In defense it’s important to have multiple blitz packages to achieve different objectives. As a whole blitzes fall into two different categories, overload blitzes and interior blitzes. Each of these types of blitzes has a distinct objective.
Overload and Interior Blitz out of the 3-4 Defense
Overload blitzes are designed to flood one side of the offensive line. By overloading that side of the line, the defense will more than likely have a free defender to make the play. The objective of this blitz is to shut down one particular side of the field. In the run game this is effective at stopping any run that is likely to come to a particular side. In the pass game this can be effective to get the Quarterback to look to the opposite side of the field.
The base blitz concept for Overload is a simple End-OLB twist. In this blitz the Defensive End will be attacking upfield through the C gap. As he takes the Tackle wider, the Outside Linebacker will scrape hard behind the Defensive End and go through the B gap. To stop the Guard from sliding over and helping the Tackle the Inside Linebacker on that side will pressure through the A Gap.
There are several minor changes that can make this blitz even more effective. By changing up who the B gap man will be the defense can keep the offensive line on their heels. The easiest change up is to have the Defensive End attack the B gap by hammering the outside shoulder of the Guard while the Outside Linebacker will attack wide off of the Tackle. This leaves the Inside Linebacker free to scrape off of the Defensive End.
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The next category of pressure is interior pressure. This type of blitz is effective at shutting down the inside run game. It can also be effective at pressuring the Quarterback. When most Quarterbacks get pressure through the middle of the line they will pull the ball down and look to escape the pocket. This can be an effective answer against a Quarterback who is not a skilled rusher. Obviously this should be avoided when the Quarterback is a dangerous running threat.
One of the most effective ways to bring interior pressure is through a cross blitz. In this blitz the linebackers will blitz into the A gap on the opposite side of the line while the Nose slants to the B gap of the second linebacker.
When calling a blitz it’s important to have a reason behind the blitz that is called. Simply calling a blitz is not a fix all. Instead it’s important to have blitzes that can attack the interior or overload a side.