Sunday, December 4, 2016
Getting to the quarterback for a sack or just the pressure on the quarterback alone is a goal that every defense should have in a game. Being able to get that sack or put pressure on the quarterback with a standard four man front by the defense has become more difficult in today’s game then it used to be. Offenses have created more effective schemes that protect the quarterback from blitzes by spreading the offense out. One of the most effective ways to create pressure and getting to the quarterback in today’s game by the defense is zone blitzing.
Zone blitzes by the defense have become not only popular but effective because they are safe for the defense by protecting against deep passes by the offense. The zone blitzes usually consist of six defenders in pass coverage while still putting pressure or getting the sack on the quarterback with five defensive rushers.
“For as long as defenses have played zone defense, there have been zone blitzes. Defenders have long tried to occupy pass blockers by faking a rush and backing into a zone. Done correctly, can result in the defense having a true victory” – Chris Brown
Zone blitz allows the defense to apply five man pressure on the quarterback and keeping three deep in coverage and three in a under zone shell in the back end of the defense. The zone blitz can be utilized from both a 4-3 and 3-4 defense. To confuse an offense, the zone blitz can be hidden through pre snap to mess up the offense protection.
Breakdown of zone blitz responsibilities in a 4-3:
RE: drop to open side
DT: Scoop to open side to contain rush
NT: Scoop to open side ( a gap)
LE: Long scoop to closed side (a gap)
S: Closed side contain blitz
M: Closed side C gap blitz
W: Drop to middle hook
FS: Deep middle coverage
RC: Drop to coverage
LC: Drop to coverage
Key Points: with the zone blitz, disguising the blitz in pre-snap by showing a cover 2 is good to do. At the snap of the ball is when corners should use the bail technique to get where they need to be. Showing the blitz to early can tip of the offense to make adjustments for the blitz.