would follow them and this would allow huge holes to be created in the DL because of the OL alignment and DL shade technique.


STANCE A. DE STANCE 1. 2 point “Attacking” stance a. Low to ground almost being in 4 point stance. b. Back parallel to ground c. Knees and ankles flexed / bent d. Arms - Coiled position - Pre loaded e. Chest over knees f. Vision - Look thru brow of helmet to TE g. Balanced with no forward lean like when in a 4 point stance 2. Depth from LOS - 2 feet, gradually getting closer to LOS as experience and skills improve and reaction to blocks by OL is quicker. B. DT STANCE 1. 4 point stance a. Foot to the side where they are stepping to is back 1). NG = Steps toward Center, back foot is side towards Center 2). DT = Steps towards Offensive Tackle, back foot is side towards OT.





Back foot toes in line with the instep of the front foot.

c. d. 2.

Both hands down and square to LOS. Feet width - Shoulder width or armpit width apart - no more wider then shoulders, if get too wide player looses power and balance. Depth from LOS - Hands are 1 yard (3 feet) off of LOS. a. Allows DT to be able to read and react to OL blocks, b. Even in passing situations an d pass rushing, remain 3 feet off of LOS 1). Use BULL RUSH technique their forward momentum generated to drive OL backwards then use escape move once OL is moving backwards.








locks out arms for separation. DE steps out b. 2. TE steps out. 4. DE makes contact with TE on second step.Offensive lineman aligned up on. Do not try to get upfield and try to contain BC or try to get underneath the reach block in play inside out. E Goal of DE: Slow down BC and redirect BC laterally. top of numbers if getting faked out by head fakes by OL 2. 3. B. What the OL does dictates what the DE does for at least the first 2 steps of his attack. End Man on Line Of Scrimmage 1. Defensive Philosophy: Bounce and Attack BC Reach Block means Sweep Run Play Reach Block Read a. C. Triangle for DE’s BACKFIELD TRIANGLE READ FOR DE’S E N T E . BACKFIELD TRIANGLE 1. DE . Read the helmet / screws or chest plated. and get eyes inside to backfield Triangle c. READS A.IV. VS THE REACH BLOCK T 1.



Intention of the block a. 2. Very important for DE to JAM TE AND SQUEEZE to the inside of the formation down the LOS. . DE Reaction: a. Keep shoulders square to the LOS c. TE attacks DE and tries to take DE wherever he wants to go. and hold ground to the inside. or play side guard kick out block on the “G” play. which is DE run responsibility. Do not wrong arm any kick out blocks. a. allowing the BC to get to the outside.2. squeeze down LOS 1). Vs LOG block by offense DE will treat the block as he would a REACH block. DE keep shoulders square to LOS as squeezing TE down LOS While Squeezing down with TE get vision into backfield triangle looking for Full Back kick out block. Fight pressure to the inside gap. b. b. If TE allows you to gain inside position. 2). E. If DE Reached by TE must rip across the face of the TE. d. When DE squeezes down LOS the blocking angle of TE to the SILB is diminished and difficult for the TE to get to the SILB DE vs TE BASE BLOCK TE BASE / DRIVE BLOCK ON DE E N W T S E 1. TE attacks DE attempts to ‘’TUNNEL” the DE out. 1). 4. 3. Wrong arming will all ow the offense blocker to log block the DE. they may be attempting to set the DE up for a REACH block. or backside guard for wide trap.

. keeping shoulders square to LOS. because BC is running to the outside. DE vs LOG BLOCK by RB TE DOWN BLOCK TO SILB RB LOG BLOCK DE E N W T S E 1. Hook DE inside prevent from getting to the outside. 2. rip across RB’s face to outside. INTENTION OF BLOCK a. RB attempts to LOG block. eyes in Back field triangle looking for RB block. b. Jam TE.F. REACTION same as if REACH block by TE a. Squeeze down LOS.

G. . 2. N T E Attacks OUTSIDE EYE of the TE/ OT No deeper penetration then the QB Contain QB on Roll out . Never allow QB to get outside a. DE VS DROP BACK PASS BLOCK TE PASS BLOCK E 1. 3. DT and ILB’s will be freed up to get to QB for Sack.

