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By Zach Cunningham, Defensive Coordinator, Del Sol High School (NV)

Just like how offensive guys get “giddy” about new pass concepts and blocking schemes, us defensive guys get just as excited for blitz packages. No matter how exotic the blitz packages you come up with are, you will get burned unless you have an effective system in place.

By Zach Cunningham
Defensive Coordinator
Del Sol High School (NV)
Twitter: @CoachCunny

 

 

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I want to thank X&O Labs for the opportunity to contribute to this amazing football coaching community. It truly is an honor to be a part of something so special for such a long time. Coaching defense is fun, exciting, and tough. One of the more interesting aspects of coaching defense is the blitz game. Just like how offensive guys get “giddy” about new pass concepts and blocking schemes, us defensive guys get just as excited for blitz packages. No matter how exotic the blitz packages you come up with are, you will get burned unless you have an effective system in place. Within this system, you need to have adjustments and have a validated reason for calling the blitz.

When installing blitz packages, or even a defense for that matter, you need to have a system. A sound system is one that can adjust to multiple formations, motions, etc. A sound system also must be simple enough for your players to be able to make the adjustment quickly.

Our teaching progression begins on the board. Note: by the time we start installing blitz packages, we have already taught the basics of our defense to the players: positions, gaps, techniques, etc. We will teach the run/pass rules of the blitz on the board. Then on the field, we will walk through the blitzes on trash cans to get a lot of stationary reps.

After we do blitz walkthrough on cans, we will then do a blitz period vs the offense. If you do not utilize a blitz period during your practices, I highly encourage you to start doing it. After the blitz period, we will then do the practiced blitzes during team segments vs the Scout Offense.

 

 

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  • The progressive teaching method that Coach Cunningham uses when teaching his pressure system.
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  • How he uses this method to transition into breaking down and attacking the opponent’s personnel.
  • Plus, game film on these pressures.

 

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Conclusion

The ability to blitz an offense with whoever and however you want is endless for a defensive coordinator. But you need to not only install a system for blitzing but have a reason for dialing up the blitz. Most importantly, your players need to master the concepts, so they don’t give up the big play, no matter how awesome the blitz looks on paper. Just like anything else, the blitz game is all about teaching.

 

 

Meet Coach Cunningham: Coach Zach Cunningham began his coaching career in Kansas City, Missouri after playing 4 years at William Jewell College. He has coached at high schools such as William Chrisman, Winnetonka, and perennial power Harrisonville. Cunningham moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to take on new challenges. He has coached at Cimarron-Memorial High School, Spring Valley High School, and is currently the Defensive Coordinator at Del Sol High School.

 

 

 

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