Tuesday, June 28, 2011



Just wanted to invite everyone to get signed onto their computers, as I will be presenting my first Webinar for the Glazier Clinic's online on Thursday June 30th.  Topic:  4-3 Fronts Build and Spill

So, if you have a Glazier membership, get signed on as I go on at 5:00 pm Central time.  I am looking forward to it!

Coach Hjorth

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

3-5 Zone Blitzes

Throughout the last post, the message was made clear that the 3-5 can complicate blocking rules because of the different amount of pressure packages defensive coordinators are able to put together.  Today's post is based on just two of the hundreds of zone blitz packages that a 3-5 defense can use to disorient the QB and opposing offense.

The focus is on the TORCH and CLUB zone blitzes.  Each complicates the QB's read, because they use simple zone blitzing techniques to confuse the offense.  TORCH is the DE and SS/OLBs zone blitzing games, and CLUB is both DEs and both SSs moving.

 *** A key to zone blitzing, the defensive lineman must always step forward, checking for run, before he takes off into his zone. ***


Torch alerts the callside DE that he will be dropping into his zone.  His zone is defined as the shallow flat (5 yards depth).  Torch also alerts the callside stack linebacker and strong safety they will be blitzing the B and outside gap.  The advantage of torch is the simplicity of bringing four man pressure.

By tagging OPEN into TORCH, assignments can be changed simply.  Open designates the open (or weak) side to perform their TORCH responsibilities.  Now the Open end drops into his zone coverage, and the Open stack linebacker and strong safety attack their gaps.


Club alerts both defensive ends (DE) that they will be dropping into their shallow flat drops.  This compliments the Torch blitz, because the DEs do not have to learn a new technique or zone to cover.  Club also alerts both strong safeties that they will be blitzing the outside gap, using their speed to rush past the O-line.  Club is based off of bringing three man pressure, dropping 8, but giving a different look to the offense.

When wanting to bring more pressure out of the club look, a tag can be added, such as "Mike."  This alerts the Mike that he will be blitzing, allowing the defensive coordinator to bring 4 man pressure off the edge and up the middle, while dropping his defensive ends into their zones.

The best part about the simplicity of the defense, is that additional blitzes that were covered earlier can be added into the zone blitzing scheme.  For example, Bear was covered in the last posting.  This let the two stack backers (Sam and Will) know they will be blitzing the B gap.  Now with Bear Club, those stack backers will be blitzing, while club alerts the DEs they will drop into their zone and the safeties will blitz the outside gap, ultimately bringing 5 man pressure from multiple different positions, while still maintaining the integrity of the Cover 3 Shell behind it.  


Zone Blitzing is one of the most effective ways to get pressure on the QB, and confuse the offensive line.  When run effectively, QB's are often hit by many defenders, leaving them on the ground and frustrated.

Take advantage of the advancements of zone blitzing, and get it into your defense today!

Coming up.... defensive line play out of the 3-5

As always, you MUShead over to www.chiefpigskin.com for the best coverage of football on the web!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pressure out of the 3-5

The best part about the 3-5 is the pressure package out of it.  There are a variety of options to send pressure out of it.  In all actuality, there are 100's of ways to confuse the offense and bring 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 man pressure.  
Today I plan to focus on the inside pressure out of the 3-5.  The focus will be on bringing 5 man pressure out of the 3-5.  The basic philosophy of bringing 5 man pressure out of the 3-5 is to slant the front 3 and bring two LBs.  By bringing 5, the defensive is still able to play their base cover 3, with three across and three deep.  The question becomes, how do you play zone with only 6 zone men?
There are simple rules to run Cover 3 with 6 zone men:

#1  Players have to be taught how to read route combinations. If the Free Safety is keying the #2 receiver, and he goes on an Arrow route, chances are the #1 receiver will be coming into the Free Safety's zone.  
#2  Players must be taught the concept of playing man in your zone.  A great example of this is how basketball players have their zone, but as a man enters it, that man becomes theirs.  

Here are some common 3-5 5 man blitzes, for terminology, I have used how Air Force has tagged them in the past:

Bear alters the Sam and Will that they will be blitzing the B-Gap, while the DE's have outside contain and the Nose bullrushes the Center for penetration.

Tiger alerts the Mike that he will shoot the strongside A gap, allowing the nose to slant into the weak A gap.  Tiger plays the same as Bear for the DE's and Sam.  The difference is that the Will must not cover the middle zone of the field in passing situations.  

Shoot alerts the Mike that he will shoot the weak A gap, allowing the nose to slant into the strong A gap.  Shoot plays the same as Bear for the DE's and Will.  The difference is that the Sam must not cover the middle zone of the field in passing situations.  

These are traditional 5 man blitzes vs. Pro teams.  With the evolution of the spread, 3-5 teams have been able to continue to play 5 man blitzing games no matter the formations offenses throw at them.  Below are some popular 3-5  5 man blitzes vs. Spread formations

3-5 teams love using Thunder (Some teams call it Longstick) to attack teams that slide their protection.  It is basically an overload blitz, putting 4 blitzers vs. 3 O-Linemen.  The key is to use the athletic ability and speed of your players.  The DE must get down the line and into the A gap.  This opens up the line for the LBs to come blitzing through.


Tight is the same idea as Thunder, but to the strong side of the formation.  

3-5 teams rely on putting the pressure on offensives, and bringing defenders from all over the field.  They want that QB to feel like he is in a pressure cooker, with the steam about to blow that lid off.  These simple blitzes are used to confuse and frustrate the offense, helping the 3-5 become one of the most popular defense out there.  


Coming up...... Pressure Package part 2

As always, check out www.chiefpigskin.com for the best football coverage on the web!  For those schools that get a chance to have summer camp, enjoy your time with your players, and coach them up!  Coach Hjorth