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By Nick Davis, Defensive Coordinator & LB Coach, Rose-Hulman Institution of Technology (IN)


We feel that if you emphasize something that your players will respond. Our linebackers and defensive linemen practice getting pressure on the quarterback every day.

 



By Nick Davis
Defensive Coordinator & LB Coach
Rose-Hulman Institution of Technology (IN)
Twitter: @Spread_Defense

 

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We feel that if you emphasize something that your players will respond. Our linebackers and defensive linemen practice getting pressure on the quarterback every day. It is because of those efforts we were able to get 80 sacks over the last two seasons which equates to 3.8 sacks per game.

Being able to get pressure starts with our coaching staff. Our breakdowns for each opponent starts way before the Sunday before next our game. We have experts for each of the three main areas of the game. Our defensive back coach breaks down the skill player aspect of the opponents passing game, our defensive line coach breaks down all of the run game, and I break down all the pass protections. This allows us to be an expert in our area and allows us to break down every game they have played.

On Sunday and Monday, we choose six to ten calls we would like to do during the week to get pressure on our opponents. We want to present a few different things to figure out how the team is going to protect against our plan. We want to be able to bring 3, 4, 5, and 6 man rushes each week. We want to rush out of Odd, Even, Bear and everyone walked up looks. We feel that both pressure and the allusion of pressure are import parts of our plan. Below is a look at the percentages of the four areas in each category where our sacks came from.

  • 3 Man Rush- 10 Sacks: 24% of our Sacks
  • 4 Man Rush- 28 Sacks: 67% of our Sacks
  • 5 Man Rush- 4 Sacks: 9% of our Sacks
  • 6 Man Rush-0 Sacks

 

  • 3 Down Fronts-26 Sacks: 63% of our Sacks
  • 4 Down Fronts-11 Sacks: 27% of our Sacks
  • Bear Fronts-0 Sacks
  • Everyone Walked up-3 Sacks: 7% of our Sacks

The most important part of getting pressure is practicing our plan. Every padded practice we start with a pass rush emphasis drill in period one. Our defensive line will work on different hand and hip drills. Our linebackers will work on our first three steps vs every block we can possibly see for the line of scrimmage or linebacker depth. In period two, we come together to do our movement on bags drill. We are working on the get off aspect of pass rush. Here both our defensive line and linebackers get reps with each side of the ball and get to use different stances.

 

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  • His Day 1 practice plan, including the individual, group and team period drills Coach Davis uses to teach pressure elements.
  • His Day 2 practice plan, including the individual, group and team period drills Coach Davis uses to teach pressure elements.
  • His Day 3 practice plan, including the individual, group and team period drills Coach Davis uses to teach pressure elements.
  • His Day 1 practice plan, including the individual, group and team period drills Coach Davis uses to teach pressure elements.
  • The game day responsibilities he gives his staff and players to evaluate and attack protections.
  • Plus narrated game film on how this pressure plan is applied on game day.

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Conclusion 
If you practice and emphasize getting pressure with your linebackers and defensive linemen, you will be able to get pressure on game day. If the coaches can present some different looks and have a backup plan, then you can always be one step ahead.

Meet Coach Davis: Nick Davis enters his seventh season on the Rose-Hulman staff and his fourth year as defensive coordinator. Davis has led one of the nation's top defenses over his three seasons. His spread defense has led the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in total defense scoring defense, sacks, interceptions, rushing defense, 3rd down defense over the last three years. His has mentored several All-Conference, All-Region, Academic All-Americans, and All-Americans in his seven years.

 

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