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Coach Marty

Mid Season Defensive Change Up

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Coach Marty    0

Hey guys,

Just looking for feed back here. In a 5 on 5, 7-8 year old league....I just changed up from a 3-2 to a 4-1. I haven't seen too much talk about the 4-1 on the site. There isn't much passing in games (maybe 3 per side at most). With the strong propensity to running I found the 4-1 to work pretty well. We've only used it once but it seems to hid my less talented players well. I put them in the middle two slots and have my quickest, most aggressive player 7 yards back to blitz or just play a "monster" type.

The 3-2 seemed to bite us in the back side from time to time and even on good plays we still let up yards. If I can get them to stay home and play in their area I think the 4-1 should work. 3 weeks to go in the season till playoffs and hoping for the best. Thanks for any advise.

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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays
Coach Marty    0

Well just an update. We tried the new defense and it was a terrible disaster. The team we played was far better than ours and had an excellent passing game. I still think the 4-1 will work well against an evenly matched team (1 being my monster or blitzer). I'll try it again on Sunday but if by half time we're getting killed I'll change it up on the fly. For those that have viewed and read my first post......Wish me luck.

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TeeDub23    0

I like the 2-3 or a 2-2-1 zone defense. They are the same. See the attached. Have the front two spaced out evenly from the center and about 1 yard off the LOS. Not too close to the center as you want the rusher to be pushed to the middle. Have the corners about 2-3 steps back playing the inside of the WRs. Have the safety 7 yards back in the middle in case you want to rush, but I typically keep them back unless they are pass heavy and I would change up. When they hand off, you need to concentrate on getting them to push the runner to the middle and to the safety. You team and converge on them at this point.

The middle short will be a weakness, but I would give up a 3-4 yard gain all day as opposed to a 15-20 yard gain down the side. If you keep them in their zones and they dont bite on the misdirection plays, you will get many turnovers.

They cant hit slants, cant hit the outside on passes, they might hit a center curl, but I would let them have it. Any rush to the left or right will have them running at 2 defenders either side. This is the best, most basic defense to play. Proper spacing and staying in the zone and you will have a good defense.

Be careful on the rush as you will leave a huge hole in the middle behind the rusher for a pass.

EDIT: When I say 2-3, I mean 2 up front and 3 deep. Others have it the other way around.

Def.ppt

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Alfred    0

Hi Coach Marty,

I'd like to know how it goes. We played against a very athletic team who played something similar to a 4-1 zone. They did have a rusher. From an offensive viewpoint, our head coach (offense) would call deep seam routes and a lot of post plays. It tore up their defense since they were not able to cover the multiple routes with one safety. We have a smart athletic QB who able to make the rusher miss the first attempt letting the play develop. While looking upfield, he was able to figure out the safety's assignment.

Long story, short; you will have to give up some big plays if your rusher can't disrupt the QB.

When the defense switched to a 3-2 (3 Linebacker playing 3-4 from LoS, and 2 secondary), we couldn't get any successful deep play to convert.

I had our 10-11yo try a 1-3-1 (some call it 1-1-3; IE, 1 Lineman, 3 LB, 1 Sfty) it was very effective against the run plays. In our league, there are so many end-arounds and reverses that our kids get confused, so it is easy to tell them to 'stay-at-home' and let the play come to them and turn it back inside where the speedy lineman and middle linebacker can pull flags. We gave up the 4-5 yard gains, but prevented the really long runs. We did get burned for one long pass and TD, though. But we expected that.

I hope you had a good week. I'll subscribe to follow the progress and see if we should implement the 4-1.

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Orange    26

For that age I like a 2-1-2 with the corners pushed in really tight, like over the slot receivers or where they should be. The outside short passes will look open but that's a hard pass to make. Dare them to throw it outside. And your corners will be run stuffing machines. Bring a rusher or alternatively stick him right over the center and play like a middle linebacker. Then your two safeties play about 5-7 yards off the los, likewise lined up about where the slot would be. This defense would be very tough at this age. You're creating a box about 7 yards to the left and right of the center and beyond the los.

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Coach Marty    0

Well we had our first round of playoffs today against That team that smoked us a couple of weeks ago. Here's the deal. The 4-1 (4 on the line) worked GREAT for any running plays. Called it the monster D. We had last week to try it against a team we were able to handle. For this week we tried what we called the "reverse monster" which is switching up the 4-1 to a 1-4. I still blitzed out of the 1-4 from different angles. They got a few short passes on us but for the most part we shut down the middle to long passes. We lost today but the kids were not upset because they knew we played much better and the team we played knew they were lucky to get by us. They were the better team but we held our own.

The defense is one I would recommend against a pass heavy team but keep them on their toes by switching to a 3-2 or the "monster D". Good luck Alfred. Let us know if you try it out.

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Alfred    0

Nice update Coach Marty!

How did the 1-4 hold up against the run? How far back were the 4 players from scrimmage? Where did you put your better defenders (hands and feet) versus the slower players?

Sorry for the flood of questions but if I try this out I want to learn from what you implemented.

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Orange    26

We faced a team that ran a 1-4 a couple of times. They called themselves the "brick wall" and were anything but. We'd stretch them out and shred them. The 4 all had the same responsibility front to back and we'd run deep patterns pushing the coverage back and throw underneath. Or else we'd run some underneath patterns and attack deep from an angle and get behind them. I truly do not like the "brick wall" unless I'm playing against it. Go with one of the stacked zones like the 1-1-3 or 2-1-2.

Edit: Sometimes you'll see good teams running the 4 across in a goal line or extra point situation. That makes more sense because there is a limited amount of space to make a play. But in the open field 4 across is a weak defense in my opinion.

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Coach Marty    0

I would audible from the sideline if I saw something. They would change on the fly and it seemed to confuse the offense. The key was to "stay home" and always push the runner or pass catcher to the inside. Orange it's a bend don't break defense and it really worked well. I didn't stick to just the 1-4 or 4-1. sometimes I would go to a 3-2. I would come out in one of the 3 different defensive sets every time but mostly the "reverse monster". I agree it would have been easy to break that D down if I stayed in it every play but since I didn't they couldn't really plan for it.

Alfred - the 1-4 worked ok against the run but I put my fastest player on the nose and he just went side to side while the other 4 (7 yards back) would react. I generally keep my slower players on the inside. I would preach for my faster players on the outside that no one gets outside you and to always push the runner to the inside and use your help. Good luck and let me know how it works for you.

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