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How Do I Run Against A 4-4 Defense

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I coach 8 & 9 year old Mitey Mite Football. We have done well against our opponents so far. However, this weekend we're coming up against a team who has very good speed and run a 4-4 Defense. I'm not sure where their weakness would be. I normally run an I formation with off tackle plays; a Double Wing formation with sweeps and counters and a veer formation with a little of the same.

When we pass we normally roll out and hit the TE on a Flag pattern or a quick 3 step drop to the flag pattern.

I'm a little concerned about this weekends game. Can anyone give me any ideas on what they feel may work successfully against the 4-4. I'd greatly appreciate.


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Is it a 44 stack or a 44 split. Two different defenses.

44 Stack has the LB's stacked over the Defensive lineman.

Run C to D gap sealing the DE/OLB inside.

Run Trap if DT is 2 or 3 tech or wider.

Run wedge on center.

44 split basically has the OLB's out in 80 techs and the ILB are OS shaded of the interior lineman. That is a very basic description.

Run inside to the C gap and B gaps.

Usually these guys run a 2i (inside shade of the Guard) so traps a little harder but if they or in a 2 or 3 run trap as well.

In the DW if it is stack I simply run outside of the stacked OLB and DE (who normally plays a 6 or 9 tech with OLB in a 60 or 90 look). I also trap the heck out of this defense if the DT is in head up on the Guard (2 tech) or gapped in the G/T area (3 tech). I also wedge it to death. Bear in mind that speed is only a factor if you are passing or going wide. Running inside (wedge, trap, off tackle (super power and counter for us). Also speed can work to your advantage. A fast team over pursues unless it is very disciplined. So misdirection inside or outside agianst the grain will be good against this team. Now be prepared for runs to be chased down so great misdirection might no be a touchdown but a 15 yard gain. Just keep making them play you honest and then hit them with misdirection has often as you can. If you do that you should have an effective offense. And be patient.

Coach Gregory


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Thank you coach! We tried our best, but we still lost 24 - 8. Actually, I don't even think it was the 4-4 Defense that beat, but more their intensity for the game. They came right at us. Very physical team. They had some great athletes with speed, strength and attitude. Unfortunately for them, they're being taught by their coaches the Art of Cheap Shots. We walked out of there with about 5 injuries do to late cheap shots to the back, which none of them were called.

Well, as one parent told me, this type of game builds character.

Thanks again.

Coach Art,

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Character... very losely used word.

I coach at-risk youth. Head coach 11-12 years olds and oversee a 6-8 yr. old and 9-10 year old team.

Our city has NO youth football organization. So we get a lot of coaches that play kids too old, cheap shot, and really only care about winning.

Losing and getting whipped does not build character. Coaching right and wrong builds character.

The best advice I can tell you is this. Winning does not include the scoreboard. If you kids did their very best, they won. Score doesn't matter. I play a team every year who cheat shot, late hit, talk trash, and every year, we play them close, but lose. But I tell my kids to play with class. And they do. That's winning. There are teams that won't even play them anymore.

And vice versa. I won a game last night 7-6, and I told my kids they should have lost that game. They played poorly, and got lucky and won.

Teach playing hard, working hard, proper technique, playing with class, and winning and losing with class. All are more important than the score of a game.

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That is a great reply I wish more coaches of youth football had your attitude. I teach the same things and every year have a problem with a parent who thinks all we should do is win on the scoreboard at all cost.

I personally feel as long as the kids learn the basics and get better every week they had a winning season regardless what there record is.

I played from when I was 7 all the way to division I and have never had anyone ask me how many games I won in youth football nor at this point could I remember or care. But what I do remember is the coaches I had and the things they taught me.

Coach Flip

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