Texas_D_Coach

Zone Defense Diagrams And Strategy For 5 On 5?

28 posts in this topic

Hey guys,

I just want to tell all the regulars here that this is the BEST site I have found in my search online for flag football info. I have already read a ton of info that has helped me learn things and rethink some things I was planning.

Anyway, I'm assistant coach for an NFL youth league 5 on 5 8-9yr old kids this fall, and I need some help with defensive zone scheme diagrams.

What I'm looking for is a diagram showing which part of the field each kid is reponsible for covering in each zone scheme, say 2-1-2 or 3-2 or 2-3.

I've read alot of what Coach Rob, Orange and Vegas had to say related to defense and it really helped me in my search for the best defense for these kids.

Basically I want to run out of these 3 defenses exclusively and change them up depending on whther the offense we are facing deiceds to primarily run, pass, or run reverse type trick plays. I am planning on blitzing most, but not all of the time. I am expectin we will run the 3-2 with the guys back and 2 on the line most of the time, and rush the middle guy as a linebacker. Depending on how the offense responds, we can go to a 2-1-2 easily with the middle LB running halfway up (fake blitz) and then holding to watch the QB. This seemed to work well in our first game this last weekend which we won 18-6. I've also thought about doing some stunts where we line up in the 3-2, but send 2 rushers from the secondary and have the guys on the line back up to cover their spots, or send on eoof the safety guys in to rush and have the middle LB move over to cover his spot. I want to keep the offense confused and off balance as much as possible (doesn't every defense).

Have any of you guys tried these type of stunts, and what do you think of the strategy I have outlayed so far.

Thanks for all your help and for putting together such a helpful site for other coaches.

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I forgot to mention, the rusher must be 7 yds off the line, and the QB cannot run. Can send as many rushers as we like but all must be 7yards back. Only shuffle passes and forward passes are allowed (no laterals or pitches), and the running backs can pass after a handoff).

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I saw your question but honestly I just draw up the defense on a pad of paper on the spot. I don't diagram like I would my offense. Maybe I should.

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Thanks Orange. I thought that may be the case but thought I'd ask anyway. Any comment on the strategy I outlayed? Any suggestions or critiques are appreciated.

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I have been fooling around a little bit with stunting too and I think that it helps some but you probably don't want to overdo it. I don't think the other teams are really going to notice much. The type of stunting where the rusher drops into coverage is a good one. I'm really more interested in making sure that my kids pull flags, get to the right spots and cover well than any kind of schemes. In yesterdays scrimmage I found us mostly running a 1 1 3, keeping things in front of us. When we got close to the goal line I switched to man defense with success.

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Orange how do you line the kids up in a 1 1 3 defense.I'm assuming 1 on the center,the next 1 yard back and the next 3 spread like corners and a deep safety?

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Orange how do you line the kids up in a 1 1 3 defense.I'm assuming 1 on the center,the next 1 yard back and the next 3 spread like corners and a deep safety?

1 kid over center like a middle linebacker. He has to react and move quickly laterally. One rusher. 3 spread across about 7+ yards deep. I'll have the center one take a slightly deeper drop.

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Here are the diagrams I've made to teach the kids their "home" zone and responsibility area at practice this week. I'm hoping I won't confuse them but I think visually showing them their area will help them to understand the coverage better.

Critiques are welcome.

Zone_Defense_Diagrams.ppt

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Here are the diagrams I've made to teach the kids their "home" zone and responsibility area at practice this week. I'm hoping I won't confuse them but I think visually showing them their area will help them to understand the coverage better.

Critiques are welcome.

Beautiful, I'm going to use it too.

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I've added a couple of things to the original Powerpoint I made for the zone defensive schemes our team will be using this year. One of the things I've added is a 5 back zone that I can send 2 rushers out of. I think this adds a nice option for teams that pass alot and goal line situations too. The other thing I've added are some "keys to defense" and drill ideas that I'm going to use in practice this season. Basically I took all the information I knew and all that I've learned from reading posts on this forum and summarrized them into bullet points to emphasize to the kids.

Feel free to use them for your own teams as well.

