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Hi, I'm new here and am looking for some help. I coach 3rd and 4th graders and we have made the playoffs and are going against the best team in the league in round 1. They have blown everyone out this year. We played them earlier in the season and got beat 36-14. Here is what they do.

First off it seems this team is loaded. The Ball advancing weight is 100Lbs and they have a kid who is strong as in ox that weighs exactly that. The first thing they do is hand it to him right in the 1-2 hole and let him drag my kids for 7-8 yards. My team is way undersized. My biggest kid is 102. The league dictates that we have to run a 5-2. The LB's can be over either the Guards or the Tackles and in turn the DT's have to line up on whoever the LB doesn't and vice Versa. Basically everyone has to be heads up.

I have 3 bigger kids who are semi athletic that I can line up over the C and both Guards. I also have a tough undersized MLB who can pop him if he comes up the middle.

The problem is they also have a very quick and elusive speed back that they sweep with. I teach my DE's to contain outside and we did a fairly decent job against other teams in doing so. They don't crack back but rather line the kid up at QB and send both backs out to help him get the corner. The FB will help the TE by just thumping my end who is already dealing with the TE and trying to contain. The WR will block my CB and the HB will then thump him as well. The LB's have a hard time getting out there and not getting caught up in the wash. My safety doesn't provide much support either.

At times they will line him up as the HB and fake to the FB which will freeze my backers who are eagerly trying to get a jump to hit the big FB. Then they will give to the HB and if my end bit at all inside he is done.

When we played them we used a 5-2 with the Safety coming up at the snap and played basically a 5-3. In this set the CB's covered the WR's and the Safety gave help over the top. We also had the DT's over thier Tackles and had them crashing in with the Ends crashing out and the LB filling the gap between the 2. This didn't work as we had no one to help the NT and MLB to stuff the A-Gaps and they just couldn't bring him down by thierselves. Also, the CB's were not able to provide help on contain because they were looking pass first and once they realized it was a sweep run they were getting blocked by the WR and thumped by the RB.

This is my thought on defending this

Move the DT's over the Guards and try to plug up the middle with the 3 bigger kids who could probably take down the big FB.

Put my 2 most athletic kids at each CB spot and blitz the corners relentlessy. The 2 safeties can pick up the WR/TE on thier side. When we played them they didn't throw it ONCE!

Have the Ends continue to try to contain and at least absorb the blocks so my CB can make the play.

Have each LB, who will now be lined up over the OT's try to clean up the big FB up the middle and make the play on the HB if we can get him to cut it back up. Thats the tough job because the gap is so big.

Of course I am vulnerable in between the 2 and to TE,etc if they try to pass but my thinking is at least make them do something they have not had to do all year. I am basically selling out to contain the A Gaps and the outsides.

Here is my breakdown of my kids that I could possibly move

2 very athletic and very good tacklers

1 Athletic and Tough but undisciplined

3 Quick kids but terrible tacklers

3 big kids my DT's and NT

1 Semi athletic kid, medium talent, solid but not real fast.

All the Rest.....Not real good. Slower/non aggressive/distracted/etc.

What would you do? Please help, I would love to knock these guys off!

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I'd play it as close to a 5-3 as possible.

DT over OG, slanting out to B gaps.

NT and "MLB" cover A gaps.

OLBers over OTs (in your case, it's OLB+one of the safeties) and covering C gap

DEs box - make sure they line up far enough out to penetrate untouched

CB w/ no SE/flanker cheats in towards DE, reads run, and blitzes frequently.

CB w/ SE/flanker backpedals, but reads run - must coach up on shedding SE.

Remaing safety reads monster FB first to help with inside tackling.

Or something like that.

We use a pretty standard 5-3 as our base formation and it works well at the middle-school level (some passing, but still mostly power running and sweeps).

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I'd play it as close to a 5-3 as possible.

DT over OG, slanting out to B gaps.

NT and "MLB" cover A gaps.

OLBers over OTs (in your case, it's OLB+one of the safeties) and covering C gap

DEs box - make sure they line up far enough out to penetrate untouched

CB w/ no SE/flanker cheats in towards DE, reads run, and blitzes frequently.

CB w/ SE/flanker backpedals, but reads run - must coach up on shedding SE.

Remaing safety reads monster FB first to help with inside tackling.

Or something like that.

We use a pretty standard 5-3 as our base formation and it works well at the middle-school level (some passing, but still mostly power running and sweeps).

