Developing a Weekly Pressure Plan

Jun 3, 2018 | Defense, Scouting Reports, Game Planning

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



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.


Practice 1 Example





Hands & Hips

3 Step

Read Step



Block Destruction




Score Team vs Block Team


Double Team vs O





Punt Rush


Double Inside vs O

1v1 WR


Double Pass Rush vs O

Blocking vs WR


Double Rush vs Self



Block Reaction

Hands & Hips


Cover the Routes


Scout Tackle Drills get reps


Double Blitz

Scouts 1 on 1



Scout Indy