Double “A” gap pressures are nothing new and many four-down defenses have them in their playbook. The Jet Front (5s & 3s) is a great way to attack Spread sets on passing downs. Adding a “mugged” ILB to the mix can create man blocking or change protection depending on where the mug occurs near the box. In many cases when the Jet Front is utilized without a mugged ‘backer, the D-line is going to use stunts or choreographed movements to attempt to get an unblocked defender on the QB.
Below, the Washington Football Team (WFT) uses a Jet Front but doesn’t mug their ILBs. This particular look usually comes with Cover 1 or Cover 3 behind it. This allows the ILBs to read and fit off the Center. One classic pressure that uses this type of manipulation is the Cross-Dog. In a Cross-Dog, the ILBs cross the Center’s face hitting the opposite “A” gap. This can be used from most fronts and can attack a Guard or Center.
In Washington’s game versus the Eagles, they were able to sack Carson Wentz eight times. Most were one-on-one matchups that were won post-snap. This particular blitz was schemed to get a free hit on the QB. If a team knows that the RB likes to vacate during passing plays, they can attack the middle of the box by sending the two ILBs. Below is Washington’s Double “A” Plug blitz,
The ILBs attack the LOS at the same time. The objective of the 5 techniques and the 3 tech.’s are to rush the outside shoulder of their man. This puts the Center on an island. As the ILBs rush to the Center, he has to pick one to block. Once he picks, that ILB stops rushing and sinks back looking for underneath routes or screens. The DE to the RB flares with him on a “hug” rush. If the RB would have blocked, the DE would continue on his rush. This is a way to turn a six-man blitz into a five-man pressure.
Above, the Center takes #54 as he inserts into the LOS. This allows #53 to cross the line unabated to the QB. Though this looks too easy, the Jet Front and technique by the opposite LB create the easy sack. The width of the Jet Front forces the Center to be on an island as the RB works out of the box. There is literally no one for #53.
This type of blitzing technique can be used on max out blitzes too. Send everyone and whoever gets blocked pops back out. This creates confusion for the O-line and someone usually hits free. This technique is called “stab-n-’go.” The blitzer rushes his gap. If the blocker comes to him, he “stabs” him and then pops back out.
When designing other pressures, this technique can be used to occupy blockers. The hug rush is also a great way to get an extra rusher if the RB stays in. Had the RB worked to the middle of the formation, the WFT’s DE would continue on his rush. In the Jet Front, that would have created a one-on-one which the WFT’s D-line has been winning all day. Put this pressure and technique in the toolbox.
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