DEFENSIVE PLAYBOOK

Coach the Nickel 33 Wham 3 Fire Zone

By Charlie Coiner, FirstDown PlayBook

Sometimes the zone read key can be misleading for an offense if they dial up the play against the wrong defense. We often think of defensive pressure as a way to get home against the pass, but there are other advantages against the run game.

The pressure you are seeing below is called Nickel 33 Wham 3 Fire Zone in the FirstDown PlayBook defensive pressure section. Of course you can edit the defense and call it whatever fits your system. However, it is important to know that we fit all of these pressures up against multiple formations like 2×2, Bunch and Empty.

We know you will want to add your own coaching points, but if you ever need a reference, you can bank on the fact that every FirstDown PlayBook play, defense and special teams scheme has detailed coaching points like what you see below.

So, if you are looking for a little wrinkle that can be used on your call sheet for first AND third down, this one might be one to consider. Also keep in mind there’s plenty more where this one came from!

COACHING POINTS

Call-side end

Alignment: 4 technique

Assignment: Slant to the C gap with eyes back inside

Run: C gap

Pass: Contain pass rush

Nose tackle

Alignment: 0 technique

Assignment: Slant into the strong-side A gap. Read the guard’s block.

Key: Offensive center to offensive guard

Run: Strong-side A gap

Pass: Strong-side A gap pass rush

 

Away side end

Alignment: 4 technique

Assignment: Slant to the C gap with eyes back inside

Key: Offensive tackle to tight end if one is aligned to your side

Run: C gap

Pass: Contain pass rush

 

Sam linebacker

Alignment: Tight end, 9 technique then stem to hip

No tight end: Show in the B gap, then pull out to coverage late

Key: Tackle to No. 3

Run to: Stack the end and play off of him.

Run away: A gap to scrape

Pass: Play hook No. 3, pass key is No. 3, can help with near receiver or crossing routes

 

Mike linebacker

Alignment: Stack the nose and walk up to the LOS prior to snap

Sell: Strong blitz potential

On the snap: Wrap the WILL LB into the B gap

Key: Pressure side tackle to ball

Run: B gap

Pass: B gap pass rush

 

WILL linebacker

Alignment: Stack the defensive end

If away from the nickel and No. 2 is detached, cover down early and cheat to pressure alignment.

Key: Guard to ball

Run: A gap

Pass: A gap pass rush

 

Nickel

Alignment: Inside leverage on No. 2 to passing strength

Key: No. 2

Run to: Attack No. 2 and take him off the ball. Win late with outside leverage.

Run away: Man to contain to pursuit angle

Pass: Seam flat drop and read QB’s eyes

 

Safety to the nickel

Alignment: 8-10 yards deep, head up to inside of No. 2

Run: Alley inside out

Pass: Deep middle third

 

Safety away from the nickel

Alignment: 8-10 yards deep head up to inside of No. 2. Roll down over No. 2 prior to snap.

Key: No. 2

Run: Attack No. 2 and defeat his block. Keep outside leverage on No. 2 if he blocks.

Pass: Roll down over No. 2 and seam flat drop and read QB’s eyes

 

Call side corner

Alignment: Outside leverage 7-9 yards off WR

Run to: Attack the blocker and win outside late

Run away: Man to cutback to pursuit angle

Pass: Deep third

 

Away side corner

Alignment: Outside leverage 7-9 yards off WR

Run to: Attack the blocker and win outside late

Run away: Man to cutback to pursuit angle

Pass: Deep third

 

Notes

  • The front is set to the tight end. If there is no tight end, set the front to passing strength.
  • The nickel DB will line up to passing strength.
  • The pressure will come from the weak side.
  • The coverage played is 3 Under 3 Deep.
  • Safety rotation will be away from the nickel back alignment.
  • Seam flat defenders collision any vertical routes and zone off at 10-12 yards.
  • Hook defender keys No. 3 receiver in the low hole area.

Coverage can be played as Cover 1.