Found April 24, 2012 on Full Throttle Online:
PLAYERS: Rex Ryan

With six men on the line of scrimmage, including three plugging the middle, run fits, reads, and keys within the 46 defense can vary from other more traditional fronts. In his DVD, “Coaching Football’s 46 Defense”, Rex Ryan uses two chapters to discuss the keys and reactions of the Mike linebacker and strong safety within this defense including the use of former plays to demonstrate how these concepts can be put into action.

Like players in many systems currently in place, linebacker’s in the Ryan 46 will key the fullback. On the snap Ryan teaches them to take their first step with the foot nearest the fullback’s direction. At this point they will use what Ryan calls his “pointer system” to to determine their reaction to this initial key.

Let’s assume the defense is defended a straight I formation and the fullback takes his initial step towards the tight end side of the formation. At this point Mike will attack the line of scrimmage while stepping to the inside leg of the Sam linebacker. Mike’s job is to make Sam right by staying inside Sam if he goes outside or going outside of him if Sam gets inside. While filling to Sam, Mike will continue to read through the line for an “alarm”. Ryan defines these alarms as being a high hat (pass) or pull to the backside (counter). If there is no alarm Mike can continue to fly downhill to the play.

At the same time during this play the strong safety is making his backside reads by stepping to the fullback while looking to the playside guard for an alarm. Again, if there is no alarm the strong safety is free to play fast downhill. Since he is the backside player his job will be to make the zero technique right. So, if the zero jumps the backside A gap, then the safety will flow over the top of him to the strong A. Meanwhile, if the zero jumps the strong A gap, the safety will fill through the backside A. See the following diagram for run fits vs a traditional strong side lead run play.

These keys remain consistent if the play is a weakside run. The safety will look to fill inside the end while reading through the line for alarms. At the same time Mike will get his eyes onto the split side guard to look for any alarms. If there are no alarms he will fill off the zero technique. Below is a sample of these fits against a split side lead play.

Those keys are fairly basic, but what happens if there is a pull away/counter read? Ryan claims that to stop any counter play you need to have a man outside the #1 puller, outside the #2 puller, and inside the #2 puller. The end or outside linebackers (Jack and Sam) will serve as the player outside the #1 puller as it is most likely that one of these players will be the attempted kickout block. On seeing the alarm Mike or the safety will yell “pull” while rocking and rolling back to the pointer on the other side of the formation. These players will serve as the players outside and inside of the #2 puller. Keep in mind that it becomes difficult to run traditional GT counters due to the placement of the double three techniques with a zero covering the center. This is where it becomes extremely important for the three techniques to follow their rules. As long as they do not allow a reach or jump through the linebackers should be able to play free.

For more on the 46 Defense check out these resources:

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Rank the Jets biggest positional Draft Day needs (POLL)

Jets fans on Draft Day The New York Jets have some clear needs this Thursday, April 26th at the NFL Draft. After finishing with a disappointing 8-8 record in 2011 and missing the playoffs for the first time in the Rex Ryan era, the Jets clearly need a shot of life via the draft. Luckily enough, the Jets have 10 picks in the draft including the 16th overall pick. With that being...

10 reasons why the Falcons turned down 'Hard Knocks'

10) Afraid that the network would find out about the QB's shameful secret criminal activities9) Roddy White and a live mic isn't exactly a recipe for team harmony 8) Just not able to match Rex Ryan's standard for HBO-ready dialogue7) Worried that if they appear on the show, people would start noticing how they never actually win any playoff games6) Don't want the...

NFL Draft: Nothing is ‘safe’

The National Football League can guarantee a handful of things: training camp holdouts, Rex Ryan’s innate ability to overcompensate, overvaluing and overspending by Daniel Snyder, oblivious fan expectations in Oakland, and a few others.  The biggest thing the NFL cannot guarantee: success, particularly by that of an individual player. Jamal Reynolds, Johnathan Sullivan, and Robert...

New York Jets 2012 Schedule: Breakdown and Analysis

  Jets 2012 Opponent’s - A Look at What Stands in the Way of Rex Ryan and his Super Bowl Aspirations vs. Bills: If you’re a Jets or Pats fan you might want to start PRAYING that the Bills don’t draft Courtney Upshaw. Mario Williams and Upshaw are coming off the edge. Yeah that will scare you but when your right tackle looks more lost than a 6th grader on his first day...

Report: Jets Looking to Trade Up in Draft for Trent Richardson

Rex Ryan knows how to stir up controversy. And in an offseason which saw the Jets make headlines by trading for Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, the Jets appear on the verge of making another big-time splash. The Jets have apparently made contact with Alabama running back and top-five hopeful Trent Richardson, in what is looking like another draft-day deal for the Jets, according to...

'Hard Knocks' still looking for a team

HBO's "Hard Knocks" is ready for a seventh season, but is still in the market for an NFL team willing to be featured on the reality program. According to ESPN, the Atlanta Falcons declined to appear on the show after more than a week of mulling the offer, ultimately viewing it as too much of a distraction. The show, which follows an NFL team through training camp...

Report: Falcons decline to be on HBO's 'Hard Knocks'

The Atlanta Falcons will not be featured in the next installment of HBO's "Hard Knocks," ESPN.com reported, citing a league source. The Falcons wished to focus their efforts strictly to matters on the field for the upcoming season, according to the source. HBO doesn't traditionally reveal the starring team until May. The New York Jets were thought to be the likely...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.