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The Situation

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The Situation

Youre on defense with your opponent facing a third and 7 from midfield. Theyre in a spread formation with two receivers on the right side, one flanked left and another in the left slot. Youve been in a 4-4 defense most of the day and effective with blitz packages.
You see their quarterback drop straight back...

How do you stop them from converting on third down?

Ryan Dean Ruschhaupt, Assistant Coach,
USA National Team (Germany), AFM Subscriber since August, 2004

Typhoon Zone Sam C42:
4-4, Zone Blitz by the Sam LB, split field coverage; C4 on the strong side, C2 on the weak side (4 is strong side, 2 is weak side). The strength of the offense is balanced, so we would use the QBs throwing style to determine mid-field strength; strong left would be the call according to the scouting report.

Both Defensive Ends would be in a 5 tech and tilted allowing them the opportunity to already win the hips battle against our opponents tackles. This would put a great amount of pressure on the tackle to kick step in order to make-up the difference. The left defensive tackle would be in a 3 tech with his ears pinned, back high and fingers moving. We really want him to sell that hes going to angle hard through to the A gap so he should have a strong lean in that direction. The right side tackle should be prowling between a 1 tech and a 3 tech, he has a free rush, and he can come through either the A or B gap. Both Inside LBs start with their heels at 5 yards, they are stacked over their tackles. Once the QB puts his hand under center the Will begins prowling with the right defensive tackle and they are playing a gap exchange game and trying to draw the QBs attention. Both OLBs should have their heels at 5 and be aligned 1 yard inside the hash marks. The CBs are both in a tight coverage look until the QB puts his hands under center and then they begin to creep out slowly, turning their hips towards the QB as they bail out. The safety is playing shallow at 12 yards off the LOS.

The ball is snapped:
Both Defensive Ends are attacking the outside shoulder of the offensive tackles with leverage. The left tackle takes a hard read step toward the A gap, as he reads the guard and center. If he reads run he comes through his gap, but if he reads pass he drops at a 45 and gets to his hook curl alignment. The right tackle picks a gap and goes. The Sam Linebacker waits till he sees both the offensive tackle and guards shoulders begin to separate and then he blitzes through the B gap on a low lean with his shoulders turned (Get Small). The Will Linebacker gap exchanges (takes the gap that the DT didnt take) with the tackle, but he reads pass and drops to his hook-curl alignment; if no one is there he gets deeper and has the seam if #2 goes vertical. The right OLB tries to get a piece of the slot and funnels him to the Will (Eyes to the backfield), then settles back into the flats and deepens if there is no one in his zone. The left OLB must wall off the middle zone long enough for the tackle to get to his zone. He then tries to re-route the receiver keeping him from easily entering the tackles zone. He then flows through his man to the flats, settles and deepens if there is no one there. The safety is spying the weakness in the defense which is strong side hook to curl; he rolls losing ground to his strong side middle quarter. He knows he has to jump the hook-curl zone if the OLB does not wall off the slot well enough or the DT reads run instead of pass. The right corner gets deep to his half field alignment reading the #2 receiver on his side and looking for crossing patterns. The left corner backpedals to his quarter and reads the #2 receiver on his side. This defense should put the maximum amount of pressure on the QB while retaining 6.5 players in coverage and if the defense can cover the weaknesses well the play should have a great chance to be successful.

Typhon Zone Sam C42



Rich Holzer,
Defensive Coordinator, Westlake High School (MD)
AFM Subscriber since Dec, 1995

Here at Westlake we would call our 4-4 Under Cover 0 Gut Switch Blitz. We would align our secondary in a Cover 3 look shell. At the last possible second we are Squirming to our Cover 0, or man with no help coverage. Our best player is our MLB so we will align with our inside backers at 5yds depth in the B gaps. When the secondary squirms the SLB walks up and stacks behind the 1 tech. On the snap the SLB shoots the weakside A gap & the MLB shoots the strong side A Gap. This creates a twist effect, which will hopefully confuse the Center, causing him to pick up the SLB & opening a free run to the QB for the MLB. The DTs are penetrating B, with the FS on the RB. As a change up we can peel the DEs & either double a WR with the FS or send him as the seventh rusher to the strength.

Under Cover Zero Blitz



Jason P. Wilson,
Head Freshman Coach,
Birminghan Groves High School (MI)
AFM Subscriber since November, 2002

I run a combo blitz off the left edge (their slot) and middle. We bring our corner off the slot hard at the snap, dropping our Will into man coverage. Our Sam will come right A gap with the tackle and end on that side running an outside pinch. We want to force the pocket to collapse outside-in, with Sam coming hot into the QBs face. Our coverage is Man, with SS on Right slot and CB on Right SE. FS has left (our right) SE and Will has left slot.

Combo Blitz








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