Play 3: Vs. Miami, 1st quarter, 8:25 remaining, 1st & 10
What the offense is running: Slants out of the shotgun with two check-downs on the flats.
What the defense is running: Cover 1 (man) with a robber.
What Zach Allen is tasked to do: Rush from the 3-technique.
What happens: Instead of rushing from the edge like the last two plays, Allen is rushing from the interior, specifically the 3-technique. He’s tasked to go against the right guard, and essentially either eat that block to allow the edge rusher to gain pressure or just beat the guard and get interior pressure himself.
Turns out, both things happen. Allen is able to shed the guard’s block, as the edge rusher whizzed past. The center was double-teaming the nose, but he should’ve helped against Allen. However, this is a really nice block shed from Allen; which shows his potential playing as a 3-4 end for the Cardinals.
Allen is able to display that explosive first-step and length with his hand usage to beat the guard. He pushes the guard outside via his power, length, and first-step, which allows him to swipe inside and cleanly force an open lane to the quarterback.
- The Cardinals aren’t expected to play Allen in the 9-technique like we’ve previously seen. Instead, most of his snaps will be similar to the one of this clip; the 3-technique, or the 5-technique, considering his lack of weight.
- Allen has the ideal skill set to play in the interior defensive line, specifically, the 3-4 end. His heavy hands combined with powerful touch, length, and solid first-step make him a matchup nightmare for slower, or even powerful guards.
- Excellent hand usage here, it’s hard not to love his ability to force guards outside with his length, and then turn around and beat them with a powerful punch. He’s not going off of power rushing alone, he’s going to win off of planned attacks in the inside.