Blitzing the TE - Saints "Add"
Miami used a simple Safety pressure to disrupt the New England offense
A common theme in NFL defenses is to spin the Safety to the TE’s side down near the box. If doing this from the en vogue static two-high structure, the Safety to the TE still tends to be the “down” Safety. Gone are the days of a true “box safety.” Even still, one safety usually tends to align near the TE for matchup purposes. An easy pressure off this look is to blitz the DB off the edge to keep the offense honest about his presence neat the box.
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Below is an example of what I call Saints, or a Safety Creeper that attacks the side of the TE. In order to make it a five-man pressure (5MPRS), you can give it an “add” tag or another word to engage the DE who will replace the Safety in coverage. The blitz path is what I refer to as a KNIFE path:
If the RB is to the blitzer’s side, he will assume the QB and work to cut off the field (Force). In “option rules,” he is the QB player.
When the RB is opposite the blitz, the Safety can work to the nearest threat, whether that is the RB versus a run or the QB versus a pass.
The Saints pressure is a great way to attack offenses that use a split backfield, or the TE and RB are not on the same side (some call this Slant). In a clinic several years ago, Baylor’s current Head Coach Dave Aranda detailed his Tite Front adjustment to a diagonal backfield set. The most common plays from this set are either outside-hitting runs to the TE or cutback zones opposite. Using quick pressure from the Safety to this look can be devastating to an offense.
Versus Wide Zone or Stretch, the pressure punches the run action, creating an immediate wall and flash of pressure. Against teams that like to pull the TE away (Split Zone/same-side Counter), the pressure creates a short edge for a speedy DB to work into the box, with the QB handing the ball off into pressure. When teams run play-action and pull the TE across the formation, he is running into the coverage side. Even if he were to work vertically, the ILB to the blitz side is gapped out and can track the TE easily up the field.