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bdrack

Beating The Blitz

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Ok, so I started to coach a new season of I-9 football 7-8 year olds with the typical 7 yd blitz line. My team is on the younger side and out of the 8 kids, only two have every played football before. I do have a QB who can throw accurately, probably 10-15 yds is his longest, and two kids who can catch OK, not great, but OK.

First game we played well, ran some reverses some fake runs and throw backs, and played well enough on defense to win 14-7. The second game however was against a team who obviously had played together for a while, had kids who where atleast a head higher and 25lbs bigger than anyone on my team. We were able to hold them in check for the most part on defense, but on offense their blitzers killed us. I would say that their defense was in the backfield before we even had a chance to hand-off the ball at times. We tried a few fake hand-offs then throws out to the side, which worked a few times, but then due to their height they started to knock the ball down (happened twice).

The question here is does anyone have any good ideas on how to beat the blitz. If we can beat the blitz a few times, I think it will slow it down in the future. Any and all thoughts welcome.

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The question here is does anyone have any good ideas on how to beat the blitz. If we can beat the blitz a few times, I think it will slow it down in the future. Any and all thoughts welcome.

This will sound obvious, but you'll need to get your plays off quicker. Most athletic teams have coached their rusher not to over pursue, rather to contain and disrupt the play. The quicker you get the play off, the less effective a blitz will be.

Another option is shotgun snap to buy some time. However, with 7-8 year olds, I doubt you'll have a center who can snap it with any kind of consistency, so you'd be wasting downs.

A lot of teams like to send a rusher from a specific place each time, usually the middle. Sometimes you can pick out the rusher because they have one foot forward and one back ready to go. We used to split our receivers wide and send them deep, have a slot off to one side as the safety valve and tell our center to do a short button hook pattern where the rusher came from. Flood is another effective play against a blitz. Everyone lines up next to each other on one side of the ball. All players except the center run slant patterns across the middle, the center drops back a step and comes across the los the opposite way. The slant receivers should slow down the rush and the center should be open, especially if your QB looks one way and passes back to center. Maybe you could design a few plays just for a team with fast rushers.

Run through some scenarios in practice using an older brother or sister as the rusher. You can tell them to tone it down a bit, but run hard. This will help you and your kids walk-thru what do if... kind of thing.

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Those are two good plays, I do the same thing with slight variation:

With Coach R's first play, I use the same formation and have both WR's run go routes, but tell the center to stay in and get in the way of the blitzer after the snap. The slot receiver is supposed to run a quick slant right to the spot in the middle of field from where the blitzer started his rush.

With Coach R's second play, I have the center wait one second for the WR's to clear, then roll both the center and QB along the LOS for a short toss.

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Excellent advice. If my center is not going out for a pass, I have him stand in the way of the blitzer or force the blitzer (assuming there is only one) to one side, and tell the QB to roll out to the opposite side if he needs to. Also, depending on the defensive formation, you can exploit the side where the blitzer is coming from. In my 7-8 year old league, they typically play a 3-2 zone, with 2 safeties. If using a Spilt T formation, try having both WR's do fly's, and have your running back run to flats of the side that you think the blitz is coming from. The defensive end on that side can't cover both the fly and the screen to the HB.

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