Getting After It with the Cover 1 3-3 Stack Blitz Package


I have recently spent time with coaches who run the version of the 3-3 that Charlie Strong ran at South Carolina in the early 2000’s. It has been an awesome experience to learn that style of defense from great coaches. I am going to share a little bit from their 3-3 stack blitz package, specifically two of their cover 1 blitzes. I learned this off-season, and I hope you can incorporate these pressures into your package because they are SIMPLE and SOUND!!

3-3 Stack Blitz Package

The first blitz I am going to discuss is called “Double Anchor”. It is a blitz where the Sam and the Will are C gap force / contain blitzers. The Ends are B gap players that spill kick – out blocks and tackle the dive. The Nose is a two – gap player who “forklifts “the center back. This concept is illustrated below against 21 personnel:

3-3 stack outside linebacker blitzThe Corners are always on a removed #1 wide receiver and if there is a nub tight end (no flanker or wing-back outside of the tight end),  a corner flips over and plays #2 to the field.

The Stud ($) has #2 to the field and the adjuster (A) has #2 to the boundary or #3 to the field versus 3×1. Versus 2 backs, the Mike (M) has the fullback and if the fullback motions out, the Adjuster would handle the motion and the Mike would play man on the single back. The Free safety (FS) is a MOF player that reads the triangle for his run / pass key.

This concept is illustrated below against doubles and trips:

3-3 stack blitz blitzing from the 3-3 stack

Against jet motion, the Free Safety would take the jet motion and the defensive player who was in man coverage on the jet motion would roll back to “Free Safety”. If the tailback motioned out of the backfield, the Free Safety would handle the motion and the Mike could blitz the A gap or he could be a low – hole dropper.

Versus empty the Free Safety would take #3 to the field or boundary and the Adjuster would stay on #2 to the boundary. You could blitz the Mike through an A gap versus empty or leave him as a low – hole dropper. This is illustrated below in conjunction with our next blitz, which is called “Bear Jet”:

3-3 Stack Inside Blitz Package

3-3 stack inside linebacker blitzBear jet has the same coverage rules as “Double Anchor” but the run fits are different. The Ends are now the force / contain players and the Sam and Will are b gap blitzers who spill all kickouts and tackle the dive. The Nose is a two – gap player who “forklifts “the center back. Below is an illustration of this blitz against 2×2 / 10 personnel:

3-3 stack inside blitz vs spread

You can choose to play a “banjo” concept (in and out) or use a “levels” concept when dealing with bunches and stacks. I would prefer to use a levels concept in cover 1 because you have help over the top and a “banjo” concept in cover 0 because you do not have any help over the top.

As always, thank you for reading this post and please do not hesitate to email me at or send me a tweet to @zachdavis24. May the LORD bless you as you prepare your football teams for this upcoming season!