Fritz Shurmur’s Eagle Defense: The Birthplace of the Zone Blitz

Did you know there really is an answer to spread offenses?? As I have watched football over these last two years, I’ve been stricken by the lack of creativity by defensive coordinators to slow teams down. Everyone lines up in the same thing…a 4-2-5 nickel with outside linebackers as down linemen when the answer is situational football with the “Eagle Defense” created by Fritz Shurmer during the Los Angeles Rams 1989 playoff run. Keep lining up where offenses know how to attack you and you’ll get killed. Ask Monte Kiffin in Dallas right now., his Tampa 2 is getting killed. At what point do you throw the conventional book of defense out, look at your personnel and design plays based upon the strength of personnel available??

Taylor Blitz Times

The NFL has had several geniuses when it comes to coaches. Yet when it comes to coordinators many have not received their due nor have any made the Pro Football Hall of Fame based on their contributions. One such coach that did receive Hall of Fame consideration was Dick LeBeau (enshrined in 2011 as a player), who as a long time defensive coordinator has been credited (with Dom Capers) for creating the zone blitz in the modern NFL. Yes Pittsburgh became Blitzburgh but the true zone blitz, as a scheme, came from the mind of Fritz Shurmur. Another assistant deserving enshrinement in Canton.

In 1989, Shurmur was the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams. When the team suffered multiple injuries along the front line, yet had all their linebackers healthy, necessity became the mother of invention. His team employed a 3-4 defense that featured Kevin Greene, who had…

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One thought on “Fritz Shurmur’s Eagle Defense: The Birthplace of the Zone Blitz

  1. Pingback: Kevin Greene, The Chancellor & A Hall of Fame Trip | Taylor Blitz Times

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