Aggressive defenses love to bring pressure

Updated: January 20, 2006, 4:27 PM ET
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Blitzes are about deception, timing and execution, and in this year's AFC Championship Game, nothing will be more important than how each team handles the other's blitzes.

Troy Polamalu
Pittsburgh's blitz package is the more complex of the two, but the one thing common to both teams is that they play extremely aggressively with their safeties. Steelers SS Troy Polamalu plays more like a rover back -- he can blitz, cover the slot receiver or tight end, play zone coverage, or come on a delay to the quarterback. Denver safeties John Lynch and Nick Ferguson also will be sent frequently on blitzes, with Lynch often coming outside and Ferguson coming up the gut.
Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.