Corner Blitz from Eagle Alignment Strengthens Run Support

7-Man Pressure Creates Problems for Offense

Cornerback blitz
Quarterback Jake Plummer #16 of the Arizona Cardinals is sacked by James Whitley #27 of the St. Louis Rams on a cornerback blitz during the game on November 3, 2002 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

A timely weak side blitz out of the Eagle Strong defensive look can work to provide stronger run support as well as an additional pass rusher against a play-action pass. 

Surprise the Offense

A defense aligned in the Eagle Strong look is set up to stop an offense that is utilizing a two-back power run game. In such a situation, the quarterback and offensive coaches will tend to focus on the defensive pressure coming from the tight end’s side; the strong side of the field. Thus, blitzing the cornerback off of the edge creates problems for the weak side offensive tackle and the blocking back. Such a blitz could catch an offense off-guard, and potentially lead to a sack.

Like with all blitzes, a weak side cornerback blitz is a high risk/high reward scenario. If the blitz is successful it will be extremely advantageous to the defense, costing the offense several yards, a down, and potentially even possession of the ball. The blitz also leaves an area of the field that would otherwise be covered, open. Thus, an unsuccessful blitz call could result in giving up a big play, potentially even a touchdown to the offense. For this reason, blitzes are often highly situationally dependent.

7-Man Pressure

Blitzing the middle linebacker and the cornerback means there are seven defenders to be accounted for by the offense. There will be pressure from five defensive linemen, as well as the blitzing linebacker and cornerback. The other four defensive players will be in pass coverage.

Line Stunts

The defensive linemen have specific responsibilities in order to make sure that a weak side cornerback blitz is successful:

  • The nose tackle crosses the strong side guard and attacks the B-gap. This movement allows the middle linebacker to cut off the defensive lineman’s backside and blitz the A-gap.
  • The tackle and end on the defensive weak side will each run a ‘pinch’ stunt, which means they will rush the gaps to the inside of their initial alignment.

Timing is Key

Timing is crucial for the success of a weak side cornerback blitz. The blitzing cornerback will slowly creep toward the offensive tackle to get into better position to blitz. He has to be careful not to reveal his motives too early however. He should start his movement after he sees the quarterback’s head look away from the weak side.

Free Safety Rolls Down

At the moment the cornerback starts stemming to his blitz point, the safety will stem to a position where he will be able to play man-to-man coverage on the wide receiver to the weak side.

Coach Them Up!

  1. This blitz works best when the defense has aligned in Eagle Strong for several plays. Running several plays out of the Eagle Strong without blitzing could help to lull the offense into a false sense of security.
  2. Remind the weak side linebacker of his responsibility to cover the running back on a pass to the flat; a possible 'hot' read for the quarterback recognizing the corner blitz.