The traditional Fire Zone blitz is an effective tool for the defense to apply “safe pressure” to the quarterback, but since it has been around for quite a while, offenses know they must gameplan for it.
Recently, defensive coordinators have been toying with the 3 deep, 3 under coverage behind Fire Zone blitzes to develop new looks. At Michigan State and later the University of Pittsburgh, Pat Narduzzi pioneered 3 deep, 2 underneath zone coverage behind a 6 man blitz. The results have been impressive, and new Browns Defensive Coordinator Steve Wilks appears to be an adopter, and he is using other zone shells behind his blitzes as well.
Here is the breakdown:
With athletic players capable of rushing the passer or dropping into coverage such as Myles Garrett, Joe Schobert, Genard Avery, and new addition Olivier Vernon, Wilks should have a wealth of options at his disposal in 2019.