There are techniques behind these movements and the slightest hint of poor eye discipline or false movement can trigger the offense and result in surrendering potential big plays. We reached out to several defensive coordinators, both at the high school and college level, to ask them how they disguise their pressure concepts. Read it here...
By Bobby Peters
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In the modern era of no-huddle offenses, coupled with look tempo, it has become necessary for defensive coordinators to disguise their pressure patterns pre-snap as to not tip off the quarterback or coaches in the other press box. It almost becomes necessary to have a system in place where defenders on the back end do not give away any pressure indicators. But how they disguise their pressures must fit within their system. There are techniques behind these movements and the slightest hint of poor eye discipline or false movement can trigger the offense and result in surrendering potential big plays. We reached out to several defensive coordinators, both at the high school and college level, to ask them how they disguise their pressure concepts as to not tip off the offense and asked the following four questions:
- What coaching points do you use to instruct your cornerbacks to vary their disguise in corner pressure, trap coverage and cloud coverage as it pertains to the following: QB cadence, offensive formation structure and field location (boundary/hash)?
- What coaching points do you use to instruct your safeties to vary their disguise in transitioning from MFO (middle field open) to MFC (middle field closed) pressure concepts as it pertains to the following: QB cadence, offensive formation structure and field location (boundary/hash)?
- What coaching points do you use to instruct your second level defenders to vary their disguise between showing (mugging) pressure and bailing out as it pertains to the following: QB cadence and pass protection indicators? Provide a specific example of how you will check your pressure against look tempo teams? How do you double call your pressure? Will you have an auto check opposite? Do you pair your pressure packages each week based on game plan?
Their anonymous responses are below:
Provide a specific example of how you will check your pressure against look tempo teams? How do you double call your pressure? Will you have an auto check opposite? Do you pair your pressure packages each week based on game plan?
“We are a check with me defense for the most part and are right/left in our pressure calls anyways. We go off a “Roger/Louie” call and fit a “Liz/Rip” as a coverage call to communicate it. The best thing about being a three under, three deep team is you are balanced and can handle trips to both sides so the only reason we would check is to get a free defender loose. We could easily check a “Roger Tibet call” to a “Louie Tibet” call without a heck of a lot changing. We use field/boundary and the quick receiver side as our strength call, but keeping a right/left mentality against 1 back teams makes it easier.”
“Now a team that is up tempo and is in 20 or 21 we have to auto check it to the backfield, which is much tougher. Field boundary in that case can’t help you with the RPO game and power read game. But keeping a Right/Left mentality in terms of initial installation makes the check with me situation pretty fluid. We also can just bring the strong side by calling “slant” or the away side by calling “angle” but that would involve a game planned strength call.”
“We let the linebackers call the pressures against a tempo team. We educate them on if they have a certain tendency we want to take advantage of or best calls for situations.”
“We check many different ways against tempo teams. We can go from coverage to blitz or blitz to coverage or blitz to blitz. We double call everything. Depending on our game plan that particular week we will take our best pressures and pair them with the best coverage we will run. Example of a call - Nickel 33 Blow/Trey. If they don’t check we are running BLOW blitz, if the QB checks we are running Trey coverage. When we check blitz to blitz it will always be our zone blitz coverage. Most of the time if we have a blitz to the right and they check we will check a blitz to the left but it wont be the same blitz. An example could be Dime Seahawk/Bandit Hot. If they don’t check, we run Seahawk to the right. If they check we will run Bandit to the left. Again all of this is based on game plan on how we want to attack the offense this particular week.”
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- The different indicators DCs will use to trigger pressure against Gun and under Center offenses.
- How DCs teach their backside corners in 3x1 to invite or bait particular free access throws to the X.
- Why the QBs hands are still the most important indicator for defenses to trigger pressure.
- The verbiage these coaches will use as buzz words to alert their safeties not to roll or melt pre maturely.
- How offensive formation and field location dictate the type of disguise DCs are using in the back end.
- Why the hip level of the DL is the appropriate landmark for second level defenders “sugaring” or “mugging” pressure.
- The protocols of mugging pressure DCs are using based off a zone or man protect offense.
- Why it becomes necessary to auto check pressures to the backfield against 20 and 21 personnel offenses.
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Pressure at the right time and at the right circumstance can be catastrophic for the offense. Consequently, pressure at wrong time can potentially cultivate big plays for the offense. So, it becomes necessary to have protocols in place to both disguise and alter pressure based off of various offensive indicators.