I have received some questions about the 7 man overload blitz from the bear front. One of those questions is how to handle empty formations. When answering this question it is helpful to look at how we align in the bear front from a 4-2-5 personnel.
The Will linebacker is on the line of scrimmage filling the role of a contain rusher. The DE is reduced down to play the away side 3 technique. We bump the SS into the box to fill the role of the 2nd linebacker. If the offense chooses to align or motion to empty the SS adjusts from the box to handle the 5th receiver.
Our Mike will make a check alerting the Nose to rush the A gap. With no back in the backfield to spy, the Nose is free to rush the passer. The 3 techniques keep their read out responsibility.
Against a TE, the contain rusher will align in a 9 technique playing outside. The 9 technique is leveraging all blocks outside in.
The man coverage player is aligned inside and will fit in the C gap. Once the TE blocks the man coverage player can play the run.
We can play the safety in press technique on the TE by game plan.
Against an H-Back the FS or WS will handle the hip player, while the Nose is still spying the running back. This allows the man coverage safety to mirror the hip player’s blocking.
When the hip player blocks the man coverage player will be there to provide an extra defender.
Another question that is bound to pop up is how to handle the option. The contain players have pitch and are expected to slow play. The goal is to create indecision and force a late pitch. Contain players must balance slow playing with not being out leveraged by the pitch back. The Nose will disengage the center and work toward the back. With the contain player handling the RB on the pitch, the Nose is freed up to take the QB.
We call a limited number of bear front calls per game. In any game plan we do not necessarily plan to use bear front against every personnel or in every down and distance. We also don’t plan to use this 7 man overload blitz in every situation. Teams playing us however, are forced to be prepared to block all of their plays vs. the bear front. Being prepared for our base defense as well as our change of pace calls like bear limits what an offense can carry in a game plan.