Thats pretty much our basic Defense that we run. The Problem is they usually run to the SE side and my CB has trouble shedding the guy plus he is getting hammered by the HB coming out of the backfield.

My question is if I blitz both corners and let them release the SE/Flankers to the Safeties, what should I do with the ends. If I have the ends box and the CB coming from the outside along with the DT's over the OG's it's going to open up quite a gap for each LB to fill.

Should I have the ends possibly Crash after going outside the end? With both the CB blitzing and DE boxing it puts them both right beside each other. Perhaps I should have the CB undercut the boxing ends?

Any thoughts?

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Hi, I'm new here and am looking for some help. I coach 3rd and 4th graders and we have made the playoffs and are going against the best team in the league in round 1. They have blown everyone out this year. We played them earlier in the season and got beat 36-14. Here is what they do.

First off it seems this team is loaded. The Ball advancing weight is 100Lbs and they have a kid who is strong as in ox that weighs exactly that. The first thing they do is hand it to him right in the 1-2 hole and let him drag my kids for 7-8 yards. My team is way undersized. My biggest kid is 102. The league dictates that we have to run a 5-2. The LB's can be over either the Guards or the Tackles and in turn the DT's have to line up on whoever the LB doesn't and vice Versa. Basically everyone has to be heads up.

I have 3 bigger kids who are semi athletic that I can line up over the C and both Guards. I also have a tough undersized MLB who can pop him if he comes up the middle.

The problem is they also have a very quick and elusive speed back that they sweep with. I teach my DE's to contain outside and we did a fairly decent job against other teams in doing so. They don't crack back but rather line the kid up at QB and send both backs out to help him get the corner. The FB will help the TE by just thumping my end who is already dealing with the TE and trying to contain. The WR will block my CB and the HB will then thump him as well. The LB's have a hard time getting out there and not getting caught up in the wash. My safety doesn't provide much support either.

At times they will line him up as the HB and fake to the FB which will freeze my backers who are eagerly trying to get a jump to hit the big FB. Then they will give to the HB and if my end bit at all inside he is done.

When we played them we used a 5-2 with the Safety coming up at the snap and played basically a 5-3. In this set the CB's covered the WR's and the Safety gave help over the top. We also had the DT's over thier Tackles and had them crashing in with the Ends crashing out and the LB filling the gap between the 2. This didn't work as we had no one to help the NT and MLB to stuff the A-Gaps and they just couldn't bring him down by thierselves. Also, the CB's were not able to provide help on contain because they were looking pass first and once they realized it was a sweep run they were getting blocked by the WR and thumped by the RB.

This is my thought on defending this

Move the DT's over the Guards and try to plug up the middle with the 3 bigger kids who could probably take down the big FB.

Put my 2 most athletic kids at each CB spot and blitz the corners relentlessy. The 2 safeties can pick up the WR/TE on thier side. When we played them they didn't throw it ONCE!

Have the Ends continue to try to contain and at least absorb the blocks so my CB can make the play.

Have each LB, who will now be lined up over the OT's try to clean up the big FB up the middle and make the play on the HB if we can get him to cut it back up. Thats the tough job because the gap is so big.

Of course I am vulnerable in between the 2 and to TE,etc if they try to pass but my thinking is at least make them do something they have not had to do all year. I am basically selling out to contain the A Gaps and the outsides.

Here is my breakdown of my kids that I could possibly move

2 very athletic and very good tacklers

1 Athletic and Tough but undisciplined

3 Quick kids but terrible tacklers

3 big kids my DT's and NT

1 Semi athletic kid, medium talent, solid but not real fast.

All the Rest.....Not real good. Slower/non aggressive/distracted/etc.

What would you do? Please help, I would love to knock these guys off!

Coach I might have missed this...

WHat formations are they running? What side to they run to the most often? Do they sweep to the wide side of the field only or some other read as in the backfield set up (split backs with speed burner on opposite side of sweep)?

If you are seeing double tight all the time the 52 is a bear to run as you are short a man already which would explain why you are running a monster 52.

Let me know the formations they run and the other questions and I might be able to offer you some advice.

Jack

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Thanks for helping.

They run out of different formations. The most common one however is an Offset I or the I with a Flanker and Double TE's. They do usually run to the wide side of the field. They will at times line the kid up at QB and just sweep him outside with both the FB and HB lead blocking. The FB will usually take out my end and the HB will either seal the inside with a block on the LB or kick out my CB.