H. DE must escape from TE / OT block with rip technique to the outside . GREEN LIGHT AUTO BLITZ ILB has GREEN LIGHT. DE VS ROLL OUT PASS E N W S T E 1. 2. auto blitz rush.

DE VS INSIDE / OUTSIDE RELEASE BLOCK 1. Inside Release a.I. where he will see pass block look by OT b. Pass rush QB with containment. TE INSIDE RELEASE E N T E . JAM TE & SQUEEZE down LOS with vision into triangle.

with vision into triangle c.2. TE OUTSIDE RELEASE E N T E . OUTSIDE RELEASE BY TE a. stepping out. pass rush with containment on QB. See OT pass block set up. b. Jam TE. First thinks TE is REACH blocking.

Vision is into backfield triangle looking for any kind of play action or QB roll out. not allowing QB to get outside tackle box.J. 5. 4. N T E OT pulls across formation down the LOS DE follow OT down LOS Squeeze down LOS all the way to the adjacent defensive lineman. QB rolls out. DE VS TACKLE PULL BLOCK TACKLE PULL BLOCK E 1. DE reacts immediately by taking a 45 degree attacking angle to get back on track to contain QB. 3. TACKLE PULL BLOCK QB ROLLS OUT E N T E . 2.

Escape move . shuffle down LOS 5. Power Step 3. Take on any kind of kick out blocker with inside shoulder. DE vs DOWN BLOCK 1. DE vs INSIDE / OUTSIDE RELEASE BY TE 1. Stick chest out 4. Vs Outside Release . Loaded stance 2. Escape with Rip move. Loaded stance 2. DE vs REACH BLOCK 1. Stick butt out. Steps: Lead Step. Keep shoulders square to LOS 5.RIP B. Squeeze and push TE inside down LOS. Stick butt out. then pass rush with outside contain on QB roll out 5. Steps: Lead Step. lock out arms to get separation.Jam TE stepping outside like a reach block reaction. Loaded stance 2. Keep stepping outside of TE 6. Stick butt out. E. Squeeze shuffle down LOS to next defender 5. Power Step 3. lock out arms to get separation. Steps: Lead Step. Jam TE.V. Jam TE. Power Step 3. Steps: Lead Step. Stick butt out. Jam TE. DE vs BASE BLOCK 1. Stick butt out. DE vs TACKLE PULL ACROSS FORMATION 1. D.Jam TE down LOS. lock out arms to get separation. Jam TE. then pass rush with outside containment on QB. lock out arms to get separation. Steps: Lead Step. . Loaded stance 2. lock out arms to get separation. Stick chest out 4. Stick chest out 4. shuffle inside to inside gap responsibility. attack at 45 degree angle to get to containment of QB C. then get shoulders square to LOS. Jam TE. Stick chest out 4. Power Step 3. QB rolls out. TECHNIQUES A. Vs Inside Release . Power Step 3. turning shoulders briefly. Squeeze inside. 5. Loaded stance 2. Stick chest out 4.

VII. b. NG = Lined up in “A” Gap away from “Y” side of formation A E N B T E . THE NOSE GUARD AND DEFENSIVE TACKLE A. First 2 steps 1. 2. FOOTWORK OF DL A. DL acts like a “MOVING WALL” laterally back and forth. Alignment: 1. Being driven backwards off of LOS. a. Front foot = outside foot B. Back foot = inside foot 2. Philosophy of Defensive Line: Do not allow running lanes to be created by 1. DT= Lined up in “B” Gap on “Y” (TE) side of formation. DL will determine the direction of BC by seeing the shoes of the BC in the backfield triangle. forcing BC to bounce to outside. 1st step = LEAD STEP by back foot (inside foot) 2. 2nd step = POWER STEP by front foot (outside foot) 2nd step POWER STEP 1st step: LEAD STEP VIII. Penetrating too deep into backfield 2. B. Feet alignment 1.

