AAF puts significant limits on blitzes

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The success or failure of any football league depends on the quality of the play of its quarterbacks, which is driven by the quality of the play of the various offensive lines. With not nearly enough good quarterbacks to go around, and with solid offensive line play not the easiest thing to engineer, the Alliance of American Football has baked into the rulebook procedures for helping the quarterbacks and their blockers seem better than they may be.

While scanning the AAF rulebook rulebook, the following restrictions on defensive formations stood out: (1) no more than five players may rush on passing plays; (2) any player who aligns on the line of scrimmage either prior to or at the snap is designated as one of the five players regardless of whether he rushes; (3) no defensive player may rush from a position more than two yards outside the widest offensive lineman and more than five yards from the line of scrimmage (they’ll call it the “defensive pressure box”); (4) a player is deemed eligible to rush if he has both feet inside the box at the snap; (5) no more than four players may rush from the same side of the ball; (6) adjacent linebackers may not rush from the same side of the ball; and (7) two or more linebackers aligned between the offensive guards may not rush.

So, basically, up to five players can rush the passer and each of those five players must be aligned within two yards of the widest offensive lineman and five yards of the line of scrimmage. This means that there will be no corner blitzes. There will be no delayed blitzes from linebackers and safeties. There will be no double-A gap blitzes.

These limits expire if the person who takes the snap pretends to hand the ball off to another player, either via play action or a run-pass option, or if the ball leaves the tackle box. In those situations, for example, cornerbacks could crash toward the quarterback, or players more than five yards behind the line could try to rush into the backfield.

It’s a major change from what the NFL allows, which is pretty much whatever any defense is able to concoct and execute. It will be interesting to see whether the NFL explores any of these restrictions, if they allow the AAF to rack up the kind of scoring and yardage that will fuel interest in a football league that, for now, is being viewed with mild curiosity, at most.

33 responses to “AAF puts significant limits on blitzes

  1. AAF: no kick offs; no blitzing, In other words it ain’t FOOTBALL. High scoring Madden type games are just bad for the game and this seems to be the type of game the AAF is looking for. With no defense coming at him even Christian Hackenberg will probably look good! This league won’t be worth watching because it’s hamstrung the defense!!

  2. The easiest way to one-up the NFL is to streamline the rule book.

    If you’re trying to differentiate yourself from the NFL, why on earth would you be adding MORE rules to the game?

  3. “t will be interesting to see whether the NFL explores any of these restrictions”

    Uh, no it won’t be “interesting”, it will be another horrible move by the NFL to implement even one of these restrictions.

  4. When the AFL proves to be a complete failure the clowns who made these rules with have no clue why.

  5. “Sounds like what we used to play in the backyard when we had no offensive line and you had to count to 5 Mississippi.”

    ===============

    Backyard rules would be great for the players, not so good for the audience. Imagine guys calling their own pass interference fouls and trying to make one-handed grabs of Nerf footballs with a beer in the other hand.

  6. The AAF is positioning itself as a developmental league for the NFL and the NFL Network is televising the games. It isn’t a stretch to think that the NFL is using the AAF to test out rules that they are considering. Why would the AAF care about protecting quarterbacks that aren’t any good anyway?

  7. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    February 8, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Why would the AAF care about protecting quarterbacks that aren’t any good anyway?

    ———————————

    So when the XFL quarterbacks get injured, they can self promote their (AAF) league as the best path to the NFL.

  8. The original XFL used standard NFL rules and then had horrible, horrible quarterback play that made most of the games unwatchable. These type of rules are almost necessary for any new start up league just to get the offenses to be ON PAR with the defenses. I think these rules are to prevent ugly 13-3 games, not create 54-51 games.

  9. “There will be no delayed blitzes from linebackers and safeties. ”

    Ah, but there will be delayed blitzes, stunts and all the mayhem you could imagine in those trenches …. not a fun place to work.

    Also from your post: which supports the argument … “(4) a player is deemed eligible to rush if he has both feet inside the box at the snap;” … which doesn’t dictate when a player may blitz or what position he normally plays, just where he is standing at the snap.

    Oh, If a team has the Clemson front 4 (first or second team), they only need 4.

  10. jamesmcv72 says:
    February 8, 2019 at 5:25 pm
    Okay. It’s now official… the AAF ain’t football. Woe to the NFL if they ever follow suit.

    ==========

    AAF = “Ain’t Authentic Football:

  11. Tweaking overtime rules and eliminating kickoffs were one thing. Those were forward thinking and thought provoking. Rules essentially tying one hand behind the back of defensive players and coaches is another. Silly.

    If the AAf is truly responsive to the fans they’re attempting to court and dedicated to being an honest football league they’ll reverse these rules sooner than later.

  12. Differences in rules do mean that one thing is “real football” and another is not. College football has radically different rules than the NFL. High school football rules are radically different from college and the NFL. High school football rules also vary from state to state.

    Are college and high school football not “real football”, simply because their rules differ from the NFL’s? Of course not.

  13. Weak, but one thing is for sure. Every game this weekend will be more exciting than the last Super Bowl.

  14. Well they should do it. Why stop now. Touching the QB is already a penalty. Why not make trying to tackle the qb a penalty too.

  15. This is from the same folks who for years still can’t figure out what is and isn’t a catch. Whatever, gonna wait on the XFL and not watch the NFL d-league anyway.

  16. Nothing is on TV till March madness….so for now we have Spring football madnesses…ill watch no matter what, just for some background entertainment. No need to take any of this seriously.

  17. I am not even going to comment at all the rules until I see this league last one year. If it doesn’t last a year, there’s no use getting upset about anything. March Madness will be here soon anyway.

  18. The biggest fear is that the NFL will get ideas to try some of these same rules if they get the idea that it will protect quarterbacks even more than they are now and will increase scoring. Roger Goodell must have really cringed at a 13-3 Super Bowl final score. He’d much prefer to see 53-43.

  19. Backyard rules would be great for the players, not so good for the audience. Imagine guys calling their own pass interference fouls and trying to make one-handed grabs of Nerf footballs with a beer in the other hand.

    I’m in!

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