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mtsuBy Jamie Marshall (DC) and Bo Beck (DL), Montana State University


Why risk sending six with no security valve? The benefits of a three-deep, two-under six man pressure are three-fold: You get five sets of eyes on the quarterback, you can still confidently fit the run game and have the ability to have “knock down” defenders if the ball carrier breaks to the second level. Montana State University shares its Open Wolf and Open Dog pressure package that has the ability to both outnumber protection and have a post player coming downhill on the ball carrier.

 



 

By Jamie Marshall

Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, and Secondary Coach

Montana State University

and

Bo Beck

Recruiting Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach

Montana State University

 

 

Introduction:

mtsuIn our clinic report, we wanted to share two of our open front, three deep, two under zone pressures.The overall philosophy of this pressure package to be aggressive by bringing six man pressure.

The coverage philosophy is to have five sets of eyes on the QB and be able to break on his intentions; see the run and fit outside in (SCIF players); and have the ability to have “knock down” defenders if the ball carrier is to break free. We believe that these points lend this coverage to be better than a cover-zero man principled coverage. Because we are bringing six, we do not believe that the QB is going to have enough time to look the defenders off; get to his second read, or pump fake the defenders. Both of these pressures are installed as six-man pressure with no peel responsibility, however we do have the ability to tag each pressure to ensure peel contain.

The coverage principal for both of these blitz concepts is a 3 deep, 2 under zone, which remains identical in structure to our base press Quarters coverage scheme. The only difference between the coverages is the position responsible for being the post player and the SCIF players. Our pre-snap structure will look exactly like our press Quarters coverage. This blitz package is a tremendous compliment to our base package. We believe that the simplicity and aggressiveness of these pressures is the reason for their success.

Coverage Player Responsibilities

The 3 deep, 2 under coverage principles are as follows:

Corner:

  • Play bail technique
  • As you bail, work to gain width on the outside WR.
  • You must read the QB and be ready to break on the ball.

The corners are responsible for their deep third. They must use a press-bail technique and have vision on the quarterback, while having an awareness of where their immediate threats are located. We tell them to bail to the outside shoulder of the #1 wide receiver to their side.

Post Player:

  • Key EMOL for run/pass.
  • Versus pass, open up to the inside and push shuffle with eyes on the QB.
  • Your landmark is inside the nearest vertical threat.
  • You must read the QB and be ready to break on his intentions.

The post player will open inside and take two shuffle steps before committing to the post. He will also have eyes on the QB. If the QB throws the ball, the post player must break on the intentions of the QB.  Although he is ultimately responsible for the post, he will lean heavier to his near threat, which will be #2 or #3 depending on the formation. We expect the ball to come out hot, thus allowing him to be slow to the post and read the QB intentions.

Strong SCIF (Seam, Curl, Flat Player):

  • Key EMOL for run/pass.
  • Versus a pass, work to your landmark. Your landmark is inside #2, eight to 10 yards deep.
  • You must read the QB and be ready to break on his intentions.
  • While reading the QB’s eyes you must be able to feel the routes of the near WRs.
  • Versus a run, your fit will be determined by the blitz called.
  • Versus speed option, you are the pitch player.

Weak SCIF:

  • Key EMOL for run/pass.
  • Versus pass, work to your landmark. Your landmark is inside #2 weak or #3 strong, eight to 10 yards deep.
  • You must read the QB and be ready to break on his intentions.
  • While reading the QB’s eyes you must be able to feel the routes of the near WRs.
  • Versus run, your fit will be determined by the blitz called.
  • Versus speed option, you are the pitch player.

The SCIF players are our seam-curl-flat defenders. Their landmark is the inside shoulder of #2, eight to 10 yards deep. They must see the QB and break on his intentions. They are not coached to route match or reroute the WRs. Their job versus pass is to break on the QBs intentions.

For a peak at this concept in action, click on the video below:

 

Coach, check this out…

X&O Labs Insiders members, please click here to login and get the full-length version of Montana State’s 3 Deep, 2 Under Pressure Package clinic report. Here’s a short list of what Coach Marshall and Coach Beck reveal:

  • VIDEO: Check out all game film on both these pressure concepts.
  • Get all 11 players’ assignments behind both of these pressures: Open Wolf and Open Dog blitz.
  • How Montana State correlates the setting of the front with the pressure package to combat up-tempo offensive structures.
  • How the key blitzer has the option to opt out of the pressure based off his post-snap progression.
  • Why using a “gap rock” technique for first level defenders to the concept side provides for immediate gap penetration.
  • The pre-snap adjustments and communication process used to match these pressures against 3x1 formations. 
  • How using a “peel” technique variable helps negate when offenses get backs out in routes.

Get Full Access: Join X&O Labs’ exclusive Insiders membership program and gain full access to Montana State’s clinic report and game film… Click here to join now.

 

Conclusion:

Aggressive pressures are always hard to cover on the back end, but we feel that the benefits of a 3 deep, 2 under six man pressure are three-fold: You get five sets of eyes on the quarterback, you can still confidently fit the run game and have the ability to have “knock down” defenders if the ball breaks the second level. It is our hope that you are able to see how our Open Wolf and Open Dog pressure package have the ability to both outnumber protection and have a post player breaking on the ball.  

 

Authors’ Bios: 

Jamie Marshall: Coach Marshall just completed his 8th season at the helm of MSU’s defense. Marshall’s defensive units have produced the 2012 (Caleb Schreibeis) and 2013 (Brad Daly) Buck Buchanan Award winners as national defensive players of the year. Plus, 2012 brought a rare double – in addition to Schreibeis’ honor as the top defensive player in the FCS, linebacker Jody Owens won Big Sky Conference Defensive MVP honors. Daly’s MVP award in 2013 brought to three the number of honorees in this category, along with current Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Dane Fletcher. In Marshall’s tenure MSU has also produced five consensus All-Americas (LB Bobby Daly, 2007, DE Dane Fletcher in ’09, LB Jody Owens and DE Caleb Schreibeis in ’12, and DE Brad Daly in ‘13) and 11 First Team All-Big Sky choices. Prior to his time at MSU, Marshall served as the defensive coordinator at his alma mater Drake University (IA) from 2003-06.

Bo Beck: Coach Beck recently completed his 8th year on the MSU staff as well, each in the role of defensive coordinator. During his time there, Beck has produced seven First Team All-Big Sky choices and five All-Americas – all in the last five seasons. Two of Beck’s Bobcat protégés – Fletcher, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Zach Minter, Cincinnati Bengals – begin 2014 on NFL rosters. The Bobcats led the Big Sky in sacks in 2011 – piling up a gaudy 44 – and 2009, finishing second in 2008 and 2012. Beck came to MSU from Iowa State University wear he served as a GA following a stint at Drake University (IA).

 

 

 

 

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