Making it Rain: How Defenses 'Option' The Blitz
As the offensive side of the ball has evolved into you-go-here-I-go-there football, defenses have countered with post-snap options of their own
When we think of ‘option’ football, we primarily think of the offensive side of the ball. We think of the you-go-here-I-go-there designs that teams run in their RPO packages or through the quarterback reading a defender in the run game.
But in the modern game, defensive football has become a series of post-snap options, too. If they’re going to wait and read us, why don’t we wait and see where the ball is going before we run our stuff?
The most obvious: pattern-matching, a hybrid style combination coverage – a ‘zone match’ in theory. Rather than dropping to a specific spot (or zone) a defender is given more steadfast rules. He is set to drop to a spot, but if a receiver comes into his zone, he relates to his route, even if he then departs the zone — shifting from zone to man coverage. Teams — like Alabama and the great Seattle sides — will run this as a press-then-trail technique, the cousin of bump-and-run man coverage. The most common practice: A corner is lining up at the line to d…