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3 High Safety Defense Blitz Package: The "Daylight" Blitz

Posted by John Grayson on

Bring pressure on defense is good. Bringing "smart" pressure is even better.

The "read blitz" from the three high safety defense is a great way to attack an offense, because it adapts to what happens both before and after the snap of the ball.

This can be an effective way to create pressure and disrupt the timing of the offense. Additionally, it can also be a way to surprise the offense and take them out of their comfort zone. Coaches who are looking to add another weapon to their defensive arsenal should consider using a read blitz from the three high safety defense.

In this post, we're going to talk about one of the read blitzes from Coach Jacob Gill's playbook at Shiloh Christian in Arkansas.

This is just a small segment from a great video series Coach Gill put together on this whole process. See more video clips from his 6-part series on the 3 high safety defense HERE.

Watch the video, or keep reading to learn more of the ins and outs of this blitz scheme.

Daylight Blitz #1 - Vs Trips

In example 1, Coach Gill goes over a blitz called “Daylight”. This is a “read'' blitz from the insert linebacker. In this case, the insert linebacker would be the “W'' pictured, also known as the “Will.” What is an “insert linebacker?” It is the linebacker that is “inserted” in the tackle box. The nose will slant opposite of the back, right, in this case. The Will backer (W) is rushing “A Gap, to space.” The Will linebacker's initial aiming point would be to rush the strong A gap. However, if there is no A gap, because of a blocking scheme, the Will then looks to find an open space, or “Daylight”. 

3 High Safety Defense - Daylight Blitz - Jacob Gill

He is “reading” the offensive linemen and looking for “Daylight”.  This keeps the linebacker from just running into an offensive lineman and wasting a defender. This is a simple blitz, that in the 3 safety defense, you can make look like a variety of different things. If the opposition comes out in a 2x2 formation, the Mike would run the “Daylight.” You do not have to play the same coverage behind it, the backer is not always going to the same gap, nor is the same backer always blitzing. 1 call with seemingly endless variations. More bullets. Multiple looks. 

Daylight Buc Film

In the film example presented by Coach Gill, the offense comes out in a 2x2 set. The back is set to the field. The back being set to the field means the nose will slant away from the back, and the “Mike” will be blitzing to the field side A gap, or to space if necessary. In the video the boundary slot receiver motions across the formation to put the offense in a trips formation. The motion to trips causes the “Mike” to travel out of the box and puts the “Will” linebacker as the insert backer which means he is now running the “Daylight.” 

3 High Safety Defense - Daylight Blitz Buc - Jacob Gill

While running the “Daylight” blitz, the “Will” backer gets “back at him” meaning the back is running a pass route, a screen in this case. The “Will” linebacker cuts his blitz path, albeit late, and covers the back. The Knights are in their “Buck” coverage. This is a variation of the “Tampa 2” two high safety defense.  (Tampa Bay Buccaneers aka Bucks) In “Tampa” there are 8 men in coverage, “Buck” indicates to the defense that there will only be 7 men in coverage. The Dime replaces the blitzing backer in coverage. 

Daylight Buc Film vs 20 Personnel - Trips w/ H-Back

As the film continues, the Shiloh Christian offense comes out in a Trips formation with an H back in the box. This puts two linebackers in the box, both of which could run the “Daylight” blitz. In this case, the backer away from the H back, will run the “Daylight.” The blitzer runs right into the back because he is running to daylight. Two down blocks to his side, the end spills, and he meets the running back before the pullers can get to him, ending up with a tackle for a loss. 

Coach Gill also goes on to show a different coverage option. Their “Buck” coverage with a weak rotation. The weak safety fills for the blitzing backer and the Dime becomes a deep half safety. Lots of different options, with minimal calls. 

Daylight Buc Film vs Trips Counter Read RPO

Coach shows where some of these blitzes and movements can go wrong too. Against Trips Counter Read RPO, he points out his nose, end and Dime safety all have things to work on. Showing the viewer what not to do can sometimes be as important as what to do. 

The nose does not get a great slant, but is able to take on a double team, the play side end does not fit great, and the blitz is going away from the play. Coach Gill explains all the issues with the film which is extremely helpful, I love when coaches show the good film with the bad.

Read more about how Coach Gill defends the RPO from 3 Safety Defense Personnel HERE.

Even Army Daylight Buc Film

Mixing calls for more of a different look comes when Shiloh Christian runs Army, which is a slant stunt with 3 down linemen. The slant is away from an indicator. The Indicator comes based on formation. While they’re doing that, they backers are running the daylight pressure that we have discussed behind it. Covering it all up, we have Buck coverage as 1 backer is going and there will be 7 in the drop.

Want more?

Coach Gill has put together an incredible 6-part video series on the 3 high safety defense HERE.