NG: 1st two steps toward Offensive Center and make contact with OC. b. Creates running lane 2). READS 1. Guard E a. b. d. E. Get shoulders square to LOS Do not belly around the back of the blocker 1). Steps 1. Visual Key: Offensive lineman to the inside 2. Must stay square to LOS and move laterally to LOS .C. he will be protected from a DOWN block from the OT. Any time DT feels he is being driven backwards dive to ground.the NG & DT are surrounded by OL a. VS Double Team drop to ground and make pile b. Rip across the OL face. grab grass. Determine the direction of the play by seeing the shoes of the BC in the backfield Triangle. c. 4. makes contact with his eyes to the inside and the OG. Reason for keying inside OL . Physical Key: Offensive lineman to the outside 3. PULL RIP ACROSS OT face. If the DT steps out to the OT. DT: Always 1st two steps toward Offensive Tackle and make contact with OT 2. READ KEYS 1. D. N T E DT steps and attacks physical read (OT) with vision on visual read (OG) Escape with PUSH. Upon feeling pressure from the physical key the DL will abandon his visual read and get his vision (eyes) onto his Physical Key and Push. bear crawl or seat roll towards the direction of the play. Pull. If both the Physical & Visual Key for the DL a. Vs a weaker Double team block try and split it c. TACKLE = Pull by O. d. DOWN BLOCK BY O.

Key that OT can not Reach the ILB’S. DT fights across the face of the Physical key (OT). but because of DT alignment this should never happen. OG’s are not allowed to reach block the NG or DT.2. DT steps into Physical Key (OT) feels no pressure. Physical Key overrides visual key DT steps into Physical Key (OT) sees OG down block. the OT is releasing outside Vision goes to Visual key (OG) trying to REACH block - . REACH BLOCK E N W S T E a. b. c. 3. the only way that happens is if the OG reaches the DT. d. b. DOUBLE DOWN BLOCKS BY OG & OT E N W S T E a.

Physical Key goes away. NG steps into physical key (OC). because of the DT’s alignment this won’t happen. visual key (OG) tries to REACH block on NG b. Because of the DT’s alignment the OT is forced to DOWN block to the DT. REACH BLOCK ON NG E N W S T E a. which will free up the SILB to make plays on the BC.4. T S E NG & DT are not expected to get huge pass rush or sacks but will get pressure on QB. so DT can make play on BC. e. Scrape all the down the LOS PASS BLOCK E N W a. . 5.

TUNNEL BLOCK by Visual Key player E a. DT = B gap d. Do everything possible to take on 2 offensive linemen’s gaps. c. N T E Down block by Visual Key tough to react to this block because the momentum of the DL is going into Physical read. Treat like a down block If reaction to block is late spin across the face of the VK E N T E . b.b. Step into PK and see VK blocking down. must rock (redirect) back into VK block and rip across VK face. e. 6. f. but try and split 2 OL forcing OL to go 2 on 1 situation. d. 7. Step into Physical Key. c. Because of alignment there will be no base block. The deeper alignment of the N & T off of the LOS will allow them to see this block easier and reaction to it is quicker. don’t just choose to rush at one OL. this will allow the ILB to blitz BASE BLOCK a. Split and rush gaps: NG = A gap. see both PK & VK set up for pass block.

must react by squeezing down to the inside looking for backside guard trap blocking.8. N T E Do not lose ground down field. Spin must be tight to the blocker and LOS c. b. SPIN TECHNIQUE E a. 9. N W S T E DT will not be blocked by VK or PK. E a. this will create running lanes. TRAP BLOCK ON DT. Always keep moving the “WALL” laterally. .

. 11. TRAP BLOCK VS NG E a. N W S T E No block by the PK or VK squeeze opposite way down LOS DEFENSIVE LINE RULE: Whenever the DL doesn’t get blocked by their PK or VK they should squeeze down the LOS in the opposite direction of where they stepped (into their PK) expecting a block from the direction.10.

