When you’re rushing as a unit you’re always looking for 1- on-1 match ups. And you know what’s the best way to get those? Rush 5!

When you got 5 rushers on the line, the O-line now has to man the entire D-Line. This gives your defensive line 1-on-1s across the board and some really interesting options like base rushing, twisting or running games.

For this weeks D-Line Examples I'll be detailing how you can use each of these options to get after the QB with five rushers.

Base rush

First option is a base rush. With this type of rush, The ends and 3-techs have a 2-way gos while the nose is responsible for powering and overlapping.

2-way go
The 2-way go rushers have to win their 1-on-1s. Now is the time for them to use their best rush (inside, edge or power) to win!

Power and overlap
I know.. I know.. noses always get the short end of the stick, but you need the nose to work as a safety valve for this rush.

You see for the other 4 rushers to have freedom to win their 1-on-1s, they need to know that the nose is backing them up just in case you get they get pushed out of their rush lane.

So the nose needs to power rush the center so he can’t help any of his fellow blockers and overlap to fill any vacant rush lanes.

If you want to put the offensive line on an island with your best rushers the base rush is the way to do it. Just make sure you are confident you got some dogs up front who can win their 1-on-1s quickly because if they don’t, you’re laying your secondary out to dry.

3-man twists

Your second option is a 3-man twist. If you notice that your opponent’s O-line has a tough time passing off their assignments, running a 3-man twist is a great way to free up your guys.

For any twist you will have penetrators and wrappers. The penetrators aggressively penetrate to their assigned gap, where as the wrapper loops around the penetrators to the opposite gap. One twist that I have rarely seen fail with a 5-man rush is the wave twist.

For this twist, have the nose and field 3-tech penetrate and the boundary 3-tech take 2 steps upfield to attract the eyes of the guard then wrap to the opposite B-gap.

The ends on the other hand need to contain rush to make sure the QB doesn’t escape outside. That means they cannot under any circumstance make and inside move.

You can also execute outside twists that involve the end. These are great to use if you think you’re end, 3-tech and nose can work cohesively as a unit. Here are a few examples...

2-man games

In a 5 man rush you can mix and match multiple 2-man games on the inside and outside. For example you can run a TON stunt (tackle first nose wrap) with an TEX stunt (tackle first end wrap) on the opposite side

You also could run a double EXIT stunt (end first tackle wrap) and occupy the center with the nose tackle.

The key here is to have your guys who are good at stunts running them against the blockers who are bad at passing off stunts.

A final word

If you want predictable protections and consistent pressure on the QB a 5-man rush is the way to go. I’ve seen defenses master twists, stunts and base rushes with 5 and it was absolutely lethal once they got the hang of it.

So whether you are running a 4-3, 3-4 or any other kind of defense, using a 5-man rush will give you a deadly weapon to disrupt opposing offenses.

See you again next week.

And whenever you are ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

  1. Learn how to develop top tier pass rushers and a lethal pass rush attack here (1,000+ students)
  2. Learn how to turn your D-Line into a block destruction machine here (1,100+ students)​


Apr 19, 2022
Pass Rush

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