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Playbook: Texans put Locker down

National Football Post

Click here for the entire Inside the Playbook series.

Click here for the previous “All-22” breakdown: Eagles' "Box" technique vs. Manning, Giants.

How did the Texans knock Titans’ QB Jake Locker out of the game this past Sunday in Houston’s 38-14 win? By bringing edge pressure from the secondary. Today, let’s go to the “All-22” film, breakdown the Texans’ pressure scheme and get into some coaching points on throwing the “sight-adjust” vs. a blitz look.

Titans vs. Texans
Personnel: Posse
Alignment: Doubles Slot
Route Concept: Slants/Sight-Adjust
Defensive Scheme: Dime Cover 1 pressure

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- The Texans have six DBs on the field in a Cover 1 pressure look. Press-alignments with the open (weak) side safety rolling to the deep middle of the field. To the closed (strong) side of the formation, Glover Quin (highlighted in red) will blitz off the edge with the SS walking down over No.3. Base cover 1 rules here: funnel receivers to the FS help in the middle of the field.

- With Quin coming off the edge, the Texans send LB Brian Cushing (highlighted in red) to the closed side “A” gap with OLB Connor Barwin (highlighted in yellow) playing a “peel” technique. Barwin will rush off the open side edge and match the RB if he releases to the flat.

- The Titans are working the Slant/Flat combo to the open side with the a Slant/Seam to the closed side.

- Focus on Jared Cook (highlighted in orange). The Titans’ TE will read pressure and run a “sight-adjust” or a “hot” read. Straight release off the line of scrimmage, get your head around and provide the QB with a quick, easy target vs. the blitz.

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- This is where Locker gets in trouble. As you can see in the film cut-up, the Titans’ QB is reading the 3-step combination (Slant/Flat) to the open side of the formation. However, with Quin coming unblocked off the closed side edge, Locker has to see the pressure and throw “hot” to Cook.

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- I wanted to show you the blitz front from the end zone angle. The closed side DE will slant to the “B” gap with the DT “scooping” to the opposite “A” gap. To the open side, DE J.J. Watt will hit the “B” gap with Barwin playing the “peel” technique. That leaves Quin on the edge rush and Cushing working on a “twist” to the closed side “A” gap.

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- This hit from Quin puts Locker on the shelf. The Texans’ safety had a clear run at the QB with the Titans’ RT blocking down to eliminate any inside pressure. And as you can see, there is no where to go with the ball to the open side of the formation.

- The key coaching point here: read the pressure, find the “hot” and get the ball out. If you stand in the pocket in this league (and allow edge pressure to get home) you won't survive long.

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