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smuBy Mike Kuchar, Senior Research Manager, X&O Labs

Find out how some of the top teams in the country are applying their blitz check schemes against 4 to a side formations.

By Mike Kuchar @MikeKKuchar

Senior Research Manager

X&O Labs


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Four To A Side Pressure Checks To Defend Screens, Swings And Sprint Outs


We wanted to combine sprint out protection beaters with a four to a side protection concept, which is usually utilized with the back set to the trips side.  There is a possibility of getting four out, which would usually dictate a pressure adjustment by the defense.  We’ve found that with the back set to the trips side there is an increasing possibility of some form of speed option or sprint out.  These protections will usually have a full gate with a TE and back off the edge or two backs off the edge changing the launch point of an offense.  The most common adjustment against sprint out concepts is to check the pressure to the receiver strength and get immediate edge pressure, forcing the quarterback to pull up prematurely and abort the run component of the run/pass option entailed in sprint out schemes.  One of the checks that Kuchinski uses is what he calls “Steve” which is a zone blitz designed to attack Sprint out. “We can run Steve out of multiple fronts,” said Kuchinski.  “We like running it out of the under frontso the gate including a potential TE stays away from our LB’s. Our DE to the pressure side has an Arrow tech on the Guard, our Nose has a Bull and Pull away from the pressure. Our DE away from the pressure has a Stab tech. Our OLB to the pressure has an Ice read on the TE/OT if he goes done on the Arrow DE the OLB will come tight down the LOS and inside of any backs (Diagram 106). If the TE/OT works out toward the OLB he will cross face into the inside gap (Diagram 107).The ILB toward the pressure side has a contain rush toward the up field shoulder of the QB and outside of any back to contain the rollout.”




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  • Varying pressure paths for the Sam and Mike linebacker based off the leverage of the receivers.
  • Why a two-deep, four under package may be more productive than a three-deep, three-under configuration.
  • How a trap coverage adjustment by the Corners could provide immediate support on the perimeter.
  • Plus film on all these concepts.

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These are just some pressure concepts that can be easily implemented to attack common four-to-a-side play concepts such as jailbreak screens, swings and sprint out passing.  These can be automatic checks made by your signal caller to alert a possible pressure scenario.  More of this information can be found in XandOLabs.com special report on developing a pressure check system.  





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