Just like everything else we game plan in football, the pressures we bring defensively should be calculated and precise. We want to maximize the chance of success and mitigate any failures to reach the QB. Bringing pressure can do 2 things typically; it can wreak havoc on the offense or it can spell doom for the defense. The old saying “live by the blitz: die by the blitz” is what we want to avoid. When done correctly, a sophisticated pressure package can be unstoppable.
The first thing that should be done is identification of all the protections that the offensive line is going use, and when they are going to use them. Once identified, you should target the weak spots of that particular protection. For instance, in half slide the weak point is the side where the RB is responsible for a linebacker and pressures that come from the opposite direction of the slide. Big on Big protection the weak points will be between covered linemen. Once you have determined where to attack, your pressure will only be consistently effective if you use them within these 2 parameters: 1-bring more than the offense has to block. 2-bring pressure from where the offensive line cannot see the blitzer coming. I will provide 10 ways to effectively bring pressure using these guidelines.
BRING MORE THAN THEY GOT
This is pretty self-explanatory. If you bring more bodies than they have, one will come free. The down side is you take an extra defender out of coverage. There are countless variations you can use, but here are 4:
COME FROM BLIND SPOTS
These are what I call money blitzes. They are highly effective because the OL can’t see where the blitz is coming from. You need to do your homework and scout though! Attack the protection in its weak spots where the OL has no chance to see you coming. The cost of these pressures is low as well, as they allow you to keep defenders in coverage.
- B Gap Exchange
- A Gap Exhange
- Sam Spike
If you really want to cause chaos you can bring more than they have and bring them from blind spots! You can really get creative and have fun here, just don’t try and do too much.
- Mike A Gap Exchange Overload
- Willie A Gap Exchange Overload
Would I do all of these? NO! I would game plan these week to week. These would be specialized pressures based on the offensive attack we are facing that week. The bulk of your prep should be working on your base defense and being structurally sound to all formations and plays the offense will show you. Through proper game planning you identify the spots and times that you should bring pressure to disrupt the offense and force them to punt or cause a turnover. Make sure you subscribe with your email address to get updates whenever a new article posts! I would encourage you to check out “The Most Versatile Defense” Part 1 and Part 2. Follow me on twitter here @thecoachvogt.