60 minutes | Oct 12th 2020

Double A Gap Blitz: Deep Dive

Part 1: Origins of the Call

Where did the Double A Gap Blitz come from?

  • Blood, Sweat and Chalk credits Jim Johnson as DC under Andy Reid’s Eagles teams in the early 2000s. Credit to Cincinnati Enquirer article, Mike Zimmer as Defensive Coordinator in Cincinnati really popularized it (with Paul Guenther?).
  • Teams have been attacking the A Gaps since the start of football.
  • Johnson developed the double A gap scheme to force the Offensive Line to adjust protections by putting immediate pressure up the middle. Zimmer article mentions using the blitzes to disguise coverage. I guess? 


Part 2: Execution of the Call


How do you run a Double A Gap Blitz?

  • Blitzing two linebackers (or a linebacker and a safety) in the A Gaps. The Defensive Tackles have to get out of the A gaps, so you’re probably lining up in a 40 front with either 2’s, 3’s or 2i’s that will stunt out. 
  • Walking the linebackers up on the line forces the Offensive Line to either check protection to a slide or gap protection, or let the back handle one of the linebackers on an immediate rush with no help.  
  • An adjustment I like is to stack the two rushers. This is because our guys are not NFL, and so the back guy has a better chance of dropping off for either zone or man blitzes. You can also drop both and play traditional cover 3 if they know how to zone drop.
  • With both guys up, drop the man the center steps to, and blitz the other one. You end up with a 3 under/3 deep
  • Crossfires are great for pass blitzing in High School. 


Part 3: Attacking the Call

What do you run to attack Double A Gap Blitzes?

  • Teams are primarily running double A gap blitzes to attack a pocket passer. It’s a great blitz in the NFL, but you probably aren’t seeing drop back passers 8 games a season. You can also attack interior run plays like a midline or trap play.
  • Run the ball off tackle. Just run an outside zone play, those backers are locked into the A gap and can’t scrape to build a wall against the edge runs. A toss play or jet sweep takes them completely out of the equation.
  • Linebackers aren’t adept at keying down blocks the way a defensive lineman is. Try to trap one of them. If you can pop to the second level there’s no one there. One on one with the safety. 
  • Slide protection is your best bet, but get the ball out quickly. If you’ve got a 3-step quick pass called, use a slide protection to get the ball out. 
  • Screens! 
  • Get the QB in shotgun (no matter what), and then get him on the move. Sprint out or roll out. Don’t bother with play action, the backers are already sucked up. Hit a quick drag route or TE pop pass, or any sort of moving route. 
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