We have to run a 5-2 and thats what makes it difficult. By using the QB as a runner they are maximizing the number of guys on one side of the field whereas I can't really counter it because of our guidelines. That's why my thought was to blitz the corner and have the end box. That is about the only way I can push him back up the middle effectively. He may cut it back up and beat us but at least I can push him closer to the pursuit. The kid is lightening and if he gets that corner goodnight.

Any help would be appreciated

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Thanks for helping.

They run out of different formations. The most common one however is an Offset I or the I with a Flanker and Double TE's. They do usually run to the wide side of the field. They will at times line the kid up at QB and just sweep him outside with both the FB and HB lead blocking. The FB will usually take out my end and the HB will either seal the inside with a block on the LB or kick out my CB.

We have to run a 5-2 and thats what makes it difficult. By using the QB as a runner they are maximizing the number of guys on one side of the field whereas I can't really counter it because of our guidelines. That's why my thought was to blitz the corner and have the end box. That is about the only way I can push him back up the middle effectively. He may cut it back up and beat us but at least I can push him closer to the pursuit. The kid is lightening and if he gets that corner goodnight.

Any help would be appreciated

First you might want to consider getting these dumb (I have another word for them but choose not to use it) rules changed. They are not good for anyone other then guys that can't coach and choose not to learn the sport. Enough said on that.

Are you allowed to shift or stem your defense?

When you say offset I do you mean pro I with an offset backfiled (flanker/tight end with a split end on one side)? Do they line up the offset on the strong or weak side (far/near)?

If you can't stem/shift the front you might think about rolling the coverage over and playing games with your secondary.

So does the rule specifically state that you have to have one DT and LB on the same side of the field? Does it state anything about lineing head up the TE with anyone other then the DE?

Jack

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... they usually run to the SE side and my CB has trouble shedding the guy

I assume since they didn't pass, we're talking about young kids (<10year old)? If so, don't shed, just release.

Also, drill entire defense on shedding and reading. Use small groups, so you can see what they're doing. Fire off one-on-one against a blocker, w/ coach in backfield with a ball...

- make sure they're getting hands onto blockers pads and driving up/lifting.

- make sure their heads are up and looking at backfield (and not looking at the blocker)

- stand behind blocker with ball and step to one side or other and make sure defense reacts properly (shed in that direction).

My question is if I blitz both corners and let them release the SE/Flankers to the Safeties, what should I do with the ends. If I have the ends box and the CB coming from the outside along with the DT's over the OG's it's going to open up quite a gap for each LB to fill.

DT's are over OG, but slanting out, so the B gap is covered (don't take on the OG - you want to fill gaps, not dance with the offensive line). Does the CB have to line up on the SE/flanker? If not, have him cheat over to the DE. Then, the DE and cover off-tackle and the CB can box. If he's cheating over, the safety on that side needs to know and cover.

We also run a CB/DE "criss-corss" blitz where the DE slants hard out, to draw the TE/Slot out and the CB crashes inside (only works on backside, no SE/flanker, w/ CB lined up one step out and deep of DE). This doesn't work every down - you have to wait for the TE/Slot to start committing to the DE and then it only works once or twice (until the other team picks up on it and adjusts).

Should I have the ends possibly Crash after going outside the end? With both the CB blitzing and DE boxing it puts them both right beside each other. Perhaps I should have the CB undercut the boxing ends?

The CB probably won't be able to undercut the DE unless they can line up similar to the DE/CB cross blitz we use. Have the DE take a more direct route to the handoff, and the CB boxing.

Also, with the DT over OG, and a NT on C, you can call a double-team on the A-gaps and really try to foul up the C/QB exchange and hand-off.

You say you have one athletic, but undisciplined kid - if he's aggressive, try him at NT. There isn't any "staying home" there - as soon as the Center twitches, crash hard and go berserk in the backfield. We have a similar kid (small and undisciplined, but fast and tough as nails) - in our first game, he caused 5+ fumbles in the backfield and had a few sacks. That C and QB probably still have nightmares.

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Thanks for the advice guys.

Jack, I agree the rules are dumb. Offensively you can do whatever you want but defensively you are strapped. The only shifting you can do pre-snap is if they come out with Twins you can roll one of the Safeties up. Thats it.

Everyone has to be heads up. The DE's are the only exception. They can align on the outside shoulder.

Crack Monkey, I think thats about the best we can go with. The only exception is I'm don't like the DT's over OG's slanting out. I would rather have all 3 of them attack the C and the 2 DT's trying to shoot the A gaps. Perhaps we can force some fumbles or blow up the backfield quickly.