Physical & Visual Keys no block. N W S T E TE inside release a. b.12. Squeeze down LOS to next defender’s feet DT . REACH BLOCK GOING OPPOSITE OR TO WEAK SIDE E a. squeeze down LOS inside . 2. E 1. String blocker down the LOS PLAYS THAT DEFENSE LINE NEED TO STOP A. c. N W S T E Physical key tries to reach block to inside and Visual Key goes to next level (ILB’s) React by redirecting like a trap block Step into PK. GUARD TRAP. VK blocks next level. DE Jam TE do not allow off LOS b. IX. d.

b. Fight across the face of the Phys. Penetrate too deep creates running lane and is an easier block for trap blocker. sees Visual key pull across b. Squeeze down LOS with TE. Even if DE squeezes down LOS a Seam or running lane can still be created. . Problem if DT gets pushed off of LOS. looking for Trap block by BSG Do not penetrate causes BSG to go down hill to get to DT for trap block. into Phys. Squeeze down LOS a. Fight across the face of the OT. Step into the direction of the play. key. c. b. c. POWER WITH FULL BACK KICK OUT BLOCK E 1. Squeeze down LOS across the face of the Physical Key (OC) 3. Get inside read by OT. B. Key. OC WEAK SIDE DE a. b. b. 4.must stalemate the double team block NG: Gets double read from Physical & Visual Key a.3. Step into Physical Key. 2. Visual key will take NG to the ball. N W S T E DE: Jam TE a. do not allow free release off of LOS DT: Double team by PST & PSG a. Must not ge driven off of LOS . Hit trap blocker with inside shoulder then fight across the face of the trap blocker NG gets double read a.

OT crosses his face. PK goes away no block a. Cross the face of the VK or spin across the VK face if necessary. NG & WDE will plug up hole by their reaction to the blocks . 2. a.C. 3. NG: Step into PK. tunnel block by VK. no block. DEFENDING WEAK SIDE CROSS BLOCK (FOLD BLOCK) E N W S T E 1. VK goes away. 4. automatically squeeze down LOS to meet block by OG DT: Step in PK. NG automatically squeeze down LOS opposite of first step (away from PK) to attack the cross blocker (OT) WDE: Step into OT.

SILB: 1). N W DE: 1). c. N W S T E WDE: a. String out the reach block by OT b. Mirror the BC redirect BC to bounce out or cutback ALL DL: a. T S E Jam TE. DEFENDING THE CROSS SWEEP E 1. String out reach blockers DEFENDING THE OPTION 1. b. squeeze down LOS Take away dive back Stalemate double team QB Responsibility . DT: 1). 2). 2.D. E. Inside release by TE: E a.

OUTSIDE RELEASE BY TE E a. Squeeze down LOS to middle of formation to DIVE BACK . c. QB Responsibility SILB: 1). Squeeze down LOS to DIVE BACK TO QB SILB: 1). PITCH MAN responsibility PK & VK both go the 2nd level (inside release) a). Jam TE and string out like a Reach block 2). QB responsibility OLB: 1). Dive back responsibility Open Door concept 1). N W S T E DE: 1). Fill any opening on OL by ILB INSIDE COMPONENT OF THE OPTION E N W a. b. d. b. DT: 1). c. T Dive S QB Dive / QB E Pitch Man R DE: 1).2. 3.

“TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE” BLOCK by OL 2).Treat as run play b/c ball has to be exchanged behind the LOS b. N W S T E ROLL OUT PASS a. DEFENDING THE PASSING GAME 1.F. DL Key: 1). by pushing OL back into QB b. not let outside of tackle box c. DT & NG not expected to get many sacks. DE: Must contain QB by attacking DL outside shoulder. E N W S T Green Light Blitz E 3. but will put pressure on QB. Reason for retracing . When DL reads screen pass retrace steps in rush lane asap. allows play side ILB to GREEN LIGHT BLITZ. NG: A gap pressure d. SCREEN PASS a. DE: Outside Contain of QB. DROP BACK PASS a. DT: B gap pressure E 2. QB bailing out deeper than 5 step drop . 1).

b. slow down pass rush and retrace steps to RB . N W S T E Defending the Draw 1. DL attack in pass rush lanes.E G. 6-7 yds deep in the back field. when play is recognized RETRACE STEPS a. As you see the play develop. Get vision to tail back .most draws are given to the deep RB.

E N W S T E .

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