Defending/pressing against tight ends

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Old 09-29-2009, 07:30 AM   #1
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Icon5 Defending/pressing against tight ends

I play with the Giants online and as such I run a pressure defense with the Giants playbook. I used to rely primarily on zone blitzes but they are less effective this year for various reasons, as such I've gone with a more straight up man-to-man blitzing style lately. I don't have any issue with leaving my two starting CBs to man-up on the WRs because of their press ratings. Webster's press rating is 88 and Aaron Ross has a press rating of 83.

My problem with this type of scheme is that TE's are rarely, if ever, bumped by LBs or safeties. Further, they aren't bumped and LBs are just not capable of covering them in open space (yes, I understand this is pretty normal in the NFL). I understand guys like Witten and Gates chewing me up, but middle of the road or scrub TEs should not be as effective.

I am looking for strategies to defend against TEs when manned up. I've thought about changing the defensive assignment of a safety to the TE and just running with three safeties all game, but would there really be any benefit? Even if I don't get a press at the LOS, I'd like to at least have the guy blanketed. Any advice?

And no, Double TE Bracket, or whatever that play is, is not effective. All it does is make it so that two defenders trail the TE as ineptly as one would, it's not even a true bracket.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:14 AM   #2
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Re: Defending/pressing against tight ends

Bump him yourself, either controlling a player on a blitz and knocking off route before heading to the QB, or controlling a cover player and just getting in the way as much as you can, either with or without help from another cover player.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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Re: Defending/pressing against tight ends

I've tried with some success (using a LB) going man up with the TE by first standing in front of him, holding the strafe button at the LOS in an attempt to knock him off his route. Defensive pass interference is never called so I try to push and bump him during the whole play. Disrupt his route and the person your playing against might think to go elsewhere with the ball.

I also use the 4-3 over/under where one LB is on the LOS with the Dline. I audible all LB'ers to hook zones (donít use the play default hook zones) and slide them to the TE side. I spotlight the TE as well. This works when the TE is trying to make a catch in the middle of the field especially near the goal line. If the TE leaves this zone your screwed, but with the NYG defensive ends, the pressure should have gotten to the QB by time the TE is open out of the hook zone. Itís a risk/reward strategy that might pay off big if the pass is in the middle of the field.

My last attempt to contain TE's is what your suggesting. I go nickel and man up with my 3rd corner. You need good stick skills if youíre planning on covering the TE yourself. I just used this in a close game yesterday and got a user pick when the guy tried to hit his TE on a crossing route. He forced the pass and I was all over it with my faster CB.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:34 PM   #4
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Re: Defending/pressing against tight ends

I run with Giants too, and I think I have finally got my pressure defense running. I too have found that man up blitzes are far more effective in getting to the QB.

When playing against a team with a threat at TE, I usually put assign webster to play against the top WR, Aaron Ross against the 2nd, and then I put Phillips on the TE.

The reason I make sure to put Ross up on the 2nd WR, is because I noticed when I didn't, sometimes he would line up with the RB instead, and dockery would play outside. Obviously a glitch there.

Make sure to note that you won't be playing with 3 safetys all game by doing this. The assignments only work when running man, not Zone. So if Phillips is assigned man and not a deep zone, he will cover the TE, if he is in Zone, then 90% of the time the 3rd CB will line up with him, which is just as good.

Just be sure to always keep an eye out for mis-matches or bad assignments when lining up man.

This type of pressure defense works great with this personal, but you have to watch out for flats,screens or short patterns. This is better defended with zone coverage.
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