Zone_Defense_Diagrams.ppt

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I've added a couple of things to the original Powerpoint I made for the zone defensive schemes our team will be using this year. One of the things I've added is a 5 back zone that I can send 2 rushers out of. I think this adds a nice option for teams that pass alot and goal line situations too. The other thing I've added are some "keys to defense" and drill ideas that I'm going to use in practice this season. Basically I took all the information I knew and all that I've learned from reading posts on this forum and summarrized them into bullet points to emphasize to the kids.

Feel free to use them for your own teams as well.

Great diagrams....thanks!

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Hi, Im very new to this forum, and in fact this is my first post.

I've been in a flag football league for the past 4 years (this being my 5th year), as well as D1 varsity football for the past 3 years with my high school (playing cornerback on defense).

one thing that I dont like about these diagrams is the simplicity i think ?

I checked them out (the main reason I joined; I couldnt access them beforehand).

And though I do not always prefer zone usage in 5v5, here is what I noticed:

For this first play here (3-2 zone). 2 Outside backers as Flat defenders, 2 corners who seem to be in cover 2 (correct me if Im wrong), and a saftey that stands in the middle 1/3 zone but drops coverage to instead blitz.

First of all it seems like the creator was looking for more symmetry when creating the play. One thing I'd say is that the way the players line up does not necessarily have to be so neat like this. with even splits n such. I think that you were going for simplicity so it'd be easier to understand, but, if u make some minor changes, the layout may be a little less neat and easy to understand, but itll make the game play alot easier to execute.

Adjustments: Ok, if you look at the formation in this play there are twins right (2 receivers to defense left) and solo left (1 receiver to defense right). I think if you slide over our left backer (the one covering the solo side) to over top the center or maybe a hair to the outside, you can quickly eliminate the short pass to the center. you can just tell the player to "fly to the flat" which is what theyll learn in high school. Make sure this player keeps a slight eye on the center as the head out towards the side line.

Also, Tightening down the cornerback on this solo side to about 5 steps/yards might be more beneficial, as it will stop screens to that singled out receiver (this corner is practically in man with the only receiver to his side, but by combinations may switch off to someone else; slide in a bit for inside leverage: 'Use the sideline as an extra defender'). Id also tighten down the other corner to 6 yards and slide him in a bit (for the same reason, plus he has underneath help). If all receivers go deep, the backer to the twins side should be ready to turn up field to help. the back side backer should be ready to help keep the QB from scrambling as if in a spy.

Then I would slide over the other backer to line heads up on the inside receiver on the doubles side, or to split the center and the inside receiver and fly to the flats as well. (A slightly smaller role hear, maybe one of your slower players could work here).

Lastly, and most importantly, the blitzing safety. In this diagram you have the blitzer blitzing from the middle and running straight to the QB. One thing I'd change, is that I'd Slide him out about 3 Yards. This is very important I think. This guy's responsibility is to force the QB to roll out to the left (AWAY FROM THE STRENGTH OF THE FORMATION). If your player can do this without letting the QB run it (which isnt too big a problem cause the player in the flat can help with contain if the QB starts to scramble), you will be in great shape. If the QB is right handed this is even better, cause he'd have to throw back across his body to get the ball where almost all of his other receivers are, a quite risky task.

Too make it easier, I attached my edition of the 3-2 zone.

Sorry this is long, but I hope it can help.

I figured I would let you guys critique me and let me know what you think before I moved on to the other plays. In case I wasn't helping I didnt wanna work on the others.

Plz give me criticism ASAP!

Zone_Defense_Diagrams__edits_.ppt

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First of all it seems like the creator was looking for more symmetry when creating the play. One thing I'd say is that the way the players line up does not necessarily have to be so neat like this. with even splits n such. I think that you were going for simplicity so it'd be easier to understand, but, if u make some minor changes, the layout may be a little less neat and easy to understand, but itll make the game play alot easier to execute.

