When we plan to use Zone Blitzes with our football players, we need to know our intentions. What are you going to force the offense to do with your blitz?
- Force the passer to move out of the pocket.
- Contain the passer.
- Stop the inside run.
- Stop the outside run.
There aren’t a whole lot of other things you can do to an offense. To accomplish these tasks, we’ll use 3 types of Zone Blitzes (which can also be man blitzes with Cover 1 behind them).
Inside Zone Blitz
If you want to stop the inside run, or force the passer out of the pocket, an inside blitz is a good choice.
Be careful though, make sure you actually want the QB out of the pocket. If you flush an athletic QB out with an inside blitz, you’ve probably got less athletic football players on the contain rush.
You don’t need a lot of inside blitzes. They all accomplish the task of filling up the inside gaps (or at least leaving a Linebacker to play any open gap before he drops out on pass), and are all generally weak on containing the QB.Pick out a couple of inside blitzes that put your football players in the best position to be successful and move on.
I do like to adapt these blitzes to replace a blitzing linebacker with a Safety, and this one is no different. Bringing a Safety crossing off the first Backer’s butt through A-Gap can be pretty tough to pick up!
Single Edge Zone Blitz
If you want to get the QB running, a Single Edge zone blitz is probably the way to go. This is a good one to attack from the Field side, where the QB only has a small area to try to escape to the boundary.
America’s Fire Zone is one of the popular versions of the Single Edge. You get some movement on the Defensive Line causing the OL some confusion, and bring speed of the single edge.
A key point here is the slam technique by the Tackle away from the blitzing linebackers. He’s the contain rusher, and he needs to be ready for that QB to be flushed out. He slams through the inside hip of the Tackle and works outside, not upfield, expecting the QB to be flushed.
Most single edge pressures are not great calls against the run. They (often) require a lot of line movement. This doesn’t mean they can’t stop the run, just that its probably not wise to make this call on 3rd & 2.
Double Edge Zone Blitz
The great thing about the Double Edge Zone Blitz is that it fits nicely with a lot of 1 high defenses. You’ve got your 2 overhangs int he 3-5-3 or 4-2-5 Defense that run the outside pressure. For the 4-3 Defense there needs to be a little movement out of the Backers to get into position.
That gives you a good excuse to use the Safety here, too, if you’d like to. It only changes one man!
This style of blitz is also good against the inside run. In fact, tagging a “Cut” to the call can tell your blitzing OLB to crash hard, spilling anything that comes to him to the outside to be handled by the inverted Safety. This is good to use to the field side.
Zone blitzes can be a lot of fun for you and your kids. They are often better at defending the run than Man blitzes, because your other defenders don’t have their back to the blitz.
Then again, there’s definitely something to said for Cover 0 and bringing the house – and its usually a lot less complicated!
Want to learn more about Zone Blitzing? Read Dominating Football Defense with the Zone Blitz eBook for a complete guide on installing the Zone Blitz with any front.