It is an honor to contribute my first article to USA Football and I appreciate all that they do to help out the coaching community. I want to go in-depth and talk about some of the specific Sim Pressures. A Simulated Pressure is a pressure that brings a non-traditional rusher (a LB or DB) in exchange for dropping a traditional rusher (DL). The great thing about Sim Pressures is that they are “extra safe” pressure that do not require any additional rushers. This means they do not sacrifice coverage in pressuring Offenses by getting to the QB and disrupting the run game.
Most coaches are now becoming familiar with the idea of Simulated Pressures, although they are not a new concept, as I have discovered in my research from my last article, Origin of Simulated Pressures. I will talk about how to run these pressures from multiple fronts and from different pre-snap looks and bluffs to help coaches who are beginning to install Sim Pressures into their defensive package.
If Sim Pressures are not new, why are they just now becoming popular? Offenses are much better today than they were years ago. High school DCs used to be able to just blitz all their LBs, play Cover 0, and cause mayhem; but Offenses were soon able to exploit these pressures and hurt Defenses with big plays. Defenses knew they needed a safer way to bring pressure, so Fire Zones became the weapon of choice as Defenses were able to bring five rushers and play Zone coverage behind it.
It has taken some time, but Offenses and QBs today are now better trained to exploit Fire Zone pressures and are able to take advantage of the gaps in zone coverage due to Defenses always being one man short in coverage. There is still a place for Fire Zones, but Defenses realized that they would need to be able to pressure Offenses and still play coverage with 7 defenders. This is the benefit of the Simulated Pressure concepts, which are able to do this by specifically attacking protections with only a four-man rush.
Please go here to the USA Football Blog to read the rest of the article.