Yes the layout is symmetric for simplicity. I coach 8-9 yr olds, so my main priority is teaching them what a zone defense is and the diagrams are a way to show them visually where their responsibilities are in each zone defense arrangement. Also we switch kids out alot, so they don't typically play the same position on each set of plays, and symmetry makes player rotation much much easier. As the season goes along and the kids begin to grasp what their role is in the zone, then we will start teaching them to slide over and help out the weaker side based on the offensive formation given. Keep in mind that many of these kids have never played flag football before, and they are having to learn several positions on both offense and defense in just 1.5 hours of practice per week.

Adjustments: Ok, if you look at the formation in this play there are twins right (2 receivers to defense left) and solo left (1 receiver to defense right). I think if you slide over our left backer (the one covering the solo side) to over top the center or maybe a hair to the outside, you can quickly eliminate the short pass to the center. you can just tell the player to "fly to the flat" which is what theyll learn in high school. Make sure this player keeps a slight eye on the center as the head out towards the side line.

Also, Tightening down the cornerback on this solo side to about 5 steps/yards might be more beneficial, as it will stop screens to that singled out receiver (this corner is practically in man with the only receiver to his side, but by combinations may switch off to someone else; slide in a bit for inside leverage: 'Use the sideline as an extra defender'). Id also tighten down the other corner to 6 yards and slide him in a bit (for the same reason, plus he has underneath help). If all receivers go deep, the backer to the twins side should be ready to turn up field to help. the back side backer should be ready to help keep the QB from scrambling as if in a spy.

I think your idea works well against the pass, but remember you've also got to worry about end arounds and reverses out of the backfield. If you slide your backers in too far you will be exposed on those plays. Also you have to remember that some offenses will also be running trips formations and split t formations as well, so your defense has to be equally capable of defending those without too much thinking by the players. I teach the kids the basic zone alignments and then I reposition them on the fly during the game if necessary.

In our league the QB can't rush, so we don't need to spy him. Just put pressure on him and either grab his flag or make him throw a bad pass.

Lastly, and most importantly, the blitzing safety. In this diagram you have the blitzer blitzing from the middle and running straight to the QB. One thing I'd change, is that I'd Slide him out about 3 Yards. This is very important I think. This guy's responsibility is to force the QB to roll out to the left (AWAY FROM THE STRENGTH OF THE FORMATION). If your player can do this without letting the QB run it (which isnt too big a problem cause the player in the flat can help with contain if the QB starts to scramble), you will be in great shape. If the QB is right handed this is even better, cause he'd have to throw back across his body to get the ball where almost all of his other receivers are, a quite risky task.

Good point, I like it. Usually I like to send him in halfway to read run or pass first for the first few plays, and then adjust based on whether the offense runs more or passes more.

Too make it easier, I attached my edition of the 3-2 zone.

Sorry this is long, but I hope it can help.

I figured I would let you guys critique me and let me know what you think before I moved on to the other plays. In case I wasn't helping I didnt wanna work on the others.

Plz give me criticism ASAP!

Overall I like your ideas, but teaching that level of detail to 8-9 yr olds would be a huge task. Sometimes just getting them set in their base alignment can be a challenge (ha, ha). Keep the ideas coming though, you never know when an idea will spark someones interest and/or help them coach better.

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Good Stuff D-Math.

I coach very similar techniques.

It's a big advantage coaching the older kids they can adjust on the fly and understand the principles of Zone and Man coverage. They pick up on the idea that the game evolves and play must adapt and flow with the game.

It's really not that the younger kids are unable to apply these principles, but in the NFL 5 on 5 leagues they generally only have one practice and game a weak so it's much easier to simplify the schemes. There is just not enough time to teach the kids to read and adjust. Not mention that younger kids take things very literally. Things are either black or white with most of these kids. Most have not developed the ability to think freely and confidently outside the box.

It comes in time.

I would really like see what else you have.

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Oh, I didnt realize you coached 8-9yr olds. I myself am a senior and have always played in a high school league (excluding the one I played in in 8th grade). it has also always been 5v5.

I dont understand wat you mean by runs. In the leagues I've been in, I think I've seen maybe 1 run in all 5 yrs. its somewhat impractical I guess for 5v5.

I guess all I'd have to say to that is have the blizter always attack the person with the ball. thats usually wat we do.

