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Last week here at the NFP, I went to the chalkboard and talked base zone pressure (or “Fire Zone”) concepts. Today lets go back to the Divisional Playoffs from this past season and take a look at Drew Brees vs. man-pressure (Cover 1 pressure). Identify the blitz, throw the “hot read” and take advantage of man-coverage in the secondary with the running back position.

Check out the video repay and then we will get into some coaching points.

Saints vs. 49ers
Personnel: Posse (3 WR-1 TE-1 RB)
Formation: “Dakota” (TE removed as backside X receiver)
Route: Tare/RB “Rail”

Formation/Alignment: With Posse personnel on the field in a “Dakota” alignment, TE Jimmy Graham will draw the matchup of a CB. To the open side, the Saints have all three WRs in a "trips" alignment with RB Darren Sproles shifted to an offset position (key to the route).

Route concept: With Graham, the Saints are using the 3-step slant (or skinny post) vs. the CB playing from an outside leverage position. On the open side of the formation, I see this as a ‘Tare” (or “stick”) concept. Two quick outside breaking routes with No. 1 running the clear out 9 (fade) route.

Sproles: I mentioned the offset position above. I call this a “chowed” look (outside leg of the tackle). This allows the RB a quick release into the route scheme and provides Brees with an immediate outlet vs. pressure on the “Rail” (seam) concept. Read pressure at the line of scrimmage and get the ball out—quickly.

Coverage issue: The Niners are playing man-free in the backend (single-high safety in the middle of the field, outside leverage underneath). The issue here is the safety coming down late in coverage. Showing high (or in a 2-deep disguise), looks good on the chalkboard. However, when pressure is called in the huddle (especially when you see a RB in a “chowed” position), tighten your pre-snap alignment and be prepared to drive downhill on the 3-step “hot” adjustment from the offense. The Niners get caught here.

Sproles in the open field: What is a DB coach going to say? Don’t stop your feet in the open field vs. the ball carrier. Close the distance and run through the tackle. Not easy vs. Sproles because of his lateral ability when he has the ball in his hands. A tough position for any safety in the league when he has to get the Saints' RB on the ground.

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