Football 101: The zone blitz

Originally Published: October 14, 2004
By Bob Davie | Special to ESPN Insider
It's rare to watch a football game these days without the analysts talking about the zone blitz. Every defensive team in college and professional football has an in-depth zone blitz scheme. This week's Football 101 break down the zone blitz.

The zone blitz was started in the early '90s as a way to give the defenses a method to pressure offenses without the high risk of playing man-to-man coverages. Zone blitzes also are easy to disguise because they look like base zone coverage to the offense at the line of scrimmage.

Another confusing aspect of the zone blitz to the offense is the fact that the defense exchanges responsibilities. The defense blitzes players that the offense anticipates will drop into pass coverage. The defense then replaces those blitzers with defensive players that the offense has accounted for as rushers.

Bob Davie

College Football
Bob Davie, a veteran college football coach of 25 years, most recently as head coach at the University of Notre Dame, serves as an analyst on college football game telecasts and select studio shows.