Run defense is gap-oriented

People ask me why the Bills have a hard time stopping the run. Well, here's how players are supposed to stop the run in the Buffalo defense.

Everyone has a single gap they're responsible for.

A player's responsibility might be guard-center gap and when the ball is snapped, he has to get there. Either he stands there, lines up there, whatever, and he is not to let the runner to get between those two guys. If the runner comes his way, he's supposed to hold up so that the linebackers can come in, fill the gap and make the tackle.

Now the other thing defenders can do is stunt in different directions where they'll line up two gaps away and stunt to the gap, and the linebackers will line up in the other direction and stunt back across. That's all designed to take the offensive linemen by surprise so they don't know who is going to be where and they can't get a good handle on their assignments.

Defenders get into problems when they try to stunt too far and they can't reach or the offensive line catches you in a stunt that lines up perfectly for their blocking assignments, so the defense might get nicked that way sometimes. But even if that happens, a team should have a guy there in the gap, covering.

The Bills' defense is one that is forced to do it with guile and a little bit of trickery.

It's an aggressive defense. It's supposed to make offensive linemen sort through who's going to rush the passer right before the snap, or who might man a gap on a run. It's supposed to create confusion.


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