When we played them the first time they ran to the A gaps and outside the WHOLE GAME! No in between stuff. They just have the perfect personel to do it effectively.

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What happens if the O comes out in a spread? Even a small difference in the O-line spacing can make a huge difference. And you don't have to teach any blocking rules, or anything other than drive blocking. Gs pick up DTs, C picks up NT, RBs doulbe DTs and then Safeties. TB is free to run straight down the center of the field, with the CBs, DEs and LBs completely out of the play.

Run that in the playoffs - if your kids have any talent, you'll win it all and they'll change the rules next year.

..............................S................................S................

...........

..........LB..................................................................LB

..........

....CB..DE......DT.....................NT.....................DT......DE..CB

.....E.....T.......G.......................C.......................G.......T....

.E.....

.............................................QB...............

.........................................RB.....RB.........

..............................................TB...............

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What happens if the O comes out in a spread? Even a small difference in the O-line spacing can make a huge difference. And you don't have to teach any blocking rules, or anything other than drive blocking. Gs pick up DTs, C picks up NT, RBs doulbe DTs and then Safeties. TB is free to run straight down the center of the field, with the CBs, DEs and LBs completely out of the play.

Run that in the playoffs - if your kids have any talent, you'll win it all and they'll change the rules next year.

..............................S................................S................

...........

..........LB..................................................................LB

..........

....CB..DE......DT.....................NT.....................DT......DE..CB

.....E.....T.......G.......................C.......................G.......T....

.E.....

.............................................QB...............

.........................................RB.....RB.........

..............................................TB...............

Thats Great! I could see the uproar that would cause. I should do it.

Maybe when I get behind I will do it!

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What happens if the O comes out in a spread? Even a small difference in the O-line spacing can make a huge difference. And you don't have to teach any blocking rules, or anything other than drive blocking. Gs pick up DTs, C picks up NT, RBs doulbe DTs and then Safeties. TB is free to run straight down the center of the field, with the CBs, DEs and LBs completely out of the play.

Run that in the playoffs - if your kids have any talent, you'll win it all and they'll change the rules next year.

..............................S................................S................

...........

..........LB..................................................................LB

..........

....CB..DE......DT.....................NT.....................DT......DE..CB

.....E.....T.......G.......................C.......................G.......T....

.E.....

.............................................QB...............

.........................................RB.....RB.........

..............................................TB...............

Thats Great! I could see the uproar that would cause. I should do it.

Maybe when I get behind I will do it!

Heres the Bylaws.....See for yourself

http://www.tricountyyouthfootball.com/file...tballBylaws.pdf

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What happens if the O comes out in a spread? Even a small difference in the O-line spacing can make a huge difference. And you don't have to teach any blocking rules, or anything other than drive blocking. Gs pick up DTs, C picks up NT, RBs doulbe DTs and then Safeties. TB is free to run straight down the center of the field, with the CBs, DEs and LBs completely out of the play.

Run that in the playoffs - if your kids have any talent, you'll win it all and they'll change the rules next year.

..............................S................................S................

...........

..........LB..................................................................LB

..........

....CB..DE......DT.....................NT.....................DT......DE..CB

.....E.....T.......G.......................C.......................G.......T....

.E.....

.............................................QB...............

.........................................RB.....RB.........

..............................................TB...............

Thats Great! I could see the uproar that would cause. I should do it.

Maybe when I get behind I will do it!

Heres the Bylaws.....See for yourself

http://www.tricountyyouthfootball.com/file...tballBylaws.pdf

I think you have to be careful about breaking the spirit of the rule... Which in this case is clearly to give both sides an equal advantage given poor coaching.

I would frankly never coach or even consider coaching in this league becaue the rules frankly castrate any decent coach from actually coaching...

With that said what CrackMonkey suggested on Offense would be worth running ...but you better have your rule book in hand and clearly bring up to the official that the rules do not define offensive splits and the rules are very specific about the defense and how it must line up. I think a good official is going to laugh at you and tell you that you are breaking the spirit of the rule though. NFHS and NCAA rules both discuss the intent and the spirit of the rule and why.

Jack

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I don't get all the rules some leagues add - especially dictating defense, but not offense. Gives a huge advantage to a team with a stud runner (why would a youth team want to run cover-2 all the time).

I realize the "spirit" of the rule* doesn't include my spread. But, I would seriously run it in protest. The rules don't seem to ban it - only the distance from the OT out to (SE, flanker, slotback) are prescribed.

