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Whiteboard Wednesday: Talking Adam Fuller blitzing

Pick a play, any play

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 26 Syracuse at Florida State Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tomahawk Nation is bringing you more and more analysis about what the Florida State Seminoles are doing under their new staff, breaking it down to each of the important coaches and their philosophies. We will be turning our focus towards the now as we get an idea of what the new staff is doing.

As we dive into the depths, we know there are some concepts that bear explanation. Scheme takes time to be installed and we want to take the time to give our readers an understanding of what is happening. We will take a much closer look at the Mike Norvell and Adam Fuller offense/defense.

One of the exciting parts for our scheme team is to discuss football in the comments section. We always look forward to your feedback and questions. Please don’t be shy to ask follow-up or clarifying questions after reading.


I have watched and re-watched the Florida State-Georgia Tech game three times now. My takeaways are largely the same as they in the most recent 4-Verts episode.

I will say though that there were aspects of this game that are largely fixable and I anticipate will be fixed. There are some parts that the Jimmie’s and Joe’s just aren’t good enough and need to be recruited over. Nobody is without blame in a loss like Saturday’s sadly.

During my re-watch I wanted to pay more attention to the scheme. I have seen in different comment sections, “Adam Fuller didn’t blitz” and I am here to tell you that is largely incorrect. Fuller pressured GT on first down frequently throughout the game but there were instances where he sat back and trusted his defensive line to do their job. I want to take the opportunity to talk about one of Fuller’s favorite pressures from the game. Click the link because I have already discussed blitzing 101 with Adam Fuller.

(Hint, this was the first blitz I diagrammed.)

*Don’t pay attention to the TV expert’s incorrectly placed telestrated arrows*

First, I want to paint the picture.

Post interception the FSU defense finds their backs against the wall. Adam Fuller frequently talks about playing offense with his defense and takes the opportunity to do that. Blitzing on first and ten from the redzone, the defense is able to create a negative play and put GT behind the chains. Georgia Tech had started having success running outside zone and zone read plays with Jeff Sims. Anticipating such a call on first down Fuller decides to dial up a run blitz.

This is a six-man pressure with the stud and buck safety coming off the edges. You see in the play that Raymond Woodie III and Amari Gainer both come off the edges. This edge pressure squeezes the pocket so there is not an alley for Sims to escape and the blitzers are on top of him right away. The play fake by Sims to his running back is fit nicely by the interior six defenders which allows Woodie III and Gainer to be free rushers on Sims. This play fake also takes time which prevents Sims from making any type of move to escape the pocket.

Taking a look at the front you get “pinch” movement by the all four defensive linemen. This “pinch” has the ends engaging and crossing the offensive tackles face. When an end crosses your face as a tackle, you have to step with him and pass him off or block him. Watch what happens when Quashon Fuller crosses the GT tackle. He steps into him and there is nobody to account for Gainer. The same thing happens on the other side but they are trying to kick Janarius Robinson out with the tight end. When those tackles step inside, even for a split second, it’s open season on the QB.

I wish I could give you some more super secret, elaborate play breakdown but I saw this blitz and thought it was a really well called and timed blitz. If you want to talk more about what went right or wrong, drop some questions in the comment section.