After appearing on the USA Football Coach and Coordinator Podcast, Defensive Coordinator Phil Kleckler was generous enough to detail the boundary blitzes he discussed via an article. Coach Kleckler details Lindsey Wilson's boundary blitzes from a few different fronts and coaching points. Kleckler prefers to install his field blitzes first, then move on to their boundary blitzes.
After our field zone blitz is installed with each front, we transition to our boundary zone pressures. If you always have your blitzes come from one direction, it makes it easier for the offense to set their protection to where they think you will come from the most. It is important to self scout and make sure you don’t have tendencies as a play caller. Our boundary zone blitzes help offset our tendencies. Just like our field zone blitzes, we always install from our base 3-4 front first.
Our alignments from each position mentioned before are the same as they are from the field blitzes. At the snap of the ball, our DL will now long-stick to the field, looking for the nearest lane to get vertical in. Our boundary OLB and ILB will perform our “Jake” Technique. From the secondary standpoint we will still start from a two shell pre-snap look and play a three under / three deep look post snap. The difference in our boundary pressures is that we use our Boundary Corner as our curl / flat player as opposed to our weak safety or a LB.
What I have found over the years is that teams typically put their best WR on the backside of formations and look to get him the ball when facing the blitz. To help combat that, we place our boundary corner (who is typically our best cover guy) to match up with him with on any underneath routes while having help from our boundary safety over the top. This variation (“Window Dressing”) is a part of our Cover Three family of coverages in our base defense too and is usually installed days before, so it is easy for us to execute.
With the other two ways we run our boundary blitz, we make a small adjustment by changing our aiming point of our “Jake” due to our pre-snap alignment. We also do this to help combat the offenses protection schemes when they are full or half sliding to the field. Most of the time their OT will go “big on big” on our DE and will go with the long stick to the field. This allows our “Jake” Technique to overload the running back.
Our boundary blitz out of the 3-3 Stack still gives us an advantage in pre-snap alignment in terms of our middle hook defender as our field ILB is now essentially already aligned in the middle hook area. The main thing he needs to understand is that he doesn’t have any help inside so he cannot allow any WR’s to cross his face on any hot route. Our next defender inside is our boundary corner who is primarily concentrated on defending the boundary WR.
The final way we run our boundary blitz is from our Over Front. In our terminology, “Over” tells both our Boundary OLB and DE to travel over to the Y Call. Our Nose and Field DE will then go to the boundary side of our call. We get a four man front like we do in Under, but now we have a walked up (boundary) OLB in a five, a DE in a three to the field side, our Nose in a one and a DE in the boundary side.
To keep teaching to a minimum, we keep the same person dropping (the boundary LB) and the same three DL with the long stick. Again, if your boundary OLB is your best pass rusher, you would hope that the offense will set the protection to him thus allowing you to overload the boundary side. There is one difference with our boundary blitz from our four man Over Front. Our “Jake” Technique aiming point is still the B Gap like it is in our Stack Front but it now occurs with the two ILB’s as our walked up OLB drops to our middle hook (Diagram 6). This is the one variation (“Window Dressing”) of our zone blitzes that probably takes the most teaching / memorization out of all the blitzes in this article. There are several adjustments to it, but it is still highly effective once those adjustments are mastered!
Hopefully our defensive mindset here at LWC has sparked some ideas for your defense. You can create havoc with the same players doing the same job, within different looks from the offensive standpoint. This is just one example of the many things we do defensively in which we term as “Window Dressing.” If you have any questions or would like to learn more about what we do, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @CoachKleckler.
Reinforce your playbook and improve your knowledge with Coaches' Notes. Create your account and start your 7-day free trial!