Psycho Fronts: It’s Not Crazy to Use Them

29 Oct

"Psycho" Front

You’ve probably seen them: defenses in which the D-linemen are upright and in a two-point stance.  They might have one or two DL with their hands in the ground or none and if you’re an old school coach bound by conventioanl thinking, you might wonder if the opposing DC is simply crazy and turn your O-linemen loose on them.  Turns out they are “psycho” and they probably didn’t know it.

While there are very few “new” ideas about how to play defehnse, there’s a variety of ways to hide or disguise a scheme. One way that has gained significant leverage among NFL DC’s is the “psycho” front.  That’s a defense that packs it in along the line of scrimmage and has one or two or maybe even zero defensive linemen with their hands on the ground.

The particular madness behind the “psycho” is actually the goal of any pre-snap alignment: to confuse the offense; most particularly the QB and O-line as it will be difficult for them to identify who is blitzing and who isn’t.

The chances are very high that there will be an assignment bust.  Heck, the chances are there will probably be more than one.

And while a “psycho” front will likely reveal the type of deep coverage being played, it’s not always clear what kind of underneath coverage will be used,
be it man or zone, and if zone, how many underneath?  Two, three, or four?  Determining which will be a real problem for any offense.

Psycho front using one down lineman and rushing five.

Psycho front using zero down linemen and rushing five.

Psycho front using two down linemen and rushing four.

Psycho fronts — in and of themselves — don’t change a defense’s structure.  They merely disguise a defense’s intentions and they do so in a way that while
unconventional is extremely effective.

"Psycho" front.

"Psycho" front.

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2 Responses to “Psycho Fronts: It’s Not Crazy to Use Them”

  1. Myrtle December 16, 2012 at 11:40 am #

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    • talkfootball February 3, 2013 at 10:38 am #

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