2. The BZ needs to sprint towards the QB every time, never "half speed". The BZ should slow down once they are in the back field to avoid over pursuing the play. Sub the BZ out with fresh legs often since they will get tired.
3. The BZ should always keep their left hand up to swat away the ball as it leaves the QB's hand (assuming the QB is right handed and is passing). The BZ should never hit the QB's throwing arm or hand. It also allows the QB a great chance to escape. The BZ’s right hand should be down reaching for the QB's flag.
4. The BZ should never jump in the air to distract the QB. This just wastes time when the BZ could be sacking the QB. The BZ should be one of your fastest players on the team and also be a good flag puller.
Selecting a Defense
Man Defense Man defense is coverage where every defensive back is assigned to a particular player. Instead of being responsible for a certain area (zone), they are responsible for an offensive player no matter where he goes on the field.
If a WR gets away from the defender, there is usually no back up support from any other players. In most cases, the CBs are the ones that play man‐to‐man but safeties and LBs can too. When defenders play man defense, the defender must choose the appropriate distance from the WR prior to the snap. If the WR is faster than the defender, then the defender needs to give the WR a good cushion of space. If the defender lines up too close to the WR, the chances of getting beat right off the line are very high. If the WR is slower then the defender, then the defender can give the WR a smaller cushion. When setting up your players in man defense, try to line up your defenders so they are equal in height, speed, and skill of the offensive player they are guarding. To be successful at man, follow these steps:
The defender needs to have good back peddling skills.
The defender must know when to turn his hips and run with the receiver. “Turning” with the receiver
means the defender comes out of their back peddle and transitions into a forward sprint to follow their receiver. The CB should always be on their receiver's hip. Playing on the inside hip (hip closest to the ball) is more risky but can yield big results. Playing on the outside hip (the hip closer to the end zone) is safer because you keep the play in front of you.
The defender needs to be aggressive enough to swat away balls or intercept if the opportunity is right.
Never look at the QB. Keep your eyes on your receiver’s waist.
Give a second effort. Even if the receiver catches the ball, the defender needs to go for the flag.
Zone Defense Unlike man defense where you have to cover a specific receiver, zone defense is guarding a specific area. If receivers enter your "zone" or area, you are responsible for them as long as they are in your zone. Sometimes you might have several receivers in your zone, so be ready. In zone defense, it’s ok and recommended to look at the QB (unlike in man coverage). Here are a few tips for playing zone defense:
1. The defender always needs to have the receivers in front of them. The defender can't make a play when the receivers are behind them.