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November 2005

November 2005


Fire Zone Scheme

Teaching Underneath Coverage Techniques In The Fire Zone Scheme
by: Dale L. Sprague
© November 2005

Coaching defensive football has taken on a whole new look in recent years with the advent of the “Fire Zone” or what is popularly referred to as the “Zone Blitz.” These schemes, first utilized by several NFL teams in the late 1980s and early 1990s, allow defensive coaches the capability to send five rushers (and in some cases six) while still being able to stay in a zone coverage shell behind the blitz. This scheme first evolved to help defenders take away the offense’s ability to throw the “Hot Read” pass route; a quick inside or short throw that is dependent upon a receiver recognizing the blitz and then replacing the blitzing defender and enabling the quarterback to get the ball off quickly (See Diagrams 1 and 2).

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