Steve White Explains Under Defense

June 30th, 2010

Blogger, author and former Bucs defensive end Steve White, author of the highly acclaimed Bull Rush column on, has spelled out a refresher course in “under defense” for all to enjoy.

Click here to check it out on his blog. It’s a sweet, big gulp of Xs and Os to help you get through a football-starved June afternoon.

But I think that there is a misconception that Black blitzes every play in this defense. He doesnt. On passing plays unless a blitz is specifically called Black still drops back in coverage. It actually gives him and our defense an advantage at times in that by being on the line he can jack up the tight end a make it hard for him to get out on a route. In our division with Shockey and Gonzales thats huge. And we can still play cover 2 out of an under shell so being physical with the tightend also helps our middle linebacker who often times will have to cover them deep down the seam.

This is especially timely given Raheem The Dream recently gushing over Quincy Black after the opening day of minicamp. (You can watch Raheem The Dream’s first minicamp news conference and hear him talk about Black on, and those who care can notice that one of his quotes is cleaned up for a story about Black posted earlier this week on )

White also wrote about under defense previously right here, and Black vs Cato June several weeks ago.

Reading all this Xs and Os stuff has Joe yearing for opening day of training camp — just one short month away!

10 Responses to “Steve White Explains Under Defense”

  1. oar Says:

    Mr. White, You never let down. Thanks for the great read once again!

  2. Bucnjim Says:

    The under also seems like it puts the Linebacker in better position to stop running plays behind or at the line of scrimage. In years past it seemed like the D took a more aggressive approach in attacking the RB. Last year it was hard to find a tackle for a loss in any game. Very seldom did you see players swarming to the ball. Is this something that may help secure the middle better or is it strictly for pass rushing & TE coverage?

  3. sensiblefan Says:

    Wow. Good work Steve.

  4. bucfanjeff Says:

    Steve, in your example, MLB get the B gap and WLB gets the A gap on runs? Or does it depend on if any games or blitzes are called..or both?

  5. sgw94 Says:

    @oar Thanks

    @bucfanjeff It depends on the call and the formation. If its a 7 man front then either the MLB or the WLB may have to play more than one gap depending on whether theres a lead blocker or not. If its an 8 man front its a little more defined unless there is counter/trap action.

  6. JimBuc Says:

    Great stuff as usual Steve. Thanks

  7. Toddwashsucks Says:

    So Steve,
    In essence what your saying is with less double teaming in the line interior, the “under’ front is a better fit for run responsibilities, AND it allows lighter d-tackles (like the ones Tampa typically has) to use more athleticism in there gaps, as oppose to being pushed hard up the middle?

  8. RahDomDaBest Says:

    What about our not so true NT getting engulfed by 2 line man? Then Ruud has to step up and stop the run.

    Or what about the safeties being vulnerable over the middle?

    How does the 3 wide affect the coverage? Does Black drop over the slot? Does he get help from the safety?

  9. RahDomDaBest Says:

    I wish we had 3 Quincy Blacks!

  10. BamBamBuc Says:

    RahDom, seriously you should think before you type. It’s been stated over and over that Black plays better closer to the line, does well in blitzes and stopping the run, but he DOESN’T have the best coverage skills or play off the line well. If we had 3 of him, one would have to play MLB off the line and cover the deep middle seam and have to read gaps to help in run support. Not his strengths. Maybe Mr. White can do a nice article on LB responsibilities for Will, Sam and Mike so those that think Black could play all three can get a clue.

    Geno actually played Will pretty well last year. His tackles from the back side coming down the line were good and he wasn’t bad in coverage. Ruud plays his deep middle fairly well and comes up in run support fairly well too. The criticism of Ruud making tackles from behind and getting dragged down the field are due to a lack of the front four shedding blocks and getting early hits on guys. Ruud had to take on guards at 10 yards downfield. Where was the DT? Why didn’t he make the tackle or at least take on the guard?