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Linebackers & Blitzing

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 height=We have run the same blitz package for five straight games. The only change Akina has made is the number of times he calls his two pet designer moves. The Mike mug has become a regular bet when Bobino is in the game and the best that can be said is he stays out of everybody else's way while entertaining one offensive lineman, usually from a pinned position. Norton gets a few mugs and usually makes solid penetration which has led to a few tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The Sam LB blitz off the strong edge has virtually disappeared with Killebrew in the game. Kindle ran three edge stunts in his one half of play which forced the action and even though he didn't get the tackle the blitz actually looked organized and healthy.

Both blitzes started out as disguised "shifts" that intended to cause confusion in the blocking schemes. We now announce our blitz a full ten to twenty seconds before the offense must snap the ball. Instead of a surprise "sneak" attack we now see favorable audibles announced while we wait patiently for the hammering we know is coming. We are smart enough in our game-planning minds that we refuse to actually fake a mug and jump back to a true LB alignment because that would be deceiving and it must be in the rules as unmanly if not unfair. Speaking of great football minds, does anybody doubt the Akina/Mac Duff combo would have problems selling clemency on death row?

It would be refreshing to see the Mike mug turned into a positive blitz by adding two more options to go along with the straight ahead give-up employed now. Why not include the nose tackle on a Mike aligned mug weak and make it a cross stunt with the two positions exchanging aiming points. If bluffed right (which means give it away early like we do now) the guard should attack the LB's alignment which gives the nose a huge opening to operate within. The MLB would simply loop back inside if he was caught too close to the LOS or scrape inside if he found enough depth at the snap of the ball. When Mike mugs strong, the same cross stunt would be available with the strong DT. The second option needed is to draw the audible by aligning the mug early and shift out of the mug into a stunt away from the original mug stunt.

If we are bound and determined to give away our stunts so early that the offense has time to change plays and then joke about it, we might try tricking them with the bait and switch. Bait them with the mug and then switch to a real stunt (cross or X stunt) within the same alignment. Funny how inferior starting LB play hits a raw nerve and how much it actually parallels inferior blitz packages that won't be copied by any high school coaches in Texas.