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Attacking 1-Back Pass Pro

Sometimes you need to bring the heat.  Send six rushers at the quarterback to force a bad throw, a fumble, or a sack.  Versus 1-Back formations, there are six offensive players to block your six rushers.  If you can guarantee one of your guys comes free it sure would make life a bit easier.  Today we’ll take a look at attacking 1-Back pass protection to force a free rush at the quarterback.

We do this from a 3-3-5, but you can run this concept from any defense.


We start by aligning our Sam (S) and Will (W) wide outside the Tackles.  They have their outside foot back ready to rush the edge.

The Ends (E) align in 4i-Techniques on the inside shoulder of the Offensive Tackle.

The Nose (N) aligns in Neck Technique.  He aligns tilted at a 45 degree angle staring straight at the jugular of the Center.

The Mike (M) aligns in the A-Gap opposite the Nose.  He stands at about the heel line of the Defensive Linemen.

The Protection

The pass protection will come in one of two forms:  Full Slide or Half Slide.  In Full Slide protection, the Offensive Linemen will all pass protect in the same direction, left or right.  The Running Back will be responsible for protecting the edge opposite the slide.

In Half Slide protection, the Center will slide in one direction, left or right.  The Guard and Tackle to that side will also slide in that direction.  The other Guard and Tackle will block the remaining Defensive Linemen man for man.  The Running Back will insert himself into the line of scrimmage between the slide and man blockers.

The key to the blitz is knowing the type of protection your opponent will use, and which direction the center will slide.  You determine this through scouting.  For ideas on to identify their protection keys and wish way the Center will turn, check out our Free e-Book, Attacking Pass Protection.

The Attack

Once you’ve identified the turn of the Center, you can set your front and attack the offense.  In these examples, the Center will turn opposite the Running Back.  Against both Full and Half Slide protections, we are looking to place the Running Back in a two on one situation.  The timing of the blitz should ensure the inside rusher comes free.

Attacking Full Slide

The Sam and Will are edge rushers.  They pin their ears back and attack the quarterback, forcing him to stay in the pocket.  The End aligned opposite the Running Back will rush the B-Gap looking to compress the pocket.  The Nose will do the same through the A-Gap he is aligned in.  The End to the side of the Running Back is the Pick Man.  He will attack the Guard at a severe angle, aiming for his far butt cheek.  On his third step, he should cut upfield and attack the quarterback.  The Tackle is responsible for protecting the B-Gap and must work hard to stay with the End.  The Running Back steps up out to block the edge rush of the Will, opening a huge hole in the C-Gap.  The Mike takes a jab step towards the A-Gap then loops around to blitz the Quarterback in the C-Gap.

Attacking Half Slide

Against Half Slide Protection, the charge of the Sam, Will, and End aligned opposite the Running Back are the same.  The End aligned to the Running Back now charges just like the other End.  The Mike is the Pick Man.  He violently charges towards the far butt cheek of the Center before cutting hard upfield toward the Quarterback.  The Running Back must work hard and turn his body to push the Mike off his path.  The Nose takes a jab step to his left to time his movement before wrapping around and charging through the wide open B-Gap to the Quarterback.

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