The Cover 1 Playbook: What is a Hug or Green Dog Technique?


A common technique to generate pressure on the Quarterback when the defense wants to play Man coverage are Green Dog or Hug rush techniques. These techniques are most common in Cover 0 and Cover 1 calls.

These add-on rushes can give the defense a numbers advantage against the pass protection.

Typically, a Green Dog technique is executed when a linebacker has a running back in Man Coverage, but soon after the snap the linebacker recognizes the running back staying in to block. So that linebacker has the Green light to rush the quarterback.

It can create issues for pass protections because that defender isn’t typically accounted for in the initial protection, and the linebacker rushes so late in the play, that most blockers are already occupied.

A Hug rush is very similar, but its typically an Add on rush from a corner or safety who has a tight end in Man coverage. The Bills love to use Hug rush techniques against teams who have subpar offensive lines because those are the teams that like to keep tight ends in to help. So when those TEs stay in to block, the safety or corner get the nod to rush the QB. But they also like to utilize these calls because their safeties make quick reads and are very good rushers.

The processing by linebackers, corners and safeties on these techniques is paramount. It must be quick and accurate because if they are wrong, and the back or tight end chip release or have a delayed-release, those weapons could have a lot of real estate to make the defense pay.

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