Everytime blitzes every play (cause if they didnt i could easily find a whole in their defense in the 7 seconds allowed, or run it myself).

but without QB sneaking allowed, i dont think I would execute a blitz ever.

I think wat I would keep the zoneage i have, send the backer in for the blitz, and to purely watch for any sort of run or hand off.

if there isnt any he can just keep going to the QB (if thats wat u want, or sit in the middle like 4 yards back.

u can drop the flat players about 4 yards into a 2-2-1 (2 safeties, 2 corners in flat, 1 backer in middle flat so to speak). That would keep the QB wondering about the blitz, whiule also occupying the middle for the center or crossing routes.

I personally have always played man.

Technically, in a real zone, you must stick with the man ur on after 3 seconds, if you dont u can have problems when u go to pass someone off, and can be picked apart.

if you do man and blitz every play, u can stop that run (as impractical as it seems to me; though maybe i just cant grasp the idea fully) and force the QB to get rid of it fast.

its harder to break up a man coverage in the first 4 seconds. let me know wat you think. i already used ur diagram set up to make my own versions with man coverage.

I also created what I like to call the multi-option unbeatable play. It's effectiveness most likely limited to those of older ages. I can no doubt see the trouble plays like mine could cause for younger players under the multiposition circumstance. The only change I might make is to always blitz the QB from the strength. If thats not working always blitz from the side of his arm to force him to throw back across the field. and if thats not working fall back to wat uve been doing.

if wanted i can post the man coverages too. it has slightly easier to understand set ups, but still a bit complex

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Good Stuff D-Math.

I coach very similar techniques.

It's a big advantage coaching the older kids they can adjust on the fly and understand the principles of Zone and Man coverage. They pick up on the idea that the game evolves and play must adapt and flow with the game.

It's really not that the younger kids are unable to apply these principles, but in the NFL 5 on 5 leagues they generally only have one practice and game a weak so it's much easier to simplify the schemes. There is just not enough time to teach the kids to read and adjust. Not mention that younger kids take things very literally. Things are either black or white with most of these kids. Most have not developed the ability to think freely and confidently outside the box.

It comes in time.

I would really like see what else you have.

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Texas-D, Great Stuff! I've already "incorporated" your slides into my playbook. Do you know if anyone has put together a slide for 1-1-3 Zone? I ran a 2-1-2 in our first jamboree / scrimmage with some success. I'm probably going to add the 5 Zone this week and am really interested in the 1-1-3 as it doesn't leave the middle as open.

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I forgot to mention, the rusher must be 7 yds off the line, and the QB cannot run. Can send as many rushers as we like but all must be 7yards back. Only shuffle passes and forward passes are allowed (no laterals or pitches), and the running backs can pass after a handoff).

New to forum. This is the same thing we do in Cedar Park down the road from you.

I am use to hearing the defense described with the first number being on the line and so forth. Is that also how it is being described on this forum?

Thanks

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I forgot to mention, the rusher must be 7 yds off the line, and the QB cannot run. Can send as many rushers as we like but all must be 7yards back. Only shuffle passes and forward passes are allowed (no laterals or pitches), and the running backs can pass after a handoff).

New to forum. This is the same thing we do in Cedar Park down the road from you.

I am use to hearing the defense described with the first number being on the line and so forth. Is that also how it is being described on this forum?

Thanks

That's the way I write it too, i.e. a 3-1-1 is 3 on the line with 1 blitzer at 7 yards and 1 deep safety. I have seen it written the other way on these boards too though.

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Here are the diagrams I've made to teach the kids their "home" zone and responsibility area at practice this week. I'm hoping I won't confuse them but I think visually showing them their area will help them to understand the coverage better.

Critiques are welcome.

Thanks for this. I am new to forum, but not to the game and this is a great visual!! Thanks.

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Have any of you guys tried these type of stunts, and what do you think of the strategy I have outlayed so far.
This post is kinda old, but yes, I run stunts. Mainly what you described out of a 2-3 zone. I'll take my two better safeties and put them up front, then send 2 - 3 rushers from the 3, while the 2 on the los drop back to cover.

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