Will-Free Safety Pressure Is Coming. What Ya Got?
By FirstDown PlayBook on Apr 13, 2020

The FirstDown PlayBook Monday Morning Quarterback needs some help with protection. However, your offensive line coach can take a break from this one.

The protection rules for this man protection scheme says that the offensive line is responsible for the four down lineman vs a four man front to the Will LB and the running back is responsible for the Mike LB to the Sam LB.

When the defense plays a three man front, like you see here, the offensive line is responsible for the three down linemen to the Jack and Will LB’s and the back is ,once again, responsible for the Mike to the Sam (Nickel Sam in this case).

Our question for you today is, you are about to get Will/Free Safety pressure off of the weak side. If only one of them comes you are fine. The Center and left Guard should sort that out.

However, if they both come the Free Safety is unblocked. Without bothering the offensive line coach’s rules, how can you solve this? Keep in mind that if only the WLB OR the Free Safety comes you want this same pass concept. That means you need your X on a Bench route to the boundary.

Check back on Wednesday and see how we would coach this!

You are preparing “in case” you get the Will Linebacker and Free Safety pressure. Remember though, if only one of those two defenders come you are picked up. In that case you do not want to change your protection or your route concept.

There is no need for it. You have a great man beater concept dialed up with the F and the Z traveling right into your quarterback’s vision. You also have the X one on one if you like the matchup.

If you do get both the Will and the Free Safety then you need an answer immediately. For this reason you should coach your X receiver to use a “Dart” release. In other words the X is looking for the Hot throw first on the inside stem release.

If he gets the ball on the dart hot throw he is on the move and just needs to beat the corner on the snap. If he does not get the ball then he immediately straightens the stem and gets back into his bench route.

Why take this approach as opposed to just letting the QB and X look for hot indicators? Using the inside stem assures you that the worst case scenario (your QB getting hit) is prevented first. If executed properly, this still leaves you with a good football play vs picked up pressure.

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