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Goal Line Stand/short Yardage Defence

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Hi all, I've been gathering info from this website for quite a while, and have really appreciated all the experience here. This has been very helpful.

I've got a couple fairly straight-up question, hopefully. I co-coach for both my sons' teams - ages 12 and 15. 5 on 5 flag, rush from 7 yds. I tend to run the defence, while my buddy that has more life experience in football overall runs the offence.

I tend to run a 3-2 defence - I hope I'm saying that right, as we have 2 up front, two safeties and one rusher (the safeties are just a bit back of the rusher). If the opposition stacks the one side, I put the two up front on the one side, the safety on that side is behind them (forming a triangle), and the weak side safety comes in a bit to cover the whole side. Sometimes I'll keep the rusher in the middle to help the weak side safety, depending on what I see the offence do over the course of the game. Sometimes, when they tend to run a lot or do short passes, I'll have three up front, rusher, then the safety (he's always going to be the fastest and hopefully tallest to get to the bomb).

Is this a reasonable defence strategy? I've learned from these forums that man to man isn't great in flag, unless all the defence is very strong. I rarely use this, but I've occasionally had one guy key on a stud receiver/RB if that is clearly the favourite. If I do this, though, how should the rest of the zone D line up, and should the rusher go, or cover the flats?

Next - in a goal line defence. 5 yds from the end zone is no-run. Whenever they are in that zone, I either run a 5 man lane D (each taking 1/5 of the field, rusher not going just covering middle 1/5) or a 4 man lane with a safety back (again no rush). Problem is when they see this, of course they can just stack 2 or 3 in one corner to exploit one kid, and get a TD. It happened at least twice tonite with my 15 yr olds. After that I tried to run a man to man for one stand, but it failed miserably. Actually they picked on my son for the corner on the lanes (not his fault, there were 2 and 3 players on each of the TD's), and he happened to be covering the guy that got the TD on the man to man. And to make matters worse, when they flooded the middle on another play, my wide defensive player came in to help and they happened to have an out route to his corner, now uncovered, for a TD.

Any thoughts on how to defend here better? I would appreciate any tips and advice.

Thanks!

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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

I am a big believer in Zone D, but in goalline situations you gotta go with man-to-man defense. Have two defenses, your base zone that you use, and a man-to-man for short yardage.

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The exact opposite happened to us. I coach 7v7 9-11 year old coed team and I ran a zone defense in our second game and we were scored on easily. We only practice once a week so we had only had three practices before this game. The three practices we had were mainly devoted to offense and the other team had a good quarterback who could find the open man. We quickly switched to man on man with my two safeties playing zone. This shut the qb down in passing and they had to start running the ball. My advice is to start game man to man in front let your corners and safeties play zone and quickly try to figure out their offensive strategy. Than adjust, adjust, adjust. No teams will play similar so teach both defenses as well as you can and then try to adjust accordingly. We normally run two on the line, line backer to rush two corners and two safeties. Looks like a 2-3-2. If you can rush in your league let your corners alternate rushing occasionally, especially if you are up against a good quarterback.

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