When you’re an aggressive defense who likes to blitz, a simple method for the offense to slow down your pass rush is the screen game. On a RB screen, the OL check-blocks the pass rush, allows them through, then travels second level. The defense has someone assigned to cover the RB on short passes, the OL blocking that defender is key to the success of the screen game. For the defense, covering the RB and pressuring the passer is key to stopping the screen game. Today we’re breaking down how A&M uses a blitz to destroy a screen play.
Like other blitzes, the success of this play design relies on its simplicity. A&M is sending the FS and WLB on a blitz, showing six possible rushers while sending five.
Defense is in their pass rush sub package, a 3-2-6 dime defense. MLB, WLB, and FS are interspersed among the three DL, representing three extra blitzers the OL needs to account for in pass protection. The weakside Edge rushes C gap. Strongside Edge is rushes weak C gap. 1-tech rushes weak A gap. WLB blitzes strong A gap and the FS blitzes weak B gap. MLB drops into coverage over the left flat. In six man protection, the LT takes strong Edge, LG picks up WLB, C picks up 1 tech, RG picks up FS, and RT picks up weak Edge. RB takes first person to leak through.
How To Destroy A Screen
Tyree Johnson is weak Edge and Michael Clemons is the strong Edge. FS Demani Richardson is aligned inside Johnson. DeMarvin Leal is the 1-tech. WLB Edgerrin Cooper is aligned next to Leal. MLB Aaron Hansford is next to Cooper and inside Clemons. A&M is representing six possible rushers and Auburn reacts by calling a RB screen.
At the snap, Richardson blitzes the weak B gap and Cooper blitzes the strong B gap. The RT and RG let both Richardson and Leal through because they’re setting up the RB screen. Leal recognizes it was too easy to get through and stops to cover the RB. Nix looks to the field to distract the coverage and then looks back to run the screen. Demani Richardson is bearing down on him. Nix raises his right arm to throw the ball, and Richardson raises his left arm to block the throw. Nix tries to spin to the field and Richardson envelops him. Result of the play is a sack and a 15 yard loss.
End Zone View
From the end zone view, you can see the blitz by Richardson and Cooper, Leal’s recognition of the screen, and Nix realizing his fate.
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