Looking at the rules, it says you can pick from the following defenses:

"Standard 50"

"50 Eagle/Double Eagle"

I thought "standard 50" was just generic for any 5-man D-line? So, it encompasses 5-2, 5-3, etc. I could be wrong. If I'm correct, I don't see the cover-2 mandated anywhere. Doesn't help you much, other than lets you have a true MLB, instead of a safety pretending to be one.

* My other hobby is motorsports - pushing into the gray area is an accepted part of most motorsports. Smokey Yunick was a god.

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I don't get all the rules some leagues add - especially dictating defense, but not offense. Gives a huge advantage to a team with a stud runner (why would a youth team want to run cover-2 all the time).

I realize the "spirit" of the rule* doesn't include my spread. But, I would seriously run it in protest. The rules don't seem to ban it - only the distance from the OT out to (SE, flanker, slotback) are prescribed.

Looking at the rules, it says you can pick from the following defenses:

"Standard 50"

"50 Eagle/Double Eagle"

I thought "standard 50" was just generic for any 5-man D-line? So, it encompasses 5-2, 5-3, etc. I could be wrong. If I'm correct, I don't see the cover-2 mandated anywhere. Doesn't help you much, other than lets you have a true MLB, instead of a safety pretending to be one.

* My other hobby is motorsports - pushing into the gray area is an accepted part of most motorsports. Smokey Yunick was a god.

The funny thing is why the ###### would you want to run a cover 2 with 3rd and 4th graders?

Tonight at practice we did what you suggested. I told my guards to get there normal splits than take another step over. This ought to be good.

I will run it but hopefully since I didn't get out of hand perhaps the coach won't even notice. Whats he going to say? Is it skirting the rules? Perhaps, but so is stacking a team.

All leagues are forced to draft, or are supposed to. Most of the smaller schools will have 1-2 teams but the bigger schools like Massillon will have 7-8. This team has 2 teams and I was told by a parent that works with one of my kids mothers that this teams coach hand picked every kid and the other team got the leftovers which would explain thier 6-0 compared to the other teams 1-5.

I also have issues with the weight of some of thier kids. They were booted out of thier last league for fudging birth certificates......wtf!!!

I am going to fight fire with fire. Will we win? I doubt it, but we aren't going to roll over and die. This is about all I can do to match thier stacked team with the limitations the league gives me.

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Our league has had problems with over-age kids playing down. So, they now require a state ID (from the DMV, looks like a driver's license, but for kids). They won't take birth certificate, passport, school id, or military ID anymore. The ID gets shown at weigh-ins early in the season.

Fortunately, we don't have many draft issues. The league has three skill divisions at each age/weight bracket...

"American" for the best players (usually large clubs, multiple teams per age, kids played several years).

"Central" for average kids (and often the top team for smaller clubs).

"National" for beginners (usually 1st and 2nd year players).

A few clubs field multiple teams at each level, and they may (illegally) stack within a level, but at least they won't be sending a team of mutants to play my team of 1st/2nd year players (I coach a National team, 11-14 year olds, 100-130lbs).

Let me know how the game goes - and if the spread line helps any.

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The simple answer to your difficult situation due to some crazy league rules is as follows:

Nose guard: Quick, aggressive player. Fire-slant A gap, strong side.

D tackle-wk side: Head-up Tackle. Fire-slant B gap

D end-wk side: box-contain

Corner-wk side: If he has receiver cover -back pedal read QB if run come outside-in. If no receiver send still with contain responsibility. Aggresive bump and run coverage!

Will:Over guard-2 yards, Blitz A gap wk side

Sam:Smartest,best tackler.Over guard-2-yards, Attack C gap read-key full back

D tackle-strong side:Head-up Tackle, fire-slant B gap

D end: Head up Tight End Go through Tight End and Box/contain

Strong side Corner: Fastest kid, aggresive, loves contact. Read QB, if run attack outside in with ultimate contain responsibility. Coach up Helmet always on the outside. Aggresive bump and run.

Strong safety: Over tight end, Responsible for him. Bring up seven yards from los and read QB . Coach up aggresive run support.

Free safety: 10 yards back from los between will and corner back.shadow ball. Help over the top and watch for reverses.

Practice: Coach up angle tackles and pursuit. Preach contain and staying home on the outside. Teach line men hand drills-heel punch-elbow collapse-rip-swim. Tackle drills-Oklahoma etc...

Good Luck and God Bless

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