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NightLink: Bears Bringing the Pressure

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post broke down one of the Lovie Smith blitzes last Friday.  What a good read.  I love the concepts of the Zone Blitz and I'm a fan of the Tampa 2, so I enjoyed the breakdown (diagram included).  He breaks down what he calls the "Storm Blitz", head over and check out the full post, right here.

The zone blitz is exactly what it means-pressure with zone aspects in the coverage. In this case, using the "Storm blitz" as an example, the defense rushes five and drops six into coverage.

The six in coverage set up a basic 3 under 3 deep look, but it's the ability of the zone defenders to decipher the routes in front of them that helps the blitz work.  Then again if the blitzers are able to get to the QB quick, that will pretty much take care of that.

As I said above, the zone blitz consists of dropping six, and to do that, we must recruit three underneath zone defenders. In this blitz, the Will Backer (or weak side backer) plays the "middle hook," matching to the No.3 receiver to his side. The Sam Backer (or strong side linebacker), steps to the line of scrimmage and then drops to the flat, matching any vertical release by No.2 to his side (which is usually the tight end) and then passing the route to the Will Backer once he is threatened in the flat. The last underneath zone defender is the weak side Defensive End, who comes out of his three-point stance and plays the exact same way as the Sam Backer.

With the speed and athleticism the Tampa 2 looks for in their D-Ends, the zone blitz is a perfect compliment to it.   The article really gets to the coach in me, it breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of the blitz.  With how much Lovie has been blitzing so far this year, this is a good one to look out for.

In other NightLink News...

Over on, they're talking about the Bears leading the NFC in sacks.

Off to the best start in his nine-year NFL career, Adewale Ogunleye credits his early success in part to the arrival of first-year defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.

"My career has been up and down and I think I've finally got a guy who's helped me forget about each play," Ogunleye said. "Even after the sacks, I don't think about it. I go and try to get another one or just try to play for the now. I credit coach Marinelli; he's helping the whole defensive line."

Anyone else think Rod Marinelli has Wale heading for one last big payday in his career? 

Ogunleye helped the Bears register five sacks against the Lions, increasing their season total to 14, which leads the NFC and ranks second in the NFL to the Broncos, who have 15. The Bears are on pace for 56 sacks, which would double last year's total of 28.

On a side note how about those 4-0 Broncos?