Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bench Wren

Louisville Head Coach and former Florida Defensive Coordinator Charlie Strong is a man who has ruined the National Championship aspirations of two Heisman Trophy QBs, Troy Smith and Sam Bradford.  He teaches that Fire Zones should attack the Offense from three different areas: Field, Boundary, and Middle.   My previous Fire Zone posts have shown pressure being brought from the Field and in the Middle and this post will show a good example of a Boundary pressure used by blitzer extraordinaire Jon Tenuta, current N.C. State LB Coach and formerly the DC at Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, UNC, Ohio State, SMU, Kansas St., and Marshall.

These are newly posted clinic notes of mine with good info on Tenuta's blitz schemes from 2006: 2006 Atlanta Nike Clinic Notes (Pat Hill, former HC at Fresno State was a great speaker at that clinic as well).   Manny Diaz, another coach that I have studied, mentioned Tenuta as a guy he admired for being relentless in bringing heat and having success with lesser talent than the rest of the ACC while he was at Georgia Tech.

Tenuta's attention to detail is readily discernible while listening to him speak passionately about getting after the QB.  He strongly emphasizes the aiming points of his DL and the departure angles of blitzing LBs and DBs.   He devoted 10-15 minutes a day as a DC to practicing these aiming points and departure angles with his Blitzes and Fire Zones.  He likes his outside blitzers to be the quick Force players and for their departure angle to be one yard outside of the nearest or deepest RB.  Departure angle is talking about his initial angle, but as a Force player it is important to be able to adjust that angle and stay outside the RB.  Let me show a quick example of how this works before I get to the Bench Wren Fire Zone I am supposed to be writing about.

This is the NCAA blitz or America's Fire Zone (Bench Falcon in Tenuta's playbook) and these are the run fits to the Field side: long stick DE - A gap, scraping Mike - B gap, 3 Hook Will - inside 1/2 of C gap, 2 Seam SS - outside 1/2 of C gap, and outside blitzer Sam - Force.  Many DCs prefer their Outside Blitzer to be a Spill player and for the 2 Seam player to always be the Force player.  To be honest with you, I don't know why Tenuta does it this way.  It could be preference or personnel or both.

Bench Falcon

Here is Bench Wren below.  The Bench call sets the FS, Will, Fox DE, and 3 technique DT to the Boundary.  The video calls it Bench Wren 3 Blaze, that's a term I used to tell the Safeties to rotate to the Boundary.  It can be a helpful tag if you are a Field and Bench pressure team, but I now prefer Manny Diaz's system of calling Field or Boundary to the side of the call, which tells everyone where the blitz is coming from.   It also tells the Safeties which way to rotate and tells the front how to line up.

Bench Wren

Both LBs will walk up on the line of scrimmage and show blitz.  The Will LB is the Outside Blitzer and Force player with a departure angle of one yard outside the nearest or deepest RB.  The Bench Tackle and Fox DE are executing what is commonly referred to as a "Tex" stunt, with the DT going first and then the Fox DE looping behind him and into the A gap.  The DT's aiming point is the inside ear hole of the OT.  He is the B gap player and wants to get up the field.  The NT gets in a heavy shade on the Center and slants to the inside ear hole of the Guard.  He wants to draw the Center's attention to create space for the Fox DE looping inside.  

The 5 technique DE is aiming for the inside ear hole of the TE.  He is a C gap player vs. the Run, but he must cross the TE's face vs. the Pass and be the Contain rusher.  The Mike LB is the B gap player and the Sam / Nickel is the D gap and Force player vs. the Run to the Field side.     

Here are some cut-ups:

Blitzology also did a post on this blitz concept here.

Looks like someone made a playbook app: here.  Thanks for the info - John from Coaches Corner.

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