30 Front Empty Adjustments

By FirstDown PlayBook on Mar 5, 2024
FirstDown PlayBook Program Management System

As a defensive coordinator there are a lot of things that can keep you up at night. Offensive coordinators are so creative these days and are good at using their personnel and formations. Today we will take a look at 30 front empty adjustments, but the message is much larger than that.

The message is that job one is to be able to adjust to formations, shifts, trades, and motion. Taking it a step further, your adjustments must be simple and concise. In order to be simple and concise, a coordinator has to be thorough with defensive installation. This includes your base defenses and pressure packages.

This is why FirstDown PlayBook goes to such lengths to provide adjustment information for your defensive section. In addition to the players alignment, assignment and responsibility, we provide adjustment thoughts. This is for every defense in that section too.

What you will see below is just one example as we look at this 30 front empty formation adjustment. We are playing quarter, quarter, half coverage behind it. Before any of you freak out, we want to emphasize that we understand how detailed this is. A young defensive coordinator can use this as a checklist as the defense is installed.

A defensive coordinator can look through this list of adjustments and make sure that they have an answer. Is it it going to be the answer we have listed? Maybe, maybe not. However, at least the situation has been covered and addressed before you call that defense in a game.


-All Defenders Will Make A “Bunch Alert” Call When A Bunch Formation Or Possibility Of A Bunch Formation Exists.

-The Defender On The Point Will Disrupt Any Release Of The Point Receiver. Be Physical at the Line Of Scrimmage.

-The Bunch Side Defensive End Will Widen To The Bunch If The Point Is Close Enough To Block Down On Him.

-LB’s may cheat slightly to the Bunch with initial alignment.

-In Passing situations all Defensive Linemen may widen their alignment for a more effective pass rush. 


-The Safety To The Bunch Side Must Get Involved With The Run Game.

-Strength call is made To The Tight End. No Tight End: Make it to 3 Receiver side.

-An Additional Call Will Be Made To Communicate Line Movement & LineBacker Assignment. 

-Every Defensive Alignment Should Look The Same Pre-Snap Regardless Of Who Is The Fourth Rusher.

-Quarters Coverage Will Be Played To Passing Strength And Cover 2 Will Be Played Away From That.

-Safeties Can Be Played By Position (SS & FS) Or With Mirrored Safeties.

-The Receivers will be identified as #1, #2 And #3 When The Ball Is Snapped.

-Vs 3×1 Sets With No WR To The Single TE Side: Corner & OLB May Combo The TE & RB.

-Defenders Will Bump Over And Balance Up Vs All Motions.

-If Passing Strength Changes Then So Does The Quarters & Cover 2 Coverage Sides.

RB Motions Out Of The Backfield = The Coverage Defender To That Side Will Bump Out.

-If A LB Bumps Out He Will Make An “I’m Gone” Call.

-If The RB Motions Out Of The Backfield Make An “Empty” Call For The Defensive Linemen.

-The Remaining LB Will Balance Up And Defend The QB Draw & Pass.

-Y Trade Is And Will Be Treated As An Offensive Shift.

-The Defense Will “Re-load” Vs Y Trade And Re-call The Strength Of The Defense.

Jason Fitzhugh