As the blitzers times up his blitz he will react off of the offensive linemen to the inside of the gap he is blitzing.
A B gap blitzer, as in the example, will react off of the guard. An A gap blitzer would key the Center. The blitzer is not just running through the gap he is attacking the outside edge of this blitz key.
There are three things the OL key can do and therefore three reactions by the blitzer.
- OL key steps toward the blitzer = Widen
- OL key steps away from blitzer = Bend
When the blitzer's key steps away from the blitzer the reaction is to bend. Bend is a flattening of the course by the blitzer. The change of course helps keep the blitzer away from the adjacent OL, who is the most likely player trying to block him. The bend also helps prevent the blitzer from running up the field, where he is more likely to get kicked out or create a seam. If the OL key is pulling it is the flattest bend (hip pocket of puller) that in most cases takes the bliters directly to the ball.
#2 Bend = Flatten your course
The final reaction is for the blitzer to pass rush if the OL key pass sets.
#3 Pass Rush = Get on a blocker's edge and work a move
The line of blitzers time it up and react (Bend, Widen, Pass Rush) off of the coach. This is a very rapid fire drill that can start a period or practice with energy and tempo. The same teaching model can be applied to slanting DL.
A DT on an inside move is taught to bend, widen, or pass rush based off of his OL key (Center). Whether it is a blitzer or DL the terminology and drill work can remain the same and hopefully get the defense to attack, play fast, and make plays.