Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Aug 2012

Better Know A Blitz Package - Double A-Gap

Michigan State blog The Only Colors has a detailed look, heavily sourced and documented, of the Double A-gap blitz.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 21 Aug 2012

11 comments, Last at 28 Aug 2012, 3:02pm by Dean


by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 5:26pm

Does anyone have any references on the history of pro defenses? I mean something that discusses defensive concepts prior to the 4-3 coming into development in the 50s.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 08/21/2012 - 8:35pm

"The Pro Style" by Tom Bennett 1976 book greta. Not sure if exactly what you want but you will enjoy the book. Can buy it cheap at amazon. Of course book long out of print

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 9:08am

Any thoughts on John Thorn's The Armchair Quarterback?

by Dean :: Tue, 08/28/2012 - 3:02pm

I'll second this. RJ recommended it on another thread earlier this summer and I picked it up. It keeps things fairly simple, but it's also pretty comprehensive.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 10:08am

Good book if I am thinking of same book. Think it was 1986 publication containing excerpts form other bpos and some football poerty and other odds and ends. Has some X's and Is stuff with really good diagrams of evolution of football strategy in one chapter think if recall correctly came from Ton Landry

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 10:30am

Appreciate it. One of the things I'm looking at is player size over the years, but I'm also trying to get a handle on how size distribution has worked. It's generally acknowledged that in the pre-war period, football tended to use 6-7 linemen on offense and something like a 6-2 or a 5-3 on defense. This has been gradually shifted over the years towards the lilliputian, such that GB spent most of a year running a 2-4 on defense (and Bellichick has played around with a 0-5) and only five down linemen on offense has become typical.

Unfortunately, to say descriptions and illustrations of football tactics are terrible to be insulting to "terrible". Hickok Sports has some nice capsules of formations, but nothing there is attributed.

by Travis :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 11:01am

Dr. Z's The New Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football has a chapter on the evolution of pro defenses that includes several pages of diagrams.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 12:53pm

This is perfect. I appreciate it.

by justanothersteve :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 12:18pm

Green Bay running a 2-4 and even a 1-5 (aka the Psycho package) during the last couple years is more a matter of best available personnel than trying to do something different. They've just been really thin along the D line.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 12:52pm

That's always part of it, but it's still a reasonable reaction to running-allergic spread offenses. There's a reason an increasing number of college defenses are adopting the 4-2 or the 3-3 full-time.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 08/22/2012 - 2:39pm

Cannot go wrong with the Bennett and Dr. Z books. Those are must-haves. The thorn book is more like library rental, make a copy of the play diagram chapter read other interesting chapters and return to livrbary.